Note to teachers
This scenario deals with sensitive and controversial issues. Discussions about conflict between family businesses and large corporations or about climate change in general may be upsetting for some students. Please provide context and background information, especially relating to challenging common assumptions about family-run ranches and the consequences of gas and oil pipelines crossing farming and ranching land. This background information would help prepare students for a robust but respectful discussion. Please see the background information above and bibliography below or seek other sources from your own faculties that teach land use planning, environmental issues, agriculture, energy production, Indigenous issues or related areas.
What will students discuss?
As relevant to course learning outcomes, students will discuss any of the following:
- family businesses
- succession planning
- business conflict and decision making
- sustainable agriculture
- resource extraction and transport
- the oil and gas industry
- pipeline spills and consequences
- soil contamination
- wildlife protection
- fossil fuels
- land use and rights
- Indigenous territories and rights
- climate change
- environmental ethics
Students may suggest various courses of action for the scenario above.
- Students may argue that family ranches need the additional income from a gas and oil pipeline company’s use of their land.
- Students may argue that since pipelines are the safest way to transport fuels and are thus required for our economy where costs of living are rising, family ranches need to work closely with pipeline companies.
- Students may argue that it is a community obligation to allow pipelines to pass through one’s land to benefit everyone.
- Students may argue that family ranches should form an alliance to demand that pipeline companies clean up and restore previously used lands.
- Students may argue that the land of family ranchers is on the unceded territories of Indigenous peoples and thus First Nations should be consulted on the land’s use and any potential contracts with pipeline companies.
- Students may argue that family ranchers should be activists that work against the use of fossil fuels and find sustainable alternatives on their own ranches and beyond.