Staff Review – The Petroleum Papers by Geoff Dembicki

The author is a climate change journalist and his new book is a blazing account of how the oil and petroleum industry has led a multi-decade campaign to convince the public that climate change does not exist. It provides a comprehensive view of how and when and who was involved in this insidious effort to influence politics and public discourse in a way which benefited their industry and  [in their own words} “to  stimulate the public to raise questions about the veracity of climate change with public officials.”  Canada does not come off well in this story. Despite our preferred narrative about ourselves as the compassionate and “good” country, this book details many points in history when the Canadian oil industry worked hand-in-glove with the politicians in power and Fraser Institute to actively lobby, undermine or block efforts to protect our environment while enabling the Alberta Oil Sands to continue producing dirty bitumen and transporting oil through the Keystone Exxon Pipeline.  The book makes clear that at key pivot points the situation could have been so different if only different action had been taken then. Dembicki shows that the crisis we are in now was not inevitable. It did not have to come to this and although climate change is a global experience (and disproportionately impacts countries and people who have not contributed to it) it has been hastened by decisions and actions taken by a relatively small and distinct group interested only in their profits and bottom line.

This book is available at the Thunder Bay Public Library Climate Change Collection and also as an e-book through our free e-book service CloudLibrary. 

Review written by: Angela Meady, Director of Collections at the Thunder Bay Public Library

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