Oil and gas is yesterday’s industry

Oil and gas is yesterday's industry There's a funny thing about obsolescence. Some people see it sooner, and some realize it's happening much later, often to their detriment. Here's an example. Regular transatlantic steamship service was initiated by th

There’s a funny thing about obsolescence. Some people see it sooner, and some realize it’s happening much later, often to their detriment.

Here’s an example. Regular transatlantic steamship service was initiated by the British in 1838. Yet some in the sailing ship industry continued to put their efforts into building bigger and faster masted clipper ships, even until the 1860s. They had been masters of the seas for centuries and didn’t want to admit that the reliability and greater holding capacity of steamships were requirements of the modern age. Their finances took a huge hit over the three decades it took them to give up or to change.

Another historical example was the practice of owning slaves in pre-Civil War U.S.A. Again, there was a financial perspective. Southern plantation owners insisted that having slaves was necessary for their economic viability.

But as early as 1696, Quakers in Pennsylvania recognized the moral obsolescence of slavery. It took another 169 years before slavery in the U.S. was finally abolished. And still there were those who argued for its continuation. It’s hard not to question the intelligence and morality of those hangers-on.

Now it’s the oil and gas industry’s turn to recognize its obsolescence. There are financial and moral imperatives to change to renewable and clean energy sources. The easily tapped sources are gone, and industry has to pay more to get at what remains, hence a much smaller profit margin.

And any finite resource will eventually run out. Businessmen and politicians with foresight will invest in cutting-edge ideas and technologies to develop alternatives.

I find it hard (or should I say impossible) not to question the intelligence and morality of those still extracting and selling oil and gas as well as those who legislate in favour of the oil and gas industry. How can they logically continue to invest in a doomed industry? How can they morally justify endangering life as we know it by promoting the burning of fossil fuels?

The Harper and Pasloski governments must change their stances on the environment. Otherwise, they will be proving to us that they themselves are obsolete.

Dianne Homan


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Patti Balsillie will be running for the mayor’s seat in Whitehorse in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Submitted)
Balsillie aims to serve as city’s mayor

Says she has the time, skill set to serve in full-time role

Mayo-Tatchun MLA Don Hutton sits on the opposition side of the legislative assembly on March 8 after announcing his resignation from the Liberal party earlier that day. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Don Hutton resigns from Liberal caucus; endorses NDP leadership

Hutton said his concerns about alcohol abuse and addictions have gone unaddressed

Crystal Schick/Yukon News
Calvin Delwisch poses for a photo inside his DIY sauna at Marsh Lake on Feb. 18.
Yukoners turning up the heat with unique DIY sauna builds

Do-it-yourselfers say a sauna built with salvaged materials is a great winter project

Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

Yukonomist: School competition ramps up in the Yukon

It’s common to see an upstart automaker trying to grab share from… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Housing construction continues in the Whistle Bend subdivision in Whitehorse on Oct. 29, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Bureau of Statistics reports rising rents for Yukoners, falling revenues for businesses

The bureau has published several reports on the rental market and businesses affected by COVID-19

Council of Yukon First Nations grand chief Peter Johnston at the Yukon Forum in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. Johnston and Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn announced changes to the implementation of the Yukon First Nations Procurement Policy on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Third phase added to procurement policy implementation

Additional time added to prep for two provisions

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

Most Read