Stelmach Blasts Suzuki's Hot Air

Sunday, February 25, 2007
This was the headline from today's Edmonton Journal. Apparently Alberta's Premier, Ed Stelmach, and world renowned environmentalist David Suzuki are in a war of words about the battle against Global Warming. When Suzuki suggested that Alberta "needs to ease up on oilsands development until industry catches up with more efficient ways of extracting energy", the Premier hit back claiming that Suzuki was full of hot air and that it was going to require "...recognition that C02 reductions will require sacrifice on behalf of all Canadians in reducing individual energy consumption". Good point Ed, but you make it sound that that is unthinkable. Considering how much of an impact oil extraction/refining/production/usage has on the environment, it should be everyone's responsiblity to do whatever they can to use alternate sources of energy (wind/solar) and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. The government should be making the first step and setting an example for the rest of the province in this area by switching to hybrid/electric vehicles, making the switch to a more "paperless" working environment and stepping up to the plate and legislating that the oil companies make some drastic changes in order to meet Kyoto guidelines. Why would the average Albertan do it when their leaders don't think it's a priority? And Alberta, as the centre of fossil fuel extraction in Canada should lead the way for the rest of the provinces and set an example that the rest of the country can follow proudly. Alas, the amount of income generated for the government from the oil industry likely will be prohibitive. Why do I have recurring images of Bush and Texas overlayed on Stelmach and Alberta????

Stephane Dion, who was also in Edmonton this weekend for an unrelated event, told the press that he wasn't going to interfere and that Alberta "has nothing to fear from Liberal plans to tackle climate change". Um...I have a bit of an issue with this. Now, I'm not a member of either the Liberal or Conservative parties. In fact, I'm not an official member of any formal political party however I do tend to have a strong affinity for the New Democrats (NDP). If forced to chose between the Liberals and the PC's, you can bet your bottom dollar that I'd be voting Liberal. I was quite pleased when Stephane Dion, with his strong commitment (supposedly) to the environment, was elected as the leader of the federal Liberal party. To hear him say that he won't interfere in Alberta's economy makes me pause and rethink my next vote. According to the article, "Dion said he thinks sustainability measures like carbon dioxide storage and clean coal will be developed in Alberta and paid for by industry for export around the world." That's fine and dandy but something needs to be done NOW and not 10 years down the road. These sustainability measures take time to develop, test, and put into place. By the time they're ready, who's to say that it might not be too late.

I never thought I'd hear myself say this but we might want to take a page out of Arnold Schwargzeneggers book. (Someone shoot me please...) It seems the Gover-nator of California has taken a HUGE step by commiting the state to the reduction of carbon emmisions by 10%. This action, surprisingly, is being spearheaded by a guy who has owned up to eight (8!) hummers at one time! He's not afraid of big business. Why should he be? He's CONAN after all, by Crom! Frankly, it seems interesting that someone who was once considered merely a muscle-bound meathead with an accent is the one (along with other big names like Al Gore and Leo DiCaprio) who is spearheading efforts to reduce environmental pollutants caused by industry. I bet no one saw that coming when Arnie claimed "I'll be back".

Some links to check out:


Barbara Bruederlin said...

The new guard of Alberta is starting to look just like the old guard. Sheesh.

Gardenia said...

Excellent post! You are seeing it like it is, like it should be. Amazing there is such a war going on, eh? Spending energy like there is no tomorrow or no generations following...we should revolt! You are right - the government just goes along guzzling - where is the example?

ken chapman said...

Good post for sure. There are a number of things going on that impact ans are slowing the pace of oil sands lack of labour and even materials. A check on the pending projects shows they are all in deferral mode so a slowdown is inevitable without "government interference."

With this slowdown I don't expect a breather because there is enough work in the hopper already to double the oilsands output in about 5 years.

We need to jump on the reclamation issues, the GHG issue and get the royality review as well as the comprehensive integrated energy policy and the new land use policy all working together. Then we can make a serious adjustment in favour of the environment. All that will happen in 2007. Lots for citizens to be watching out for.

We also need to catch up on the public infrastructure deficit and the new reality of a social deficit with large and sustained government funds NOW.

I expect to see that happen with the $1.4B of new money for municipalities happen soon and some real shifts in funds for affordable housing by the summer.

We ahve social services agencies lke those in the disability service sector closing theri doors becasue they can't find staff at the wages they can afford to pay basedn current GOA funding becasue they can't compete with the oil patch. Vulerable people are suffering becaue of too much economic growth.

I posted on my Blog that Ed and Dave ought to get together for a beer and work this out. They will learn from each other and we will all be better for it.

BTW I too will be voting Liberal federally and PROGRESSIVE Conservative provincially

Tanya said...

Doesn't Arnie drive a Hummer? And aren't those cars pumping out loads of pollution? Just a thought...

David Wozney said...

Carbon dioxide released by man near ground level is heavier than air and sinks in air rather than rising up to the upper atmosphere to become a so-called greenhouse gas. While sinking, it stratifies from air. After sinking and stratifying, it tends to remain close to the ground and may find its way down to low-lying water bodies or down to ocean level where it can mix and react with water to form weak carbonic acid. Carbon dioxide is also removed from the lower atmosphere by rainfall.

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