David Suzuki is in Edmonton today where he's to receive an honorary degree from the University of Alberta if angry protesters don't stop it. Perhaps with the anticipated vitriol in mind, Suzuki has penned an op-ed in The Guardian in which he laments, "how difficult it is to have an honest, respectful, science-based discussion about Canada’s energy future."
Difficult? Try impossible given the mentality that pervades on both sides of the aisle in Canada's Petro-Parliament. An "honest, respectful, science-based discussion" would only result in the question - What are you morons thinking?
The Canadian government’s decision to buy and take over Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline project may go down in history as a massive misstep, not just because of the questionable business case, but also for the inherent environmental risks and lack of consideration for the rights and title of indigenous peoples during this so-called “age of reconciliation” in Canada.
The project puts Canada’s climate and biodiversity goals, long-term economic prosperity and indigenous reconciliation efforts at risk. No matter who builds the pipeline, these risks remain unchanged.
Globally, more than $6tn has been divested from fossil fuels. This money will be reinvested in renewable energy, clean technologies and other sectors that create more jobs per dollar invested. This makes it a risky time to spend taxpayer money on carbon-intensive energy. The rest of the world is prioritizing cleaner energy sources.
...In 2018, one might assume that governments worldwide recognize that sound science is the best driver of smart policy. But this project was never based on sound science.
Canadian and international scientific reviews also show how little we know about the effects of bitumen in the marine environment. And the best responses remove just 10 to 15% of spilled oil. No wonder British Columbians are concerned the risk to the coast from oil spills is far too high and would bring environmental devastation and unacceptable economic losses to tourism and other industries.
...Last week’s decision to nationalize an energy infrastructure project with a weak economic outlook – while jeopardizing our ability to meet our Paris commitments, protect iconic species and develop stronger relationships with indigenous peoples – will bring negative consequences for decades.
By investing in this sunset industry, we further delay retiring carbon-creating assets and fall further behind in the global adoption of renewable energy. We risk meeting our Paris climate targets and we jeopardize our children’s future.
Moving forward with this project is surely in some people’s best interest, but it’s not what’s best for Canada.