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The energy industry compromised, but green activists have not
Author: Mark Milke
Published: The Globe and Mail
Every so often, two seemingly unrelated events occur near to each other and illustrate the nub of a problem.
Consider the recentpanelcreated by the Alberta government to examine ways to cut oil sands carbon emissions. The panel includes appointees from major energy companies, one First Nation, representatives from a few non-government organizations, the Pembina Institute and ForestEthics/Greenpeace alumnus Tzeporah Berman.
Now, ponder TransCanada Corp. president and chief executive Russ Girling, whomused out loudlast week about the association between efforts to gain “social licence” and approval for major resource projects. The link, he said, was “not evident at the current time.”
Mr. Girling is correct, but he and other executives in major Canadian industries might be waiting a long time for a demonstrable link. That’s because it’s a mistake to assume reasonable efforts will mean something to activists who disdain real-world choices. Such activists seem to demonstrate the opposite: They prefer generalities to rational cost-benefit analyses.
Think I’m exaggerating?
Recall that Alberta was the first province to regulate greenhouse gas emissionsin 2003and instituted the first carbon tax in2007.Quebecwas next later that year, andBritish Columbiaimplemented its version in 2008.
Such efforts did little to ward off the anti-energy crowd. Consider some past positions from a select few appointed to the newly created Alberta emissions panel: The Pembina Institute opposed Shell’sJackpineoil sands expansion, Kinder Morgan’s plan to twin in its Trans Mountain pipeline; it alsoexpressed disappointmentwhen the federal joint review panel recommended approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline project in 2013. Pembina alsourgedU.S. President Barack Obama to kill Keystone XL, which he did.
Or consider Ms. Berman. Last July, after the activisttweetedabout the risk of transporting crude oil by rail,I askedwhether her position against transporting oil by rail meant she was now reconciled to the safer pipeline alternatives, specifically Keystone XL, Energy East and others.
Herresponse: The answer is to produce and use less oil, not to use pipelines or rail. Renewables, efficiency, public transit.
This was a dodge – the environmental equivalent of preferring motherhood and apple pie. It avoids facing practical necessities and current realities.
It is marvellous to advocate that entrepreneurs keep inventing greener technology – they will.
If some technological innovation replaces much of the demand for oil or gas, so be it, even if that means some local economies decline while others flourish. That’s what consequential inventions do – they reshape the economic landscape.
But in the meantime, there is no renewable product available to replace the95.3 million barrelsof oil the world uses each day. There is no amount of wind power that can replace the internal combustion engine. There is no way for solar power to replace thenatural gasand oil used in the production of plastics formedical uses.
Such realities require choices – say, between transporting oil by pipeline or rail.
But regardless of our actual energy needs or industry’s unrequited acceptance of social licence, the opposition continues apace. Canadian-based activists and Hollywood actors such as Robert Redford and Leonardo DiCaprio seem as firmly opposed as ever to oil sands development and pipelines.
Not only is there no apparent link between social licence and project approvals, Canadians face an even more basic problem from anti-energy activists: their refusal to acknowledge our energy realities.
Written By: Heather Douglas Published: Energy Processing Canada Magazine (www.northnstar.ab.ca)
"Whomsoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce and when you realize that the entire system is very easily controlled, one way or another, by a few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate." James Garfield (1831-1881), 20th President of the United States, serving from March 4, 11881 until his assassination later that year.
Unfortunately, those who control the money -- that fuels investment in industry and commerce -- are often aided and abetted by those who draft the legislation and devilishly assault its very existence. The federal Trudeau government has proposed what it claims are "well-intentioned policies to rebuild public trust and advance indigenous reconciliation" while "advancing good projects to ensure energy resources get to markets respons…
It has become a tradition as the New Year begins, to wish
everyone happiness and prosperity, so in keeping with that sentiment, the CAGC
extends best wishes to everyone in the CSEG family. It is also a time for New
Year Resolutions, perhaps Canada should resolve to get some pipelines built,
attract investment and compete for business in a meaningful way for the
prosperity of all Canadians... The New Year also marks a new beginning for everyone on
Earth as the planet cycles on its elliptical journey through space around the Sun.
In the northern hemisphere our days will be getting longer as more light and
heat reaches the surface, starting the process of regrowth for the plants and
crops that are vital to sustain life. Energy is particularly important to those
living in northern climes as evidenced by the winter weather’s early arrival
this year in late September. Even though the Sun provides all of the energy that we end
up using in one form or another, unfortunately we ca…
Written By: Tim Ball, PhD, is a Victoria-based climatologist, author and lecturer, and professor emeritus, University of Winnipeg. In March 2007 Dr. Ball met with leading U.S. senators, representatives and chiefs of staff in Washington, D.C. He also testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources' Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. Published: Pipeline Observer Magazine, Winter Edition New book by the Canadian climatologist who advised Trump examines the motivations behind climate-change claims
I studied weather as aircrew and an operations officer with the Canadian Air Force. I learned how little we knew and how bad the forecasts were. They were almost useless beyond 48 hours then, and sadly it is the same today.
Despite this, similar computer models are used to make climate forecasts that tell us with 95 per cent certainty it will be warmer 50 years from now. What is going on? A massive deception is the simple answer.