The Carbon Bubble

The Carbon Bubble

Book - 2015
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For the first time at book length, bestselling author and economist Jeff Rubin addresses Canada's national economic future--and the financial security of all Canadians.
Since 2006 and the election of the 1st Harper government, the vision of Canada's future as an energy superpower has driven the political agenda, as well as the fast-paced development of Alberta's oil sands and the push for more pipelines across the country to bring that bitumen to market. Anyone who objects is labeled a dreamer, or worse--an environmentalist: someone who puts the health of the planet ahead of the economic survival of their neighbours.
In The Carbon Bubble , Jeff Rubin compellingly shows how Harper's economic vision for the country is dead wrong. Changes in energy markets in the US--where domestic production is booming while demand for oil is shrinking--are quickly turning Harper's dream into an economic nightmare. The same trade and investment ties to oil that pushed the Canadian dollar to record highs are now pulling it down, and the Toronto Stock Exchange, one of the most carbon-intensive stock indexes in the world--with over 25 percent market capitalization in oil and gas alone--will be increasingly exposed to the rest of the world's efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
Rubin argues that there is a lifeline to a better future. The very climate change that will leave much of the country's carbon unburnable could at the same time make some of Canada's other resource assets more valuable: our water and our land. In tomorrow's economy, he argues, Canada won't be an energy superpower, but it has the makings of one of the world's great breadbaskets. And in the global climate that the world's carbon emissions are inexorably creating, food will soon be a lot more valuable than oil.
Publisher: Toronto : Random House Canada, ©2015.
ISBN: 9780345814692
Characteristics: xiv, 304 pages :,illustrations, map ;,24 cm.

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w
winterwarrior99
Oct 19, 2016

Excellent book providing history and economics of oil (focus on tar sands) and agriculture in Western Canada, encompassing world environmental considerations and Canadian political (Stephen Harper) aspects

h
HowardWilliams
Jan 11, 2016

An excellent book showing how much we have to do to save the environment for our grandchildren.

g
ghreads
Nov 11, 2015

This book is about the need for the world economy to steer towards a low-carbon future in order to avoid climate catastrophe. It examines the effects of the Alberta Oil Sands on the value of the Canadian dollar and on the rest of the Albertan and Canadian economies. And it discusses pipelines, rail tankers, the current shifts in supply and demand, the drop in the price of oil and its effects on the Canadian dollar. The author then turns his attention to the future – the effects on our economy of the unavoidable climate change we have already created. In this light, he looks at agriculture, water resources, hydro power and the opening of Arctic shipping routes. He also discusses personal investment opportunities.

An over-arching message of the book is the utter folly of Steven Harper’s promotion of the Oil Sands as the focal point of the Canadian economy, his denial of climate change and his short-sighted view of the country’s economic future. The book was written before the 2015 election and it highlights how critically important it was to remove Harper from power.

Rubin obviously understands the economics of fossil fuels and much of the climate change issue but, in my view, he misses the point on many other environmental and social issues. He doesn't always see the big picture. In his discussion of the benefits to Canadian agriculture to be realized by climate change – especially the ability to grow corn on the prairies – he talks about big agri-business and genetic modification in a positive tone and he doesn’t mention the large carbon footprint of conventional big agriculture. I find some of the ideas presented here to be quite frightening. Likewise, his discussion of our water resources and the Arctic shipping routes. The information presented is very interesting and very accurate but I would have preferred to see it examined from a different philosophical perspective.

The book is well organized and the writing is reasonably good but I found it a bit repetitive. It is worth reading for the analysis of the fossil fuel industry and climate change and their effects on the Canadian economy but the later sections dealing with the future should be read critically.

s
Supermarine
Nov 10, 2015

A good summary of the burst carbon bubble that Canada has just experienced. The author covers a number of topics in this economic angled book, including: the early oil industry of Canada; development of the oil sands; the XL pipeline folly; railway networks; water resources; renewable energy; and food.

I enjoyed reading this book, which was not too economic in nature. Despite being in the resource sector myself I was surprised by some of the new facts I gleaned.

You can hear the author discussing the book on CBC's "The Current" with Anna Maria Tremonti on Tuesday July 28, 2015. Check the website for a link to the podcast.

d
darski
Nov 02, 2015

Will this be available at WPL in print version any time soon?

m
mclarjh
Jul 14, 2015

Good journalistic writing, well reasoned arguments, interesting conclusions, (mostly) apolitical; worthwhile and easy read.

t
thebritlass
May 30, 2015

This book should be required reading for Canadians, especially Albertans. Released in 2015, this readable guide provides an excellent overview of current economic, ecological, and political issues related to carbon-based industries.

n
naturalist
May 21, 2015

“Popping Canada's 'Carbon Bubble' good for economy, says Jeff Rubin” . .
http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-may-19-2015-1.3078640/popping-canada-s-carbon-bubble-good-for-economy-says-jeff-rubin-1.3078678 and from . . . The Globe and Mail” : . . . http://www.theglobeandmail.com/authors/jeff-rubin

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Supermarine
Nov 10, 2015

Supermarine thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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