Eight Nobel Peace Prize winners sent a letter to Stephen Harper asking him to stop the spread of the oil sands. The letter was put together by the Nobel Women’s Initiative, and follows on the heels of a similar letter sent to President Obama asking him to not allow the Keystone XL pipeline, which will carry dirty oil from the tar sands across the US to Texas where it will be refined by workers who will likely be paid less than their counterparts in Canada in a state that traditionally eschews unions.
The one person who did not sign the letter to Harper that did sign the letter to Obama was the Dalai Lama, who must have recognized the futility of such a letter. Asking the Conservative Party to stop the spread of the oil sands is, essentially, pissing into the wind. The Conservative Party is funded by oil sands interests and its base of supporters in Alberta get annoyed if you even suggest tighter environmental controls on current operations, much less stopping the spread of the oil sands.
Another demand that the Canadian people have been making for some time is to have tighter environmental regulations on the development and emissions of the oil sands, a set of rules which have been consistently delayed by the Harper government.
So what can we do about the oil sands rather than throwing up our hands in defeat? It is my view that individual letters to an MP on the subject are just tossed in the trash and are completely useless as a result. If they aren’t going to listen to a collection of Nobel laureates, they sure as heck aren’t going to listen to you. Supporting organizations that are actively involved in the Climate Action Network is the best way to make your voice heard.