Technological Solution

This entry has been written well after the fact, without the aid of a transcript.

On CBC radio this morning, a man who was the former CEO of Shell Canada talks about the Alberta tar sands. He is an important man in one of the major companies mining the sands for oil (SUNCOR or SYNCRUDE). I can’t find his name or a more specific description of who he is.

The interviewer asks a variety of questions. One of the questions is “Your industry is criticised for its dependence on Natural Gas for the extraction of oil, how do you respond to that?” They’re looking for energy alternatives. Another thing she wants to know about is the fact that five barrels of water are used to extract one barrel of oil. He says that is not as bad as it sounds, and that they only use one to five percent of the constant flow of the mighty Athabasca river, which I believe is a misleading statistic.

The woman asks the man about the environmental damage of oil sands production, something that it is known for specifically, even within the larger oil-extraction community. She talks about toxic bitumen pools that kill birds as they land, as well as deformed river fish and frogs, and the potential for contaminating groundwater. These are all legitimate problems. She asks what (SUNCOR or SYNCRUDE) is doing to address these concerns.

They are putting a lot of money into technological solutions, says the man. They are putting a lot of money into technological solutions, and they hope to have some positive results within a few years.

That is the same as saying that I am terrible man, but I am not currently working on fixing my behaviour, because I have been funding research for a technological fix. I hope I will be solved by throwing money on scientific applications, but am doing nothing really to curb my poor behaviour, which includes the shooting of ducks in public locations, as well as doing donuts with my ATV in the middle of school playgrounds.

Money does not necessitate a solution. Throwing money at a problem does not necessitate a solution.

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