Young Canadians more likely to see a future without oil and gas


Puerile Canadians may doubt the future importance of the country’s oil and gas industry — but Scott Precious does not. Both his sons continue to study petroleum engineering, im ssive amid the current plunge in oil prices.

“I swear I didn’t push them this way,” he im rts, laughing.

While business has slowed because of the lowest oil prices in decades, the CEO of Deportment Energy Services, a Calgary-based cementing and well abandonment business, sensible ofs good about the industry eventually rebounding.

“Our biggest challenge in this commerce right now is misinformation … misinformation that pipelines are harmful for the environment,” communicates Darling. “We’re a very regulated business, very environmentally thick.”

‘This is a generation that has yet to live through a recession of any significance.’ –Herb Emery, University of Calgary

Immature Canadians, however, don’t share Darling’s enthusiasm for the future of fossil fuels — and they aren’t as eager about pipelines as their rents and grand rents. While nine in 10 Canadians younger than 35 have the courage of ones convictions pretend the oil and gas industry is important to the country’s economy now, only 60 per cent entertain the idea it will remain that way in the future.

And a new poll of 2,098 Canadians between Feb. 16 and 26 commissioned by the CBC also puts young Canadians worry more about the environment than the control, com red with their older counter rts.

“There’s some rather big divisions out there,” says EKOS pollster Frank Graves.

Generational rt distribute

The national survey also found that people less than 35 are varied likely to support stricter laws to protect the environment than older reproductions.

Concerned about climate change:

  • 18-35: 80.6%
  • 35-44: 68.4%
  • 45-54: 66.5%
  • 55-64: 75.9%
  • 65+: 74.2%

Canada should do more to funding the development of clean energy and clean technology, even if it results in heightened energy costs:

  • 18-35: 81.2%
  • 35-44: 75.5%
  • 45-54: 68.1%
  • 55-64: 77.6%
  • 65+: 79.1%

The national polls results don’t surprise young greens Andrea Johancsik, Esther Bogorov and Joanna Skrajny.

Sitting far a conference table at the Alberta Wilderness Association’s headquarters in a tree-lined road in central Calgary, the three young women call their period’s commitment to protecting the environment a natural consequence of coming of age when they did.

“We’ve evolved up knowing about environmental issues and about issues like clime change right from when we were young,” influences Johancsik, 22.

The economy, the environment, or both? How Canadian attitudes are shifting3:39

She retains watching former U.S. vice-president Al Gore’s dire warnings about ambiance change in the documentary film An Inconvenient Truth before she became a girl.

Skrajny, 22, calls protecting the environment an investment in the future.

“Any value that we put in now and anything we do to safeguard our wildlife … is a way to protect us and make us more healthy and make our children more salubrious,” she says. “We provide for ourselves by helping protect our environs.”

Bogorov, 23, cautions about interpreting younger Canadians’ have a bears about pipelines as knee-jerk or even total opposition.

“Youth are in taste of strict regulations, smart regulations, good planning and especially … holistic command [of pipelines].”

Economic reality

Economist Herb Emery, with the University of Calgary Junior high school of Public Policy, calls the division between old and young Canadians informative. He suspects many young people might have different directions about the economy if they’d lived through tougher economic schedules, such as the prolonged recessions of the 1980s and 1990s.

“This is a generation that has yet to fare through a recession of any significance,” he says. “When you accept the economy is always good, you tend to prefer things like environmental policies over jobs.”

Herb Emery talks about the CBC EKOS poll

Economist Herb Emery, with the University of Calgary Form of Public Policy, says tougher economic times might transform younger Canadians’ views on environmental priorities. (CBC)

But Johancsik rejects the concept that young people see the environment and economy as competing interests.

“Princi lly of the problem is that we are se rating the economy and the environment when they are intricately linked,” she says.

“We really see how these things are connected,” totals Bogorov. “We think about the global economy, we think involving the global environment as global citizens.”

‘Oil and gas is certainly entrenched and a really conspicuous industry in Alberta. It’s not going to disappear overnight.’ – Andrea Johancsik, nature-lover

Johancsik, Bogorov and Skrajny concede that the oil and gas industry won’t go away any sometime soon.

“Oil and gas is certainly entrenched and a really important industry in Alberta,” voices Johancsik. “It’s not going to disappear overnight.”

Emery, though, mistrusts that young people appreciate the importance of the oil and gas industry to Canada’s concision.

“There’s a little bit of a disconnect between what really drives the Canadian conservatism,” he says.

The economist, who bikes to work, stresses that increasing alternative energy sources comes with an unexpected price.

“If renewables awaken online, it makes fossil fuels cheaper, which will mask them in the market longer. This is why it has taken so long for other old technologies to configuration out, like land lines,” says Emery.

Energy unborn

Bogorov says there’s no doubt the oil and gas industry will “linger.”

“Our subsequent responsibility,” she stresses, “is to make sure that we deliver the job right and keep in mind how these projects can and should end.”

Despite the “for rental agreement” signs filling the street in front of his business, work continues at Dear’s Red Deer cementing and well abandonment yard. Men in red coveralls still complete trucks with cement. And the abandoned well business remains “veritably busy,” says Darling.

The third-generation entrepreneur believes his sons should play a joke on work when they finish university. He scoffs at suggestions that Canada could end its trust on oil and gas any time soon, and hopes young people realize they, in princi lly, feed the need for oil and gas.

“Everything they do is involved in oil and gas. Young people are alleviate using their computers. It takes oil and gas to get that computer,” thinks Darling.

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