Oil and gas resource not needed: Verheul

November 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips

CORNER BROOK  In what may be a new anti-fracking message to local people, Heidi Verheul told about 10 people in Corner Brook that oil and gas resources are unnecessary.

“We are not going to freeze,” the representative of the Atlantic chapter of the Sierra Club of Canada said Thursday evening at the presentation entitled “Strengthening Our Voices: Sinking the Myths of Fracking.”

“We don’t need these resources to sustain the certain standard of living we have grown accustomed to.”

Verheul was reiterating a video recording of an interview with Mark Jacobsen — a Stanford engineer who claims the entire planet can be run solely on wind, water and solar energy.

Giving a presentation in the western Newfoundland city, Verheul scoffed at the notion that oil and gas is needed to meet the world’s energy demands.

“Here in western Newfoundland alone there are huge amounts of wind resource,” she said. “So, why take these risks when we have this resource that we could develop?”

It was a point not lost upon Edwin Bezzina, a Memorial University Grenfell Campus professor who himself has done a great deal of research pertaining to the controversial method of hydraulic fracturing or fracking. He was one of the select few who did attend the session, which is quite contrary to the many crowded presentations about fracking that hasve been held throughout the region.

He said the world overcame challenges during a time when fossil fuels were introduced.

“Now that it is time to move on, there is no reason why we can’t overcome the same challenges,” Bezzina said.

The “myth” of the need for oil and gas to supply the world’s energy demands is just one Verheul attempted to debunk Thursday evening at the College of the North Atlantic.

The other “myths” have been the more commonly addressed in previous sessions. She showed various statistics, referred to studies and reports, and provided examples through North America to try and dispel that oil and gas mining is a cleaner and more environmentally friendly form of energy, that fracking is a safe form of drilling and that it creates a significant number of jobs for local economies.

Verheul is continuing to offer her expertise to people locally. She is hosting a workshop entitled “Strengthening Our Voice: Syncing Our Communities” Saturday.

It is a four-hour workshop designed to support community action. Topics include tips on crafting key messages, meeting with politicians, and making change happen through social media. People are encouraged to bring their digital devices.

For the location of this session, email heidiv@sierraclub.ca to register.

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