It was with extreme incredulity that I read a copy of the letter that you sent to Canadian Natural Resources. I am an energy writer seeking to find and promote balanced discussions with respect to energy issues. I just wanted to warn you against the downside of putting such bizarre accusations out into the public realm. There is a huge downside to your reputation as a thoughtful person and also to the whole debate about climate change.
I won’t waste much of your time, this doesn’t take long. Please consider these two data points, one from your letter:
‘We are proud of the many people and businesses who are proud to call Whistler home, and who welcome over three million visitors each year.’
As a second data point I bring to your attention this from an article in The Economist:
“Readers of The Economist are a well-travelled lot. Many of them will be aware, perhaps slightly guiltily, that one of the biggest personal contributions to climate change is all that jet-setting. On average, each person on Earth going about their normal business produces the equivalent of five tonnes of CO2 a year. But a single transatlantic round trip produces the equivalent of about one tonne per passenger even in economy class.”
Do you see a problem here, particularly with the millions you mention?
Climate change is caused by CONSUMPTION of fossil fuels. All those visitors CHOOSE to go to Whistler, and you encourage it.
What is even more interesting is that the Economist article is about a new CO2 sequestration technology being developed by Bill Gates (yes that Bill Gates) and…Murray Edwards, founder of Canadian Natural Resources. It is called Carbon Engineering Ltd. and is based in Squamish. This company, being covered by a British economic publication, is on the cutting edge of possibly solving the world’s excess CO2 problem in a way that all the attacks on fossil fuel producers never, ever will. Because, as you and I know but few want to talk about, emissions come from CONSUMPTION. Whistler spends heavily to attract tourists from around the world, perhaps you would like to step up and declare your responsibility for, and contribution to, increased CO2 emissions?
It would be great if you would write another note to CNRL and cc the same politicians that you did initially to rectify this gross miscalculation. If you choose not to, that is your prerogative, but just be aware that wildly inaccurate and ignorant communications like this ultimately serve only to drive a wedge between those who want to improve our environment in a responsible manner and those who simply want publicity. Ultimately, communications such as yours set the entire debate back immeasurably.
Should more Canadians read this article? Visit the BOE Report Advocacy section to see how you can help spread the word.