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Oil's Deep State
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Oil's Deep State

How the petroleum industry undermines democracy and stops action on global warming - in Alberta, and in Ottawa

By Taft, Kevin

$14.95 Ebook
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Rating: 5 / 5 stars - 1 vote(s).

Why have democratic governments failed to take serious steps to reduce carbon emissions despite dire warnings and compelling evidence of the profound and growing threat posed by global warming?

Most of the writing on global warming is by scientists, academics, environmentalists, and journalists. Kevin Taft, a former leader of the opposition in Alberta, brings a fresh perspective through the insight he gained as an elected politician who had an insider's eyewitness view of the role of the oil industry. His answer, in brief: The oil industry has captured key democratic institutions in both Alberta and Ottawa.

Taft begins his book with a perceptive observer's account of a recent court casein Ottawa which laid bare the tactics and techniques of the industry, its insiders and lobbyists. He casts dramatic new light on exactly how corporate lobbyists, politicians, bureaucrats, universities, and other organizations are working together to pursue the oil industry's agenda.

He offers a brisk tour of the recent work of scholars who have developed the concepts of the deep state and institutional capture to understand how one rich industry can override the public interest.

Taft views global warming and weakened democracy as two symptoms of the same problem — the loss of democratic institutions to corporate influence and control. He sees citizen engagement and direct action by the public as the only response that can unravel big oil's deep state.


Winner - The Hill Times' List of 100 Best Books - 2017

". . . a must read for anyone who wants to save democracy and the planet at the same time."

- Gillian Steward, Toronto Star columnist

"Taft combines his insider knowledge with a crisp and hard-hitting writing style."

- The Tyee

KEVIN TAFT holds a Ph.D. in Business and is the author of four best-selling books and many research studies and articles on political and economic issues in Alberta. He was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta with the Alberta Liberal Party from 2001 to 2012, and Leader of the Opposition from 2004 to 2008. He has extensive public policy experience in the Alberta government, private sector, and nn-profit sector, particularly in health, energy, and economic policy. He lives in Edmonton.

Customer Reviews:

Reviewed by: Duncan Noble on 1st November 2018 9:02AM

A fascinating, well written, extensively documented, and convincing read. Taft starts with a question: “Why have democratic governments failed to act to reduce carbon emissions despite dire warnings and compelling evidence of a profound and growing threat of global warming?”. His answer in brief: democratic institutions (e.g., governments, political parties, regulators, universities, etc.) with a mandate to protect the public interest have been captured by private interests, creating a "Deep State" that protects the private interests of the fossil fuel industry.

I was generally aware that this was happening in Canada, but not to the breadth and depth detailed by Taft in this book. There has been more attention in the media to the situation in the USA (e.g., the "Kochtopus"). Kudos to the author for such a clear and comprehensive analysis. Now it is up to us as citizens to ensure that our democratic institutions are released from capture and renewed.

To the Publisher: One thing I liked about this book is the extensive references/notes. But they are not linked to the text in the eBook version! Is it too much to ask that these notes in the Kindle version I purchased be hyperlinked to the text?

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Publication Details:

Binding: Electronic book text, 256 pages
Publication Date: 6th October 2017
ISBN: 9781459409996
Format: EPUB

Previous Editions: (show)
Publication Date: 6th October 2017
ISBN: 9781459409972
Binding: Hardback

BISAC Code:  POL016000, POL044000, POL056000, POL064000
Imprint: Lorimer


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