Predictions That Aren’t Fun

“Asia ramping up coal use. US returning to coal. Lets focus on tech like CCS not tax harming econ w/o real GHG impact” – Premier Wall

The Premier, on down to his Twitter troll army defend Saskatchewan pollution because “China and India” do more pollution.

Well I have news for you, China and India do more of everything. They are the biggest ever in… name the category.
“I can’t get into good shape right now, because China and India”. A SaskParty/Conservative excuse generator would be a funny app.

Wall Took Money From Who?

Who has the Saskatchewan Party accepted donations from? The UofR, City of Regina, Regina Public Library, etc.

Most of the cash came from oil companies such as Crescent Point, Cenovus, Encana and PennWest, though the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, the Canadian Western Bank and construction company PCL also contributed.

…The NDP last year campaigned on getting big money out of politics, and Bill 1 passed by the new government banned corporate and union donations.

…“Alberta has some of the best election finance laws in the country, but Saskatchewan is still the Wild West,” Kinney said.

How does Wall get away with it?

Presumed Albertan Joel Teeling  explains:

“Brad Wall stands up for Alberta’s interests more than our own Premier, so I have no problem with this.”
Fans of Petrostates are who run Alberta and Saskatchewan, for the most part.

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What’s Really Going On With Climate Change

There are too many people espousing their uneducated, or simply malicious views about the problem of climate change. There are enough of them in some places as to have totally halted progress against one of the greatest threats facing not only our species, but countless others. It’s equivalent to having spotted an Earth-directed asteroid with perhaps 50 years advance notice, but the urgency to solve the similar problem of climate change is no where close to what we’d expect for that pending disaster.

If you want to understand the problem, there’s this useful guide. Bill McKibben also provided this easy to understand summary of the magnitude of the problem.

[If] our goal is to keep the Earth’s temperature from rising more than two degrees Celsius—the upper limit identified by the nations of the world—how much more new digging and drilling can we do?

Here’s the answer: zero.

That’s a lot of not digging. Most people grew up with the idea of oil prospectors and the image of Jed Clampett getting sprayed with Black Gold is seared into the brains of everyone older than 35. Yet if we don’t stop digging in short years, we all might as well be at the bottom of a see-ment pool.

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Wall Wants It Both Ways on #carbontax

The Premier says Saskatchewan doesn’t make a difference in world pollution because of our small population, despite our world-record pollution rate when measured on a per-capita basis. Then he argues to keep Canadian money from going to where in the world it will make the biggest difference in reducing emissions immediately. A journalist asked him why he wants to do that, he’s not the “Premier of the World”, so why not do what he can in Saskatchewan instead? He thinks Saskatchewan has the best chance to succeed in finding solutions for other jurisdictions. I think that’s a stretch since he hasn’t found or implemented a solution for little-old Saskatchewan. He’ll pump up nuclear and CCS, both of which are losing the race to renewables.

Johnstone: Supports Coal, But Calls Out Wall’s Lack of Plan

A notable column in the Star Phoenix from Bruce Johnstone, as he chastises Premier Wall’s “grandstanding” and for having no plan to deal with climate change.

Wall called the plan, […] a “betrayal” of the PM’s promise to develop a collaborative climate change policy with the provinces.

This despite the fact that Wall and the other premiers were told months ago to develop a carbon pricing plan, or have one imposed upon them. They were reminded of this again last week by Environment Minister Catherine McKenna.

[…]

Wall has also threatened to take the feds to court, claiming that the carbon tax infringes on provincial control of resources, which is protected under the constitution. While provinces are exempt from federal tax under the constitution, the courts could allow a carbon levy if used for regulatory rather than revenue-generating purposes, legal experts say.

Another Wall argument against carbon pricing is that it “holds the lowest potential for reducing emissions, while potentially doing the greatest harm to the Canadian economy.” Yet many economists say carbon pricing is more effective at reducing emissions than regulation or cap-and-trade systems because it changes consumer behaviour by increasing the cost of carbon consumption.

Wall’s weakest argument is that Canada accounts for only 1.6 per cent of GHG emissions, and Saskatchewan accounts for 10 per cent of Canadian emissions, or 75.5 million tonnes. “I deny the fallacy that a new tax on Canadians whose CO2 emissions are 1.6 per cent of the global emissions is the best way for Canada to help fight climate change.”

So what is your plan, Mr. Wall? If not carbon pricing — either through a carbon tax or cap and trade — what is it? Carbon capture and storage (CCS), tougher regulations, like the Management and Reduction of Greenhouse Gases Act that was passed in 2010 but never enacted, a carbon tariff on imports, with an offsetting rebate on exports, as suggested by Regina-Lewvan MP Erin Weir?

The fact is a majority of Canadians support some form of carbon pricing.

Also, in the Leader Post is a flawless column by Murray Mandryk:

Absolutely nothing Moe has said or done in the past week has had anything to do with him being an environment minister.

Whether or not you agree or disagree with the government’s decision to storm out of the federal/provincial environment ministers’ meeting, that its initial reaction was to call Trudeau’s proposal “National Energy Program II” tells you all you need to know about why the government has not, and will not, address GHG emissions in a meaningful way.

So why have an environment minister at all?

If these two keep writing entirely sensible columns, they’re going to put my blog out of a job pointing out their earlier mistakes in logic and worse.

Foreseeable Future of Oil

Cameron MacGillivray, the president and CEO of Enform, says he’s not hearing [a year and a half ago] many concerns about the job market of the future. Rather than getting questions about the oil and gas industry prospects, he says he is asked about what kinds of jobs are most in demand and how much opportunity young people have for career advancement in their respective fields. Due to the still-high demand for oil and other fossil fuels in the medium term, and the size of global reserves, he sees them playing a major role in the energy supply chain of tomorrow. “All the indicators are that hydrocarbons are an important source of energy for the foreseeable future,” he says.

Enform is the upstream oil and gas industry’s advocate and leading resource for the continuous improvement of safety performance (training, resources, COR)”

OK, let’s examine MacGillivray’s claim a bit. First, I think it’s crucial you understand to avoid melting our ice caps, and flooding our coastal cities, requires us to remain somewhere below 1.5 degrees C climate change. To avoid exceeding 1.5 degrees means we cannot pollute our atmosphere with Green House Gases (GHGs) past our permissible “carbon budget”. Our carbon budget to hit 2 degrees change is exceeded 5 times over, if we burn the “global reserves” MacGillivray cited. Clearly not “all the indicators” are that hydrocarbons are with us for the “forseeable future”, so long as we accept that we must not burn them all in order to save some of civilization’s greatest cities.

#NDEW2016

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A Tax on Everything Is Coming

Run for the hills!

I realize several people who I’m friends with, think Premier Wall is great for Saskatchewan. I’ve never held a high opinion of the man, I think he’s arrogant, short sighted, and nothing close to a “man of the people” that he pretends to be. When was the last time you were invited to Bilderberg as he is?

For a decade we’ve endured his constant fiscal mismanagement of our province, giving us deficit budget after deficit budget, and what do we have to show for it? Our boom/bust economy is still so fragile, that Wall admits a $10/tonne #carbontax might cripple it, even though that’s the equivalent to a 2.4 cent/L gasoline price increase by reasonable calculations.

People who live in Regina may remember the last mayor refusing to raise property taxes. Not so hard when property values were stagnant, but then 2006/7 came around, and prices doubled or tripled here. Without the benefit of incremental changes, many were caught with their pants down.

Now the same has happened with the Liberals back in Ottawa, and with 10 years of Conservative stagnation on incremental environmental pollution controls, we’re going to experience a little sticker shock when we have to buy the next generation of technology to get by in the changing world.

There will be a lot of fear and ignorance on display, but what else could we expect after the Conservatives paid (using our tax money) to deliver black and white propaganda to our mailboxes, proclaiming that a “tax on everything” was coming with Dion and Goodale.