Do You Buy Local?

Take a walk around and look at some of the things you own, some of your valuables. Check out the tags and labels. Made in Cambodia? Made in Vietnam? Maybe even Costa Rica? But I am willing to bet the majority of your belongings are ‘Made in China’. While I could certainly steer this article towards the shift in international manufacturing for cheaper labour and how nearly impossible it is to buy only local products, but the point I want to emphasize is that at least the tag on a product or the label, gives you a choice. As challenging as it would be to buy products only made in North America, that little label at least gives you insight into the origin of the product. Labels can be found on food, clothing, toys, sports equipment etc.

But what about the gas for your car or the electricity you use? Any idea where it comes from? Canada or the U.S.? Sudan? Nigeria? Saudi Arabia or any of the other oppressive oil-producing nations that are the world’s main oil and gas suppliers.

Would you use the cheapest product from some of the most unethcial countries, or  if you knew the oil and gas was produced from the Canadian oil sands with some of the strictest environmental regulations in the world, yet still not perfect, would you choose it instead?

Canada’s Oil Sands are generally given a bad rap. But here are some facts according to Ezra Levant’s book ‘Ethical Oil’, that could change your opinion of the huge reserves:

-The Oil Sands in Northern Alberta could possibly be the large single deposit of petroleum on Earth (between 1.7 and 2.5 trillion barrels of oil)

-The oil sands are geographically the size of Florida, but only 2% of that land will ever be mined. The other 98% are too deep in the ground and must be removed using technologically advanced steamed pumping known as Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD)

-Any mined area must be reclaimed according to law in Alberta

-Hundreds of thousands more birds are killed by wind turbines and house cats each year than by the oil sands

-Any company operating in the oil sands is only allowed to use 2.2% of the Athabasca River, 90% of which is recycled again

-The oil sands emit approximately 5% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions

As technology improves, the emissions and footprint of the oil sands will continue to decrease. The fact is, right now, the oil sands are not a perfect solution to energy needs. But the high ethical and environmental standards make it better than most. Better than oil coming from the biggest, terrorist dictatorships in the world including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, Nigeria, and China. So if the Canadian oil sands were to stop producing, it would not stop the world from using oil. The rest of the world would just look somewhere else to get it.

So if you had a conscious choice the next time you buy gas or use electricity to choose ethical or unethical, which would it be?

For more insight into the global oil and gas scene, check out Ezra Levant on ‘Ethical Oil’.

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