Canada needs alternative energy

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

I understand the Geological Survey of Canada has been given the green light to commence seismic testing in a search for oil in Nunavut’s Lancaster Sound in our Arctic. This worries me because it is obvious the oil industry and their partners are morally corrupt.
 
The devastating effects of the Exxon Valdez are still felt in Prince William Sound of Alaska, 21 years later, despite Exxon’s highly publicized claims to clean it up and compensate affected individuals and communities. Significant oil residue can still be found in the region today; the effects are well documented and revised constantly on various internet sites for all to review. 
 
Sadly, after years of appeals by the corporation, payments for punitive damages were tuned down to a mere 10 per cent of the original claims. In the meantime, Exxon continued to make billions upon billions of dollars.

Economic hardship in the communities of Prince William Sound has resulted in numerous suicides and many people have been forced to leave to find a life elsewhere. The complete ecological impact cannot be measured in a mere two decades.
 
The internet also reveals stories of the many spills that have occurred since 1989, some larger than the Exxon. So, the sad tale of the oil spills is a never-ending story.
 
This latest disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has demonstrated three things. Offshore oil drilling is also not safe, there is no proven method to cap an underwater well if the rig experiences catastrophic failure, and regardless of the extent of the Gulf disaster, oil companies and governments in their damage control campaigns tell us with a straight face, “It will not happen again.” 
 
Oil is still abundantly available and the price still reasonable, so I expect they will continue the search for and will find oil in the north. I expect we’ll find BP and Exxon involved.

So what is the alternative? We need one. We need alternatives to oil as an energy source.
 
It is way past time for our government representatives to step up to their moral responsibilities and initiate clean renewable energy programs. It is way past time for all of us to start demanding alternative energy. What is wrong with Canada? Are we so morally lazy that we cannot learn from the mistakes of others? Must we always learn the hard way? Must we wait for a national catastrophe before we get our you-know-whats in motion?
  
Brian G. Wood
Langley, B.C.

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