Pushing ‘the devil’s excrement’ by Andrew Nikiforuk, Sept 30, 2010, Financial Post
Re: “Ethical Oil,” Peter Foster, Sept. 22
Both Peter Foster and Ezra Levant, two oil patch cheerleaders, don’t know much about the oil sands and even less about the corrosive influence of oil wealth on governments. When politicians and regulators go on autopilot and then build a big project carelessly, they recruit folks like Levant to compare their efforts to the worse students in the petroleum class.
It’s a neat propaganda trick and exactly the sort of feeble argument one would expect from Levant, a so-called “controversy entrepeneur.” When floundering in dirt and deceit, just compare yourself to the worst instead of the best.
There’s more hubris. Levant’s single-source account of the story on cancers downstream from the oil sands is about as accurate as his slanderous column on George Soros. Levant, a lawyer, may be loud but he is not factual. [Comments added January 26, 2020: I’ve experienced too many lawyers telling lies, lot of them, and even in court where they are not allowed to lie but judges let them get away with it. And of course, we now know even Supreme Court judges on Canada’s top court intentionally publish lies in their rulings with which to defame Canadian citizens harmed by oil and gas, and unwilling to synergize or settle and gag] He can’t even present my argument on the oil sands with any moral exactness: Slow down and behave like an owner.
Two famous oilmen, John D. Rockefeller and Juan Pablo Perez Alfonzo (the founder of OPEC), respectively referred to oil as “the devil’s tears” and the “devil’s excrement” because they recognized the money associated with oil was anything but ethical. To date Canada has had no debate about the money or how much to save for the future. [And no plan or intention to make the devil clean up after destroying much in Canada, or how to unfrac drinking water aquifers, or how to fix the subsurface and surface damages from frac quakes, etc] Perhaps these conservative issues are just too radical for a libertarian to ethically grasp.
C.K. Chesterton once noted that a good book tells us something about the truth while a bad book tells us lots about the author. Levant has expertly proven the adage.
Andrew Nikiforuk, author, Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent