According to Margaret Wente, or at least what she heard from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Athabasca bitumen is a godsend for the poorest, most vulnerable people of the world.
Well, oil is not the devil. In fact, oil and other energy resources are the salvation for billions of impoverished people in developing nations. You can’t have human development without energy. And without energy – which, for the next few decades, mostly means fossil fuels – they will continue to lead miserable, degrading lives. So the next time you hear someone argue that we should leave our oil in the ground, give a thought to the people sleeping in the streets of Calcutta. It would be nice if they could cook their food with solar energy. But that day is still a long way off.
The biggest demand for energy no longer comes from the developed nations, where carbon emissions are actually in decline. It’s coming from India, China and the rest of the developing world, which now account for the majority of global emissions every year. China now emits as much CO2 per person as the European Union. This dramatic shift in global emissions makes the Kyoto Protocol – which is based on the global distribution of emissions in 1990 – hopelessly obsolete.
I won't go on. In fact I'm just going to close this off now before I'm tempted to say what I think.