Jeff Rubin: Popping Canada's 'Carbon Bubble' good for economy

There seems to be a lot of doom and gloom around the Canadian economy, thanks in large part to the plummeting price of oil. But economist Jeff Rubin says it could be a blessing in disguise ... if we play our cards right. He says it's time to embrace new industry boosted by climate change.
"The Carbon Bubble" author Jeff Rubin says all is not gloom and doom over the collapse of Canada as a major oil superpower, the change in climate could make Canada once again the breadbasket to the world. (Mark Ralson/AFP/Getty Images)
"Fact of the matter is emissions from our oil sands are comparable to other heavy oils. And industry continues to invest and find ways to reduce those emissions. This energy, as I said before, is absolutely clear if you look at the trajectory of world supply and demand, North American supply and demand, the need for this energy is overwhelming so I remain confident about the future of this industry."- PM Stephen Harper, December 2011

Back in December 2011, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was hardly alone in betting on a bright future for the Alberta oil sands. 

Oil was trading high - around a hundred dollars a barrel. And economist Jeff Rubin was confidently predicting the surge would continue ... to more than $200 a barrel.

Well, that was then. 

Today, oil prices have collapsed - pulling the Canadian economy down with them, to the point where the dollar is at a six-year low... and there's talk of recession in the land. 

A barrel of crude is hovering around the $50 today .... and Jeff Rubin says he's done with predictions about where it might head next.  But, he remains deeply skeptical about the sustainability of the oil sands and the wisdom of trying to turn Canada into a global energy superpower. 

Jeff Rubin is the former Chief Economist at CIBC World Markets. His latest book is "The Carbon Bubble: What Happens to Us When it Bursts."  He spoke with Anna Maria Tremonti in May.

This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal.


♦ Maybe Canada's 'carbon bubble' won't burst - Financial Post
♦ Jeff Rubin's $200 oil prediction was a little off the mark - BNN
♦ Canada Should Become Food Superpower: Rubin - Huffington Post