Saturday, July 27, 2013

Responsible loan schemes and speculative riches

"Responsible resource development". I mean, if it's not ethical, at least it's responsible right? They've got to sell it as something...
NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. – The premiers of British Columbia and Alberta have launched a joint plan to expand exports of oil, gas and other resources, laying the groundwork for new pipeline projects to the west coast.
“We understand in British Columbia how important it is that resources get to the coast,” said Clark, standing next to Redford. “We are getting our natural gas to the coast and off to Asia, hopefully selling it at a much, much higher price. We understand the economics of that. And Alberta understands that social licence is something that’s important for moving resources so we’re going to work through some of those details together and you can’t do that if you don’t sit down and talk.”
One of the things that’s been really exciting this year, I think right across Canada, but particularly in Alberta and British Columbia, is we’re seeing a number of people who are really coming to terms with the fact that responsible resource development is what’s going to allow us to continue to have economic growth in Canada,” Redford said.
"Responsible", the "social license".

Cold Lake oil spill leaking for months: Documents
Underground oil spills at an Alberta oilsands operation have been going on much longer than previously thought, according to new documents. Files released to the Toronto Star show the spills were discovered nine weeks ago, but new documents show that bitumen has been leaking since the winter.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. operates the Primrose oilsands facility three hours northeast of Edmonton where four ongoing underground oil blowouts have contaminated forest, muskeg, a lake and have already killed dozens animals including beavers, ducks and birds. According to a government scientist who has been to the site, neither government or industry are able to stop the spills.
Critics are now looking for answers about the spills. How long have they been going on? Why have local First Nations and the public been kept in the dark? And finally: Isn’t it time for a full examination of the dangers of CSS and in-situ oilsands production to measure and understand its real impacts?

As industry and government scratch their heads about the identity of scientist who leaked the documents, the scientist notes, “I really hope I don’t lose my job, but I really felt that this was too important to sit on.”
Alberta knows all about "the social license" and how to extend it and pull the wool over the eyes of it's own people. Responsible resource development? No plan to stop the underground blow outs of their fancy shmancy "in-situ" technology (which is touted as better than strip mining) but there is certainly a plan to expand our oil exports! Priorities people, priorities.

After all, if we're "coming to terms" that exploiting the wealth of future generations for all eternity is really the only way to "have economic growth in Canada" then all other considerations must be moot. So fuck those future generations, we need to sell more now, at higher prices! Ethics be damned. Now about those disasters...
As Canada’s premiers press Ottawa to cover half the cost of mitigating future disasters in the country, Alison Redford says prevention measures must take into account the changing weather patterns battering Alberta.
These events are getting more severe, they’re more intense and they’re more frequent. We recognize that, there’s a clear pattern out there — and it’s necessary to move on these matters as climate change issues continue to gather steam and storm.”

The issue of disaster mitigation has risen to the forefront in Alberta following June floods that inflicted heavy damage on High River, Calgary, Canmore and other communities across the province.

Redford said that in a meeting with the Insurance Bureau of Canada this week, the industry pegged insurable losses from the flooding at $1.3 billion, although the bill is expected to grow.
Any flood mitigation steps the province takes — such as building floodways, dikes or elevating homes in at-risk areas — must recognize the climate is changing, she said in an earlier interview.

“We’re seeing unexpected weather patterns, we’re seeing unpredictable circumstances with respect to weather at the moment. One of the things we talked about with the Insurance Bureau of Canada, of course, is that we are seeing climate change,” Redford said Wednesday.
And so the responsible thing to do of course is expand our oil exports? After all the taxpayer will be covering all the damages right and that's not real money anyway. It certainly is not part of "economic growth" which we need "responsible resource development" to grow which of course is going to be needed for "disaster mitigation" as a result of responsible actions. This is all making perfect sense. It's a good thing Canadians "are richer" on average to handle the increased costs...
The report attributes the improvement to a 5.4 per cent increase in liquid assets and a 5.1 gain in real estate values, in conjunction with a more modest 3.3 per cent rise in debt.
Good thing every Canadian owns a house, err, wait.. And isn't it houses that get destroyed by disasters? Ahh, small considerations right? We're richer! And we have more debt! We're about to have a lot more debt as the governments cobble together all sorts of "loan schemes" to help cover the damages. How many years on end do you think we'll be able to come up with new schemes?

Responsible is the last word I would apply to our "resource development" and the social license is expiring.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.


  1. I like it that you have mentioned Alberta’s oil sands. I have a friend who works thee and guess what there is so much oil! But I do not understand why all of it is being exported and as a result we get higher prices on gas. It is already $1.5, what will be next? Now that Canada’s been through some disasters it is not something we can’t afford. Ruined houses and businesses. Where should people get money to reconstruct it? Canadian quick cash stores do not provide with that big amounts of money

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