As an environmentally-conscious person, living in the middle of oil country can be tough. Alberta’s economy depends so much on the oil and gas industry, and many people have struggled with losing jobs and not being able to provide for their families. This post is going to make me really unpopular with a lot of Albertans. Because – the pro-pipeline truck convoy was NOT COOL.
I am not here to talk about whether constructing the Trans Mountain pipeline is right or wrong. I’m talking about the “22-kilometre long truck convoy” which made its way through Nisku, the Queen Elizabeth II highway, and then along the Anthony Henday in Edmonton. This convoy was supposed to raise awareness about the need for continued investment in Alberta’s energy sector, aka the oil and gas industry. From the Global News story, the rally organizer was quoted as saying:
“We’re working class and we just want to go to work. We’re here to do everything as ethical and as environmentally friendly as possible.”
Really? And that is accomplished through a ridiculously large convoy of trucks, all spewing an exorbitant amount of greenhouse gases into the air for hours and hours upon end? How is that “ethical” and “environmentally friendly”??? The truck convoy protest was basically a “fuck you” to the environment. To the future of your children. The future of the family you need a job to feed.
I’m not trying to be smug here. I understand the hardships and frustrations of the Alberta economy. My husband was laid off in 2014 and we are still surviving on just my income. He went back to school because he couldn’t find a job in his original field. Not oil and gas related, but economy related. I know what it’s like to continually build a mountain of debt and struggle to provide for your family.
But I also know that Alberta’s economy will continue to be a roller coaster if it continues to rely so heavily on the oil and gas industry.
And even more important, I know that our EARTH, and the future of our children, is in drastic danger. We desperately need to transition to renewable energy.
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned that we only have about 12 years to limit the climate change catastrophe. Our young children will be young adults by that time and will ask us, “Why didn’t you do anything?”
I get that the truck convoy protest was intended to send a message. Please – if you must send this message – don’t do it in a way that makes our 12 years even shorter. By all means, host protest rallies – but do it in person so that huge semi-trucks aren’t belching greenhouse gases into the environment while idling on a highway for hours. Gathering that many people together somewhere would also send a message.
Also – please consider that Alberta’s energy sector needs to shift. There are Albertans making a change to renewable energy and we need to move in this direction.