Friday, June 02, 2017

Trump Puts Trudeau Under Scrutiny

Yesterday Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris climate accord. It was a symbolic gesture but one that may have real consequences for the global consensus on fighting climate change. More tangible have been Trump's endorsement of fossil fuels, especially coal, and his decision to deliver the Environmental Protection Agency into the hands of its mortal enemy, Scott Pruitt. Add it all up and the picture out of Washington is genuinely bleak.

But what about Canada? The Tyee's Crawford Killian says it's time for Justin Trudeau to fish or cut bait:

Trump’s defection will cost Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government even more. Ever since he declared support for the Kinder Morgan expanded pipeline, while insisting he was still a climate warrior, he has embodied F. Scott Fitzgerald’s definition of a first-rate intelligence: “The ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

Trudeau has said: “No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and just leave them there.”

This is like an opioid addict saying, “No one would find a million bucks’ worth of fentanyl in their basement, and just leave it there.” Even if the addict thought he could fund his own detox and rehab with that million bucks, he’d be deluding himself (as well as killing many of his fellow addicts).

Trump has now obliged Trudeau to fish or cut bait. Is he a climate warrior like Macron, or a shit merchant like Trump? Can he stand with the Paris accord while shipping oil out of Burrard Inlet to Asian markets? And will those markets decide to buy Chinese solar panels instead of Canadian gunk?

Trudeau would do better to promote western Canada as a single world hub of climate-fighting technology. B.C. and Alberta have a lot of smart scientists and engineers (and businesses) that would love to give China a run for its money on renewable energy resources. I doubt they find petroleum and bitumen so beautiful in themselves that no other energy sources could offer similar consolation.

Without Trump’s speech on Thursday, Justin Trudeau could have dithered on both sides of the issue at least until 2019. Now he’s really got to get his act together. Does he support the Paris accord? Or does he support Donald J. Trump? He can’t support both.


the salamander said...

.. sucking and blowing r us ..
the latest mantra of our weakass & whipped
captured sellouts aka - our elected public serpents ..

Dana said...

Jaysus, even Killian kowtows to the "oil in the ground" shit.

It's not fucking oil, Killian. If it was oil the problem would be halved.

UU4077 said...

I suspect that Trudeau is possibly taking the view that in the long term the demand will not be there for the oil sands heavy oil consequently the business case for twinning the Kinder Morgan pipeline will disappear.

UU4077 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Northern PoV said...

I think that tRump's move will actually provide lots of distractions and play right into selfie-boy's love of playing both sides of an issue at the same time.
He looks better than tRump on the issue only cause he is a superior politician not for any substantive difference in what they actually do.

Besides the die is cast - curbing emissions now will make it easier for the great-grandchildren perhaps. The next few generations are screwed no matter what happens short term on fossil fuels.

Anonymous said...

Trudeau will be on the hot seat now, trying to sell bitumen while claiming to be an eco-warrior. It won't work anymore.

As long as the US was in the climate game, Canada could hide behind US obstruction, and the US could count on us to back them. That's what made the Harper crew the winners of so many Fossil Awards at climate negotiations.

But with the US out, Canada will be naked and exposed for the hypocritical laggards we are. With US obstruction gone, I expect the rest of the world will want to set tougher targets and possibly binding ones. I doubt countries like Germany, India and China that are making great strides in renewable energy use will be in any mood to put up with our crap.

Things are going to get real interesting for Trudeau. Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Cons will be shrieking that Canada must follow the US gutting of environmental regulations to stay competitive. And the rest of the country and the world is going to be saying screw that. That's going to call for some pretty fancy footwork from the dauphin.


Anonymous said...

@UU4077: Exactly...
@salamander: "public serpents" - exquisite...

John B. said...

Let's hold praises for the new progressives on this file until we see what results from their efforts to squeeze the tech transfers out of the Republic of Gerry Brown.

Anonymous said...

I've been hoping this is the explanation. He knows it's not going to happen but he doesn't want to be blamed the way his father was for simple market forces. So he tells the oil dudes what they want to hear and waits for the market to collapse. I hope that's the plan.

Hugh said...

"There are other complications, as well. Former Alberta cabinet minister Ted Morton, now a fellow at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, said if a new B.C. government is successful in blocking the project, Kinder Morgan may have an avenue to successfully sue the province for billions of dollars under the North American free-trade agreement investor-state section."

The Mound of Sound said...

I read an interesting item in the Calgary Herald. Apparently Lougheed won a decision that Alberta has a right to regulate and even prohibit the export of energy products from the province. I suppose that would extend apply equally to British Columbia. Perhaps we should prohibit the export of energy products that are not fully refined and levy a carbon tax on petroleum/carbon energy exports.

There's an interesting dynamic at play here. Ottawa and Alberta may play hardball which would mean ganging up on British Columbia. My take from living here these past 40-years is that a lot of my fellow British Columbians wouldn't take kindly to being intimidated or pushed around.

In terms of energy we're not dependent on Alberta. We could import oil from the U.S. while accelerating the transition to renewables - hydro, geo-thermal, wind, solar, tidal and ocean current.

I would be delighted to tell the rest of Canada to go f#%k itself. We know we have to give up fossil energy but Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ottawa want to perpetuate the petro-state. Maybe British Columbia should unilaterally (independently) do just that.

The busiest seaport in Canada, hands down, is Vancouver. British Columbia is Canada's portal to Asia. We brought that port and our coast with us when we joined Canada. If we have to leave to make it ours again, so be it.

Toby said...

Good points, Mound. BC is cut off from the rest of Canada by the Rocky Mountains. We are the odd Province with our geography running north-south. We definitely have more in common with our northern and southern neighbours than with the rest of Canada. BC was enticed to join Canada with the promise of a railway to connect us. At a later date the Kettle Valley Railway was built as a buffer against American rail lines crossing the border. It is simply easier and cheaper to build rail and roads north to south and across the border into the US than over the mountains. Even shipping goes north-south.

As a side note to this, Queen Victoria made a deal with the US that broke up the Columbia Territory into what became Washington and Oregon States and British Columbia. You can read more about it here: Imagine if she had held it together.

The reason I am posting this is to reinforce your opinion that a lot of BCers would happily snub Alberta and Ottawa. BC looks to me more likely to secede than Quebec. (No, I'm not advocating that.) Geography has a powerful influence over those who reside in it. In the end, geography tends to win.

Tal Hartsfeld said...

To date:
It's not really confirmed whether or not man-made pollution (including "greenhouse gases") are actually the sole causes of this climate change phenomenon, or if other factors are also in the mix as well---a.k.a.: natural patterns, solar flares, or even activity taking place deep in the bowels of the earth (like some mega-volcano getting ready to erupt globally?).

Getting together an open-minded and non-biased committee of knowledgeable scientists is a bit of a herculean task, as most everyone seems to be so partisan on this issue (either one "believes climate change is a reality" or one "believes climate change is a hoax" kind of fare).
Hence, any kind of thorough comprehensive investigation into the gist and crux of this matter is highly unlikely.
Which means we will probably never figure out or know the truth behind all this unprecedented recent global activity of present.

The Mound of Sound said...

Tal, no one is suggesting that manmade greenhouse gas emissions are the sole cause of climate change. Yet there is a powerful scientific consensus that manmade greenhouse gas emissions have been the primary cause of the warming the planet has experienced in the post-war era.

A lot of Americans have been misled about this and that's been no accident. You can find whatever you need to know from NASA, NOAA, and other American agencies. From there you can find the consensus in the web pages of every national academy of sciences in the OECD nations.

There's simply no end of genuine scientific information to shed light on your misconceptions. It's curious that you think the problem comes down to a lack of "open minded and non-biased scientists." The myth of biased scientists, conspiring to perpetrate a hoax so they can get rich on research grants is uniquely American and it's palpably false.

Please consider this. There is a central theory of anthropogenic or manmade global warming. Science, of course, is multi-disciplinary. As such all of the Earth sciences contribute to the consensus. Each of them look for the telltale signs within that separate discipline that corroborate or contradict the central theory.

Here are some of those scientific disciplines, emphasis on "some." Geology, geography, chemistry, physics, biology, botany, marine biology, zoology, agronomy, glaciology, hydrology, atmospherics, medicine, epidemiology, meteorology - the list goes on - and on - and on, Tal. Each of these disciplines is separately testing the theory in multiple ways and one by one by one they're corroborating the central theory, building the consensus.

Bias, are you serious? You need to learn about the scientific method. This legion of scientists produce a mountain of research. Each study is an open book. The authors set out their premise, describe their methodology, discuss their research and lay out their findings - including all their data. Other scientists are welcome to reproduce these studies, challenge their findings or add to them. Often research is done in parallel by scientists in different countries and their data can be compared.

Here's the thing. If the climate deniers, so many of them American, want to dispute this research there's nothing holding them back. The energy giants can fund research of their own to see if they can disprove the consensus theory. They've tried and they've failed. Your Congress can do the same thing. There are potentially trillions of dollars at stake if they can disprove the consensus. Where is their peer-reviewed research, where is their data?

Despite what you've been led to understand, the scientific method is the most open-minded system to be found. It is totally open and invites others to test and challenge it.

Tal, do yourself a favour. Think this through.

Anonymous said...

Anyong said....Well if B.C. removes itself from Canada, then Alberta will definitely have the imputes to join America which by the way the majority of Albertans would like to do while thinking they own Canada; that they provide the rest of the country with money through equalization payments; are a head of the rest of the country in Medical Advancements and Education all while proclaiming Trump to be a saint. Yesterday, attended a concert celebrating Canada's 150 birthday. What an event.....No singing of "O Canada", not a mention of First Nations, there was 20th century singing all be it good singing, of Ian Tyson's "Four Strong Winds" and the like. The three Territories, Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador didn't get a look in. The Question is: Is Canada one country as in One for All and All for One? What a mockery to threaten abdication. Surely you can come up with something better than that Mound?

Anonymous said...

Anyong...121:33 I suggest you do some research on the Atlantic Ocean which produces 81% of the Oxygen humans, animals and fish breath. It is dying so NASA has reported. Why? Due to the fact both poles are melting from the earth warming due to mostly CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. We have been putting it into the atmosphere since 1840 due to the Industrial Revelation which is much more than what is normal. The Atlantic has less Salinity making the Atlantic colder killing off the phytoplanton which produces the oxygen.

The Mound of Sound said...

Anyong, please provide a link to some scientific assessment that the Atlantic produces 81% of the world's oxygen. It strikes me we've had this discussion before when it turned out you had entirely overlooked the great Southern ocean.

The Mound of Sound said...

Anyong, as for the idea of British Columbia seceding from Canada, I do have something much better. That would be Ottawa and Alberta giving up this idea that our territory and particularly our coast are theirs to do with as they see fit. By any standard what Notley and Trudeau want to cross B.C. with is a hazmat product, hazardous material. That is what dilbit is, full of contaminants such as pet coke, acids, abrasives, heavy metals and carcinogens. Those arseholes could refine that garbage out of their product but it's more profitable for them if we sit by and allow them to offload the ecological risk on us, our land and our coast. If that's what being in Canada means for British Columbia, I'd see us leave tomorrow. No province has a right to jeopardize the safety and wellbeing of another to extract profits that they never manage to realize anyway. If you think that's not the case, explain yourself.

Toby said...

Our Environment Minister was on CBC this morning extolling all the wonderful actions Canada is undertaking to combat climate change. She also defended her (Trudeau's) pipeline strategy with the silly reasoning you are familiar with. Pretty much everything she said would have been appropriate fifty years ago. Even twenty years ago they might have made sense. Not today.

Anonymous said...

Anyong:.....The Pacific Ocean produces between only 10 to 15% oxygen due to the kind of planton. My mistake....the Atlantic Ocean produces between 51%-81% oxygen depending where in the Atlantic.Phytoplankton - Wikipedia
Phytoplankton /ˌfaɪtoʊˈplæŋktən/ are the autotrophic (self-feeding) components of the ... However, across large regions of the World Ocean such as the Southern Ocean, phytoplankton are ... It is estimated that between 50% and 85% of the world's oxygen is produced via phytoplankton photosynthesis. ..... 15 (1): 81–99.Deep-Ocean Life Where Oxygen Is Scarce - Lisa Levin The atlantic ocean - Atlantic Coast -‎ Ocean's Oxygen Starts Running Low - Scientific American NASA scientists studying North Atlantic from above - Newfoundland ...

Anonymous said...

Anyong:.....Totally agree regarding Alberta thinks it owns B.C. It thinks it owns and support all of Canada including Ottawa. Seceding is still not the answer.

Anonymous said...

Today in the news CBC A group of people who are waiting for the next election (don't know the name) are wanting to take Alberta out of Confederation. How's that one. Anyong