By Еvan Osentоn
ta oil and gas industry for their "understanding" during what is sure to be difficult days of transition.
Pardon me if I don’t share Anderson’s enthusiasm.
The Klein government seems to believe in the adage, "Words speak louder than actions." Anderson took the bait while I, on the other hand, don’t believe for a second that Alberta is about to abandon her wild west consumerist ways for environmental responsibility. Neither should you.
Any form of environmental responsibility on Ralph Klein’s part would run contrary to everything that made Alberta the shining bucket of money that it is today–a monster fed by beef and excreting fossil fuels. Abusing the environment makes us a role model for poor folks everywhere. However, while our standard of living is often lauded by UN statisticians, the same organization constantly gives us miserable grades for the state of our environment.
Perhaps in response to said very bad grade, the Klein government announced they want to lower greenhouse gas emissions in part by lowering speed limits and converting diesel engines to natural gas. They want us to believe their heart is in the right place, but… lower speed limits? We’re not fooled.
Lowering speed limits is a ridiculous solution–it deals with an unrelated disease and not the real symptoms. A better solution would charge people a hefty tax for purchasing fuel-inefficient vehicles such as SUV’s or even tax gas heavier across the board. The extra revenue can go to pursuing cleaner (and equally profitable, as it turns out) sources of energy such as wind or solar. Subsidize public transit so it can expand beyond the inner city and so people can actually afford it.
The problem with these solutions is that Klein will lose a lot of support–for what, the benefit of his conscience? That’s political suicide. It’s all about votes; more people will vote for Klein in an environmentally irresponsible Alberta because there will be more beef in their bellies and cheaper gas in their Expedition.
If you don’t believe Klein’s ignoring of the environment is only about votes, ask the (wealthy) residents of Bearspaw.
Currently losing their battle against a controversial sour gas well, where they think the government’s priorities lie.
Klein’s recent proclamations about the environment amount to no more than lip service; more hot air that will only serve to expedite global warming. But damn if Albertans won’t be the best dressed and best fed when the apocalypse hits.