The amount of ignorance across Canada among the citizens with regards to the conventional energy industry and how it impacts them can be staggering at times. What can we expect when foreign funded environmental groups and public figures have been on an organized “anti-tar sands” campaign for over a decade? The effort to shut in Alberta’s oil has been coming from many fronts and keeping Canadians misinformed about their dependence on that oil has been a key part of that campaign.
I had an exchange on twitter the other day with Denny Morrison. Mr. Morrison made quite a name for himself as a Canadian speed skater over the last decade and was an Olympic medalist. He is a very talented athlete. Alas, now that he has retired from competitive skating it appears that he is trying to find a sense of purpose through online anti-oil advocacy and he isn’t very good at it.
I am not even sure how it began. Denny had inserted himself into an exchange I was having with Councilor Sean Chu over a bike lane and somehow it devolved into a debate on the evils of the combustion engine. Morrison has since blocked me and deleted most of his tweets from the exchange but I did manage to screen snap a couple gems from him that say so much.
The discussion of high gas prices in BC has been a top issue lately along with speculation of what may happen if Premier Kenney does reduce the flow of oil to BC and the rest of the country with Bill 12.
In response to the potential for increased gas prices, Mr. Morrison sent out the tweet pictured below.
OK, where to begin?
Even if somehow a spike in gas prices didn’t directly effect Denny (it would) and even if 2/3 of Vancouver didn’t drive (untrue), the profound indifference displayed by Mr. Morrison to the impacts that such a fuel hike would have on low income people who rely on filling their vehicles is striking. With an already high cost of living in the lower mainland, adding a few hundred a month in gasoline bills to a daily commuter may just break a family budget. Many folks can’t afford to live in urban Vancouver and they are forced to take a long commute daily from more distant but affordable districts. Denny doesn’t seem to care how they would have to deal with a price spike.
Getting back to Denny’s confusion as to whether or not such a hike in fuel costs would actually impact him, it appears that he doesn’t understand that he will pay for those costs whether he owns a personal vehicle or not.
What Denny & sadly a large segment of the population don’t understand is that high fuel prices impact every part of their cost of living. If you take the bus or taxis, fares will rise. If you live on the island, the already expensive ferry costs will spike. If you eat anything, food costs will rise. They don’t transport food by unicorn and farmers don’t harvest it with nuclear powered tractors. Aside from food, the cost of EVERY consumer product will rise if fuel prices rise. Even if one rides a bicycle, the cost of that will go up. They don’t ship bikes by sailboat and ride them to the store for display and sale. Taxes will rise as well as the cost of running a city or a province will rise. Look at all those gas and diesel powered government vehicles out there.
Denny didn’t stop there of course. Next he made the common but BS claim that oil is unprofitable.
Denny among many others live under the myth that oil is obsolete and only government subsidies and a conspiracy among corporations keep it alive. This is utter nonsense of course. Oil demand has done nothing but grow for the last century and it is expected to grow for decades further. Other oil jurisdictions are booming from Texas to Kazakhstan. Yes, Alberta has been having a tough go. That is not due to oil being unprofitable though. That is due to Alberta battling environmentalists and activist governments who are actively working to shut the province’s oil sector down and these efforts are being cheered by myopic dingdongs like Denny Morrison.
So if Denny Morrison is a myopic dingdong, why should I care what he thinks?
Well, dingdong or not Mr. Morrison has some public profile and a voice. People follow the words of celebrities and athletes no matter how vapid those words may sometimes be, These words need to be countered as the misinformation that they are spreading is damaging our entire country.
This is why I am looking forward to Jason Kenney’s “war room” which will be set up to defend Alberta’s industries. Legally it is time to strike back. Greenpeace lost a lawsuit for the lies it spread about a forestry company. It is time that Greenpeace and other extreme foreign funded groups got sued for their misinformation about Alberta’s industries. The passive approach that Notley took has been a failure, it is time to strike back.
While lawsuits and an information campaign will help, it will take some more tangible actions to drive the message home to Canada I fear. Its time for some short term pain for long term gain and that will mean cranking down Alberta’s oil output for a little while to teach the nation a lesson in economic reality.
Look how quickly BC Premier John Horgan panicked when presented with the possibility of an oil squeeze. Despite years of implying that BC neither wanted nor needed Alberta’s oil he went into full damage control mode when Bill 12 was proclaimed by the Kenney government. The basis of BC’s court challenge is laughable in light of the proclamations for so long that they didn’t need Alberta’s oil.
Yes. Paralyzed. Still, until that pinch is actually felt I don’t think enough people will get it.
Turning down the taps will cause a gas price spike in Ontario and Quebec as well. Perhaps their love of the Liberal government’s efforts to throttle Alberta will fade a bit when they realize that they can’t take a family vacation due to the higher costs that $3 or $4 per liter gas would bring. Alberta doesn’t supply a majority of the oil for Eastern Canada but it supplies enough that it would cause a large price spike if the oil was cut back.
In response to this, the economically illiterate typically will bleat “we will just get our oil from somewhere else!”
Well kids it just ain’t that easy.
Supply and demand is a simple economic law but it is always lost on the left.
If a province or nation suddenly approached another supplier and asked for increased shipments of product, guess what will happen? The price of the product will rise. There is no escaping it. That is not theory. It is economic law. The price spike can’t be avoided though I guess the dollars could be sent offshore. That of course would continue to cost Alberta which still remains Canada’s cash cow. Where will those precious social programs go if Alberta doesn’t keep pumping in billions more per year into confederation than it gets out as it has for decades?
Shutting in Alberta’s oil truly is one of the dumbest economic moves that Canada could possibly do yet that is exactly what is happening. Canada is sitting on a treasure of natural resources and is kicking itself in the nuts by working to shut down the production of them. This isn’t helping the environment as Canadian demand isn’t dropping. It just means that dictatorships are getting more of our money to supply us while we idiotically sit on our own pool of oil.
Some in BC yelp “We will just get our oil from Washington!”.
Again kids that won’t work. Much of Washington’s oil comes from Alberta so yeah the price will still spike.
There is a fella with a blog who has put out a number of postings that are excellent and well worth reading on this issue. His name is Blair King and his blog is called “A Chemist in Langley”. He breaks down where the oil comes from and how supply reductions will impact price. Please read it and share links to this guy when debating folks on this subject. It is gold.
Unfortunately the Blair King’s out there are few and far between while the Denny Morrison’s are all too common. That’s why its time to turn those taps off for awhile. Until Canadians truly feel the hit in the wallet, they just won’t get it.