Leader Post Sees Coal Future As Reality

The Leader Post published my letter, and a couple weeks later Murray Mandryk cites the same inexplicable 30-40 years canard. He also makes the same conclusion as Johnstone, which is to not cut our losses on the project.

“Even some strident environmental groups recognize clean coal technology”
Can anyone name even one?

“replacement of dirty coal with clean energy (wind, hydro and solar) comes at a substantial cost we cannot instantly bear.”
Wind Water Solar 100% conversion costs less than #climatechange and other air pollution costs on society, actually.

“The simple reality is, as Wall has repeatedly noted, 40 per cent of world’s electrical needs still come from coal-powered generation. And this will remain the reality for the next three or four decades.”
Why do Leader Post columnists insist on pushing this false “reality”, which it’s actually a prediction about power sources that we must make incorrect if we’re to avoid damaging climate change? The reality remains that if all built coal plants continue to operate until their constructed Ends of Life, we’ll end life as we know it on Earth. The International Energy Agency has calculated this about coal plants, at least 6 years ago when their calculations gave us a deadline of 2015 to stop building new coal plants to avoid 2 degrees of warming.

Oil’s Four Letter Word Defender

Brad Wall seems to only ever be speaking to oil executives about oil and gas. Does he understand anything else? Are there any examples of our Premier meeting recently with organizations other than Big Oil and Gas? Anytime he’s trying to boost the province’s economy, it’s coal this, oil that.

Meanwhile, the renewable energy sector is growing significantly, and BP the petrol company, admits that it’s competing with fossil fuels already. Yet, how many renewable energy companies has Wall courted to come and provide manufacturing jobs in Saskatchewan? I bet it’s a goose egg.

Brad Wall claims the most powerful companies (Big Oil) on the planet are under an “existential threat” from such powers as the Raging Grannies and the Sierra Club.

Don’t know if he’s checked their comparative bank accounts or the number of oil lobbyists checking into the Prime Minister’s inbox over say, the last 100 years, but he’s out of touch with reality.

His hack calls plans to deal with pollution “a set of incredibly stupid proposals that would lock in poverty for all Sask people and families”, but makes budget cuts to poverty reduction programs. No,  Wall thinks the Sierra Club and Naomi Klein are coming for Saskatchewan’s economy. He’s attempting to portray good people as boogeymen, so he can ‘protect’ us and be the hero.

The Government of Saskatchewan released the Poverty Reduction Strategy on Wednesday (Feb. 24, 2016).

The strategy aims to reduce the number of people who experience poverty for two years or more by 50 per cent by the end of 2025.

“We’re going to need a lot of help from community based organizations, from the community, from all levels of government,” Social Services Minister Donna Harpauer said.

Mandryk about Wall’s speech to Big Oil in Calgary:

Wall must do more than shill for the oil industry

“That might seem alarmist or overly dramatic, but it’s not,” Wall said.

Well, sir, it was both alarmist and overly dramatic.

“”It’s not borne of science. It doesn’t respect the reality of where our energy sector is at in this country or even its proportionate share of global emissions in the case of climate change,” Wall said.”

Sorry Wall. That excuse sounds like you’ve been caught peeing in someone’s pool, and you say the reality is that the amount of pee isn’t proportionate to any problem we need to worry about, because it would have been more bothersome for you to go to a proper washroom.

Stranded Assets, Saskatchewan Style

A report by a little known government entity says what I have been saying about pipelines stranding assets:

Its overall conclusion, however, urges caution when it comes to long-term investments in pipelines and other oil and gas infrastructure.

Such investments “could be at high risk of becoming economically unviable as prices in renewable electricity further decline,” it warns.

I happened to also be writing the Leader Post to question why its columnist wrote that coal isn’t going away for a foreseeable 30-40 years!

Dear Editor:

In response to Bruce Johnstone’s “Carbon capture critics see the world the way it should be, not the way it is”, there are some apparent inaccuracies.

One needs only to look to SaskPower’s own predictions of the power mix in 2030 to learn that coal-fired generation as it exists today, will cease to exist in only 14 years. The Conservatives, hardly traditional climate change fighters, passed this into law. Johnstone’s prediction that it “is unlikely to decline significantly in the next 30 or 40 years.” seems out of step with what is most likely.
It’s unclear why a technology that doesn’t exist is listed as a possible silver bullet, rather than examining geothermal which the Premier and SaskPower both have said could come to our aid in short years.

Johnstone feels the $1.5 billion invested in CCS is a solution, but in his own words “defeat[s] its own purpose”, through its enhanced oil recovery. Isn’t it a bit like taking material to patch a hole in the bow of your boat, from the hull of the stern?

Johnstone cites MIT’s Herzog as believing “that renewables alone cannot help us achieve our climate change goals”, but there are other experts like Stanford’s Mark Z. Jacobson who believe they can. Regina’s Dr. Brett Dolter can explain other possibilities for Saskatchewan’s grid that leave coal and CCS in the past, while renewable energy sources build the province and economy.

“It is increasingly plausible to foresee a future in which cheap renewable electricity becomes the world’s primary power source and fossil fuels are relegated to a minority status,” concludes Policy Horizons Canada.
Yet Johnstone concludes with, “So it would be a huge mistake, not to mention a huge waste of taxpayers’ money, to give up on carbon capture now.”

This runs completely contrary to the advice from Policy Horizons Canada.
“[We] suggest that governments ensure that the risks of further investments in oil and gas infrastructure be borne by private interests rather than taxpayers,” the report reads.”

SaskPower is a public interest and bears the risk of CCS. While Cenovus, a private venture, benefits from the waste CO2 production.
Whose perspective is Johnstone arguing for?

Sincerely,
John Klein
Regina

http://leaderpost.com/opinion/columnists/johnstone-carbon-capture-critics-see-the-world-the-way-it-should-be-not-the-way-it-is

Alternate shorter version below, the word limit was 250, instead of 350.:
Continue reading

Aww, Poor Police

“That continuous accountability, continuously being in the public eye, and that having to be infallible … it puts a lot of pressure on our police officers, and contributes to their mental health.”

Did he mean “poor mental health”?

Imagine being watched all of the time. What kind of stress would that cause?

Continue reading

Look At Who They Leap

“Scientists Warn of Perilous Climate Shift Within Decades, Not Centuries” – NYT

What are we going to do about it? Let’s pillory the people with the only plan capable of decarbonizing the economy in time, says Canadian MainStream[Corporate]Media.

“Naomi Klein and the usual cadre of left-wing reliables want the NDP to ..” – National Post

Looking at the issue with a longer view, you’ll come to realize Engler’s opinion must win over the ad hominem attacks on Leap supporters.

Across Canada for the past three days the right wing media has been attacking the NDP for passing a resolution agreeing to “discuss” over the next two years the Leap Manifesto, a common sense document that calls for taking global warming seriously, actually doing what is necessary to prevent our planet from being cooked and trying to create a better world while we attempt to ensure our collective survival.

“These ideas will never form any part of our policy,” Notley said Monday. “They are naive, they are ill-informed, and they are tone-deaf.” – Notley in CBC

“Her Environment Minister, Shannon Phillips, called the document “ungenerous” and “short-sighted.” – Glib and Male

Short-sighted? Seriously!? What sort of environment minister thinks planning for a quick end to fossil fuel use is “short-sighted”? (One that is tone deaf, and forced to speak in short quips to minimize partisan twisting, I suppose.) Anyone with a long view realizes if we don’t build carbon-free systems right now, this decade, we’ve little chance of maintaining a climate responsible for supporting our civilization and countless species.

Lewis said jobs in the green economy can be created faster and in greater numbers than those in oil and gas.

“I think we as a Canadian family, we’re slipping into these deeply divisive ways of talking about these eternal tensions instead of focusing on what we can build together,” he said.

“And I think we could build new jobs in new industries for 10 years, put hundreds of thousands of people back to work across the country, before we need to have this … divisive debate about pipelines.”

Trusty Sun:

[…] many members of the federal NDP would like to adopt Naomi Klein’s Leap Manifesto at their convention.

This raises the question of whether many of them have read it. The Leap Manifesto, Klein’s eleventh-hour plunge into the climate change debate says, among other things,…

Macleans:

Avi Lewis on the ‘ideological battle’ over the Leap Manifesto
Avi Lewis on the climate crisis, Naomi Klein, and how he didn’t mean to ‘blow up the NDP convention’

The media is clearly making this about the people leading the ideas in Leap, not whether they are sound ideas or likely to be effective at creating the quick changes required to save our civilization. It’s all about Notley, Klein and Lewis, instead of carbon pollution, pipelines, economics, and our climate’s chances.

Wouldn’t you rather the media talk about the issue?

A Fine Bigger Than Most Crimes – #PanamaPapers

Canada’s rich and powerful do not fear the media, and they do not have their names in the newspapers (some owned by foreign investment funds) when fined more than a million dollars for a crime much larger than that.

Picture yourself as a criminal. Imagine you’ve robbed a store of over $10,000 in cash during a nighttime heist. You get caught. Does your name appear in the newspaper? The bank’s crime’s fine was 110 times bigger than the imagined theft, yet they have their identity protected. Why?

== Continue reading