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2021 Canadian General Election – Part 3: Maintaining Canadian Energy Independence

Why energy independence and a healthy oil and gas sector is important

As Canadians we live in a cold country. It’s now September in southern Ontario and very soon we will be turning on our furnaces to get through another winter. Once they have been turned on, we will count on them well into next May to keep our homes livable. Most of our country is much colder than southern Ontario. So imagine what would happen if we so mismanage and demonize our oil and gas sector that our energy infrastructure will suffer, new oil and gas production will be discontinued. and we have made intermittent energy sources such as wind or solar a significant part of our energy grid. Imagine a January and February when your gas furnace or fireplace cannot be lit.

As Canadians we live in a vast country with long driving distances between cities, towns, and farms. Can we really afford to bet that we can deliver food, materials, and move ourselves in our country if all internal combustion engines have been discontinued? Maybe some day the technology will come along to make this possible. Ought we not wait until that breakthrough becomes a reality before we ban the technology that works?

It’s very easy for our governments to set artificial deadlines and tell industry to meet them. Not everything that is demanded by government can be done. Innovation does not always happen on command.

As a cold, vast country with a tiny fraction of the world’s population, I believe the global demands made by climate politicians ought not apply to us. We can’t afford the risk.

What do the parties say in their platforms?

Last time, I discussed the platforms alphabetically. In an attempt at fairness, I’ll shuffle the CPC to the end for this discussion.

 

Liberal Party of Canada

Conservatives like to say that you have to choose between growing the economy and protecting the environment. That’s a false choice that leaves workers behind and our future in danger.

We know that a serious plan for the environment is a plan for the economy. That’s why our plan for climate is a jobs plan.

The above was quoted from the liberal website. It’s easy to make glittering generalities about a bright future. Yet industry runs on power and has to deliver goods and services. Solar power and wind cannot displace fossil fuels. Until we truly have a replacement power source for fossil fuels, these types of pronouncements are meaningless in my estimation. This was disappointing because of the lack of the specifics.

New Democratic Party

Page 45 NDP Platform

One can make net zero a goal, but that doesn’t at all mean it’s possible to achieve that goal. We have no alternative energy source to fossil fuels at this point. Punishing industry if they don’t achieve the impossible is neither fair nor prudent. 

People’s Party of Canada

ISSUE

The Liberal government is spending billions of dollars at home and abroad to fight global warming—or “climate change” as it is now called to account for every natural weather event and its opposite.

In order to lower greenhouse gas emissions, it has imposed taxes and countless regulations, it subsidizes inefficient and costly “green technology,” and it is blocking the development of oil resources crucial to our prosperity.

It is an undisputed fact that the world’s climate has always changed and will continue to change. Until twelve thousand years ago, much of Canada was under ice, and it is thanks to natural climate change that we can live here today.

There is however no scientific consensus on the theory that CO2 produced by human activity is causing dangerous global warming today or will in the future, and that the world is facing environmental catastrophes unless these emissions are drastically reduced. Many renowned scientists continue to challenge this theory.

The policy debate about global warming is not grounded on science anymore. It has been hijacked by proponents of big government who are using crude propaganda techniques to impose their views. They publicly ridicule and harass anyone who expresses doubt. They make exaggerated claims to scare people. They even manipulate school children, getting them to pressure their parents and to demonstrate in the streets.

FACTS

Climate change alarmism is based on flawed models that have consistently failed at correctly predicting the future. None of the cataclysmic predictions that have been made about the climate since the 1970s have come true. No new ice age. No steady warming in direct relation with increases in CO2 levels. No disappearance of polar ice caps. No exceptional rise in ocean levels. No abnormal increase in catastrophic weather events. No widespread crop failure and famine.

In fact, CO2 is beneficial for agriculture and there has recently been a measurable “greening” of the world in part thanks to higher levels. Despite what global warming propaganda claims, CO2 is not a pollutant. It is an essential ingredient for life on Earth and needed for plant growth.

OUR PLAN

Given the uncertainties over the scientific basis of global warming, and the certainties about the huge costs of measures designed to fight it, there is no compelling reason to jeopardize our prosperity with more government interventions.

A People’s Party government will:

  • Withdraw from the Paris Accord and abandon unrealistic greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.
  • Stop sending billions of dollars to developing countries to help them reduce their emissions.
  • Abolish the Liberal government’s carbon tax and leave it to provincial governments to adopt programs to reduce emissions if they want to.
  • Abolish subsidies for green technology and let private players develop profitable and efficient alternatives.
  • Invest in adaptation strategies if problems arise as a result of any natural climate change.
  • Prioritize implementing practical solutions to make Canada’s air, water and soil cleaner, including bringing clean drinking water to remote First Nations communities.

(Updated for the 2021 Campaign)

The content above was cited from the PPC website and as indicated was updated for 2021. Link

It seems to me if we did as the PPC suggest, and withdrew from the Paris Climate accord, we could ensure our energy supply for our bitterly cold winters, and still do what we could to reduce carbon dioxide emissions (conservation, move to natural gas with its higher hydrogen content). Our decoupling from Paris would make no difference to the global climate objectives because of our small population.

Conservative Party of Canada

In contrast to the Liberal plan which is short on specifics, the CPC climate plan spans almost 10 Pages pg 76-85 in their PDF document. Perhaps the quotation cited below gives a brief flavor of the plan. They acknowledge that fossil fuels will be with us a long time. They then have a huge list of incentives to help us reach the 2030 Paris Accord targets.

My Conclusions

I have been following the greenhouse effect/global warming/climate change debate since the 1970’s. It’s quite surprising to me that the global warming trend (if there is one) has not been larger after almost fifty years of steady carbon dioxide increases. Still, this is not my area of expertise, but I do know how to analyze data and so I have serious doubts that the message we receive day in and day out is the accurate one. I worry that we are falling into the trap of “confirmation bias.” At the end of the day, I readily admit my predictions of the earth’s climate 100 years from now are not reliable. But I do know that Canada is a cold country and that even if we completely decouple from the climate accord, our small population, and our tiny fraction of the global energy output, will make no difference to the success or failure of achieving the Paris Climate Accord 2030 goals.