Oil's Deep State
How the petroleum industry undermines democracy and stops action on global warming - in Alberta, and in Ottawa
Year Published: 2017
Pages: 256 pp ISBN: 9781459409996
Resource Type: Book
Cx Number: CX21729
An insider's eywitness view of the oil industry, and how and why governments have failed to heed warnings despite substantial scientific evidence of global warming
Why have democratic governments failed to take serious steps to reduce carbon emissions despite dire warnings and compelling evidence of the profound and growing threat posed by global warming?
Most of the writing on global warming is by scientists, academics, environmentalists, and journalists. Kevin Taft, a former leader of the opposition in Alberta, brings a fresh perspective through the insight he gained as an elected politician who had an insider's eyewitness view of the role of the oil industry. His answer, in brief: The oil industry has captured key democratic institutions in both Alberta and Ottawa.
Taft begins his book with a perceptive observer's account of a recent court case in Ottawa which laid bare the tactics and techniques of the industry, its insiders and lobbyists. He casts dramatic new light on exactly how corporate lobbyists, politicians, bureaucrats, universities, and other organizations are working together to pursue the oil industry's agenda.
He offers a brisk tour of the recent work of scholars who have developed the concepts of the deep state and institutional capture to understand how one rich industry can override the public interest.
Taft views global warming and weakened democracy as two symptoms of the same problem the loss of democratic institutions to corporate influence and control. He sees citizen engagement and direct action by the public as the only response that can unravel big oil's deep state.