As California, Oregon and Washington suffer through wildfires of apocalyptic proportions as well as temperatures of 49 C being reached in southern California, here on the east coast, Husky Energy is pressuring the federal government into buying a stake in its oil business. Husky’s woes are caused by the coronavirus, the slowdown of the economy, price wars among oil exporting nations, an oversupply of oil and competition from alternative energy sources. The solution, according to Husky Energy, is for the Canadian government to invest billions more in off-shore drilling. Of course the infusion of Canadian tax dollars won’t make any of the above factors disappear, but it will deepen Canada’s reliance on the fossil fuel industry to provide jobs — a situation that can be further exploited to its advantage by Husky Energy.
“A doubling of carbon dioxide is estimated to be capable of increasing the average global temperature by 1 degree to 3 degrees with a 10 C rise predicted at the poles.” This is from an internal report on climate published by Exxon researcher James Black in 1978. (Current record atmospheric levels of C02 are at 415 ppm, up from 280 ppm in the 1950s with the rate of increase accelerating.)
While west coast forests and towns go up in smoke, the industry that chose denial and profits over responsibility is demanding that our government fund its expansion. Bob Dylan famously wrote, “Money doesn’t talk, it swears.” That statement doesn’t get much truer or uglier than it is today.