The last time CD put out an energy issue, we focused
it on peak oil. For this issue we asked the Post Carbon
Institute’s Richard Heinberg to revisit that subject.
Oil hardly gives the appearance of having
peaked. On the contrary its very abundance and
recent spurt in growth is the main reason, aside from
speculation, that prices have tumbled so. What is
going on? Heinberg argues that shale oil and other
non-conventional sources only postpone peak oil by
a few years. We asked Cory Collins to examine the
production of shale oil in Canada and to track down
provincial policies toward fracking.
Is clean energy still a pipe dream? Some authoritative
scientific studies we consulted say “no”. The
technology is already in place. Only the industry’s
commitment to fossil fuels and government’s willingness
to support it with massive subsidies and
other incentives is slowing down the transition.
Martin Lukacs’ solution is a public takeover of the
oil industry and allocating its profits towards a post-carbon
Who makes up the oil lobby in Canada? How does
it work? And how influential is it in determining Canada’s
energy policy? The Polaris Institute’s Executive
Director Richard Girard provides some answers.
In “How Far will Harper go to Neutralize Opposition
to the Tar Sands”, Murray Dobbin
describes Conservative and RCMP designs to vilify
the likes of the David Suzuki Foundation, the Sierra
Club, Idle No More and the Council of Canadians,
although “none of these organizations have ever
been cited for any activity except effective democratic
engagement.” Now the Conservatives have
gone further, auditing some 60 charities who have
been critical of their policies, threatening to end
their tax free status.
Polaris Institute’s founder and president, Tony
Clarke, gives readers an in-depth analysis of the perilous
cost of Canada’s economic dependency on oil.
The rest of the focus section is primarily devoted to
the fight against the pipelines and “Big Oil” with
due attention to First Nations people who are at the
front lines of the struggle.