In today’s National Post, John Ivison and Andrew Coyne provide an interesting dichotomy about the debta surrounding climate change, the oil sands, CO2 emissions and the politics of perception.
Ivison starts by stating that Ottawa (i.e. the government of Canada) must act to reign in oil sands emissions, or else the critics will be proven correct and the oil sands will lose the PR battle, particularly with Europe – to who we sell no oil…
Coyne points out that all the political leaders in Canada have been posturing for more than twenty years, making promises they had no intention of keeping, and commitments we cannot keep because it would cripple our economy.
Coyne is right, and Ivison is wrong. The emissions from the oil sands, even though they are marginally higher than that from other oil sources (particularly those in social backward countries, as is made clear in Levant’s book Ethical Oil), the total emissions from the oil sands is still a minuscule fraction of the world’s CO2. Even if you believe that rising CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is causing global warming, the burning of coal throughout the world far outweighs the oil sands. And efforts to reduce emissions in the rest of the world have fail miserably. Europe has spent tens of billions of dollars on so-called green energy, driving up electricity and fuel prices, driving significant portions of their populace into fuel-poverty (i.e. spending more than 10% of income on fuel) and the net result on emissions has been essentially nothing. The only cause of declining emissions in Europe and America over the last three years has been economic decline, by which the people get poorer.
So in my mind, Ottawa and all the governments in Canada should thumb there nose at the James Hansens of the world and say “no one else is doing anything substation about emissions – why should we?”
This coupled with the clear evidence that adaptation would be far cheaper than trying to stop it, and the evidence that it isn’t really a problem anyway make me think this is all just about politics and controlling the people.
- Hansen’s ‘Game Over for the Climate’ op-ed (wattsupwiththat.com)
- John Ivison: Ottawa must act on oil sands emissions or critics gain credibility (fullcomment.nationalpost.com)
- Andrew Coyne: National leaders unanimous in their inaction on climate change (fullcomment.nationalpost.com)
- Why mitigating CO2 emissions is cost-ineffective (wattsupwiththat.com)
- Spend the $5 Billion to mitigate Climate Change (technicalbard.com)
- On Climate Change Risk (technicalbard.com)
- Wind Power doesn’t work out (technicalbard.com)
- Canada’s Climate Change Target (technicalbard.com)