Oil’s Deep State Calgary Book Launch


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Room EA-1031, Faculty of Arts, Mt. Royal University
Calgary, Alberta, CA

Posted by Parkland Institute.

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?

In his new book, "Oil’s Deep State: How the petroleum industry undermines democracy and stops action on global warming - in Alberta, and in Ottawa," Kevin Taft argues the real reason is that 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 case in 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.

This free event is co-sponsored by Parkland Institute and Alberta Views. Copies of Oil’s Deep State will be available for purchase and there will be a book signing and reception following the presentation.

Praise for Oil’s Deep State:

“Kevin Taft’s powerful book is compelling because it is drawn from his personal experience as a politician. … Read this book, get mad, then take action to restore democracy.”
- David Suzuki

“Taft’s book is a must for voting-age Canadians who smugly believe that the political idiocy unfolding in the USA can’t happen in Canada.”
- David Schindler, environmental scientist

“Taft delivers a gripping read for anyone who wonders why, despite a broad consensus for ambitious action in the face of the climate crisis, our country is hurtling in the wrong direction.”
- Avi Lewis

“Kevin Taft, the ultimate insider/outsider, deftly peels back the cover over what Big Oil doesn’t want you to see.”
- Gordon Laxer, founding director of Parkland Institute

“ … a must read for anyone who wants to save democracy and the planet at the same time.”
-Gillian Steward, Toronto Star

About Kevin Taft:

Kevin Taft received his Ph.D. (Business) from the University of Warwick, and also holds degrees from the University of Alberta. He is a former member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, former leader of the Alberta Liberal party, and the author of numerous reports and books for the Parkland Institute, including Shredding the Public Interest. His most recent book is Oil’s Deep State (Lorimer, 2017).