I’m not normally one for New Year’s resolutions; there is no thrill in backpedaling furiously on a self-promise before January is half over. But, as with the potential rebirth of the energy scene through things like the ultra-massive hydrogen potential, perhaps it’s time I tried something different. So here’s a New Year’s resolution. It’s a bit early but I’m going to take a run at it and hit 2020 in a higher gear (if I don’t gain too much weight).
Before committing to any sort of resolution though, it is best to declutter the mind from our current preoccupations. We, Canada’s energy sector, have found ourselves in a dangerous place, like orphans from war torn countries that lash out reflexively whenever anyone tries to give them a hug. We’ve become accustomed to beatings, to seeing that revolting look of smug disdain on the faces of urbanites from energy-ignorant and self-centred loci, the one that implies that energy providers are some sort of death merchants so wicked that we’ve upset Swedish school children. The issue for the petroleum industry is that we’ve become so attuned to attacks that we are walking around all day with helmets and body armour and rifles (virtually speaking, though dangerously close to literally for a few I know).
And that’s not a good place to be, because we might miss critical opportunities. One of these might be staring us in the face, particularly for anyone that does business in BC.
The BC government has decided to proceed with implementing UNDRIP, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. UNDRIP sends chills down the spines of anyone tasked with building anything , because capital won’t hang around to wait decades for the sort of uncertainty that UNDRIP will create to subside.
And this is where the opportunity comes.
There is a conference in January in Vancouver dedicated to UNDRIP. Unfortunately, due to our current embattled mindset, we may have a tendency to hear the word (?) UNDRIP and start shouting and throwing punches. That is understandable given recent carpet-bombing campaign by climate activists and the accompanying media onslaught calling for the death of the fuel industry.
It is imperative though to slow down and think about this. The conference is being fully supported by indigenous business organizations. In other words, these groups are saying hey, we are at the centre of this, if you want to make it work for you, stop by and say hi. Check out the roster of speakers (including Mike Downie, Gord’s brother, a draw in itself). A group of indigenous business people, leaders, and others are gathering to help, to help, make business go smoother under this legislation.
I don’t have any business in BC, but if I did, I would be in line at 6 am to get in and make sure I was in there making friends. Because you can be dead certain that there are many, very strong forces out there that are strategizing right now, formulating plans to make sure that UNDRIP does everything that they want and nothing that you do. What you think of UNDRIP at the end of the day doesn’t matter; if it’s here it’s here. If you think fighting it is a winnable war, go Warrior Up (as Tzeporah likes to say). If you want to get something built in BC, I’d suggest finding a way to Vancouver on January 14th.
Finally then, a New Year’s Resolution for myself and Canada’s energy business: less angry defensiveness, and a whole lot more purposefulness. (Of course crankiness is different than angry defensiveness, and that old friend doesn’t look like it’ll be going anywhere anytime soon though.)
Spread good tidings everywhere. Pick up a copy of “The End of Fossil Fuel Insanity” at Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, or Indigo online. These Amazon reviews may be the wisest material you’ll find on the internet (except that one loser).