• J Rod

    We are in some serious trouble. But how can we reverse the way our society functions? How can we make Them stop when they have all the power and don’t give a fuck for our lakes, rivers, glaciers and forests? What will be left when they are done their destructive work? Will whats left be worth living in? I doubt it.

  • Perica, Croatia

    I think you might find this very very interesting:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcoJt2KLC9k

    It is really worth watching, and there are also newer videos on the subject.

    This guy started with a question “How to run a country without oil” and ended up with the brilliant idea for mass production of electric cars. He is already starting in few countries in the world – Israel, Denmark, Australia and some cities in Japan, USA and Canada. He (and I:) believes that all cars in 2030 will be electric, and the electricity will come from clean sources.

  • Fre

    Why does Canada have to be the States’ bitch when it comes to wood, water, oil (and who knows what else) yet at the same time, Vancouver is the city with the highest rate of environmental hippies in the world??? Is the cliche that every shithole in inner BC and Alberta only breeds short-sighted, in-breed, truck-loving rednecks seriously true? Why the f am I trying to become a Canadian?

  • Paul

    It should be pointed out that NAFTA is highly beneficial to both Canada AND the United States. During the last US election campaign, the topic of whether the US would continue to respect the NAFTA agreement was being debated. That created a lot of fear within Canada. It is interesting how issues are presented to suit a given argument.

    Also, I think that it needs to stated that it is not “them”. It is “us”. At the end of the day, WE elect governments. And ultimately, it the governments responsibility (thus, our responsibility) to protect our rivers, lakes, and forests. The real problem is that people sit on their couch and complain. Then they get in their car, drive to the gas station, fill up, and go on with their day.

    The reality is oil is becoming a scarce commodity. When I was in grade two we learned that oil is a non-renewable resource. I can remember then, that the idea of the world running out of oil was a scary idea. Now that I understand just how important oil is for the world as we know it to function, it scares me even more. People look at high oil prices and complain how they are being ripped off. The reality is world oil demand is increasing, and production is decreasing. Production of the oilsands is having devastating environment impacts, no question. But it is also providing us with the day to day life which we all take for granted. And perhaps it is giving us some time to figure out how to replace it, before increasingly high oil prices have crippling economic consequences.

    I don’t think there is any easy answer to this problem. But I think everybody is going to need to be responsible for their piece of the pie.

  • Hey Sonnie –

    Thanks for the post! Good stuff. (Bad stuff) Anyway, I always enjoy reading the blog. How long are you in Btown for? Shoot me an email, I’s love to talk to you about a local feature I’m shootin’. Cheers!

  • geo

    Great post Sonnie

    We do all have to be responsible, but part of that responsibility involves creating a supportive environment for efforts to talk about and understand how we are impacting the world, instead of relegating concern for the environment to ‘hippies’.

    We did not choose the infrastructure and city sprawl that makes it so that we have to drive everywhere we go. In many cases corporations wielding their influence on politicians and bureaucrats did. Similarly, if you have the choice between two politicians, both of whom have to placate the interest groups that will get them elected, or not, you cannot be blamed for the outcome, because regardless of who did a better job on PR, both are ultimately functioning as representatives for corporate interests, under the assumption that constant expansion and production will provide the most with the most good. Your blame is in legitimizing the system.

    I agree that populations of our nations are largely complicit, but mainly because other ways have been ridiculed or suppressed, and we, by and large, have no concept of what is really going on and what is really at stake.

    I know how this must sound, me appearing to be an anonymous person on the internet, but for people who are really interested in approaching the roots of our problem, or seeing at least how you would go about finding out something like that, check out the book: Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.

    Its not a bible, but as you might imagine for something that attempts to illuminate how things got to be this way and why we cant seem to do anything about it, it explores things taken for granted, and dispels what has become an almost universal mythology. You don’t have to agree with his conclusions to recognize, through the story he lays out, that the situation goes a bit deeper than people just sitting on their couches.

  • Paul

    Thanks for the reply Geo. Sonnie certainly has created an environment to talk and about these issues and explore them from different perspectives, so good on him. Thanks Sonnie!

    You make some good points. But I would argue that politicians, although highly influenced by corporations, do not function merely as ‘representatives’ of them. Corporations invest alot more time, energy and obviously money into making sure that their interests and concerns are known to governments. Of the oil companies affected by the royalty review in Alberta, I would find it unlikely if only 50% of them have made their interests and concerns are known. Yet 50% is considered a strong turnout to the polls during election time. And that is asking people to take no more than ONE hour out of ONE day to cast a ballot!

    Corporations take action, while the general population stand around and watch. I’m as guilty as the next guy, and by no means am I sitting on a pedestal looking down on all. Nor am I defending the unethical conduct of corporations. But change begins with awareness, and people need to understand that they play a role in all of this too.

    I definitely will put the book you have suggested on my list. I am always open to new ways of looking at things.

  • Sonnie

    Hey Guys,

    Super great comments. I’m so glad to see people with a true opinion and an honest point of view. That’s where it all starts I suppose, expressing those views, without holding on to just one, being open to suggestion and (generally speaking) trying to make our world a better place by taking some action and responsibility. We have a big job ahead of us. All of us. I think it begins with awareness and open conversation. Again thanks for the comments, I have some more reading to do now, and educating to do. Oh and by the way Fre, don’t even bother, we can’t get either Hulu or Pandora.com up in Canada, wtf? I think the only way you’d really want to become a Canadian Citizen, is not because you’re unhappy with America, but because you LOVE Canada. And just between me and you, there is lots to love.

  • Mark Kozak

    Just some food for thought. And if anyone disagrees with me, I don’t mind a bit.

    For those hoping electric cars will solve the problem. If the US were to replace all its oil use by electricity, the electrical grid in that country would have to be expanded something like 8 times. I’ve done the calculation. Today, 40% of the electrical grid is powered by coal, and I’m not sure what percentage is nuclear. I just wonder what source of renewable energy could provide that much power? Not to mention, the energy it would take to manufacture the infrastructure for that replacement in the source of power? Please keep in mind that I haven’t spoken of energy from natural gas, which also powers the electrical grid.

    For those who blame the corporations. Who owns the corporations? They are all publically traded, and if you don’t own shares directly, the mutual fund you are investing in for your retirement probably do. Do you want a good return on your investment? I know I’m hoping the advertisment that’s telling me I can get a 26% return on my money is true. So where is the pressure for corporate profits really coming from?

    Just sayin’ ya know?

  • Paul

    Those are some great points Mark.

    I have read some reports which have suggested renewable energy sources will only be able to replace a very small percentage of the energy we currently produce with fossil fuels. And your point about grid capacity adds another factor, which I hadn’t considered before. So there seems to be some major hurdles to overcome. However, nearly every technological advancement mankind has ever made was seemingly impossible at one time. So I am optimistic we will come up with something.

    Your point about corporations is a great one.

    And I’d like to add that it will likely be through the structure of corporations that technologies for alternative energy production and distribution will be developed.

  • Fashionista

    Cover story of the latest scientific American states that North America will be able to generate 100% of its energy needs (including energy needs of all-electric car fleet) from renewable sources by 2030.

  • Mark Kozak

    I was at a conference where a vice president of a very large oil and gas company gave a speech where he told how, in a conversation with the editor of a fairly large newspaper, the editor relayed that the news was generally based on 1% fact.

    Because it’s in Scientific America, doesn’t mean it’s right. The reporter is writing a story where the idea is based on his opinion (very similar to my post). From my knowledge of energy use, I don’t see how all renewable resources would be possible by 2030, but I will buy the magazine tomorrow.

    If they mention fuel from crops, I’m not sure why more poeple don’t have a problem with using our food source as fuel? If you told a starving man in a third world country that we process millions of tons of corn into motor fuel, I’ld be interested to see what he had to say.

    If they mention using the straw from crops for fuel to generate power, what goes back into the soil for fertilizer? If you answer fertilizer, potash mines are big, expensive and use a lot of energy themseleves.

    Wind power already has a ‘not in my back yard’ problem with putting up new wind mills. You can’t continously dam rivers and flood out land. Solar is hugely inefficient right now. I’m curious on calculating the area you’ld have to cover with solar panels to generate the same power as fossil fuels in the US.

    Don’t get me wrong, I ultimately think there are answers out there, but I think the ones currently getting the press are ill conceived as the final answers.

    To put it simply, we can’t just keep taking. We have to start using less as individuals.