Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor

What about women? And P.E.I.?
While we received an incredible volume of positive feedback on our list of #30under30 Atlantic Canadian innovators, we were also chastised because there were only seven women—and P.E.I. was unrepresented. The problem was a lack of nominations. The good news is that we will be doing this again next year. If you’d like to see more women on the list (and P.E.I.), I challenge you to submit a nomination.
Dawn Chafe, Executive Editor
2019 30 Under 30: Nova Scotia | New Brunswick | Newfoundland and Labrador

About John Risley’s climate confusion
It was refreshing to read Mr. Risley’s commentary on climate change and hydrocarbon dependence in our modern society. Few write about the complexities of the problems we face with our global climate and how difficult it will be to make meaningful progress towards fixing it.

Canada is such a small part of the overall GHG Emissions problem and thus, no matter the extent of what we do to stem emissions, we will be a small part (excepting leadership) of the solution. The three major perpetrators who account for 60 per cent of the problem seem to have no desire to be a big part of the solution.

Environmentalists (including Greta Thunberg) tend to speak in simplistic terms about the problem. “Get rid of hydrocarbons, shut down everything that emits GHGs and a whole new world begins today.” If it were only that easy. We have an economy built on, and highly dependent on, hydrocarbons. What has been 150 years in the making is not changed by the flip of a switch. Besides, we need to generate wealth from our economic activities in order to have financial power to fund change!

We have a bigger problem. Canada has become a highly polarized country that chooses to buy more oil from countries with little regard for the environment rather than accelerate development of our own resources for the benefit of all Canadians. How this makes sense I have yet to fathom.

We need a robust oil and gas industry in Canada. We are one of the cleanest producers in the world with rigorous environmental standards. This is where the wealth will come from to fund the ever-increasing demands that climate change fixes are dictating. I look forward to Mr. Risley’s Chapter II.
William Book, Retired VP, Canadian Western Bank

Oil money and moot points
Let me preface my comments by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed your most recent issue (November/December 2019). I am, however, concerned with an article on page 37 of your Natural Resources insert: “Should oil money be set aside for renewables?”

In Newfoundland and Labrador, this question is moot. As a province we have, in effect, already answered this by investing in a project which will make our electricity grid 98 per cent clean—Muskrat Falls. To suggest that there is somehow a transition that can be made from fossil fuels to renewables in our jurisdiction is not correct. I also find that the reference in the article stating that Norway is “plotting a path away from oil and gas” is misleading. Though Norway is investing heavily in clean technologies, supporting the reduction of emissions within its oil and gas industry, and divesting its sovereign wealth fund investments away from fossil fuels, the country continues to aggressively develop its offshore oil and gas industry.

The conversation around sustainability and the offshore oil and gas industry is an increasingly important one to have—but it needs to be one grounded in the Newfoundland and Labrador context. So, if not renewables, what types of initiatives should we be investing in to chart a clean future for our province? I think that this would be an interesting discussion to have in these pages.
Kieran Hanley, Executive Director, NL Environmental Industry Association

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