Dingman well centennial a bittersweet celebration


  |  Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 11:23 am

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Dear Editor,

I would like to express my appreciation to Sheelagh Matthews for her article on “Celebrating 100 years of oil and gas.” I have mixed feelings on this subject and Sheelagh touched on all the reasons.

The petroleum industry has certainly brought us a long way in a time frame short enough to enable dramatically different life experiences between single generations. Many of the things possible in my life are, or have been, closely or directly influenced by the availablity of oil and gas.

Yet, these hydrocarbons have a dark side. Their exploitable characteristics have enabled the inventive to reduce the need for “wo/man/horse” power, an outcome that has been both beneficial and destructive. It can be formed and molded with relative ease into an infinite number of consumer products and has become so wide spread and entrenched in our daily life that it has become addictive, distracting many from other options that may have better long term outcomes. Its desirablity, toxicity and polluting nature has created a threat to health in too many areas of this planet.

I celebrate 100 years of oil and gas with Black Diamond and Turner Valley. My grandfather put bread on the table through the dirty 30s from employment in this industry and met my grandmother here. I have traveled more freely then previous generations and have viewed the world from a bird's perspective thanks to oil and gas. It has also eroded my health. That “gift” has enabled me to scrutinize its true merits more deeply and to reflect on its greatest benefits. I celebrate the determination, the ingenuity, the community building and the great technological advancements of this period. I also celebrate the ability of humanity to learn from experiences, to embrace wisdom and good leadership, and to make the changes necessary to support our global communities of people, animals, plants, creatures and the incredibly diverse yet intimately connected environments that enable us to be - during and beyond oil and gas.

Heather Gillis



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