Well, well, the new president of Memorial University, Vianne Timmons, is sure getting a dose of hypocrisy, isn’t she?
Her support for the largest industry — by revenue — to the provincial government is being questioned by faculty, students and alumni.
It somehow is supposed to lessen her commitment to fighting the millennium old climate-hange issue.
I do not know the new president. Never met her, but she sounds like a realist to me.
The last Public Accounts for the province was the year 2018-2019. It reports that the province received $999.9 million in offshore royalties.
One billion dollars.
No other non-government source comes close to providing such revenue to the province. Since offshore oil start flowing the province has received over $20 billion in royalties — that’s cash.
Of course, the spinoff is many more billions.
The first project under the Offshore Development Fund (now I guess a dirty, unfavourable fund) was to Memorial University — $27 million for the Centre for Earth Resource Research.
Countless additional tens of millions have been provided directly and indirectly to Memorial over the years from the offshore industry.
While lofty goals are important and must be pursued, on-the-ground, everyday-living demands money and services now and until ecology-killing, expensive wind and solar alternatives (one wind turbine takes 900 tonnes of steel, 2,500 tonnes of concrete, and 45 tonnes of plastic) can find better alternatives, the province and the world will continues to use 90 million barrels plus of oil daily for decades, according to the International Energy Agency .
Kudos to the new president for facing reality, and exiting the ivory tower.
Brian Peckford, MUN alumnus