When Extinction Rebellion began their global “climate crisis” protests over a week ago, they may have truly inspired citizens to get involved.

Just not in the way they expected.

First, we had Londoners bringing a rapid end to the underground train demonstrations. Then, there are the continuing protests by the Dutch farmers, as their government wants to cut both nitrogen and carbon emissions.

Now, child climate alarmist Greta Thunberg’s climate change rally has been crashed by counter-protest led by truck convoy of oil and gas workers in Canada.

Greta Thunberg joined thousands of protesters marching in Canada’s energy heartland Alberta yesterday as a smaller counter-rally led by a truck convoy of oil and gas workers also converged on the provincial capital Edmonton.

A crowd of several thousand led by indigenous drummers with students, young people and families marched slowly from a downtown intersection towards the Alberta legislature building.

…’We are doing this because our future is at stake,’ Thunberg told the crowd.

‘We will not be bystanders. We are doing this because we want the people in power to unite behind science.

But a counter-protester said: ‘We care for the environment, of course we do. What they need to understand is that we’re hurting and we also need to care about Alberta jobs.’

The honking horns of big rig trucks blared from a nearby thoroughfare, where vehicles emblazoned with ‘We love Canada energy’ signs were driving up and down.

‘When they charged their iPhones last night, that power came from this plant,’ he said, pointing to the former coal-fired Keephills power plant near Edmonton that was being converted to natural gas.

‘Albertans and Canadians are practical people,’ he said. ‘They like real world solutions. Calling for the end of the modern industrial economy, advocating to put millions of people out of work… is not a real world solution.’

The counter-protesters say that they are tired of celebrities.

Glen Carritt, who organized the United We Roll convoy that travelled to Ottawa in February, said a similar convoy will start in Red Deer, Alta., on Friday morning and make its way to Edmonton.

Carritt said the trucks are expected to arrive at the legislature at noon MT, when a climate rally is to begin with Thunberg, 16, who founded the Fridays For Future climate strikes that have galvanized young people around the world.

He said Albertans in the oil and gas sector are frustrated with celebrities visiting the province and telling them how to run their business.

“We in the province of Alberta are tired of celebrities coming into our province and trying to tell us how to run our oil and gas sector,” read a post on the United We Roll Facebook page.

“I am asking everyone connected to the oil and gas industry to come out in unity to show Greta we do not need her yelling at us.”

It seems many Canadians are tired of environmental justice scolds and biased media.

The energy industry is a vital component of the Canadian economy, a fact that a 16-year old Swede may not appreciate.

Many energy sector workers and the Alberta government feel the oil sands, scorned by environmentalists for their high carbon emissions intensity, have been unfairly targeted and say the sector is making progress cutting greenhouse gas output.

A 2018 study by Stanford University researchers ranked the Canadian oil industry’s upstream emissions as the fourth most carbon-heavy in the world.

The energy sector provides 150,000 direct jobs in Alberta and contributes more than C$71 billion ($54.1 billion) annually to the gross domestic product of Canada, the world’s fourth-largest oil and gas producer.

I wish the Canadians much luck, and better national leadership, in the future. It will be interesting to see where the next climate change counter protests will occur.

 

 
 
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