ACTIVIST CLAIM: Far-left National Observer posts article advocating for suing big oil, stemming from West Coast Environmental Law campaign.
THE FACTS: Suing oil companies for providing reliable energy is not the solution to solving climate issues – it only hinders their investments into emissions-reducing innovations like carbon tech
Here’s some facts and sources to have a reasoned conversation about “Suing Big Oil”:
- The Alberta Inquiry into Foreign Funding found that West Coast Environmental Law received foreign funding.
- West Coast Environmental Law has tried this campaign before but had little success.
- Canada is a world leader in carbon tech, investing heavily to reduce impacts of oil and gas production and maintain valuable benefits. According to the U.N.’s International Panel on Climate Change, carbon tech solutions will capture almost as many emissions as renewables will reduce by the end of the century.
Energy use and fossil fuel consumption directly linked to an increased quality of life and a higher GDP.
- Hydrocarbons have been responsible for improvements in life expectancy, health, reduction in infant mortality, education, and equality over the past 200 years. Our objective should be to keep these benefits while we reduce the impacts.
Stories that get it right
It would be an economic, societal, and environmental disaster. Wars have been fought over access to reliable energy supply, usually fossil fuels – not because they are bad, but because they are the best energy sources. If oil and gas become scarce, and prices escalate so that more people cannot afford them, there will be misery, social unrest, and possibly more war. Even today, part of the motivation for the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is control of energy sources. Cold and hungry people will burn whatever they can to stay warm – we are seeing that already in Europe as nuclear, coal, and gas-fired facilities are restarted because supplies are short and renewables simply cannot step up sufficiently.
So – falling oil supplies are not good for the environment. In fact, the situation would be an unmitigated disaster for people and the environment – at least until some time decades from now when we no longer depend on burning so much fossil fuel to survive and provide a comfortable quality of life.