Jan 28 2008
Climate change and Alberta’s oil sands are on the agenda for Canadian premiers meeting in Vancouver. But will anything of substance be accomplished?
Economic and environmental realities make it pretty unlikely they’ll even be able to cobble together crude principles. BC Premier Gordon Campbell can lecture his Albertan political counterpart all he likes on the dangers of greenhouse gases (although given BC’s record to date on cutting greenhouse gases, that might be a bit odd), but there’s a thirst for Albertan oil out there.
The world needs ever-increasing amounts of oil and Alberta has a big chunk of the planet’s known reserves. That’s going to be a tough reality to face down.
But the way the tar sands oil gets extracted is the cause of a large percentage of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Pressure needs to be put on Albertan oil companies by politicians to ensure that they don’t turn much of western Canada into a polluted desert in return for all the petrodollars they’re earning.