“If you put a chain around the neck of a slave, the other fastens itself around your own," the 19th century American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson once said. And while those words may seem trapped in an era where human slavery was condoned, Canadian journalist Andrew Nikiforuk believes that the quote still rings true today.
Nikiforuk, who has been writing about the oil and gas industry for nearly 20 years, is the author of 'The Energy of Slaves: Oil and the New Servitude. The book, which was published in partnership with the Suzuki foundation presents a thesis that our contemporary society has engaged in a master-slave relationship just like that which existed in the past. Only this time our slaves are oil and the machines that operate on it. And according to Nikifourk, as we continue on this morally dubious path, we are fastening shackles to ourselves.