Alchemy, Baby, Alchemy

By: Richard Bronstein

Article originally published in the December 2015 issue of the Business in Calgary magazine. The full issue can be read here: http://issuu.com/businessincalgary/docs/bic_dec2015_lo-v2/1


I hope somebody in Alberta quickly discovers the ancient science of alchemy, the secret ritual that was supposed to change lead into gold. And many more wondrous things.

We need something like that today to change our oilsands from becoming a liability into being a valuable long-term asset.

That is one lesson from President Obama wielding his mandate to kill Keystone XL and bring about the second coming of global clime justice.


It took only a split second for Green Crusaders to claim credit for sacking the Jerusalem of oilsands and restoring the glory of God of Climate for all time to come.

Unfortunately, President Obama and the green movement are peddling a false messiah. Selling us beads and blankets with smallpox. Because Obama and the greens are lying about the meaning of Keystone XL.


The real story, what some like to call evidence-based science, is that the best way of ridding the most GHGs over the shortest period of time is to stop burning coal. Period. If you stopped all coal today and replaced its BTUs with oil, you would probably reduce world GHG emissions by 20 to 30 per cent in one throw. (Who is one of the biggest coal burners in the world? President Obama’s United States.)

So here we have, as so often happens in the modern world with its vast communications webs, the perpetration of a massive fraud by the few directed against the many.

I am not a climate change denier. But I have a little bit of experience in the real world to know that blaming global warming on the oilsands is about as truthful as invading Iraq to eliminate weapons of mass destruction.

We mocked President Bush when he stood on the aircraft carrier in 2003 and said “Mission accomplished. “ That’s the same thing as President Obama saying he has saved the world from climate catastrophe because he killed Keystone XL. 

That said, we still have a problem of perception to deal with as the green movement has painted the oilsands as the hooker of all carbon fuels.

Part of the success of this movement is because successive Alberta governments and oil corporations kept kicking the environmental can down the road. We've done a lot better since about 2005. But there is still a long way to go in improving our environmental record.

The government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claims it will act diligently on the climate change front. What else are they going to say?

The question is:  what is this new government, in partnership with the provinces, prepared to do. These are no easy matters. But until our governments do come up with a workable carbon reduction plan, there is one thing they should do that is very easy.

All Canadian governments should say in a loud and clear voice that they don’t appreciate the president of the United States slandering a vital economic resource that is important to all of Canada. Throwing Canada’s economic future under the bus so President Obama can write a chapter in his biography about his green credentials is a cheap, harmful and untrue political stunt. 

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