Shutting off the gas pumps might have interesting consequences

Re: “It’s time to turn the gas pumps off,” Bill Whitelaw, Opinion, Nov. 28.

It is always heartening to see The Advocate publish a humour column — even when the humour is unintended. Bill Whitelaw’s column should surely produce a smile.

As CEO of JuneWarren-Nickle’s Energy Group, he suggested the energy industry embark on a program of rotating strikes that would shut down the gas pumps for a day in selected major Canadian cities, just to show us how important the energy industry is to Canada, and to teach us a lesson for not getting new pipelines built.

It is to laugh. Following his suggestion, especially for an extended time, would accomplish more to promote carpooling, transit use, cycling and walking than anything citizen advocacy and hard science have been able to do in a decade.

The longer these day-long shutdowns of gasoline sales continued, the more that Canada’s consumers would adapt and realize the cash savings, as well as health and social benefits, of reduced car use.

That’s not to say the fossil fuel industry in unimportant. I certainly appreciate having produce trucked in to my grocery store, and the convenience of buying 30 litres of gas once or twice a month for my hybrid car.

But providing the rather self-centred energy industry and their puppet think-tanks a new perspective would be like sunlight for us all.

Greg Neiman, Red Deer

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