United we... what, exactly?

United we... what, exactly?

A fine group of proud Canadians, no doubt. At least, they think so. But what, may I ask, the hell?

You drove how many trucks over how far to make what point, again?

Look. I agree. If we are going to be transporting oil and/or gas products across enormous distances such as, say, Canada or some place, pipelines are the way to go. They are safer and more sound than using trains or trucks or ships (especially over dry land, she adds somewhat unnecessarily). But do you know, there was a big “if” in that sentence.

Yes, we need power. I get it. I don’t want to freeze in the dark without wifi either. But even though I’m too old to qualify as “future generation” material, I can still look with my eyes open and see that a future where oil and gas consumption remains at present levels (or, gasp, increases) is not much of one. My kids, your kids, their kids, will have to find some other source of energy. Something cleaner, more sustainable, which wouldn’t necessarily be saying much.

The future is not in oil and gas. I don’t know what is going to power human needs in 50 years. But it will be something else. Nobody would know quite what to do with a coal scuttle nowadays, and very few people play Fortnite or whatever by whale oil lamps. Things change. They progress. Ideally from bad to good, from ordinary to better, from decent to superb. Not in a straight line, for sure. But you know. Trends and all.

Back to our truckers. To drive this many trucks from Alberta to Ottawa (and back, presumably?) uses how much energy, you figure? It pollutes how much, even if we don’t count the nasty remarks some people uttered in a failed attempt to escape their own private hashtags and make the news somewhere people outside their tight group of die-hard supporters might see?

Then they get to Ottawa and what do they do? Park their rigs and promptly jam downtown. Because nothing says “we’re just like you, we’re good people, we deserve a hearing” like preventing others from going about their business. Not that it hurts the people with the cushy jobs, much. They get to work from home if they want to. But the guy who makes your sandwich at Subway on Bank St., or the college student who decorates your cashew milk latte so elegantly, these folks, if they can’t get to work because downtown is shut down, they don’t get paid. And if it takes them an extra two hours just to get to their shift and back home, you think they’ll be thrilled with people who have enough money to spare they can take two weeks off work and burn giant holes in their wallets driving semis over thousands of kilometres  just to make a point about how pissed off they are with something or other?

Me neither.

If the point the protest is trying to make is that these folks love wasting oil and gas (plus a fair amount of hot air), I think they’re successful. If they’re trying to make people sympathize with their economic plight, whatever it is, meh. If they’re trying to convince people who weren’t paying attention to any of this that pipelines are needed - not just because some of these protesters stand to gain from being, say, employed in the building of same, but for everyone including Mother Earth - yeeesh.

It’s really too bad, because the point about pipelines vs other modes of transportation for oil and gas is a valid one we might all want to discuss sensibly and calmly. I guess that’ll have to wait until the trucks and their undue ruckus go home.

Sort of like an Uber for parked cars

Sort of like an Uber for parked cars

When car ownership becomes a trap

When car ownership becomes a trap

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