Sunday, June 3, 2018

Our Naked Prime Minister

Disingenuous, Dishonest, Cynical. Calculating. Choose any or all of those adjectives, and you will have an apt assessment of Justin Trudeau and his decision to nationalize the Kinder Morgan pipeline that will ultimately see an almost tripling of bitumen transported to Canada's West Coast. It is a move that does not well with either Thomas Homer-Dixon or Yonatan Strauch. Neither is afraid to declare that the emperor has no clothes.

Their argument is compelling:
Continued investment in the oil sands generally, and in the Trans Mountain pipeline specifically, means Canada is doubling down on a no-win bet. We’re betting that the world will fail to meet the reduction targets in the Paris Climate Agreement, thus needing more and more oil, including our expensive and polluting bitumen. We’re betting, in other words, on climate disaster. If, however, the world finally gets its act together and significantly cuts emissions, then Canada will lose much of its investment in the oil sands and the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, because the first oil to be cut will be higher-cost oil such as ours.

Heads or tails, we lose. That’s the idiocy of it. We can’t have our lucrative oil sands profits and a safe climate, too.
Both Homer-Dixon and Strauch see through Trudeau's lie than we can have our climate cake and eat it too:
Canada has no plan to meet its 2030 Paris Agreement emission targets, because it’s virtually impossible to do so if the oil sands’ output rises to Alberta’s cap of 100 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year....Scenarios to limit warming to 2 degrees, the Paris Agreement’s bottom-line target, clearly show that oil demand must decline.
When considered against rapidly-rising world temperatures, Trudeau's crime has a magnitude that puts him beyond even a modicum of sympathy:
We’ve already jumped from an equilibrium climate – the benign and largely stable climate that allowed our species to propagate and prosper over thousands of years – to a climate regime that’s constantly on the move, with temperatures shooting inexorably upward.

The German climatologist and oceanographer Stefan Rahmstorf puts it bluntly: “We are catapulting ourselves way out of the Holocene.” If humanity stays on its current climate trajectory, he goes on, “we will not recognize our Earth by the end of this century.”
It will become a world in which any efforts at adaptation will be puny and pitiable:
... adaptation measures such as better flood protection or a little economic tinkering at the edges, such as a modest carbon tax, don’t remotely cut it. We face an implacable imperative: Humanity either undertakes fast and deep cuts in its carbon emissions or, some time later this century, civilization starts to unravel.
The prognosis is grim. It is time for all who care about succeeding generations and the radically-changed existence they will inherit to see Trudeau for what he ultimately is: an enemy of the planet.


  1. It's wanton dereliction. While it stops short of treason it is certainly treachery, political treachery in pursuit of partisan political advantage. It's about time the Liberal rank and file asked themselves if they can continue to put the government of Justin Trudeau that far ahead of their fidelity to Canada.

    1. I read your post about the lack of adaptation planning on the part of the feds, Mound. Yet another dereliction of leadership and duty by Team Trudeau.