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on April 22, 2015
I thought I know everything there was the know about the Oil Sands, but after reading this book I realized that there are always 2 sides to every story. I thought I was against the Oil Sands because of all the propaganda about it... But this book makes alot of good senses. I like how the author takes you through all the countries that produce oil and how they operate, not just in the industrial, but also environmental and human rights. The author gives you lots of scientific evidence that support the Oil Sands - like how the Oil Sands companies have cut their CO2 emissions by 38% in the last 5 years. The author goes through all the the hype and scandals. How the environmental groups aren't all they make themselves out to be. I was extremely impressed with all the information that was layed out in easy lame-man's terms so I could understand. I'm trying to get everyone I know to read this book so they can see the other side of the "field" and see that even if we were to shut down the Oil Sands we would still be dependent on Oil and that Oil would be coming from another place that has worse environmental, human rights and industrial actions/motives. Do we want our oil that has caused deaths/murder, or the destruction of the environment. Or from a country like Canada free, liberal and tolerant.
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on May 17, 2015
Very good read for people wanting to understand the b.s. propaganda for Alberta oilfields. When I first started reading it, I had to do a few fact checks, because the information almost sounds falsified. As I read further into the book. And the more fact checking I had looked into. I'm a reformed anti Alberta oilfields reader. I wish we pumped more oil from tar sands.
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on September 16, 2010
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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on September 28, 2014
A book most of the lib-left, tree-hugging types won't bother to read. Nor would they publicly agree with Ezra if they did take the time to read it.
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on February 5, 2016
This book automatically comes with some bias as it is written by everyone's favorite Canadian, conservative, talking head Ezra Levant. Throughout the book he does make good points that are often neglected by the environmentalist who often don't understand what they would be sacrificing for a world without hydrocarbons. The book is well written from a perspective than many would be fearful in taking.

The issue I take with the book is that he has an underlying theme that because Canada is a stable place to produce oil that we shouldn't strive to deal with global warming or environmental concerns because we are already better than the 3rd world nations who produce oil. As a first world country we should be constantly trying to get better and improve, not simply saying that we're better than most countries so that's good enough.
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on June 6, 2015
I just read this book and it is very good. It becomes abundantly clear that Canada's Tar Sands is less worse than several others with respect to environmental impact but also from the perspective that most of the alternative producers are countries with vastly greater human rights violations etc.

It also exposes some disturbing facts about some of the environmental groups, i.e., those that seem to have gone rogue from my perspective!
What really caught my attention was the section on Greenpeace.....

But keep in mind that the issue of climate change remains...... With the right balance between economy and environment, there may still be a chance that Canada could come out on top so as to lead from the environmental perspective without a collapsing economy. This book steers clear of the imminent time line in meeting environmental requirements.
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on October 26, 2015
Makes some good points but feels self-righteous in pointing out the self-righteous hypocrtiicalities of other actors concerned about the oilsands.

I would have preferred the author address more than twisted statistics presented by organisations like Greenpeace and consider what Canadians and industry are doing/could do more regarding aboriginal rights, reclamation, etc.

I'm only 6 chapters in but will update if the time changes and the author does more than set up straw men.
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on September 12, 2014
There is a lot of BS floating around out there.... this will clear your mind of all that garbage info.
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on September 2, 2013
This book gives you scientific information on the oil sands not emotion, however you should be proud of how well we are doing.
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on September 19, 2010
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." (p. 13)

Levant examines the world's official ethical indicators that are applied to oil companies and finds them arbitrary, lacking an objective basis, and unhelpful in making judgments about the ethics of energy companies (pp. 48-69).

Levant endorses ethical indicators put forward by a Canadian group called Kairos of which Levant is hardly a friend. The indicators are: (1) Justice - is there access to affordable energy? (2) Peace - do the oil sands promote peace or violence, directly or indirectly? (3) Sustainability - what's the environmental impact of the oil sands? (4) Democratic Decision-Making - is there a shared decision-making process between oil companies and citizens regarding the energy future of the citizenry? (pp. 62-64)

Compared to any other country on the planet - whether Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, Nigeria, Russia, Venezuela, Mexico, or China - there's no doubt as to which country meets these ethical indicators and which countries do not. Canada's oil sands are a light unto a dark, dark world.

The remainder of the book is devoted to an expose of the self-righteousness, utter hypocrisy, and double standards of many of Alberta's oil sands critics, including "ethical funds" investment firms, and organizations like Greenpeace. Levant also spends time on the cancer prevalence in Fort Chipewyan.


Let's be honest. _Ethical Oil_ isn't going to end the debate on the oil sands. Nevertheless, its strength is its methodology, applying a politically liberal world-and-life view to the question of the oil sands and, on that basis, coming out in support of them. If we Canadians believe in open and honest dialogue on tough issues, _Ethical Oil_ must be welcomed to the debate.
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