Thursday, February 26, 2009

Another story in the "foreign media" that Iggy probably won't read ...

Indigenous people to launch legal challenge against oil firms over Canada tar sand project | Environment |

"British oil firms are facing a legal battle over exploitation of the huge Canadian tar sand fields with indigenous people who claim the industry is ruining their traditional lands.

The Co-operative Bank will announce today that it is to fund a legal challenge by the Beaver Lake Cree Nation, which claims the boom in tar sands extraction is destroying their hunting and fishing lands.

The court challenge calls for an injunction to stop more than 16,000 permits issued by the Alberta state government and, if successful, could dramatically reduce or even stop what has been described as a modern day 'gold rush' for the oil, spurred by the expectation of high long-term oil prices."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Apparently, we have a coalition government after all...

just not the one that we wanted!

"National Geographic is not going to teach me any lessons about the oilsands," he said.

Iggy is not making many friends with this position! Except among oil executives, I suppose.

If he doesn't like Nat. Geo., Iggy should try reading DeSmog blog.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Obama's 2009 "Economy/Planet Balance" Notion - Already Debunked by Gore in 2006

Here's a Table comparing part of Barack Obama's CBC News interview in February 2009 with what Al Gore had said of such notions in An Inconvenient Truth in back 2006:

Barack Obama in CBC News interview, Canada, 2009

Al Gore in the movie An Inconvenient Truth, 2006

"When asked if the future of oil produced from the oilsands hinged on a cap and trade policy, Obama suggested that technology would be the ultimate solution to creating clean energy.

"'Canada, the United States, China, India, the European Union, all of us are going to have to work together in an effective way to figure out how do we balance the imperatives of economic growth with very real concerns about the effect we're having on our planet,' [Obama] said.

"'We're not going to be able to deal with any of these issues in isolation. The more that we can develop technologies that tap alternative sources of energy but also contain the environmental damage of fossil fuels, the better off we're going to be.'" (Obama touts technology as solution to oilsands footprint, CBC News, February 17, 2009 [bolding added)

"In one of the funnier moments, Al [Gore] shows a graphic used by the government to support the idea that profit must have equal value to concerns about the planet. It’s a scale with gold bricks on one side and the earth on the other. Both in balance. Al is hilarious as he acknowledges that gold is very nice, hmm… yesm we like gold. Then he turns to contemplate the earth and looks genuinely puzzled. Earth… or… gold? Hmmm… which to pick? We laugh as we understand that there are people who don’t hesitate to go for the gold, let alone bother contemplating which has more value. But then the real Al breaks through to remind us that without a healthy planet…there will be no one to worry about gold. He quickly dispatches the fallacy that being concerned about the planet means losing profits. We are made aware that being focused on the profits will mean losing the planet." (An Inconvenient Truth - Review by Dianne Lawrence, Film Monthly, May 24, 2006)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tar Sands Industry Promotes Bird Capture and Storage

EDMONTON, Alberta - Birds landing in the toxic tailing ponds of tar sands operations -- and needlessly causing the industry PR headaches -- will soon be just a bad memory. A consortium of oil companies has unveiled a technology to capture any birds who get too close to the toxic ponds, and store them safely in underground aviaries. Derived from work on carbon capture and storage (carbon sequestration), the new technology uses 10-ft. diameter air intakes scattered in and around the ponds, plus powerful vacuum pumps. Any birds in the vicinity are captured safely, and are piped down into underground aviaries.
"Nothing seems to keep migratory birds away from the ponds for long, not even air canons and animatronic falcons," said William Nilly, an industry spokesperson. "With bird capture and storage, the problem individuals are captured and taken out of the game permanently, before they can get into the ponds and onto web video sites. In the long run, bird populations who pass over the ponds do not produce offspring in the wild, which prevents new generations of birds from moving along the same route and landing in the ponds."
In response to howls of protest from Greenpeace and the Boreal Songbird Initiative over the announcement, Mr. Nilly later clarified that the capture and storage technology will be developed further:
"Next year, we will have more powerful vacuum pumps. Any bird-lovers or tree-huggers in the vicinity of our ponds will be transported into the new underground habitat together with the birds, so that they can continue to enjoy the birds in safety, away from our operations. We regret that cell phone do not work underground, and internet connections cannot be installed to protect the birds' privacy".

Friday, February 20, 2009

UPDATED - Obama, Harper Push Carbon Procrastination Tech

OTTAWA - U.S. President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper today agreed to promote the latest carbon procrastination technology. The agreement on a “clean energy dialogue” would allow the two countries to safely postpone common decisions on climate change – at least until enough people get tired of waiting for real results from carbon sequestration (capture and storage).

In fact, Obama has apparently fallen hard for carbon sequestration vapourware. A highly-placed government source said that under the plan, the U.S. would continue to burn its own coal and import oil from Alberta's tar sands. Harper, Prentice, Stelmach as well as the oil and coal industries would cheer. Meanwhile, Canada and the U.S. would talk about how to create the impression that a technological panacea for the climate mess is just around the corner.

The government source refused to comment on recently-released

“...ministerial briefing notes, initially marked 'Secret,' [which] say that just a small percentage of the carbon dioxide released in mining the [tar] sands and producing fuel from them can be captured.”
UPDATE February 22, 2009: The Harper government has dismissed the briefing notes as being out of date, because they did not take into account the repeal of Murphy's Law. Environment Minister Jim Prentice said:

"Since we repealed that old Liberal legislation, nothing can go wrong with carbon procrastination technology anymore!"

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Will Canada Fall Behind U.S. in Wind Energy Jobs?

Check out the BBC video report about workers from a closed washing machine factory in Iowa who are finding jobs at a wind turbine plant. This is the type of green job creation that Obama is trying to encourage with his stimulus plan. But back in Canada, the Conservative budget -- supported by the Liberals -- did not renew support for wind energy. That's making it hard to sell Canadian-made wind turbines in Canada. How long will Canadian manufacturers continue to expand in Canada if all of their orders are from the U.S.?
(Source: CBC Radio's The House, Saturday, February 14, 2008 - listen to the MP3 file - 22 MB; fast forward to 27:10 of 48:09).

Sunday, February 01, 2009

World leaders say green thinking can help global economy

"'We must decide to put a price on carbon,' said Al Gore, the former US vice president, adding that President Barack Obama would play a positive role in combating climate change.

'He is pushing hard for dramatic and bold moves in the right direction,' said Gore, noting that the House of Representatives had passed a stimulus bill, 'the largest component of which is a green stimulus.'

'We must appreciate the magnitude of change in United State's leadership,' said Gore."

Source: World leaders say green thinking can help global economy

Wake up and smell the coffee, Harper and Ignatieff!