The approval of Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline project is not a good decision for sustainability policy. The Kinder Morgan project is a pipeline that will run from the tar sands in Alberta and carry crude oil through the north of British Columbia into the south and out the shipping port to China.
It is hard to determine whether the actions of the Prime minister are morally correct or not. He seems to be maximizing his self-interest, along with the company who will be shipping the oil to China. What I do know is that this project is not in the best interest of Canada as a whole and this is where we can apply the normative claims to strengthen my argument.
If we look at it from the public's perspective the consequence of this project is not sustainable, it is of the public's best interest to not have this project approved. What I mean by sustainability is; the way to use resources and to continue performing an action for an indefinite amount of time, without compromising our actions and the resources, as well as the actions and resources of our future generations.
This project has a finite timeline, meaning that once the oil runs out people will be out of work and the devastation caused to the eco-system will not be reversible, as we can see as an example of what the tar sands in Alberta look like once the oil companies are done extracting it from the ground.
From my understanding, Trudeau was not in favor of this policy, to begin with and I think this is what attracted his publicity and his electoral. The government could consider other measures to provide energy from renewable energy sources that are sustainable.
Our government has a duty towards its citizens to protect them from harm. The harm that is caused by this pipeline project is not immediate however it will cause harm to our future generations.
We can pretend that this project goes according to plan and that it is safe from any potential risk or hazard to the environment caused by an oil spill, we are still decimating the environment of which the oil is extracted from, which causes us to become one of the largest contributors to the carbon epidemic that is happening right now.
The increase of the burning of fossil fuels will release carbon monoxide into the atmosphere which will, in turn, increase the temperature of the earth. The increase in temperature will begin to melt ice caps in the northern and southern parts of the world, that right now act as deflectors of the sun rays. Sea levels will rise, an increase in extreme climate conditions will happen throughout the world and displace people from their homes. That's global warming in a nutshell.
This pipeline project seems to be a short-sighted view for a couple of decades of increasing jobs and human flourishing. By flourishing I am referring to the state at which humans live, beyond just surviving, they thrive through education, excellence, and growth.
Once there is no more oil to extract, there will be no more jobs available for those people, this is not sustainable.
What will suffer greatly is the environment, the damage here will be consequential to the eco-system. The living species will have no place to inhabit, and will either migrate or die.
We depend largely on our eco-systems because this is what gives us the resources we need to survive. If we are not able to meet even our basic needs, then we certainly are not going to be able to thrive.
This project is political in nature rather than a philosophical one, not to say that we cannot argue philosophically about it.
The benefit of this project can be viewed in a self-interested manner, as well as a political one to tie connections with the Chinese government, seeing as that is where the oil will be shipped to be refined and then it will be sold back to Canada.
This, in turn, increases the amount of carbon that is released into the environment because of the movement of freight ships back and forth from Canada.
The risks are much higher than any benefit if it is looked at through the eyes of someone who does not have their hand in the profits from this project.
Any rational person would argue against it, however, how can you argue against it if you are being paid millions of dollars or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, the jobs people will have, for the time it is operational.
A rational person is someone who within reason has sound judgment. When considering all the factors I mentioned in this article we cannot argue that this is a project being approved by a rational being.