Canadian Heavy Oil Association

UPDATE April 26th, 2017 — The U of A Chapter of CHOA has not replied to my email. Figures.

Back in February, I attended the first of four presentations by the Canadian Heavy Oil Association at the University of Alberta. The presentations were being hosted by the U of A chapter of CHOA. At the time I knew I was attending the Climate Reality training in Denver in March and was curious what CHOA talked about in such presentations. Boy was I disappointed.

I guess I shouldn’t have assumed it would be an un-biased presentation, but I did think it would at least have some objective aspects. It didn’t. It was completely pro-oil and anti-environment. The presenter made all sorts of incorrect and false claims about carbon emissions and climate change.

While I sat in the first session, I emailed the organizers and cancelled my tickets for the remaining three presentations. My blood pressure would not allow me to attend three more sessions with such blatantly incorrect information and biased opinion.

This week I received a certificate from the U of A’s chapter of CHOA congratulating me on attending the presentations and presenting me with a certificate of completion. Obviously, their records are wrong, so I decided to use the opportunity to let them know what I thought.

Here’s my email to them:

Hi there,

I actually did not attend the full course. I had signed up to attend all four sessions, but cancelled after the first session. I was quite upset with the incorrect information about carbon emissions that the presenter made in the first session and opted not to attend any other obviously biased presentations. I was disappointed that the presentation wasn’t more objective, and even more upset that the presenter actually made the comment that there’s still debate about how carbon emissions and human involvement is impacting climate change [a].
Based on what I heard, CHOA must be very pleased with the Trump Administration and Trump’s selection for the head of the EPA, considering they all think the same way as your presenter.
The irony is two-fold. One, that the U of A’s own scientists have studies the impacts of the oil sands and carbon emissions on climate change and have proven the link between human-based emissions and global warming [b]. And two, that some oil company CEOs have even publicly stated that this is a problem and that the future of energy production is not oil [c].
The other part that was interesting, to me anyway, was the comments by the presenter that there are (or will be) thousands of jobs in the oil industry in Alberta. What he neglected to mention, however, is that these jobs are not those that need a undergraduate degree in engineering. Unless grads from the U of A with engineering degrees plan to get their hands dirty as roughnecks, which I assume wasn’t their plan, the job outlook for engineers isn’t as rosy as the presenter made it seem.
And all this was only from the first of four presentations. I cringe to think of what may have been said in the three presentations I did not attend.

Now I wait to see if they respond, and what they say.
I somehow think I won’t even get a response. That instead they’ll just delete my email.

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