The oil sands and entertainment industries are both multi-billion-dollar enterprises that affect the lives of millions of people. One industry generates the energy which underpins our modern lives while the other primarily seeks to amuse, delight, and provoke.
The two distinct undertakings are intersecting often these days, as notable actors, musicians and directors are joining the energy and oil sands debate.
We think that’s great as we believe the key to a better future is listening to and understanding the perspectives of others. Of those celebrities who have waded into the fray though, it seems all are staunchly against oil sands development. (What, is it something we said?)
In the spirit of balancing of the conversation, we’d like some celebrities to publicly support oil sands development. Here are a few we’d like to see get involved and why.
Look, there’s just nobody out there as tough as martial artist and actor Chuck Norris, and that’s a fact. Who better to make the case for responsible energy production than a man whose own windmill kick can generate hundreds of megawatts? Not only could Chuck shill for our industry, he could actually work in it. Chuck wouldn’t need steam to make in situ bitumen flow; he just has to tell it to. Plus, we’d save a mint on waterfowl deterrents by hiring Chuck to stand by tailings ponds and stare down incoming wildlife, which would be quieter than sound cannons (and much, much scarier).
If oil sands opponents have film director James Cameron on their side, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to recruit another Canadian-born celebrity who’s also comfortable in the genre of science fiction. We already know “The Shat” has experience with endorsements and it’s impossible to ignore Shatner’s most iconic role as Captain James T. Kirk of the starship USS Enterprise. As Starfleet’s youngest captain, Kirk had integrity, embraced new forms of technology and never shied away from necessary interstellar conflict, characteristics making him the perfect spokesman for a technology-driven industry that’s integral to the world’s future.
Founder of the Virgin Group, would-be space explorer and blonde hair enthusiast, Richard Branson typifies out-of-the-box thinking required in the oil sands industry. As a globetrotter with dozens of energy-intensive businesses, including Virgin Atlantic airline, he’s demonstrated an interest in finding ways to minimize environmental footprints, so it seems like a match made in corporate heaven.
As an added bonus: if Virgin Galactic takes off, we’d have an inside line on the fuel contract.
The public has heard plenty about Warren Buffett’s investments in oil sands, so why not give Jimmy a chance to get in on the action? With his laid-back attitude Jimmy might just be able to mellow the energy conversation into a zone of productivity. Failing that, he could always just get all sides to sit down together over margaritas – that most potent of social lubricants.
Who better to get people talking constructively about oil sands and energy than a talk show host? Ellen could bring her show to Fort McMurray and maybe even include Daryl Hannah and Matt Damon as guests. And the ‘Syncrude Shuffle’ guy could round out the line-up, because what’s an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show without some dancing?
The California Ryans
Not to be confused with the California Raisins, actors Ryan Reynolds and Ryan Gosling and professional hockey player Ryan Getzlaf are a trifecta of Canadian-born Ryans who might just be able to enlighten fans of Hollywood and hockey alike.
Screen idols Reynolds and Gosling clearly bring a massive amount of charm to the table, wooing (predominantly female) audiences with dreamy eyes, perfect smiles and modern hairdos. Anaheim Ducks centre Getzlaf already brings fans to their feet so it’s not a huge stretch to imagine him bringing them energy facts too. Plus, he’s no stranger to fossil-fueled bus and plane transport, as National Hockey League players don’t walk to their away games. And as a Saskatchewan native, he’s probably familiar with his home province’s flourishing energy boom.
We’re taking a break
OSQAR will be taking a break for the Thanksgiving holiday. Watch for our next edition the week of Oct. 21.