16 January 2014

The tar sands—our climate change nemesis

While Neil Young very publicly feuds with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and its ally the Canadian government, tar sands production continues to systematically advance Alberta's position as the country's pollution province. Already producing more greenhouse gasses than Ontario, despite having less than 30 per cent of its population, tar sands expansion will have it producing almost 80 per cent more than Ontario by 2030.

This will not surprise anyone but what may is that according to Canada's Sixth National Report on Climate Change, without tar sands production Alberta would be responsible for about the same emissions as Ontario. Furthermore, those emissions would actually shrink despite population growth. With tar sands production, on the other hand, emissions will increase by 40 per cent from 2005 to 2030.

The report predicts emissions will fall in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Quebec over that same period. Tragically, increased emissions from the tar sands will overwhelm the achievements of the other provinces.

Neil Young's arguments may occasionally slip into hyperbole, but his voice is nonetheless the voice of sanity. Albertans, and Canadians, will never meet their climate responsibility to the international community as long as they indulge in bitumen production.

No comments:

Post a Comment