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Lethbridge Herald: Therapeutic moralism flaunted as environmentalism

Several years ago, I was in a car accident and suffered severe whiplash. I was told I needed physical therapy to heal and regain the full function of my neck. Though the treatment was uncomfortable and even painful at times, I saw positive results so I kept going.


People are usually willing to keep doing something, even if its painful, as long as it produces the desired outcome.


The carbon tax went up by 25 per cent yesterday. It was April Fools, but the devastating impact of this tax is no joke! Canadians will pay extra for gas, home heating, food, and so much more.


No doubt, it makes some Canadians feel good to know they’re “doing their part” to save the planet.


I don’t blame them.


Millions of dollars have been spent on environmental campaigns with a single agenda: to end the use of fossil fuels.


The impetus for this type of action is varied. There are links to alternative energy corporations and green technology investors who get a huge economic bump from the government cheques they collect. Meanwhile, environmental ideologues get a morality boost from eating plant-based meat and driving electric vehicles to work.


There is a growing agenda to persuade the Canadian people into adopting certain behaviours with the promised reward of reducing emissions and protecting against climate change. The approach is moralistic, rather than practical.


We’ve been told oil and gas are bad, plastics should be banned, pipelines should be blocked, electric cars should be purchased, a price should be placed on carbon, and taxes should be increased.


Without studying whether the promised effect is being achieved, we get on board.


Are we doing what we’re told because it’s making an impact, or because it makes us feel better regardless of the outcome?


Are we truly stewarding Canada’s land, water, and air? Or are we simply marching dutifully?


If we are forced to change how we live, evidence of the desired outcomes should be provided. When it comes to the federal carbon tax, the government has failed to do this. In fact, on the contrary, carbon emissions continue to climb.


In other words, the government’s prescribed solution seems to be therapy for the guilty conscience, but not a solution for the planet.


The fact is, when it comes to resource development, Canada has some of the highest environmental regulations in the world, while many other oil-producing countries have none. The global demand for oil and gas continues to climb. By reducing our production to “protect the environment,” Canada is effectually boosting production in countries like Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Russia.


While the NDP-Liberals like to preach they are doing the right thing by crippling our oil and gas industry and congratulate those who comply with their anti-energy agenda, the fact of the matter is, they are doing the exact opposite. They are boosting oil production in countries that don’t care about environmental protection, or producing oil and gas ethically, or paying workers well.


The current government’s environmental policy is nothing more than therapeutic moralism.


It’s disastrous! The environment isn’t being stewarded, the economy is tanking, and dictators are being empowered.


Instead of cancelling pipeline projects that could get more of our product to market, we should be investing and building our export capabilities. Boosting oil and gas production in Canada would create more jobs and generate more revenue that could be directed toward vital infrastructure projects. It would not only make us more prosperous economically, but it would also ensure energy security for our nation and allow us to export to other countries.


The Russian invasion of Ukraine has shown the world that energy security is integral to national security. Putin’s war machine is powered largely from oil and gas revenue brought in from European countries that are forced to purchase from Russia. Exporting Canadian oil and gas to nations that are currently dependent on dictators would help safeguard humanity.


Furthermore, Canadian LNG can play a significant role in lowering global emissions. A 2020 study in the Journal for Cleaner Production demonstrates that China’s emissions could be lowered by 62 per cent if coal was replaced by imported natural gas from Canada. Canada must plan and act globally if we truly wish to make a difference. Currently, that’s not the case.


It’s important to take a step back and question whether this false sense of gratification is worth it. Do we simply want to feel like we’re doing something worthwhile, or do we actually want to have an impact?


Knowing what I know about Canadians, I believe the majority of us truly desire to make our country and the world a better place. We don’t want to be swindled to advance someone else’s dishonest agenda.


Canadians have incredible grit, intelligence, and pragmatism.


Let’s insist on more than therapeutic moralism masquerading as a so-called environmental plan.

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