Oil and natural gas a sustainable industry?

Opinion

To the Editor:

As we follow the Federal Government announcing various financial assistance plans for industry we read that big oil and gas, centred within Alberta, are looking for massive financial support for expensive tar sands oil. This comes as the market for light crude oil has dropped to very low prices and to half of that for the product made from tar sands by all methods of recovery.

There is more light crude available in the world than there is a current demand for. Seventy-five percent of all commercial aircraft are parked around the world. Ocean shipping is at an all time low because unemployed people don’t drive much and buy far less products made in far away countries. Thus truck and rail delivery from ocean ports is far less. All of these use a lot of refined oil — when running.

Presently they are not busy, and are unlikely to be for years to come as people find other ways to make/earn a living. Working from home, planting a larger veggie garden, harvesting wood for fuel/home heating from a family plot or from a Crown plot. Others are making use of efficiency programs to make homes, offices and factories use less energy/less fossil fuels.

If the Federal and Western Canada Governments stopped the subsidies propping up most, if not all, oil and gas companies and pipelines and instead expanded energy efficient programs for ordinary Canadian homes and offices and apartment buildings plus manufacturing plants, this massive job would employ many for years to come. The lasting effect to Canada’s economy would be massive — 90 per cent of buildings standing today can be made more energy efficient. Electric cars, trucks and buses are coming in a big way in just a few years — most being recharged by a renewable source. Local food production is set to expand as we now know how to grow food year around in most of Canada. Even home basements can grow veggies under energy efficient LED lamps. Veggies grow best at temps lower than we like upstairs. This is the year we will begin basement veggie/greens growing.

It is also the year solar panel generated electric power will charge batteries that will light up our home. Lamps will all be 12 Vdc. We’ll expand that system every year forward.

While I’m stuck at home more days than is usual I’ll install a “catch the heat from the sun porch ceiling” and blow it into the basement. That will supplement the heat from two solar hot air panels installed a year ago. The goal is to warm our living area floor by 10 C during the cooler months.

Lastly, my outdoor garden is bigger this year enabling us to donate some to the local LTC facility. Seniors are more healthy when being fed organically grown veggies.

Don G. Wilson

Brule Point