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In fall 2015, the newly elected Trudeau government endorsed the Paris Agreement and promised to tackle global warming. In 2016, it released a major report which set out a national energy strategy embracing clean growth, technological innovation and carbon pricing. Rather than putting in place tough measures to achieve the Paris targets, however, the government reframed global warming as a market opportunity for Canada's clean technology sector.

The Big Stall traces the origins of the government's climate change plan back to the energy sector itself -- in particular Big Oil. It shows how, in the last fifteen years, Big Oil has infiltrated provincial and federal governments, academia, media and the non-profit sector to sway government and public opinion on the realities of climate change and what needs to be done about it.

Working both behind the scenes and in high-profile networks, Canada's energy companies moved the debate away from discussion of the measures required to create a zero-carbon world and towards market-based solutions that will cut carbon dioxide emissions -- but not enough to prevent severe climate impacts. This is how Big Oil and think tanks unraveled the Kyoto Protocol, and how Rachel Notley came to deliver the Business Council of Canada's energy plan. Donald Gutstein explains how and why the door has been left wide open for oil companies to determine their own futures in Canada, and to go on drilling new wells, building new oil sands plants and constructing new pipelines.

This book offers the background information readers need to challenge politicians claiming they are taking meaningful action on global warming.

Author Notes

Donald Gutstein is a former professor in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University and co-director of NewsWatch Canada, a mediamonitoring project at the school He is the author of Harperism: How Stephen Harper and his think tank colleagues have transformed Canada as well as four other hooks on the links between large corporations, politics and the media. He lives in Vancouver.

Table of Contents

Abbreviationsp. 8
Introductionp. 9
Chapter 1 Big Oil Takes Controlp. 13
Chapter 2 Containing Environmentalismp. 29
Chapter 3 Rio to Kyoto: The Road Not Takenp. 50
Chapter 4 Tom Gets His Way; Murray Enters the Frayp. 64
Chapter 5 Big Oil and Think Tanks Besiege Kyotop. 76
Chapter 6 Carbon Pricing: Economists vs. the Public Interestp. 93
Chapter 7 From Environmental Crisis to Business Transitionp. 111
Chapter 8 The New Gospelp. 124
Chapter 9 The Mechanic and the Architectp. 136
Chapter 10 Paris: Big Oil Gets Its Dealp. 154
Chapter 11 Oil Sands Binges, Rebrandsp. 172
Chapter 12 Notley: A New Deal?p. 190
Chapter 13 Welcome to the Clean Growth Centuryp. 203
Chapter 14 Two Degrees Too Late (A Shell Game)p. 220
Chapter 15 The Corporation vs. Naturep. 237
Conclusionp. 251
Glossaryp. 255
Acknowledgementsp. 265
Endnotesp. 267
Indexp. 299