Transportation Not Meeting Demand

It’s been kind of a bad year for transportation in Saskatchewan. Aside from the potential Supercharger for Swift Current, there haven’t been many tangible bright spots for Saskatchewan.

  • Premier Wall rejects the carbon tax plan to reduce emissions
  • SGI says they’re not considering a rebate on Zero Emission Vehicles, as they once had 5 years ago until Minister McMillian of SGI (now President McMillian of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Procurers) cancelled the rebate. Gee, no bad optics there, right? Just an oil industry lobbyist directly encouraging people to buy trucks over EV or hybrid vehicles.
  • The SaskParty closed and sold off the STC Crown, with no replacement for bus service apparently in mind. As a result, there’s no bus service between Saskatoon and Regina! I emailed a company reported in the news as seeking to offer service, and they replied:

    We have not been approved for scheduled passenger service yet

    Sincerely
    Mitch Blyth
    General Manager
    Carpe Diem Group featuring our new Land Jet mobile office division.
    Regina, Saskatoon & Yorkton Sk.
    []531-9626

  • Cumberland House still doesn’t have sufficient transportation to/from it.
  • Via Rail offered unlimited $150 passes and travel in July to youth under 25, then only to 1867 youth, then several thousand, but stopped before demand was satisfied, and failed to offer the pass for additional months, or add additional train service to meet the obvious demand. Saskatchewan only has Via service to 2 cities, Saskatoon and Melville. Regina, Moose Jaw, and Swift Current are left out even though they are on the Trans-Canada as is Calgary in Alberta.

Considering I was hoping a passenger rail line between Saskatoon and Regina could one day be built, it’s especially appalling that the government has ended bus service between the major cities this year.

So what can one person do? I attended the large rally at STC headquarters in March. I’ve pushed on City Council several times encouraging them to have Regina Transit buy STC resources and operate it on profitable routes as a money maker for the City, while providing a valuable service the province has abdicated itself from.

Ritz: More Dense Than A Gas

Saskatchewan has a lot of ignoble MPs, but Ritz took the cake this past week. He’s helping to spread nonsense that is solidly a line from anti-science climate change deniers.

Janice Green: Grow up and read something other than propaganda.
That is called weather not climate change. There is something called evaporation. Which happens when it warms up. Then rain falls the – ocean doesn’t rise. As the north melts the south freezes. The world has managed without your help for a long time. Get over yourself you are just another animal on this planet.”

Could this be the source of Gerry and Janice’s fanciful, and delusional thinking on this subject:

“Revisiting IPCC Official’s “North Pole Melts after 50 million-year Freeze”

blog.heartland.[]org/…/revisiting-ipcc-officials-north-pole-melts-after-50-million-year-f…

Oct 30, 2013 – And one of his friends said, “I think you should check out this Fred Singer guy who’s telling you that climate change isn’t such a big problem…”

Let’s At Least Do What The Premier Wants/Wanted

“Saskatchewan will choose what we call a tech fund approach, where we have levies for those who emit, but the levies stay in our province, and again companies can apply to that fund that’s created, to that technology fund to do something about the problem. If I may, we prefer that over Cap and Trade, which seems to be to us to be more like a general tax that may fund other government activities, but not get us any closer to the answers around sustainable energy by funding new technologies.”

ADDED:

Disruption of Used Car Market And Transportation Norms

By 2025 we’ll see:

“Cities will ban human drivers once the data confirms how dangerous they can be behind a wheel. This will spread to suburbs, and then beyond. There will be a “mass stranding of existing vehicles”

“The value of second-hard cars will plunge. You will have to pay to dispose of your old vehicle.”

No more petrol or diesel cars, buses, or trucks will be sold anywhere in the world within eight years. The entire market for land transport will switch to electrification, leading to a collapse of oil prices and the demise of the petroleum industry as we have known it for a century.

This is the futuristic forecast by Stanford University economist Tony Seba. His report, with the deceptively bland title Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030, has gone viral in green circles and is causing spasms of anxiety in the established industries.

“The cost per mile for EVs will be 6.8 cents, rendering petrol cars obsolete. Insurance costs will fall by 90 per cent. The average American household will save $5,600 per year by making the switch. The US government will lose $50 billion a year in fuel taxes. ”

“The Robot Revolution Will Take Your Car, Your Mom’s Car, and All the Oil in 13 Years”

“Countries that fail to lead or make a transition to TaaS will become the 21st century equivalents of horse-based countries trying to compete with economies whose transportation systems are based on cars, trucks, tractors and airplanes”, concludes the RethinkX report.

 

Trudeau’s Second Face Speaks Up For Big Oil

The Prime Minister caught a lot of heat for speaking the truth the other month about shutting down the Tar Sands. Then, predictably after furious backpedaling, he let the other side of his face speak about what the Liberals will really allow to permit our climate’s destruction.

“No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and just leave them there,” Trudeau said in his address to oil and gas industry executives at Houston’s CERAWeek conference, discussing Alberta’s vast oil sands reserves.

What country should just leave them in the ground? Every damned one. The hypocrite actually says in his speech that he wants to leave the planet better than he found it. Next he claims to be an innovation leader, all the while building 20th century style pipelines for fossil fuels.

It makes me angry that he doesn’t understand the world’s carbon budget still, and seeks to exceed it to our ultimate detriment.

Up Is Down, Left Is Right, Idiots in Government

These are examples of why the US and Canada cannot have nice things. We’ve idiots in government. Who put them there? Was it voters, or people with even more direct influence like Donald Trump and Stephen Harper?

EPA Pruitt is touting a long discredited idea pushed by Heartland Inst. and so-called “Friends of Sci.”.

Can’t blame Premier Wall on Harper or Trump, unfortunately. He’s all your doing, SaskParty voters.

Too Much Climate Change Truth

Brad Wall’s “plan is laughable“. That’s because it isn’t a plan to address climate change, it’s a plan to sweep it under the rug for another decade. Too bad we’re short of time and marching toward oblivion.

Clearly, Wall now thinks we’ve fallen a long way as a province since the early days of his tenure in office — in terms of not only our fiscal situation, but also our generosity as a community.

This week, as part of his laughable excuse for a climate change plan, Wall started demanding that Canada’s federal government strip desperately needed resources away from some of the poorest people on the planet in order to preserve Saskatchewan’s standing as the world’s most reckless air polluter.

If Wall were to get his way, Canada would stand out as the most callous and irresponsible developed country on the planet.

Brad Wall is ignoring reality, for the benefit of greed.

When it comes to climate change, Saskatchewan’s plan is akin to an ostrich sticking its head in the sand.

Premier Brad Wall literally wants to bury our troubles. He wants to dig up fossil fuels and then bury them in another form. Carbon capture and storage might work, for a while. But it will not work near as effectively as just leaving the carbon in the ground in the first place.

A price on carbon will help us slow the rate at which we dig up our future and might enable us the time and opportunity to find a better way to build a sustainable and just society.

The great political theorist John Dryzek labels people like Wall as “Prometheans.” In Greek mythology, Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to mankind. He symbolizes progress. Prometheans such as Wall believe that the story of human history is the story of progress.

They argue that nature has no limits, because once a resource runs out, clever people will find a new resource. Or, in the context of CO2 emissions, if humans hit the upper limit of emissions, someone will figure out a way to solve the problem without actually having to recognize limits. This is because those such as Wall recognize no limits to growth.

This is a rather hubristic position for a premier who oversees a province in which the economy is shrinking and natural resources — from grasslands to migratory birds to fresh water — are disappearing.

Most scientists agree that human generated CO2 emissions are changing the Earth’s climate. Economists, policy-makers, and politicians across the globe agree that a price on carbon is an effective way to reduce human-caused CO2 emissions. This is not a case of either-or. We do not require either technology or the economy. We need both.

We need every tool in the tool box. Saskatchewan needs to continue investing in technology that might help to mitigate climate change. And we all need to invest in adaptation strategies. But we also need to start paying for the environmental externalities associated with CO2 emitting behaviours. A price on carbon is one tool.

This is not an “economy versus the environment” issue, as Wall suggests. The economy is the environment. If Saskatchewan cannot grow lentils anymore because of unpredictable rain patterns, its economy cannot be strong. If there is no water left for hydraulic fracturing because of drought, the economy cannot be strong.

We do not choose between the economy and the environment because they are intertwined.

Wall warned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the other provinces that Saskatchewan “will fight for our interest, in the court of public opinion and, if need be, in the courts of the land.” Wall might win the battle on principle, but Saskatchewan will lose the war on climate change and environmental degradation.

The costs will be greater than we can bear. Now is not the time to bicker over technology or the economy. It is too late. We need to invest in technology and we need to invest in the environment. A national price on carbon will cost real dollars, but it is a small fee for standing on the right side of history.

Andrea Olive is an assistant professor of political science and geography at the University of Toronto. She’s from Regina and has a summer home in Saskatchewan.