Six years ago, I wrote my first blog entitled ‘Why write a blog?’ (http://questerrestage.wpengine.com/mike-blog/2011/01/05/why-write-a-blog/) wherein I mostly wrote about the reasons not to write a blog.
That was the day I jumped into the deep end of the silliness and seriousness of the hydrocarbon debate. In those days, saying in Quebec you thought fracking was good was like being at a Norwegian cocktail party and saying that George Bush was a good President. So it’s no surprise my pro hydrocarbon blog created a series of media controversies, as opponents and their sympathizers in the media, saw the ‘cowboy de l’Alberta’ as a soft target. So much so that many friends and business colleagues took time to kindly advise me I was hurting my reputation by being too provocative.
The low point was in 2013 when my Quebec based editor and translator was distanced from me because of a controversy that erupted in the media over this blog (http://questerrestage.wpengine.com/mike-blog/2013/04/08/quebec-development-penalized/). Dispirited I thought that all of my reasons in 2010 not to write a blog had come to roost.
My blog debuted because in 2010 everyone in Quebec thought the debate on fracking and hydrocarbons was settled and over. My intention was to provoke and question the settled wisdom. Every time there was a reaction it proved the debate, in Yogi Berra’s words, ‘ain’t over ‘til it’s over’.
As an industry we are wrong to expect our natural allies to defend us against vociferous opponents and anti-hydrocarbon zealots when we won’t defend ourselves. Environmental opponents are sophisticated and I have a lot of respect for their knowledge and expertise. To give courage to our allies, we have to show we can stand up to their slings and arrows without withering.
This will be my 127th blog post. Over the last six years many came together in what has become known as the Quebec Hydrocarbon Coalition (of which I count myself member number one). Quebec has just recently issued its new Energy Policy and it’s a victory for common sense over ideology. With care and caution, Quebec is moving forward with local hydrocarbons, on the basis they are self evidently better than massive foreign imports.
I also want to thank the thousands of blog subscribers and the many more who have followed me on social media. Ironically, I also thank many opponents who I appreciate are engaging in a debate they also feel passionate about. I don’t subscribe completely to the ‘don’t feed the trolls’ adage. They are a source for learning the fallacious arguments circulating in echo chambers without challenge and a testing ground for your own messages.
I will continue to blog, though more likely at a slower pace than the original once a week. I am still dumbfounded that myths long debunked still manage to pop up with great frequency often without even being revarnished. Getting to an evidence and fact based discussion around the costs and benefits of our society’s energy diet feels a long way off. The consequences of getting it wrong are more serious than ever before for our society.
We need to keep the faith that the debate is not over. I will try to keep exposing the silliness and contradictions. We are the true experts on our industry and for society to come to a balanced conclusion on energy we can’t let ourselves be marginalized. To that aim I have built my own small library of aphorisms that are sprinkled through out my 127 blogs. Aphorisms like: Just because we’re biased doesn’t mean we’re wrong.
So do I think you should write a blog, get a twitter account, or join a hydrocarbon coalition? Why not? It worked for me.