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Archive for January, 2008

Drastic emissions cuts would hurt nation, Stelmach warns premiers conference

Posted by mhudema on January 29, 2008

Jason Fekete
Calgary Herald; Canwest News Service
A protester dressed as a polar bear holds a sign outside the premiers and territorial leaders meeting on Monday.
CREDIT: Reuters
A protester dressed as a polar bear holds a sign outside the premiers and territorial leaders meeting on Monday.

VANCOUVER – Premier Ed Stelmach went on a climate-change offensive Monday at a premiers meeting in Vancouver, warning provincial leaders and critics of his new greenhouse gas strategy that more aggressive targets would cripple the Canadian economy.

Stelmach stole the show on the first of two days of talks, as the embattled Alberta premier fended off criticism over his government’s new climate-change strategy that won’t result in absolute greenhouse gas reductions until 2020.

He also was the target of environmental groups that protested outside the conference, and came under fire for leaving the two-day meeting early to return to Alberta.

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From boom to burden

Posted by mhudema on January 29, 2008

Edward Burtynsky on the Alberta Tar Sands

by Lloyd Alter, Toronto on 01.28.08

2008-01-28_112012-TreeHugger-burtynsky-oil-sands.jpg

We have written many posts about the evil that is the Alberta oil sands, how it is stupid to the last drop, and how it is the highway to hell.

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Climate Action Held Hostage by the Tar Sands

Posted by mhudema on January 29, 2008

Held Hostage by Tar Sands

Tar sands processing on the Athabasca River. Photo: S. Jocz.

Alberta’s greed is a threat to Canada and the world.

By Matt Price and Christopher Hatch
Published: January 25, 2008

TheTyee.ca

As Canada’s premiers gather in Vancouver this coming Monday for the Council of the Federation meeting, the future of Canada is again at stake. But this time the threat isn’t Quebec nationalism so much as it’s global warming pollution from the Alberta tar sands.

And Western Canada’s traditional complaint is bang on: it’s Ottawa’s fault.

Stephen Harper refuses to show leadership and put hard caps on Canada’s global warming emissions — all so the tar sands can keep growing. No matter how much Canadians clamor to join the global fight against climate change, we are being held hostage by the tar sands.

The tar sands have quickly grown to become the most destructive project on Earth. Their greenhouse gas emissions are the main reason Canada’s emissions keep rising, the main reason we cannot live up to international agreements, the main reason we are becoming an international pariah on the most important issue facing humanity.

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Intentional climate disaster–Alberta v. California

Posted by mhudema on January 27, 2008

January 26, 2008 · No Comments

http://johnwilson.wordpress.com/2008/01/26/intentional-climate-disaster/

ishot-21.jpgElizabeth Kolbert had a sobbering article in the New Yorker** a few weeks ago about Alberta’s plans to develop tar sands that will cause huge environmental damages as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Alberta recently announced a plan to “cut GHG emissions 50% by 2050.” What this means is that they will cut emissions 50% from a baseline that will grow 50% between now and then, meaning of course that emissions will be about flat. Dillusional.

Even worse, the “cuts” they are counting on come (90%) from carbon capture and sequestration, which they of course have little idea how to do.

What’s also strange is that Alberta’s GHG emissions today are about 205 million metric tons, while California’s are about 500 million metric tons. Alberta’s population (3.5 million) is one-tenth of California’s (38 million). How do they generate all the GHG emissions?

ishot-31.jpgTo express even more frustration, here are California’s GHG reduction goals. If Alberta increases its GHG emissions by about 200 MMT (which I’m sure they will if they stay on the tar sands developmet path), and they don’t achieve the CCS reductions (which are very speculative in my mind), their emissions will largely offset California’s gains of 341 MMT (which is an ambitious an speculative goal in itself). Yuck.

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Premiers meet this week to talk climate change

Posted by mhudema on January 27, 2008

John Bermingham, Canwest News Service

Published: Saturday, January 26, 2008

VANCOUVER – When British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell hosts Canada’s provincial leaders on Monday, he’ll be trying to find a climate change consensus.

But it won’t be easy.

Alberta accounts for one-third of all national greenhouse gases, mainly due to its tar sands and oil and gas sector. And it’s the fastest-growing emitter.

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A licence to pollute dressed up in rhetorical petticoats

Posted by mhudema on January 27, 2008

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080126.wcosimpson0126/BNStory/National/columnists#

From Saturday’s Globe and Mail

Canada’s conventional oil supplies are running down. They are being replaced with oil from Alberta’s tar sands.

Each barrel of tar-sands oil produces two to three times more greenhouse-gas emissions than a barrel of conventional oil. The result is obvious: Greenhouse-gas emissions from Alberta oil have been rising.

Alberta’s attitude toward its “large final emitters,” including the tar sands, has been a licence to pollute dressed up in rhetorical petticoats. It so remains following Premier Ed Stelmach’s scandalously weak update this week of the province’s climate change “strategy.”

Oil company spokesmen hailed the Premier’s announcement, and why not? It’s the most weak-kneed climate-change effort anywhere in the advanced industrialized world.

Read the fine print. Canada under Stephen Harper is committed, at least rhetorically, to reducing emissions by 20 per cent from 2006 levels by 2020Ö. This is already a substantial weakening of previous commitments that were based on 1990 levels.

Nonetheless, it’s 20 per cent by 2020 for Canada, with some provinces anxious to go further. U.S. politicians are almost all agreed on this target. Europeans want to move further faster, but they, too, will accept the 20 by 2020 formula.

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The Real Price of Tar Sands Oil

Posted by mhudema on January 27, 2008

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/25/AR2008012503001_pf.html
Saturday, January 26, 2008; A16

Enbridge, a Canadian company, seeks to build a pipeline to carry synthetic crude oil from Alberta, Canada, into southern Illinois [news story, Jan. 16]. Of the many problems with this project, the greatest one stems from the energy approach driving its construction: bitumen extraction from Alberta’s tar sands.

Tar sands oil is produced through a destructive process that has deplorable consequences. Extraction and processing of just one barrel of synthetic crude oil from bitumen requires up to five barrels of fresh water and 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas. The gasoline yield from that single barrel is only enough to fill a Chevrolet Avalanche’s tank three-quarters full.

The environmental impact is severe. In 2007, greenhouse gas emissions from tar sands plants were roughly equivalent to the annual emissions of 27 million American passenger vehicles. High levels of carcinogens in fish, water and sediment have been found downstream from tar sands areas.

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Oilsands must go green: poll

Posted by mhudema on January 25, 2008

Politicians warned: put environment ahead of economics

Darcy Henton
Edmonton Journal / Calgary Herald

EDMONTON – A new poll in advance of a looming provincial election warns
politicians that Albertans want a green approach to future oilsands
development.

The online poll released by Cambridge Strategies Inc. Thursday suggests that
ecologically responsible and sustainable development is more important to
the majority of Albertans than expanded growth or accelerated oilsands
production.

“Albertans will not compromise on the environment when it comes to oilsands
development,” says pollster spokesman Satya Das.

He said the survey of the “core values” of more than 1,300 Albertans
suggests wildlife habitat, greenhouse gas emissions and water usage are the
top concerns related to oilsands development. They trumped royalties, land
use and economic impacts.
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How To Boil a Frog: Apparently Alberta’s Strategy on Global Warming

Posted by mhudema on January 25, 2008

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Klein gets warm reception in Saskatoon

Posted by mhudema on January 25, 2008

Klein visit spurs protest

Cassandra Kyle
The StarPhoenix

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ralph Klein spent a few quiet minutes inside TCU Place preparing for a speech Wednesday night, but a few metres away a protest group loudly blamed Alberta’s former premier for destroying the environment and stealing Saskatchewan’s youth.

Klein, however, does not feel he is the best target for accusations from grassroots environmental group The Tarsands Clean-Up Crew, who spent nearly one hour belittling event attendees about their oil consumption and support of a man the group says is responsible for development of the tarsands.
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