Good for Greenpeace

Greenpeace continues to draw attention to the environmental disaster associated with the development of the oilsands in Alberta.

Greenpeace continues to draw attention to the environmental disaster associated with the development of the oilsands in Alberta.

Recently, activists from Canada, the United States and France chained themselves to a giant truck after sneaking onto the Muskeg River mine site. A second group of protesters unfurled a banner on the ground that read: “Tar Sands: Climate Crime.”

And not so long ago, just as Premier Ed Stelmach was just about to deliver an anti-Greenpeace message to a Tory fundraising dinner, two Greenpeace activists dropped from the ceiling with a large anti-Stelmach banner.

“Stelmach, the best premier oil money can buy,” read the large banner with a prominent Greenpeace logo. “Stop the tarsands!”

It’s hard to ignore those sorts of antics. They tend to attract the attention of both the media and the general public.

In other words, they are rather effective.

Admittedly, Greenpeace isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

Some people object to the protest group’s brazen tactics, but surely such an in-your-face approach can be justified when nothing less than the future of this planet is at stake.

As much as Stelmach and his minions like to pretend that oilsands development is environmentally friendly — they’ve even used millions of our tax dollars in a public relations campaign to make the point — there’s no question that oilsands oil is dirty oil.

The latest Greenpeace protest may have a significant impact as it was timed to coincide with a meeting between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington.

The protest ended peacefully with Greenpeace having made its point.

For the record, Shell responded intelligently to the protest.

“Shell has agreed not to pursue criminal charges against the protesters because it does nothing to further the climate change conversation,” explained John Abbott, Shell’s executive vice-president of heavy oil. “We rely on democratic processes to determine Canadian (carbon dioxide) policy and other important matters.

“We invited Greenpeace to discuss their climate and energy views with us directly but they chose not to do so, which is disappointing.”

Fair enough.

Now if only the provincial government would take such a mature stance concerning the oilsands.

Instead, Alberta’s Tories are pushing an unproven carbon capture plan that is expected to cost every man, woman and child in the province at least $600 with potentially very little environmental benefit.

As noted in a CBC-TV documentary, titled Crude Awakening, the oilsands are “turning Canada into one of the biggest polluters in the developed world.”

The oilsands are decimating our northern forests, fouling our waters, contributing to global warming and possibly causing a surge of cancer cases in the mainly aboriginal community of Fort Chipewyan.

Shouldn’t that worry the provincial government, and not just Greenpeace?

Lee Giles is an Advocate editor.

Just Posted

Central Albertans learn about farm life at Sunnybrook Farm Museum

Pioneer Days Festival in Red Deer Saturday-Sunday

Number of seniors who play bridge in Red Deer growing

Red Deer Bridge Club has been around for close to 60 years

PHOTOS: Buccaneers battle Wolfpack in AFL semifinal

The Central Alberta Buccaneers battled the Calgary Wolfpack in the Alberta Football… Continue reading

Raising awareness for Bikers Against Child Abuse

Second annual Raise A Ruckus Against Child Abuse was held at the Red Deer Radisson Hotel Saturday

Central Alberta Yogathon cancelled Saturday

Due to air quality concerns the fourth annual event will take place Sept. 15

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Trump says his White House counsel not a ‘RAT’ like Nixon’s

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his White House… Continue reading

Wildfire moves closer to Glacier National Park’s scenic road

MISSOULA, Mont. — A wildfire in Montana’s Glacier National Park is forcing… Continue reading

Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Couillard march in Montreal’s Pride parade

MONTREAL — Thousands of cheering spectators lined the streets of Montreal on… Continue reading

All eyes on Andrew Scheer as Conservative convention set for Halifax

OTTAWA — After a week of internal caucus squabbles, Conservative Leader Andrew… Continue reading

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

In the wake of deadly flooding in the Indian state of Kerala,… Continue reading

Indonesia’s Lombok island jolted by multiple quakes

SEMBALUN, Indonesia — Strong earthquakes jolted the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok… Continue reading

Afghan president calls for Eid cease-fire, Taliban to reply

KABUL — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has called for a conditional cease-fire… Continue reading

Montreal may have less influence after October provincial election

MONTREAL — When Coalition Avenir Quebec Leader Francois Legault recently dismissed the… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month