South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu called Alberta’s oilsands “filth” while speaking at a conference in Fort McMurray, Alta. on Saturday.
The Archbishop, according to media reports, also called for a boycott of fossil fuel companies, and said he stands in solidarity with communities that are opposed to oilsands pipeline projects, such as Keystone XL, Northern Gateway and Energy East.
Contrary to what one might expect, Tutu did not arrive in Canada by sailing ship. Nor did he travel to Alberta by wagon train. Moreover, once he had arrived at Fort McMurray, he was not shepherded around by horse and buggy.
In fact, Tutu arrived by jet from Africa and, apparently, toured the oil sands by helicopter, both of which are fuelled by carbon-based products. Shame on him.
As correctly pointed out by Davis Sheremata, a spokesperson for TransCanada, in an email to The Canadian Press:
Without oil, we wouldn’t have fertilizers to grow our food, plastics for surgical tape and heart valves, and gasoline to start the more than 250 million cars in North America every morning.”
Perhaps the South African believes there is something especially evil about Canadian carbon products. The oil products he and his countrymen consume are, apparently, OK. It’s just ours to which he objects.
In 2011, Alberta oil sands green house gas emissions amounted to less than 0.15 per cent of global emissions, yet Tutu found the time—and too much gall for my liking—to lecture Canadians about the “negligence and greed” of our bitumen production.
Pretty cheeky stuff, eh?