rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Sorry Rick Mercer, Energy East won't unite our country but it will destroy our planet

Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

I look up to Rick Mercer and have a huge amount of respect for him, and I've been inspired by many of the rants he's filmed in this alley. But as someone who cares deeply about climate change, I'd like to respond to his most recent rant framing the Energy East pipeline as not only necessary for our economy, but a linchpin of national unity.

The pipeline debate goes way beyond provincial politics, because here's the thing: chemistry doesn't care about politics. Our fossil fuel economy has radically changed the atmosphere, and now the atmosphere is fighting back. And if our economy is at war with the laws of nature, who do you think is gonna win?

Canada doesn't need a pipeline, what we need is a twenty-first century economy. We can create unimaginably powerful computers that fit in our pockets, so maybe it's time to innovate our energy system beyond digging up a bunch of crap and setting it on fire.

It's easy to sneer at climate change deniers as delusional and anti-science, but if you accept climate science but ignore what that science means, you're a denier too. Scientists say we need to keep most of the oil sands in the ground. And when you deny that fact, you're denying the millions of poor and vulnerable people whose lives will be destroyed in the coming decades through more crop failure, storms, heat waves and diseases, including malaria.

Reshaping our economy is difficult, but difficult isn't impossible. And the alternative is morally indefensible.

Rick finished his rant by saying "It is time for provinces to start asking what's in it for Canada, not just what's in it for me." I think it's time for Canadians to start asking what's in it for humanity, not just what's in it for us.

Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

Thank you for reading this story...

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all. But media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our only supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help.

If everyone who visits rabble and likes it chipped in a couple of dollars per month, our future would be much more secure and we could do much more: like the things our readers tell us they want to see more of: more staff reporters and more work to complete the upgrade of our website.

We’re asking if you could make a donation, right now, to set rabble on solid footing in 2017.

Make a donation.Become a monthly supporter.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.