I have been called to action as a journalist

Two heavy hauler trucks unloading. Image courtesy of Suncor Energy.Image credit: Suncor Energy.

Yesterday, I was granted the opportunity to tour a portion of Suncor Energy’s oil sands operations around Fort McMurray, Alberta. Today, I’m extremely depressed, and a small part of me wishes that I had never had the tour and that I was still shrouded in relative ignorance.

I never wanted to be an environmental journalist; one of my most selfish fears in life is the fear of not consuming enough creative content and not producing enough content of my own to achieve my goals in life — so I spend the fixed number of hours I have available in any given day, playing video games and watching anime, reading about video games and anime, seeking out stories in my many communities, and then reporting on them to the best of my ability. I do all of that and more to prepare myself for a career as a journalist on a primarily video games, tech or entertainment beat.

I never really wanted to work as an environmental journalist

That’s been my focus, so the environment has always been an (important) afterthought to me. When it comes to  staying conscious of the environment and what I can do to minimize my impact against it, I’ve absorbed plenty of instructions from my teachers and professors over the years, and I’ve followed them too. But synthesizing the incredibly complex issue of environmental change is something that none of my educators were able to do in simple enough terms to really move me.

That’s why I feel like I’ve been called to action. As an objective voice that has the time and resources behind me to do my job right, I’m looking forward to writing a story that needs to be told. Along with my great friend and coworker Angela Johnston, I can’t wait to do my best to answer questions like: “How does sand become fuel?” “What is the environmental impact of our energy economy?” “Who’s the bad guy?” and “Where do we go from here?”

Nothing about this story will be straightforward, but I’d feel guilty if I didn’t do my best to tell it like it is. You’ll be able to read the article later this month on thegriff.ca.

Please look forward to it.


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