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Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada's Oil Sands Hardcover – Sep 14 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart; Canadian First edition (Sept. 14 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771046413
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771046414
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 2.4 x 22.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 481 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #150,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"[Levant's book] has clearly had a huge impact on the debate."
Calgary Herald

"Ethical Oil provides some desperately needed perspective."
National Post

"Compelling....Ethical Oil posits some uncomfortable answers, making it a challenging and provocative read."
Halifax Chronicle-Herald

About the Author

EZRA LEVANT is a lawyer, journalist, and political activist. As the publisher of Western Standard magazine, he was charged by the Government of Alberta for publishing the Danish cartoons of Mohammed. He is a frequent radio talk show guest known for his plain-spoken opinions, and he has written columns for media throughout North America. His most recent book, Shakedown, was a national bestseller.

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Customer Reviews

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46 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Michael Suszek on Sept. 16 2010
Format: Hardcover
I'm a liberal and someone who cares greatly about the environment. I am aware however that a lot of causes that are supposed to be helpful for the environment such as recycling are not as beneficial as we would perceive and you can't believe what you hear from biased groups such as Greenpeace and co.

Ethical Oil is Ezra's take on why Alberta's Oil sands are the best option to supply the world with oil. He makes extremely logical and straightforward points and his writing is clear and articulate, I feel sorry for those people who will debate him on this topic ( see the poor guy from Greenpeace here: [...] ). This book should be essential reading for Canadians as the Oil Sand issue is going to be a big topic in our near future and Canadians should be well informed on the issue and get all sides of the story.

Although most of us are aware that oil comes from parts of the world that we'd rather not send money too (Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, etc) we don't really think about it. Ezra's book really makes you understand what you're financing when you're buying oil from these parts of the world and why Canadian oil is the best option.
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Format: Hardcover
This latest book from Ezra Levant was released last Tuesday. As the subtitle suggests, _Ethical Oil_ is an impenitent and unapologetic "case for Canada's oilsands". Though it may be lost on many who are unfamiliar with Levant, this book shares an interesting link with his previous book, _Shakedown_.

One of the objectives of _Shakedown_ - which, I dare say, was largely successful - was the denormalization of Canada's Human Rights Commissions (CHRCs). Levant sought to change public perception of the CHRCs from that of general positivity to general disgust such that any future discussions about the CHRCs would be over before they begin.

_Ethical Oil_ is also about denormalization. In arguing his case for Alberta's oil sands oil, Levant seeks to denormalize the denormalization that a myriad of critics are engaged in against the oil sands. Says Levant about the question of supporting the oil sands: "It's an important question to ask because critics of Canada's oil sands complain that the oil isn't just environmenally dirty but somehow has moral failures, that it is inherently evil. It's an attempt to denormalize the oil sands, to make them so morally repugnant that any debate about them is over before it starts." (p. 19)

I suppose you could say that two denormalizations amount to normalization. Levant seeks to normalize Alberta's oil sands.

The methodology of _Ethical Oil_ is to argue for the oil sands from a politically liberal world-and-life view. The question this methodology is employed to answer is not "whether we should use oil sands oil instead of some perfect fantasy fuel that hasn't been invented yet. Until that miracle fuel is invented, the question is whether we should use oil from the oil sands or oil from other places in the world that pump it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Neal Krawchuk on March 6 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ezra Levant provides a perspective based on fact. His use of so many references to other published articles provides support to his support of the oil sands. I will never be at a loss as to the reasons why I feel the oil sands is a great asset to all Canadians and the world as a whole. It is clear that western democracies are held to the highest standard and are the targets of areas of the world who despise their loss of influence/power that they have maintained for generations because of oil. THis book was a great read that truly opened my eyes as to the positives about the oil sands and Canada!!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kaman on Aug. 30 2013
Format: Paperback
A very informative book on an important subject. I learned a great deal about various energy exporting sources and their treatment of their own citizens through reading this fine book. Ezra is a passionate man, and I love his passion. 5/5
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful By MM on April 13 2011
Format: Hardcover
To begin with, I'd like to acknowledge that Levant's book is full of interesting and useful information about the social, economic, and political world of oil. He makes some strong arguments that Alberta's oilsands aren't nearly the villain that many make them out to be. But he weaves his research together with a logic that is at times convoluted and sometimes seems to miss the point completely.

Early in the book, Levant lambastes advocacy groups who applied so much pressure to Talisman Resources that the company eventually pulled out of Sudan. He notes that Talisman had done much for human rights in this highly corrupt dictatorship and that when they pulled out, it was a disaster for the people, possibly even a factor in the Darfur genocide. Okay, granted. Given this, how does encouraging America to invest in the 'ethical oil' of Alberta's oilsands help places like Sudan? His argument is a valid criticism of overzealous activists, but it doesn't say anything about the oilsands (except perhaps, "Activists have been wrong before, so they could be wrong again," but that doesn't make for a very powerful argument).

Levant's discussion of ethical stock options really left me scratching my head. Useful and eye-opening information, to be sure. But how does the fact that stock companies that claim to be ethical apparently invest in everything from Three Mile Island, a Chinese-Tibetan railroad, and tobacco to Alberta's oilsands further the case that the oilsands are ethical? To be sure, he harnesses this topic as one more way to mock those whom he at various points in the book refers to as "fair trade coffee-drinking, Prius-driving, Green Party-voting, recycler[s] who dabble in vegetarianism," Che-T-shirt wearers, and "bicycle-riding, hemp-wearing investor[s]".
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