Build awareness of oil sand impact

becoming better informed on oilsands, pipeline issues is critical

Mr. Fletcher’s comments on counteracting “scientifically ignorant” coverage of topics like the oilsands pipelines. I agree that becoming better informed on these issues is critical, as our current decisions will lock-in the costs to global communities, environment, and economy for generations.

Mr. Fletcher cites an oilsands pioneer who quotes a scientific paper, “the entire oil sands operation is responsible for five per cent of Canadian emissions”. I’m sure Mr. Fletcher must realize these quoted emissions relate only to industry production processes, and not the broader greenhouse gases from burning the oilsands-derived fuels in other sectors, or jurisdictions outside Canada. These points are likely what the individuals, he’s insulting in his article, are speaking to.

Unfortunately, the earth’s atmosphere and other systems know no boundaries based on international borders. Oil sands-derived fuel burned elsewhere still affects us, regardless of ‘counting’ methods. So, becoming informed and reading information closely is important, as it can be used in narrow, misleading ways. Suncor’s founder has reason to focus on a narrow viewpoint; I doubt we want to do the same.

We all have differing perspectives. Some focus on economic impacts, others look to broader elements equally important but harder to ‘monetize’. As an accountant, it was important for me to understand the state of the earth’s systems (atmosphere, ocean, land) based on human activities, as I already had awareness of how financial decision models often treat these elements (as invisible). An online resource that helped me is: Global Change and the Earth System, published by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Authored by 11 scientists, with scientific contributions from a thousand others, it improved my awareness.

As we build our awareness, perhaps we can continue this important conversation in a meaningful and respectful way. Our sustainable future depends on it.

Deborah Rasnick

Brentwood Bay




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