As a long-time subscriber to The Economist, I’ve been well aware of your unrelenting campaign against the Canadian oilsands. In your latest article on Saudi Arabia’s petroleum industry you rank the oilsands as one of the most polluting energy sources in the world.
I suspect you’re referring to CO2, or what you erroneously call Carbon, but you failed to mention that CO2 emissions from oilsands production have come down precipitously in the last 30 years. What you also have never mentioned, as far as I know, is the fact that as the oilsands mining is completed, the terrain is restored to the same, or an even higher level of biodiversity than existed before mining began. And an increasing area of the oilsands is now being exploited using an in-situ process which disturbs very little terrain.
I’ve included the link to an article with some before and after oilsands mining photos. Would it be possible for you to send your North American correspondent to Fort McMurray to take an objective look at the mining operation, and to also explore the fact that the oilsands provide excellent employment to tens of thousands of people from around the world, and most importantly, to Canada’s natives that live in the area.
Unlike in Saudi Arabia, Canada’s native employees get paid exactly the same as any other Albertan or Canadian or individual from overseas. Saudi Arabia treats its immigrant employees appallingly. Nigerian oil is produced in environmental squalor and corruption, as is much of the other oil from OPEC.
Canadian oil is, quite arguably, the most ethically produced oil in the world. In the interests of balance, could you do an article about that?
Dave W Reesor
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
If you agree, LIKE and SHARE this blog. And write a note to The Economist. email@example.com
Here’s an excellent article by Licia Corbella on why we need a public inquiry into the US billionaire funded attacks on Alberta. She starts off:
“Lies and smears have been spread around the world about how damaging Alberta’s oilsands are to the existence of our planet. The response over all of those years by the Alberta government and, worse yet,the energy industry? Silence. Crickets.”
So, Greenpeace lies, and they admit it, or at least they admit to not telling the truth. Follow the link and decide whether they’re lying or not.
(The photo is of multimillionaire, multiple home owner, self-righteous environmental hypocrite David Suzuki signalling his opinion about anyone who questions him or his sainthood.)
Please do your research and think before you give a dime to any organization like Greenpeace, or the David Suzuki Foundation, or any other organization that portrays itself as fighting for the environment. In reality, nine out of 10 are nothing more than stunt companies looking for your help with the payroll.
Licia Corbella does an excellent job in outlining why it is imperative that we officially look into, and stop, these enemies of Alberta and its families.
I had a different blog prepared for this week, but then a friend of mine sent me a link. It’s to a speech that Rex Murphy gave recently at the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference.
Now you’re all well aware that I am an admirer of Rex Murphy, and on social media I’ve often linked to his speeches saying: “Rex Murphy at his best.” Of course, a Rex Murphy speech given at his worst is better than most, and at his best is a better speech than anything that you’ll hear elsewhere in the English-speaking world.
But this speech is different. It is profoundly relevant to exactly where we are at this moment in Canadian history, particularly with Canada facing two critical elections this year.
Here’s the link I don’t care where you live; how busy you; are or of what political persuasion, you need to watch this speech. If it’s listened to, and acted on it could go a long way towards mitigating our current, dangerous, Canadian disunity, and one day be recognized as one of the most important speeches in Canadian history.
This week, Meritha and I attended the annual Friends of Science gala at the Red and White Club. There were two excellent speakers. One was Marijn Poels, an award-winning, documentary filmmaker, currently living in Berlin. The other was Dr. Madhav Khandekar, a world renowned, and widely published climatologist with a particular expertise in climate cycles.
Poels came from a left leaning background, but as he began his research for his latest film, which he eventually entitled: The Uncertainty has Settled, he was chagrined to find that nearly all his assumptions about climate change were wrong. For instance, in spite of what the alarmists claim – ad nauseum; over the past 100 years climate related deaths are down by over 98%!
Note the graph.
Deaths were high in the 20s 30s and 40s, because that was the hottest 30 year cycle since the Little Ice Age ended about 1850. It was hotter than now!
Since then there has been a massive reduction in climate related deaths. Safe and efficient home heating, fans and air conditioning – mostly courtesy of cheap energy from fossil fuels – have insulated us against climate change.
The other speaker, Dr. Khandekar proved conclusively, that far from being a net negative, increased CO2 is a large net positive for the planet. The increase from about 200 ppm of atmospheric CO2 around 1850, to about 400 ppm today, has produced a significant increase in plant growth around the world. According to plant scientists, the ideal would be around 1200 ppm, so we need to keep releasing CO2, not burying it.
Encouragingly, our children are starting to question the propaganda that they have been force-fed in school. Tens of millions of children have been forced to watch Al Gore’s absurdly alarmist docudrama: An Inconvenient Truth, which would have been more accurately titled: The Truth is Inconvenient.
But late last year, Dr. Ross McKittrick of the University of Guelph was sent a letter from some European high school students, asking five questions. (Dr. McKittrick became famous for debunking Michael Mann’s famous Hockey Stick graph; a misleading graph which spanned the last 1000 years, but in which Mann conveniently forgot about the Little Ice Age which lasted from the 1300s until the mid-1800s. Logically, when you exit an Ice Age, you do so because it’s warming up, and that’s a Really Inconvenient Truth.)
Dr. McKittrick has given me permission to include his response to the students, in this blog. It’s well worth the read because it’s the questions your children and grandchildren are starting to ask, and that should give us hope. Our kids aren’t stupid, just understandably confused. Let’s help them learn to recognize propaganda, and think for themselves! Like, and Share!
Have a great long weekend!
Five questions from students about climate change
Ross McKitrick January 2018
In late 2017 I was contacted by a group of students at a high school in Europe asking if I would answer some questions on climate change for a project they were working on.
Here are the questions they asked, and the answers I gave them.
1. What is behind global warming?
Over the last 150 years there have been influences due to strengthening solar output, land-use changes, increased greenhouse gases and natural variability, among other things. The dominant school of thought in climatology is that rising greenhouse gas levels explain most of the overall warming trend since the 1950s. There are good reasons to support this, although the climate system is too complex to assume the matter is settled. The mechanisms by which the sun affects the climate are not well understood, nor are the mechanisms behind clouds, ocean- atmosphere interactions and other basic processes. The relative lack of warming in the tropical troposphere and over the South Pole are not easily explained under the theory that greenhouse gas levels dominate the climate system.
2. What can we do to prevent global warming?
If it is a natural process, nothing. If it is mainly due to rising greenhouse gas levels we need to ask instead whether we would want to prevent it. It would require complete cessation of fossil fuel use, which would cause intolerable economic and social costs and would only yield small changes in the time path of global warming for the next century or more. Even large-scale emission reductions (such as under the Paris and Kyoto treaties) would only cause a small slowdown in the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere by 2100, so any benefits from such policies are likewise tiny, yet the costs would be enormous. The small warming that took place since the early 20th century was largely beneficial, and the astonishing social and economic benefits associated with cheap fossil energy far outweighed any problems it might have created. It is likely that this will be true over the next century as well.
3. If we don’t do anything about it, how does it affect us and our descendants?
Humans flourish in every climate on earth from the tropics to the polar regions. We are very adaptable. The only issue is whether changes take place so quickly that we cannot adapt, but history shows this to be a rare situation. Climate processes are slow, and if the climate models are correct, the changes are gradual and predictable. People can adapt to warming conditions more easily than to cooling conditions. The IPCC predicted that over the next hundred years, changes in economies and technology will have a much larger effect on peoples’ lives than changes in climate.
4. What will happen in the future, and what are the alternatives for us, if the Earth becomes unlivable?
There is no chance that greenhouse gases will make the Earth unlivable. If an asteroid hits, or another ice age begins, or something like that, then we face catastrophe. But the question essentially asks, what happens if we all die? The answer is, we all die.
5. How can we save Earth if it isn’t too late?
To ask the question is to reveal that you greatly overestimate your size in relation to the Earth. We could not ruin the Earth even if we tried, nor could we save it if it faced ruin. Our planet is a remarkably adaptable and robust home. We don’t live in a giant china shop where everything is fragile and breakable, it’s more like a playground where everything is made to withstand considerable wear and tear. Over the Earth’s history the amount of CO2 in the air has typically been 2-10 times higher than at present yet the plants, animals and oceans flourished.
Much of the past half million years have been ice age conditions which wiped out life on the northern continents, yet it always came back as soon as the ice retreated. If you take the view that the ordinary human pursuit of prosperity and happiness will somehow destroy the planet you will end up adopting an anti-human outlook. This is both a scientific and an ethical error. Set your sights on a more modest scale, by trying to be a good citizen and be helpful to the people around you, and you will make much better decisions than if you are thinking in terms of faraway abstract categories like saving the Earth.
For the past 20 years global temperatures have not risen significantly. Neither have they fallen much; they have “plateaued.”
But based on the increase in CO2 levels, computer models said that temperatures should have kept rising. Climate change alarmists insist that they have kept rising, or at least stayed high enough to keep setting some records. And, they’re right. Several years in the past 20 have recorded temperatures near or slightly above the highest temperatures recorded in the last century. So what does it mean?
Here’s a picture of a plateau. As a verb, to plateau means reaching a state of little or no change following a period of activity or progress. As a noun, a plateau is an area of relatively level high ground.
You’ll notice that the sides slope up until they reach the top, and flatten out, or plateau. This level, high ground continues on for some distance, as a plateau, and then falls away again.
How does this relate to global warming? Well, as you should know, for the last 15,000 years we have been exiting a major Ice Age. During that exit, temperatures have generally gone up, but with some downs; glaciation has generally retreated, and, as the land ice has melted, sea levels have risen, by about 130 metres or 400 feet. It’s not an even climb.
1000 years ago, it was warmer than it is now, then for several centuries, it cooled off during what is known as the Little Ice Age. Glaciers advanced and overran towns in the Swiss and French Alps; the Thames River in London froze over completely – it last did that in 1814 – and crops in the northern United States froze in July. But since about 1850, we’ve been warming up again.
But even so, there have been ups and downs in temperature. The 1920s, 30s and 40s were hot – some of the records still stand – but then it cooled off, and in the 1950s 60s and 70s, many scientists were predicting a new Ice Age. I remember the alarm: “What are we going to do to fight GLOBAL COOLING?! “
At the end of the 70s it began to warm up again until about 1998 when it reached a plateau. We’ve been bouncing along the top of that plateau for nearly 20 years, with occasional annual records being set by 1/10 of 1°, a number which is totally meaningless except to people employed in writing newspaper headlines, or extracting research grants from taxpayers.
So here are a couple of things to think about. If CO2 levels have risen significantly for the past 20 years, and they have, why has the temperature plateaued? Could it be that CO2 is not that important a greenhouse gas? After all, water vapor makes up 95% of greenhouse gases.
The other thing generally agreed upon is that the increased CO2 levels have been responsible for a major increase in plant growth around the world. Even parts of the Sahara Desert are turning green, again. CO2 is as essential to plants as oxygen is to you.
But, in spite of this, you’ll regularly hear someone say: “We have to tackle climate change.” What does that even mean? It’s just more babble from the Progressivist Left meant to impress you with how virtuous they are; no connection to reality required.
The climate change industry is a racket. Some in it are getting rich, and some are getting famous, and a lot of people in the industry, who know better, just don’t have the guts to speak the truth. Those that do speak out usually lose their jobs. That’s not science.
Politicians like Justin Trudeau and Barack Obama and Kathleen Wynne and Rachel Notley and now the unholy alliance of the Greens and NDP in BC have no interest in science; they are interested only in implementing their left-wing ideology, and shutting down Canada’s energy industry business. Saudi and Venezuelan oil are apparently quite acceptable.
Canada’s environment Minister Catherine McKenna says that Canada is “Marching on” with the Paris Accord and 200 other countries. Yes they are, like a herd of lemmings. You might think Donald Trumps is nuts, but he’s not that nuts.
Climate change is normal, and the reason that we’re still here because our ancestors adapted to that reality. They even adapted to a 400 foot sea level rise, by moving to higher ground.
Do you notice that you don’t have to be a scientist to figure this out? There’s no excuse.
The Keystone XL Pipeline is truly a big deal, both for Canada and the United States. The Keystone will carry oil from the Canadian oil sands, and, from North Dakota, to the Gulf Coast for refining. It will reduce American dependence on offshore oil. Some Hollywood actors and professional agitators are wildly opposed.
NASA’sformertop climate “scientist”, James Hansen, has been arrested four times for various protests revolving around climate change and the pipeline. Mr. Hansen has predicted that if global warming continues – which according to him is caused by man made emissions of CO2 – the oceans will “boil”. Of course using oil produces CO2. But then so does exhaling.
CO2 is to plants like Oxygen is to us; without it they will die. In fact, greenhouse operators inject CO2 into their buildings to make the plants grow better. Hmmmm…..
Back to the protests. Regarding the oilsands; Robert Redford has come out with videos denouncing “the terrify rate” at which the boreal forest, where the oilsands are located, is being destroyed.
Singer/songwriter Neil Young has likened the oilsands area in Alberta to Hiroshima which was destroyed by an atomic bomb at the end of World War II; and where 75,000 people died.
Actress Darrel Hanna chained herself to the White House fence and got herself arrested while protesting the Keystone. I have no idea why that is important, but mainstream media covered it, so it must be.
If all this alarmism is true, we heading straight towards climate Armageddon.
None of it is. Award-winning NASA Astronaut and Physicist, Walter Cunningham has chastised James Hansen, a former colleague, by saying that: ”Hansen is a political activist who spreads fear,even when NASA’s own data contradicts him”. Dr. John Theon, Hansen’s former supervisor,said that: “Climate models are useless” (the whole climate change frenzy is based on models), and that Hansen is “an embarrassment”. Or, in even plainer English, he’s a wingnut.
I’ve been to Fort McMurray and out into the oilsands mines dozens of times. Fort McMurray is a wildly busy but beautiful city of about 100,000, set in Canada’s boreal forest. Wildlife abounds.
The mines are a few miles away, and they are indeed, an industrial development area. But you’ve seen plenty of pictures of the oilsands, so here’s a picture of a coal mine in Germany. Germany is regarded as a world leader in green technology, and in combating climate change. Their mines look about the same as the oilsands. Germany will re-forest their mines, and we’ll re-forest ours.
China is building dozens of coal fired power plants every year. Their CO2 output completely dwarfs that of the oilsands, as does that of American, coal fired electrical plants.
To the right is a picture taken entering downtown Fort McMurray.Neil Young’s comparison of Fort McMurray to Hiroshima is an obscenity; a slur against the people who live and work at Fort McMurray; and a desecration of the memory of those who died at Hiroshima.
And here are some facts about Redford’s “terrifying rate at which our boreal forest is being destroyed”. The world’s northern boreal forests cover over 6,000,000 square miles. Canada’s share is 2,300,000 square miles; the oilsands underlie only 54,000 square miles of that total, and only ten percent of that, or 5400 square miles, is mine-able.
So at most,1/426th of Canada’s boreal forest will ever be mined for oil. Then, by law, it must be re-forested. If you find that scenario terrifying, then you clearly have the same on again / off again flirtation with common-sense that Mr. Redford apparently does.
Mr. Redford has a development at Sundance Resort, Park City, Utah where he is selling two million dollar building lots. Trees are being “destroyed” to make way for mega-footprint vacation homes. Mr. Redford says he needs the money. His net worth is estimated at 170 million dollars. Tens of thousands of people from across Canada and the US, and around the world work in the oilsands at better paying jobs than they’d ever dreamed of. Would Mr. Redford have them sent home?
Perhaps the native kids who live near the oilsands, and enter great paying jobs when they graduate should just go on welfare?
What Redford is essentially saying to the people who work at Fort McMurray, is: “Sure; I have my 170 million, but I also have a need to feel that I’ve done something righteous to offset my extravagant lifestyle. I know we’re all supposed to enjoy an equal opportunity, but I’m more equal than you, so tough luck!” Redford and Young have passed their “Best Before” date, but unfortunately, they retain some celebrity status, and they have an audience. We need to push back.
Almost every dire prediction that the global warming alarmists has turned out to be false. Polar Bears are an endangered species! Their numbers have doubled. Himalayan glaciers are going to disappear by 2035! It was nonsense put forward by the head of the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change), and they now admit it was nonsense.
Just three months ago, some alarmists confidently predicted that “the Arctic Ocean might well become ice free this summer!” But not only was this summer colder than normal; the summer ice melt was far less than last year. So now, their updated prediction is that the Arctic Ocean may become ice free by the end of this century; an 87 year adjustment in three months! Oops!
An interesting, and even more pertinent fact is that the Arctic Ocean was ice free, 4000 years ago. That’s right about the time that Abraham and Sarah left Iraq and headed for Israel, (modern names); and as far as I know they drove methane emitting camels, not CO2 emitting SUVs.
Of course, humans do have some effect on climate; we just don’t know how much. But research suggests that even if we were able to shut down half of human activity on the planet, the effect would be minor. So whether it gets colder or warmer – and it has done both many times in the past – we’ll need to adapt. When sea levels rose in the past, our ancestors used common-sense, and moved to higher ground!
If you wish, look up the facts for yourself. And forward this blog to everyone who might be interested. It’s time to push back against lies and misinformation. My definition of insanity is: Complain, Do Nothing, Wait for Change.
Let’s do it ourselves; and let’s think for ourselves!
Blessings to all –
BTW: If you’d like to support this IWUZ blog, and the work we’re doing to launch the Let’s Do It Ourselves online community, you can join / donate at www.ldio.org Go to JOIN LDIO on the website, and if you wish to donate less than $50, simply use the $5 a month option for one two, or however many months, and discontinue whenever you wish. Thanks for your encouraging, and your argumentative comments. They are all greatly appreciated!