By Letter to the Editor on July 16, 2020.
In response to the letter by John Calpas (“Request to shut down oil industry is misguided”). Perhaps it is not a question of the university or the prime minister shutting down the oil industry. Could it be the “market” that is shutting down the oil industry? Are we so locked into oil and gas that we have difficulty being flexible?
Some people get so defensive about their job or a viewpoint that they feel uncomfortable with change. Maybe we feel too comfy in the role painting us as Big Oil in Canada. We could also be stuck on agriculture, food processing, forestry, real estate or tourism. Some have expectations that technology will be the answer to everything. We have lots of options. If our favoured role or vision of our economy were not so rigid, maybe we could be less stressed.
One sign that we feel stressed and defensive is when we think the world will stop spinning if we cannot continue wearing our favoured colour glasses. Yes, oil and gas are important now, and no one expects them to disappear tomorrow. However, there are energy sources proven in other countries that we could look at. Some people react so strongly to exploring options that they believe people are traitorous enemies when looking at alternatives. We limit ourselves by believing the country will shut down and we will all starve if we even look sideways at them.
Such sensitivity can lead to extreme reactions, even racism. The greatest danger is that we shut the door on our freedom to explore those opportunities. To believe, or even sarcastically say we will starve, and civilization would crash without oil and gas, may open that possibility. Buggy whip manufacturers and whale oil hunters can vouch for moving on – and, the rest of the world might move on without us.