Feeling energy secure?

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS if you’re in Alberta.

Imagine what it’s like living in Europe and elsewhere, worrying about where you can secure a reliable and readily available source of energy in the near future, in a marketplace upended by Russia’s war with Ukraine. 

We unequivocally endorse the move to so-called greener energy, but we cannot ignore the facts…and the realpolitik of the moment is definitely a head-spinner.

Think of it: Angela Merkel’s Germany became the flag-bearer for renewables, especially after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011.  Germans turned their backs on ‘clean’ nukes and invested big in a green dream. What remained hidden — until Putin threatened to turn off the hydrocarbon taps — was Germany’s ambitious plan for their country’s energy future was built atop a scaffold of Russian oil & natural gas. With Putin’s hand on the trap door now self-evident, what’s the plan now?


Even though there’s inflation and war abroad and the plague of other plagues (monkeypox, for one), Canada is the best place in the world to live (Calgary, in particular, according to recent surveys). It’s a fact we have energy security, food security, and water security — in Alberta — despite the machinations of a clueless federal governance that seems bent on making the same errors Ms. Merkel has trouble accepting, the folly of her green gambit now self-evident.

Yes, there’s climate change. There’s also clear & present dangers in the world, such as they are in Ukraine. Can Canada and Alberta afford to be naive about the aspirations of global actors who have demonstrated their ill intent?

This is where you come in.

Over the last month, Donna has written op-ed pieces for a range of mainstream media publications in Canada. Here are some ideas for you to ponder as we prepare for the fall:

Demonizing the Oil and Gas Sector is Counter Productive Globe & Mail, 18 June 2022

As a former government minister responsible for electricity, Donna was also an executive in an oil and gas company. She knows from experience what happens when aspirations are disrupted by reality.”Let me assure you,” says Donna, “finger pointing is a colossal waste of energy in a crisis.” 

Canadian Gas can Help Germany Wherever It’s Exported To Financial Post, 14 July 2022

Justin Trudeau faces a conundrum. He’s assured his activist-cum-minister, Steven Guilbeault, that Canada’s commitment to the climate is unwavering. At the same time, he wants to be seen as a G7 team player supportive of Ukraine, promising German Chancellor Olaf Scholz that Canada will deliver energy to Europe. So is he serious about this promise to deliver natural gas to Germany or is it all just posturing and photo-ops? 

Canada Needs to Re-examine and Secure its own Energy Self-Sufficiency Calgary Herald, 15 July 2022

For three decades, Donna worked alongside Charlie Fischer, an energy leader devoted to values-based decision-making. Charlie didn’t have much patience for political actors. But if he was alive today—attuned to the crisis in Europe and its implications—he likely would be leaning into Alberta’s elected—across all parties—demanding that they do their job and quit the games. To do otherwise is to court disaster.

As we’ve warned before, in the popular parlance, winter is coming…

What do you think?

This column is the consensus opinion of the writers Donna Kennedy-Glans & Don Hill. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to BEYOND POLARITY — scroll down on your phone or tablet, or look to the right in the panel beside this post. Enter your email to FOLLOW, a wheel spins, hamsters get fed.

2 thoughts on “Feeling energy secure?

  1. You are quite right… but only in the narrow frame of reference you assume, but do not state: “if one is self-interested and self-serving, then be thankful you are in Alberta. Compared to most places we have it made.” And we do.
    However, in the larger and longer frame of the human future in this century, we in Alberta come off as what too many of our present crop of leaders and commentators are encouraging us to be — narcissistic, self-interested, self-serving and self-righteous. Not at all the image of the mature adult we pretend to be.

    In the larger frame, this century will not be remembered as the century we improved, grew and extended our Modern Techno-Industrial (MTI) culture both here in Alberta and across the whole Earth. Rather, it will be remembered as the century our MTI ways of living reached a state Aristotle warned us about — a reductio ad absurdum. Such a state is the end of the line. It has no future. Those who survive the disintegration of MTI cultures, if they remember us at all, will tell the story of Alberta as a backward-looking, self-centred people who took such pride in holding on to what they had that they were as “energy blind” as any other MTI peoples. They simply could not see either the end of the exponential growth of energy consumption or what it entailed for their future. Apparently it takes more than two generations of increasingly shrill warnings to penetrate the blindness which builds up over multiple generations of self-satisfaction.

    ‘Tis a pity.

    As Walt Kelly put it through the mouth of Pogo Possum, “Those hands at our throat are our own.”

  2. Don and Donna are correct; we are blessed with food, water and energy security here in Alberta. As rubenelson alluded to above, however, our food and water security are both threatened by climate change. The glaciers that provide our water security are shrinking, and droughts threaten our food security.

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