Coming to Prince Rupert this Saturday is a close look behind the world of how Canadians and the world are getting their energy, and where that that road is taking us.
In a new energy documentary, To the Ends of the Earth, filmmaker David Lavallee explores the cracks in the foundation of “extreme energy projects” like fracking, pipelines, LNG initiatives and more.
Lavallee discusses the failing economics of the fossil fuel industry in the film and in a subsequent panel after the screening, the filmmaker will be talking how those economics and energy projects are affecting northern B.C. communities like Prince Rupert.
Here in Prince Rupert, LNG is on everyone’s minds as the industry looms closer to becoming a potential reality on the North Coast.
“I cover fracking and the economics of fracking and of course, that’s where the LNG is going to get its natural gas from – is from fracking operations in the northeast of B.C.,” said Lavallee Wednesday.
“So there’s a definite link and economics are economics. So if the economics of fracking are failing,
then the economics of LNG aren’t going to be much better.”
In his film, Lavallee talks to Indigenous peoples from Fort Nelson in regards to fracking, and from the Inuit on Baffin Island in the Arctic, on seismic explosions beneath the water by companies looking for oil.
“The Inuit are concerned that it’s blasting out the eardrums of narwhal and seals that they hunt for
sustenance. So that’s a geographical extreme,” Lavallee said.
“A geological extreme is in the tar sands where it takes two tonnes of earth to make one barrel of oil. What I focus on there is the energy returns. How much energy do you have to put in to get energy back?”
Lavallee talks with conceptual founder of energy return on investment, who states that tar sands bitumen and similar projects are energy negative, when taking into account the amount it takes to withdraw the supply.
“Of course if energy returns are declining, then of course profit with these companies are also in free fall, so what we see now is the 30 per cent figure of workforce lost in the last year,” he said.
So where can we go instead?
“We have to rely on conventional sources of oil and gas and we will have to do that for the next 40 years or so, but we can decline our consumption … It’s not about one source of energy versus the other, it’s about what’s our overall worldview in terms of how we use our energy?” said Lavallee.
Renowned actor Emma Thompson narrates the film and Lavallee himself was born and raised in Alberta. To the Ends of the Earth is Lavallee’s second film after his first, White Water, Black Gold won numerous awards and was a favourite screening of more than 20 film festivals.
The screening in Prince Rupert is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Prince Rupert Racquet Centre, located beside the golf course, from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
After the film, Lavallee will host a panel with himself, the Wilderness Committee’s climate campaigner Peter McCartney and Lelu Island’s Indigenous leader Murray Smith to talk about issues the film raises close to the North Coast.