I listened to CBC with fascination Thursday, June 20, as representatives from all the federal parties tried to outdo each other with their promises of how soon they would rid Canada of fossil fuels, and how many tons of greenhouse gases their policies would eliminate.
The hysteria that prompts all this hot air is the assertion that we are in the midst of a “climate emergency”.
We may well be in the midst of a “climate emergency”, but a little common sense should tell our politicians that Canada cannot by herself mitigate this situation.
True, we can and should set an example for other less inclined nations to follow.
Also true, that we should make every reasonable effort as soon as possible.
However, do the politicians really comprehend the result that would accrue from their proposed actions regarding nearly immediate curtailment of production and import of fossil fuels?
They must know the extent to which all society is dependent on fossil fuels, even if they are obviously unaware of the futility of some of the plans for offsetting resulting job losses.
Case in point: Elizabeth May suggests that displaced oil workers could be employed converting abandoned oil wells to geothermal production.
Most oil and gas wells are far from urban centres, so how would the heat produced be transferred to those urban centres?
Long pipelines, besides being very expensive, would shed most if not all of the heat produced. I submit that the cost of such projects would far outstrip any benefits.
Crude oil is required for many of the products and services we take for granted in our world such as lubricants, plastics, clothing, tires, containers and transport.
Eliminate fossil fuels now, and you eliminate air travel, sea travel, long haul trucking and freight trains.
How would politicians, bureaucrats and employees manage to travel the country on their endless movements?
Ditto for every other businessperson and traveller in the country.
End of the travel industry.
End of transport for food and other goods.
End of road construction and repair.
Electricity, you say?
We don’t have the technology yet for this massive conversion.
We don’t have the electric power or the power grid to support this massive change.
We do have opposition from the political left whenever large hydro projects are proposed.
Without hydro dams, we don’t have the storage capacity to support large scale wind and solar projects.
I haven’t even touched on the dependence of most Canadian industry on a secure and steady supply of fossil fuels and oils to conduct their business.
Instead of this hysterical knee-jerk approach, why not adopt a rational plan to use our resources to finance the long term switch to renewables while maintaining a viable economy?
Make Canada a leader in the conversion by facilitating responsible use of our resources, maintaining a sustainable economy rather than destroying our world class industry in a futile attempt to correct the excesses of the rest of the world.
Make no mistake, for politicians this band wagon is simply about getting elected, not about what is best for Canada!