In a fundraising appeal this week, Ecojustice turns to a culinary metaphor to illustrate the false choice between moving fossil fuels by pipeline or rail.
“Imagine sitting down at a restaurant and finding only two dishes on the menu—Pipeline Pie or Rail Ragout. The dishes look slightly different and one costs a little more, but the basic ingredients are the same,” writes Staff Lawyer Charles Hatt.
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“Both dishes are cooked hot in the kitchen, and without A/C the restaurant’s atmosphere gets increasingly stifling. Both dishes are messy and hard to clean up if spilled. They can both make you sick from poisoning. Do you think you’d be content with your choices? Or would you wonder how this place stays in business at all?
“Welcome to the False Choice Café, home of the pipelines versus rail ‘debate.’”
The continuing rhetorical battle between pipelines and rail “asks the wrong question and sticks Canadians with a false choice,” Hatt writes. “Instead of asking how to move more and more crude oil, let’s start asking how we can have a cleaner, greener economy that keeps people safe, the environment pristine, and delivers good green jobs.”
Through that lens, he says, two key points come into focus: Canada’s “portion size” problem with fossil fuel production dictates rapid greenhouse gas reductions, and both options for moving fossil energy pose serious risks to people and the environment.
“The way to break out of the trap is to step back and reject the premise of this false choice,” he concludes. “Next time you’re headed for the False Choice Café, keep on walking—there’s something better just around the corner.”