A Talk by Gordon Laxer. Global Research News Hour 2017 Summer Series 1
“Alberta and Big Oil are on the wrong side of history. They are betting that the age of carbon fuels will continue for decades. That is unlikely. Alberta must now join the international transition to a low carbon future, or be left behind in a fossil fuel backwater of abandoned oil wells and tar ponds that resemble US rust belt states and coal states.” – Gordon Laxer (June 2016)
Discourse around Canada’s fossil fuel energy reserves typically centres around the environmental hazards associated with such projects, specifically, climate impacts and the hazards associated with pipeline spills and breakages.
Less common is a conversation about the ramifications of continued reliance on such resources from the standpoint of political economy.
Gordon Laxer has made the point that Canada, a supposed ‘energy super-power’ continues to import a third of its oil, that it has no strategic energy reserves in case of shortage, and that big-moneyed interests and corporate trade deals like NAFTA favour satisfying the US market over what makes sense for a cold northern country.
On this special summer edition of the Global Research News Hour, we explore how Canada can not only satisfy its commitments under the Paris Accord and other international climate agreements, but also secure its own energy security without long term costs to the Canadian economy as the world makes the inevitable transition away from carbon-based fossil fuels.
This week’s show consists of a single speech he gave at Winnipeg’s downtown Millenium Library on June 1, 2016.
Gordon Laxer is a Political Economist and professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta. He is the founding Director and former head of the university’s Parkland Institute, a non-corporate research institute that does public policy research to serve the public interest . He is the author of several books, including Open for Business: The Roots of Foreign Ownership in Canada ( Oxford Univ Press 1989) as well as After the Sands. Energy and Ecological Security for Canadians (Douglas & Mcintyre 2015). His Winnipeg talk was sponsored by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Manitoba Office.