Saturday, May 25, 2024

Merrily We Go To Hell

Linda McQuaig writes that Canada is still in the grip of Big Oil:

The opening of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion this month — widely celebrated in the media — reminds us that Canada is still very much in the grip of Big Oil.

That $34 billion expansion was financed by Ottawa and it amounts to a massive public subsidy for the oil industry — at a time when we should urgently be financing renewable energy, not fossil fuels.

The renowned U.S. climatologist James Hansen famously said the oilsands were such a “dirty, carbon-intensive” oil that if they were to be fully exploited, it would be “game over” for the planet.

We have been warned. Each summer brings more and more devastating forest fires -- While the cost of renewable energy plummets:

Renewables keep getting cheaper. The price of solar power has plunged by 90 per cent, yet Big Oil remains dominant.

That’s because, with its long-established monopoly and extensive government support, Big Oil is far more profitable — and therefore more attractive — to major financial investors than the struggling, competitive firms that make up the budding renewable sector, notes Brett Christophers, a political economist at Uppsala University in Sweden.

Governments must become a lot more involved and they have to switch their loyalty from Big Oil to renewables.

Over the past four years, Ottawa has provided $65 billion in financial support for oil and gas, but only a fraction as much for renewable energy. Its main program for subsidizing renewables provides less than $1 billion a year, says Julia Levin, an associate director with Environmental Defence.

Now Ottawa is planning to spend $10 billion, possibly much more, subsidizing Big Oil’s futile but costly efforts to reduce its carbon emissions through “carbon capture and storage” — despite ample evidence the technology is highly ineffective at reducing such emissions.

This enables Big Oil to pretend it’s serious about reducing emissions, lulling Canadians into believing we’re making progress on climate, when we’re really just spinning our wheels and wasting a lot of public money in the process.

We keep pretending as merrily we go to hell.

Image: Green Queen


Northern PoV said...

Jr.'s worst betrayal?

1) Reviving the dead TMX?
2) Nixing vote reform?

Likely number two as it clears the path for many more TMX-like betrayals, down the road.
And I am still raging mad at him for both as are, many former supporters.

Reviewing a decade in Canadian politics tells me that, when we vote the greenwashing LIB nationally or greenwashing NDP in BC/AB, we effectively get the same climate policies the CONs want.

These are very likely the bedrock reasons why the execrable Lil'PP is leading the polls and Jr. is now floundering in post-pandemic-fatigue.

Owen Gray said...

Jr. did something for Alberta, PoV, and it didn't give him a single vote.

Lorne said...

All of which leaves those where are part of a conscientious electorate the question of where to put their vote for maximum (or even any) effect, Owen.

Owen Gray said...

For me, Lorne, political choices always involve the lesser evil.

Beverly said...

Carbon capture along with most everything else is at the 'should'work stage. Zero proof zero tested. Absolutely put money in fossil fuel. For you? Buy a solar panel.

lungta said...

The illusion of "choice" permeates every requirement of our existence.
Politics in canada on a scale of 1 to 100 have every viable party between 64 and 66.
There are as many ways to do things and make things as there are people and yet we select a single solution with a choice of minutia within the single solution as a divisive "choice"
It has been a crappy way to run a planet and we were never given any other choice than comply.

Owen Gray said...

We gave up heating with oil long ago, Bev. There are better -- and cheaper -- alternatives.

Owen Gray said...

Very true, lungta. But there is some hope. As Victor Hugo said, "There is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come."

Toby said...

As Victor Hugo said, "There is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come."

Sadly, it doesn't have to be a good idea.

Owen Gray said...

That's true, Toby. What matters is the ability to think critically.