Monday, January 26, 2009

Lord, I tried

Okay, one of my New Year's resolutions (Gregorian, not Lunar) was to try and be fairer with Michael Ignatieff. Then I saw this here.
Keenly aware that his greatest future electoral opportunity is in Quebec, and his greatest challenge in Alberta, Ignatieff essentially told Quebecers they needed to get with the program when it comes to the Alberta tar sands.

"The stupidest thing you can do (is) to run against an industry that is providing employment for hundreds of thousands of Canadians, and not just in Alberta, but right across the country," Ignatieff told an audience largely of business graduate students at HEC Montreal, a management school affiliated with the University of Montreal....

"We provide more oil to the United States than Saudi Arabia. That changes everything," he insisted. "It means that when the prime minister of Canada goes into the White House, he gets listened to, in ways that Canadian prime ministers have not been listened to before.
That last paragraph, by the way, made the ghost of Lester Pearson weep. Because, you see, Canadian Prime Ministers were never listened to at all before the tar sands came around.

But to the main point: if there's any hope of controlling climate change, the tar sands have to be shuttered just like all fossil fuels. By 2030, if possible, but certainly "soon" in an actuarial sense. Suncor and Encana can't be allowed to build many new projects with the expectation that they'll be able to run them for 50 years or more. (Lest I be accused of, in Ignatieff's words, national disunity I'd also say I've argued that we need a lot fewer people making cars in Ontario.)

To this basic, scientific fact we have Michael Ignatieff's response: "We're going to have this thing developing for a century. Let's do it right."

So it's now the official policy of the Liberal Party that the oil sands will continue to be developed for 100 years. Dear God in heaven, let's hope he doesn't mean they'll be expanding for 100 years, or we're all doomed.


Chrystal Ocean said...

Juxtapose Iggy's comments with these said today by Obama:

"America’s dependence on oil is one of the most serious threats that our nation has faced... It puts the American people at the mercy of shifting gas prices, stifles innovation, and sets back our ability to compete... These urgent dangers to our national and economic security are compounded by the long-term threat of climate change, which, if left unchecked, could result in violent conflict, terrible storms, shrinking coastlines, and irreversible catastrophe... It falls on us to choose whether to risk the peril that comes with our current course or to seize the promise of energy independence."

Iggy could be barking up the wrong tree.

Anonymous said...

Juxtapose Obama's comments with Iggy's, and you have the perfect intersection of ignorance and its exploitation.