On the street, there is a saying for those in the throes of trying to go clean: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, all the while expecting different results.”
We also have a quote that says: “Flogging a dead horse.”
This won’t be a popular column, because I am referring to the many demonstrations, including protest convoys in support of building larger pipelines going east and west.
As a point of interest, I am fully behind that effort. Our economy depends on it, as does our way of life, but the protests for and against are creating a division among people that if not kept within reason, will produce hatred that may not be repairable.
The argument for more pipelines is flawed, in that there seems to be no regard for the damage that we know will be done to our planet if we expand more and more.
Economic benefits blind many people to the point that they, in some cases, deny the effects of fossil fuels on our ecology. These denials are not too believable.
The argument against pipelines is just as bad, in that the demonstrators demand not only immediate stoppage of fossil fuel usage, but they also obstruct any effort to bolster the pipelines.
To emphasize their arguments and view point, many erroneous claims and demands are made, which at times makes me want to say, “Give me the keys to your car, your flight tickets and anything you have that uses fossil fuels in any way, shape or form, and I will believe and support you.”
Stopping all fossil fuel usage, as environmentalists promote, would absolutely leave the country totally paralyzed.
So polarized is the debate that we now have three parties against the expansion, even though they make efforts to try and show that they, in fact, may support the growth.
Their end goal is a systematic elimination of fossil fuels. The one party in support has almost gone to the extreme of eliminating increased support for non-fossil fuel energy sources.
They think that through the reinstating of the pipelines, they have the best in mind for Alberta and the rest of Canada, such as it was in the past.
In this fair country, we are constantly torn between the building up of the existing or tearing it down; very little mention is made to support research and development of other sources of energy.
I read in the Advocate recently that Germany and a Swedish firm are exploring the use of salt to store renewable energy. If they can, why can’t we?
Where is this country’s backing of research and development of different sources of power? If such a fund is in place, why do we not hear that being promoted?
If we desire to leave this planet as a safe and clean world in which to live, we have to face the inevitable: fossil fuels are slowly on the way out as a first source of energy.
We can fight with all of our demonstrations, convoys and the like, or we can spend some of that energy and time to develop new sources of energy.
For example, a grasshopper when faced with a food shortage, often will just lay down and die. The ant when faced with a shortage of its favourite food will search out another source, so as to build up its larder for the coming winter.
Can we not compromise with the fossil fuels we have until the demand falls off, even with a short-term increase, while at the same time earnestly searching for alternative sources of energy?
For interest’s sake, I remember the same proposal was presented about 40 years ago. It is time for us to face the inevitable.
Chris Salomons is a retired Red Deer resident with a concern for the downtrodden.