Our action is consistent with climate change, not the other way round | David Julfal

I’ve long been an advocate for the recognition of indigenous and environmental justice, and anti-fracking activism. This underpins both my passion for renewable energy and the continuing path of geothermal development in Saskatchewan. I…

Our action is consistent with climate change, not the other way round | David Julfal

I’ve long been an advocate for the recognition of indigenous and environmental justice, and anti-fracking activism. This underpins both my passion for renewable energy and the continuing path of geothermal development in Saskatchewan. I believe in the sustainable energy future that is possible, and now that it is available and affordable for many people, I have been a strong advocate of that approach. I don’t see that the world needs fossil fuels in the future, so I am more closely aligned with those like Mark Zuckerberg who continue to lead the charge towards an ecological utopia.

Why they must go: the fossil fuel industry Read more

But at the same time, I understand that the world faces an existential energy crisis. LNG exports from Saskatchewan are designed to go straight into energy markets. Hence my need to do what I can within the legal and ethical parameters of the trade, to make sure that every single oil molecule gets put to good use for the good of the people of Saskatchewan and of Canada.

But how to describe, within our existing trade system, a country (the “nation” of Saskatchewan) acting like that? Many citizens of Alberta and British Columbia, along with many indigenous people around the world, are now calling on governments to find a climate justice solution. However, in Saskatchewan, both the federal and provincial governments are moving to keep the tar sands alive. This would be their equivalent of a nation-wide anti-fracking, anti-coastal policies. Oil companies have already been found guilty in court of polluting the drinking water of First Nations communities, and to provide yet more support to this industry would seem to be wildly irresponsible and wrong. The climate deal agreed in Paris was an unprecedented triumph of human rights and global justice. For the corporate energy interests to add to this moral and environmental humiliation by continuing to do business while driving climate change is a betrayal of those fundamental principles.

We now live in a global world with a new reality: only 50 years from now, carbon-intense energy sources will dominate the world’s energy landscape. Together with renewables such as geothermal and marine thermal, we already have the technology for solutions to these changes. But while Saskatchewan finds itself in a no-win situation, Canada as a whole is poised for rapid change, and several provinces are doing exactly the right thing. They are pursuing carbon taxes, raising renewable energy supply, investing in renewable-power generation, and making efforts to turn their economies away from reliance on fossil fuels and toward a cleaner energy future. I am proud to call myself a proud Canadian.

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