Oil and Pipelines
Oil and Pipelines
The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion is a plan to add another pipeline alongside the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline from Alberta to the coast of British Columbia. This will mean double the amount of fossil fuel will be transported to markets around the world. It was opposed by several First Nations groups, environmental groups, and even the cities of Burnaby and Vancouver, B.C. In the end, the federal government of Canada stepped in and bought the pipeline so its construction could go ahead. This caused a lot of friction with Canadians who felt the government wasn’t listening to their concerns.
Oil pipelines are in the news almost daily and promise to be an issue in the upcoming Canadian federal election. The environmental and economic arguments seem to have become an insurmountable dichotomy with protesters lining up on both sides. It is difficult for even well-informed adults to sift through the rhetoric. Oil and Pipelines provides students with background context to the issue and information literacy skills to help them delve deeper into the controversy by identifying credible sources and avoiding bias.
Ask Questions, Challenge Facts
Even trustworthy sources can accidentally pass on misinformation. Fact-checking is a skill that will help you all through your life. Look to see where data comes from. Look up the study or census records to fact-check. Ask questions if something doesn’t make sense to you. Scientists or experts are usually happy to answer questions as long as you are respectful of their time and keep your requests short and clear. Challenging information and ideas will help you become a critical thinker.
Three types of boxes within the book contain questions to guide students to think critically about the issue.
The Central Issues
Learning about the main points of information.
What’s At Stake
Helping you determine how the issue will affect you.
Ask Your Own Questions
Prompts to address gaps in your understanding.
Oil and Pipelines follows the standard nonfiction format: Contents, Glossary, Source Notes, Find Out More, and an Index.
In addition to a list of relevant websites and books, the “Find Out More” section includes reminder points to help students critically evaluate the information that they find on the internet, points such as “Have you checked all possible sites? Don’t just look on the first page a search engine provides”.
Oil and Pipelines ends with a chapter titled “Get Involved”. The chapter includes “Guidelines and strategies for staying informed, making your own opinion, and how you can help influence the debate on oil and gas pipelines”.
Oil and Pipelines> is highly recommended for every school library collection. It not only informs readers about the current state of affairs but provides them with the tools and skills to get informed and stay informed about this ongoing issue.
Dr. Suzanne Pierson, a former teacher-librarian, currently instructs Library courses at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.