The United Church of Canada deals a huge blow to the fossil fuel industry!
August 16th 2015
From 1997 until about 2012, Meritha and I attended Central United Church in downtown Calgary. It seemed strange to a lot of our more orthodox friends, but it really wasn’t. Central United does great work with those dealing with addictions and alcoholism, a ministry for which they receive no government funds, and which is far more successful than comparable government programs. And Central United and its leaders adhere to the fundamentals of Christian orthodoxy.
But, as you may have heard recently, the United Church of Canada has an atheist, Dr. Greta Vosper, “pastoring” one of its churches in Ontario. With hubris typical of left-wing fundamentalists, she is out to lead a Christian denomination away from belief in God. And displaying the intellectual incoherence all too typical of UC head office leadership, the leaders are trying to decide whether she meets the qualifications to be a pastor in a Christian denomination. Helloooo!!
Can anyone – other than the CBC and Maclean’s magazine – take a Christian denomination harboring an atheist pastor seriously? As far as good works go, most significant effort in the United Church takes place at the local level. Many local congregations view the strutting and posturing of the UC politicians at head office as an irritant and an embarrassment.
In any case, the faction of the United Church that the CBC likes to talk to is at it again. They have now decided to divest their entire $6 million in the fossil fuel industry, and reinvest the this wad of cash in Green Energy! Of course our headline above is a joke; $6 million is a rounding error at a mid-sized oil company.
But if the $6 million withdrawal of capital were to have an effect on the oil industry, or if their actions did inspire larger investors to divest, the first people hurt would be those the United Church always claims it wants to help.
Aboriginal people in the tens of thousands are employed around the world in the fossil fuel industry. In Canada, some bands, and some individuals, have built major companies supplying people, goods, and services to the fossil fuel industry. Some of these companies have even run out of their own band members to employ, and must bring in workers from other bands.
These are extremely well paying jobs! And many of them are in remote areas where fossil fuel extraction is the only significant industry. So what specifically is the United Church of Canada planning to do for the thousands of aboriginal Canadians who will lose their jobs, other than lobby governments to “Do something!”?
Thousands of other people in the oil industry lack education beyond high school. Their reasoning was “Why would you go to university and pile up student debt, possibly to get a degree that will have you end up making lattes, when you can learn to drive a truck or operate a plant – on the job training provided– and be making six figures in a few years?” Of course you don’t plan on a massively financed and media supported worldwide industry dedicated solely to throwing you out of that job.
All this would be acceptable, and we could, and we should, find a way to finance a precipitous transition to so-called “renewable energy”- if it were necessary, or even doable. But it isn’t.
The Catastrophic Global Warming and Climate Change Industry is based entirely on stoking hysteria over the notion that humans are increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere and causing global warming and climate change. Yes we probably are, but – according to the most credible scientists – insignificantly. If anyone tells you that “The science is settled,” they are either uninformed, or deliberately ignoring the facts.
For an eye-opening look at some of the so-called“Deniers” who possess sterling scientific credentials, read Lawrence Solomon’s book, “The Deniers.” It was published a few years ago, but it’s still an eye-opener.
So back to the United Church and it’s withdrawal from the fossil fuel industry. It’s obviously a meaningless gesture in terms of its direct economic impact on the fossil fuel industry, and it’s a meaningless gesture in terms of helping to cool the planet. But if it actually influences others to divest, it will further devastate an already weakened fossil fuel job market for tens of thousands of aboriginal and blue-collar workers.
So my question to the United Church is: “Do you care about that, and what do you intend to do about it? What, for instance, is your vision for the future of the people of Fort McMurray, were the oilsands industry shutdown, as both you, and the provincial and federal NDP – as evidenced by their policies and actions – seem to want?”
Until the United Church provides a credible answer for that, perhaps a few lines from Shakespeare’s Macbeth can be adapted to characterize their divestment.
Your divestment’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then will be heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing – save carelessness.