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Environmentalists need to “end the charade” against oil sands

Environmentalists need to “end the charade” against oil sands thumbnail

According to the Canada West Foundation, keeping the oil sands in the ground and stopping new pipelines “will actually increase greenhouse gas emissions” – wait, what?

At an energy conference deep in American oil country earlier this month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau received an award for his global energy and environmental leadership.

“No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and just leave them there,” he told oil and gas execs. “Our job is to ensure that this is done responsibly, safely and sustainably.”

One environmental group called the award a middle finger to the entire premise of environmental leadership.

But Calgary-based think tank the Canada West Foundation says it’s time environmentalists “end the charade.” Keeping the oil sands in the ground and stopping new pipelines “will actually increase greenhouse gas emissions,” argues the foundation’s newly-minted CEO, former Liberal leadership candidate Martha Hall Findlay, in a Globe op-ed.

Wait, what?

The former Willowdale MP insists she’s no climate change denier. She backed the Kyoto Accord in her 2006 leadership bid, even while supporting pipelines. She has become a trusty defender of the oil sands as Canada’s ever-cleaner and -greener economic engine.

Claim Peak oil isn’t coming any time soon, she argues, and “the world will use more oil even if Canada’s pipelines are stopped and oil sands remain in the ground.”

Reality check Findlay is referring to the International Energy Agency reports that suggest oil demand won’t start shrinking until well after 2040. But Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden told the same conference Trudeau attended that global demand for oil could peak and start falling within the decade, the very week Shell dumped its oil sands assets.

Says van Beurden, “Social acceptance is just disappearing,” especially as efficiency and greener substitutions start sapping demand. Either way, oil sands oil is some of the priciest to extract on the planet, which is why Exxon and ConocoPhillips recently wrote down 3.5 billion and 1 billion barrels of tar sands oil reserves and Norway’s Statoil walked away from Alberta entirely back in December to “optimize” its global portfolio – and shift 20 per cent of its capital spending to renewables over the next decade.

Claim Findlay contends the oil sands are no longer dirtier than other crudes. Newer projects in Alberta using paraffinic froth treatment (PTF) bring oil sands GHG emissions close to those of the average crude.

Reality check “The whole thing is a lie,” Oil Change International’s Adam Scott tells NOW.. “Over the last 10 years, the greenhouse gas intensity of the oil sands has gone up, not down.”

The Pembina Institute’s Benjamin Israel adds that “while the oil sands industry did make some significant one-off improvements in emissions intensity about 25 years ago (when moving to co-generation and less carbon-intensive-burning- fuels) they haven’t improved in a decade.”

Israel says carbon intensity is only expected to increase in coming years as companies drill for deeper higher emission bitumen and as distance to the processing facility increases.

All those ads suggesting the oil industry is reclaiming tailings ponds are BS, too. Big Oil has repeatedly failed to meet regulated targets to clean up over a trillion litres of toxic tailings. (Notably, Alberta just rejected Suncor’s plan to reclaim its tailing pond by pouring water on top of it).

Claim Alberta’s climate policies are super-stringent compared with other oil-producing regions and will help drive down carbon intensity even more, according to Findlay.

Reality check There’s no question Alberta’s 100-megatonne emissions cap is a step in the right direction, but that cap still technically allows the oil sands’ greenhouse gases to grow a whopping 30 per cent in the next decade or so.

A 2016 report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has calculated that if oil sands production grows to 100 megatonnes per year and BC builds just one LNG (liquefied natural gas) export terminal, emissions in the rest of Canada’s economy would have to shrink by 47 per cent by 2030 to meet Paris targets. “Short of an economic collapse, it is difficult to see how Canada can realistically meet its Paris commitments in the 14 years remaining without rethinking its plans for oil and gas development,” says the report.

Claim Enviros need to focus on real climate action, like reducing demand, says Findlay.

Reality check Findlay’s clear. She feels the world’s GHG emission problem doesn’t lie with poor, bullied -fossil fuel producers that are just meeting demand, but with all of us who are creating that demand.

Scott, however, says there’s a reason environmentalists around the globe target the oil sands. “It’s because projects in the tar sands are designed to last 50 years or longer.”

In the oil sands, he says, a big mine would produce 200,000 barrels a day of oil, continuously, locking us into emissions for decades to come. “There are a bunch of mines like that, and there’s a new one coming online next year. Once they’re built, it’s very difficult politically and economically to shut them.”

71 Comments on "Environmentalists need to “end the charade” against oil sands"

  1. makati1 on Fri, 31st Mar 2017 12:58 am 

    Onlooker, I once had a nature experience that I will never forget. It cost me exactly zero money. I was camping in a small cave up on a cliff and awoke as the sun was coming up one June morning to a sound I never hear before or since. The hitting of hugs snowflakes in the soft snow.

    Yes, they do make a sound, a soft patter, but it takes extreme quiet to hear it. To make it even better, there was a small herd of mule deer standing nearby as still as statues. It was June 69 in the Grand Teton mountains in western Wyoming. A once in a lifetime moment that was Mother Nature at her best. Alas, no camera, but I will never forget.

    I never got that kind of feeling looking at a dollar bill. Priceless.

  2. Boat on Fri, 31st Mar 2017 1:16 am 


    Your not grasping the intent of the idea of scientific proof. Prove there is a god, or an alien. I do not make wild ass claims and am extreamly pragmatic. Now billions of people who believe in God and/or aliens think I am the one that is bat shyt crazy. I can live with that.

  3. Boat on Fri, 31st Mar 2017 1:37 am 

    Well DerHund greggiet is anti American and does hate Jews. He also thinks the Jews control the deep state and by definition the world. Now that is as bat shyt crazy like aliens and God. A lot of that kind of stuff going on around here. Just like you don’t like my opinion I don’t care for to many other humans opinions either. They have trouble rising to the bar of believe ability. I like numbers to tell most stories.

  4. makati1 on Fri, 31st Mar 2017 2:10 am 

    Boat, you are the blind one. Jews run everything of importance in America. ALL of the propaganda sources and the banking cartels. The Federal Reserve, etc. And then there is Europe…

    Google famous Jews, Forbes 400, Corporate CEOs, etc. and see what you find. Nah, you won’t bother because you don’t want your little world rocked by some truth.

    Maybe Hitler was on to something?

  5. Anonymouse on Fri, 31st Mar 2017 2:11 am 

    Well, your a retard boat, who does hate facts and reality. As for having an opinion no one likes, well, you dont even have that much. If you did have something resembling an opinion, it would worthless to be sure. What you have though, is more like a stream of endless brain-farts, and they do stink lol.

    Have a corn cob and some ramen noodles boatytard. Maybe that will cheer ya up.

  6. GregT on Fri, 31st Mar 2017 2:14 am 

    “Well DerHund greggiet is anti American and does hate Jews.”

    What comes around goes around Kevin. Keep fucking with people and you will eventually get what you deserve.

  7. GregT on Fri, 31st Mar 2017 2:25 am 

    ‘I like numbers to tell most stories.”

    You don’t even fully grasp basic grade school arithmetic Boat.

  8. onlooker on Fri, 31st Mar 2017 3:09 am 

    thanks for recounting that nice story Mak. Oh and Boat —-forget it

  9. Cloggie on Fri, 31st Mar 2017 3:40 am 

    Makati says “Maybe Hitler was on to something?”.

    Makati, if you study the history of the USSR you will find out that the Bolshevik revolution was essentially a take over of Czarist Russia by Jewish led Bolsheviks. Don’t believe me, here is the greatest statesman of the (still young) 21st century, Vladimir Putin on who run the first Bolshevik governments:

    If you read Hitler’s speeches you will see that like a broken record his program consisted of two main items:

    – undoing the injustice of the Versailles Treaty and the return of all lost German territories back to Germany.
    – preventing that “Jewish communism” would take over Germany like it had done to Russia, with disastrous consequences and millions killed.

    The Weimar Republic was little more than a battle between Jewish led communists and German nationalists (NSDAP). The Germans won, the Jews lost in 1933 and were expelled.

    If you want to summarize WW2 in a single sentence: it was the war or organized Jewry, that could use the resources of the USA and USSR against Germany (and the rest of Europe).

    In 1945 the Jews had conquered the white race in both America and its new colony Europe and the planned systematic destruction of the white race could begin via mass-immigration from the third world and multicultural ideology. And the tool to program the masses was the media.

    But these are considerations way beyond the mental reach of spiritual midgets like television boob Kevin.

    The Russians were conquered between 1917-1922; the Americans were conquered in a more gradual, gentile process between ca. 1912-1933. The first thing the Roosevelt government did in 1933 was to buddy up with the Soviets:

    Note at the end of the video the US (Jewish) diplomat William bullitt. He is the central figure in the entire drama. It was him who organized the diplomatic recognition of human slaughter house USSR.

    In 1939 a Polish diplomat reported home what he had heard from this Bullitt character (source: Herbert Hoover, “Freedom betrayed”)

    For this reason, one can foresee right from the beginning the participation of the United States in the war on the side of France and Britain, naturally some time after the outbreak of the war. As Ambassador Bullitt expressed it: ‘Should war break out we shall certainly not take part in it at the beginning, but we shall finish it.‘

    There you have it. Long before the war between Germany and Poland started over the German town of Danzig, Bullitt already anticipated that the US would join the war.

    In fact Bullitt did everything he could to get the war started by pushing the British into a war guarantee for Poland and next stimulate the Poles to impose maximum demands on the Germans and encourage the Poles to throw the Germans out of Versailles Poland, forcing Hitler to intervene.

    By 1939 the Americans had a staggering 29% of global GDP, eclipsing everybody else. They had the means to conquer the world, not the Germans, who merely wanted their stupid Danzig back. Danzig was the opportunity for the Americans to get their desired war in Europe started, knowing full well that they had Churchill and Stalin on their side to get the job done.

    And the slaughter of the Germans could begin. And when the war was over, the outcome of which was clear from the beginning, they organized a show trial in Nuremberg and cynically accused the Germans that they had wanted to conquer world and had gassed 6 million Jews.

  10. makati1 on Fri, 31st Mar 2017 4:27 am 

    Cloggie, did I mention anything about the USSR? Nope. I mentioned Jews. I know a lot about the history of most of the countries I mention. Including the USSR/Russia.

    Maybe he had the right idea about their value? They want their own country, but most of them do not even live in Israel. So fuck them and give it back to its original owners. The sooner Nutenyahoo is taken out the better for the world. And the sooner the Jewish mafia is taken out the better for the rest of us. There! How do you like those apples!

    Americans have been killing millions and Europe ignores it or usually helps. Hitler only thought he was doing what’s right, just like Americans in the ME and all over the world in the last 75 years. How many have been killed, starved, made homeless by the U$? Many, many millions and it still goes on. Hypocrisy.

  11. Davy on Fri, 31st Mar 2017 5:26 am 

    “Physics, chemistry and biology is what is happening but the human is in the mix. Politics is a symptom of our insanity of being a global people. Our true physics, chemistry, and biology are seminomadic hunter gathers and or small roaming bands of agriculturist for most of our history. It is when we become civilizations that things go bad. We love the idea of civilizations because there is knowledge and power involved. Not all of it is bad either and the fact that in a strange way the universe is coming to know itself through enlightenment of civilizations is profound. There is also something profound about the sense that extinction and death is just as much necessary as life and evolution. We are now an extinction species through civilization and spreading death. This is nature because that is all there is.

    In our little human species niche we are now beset with existential predicaments of death and extinction which is fine for nature but horrible for us human individuals. We should give the individual human a break in some ways. All of us were born into this without a choice. Many were never given the chance of being existentially awakened like some of us. These are the innocents and those of us awakened are the responsible. We can pass judgment on others but really that is natures privilege not ours.

    Now, for us humans in the here and now of a destroyed planetary system of air, water, soil, and the web of life we face choices. These are two doors of dualism in life and death. No, one is not life and the other death. They are both together behind these doors because they are only separate in our minds. Our delusions of one door being life and one death defines us as humans. The meaning of two is choice but in different directions of wisdom or denial. They are holistic but also individual. The human modern type is fated and chose its door. You as an individual can still choose.

    We are poised before the shifting of this planetary system of multiple wonderful ecosystems being coopted and destroyed by one dominant species. We moderns are invasive and competitive. Our invasiveness and competitiveness kills all before it. Our doors are of wisdom to embrace our predicaments in life and death. Our wisdom is to embrace nature and her cycles not human cycles that have gone rouge. Our system is in complete denial at all levels except a few very narrow ones of a very few awakened minds who know and see the way. Our best minds of academia and science have turned their back on science in denial of what science and knowledge have done and what they are telling us. They have rejected the messenger and coopted him in a hijacking of denial. They choose to double down on these human excesses with more of the same and denial of what science and knowledge are telling us. These human awareness’s of science are telling us we face extinction and our modernism is destroying the planet. Our modern narrative reject these findings with hopium and optimism of more of the same. It is now a vicious circle and a vortex of death.

    Those awakened see there is no changing the modern man as a human type. Our global system of techno progress cannot be reformed. It is a manifest destiny. This destiny is a necessary collapse as all civilizations or systems that are growth based face on a finite changing planet. All ecosystems and civilizations end. We deny our end and we deny the process of ending. The basis of exceptionalism is denial. In some ways this does not matter because it is the nature of a system such as ours that this denial allows life. In some ways the fact the system is in denial and self-preserving ensures you and I reading this have life. The end of modernism will be many of our ends because it is only modernism that gives 7BIL people sustenance. An optimistic stab at it tells me 1 in 10 of us may survive this systematic breakage. This life giving denial will end both the physical of our survival and the mental of the denial and as a group and as individuals.

    On another level at the individual and the spiritual of those awakened and responsible there is the truth. Those of us who are more concern with the truth than survival submit to its findings. We embrace the truth no matter and as much as can be done. Too much truth will consume one in the fire of insanities which are the deep reality of being. We only survive as a human in dualism by having some survival mechanism of denial of things like death and existential nothingness of ourselves in a vast universe of being. You cannot dwell on these truths for long without starving or losing your sanity. The light is too bright and the song too sweet and or horrifying. It is the loss of all hope and possession of our physical being that is the opening of the door of truth. It is one of going forth on natures and man’s behalf still in life and death but awakened and enlightened. It means ending the search and following the way of nature.

    The other door is the extreme of the ego which goes forth in life and death but in the pursuit of its own physical world and its ego of delusion not on nature’s behalf. Nature is scorned and stomped on. It is home to psychopaths and human power. This door is one of spiritual death and the physical pursuit of riches and power. True power is of nature and those who touch that power must be awakened and know the truth that this is natures power not theirs. In the end as we all will face, it is only nature that will carry on. We are only nature’s eyes and ears for a brief moment in her timelessness. We do not control her or have her and it is in her service that there is meaning and truth.

  12. rockman on Fri, 31st Mar 2017 8:37 am 

    A – You almost got it right. Here you go…I corrected it for you:

    “Yes, rocky, if only ‘consumers’ would mend their wicked and misguided ways, then the saintly executives at BP, EM, Chevron etc all, wouldn’t be paid by the consumers to ravage the earth and thus keep consumers happy”.

    You’re welcome. BTW thanks for your personal contribution to the Rockman’s paycheck. LOL.

  13. rockman on Fri, 31st Mar 2017 8:45 am 

    Newfie – “Justin Trumpeau says Drill Baby Drill. Who would have thought ?” Or is he just repeating the unspoken words of the voters? IOW when was the last time you heard a politician tell potential voters he was going to take actions that would degrade their lifestyles once he’s elected? Last major US politician to offer that possibility was President Carter. How did that work in his reelection effort? LOL.

  14. Apneaman on Fri, 31st Mar 2017 12:42 pm 

    AGW, we don’t make the weather, we make it worse.

    “In the mountainous Upper Springbrook region, south of the Gold Coast, 789mm of rain was recorded overnight.”

    For those who have yet to develop the cognitive abilities to grasp the retard simple, 300 year old metric system, 789mm is 31 inches……overnight.

    There’s your new and improved hydrologic cycle again.

    As the warming increases, so will the evaporation and thus the amount of moisture (water vapour) in the atmosphere, which is also a greenhouse gas, which will also come down on humans, their crops and infrastructure in ever greater quantities. The infrastructure was not engineered to take these kinds of hits.

  15. Apneaman on Fri, 31st Mar 2017 12:55 pm 

    rockman, don’t forget the one thing the consumers did not sign up for was the decades long multi billion dollar denial and scientific muddy the waters propaganda campaign. It’s all on the record. Methinks some of you princes of Cancer will be paying the price for that in the not too distant future. They will be pulling y’all from your cars and homes and have on the spot executions like some Muslim countries do.


    Is what they will be screaming.

    Some of y’all will be scapegoated for all of it.

    The New Jew.

  16. Apneaman on Fri, 31st Mar 2017 12:58 pm 

    Climate change: global reshuffle of wildlife will have huge impacts on humanity

    Mass migration of species to cooler climes has profound implications for society, pushing disease-carrying insects, crop pests and crucial pollinators into new areas, says international team of scientists

    “This mass movement of species is the biggest for about 25,000 years, the peak of the last ice age, say the scientists, who represent more than 40 institutions around the world. “The shifts will leave ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in their wake, radically reshaping the pattern of human wellbeing … and potentially leading to substantial conflict,” the team warn. “Human society has yet to appreciate the implications of unprecedented species redistribution for life on Earth, including for human lives.”

  17. Anonymouse on Fri, 31st Mar 2017 2:07 pm 

    You can do better than that tired old canard of yours rockerman. That even lamer than your ‘Obama’ personally led uS oil extraction to dizzying heights claims…

    Ill ask again, ‘Consumers’ are not ‘demanding’ more oil. Yet the uS oil cartel is continuously pushing for expanded extraction, regardless of cost, or location of oil, or oil-like substances. Whether its stealing oil from sovereign peoples on the other side of the globe, or trying to drill next to a school in your town or your backyard, uS oil is there, always seeking to increase ‘supply’, and thus, consumption as well.

    Recent years have seen uS oil seeking to increase production regardless of cost, and seemingly oblivious to all those ‘free-market’ signals, that should, in that free-market alt universe of yours anyhow, be, in theory, telling y’all to slow down. IoW, someone is ‘demanding’ more oil, but it sure inst ‘consumers’ issuing that demand.

    Incentivizing psychopaths and murderers at EM, Chevron etc, to wage war on a planetary scale in exchange for stacks of uS toilet paper of transient value, is a problem to be sure. But Ape has suggested a possible solution to the problem posed by uS oil and its operatives above.

  18. DerHundistlos on Fri, 31st Mar 2017 3:47 pm 


    Exactly. Your opinion is just like your asshole and thus represents the difference between religious belief and evidence. This explains why you failed to answer my previous question. Again, since you have not spent one minute investigating the evidentiary material, it’s not my job to educate you nor would it make any difference. There is a plethora of UFO evidence as in this 1964 memorandum I read last night that recently became available from a FOIA request.


    From: Director of Central Intelligence

    To: Office of Scientific Intelligence

    Re: UFOs



  19. GregT on Fri, 31st Mar 2017 6:46 pm 

    UFO sightings have also been documented by astronauts in the space program.

    US astronauts who have reported UFOs:

    Major Gordon Cooper
    Donald Slayton
    Major Robert White
    Joseph A. Walker
    Commander Eugene Cernan
    Ed White & James McDivitt
    James Lovell and Frank Borman
    Neil Armstrong & Edwin Aldrin
    Maurice Chatelain
    Scott Carpenter

  20. Davy on Fri, 31st Mar 2017 7:26 pm 

    I find it likely there is life elsewhere in the universe. UFO’s are not what I am thinking in regards to life elsewhere. UFO’s are just more of the human fantasy running wild. I am not saying they are not or are just the versions I read about seem unlikely.

    “The Fermi paradox is a conflict between arguments of scale and probability that seem to favor intelligent life being common in the universe, and a total lack of evidence of intelligent life having ever arisen anywhere other than on the Earth. “

    Personally, I think technology and knowledge is not as vast as some think it could be. It is likely also destructive elsewhere. It is likely limited elsewhere and suffers diminishing returns. Basically if there is life then those places where there is expansive life would be much more complexed without our visions of “UFO tech”. This means planets that have (un-tech) but complex and wonderful ecosystems are where real life is. Man thinks tech is the marker for intelligence. He thinks self-conscious intelligence is the pinnacle of the universe. I think natural planetary complexity without destructive intelligence is where the higher power is and it is the self-conscious intelligence that man is so in rapture of that is ultimately suicidal. This is the Davy paradox.

  21. Cloggie on Sat, 1st Apr 2017 3:29 am 

    rockman, don’t forget the one thing the consumers did not sign up for was the decades long multi billion dollar denial and scientific muddy the waters propaganda campaign. It’s all on the record. Methinks some of you princes of Cancer will be paying the price for that in the not too distant future. They will be pulling y’all from your cars and homes and have on the spot executions like some Muslim countries do.
    Is what they will be screaming.
    Some of y’all will be scapegoated for all of it.

    Apneaman trying to create the excuse to go on a genocidal rampage, supposedly to punish climate change sinners, but his real objective is Neo-Bolshevik: kill off the white elite in North-America and replace it with a mixed race elite, carefully managed by the Sanhedrin, Apneaman’s ethnic group, invisible for most.
    Me, I built the Alberta tar sands plants, refineries, pulp mills and other assorted industrial cancer infrastructure projects and I sleep like a baby

    Why don’t you begin punish yourself, Friedman? Need help?

    There are quite a few here who are fascinated by Apneaman’s fanatical attempts to create e climate religion as a starting point for a new social revolution. Especially folks like GregT I would advise to watch the movie “The way we were”:

    It is about American golden boy Robert Redford, becoming fascinated with the fanatical drive of Marxist Jew (but I repeat myself) Katie Morosky (Streisand):
    (early on [0:49] Redford is called a “fascist”.lol)

    In the end Redford abandons the world of the SJW (always a good idea).

    But the point is: the dangerous Anglo fascination with the fanatical drive of prominent members of the Tribe, a fascination that causes the Anglos to outsource thinking to the Tribe, who will always act in their own power interests and that carelessness will eventually cost the Anglos their society (it’s already too late to save the old America, forget about MAGA).

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