The Current

Popping Canada's 'Carbon Bubble' good for economy, says Jeff Rubin

Economist Jeff Rubin questions the ongoing government reliance - and hope - on Canada's oil industry. He says The Carbon Bubble is bursting and it is time to embrace new industry boosted by the climate change Carbon has created.
"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)
(John Woods/The Canadian Press)
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.- Prime Minister Stephen Harper

In December of 2011, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was among those betting on a bright future for the Alberta oil sands. At the time, the price of a barrel of oil was around $100 and Jeff Rubin had famously predicted it would climb over $200.

Today, oil is hovering around $60 per barrel and Jeff Rubin says he's done with predictions about where it might go 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. He is also the author of "The End of Growth" and "Your World is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller." His new book is "The Carbon Bubble: What Happens to Us When it Bursts." Jeff Rubin was in our Toronto studio. 

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