Take a moment to think

February 4, 2008

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If you haven’t already, why not mark this lovely Monday (a day on which Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach is likely to call an election) by checking out the remarkable series the Globe and Mail has been doing on runaway development in the oil sands? Not only does it feature a slew of sublime and scary aerial photographs from Kickstart contributor Edward Burtynsky, but it also raises some long overdue questions about Alberta’s eagerness to rape its natural riches, why we refuse to learn from the Norwegians, and why there was little to no debate before Ralph Klein and his energy minister Murray Smith started selling off the sands a decade ago.

While Stephen Harper crows away about Canada being an “emerging energy superpower” and Stelmach’s supporters are deafened by the ch-ching of teeming profits, no one seems too bothered by the environmentally irresponsible way in which the gooey bitumen is being mined, the inevitability of increased inflation, or the fact that the PM hasn’t turned the country’s “boon” into new influence on the world’s stage.

Hopefully, the coming election will give Alberta (and the rest of the country) the chance to look itself in the mirror and consider what’s important.

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