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A Climate Emergency or an Economy Emergency?

Shane Wenzel

For several decades we have heard words of doom and gloom about global warming, and calls against fossil fuels, methane and other gases. We have been accused of being selfish for driving cars, air-conditioning our homes, and just living our lives. Even our cows are being accused of contributing for eating a vegan diet, regardless that alternative feeds have been developed. The whole climate topic has accumulated various names when predications failed. It appears to have now settled on climate change as a ‘catch all’ for every weather turbulence. It continues, even though hurricanes and earthquakes have created an abundance of damage since 1727, long before ‘planes, trains and automobiles’.

Fast forward to 2021 and the civic election where an in-depth study revealed that day-to-day living and cost of living held the highest concern by 59 per cent of Calgarians. They rated taxes the highest concern at 17 per cent followed by affordable housing, cost of living, public safety and others, while environment and climate change rated 3 per cent. The next greatest concern was the economy at 39 per cent. I was completely surprised the evening of the election to learn that claiming a climate emergency was the first order of business for the new council. Because I believe in numbers and what I see happening around me, I decided to stay away from the emotion and personally rate an economy emergency as a Calgary priority.

I follow some very accomplished economists and have learned there are two types: those who see only what immediately strikes the eye, and those who look beyond at the longer and indirect consequences. As we all know, Calgary has suffered great loses in our economy since 2014 primarily due to long running anti-fossil fuel policies which resulted in lost businesses, bankruptcies and the human disaster of thousands of lost jobs.

Governments like to blame private industry and believe their own increased spending is a panacea for recovery, which by fact always leads to runaway inflation. Needless to say, the unexpected pandemic resulted in more lost businesses and sadly more jobs. It is encouraging to hear there are jobs opening up but going unfilled. Where did all the people go? Are the good jobs lost forever along with real investors? And will those office towers and streets ever return to a buzz of activity? Not if the COP26 crowd have their way!

I amusingly listen to our own leaders at the ‘anti-fossil fuel’ gathering in Scotland including the well-known European failures that led the way to discover there is no wind or other renewables without fossil fuel. Every stage of manufacturing wind turbines involves fossil fuels or its derivatives, not to mention their reliance as backup energy. I believe we need to continue to develop our clean fossil fuel technologies to help reduce other countries emissions. I can’t not remind readers of our complete reliance on everything medical during COVID – all of which is made with and by fossil fuels.

Let’s get our key industry back on track and the economy and jobs will follow.