Like many of us at Iron & Earth, Chris doesn’t see an inherent contradiction between working in the oil sands and caring about the environment. Rather, he sees opportunities for oil workers, environmentalists and every day Canadians to get together and develop practical solutions to combat climate change.
When we aren’t working, many oil sands workers like us are out enjoying our forests, our parks, our lakes and our oceans. We hunt. We fish. We enjoy the great outdoors. Climate change will impact recreational opportunities like this, and that’s not even getting into the more serious stuff. Canada needs to develop a plan to limit the impacts of climate change and it must do so fast, but it must also find a balance to ensure workers like Chris can continue to provide for their families.
Right now Canadian political leaders are consulting members of the public, people like Chris, about how to tackle climate change in a responsible and prompt manner. In October 2016, the federal government will present its national strategy. This national strategy to combat Climate Change will likely have wide reaching impacts upon the status quo of energy development in Canada. As skilled trades people with serious experience building the infrastructure that has propelled the Canadian economy for last few decades, we need to be ready for these changes.
Read about Iron & Earth’s answer to the climate consultations: the Workers’ Climate Plan.
We must ensure the voices of oil sands workers are heard at town hall events like the one Chris recently spoke at in Calgary. We need a national climate strategy that provides prosperity and stability for workers, their families and the environment for decades to come. It is time to get to work and build a better, more diversified energy sector in Canada. To do that we need to realize the incredible skills Canadian trades people have and help propel careers in a wide range of renewable and clean energy technologies.
Change doesn’t have to be scary. We will build the infrastructure Canadians need to continue to enjoy a great quality of life while minimizing the impacts of climate change. You can be part of this positive change at www.workersclimateplan.ca.