Wednesday, June 19, 2019

How Can You Proclaim a Climate Emergency and Have No Sense of Urgency?

I don't believe Justin Trudeau and, unless you're one of his Gullibillies, you shouldn't either.  His arguments excuses don't add up.

Here's a good example. In trying to justify his decision to green light the Trans-Mountain pipeline, Justin - with a straight face - promised the pipeline will generate vast revenue, every dime of which the feds will pump into clean energy technology.

That's like banking on Rachel Notley's emission promises. Remember Trudeau saying no Alberta carbon policy, no pipeline? Then Rachel got turfed out on her butt and the first thing Jason Kenney did was throw that policy out with her.

Trudeau's promises mean nothing. We learned that lesson repeatedly as we watched him freely jettison one major election promise after another shortly upon taking office. There's a guy who'll say whatever he thinks people want to hear. Remember that old line about "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Fool me, not once, not twice, but again and again and again and you've got this prime minister.

Trudeau says the pipeline may generate half a billion dollars a year that can be invested into clean energy. Gee, that sounds like a lot of money.

Trudeau said he was elected on a plan to grow the middle class and fight climate change, two goals he said were not at odds. “We need to create wealth today so we can invest in the future,” he said. 
“This project has the potential to create thousands of solid middle class jobs for Canadians,” he said.  
Trudeau made a commitment that every dollar earned from the expansion project will be invested in Canada’s transition to green energy. A senior official said that amounts to about $500 million per year once oil starts flowing through the pipeline.
That does sound like a lot of money only, true to form, it's Trudeau greenwash. $500 million a year is a fraction of what Alberta and Canada put out every year in direct and indirect subsidies to the oil and gas giants. A small fraction.

In direct subsidies, the feds alone fork out some $3.3 billion annually. Half a billion is chump change.  A more inclusive estimate that incorporates direct and indirect subsidies, deferrals, exemptions and benefits is available from the International Monetary Fund. In 2015 the IMF calculated global subsidies to the fossil fuel industry reached a staggering $5.3 trillion or 6.5 per cent of global GDP. Canada's subsidies were estimated at $43 billion - annually, per annum. Suddenly half a billion dollars sounds pretty meagre.

But how can that be? That would be madness. It is. It's the madness of a quarter trillion dollar unfunded liability for remediation of the Athabasca tailing ponds. It's the madness of Alberta's (and Saskatchewan's and BC's) orphaned wells, 170,000 in Alberta alone. It's madness writ large so that politicians can create the illusion of wealth and prosperity knowing the bill for their dereliction will be some other government's problem, some future generations' burden.

So, why not cancel those subsidies and freebies? That's easy. If you put the energy giants on a pay as you play, polluter pays, basis, they'll walk. Only if they can continue to fleece the country and the Canadian people will they keep this dark farce running.

Here's one other reason (there are several) for not trusting Trudeau. While he's happy to declare a climate emergency, he shows no sense of urgency. He does not acknowledge the warning from the IPCC that we need to slash GHG emissions by half by 2030 if we're to have a reasonable chance of averting climate catastrophe. Trudeau is still gunning for maybe, if we're lucky, cutting emissions by just 30 per cent by 2030.

Now he's talking about freeing money for clean energy projects when the pipeline is finished and the bitumen bounty supposedly flows in. That's years and years and years off, if ever. That's not a prime minister who has any sense of the urgency of our peril. That's a prime minister who is asleep at the wheel.

No, I don't trust Justin Trudeau. I've had three and a half years of learning that he's not to be trusted, not to be believed. Then again, so have you.


Anonymous said...

Pipeline announced, what a surprise. Trudeau speaking out of both sides of his mouth from one day to the next - standard. Scheer environmental plan unveiled, did anyone notice? Whatever it said and I haven't looked, it'll be mealy-mouthed nothingness. Unsurprising. And as depressing as usual.

BC NDP and Greens still hard at it fracking their way to success in northeast BC for natural gas. That's the project I find particularly hard to take, the other crap is predictable if execrable. May needs a word in the ear of Weaver - Clark may have initiated it and the LNG project, but really is there some reason why BC Greens went along and sided with the NDP on the final approvals? I don't get it.


The Mound of Sound said...

Weaver is openly very critical of fracking, BM.

the salamander said...

.. Trans-Mountain pileline already exists - pre expansion ie 'twinning' to expand volume it can transport. WE (Canadians) OWN IT. My understanding is - it transports a certain % of various diluted bitumen and a certain tiny % of oil or refined fuels. Its also my understanding that clients who transport such materials (energy) agree to solid contracts.. thus, MONEY changes hands. Employees of TM get paycheques, stakeholders like Lavalin get their piece etc etc. WE don't really know the true story of how the new owners TAKE OVER THE OPERATION. Is it already paid for ? Cash or cheque ? Surely Mr Morneau or Mr Scott Brison could inform US. Presumably, Lavalin will be involved in the construction aspects - the expanding infrastructure.. so Canadians will be PAYING Lavalin.. etc etc. WE'LL pay for the legal fees re the intense wrangling.. we'll pay for the court costs..

So to my point.. (question) Where is the paperworks, the accounting, the contracts, the payment.. where is THE BUSINESS PLAN ? For Trudeau / Morneau's 500 million large coming in.. and how much going out ? Why was TM so eager to sell, with that kind of moolah GUARRANTEED annually


SHOW ME THE BUYER !! All that diluted bitumen ! Don't whisper sweet nothings.. how much refined or upgraded 'energy' will be mixed in for delivery ? Specifically PLEASE. projected volumed of GASOLINE or naptha, or diluents.. to be stored where ? Tank farms, port facilities. Housing for all those happy job churn employees or schools for their children ?

Pretend I'm from Missouri AND SHOW ME, Mr Trudeau or Mr Morneau.. Chapter and verse, nothing but the facts, the real deal.. because I'm getting the nasty intuition, born of common sense.. that this is all part on one big complicated GRIFT .. LIES & MORE LIES, piled higher and deeper.. and if and when you really screw the pooch.. you'll GIFT US Canadians with sad sack holy roller Andrew Scheer and his pack of scumbags and horseshit salad evangelical faker prep chefs..

Either way.. I think Canadians end up fronting all costs, all risks.. so that the likes of the Koch Brothers get cut rate bitumen for decades.. and an aside Mr Trudeau.. can you please uodate yourself.. to know that Canada's vast energy reserves are 92 - 98 % in the Tar Sands.. We're about tapped for actual OIL .. so can we all stop yammering about OIL.. and accept its exaclty as Mound & others are describing it ? Its like pretending sausages are sirloin or bacon wrapped tenderloin

(FYi Mound.. I'm about to refer to all material shipped by pipeline as sausage or steak or roast beef.. to help clarify, define or refine - fact from fiction re 'Alberta Oil' .. and that all 'Energy' is not created equal.. especially if Canada is destined to become a bunker fuel or asphalt superpower as Stephen Harper envisioned). Folks can scream, stamp their hooves.. whine at me.. but diluted bitumen is not oil.. nor is brown sugar Quebec Maple Syrup

The Mound of Sound said...

I expect the govt would say that they can't ink contracts until they've established a capacity to transmit sausage, Sal. Until that stuff can reach 'tidewater' through the expansion pipeline(s*)there's no service to sell to all these eager clients.

* there is talk of adding another line after the current project is concluded. Sort of like that third runway at Heathrow.

Anonymous said...

Can you have an emergency without urgency? Youbetchya. It's not just the PM either, as you have noted the polling shows that most Canadians think the climate crisis is a big deal. They are also are unwilling to shell out so much as $100/year to fix things. The people of this country lie to themselves and then get a "leader" who fits right in. Maybe democracy does mean getting the government you deserve. The headline for Ivison's piece today puts it aptly " Scheer climate plan gives voters what they want - expressions of concern with no actual cost".


Toby said...

Our taxes should go up a lot. The problem I have is governments blowing money on insane projects like old oil pipelines and leaky submarines.