Yukon News

Liberals failing to lead on climate change

Wednesday December 7, 2016

What if I told you that to reduce violence against women, we need to give more power to men? Or that to solve the obesity crisis, we should increase access to junk food? Or that billionaire businessmen like Donald Trump are the key to lifting the working class out of poverty? I have the same reaction when the Prime Minister tells us that we must build more pipelines in order to facilitate the transition away from oil.

According to the President and CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), the Kinder Morgan and Line 3 pipelines will add another 1.5 million barrels of production per day to the Alberta tar sands and put them in good position to grow over the next 15 years. Does the Prime Minister seriously believe that Canada can meet its Paris climate targets by allowing the Alberta tar sands to continue growing until 2032?

The science is clear that we need to start scaling down fossil fuels now, not 15 years from now. You don’t build massive new fossil fuel infrastructure to use it for a short period of time. The only possible outcomes of new tar sands pipelines are 1) that they prevent Canada from living up to its climate change commitments and help seal the fate of human civilization or 2) they become stranded assets and a waste of money because we’ve moved onto clean technologies.

At this point, what’s good for Canada’s fossil fuel industry is bad for the planet, but the Liberal Government seems not to recognize this. They also failed to recognize it when they approved the massive LNG terminal on the west coast that would add 12 metric tons (Mt) of emissions from fracked gas and blow through BC’s carbon budget. The Liberals also decided to retain Stephen Harper’s inadequate greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030, despite criticizing Harper’s inaction on climate change during the 2015 election campaign.

With Kinder Morgan, Line 3 and the LNG terminal, even these mediocre reduction targets seem implausible. On its own, Kinder Morgan would add 19 Mt in emissions from the extraction process, and 108 Mt in emissions when the oil is burnt in the much-touted Asian markets. And we might not be done yet. Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr has said that the government fully supports the Keystone XL pipeline and has also hinted that the Energy East pipeline is needed to increase tar sands capacity.

The government has been quick to brandish its carbon tax and coal phase-out, but a recent emissions tally posted on the National Observer website shows an oncoming carbon tsunami from the massive new projects supported by the Liberals, a surge in emissions that would dwarf any of the meagre gains from a $10 per tonne carbon tax or a coal phase-out.

I don’t think this is the climate ‘leadership’ anyone expected.

Jason LaChappelle Whitehorse

2 Comments

ProScience Greenie wrote:
1:19pm Wednesday December 28, 2016

“Nothing we do has any impact on our weather” - Wrong. Do the math. It’s simple science.

“They just want to tax you, regulate your lives and steal more money from the people.” - Kind of true as historically that’s what the various powers that be, left, right, centre and now green, love to do no matter what the crisis.

In the big picture I do not get why people cannot accept that humans are a big deal on this finite sized planet and that we certainly do have the capability of affecting global climate cycles and there is no doubt in my mind that we have been doing that for some time now. Look at our big lakes. At one time we thought there were of infinite size and we could get away with dumping all kinds of crap into them but then came a time when we had to put up warning signs not to eat the fish. Same thing with our atmosphere - it’s not infinitely big so it can’t take all the pollution we throw at it. Again do the math, we’re throwing lots at it.

That said, it is fair to criticize some interpretations of climate models and for sure to criticize proposed solutions and policies. There are some, with next to zero ethics, that are hijacking the issue for financial, political and ideological gain.

2nd Ice Age wrote:
9:33pm Thursday December 22, 2016

All these bozos trying to push climate change either bought stock in Canadian solar or got their head stuck where the sun don’t shine. Nothing we do has any impact on our weather. The earth loves CO2 for vegetation, makes em grow bigger. Scientists get big grant dollars each year and don’t think for a second they would cut their own throat by telling the truth, GLOBAL WARMING IS A HOAX!!! They just want to tax you, regulate your lives and steal more money from the people. Wake up SHEEPLE. Do your own digging on how many scientists are switching sides and say the numbers don’t add up. They stepped away from the herd mentality, looked at the studies and will not go along with the lie. they are being bullied and ridiculed by their peers who don’t want to lose the cash cow. The liars should be prosecuted for damaging our economy and spreading terror.

Add a comment

Commenting is no longer available for this story. Commenting expires 21 days after publishing.