In fall 2015, the newly elected Trudeau government endorsed the Paris Agreement and promised to tackle global warming. In 2016, it released a major report which set out a national energy strategy embracing clean growth, technological innovation and carbon pricing. Rather than putting in place tough measures to achieve the Paris targets, however, the government reframed global warming as a market opportunity for Canada's clean technology sector.
The Big Stall traces the origins of the government's climate change plan back to the energy sector itself — in particular Big Oil. It shows how, in the last fifteen years, Big Oil has infiltrated provincial and federal governments, academia, media and the non-profit sector to sway government and public opinion on the realities of climate change and what needs to be done about it.
Working both behind the scenes and in high-profile networks, Canada's energy companies moved the debate away from discussion of the measures required to create a zero-carbon world and towards market-based solutions that will cut carbon dioxide emissions — but not enough to prevent severe climate impacts. This is how Big Oil and think tanks unraveled the Kyoto Protocol, and how Rachel Notley came to deliver the Business Council of Canada's energy plan. Donald Gutstein explains how and why the door has been left wide open for oil companies to determine their own futures in Canada, and to go on drilling new wells, building new oil sands plants and constructing new pipelines.
This book offers the background information readers need to challenge politicians claiming they are taking meaningful action on global warming.
About the author
DONALD GUTSTEIN teaches in the school of communication at Simon Fraser University and is the author of three acclaimed but controversial books: e.con: How the Internet Undermines, The New Landlords, Democracy and Vancouver Ltd. He has studied the media for more than ten years as co-director of Project Censored and NewsWatch Canada and has written many articles for magazines and online sites devoted to media and social policy. He lives in Vancouver, BC.
"[The Big Stall] makes clear that direct regulation is detested by the fossil fuel regime above all else, providing a clue for policy alternatives."
"[Gutstein] draws a picture of intrigue in an interconnected Canadian web."
The National Observer
"A compelling investigation of how corporations and businesses have manipulated us and our governments to serve their best interests."
The National Observer
"Gutstein's painting of how powerful business interests and their propagandists have succeeded in blocking action on climate change is loud, proud and defiantly left wing."