Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Are We Just Going to Turn Our Backs on This?
It came out yesterday that reports submitted by the Harper government to the United Nations show that Canada won't be cutting our greenhouse gas emissions anytime soon. Instead the government admits our emissions will soar by 38% by 2030 mainly due to tar sands exploitation.
Where's the outrage? I have gone to the web sites of CBC, CTV, Torstar, G&M, NatPo, and four or five other papers coast to coast and not a word of this. There is a CP story about Athabasca making the rounds to the effect of how the oilsands can help other provinces if only they'll help ramp up production, code for accommodating pipelines to get dilbit to "tidewater."
There's plenty of reporting on Nordstrom's taking over Sears property in Eaton Centre, some Calgary guy killed fighting for al Qaeda, some Danish tourist gang-raped at knifepoint in New Delhi, all that sort of thing but nary a word on our federal government's dodgy emissions reports.
Did I say "dodgy"? Why, yes, I did. That's because, outrageous as they are, the U.N. is pretty sure that Harper has cooked the books.
In a new report to the United Nations, the Harper administration says it expects emissions of 815million tonnes of CO2 in 2030, up from 590Mt in 1990. Emissions from the fast-growing tar sands sector is projected to quadruple between 2005 and 2030, reaching 137Mt a year, more than Belgium and many other countries, the report shows.
Worse, Canada is likely under-reporting its emissions. An investigation in 2013 found that Canada's reported emissions from its natural gas sector, the world's third largest, could be missing as much as 212Mt in 2011 alone.
"Canada appears to have vastly underestimated fugitive emissions (leaks) from gas exploration," possibly because of "inadequate accounting methodology " according to the Climate Action Tracker analysis done by Germany's Climate Analytics, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Dutch-based energy institute Ecofys.
Bill McKibben, founder of the grassroots climate campaigning organisation 350.org, told the Guardian: "Who'd have imagined that digging up the tar sands would somehow add carbon to the atmosphere? That Canada watched the Arctic melt and then responded like this will be remembered by history."
But I guess we're okay with this. It's not in the Canadian papers so Trudeau the Lesser's Liberals are okay with this. Tommy Boy's NDP are okay with this. Did we really throw in the towel that easily?