rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

An ending and a beginning

Today the journey to the tar sands comes to an end. I spent this day asking a new question: what can we do about the tar sands? I wanted to get past the usual answer for this: 'education and get involved.' As important as these are, we've all heard this a million times and quite frankly, the world hasn't changed enough with this advice.

So what's next? To answer this question, I met with Randall Benson who is a former tar sands worker. Randall left working for the tar sands that he found destructive to create his own solar and wind power company. It's a small business in Alberta, but he invited me to help install some solar panels on a huge building in the outskirts of Edmonton.

I really felt like right there, on a burning hot roof of a random building in Alberta, that I was part of the green revolution -- even just for a moment. Because this is where the future lies -- this is what is next!

A lot of people talk about stopping the tar sands, fighting climate change and saving the world. But that all is just talk if we are not creating a new path for ourselves right now. Benson is part of creating that path.

To end oil and start a sustainability pathway, we need to create jobs and transitions for our way of life. It can't just begin and end with David Suzuki and Greenpeace campaigns. Instead in continuous jobs in sustainable technologies, local farming, low-impact transportation industries (rail and electric cars for example), geo-engineering adaptations to the climate change that is coming, as well as the many new ideas to come from minds that have not conceived them yet that will keep propelling a green economy into the future.

There is the beginning of this new economy and path right now with people like Benson and so many others in Canada, as well as across the world. For that I think it's an exciting time. I didn't think I was going to say that after seeing the tar sands, but it is. I believe we are at a crossroads with the tar sands and climate change. As we stand now, we have an opportunity to create something better.

Emily Hunter's Journey to the Tar Sands airs this fall on MTV News Canada.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.