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Peace, freedom, equality, tolerance, and justice for all
06.02.2017 (503 days ago)
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by cosmicrat ·
6-February-2017, 6:06 am


Canada is one of my favorite countries. In several important ways, it has done things right that my own country, the US, has done wrong. Back during the Vietnam war Canada became an asylum for draft resisters, knowing that it was illegitimate and deadly aggression in which no one should be forced to participate. I might be a Canadian today if I had needed that option in 1968.

Canada has the kind of health care system that we should have in the US.

And, Canada has vast natural beauty that, for the most part, has been preserved and protected more thoroughly than many parts of the US. As it became ever more obvious that care for the environment is a vital priority for the entire Earth, I hoped that Canada would be a shining example on that issue, too.

I like Canadians in general, and I consider one of them a long-time good friend. I don't wish to offend any of them. But I think it is fair and responsible to point out problems in Canada, or anywhere, that affect our global environment and climate. When Jane Fonda did so recently, some Canadians resented it. Perhaps her tone was a little harsh, but I know she feels deeply concerned about the environment, and about peace, and is more than willing to speak up when there is a need.

The issue is not so much the marring of the appearance of the areas where oil is extracted, but the long-term effects that do not go away when they are covered up and new vegetation is planted.

The oil sands in northern Alberta are the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.

The oilsands underlie approximately 140,000 square kilometres of the boreal forest in northern Alberta. Increasing greenhouse gas emissions are a major concern, but other impacts — from drawing down water levels in the Athabasca River, to the creation of toxic tailings dumps, to hundreds of square kilometers of strip-mining and drilling in the boreal forest — are growing just as rapidly.”

No, oilsands intensity is NOT improving; but Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan can help

This new incentive for the oilsands sector to improve is good news, as despite past claims to the contrary, there was no improvement in overall oilsands emissions intensity between 2004 and 2014. In fact, the sector increased the overall amount of GHGs produced per barrel by 25 per cent over the last decade (figure 1). In other words, emissions from the sector on a whole have grown faster than oilsands production over the previous 10 years, the opposite trajectory that we should be on.”

Environmental Impacts of Oil Sands Development in Alberta

Oil sands development is carbon-intensive. The production and upgrading required to produce synthetic crude oil from oil sands mining results in greenhouse gas emissions in the range of 62 to 164 kilograms of CO2 equivalent per barrel. In situ development, which is generally more carbon-intensive than mining, results in emission rates between 99 and 176 kilograms of CO2 equivalent per barrel.10 Although there is a high degree of variation, industry average emissions for oil sands production and upgrading are estimated to be 3.2 to 4.5 times as intensive per barrel as conventional crude produced in North America.

While Canada was one of the 39 industrialized countries that signed on to the Kyoto Protocol in 2002 to reduce its national greenhouse gas emissions to 6% below 1990 levels,14 it has since backed down from these obligations. Canada has earned the reputation of being obstructionist to international climate change negotiations as we approach the Copenhagen summit.”

How Much Will Tar Sands Oil Add to Global Warming?

To constrain climate change, such unconventional oil use needs to be stopped, according to scientists

Oil Sands Raise Levels of Cancer-Causing Compounds in Regional Waters

From carcinogens to acid rain, tar sands development is raising levels of industrial pollution across the north

Some of the pollution from the oil sands is of concern only to Canadians, and though I wouldn’t wish it on people anywhere, it’s by their choice. The CO2 emissions affect the entire world, and are indeed the business of everyone.

That is why concerned Americans worked to stop the Keystone Pipeline, and most of why recently, we stopped the Dakota one.

The disastrous Trump regime may reverse our victories, and it is painful to hear Canadians being in favor of that.

Canada is still our kinder, gentler neighbor in most respects. It’s understandable that they wanted to boost their economy and provide more jobs. I only wish they had chosen a better way. If the investment made in oil productions had been in solar cell or wind turbine factories, for example, they would have a welcome and beneficial export.

We in the US have plenty of dirty and dangerous exploiters of fossil fuels to contend with, and even more ignorant and reckless politicians who willingly ignore the danger. It is not an easy struggle anywhere to oppose wealthy and powerful profit-seekers out of concern for the future of a world that can sustain human life and civilization.

We do not point our fingers at the mistakes of others without freely admitting we have our own offenses to correct. But the problem is bigger than any nation, and we all need to think beyond our borders and help one another to solve it.

--cosmic rat   Feb. 6 2017

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  •  Midianlord: 

    That's fine:

    If you're really that fussed about it, then we can sell our oil elsewhere.


    Sorry, but you and that washed-up has-been Fonda don't get to come into our country and self-righteously SJW all over a lot of our livelihoods --in a resource-economy-based town that had just been destroyed by wildfire, in Fonda's case, to boot (Jesus Christ, do you people not have a single shred of class and sensitivity between you? Not even one?)-- and not get called on it for being the typical ignorant Western materialist hypocrites every fucking last one of you is.

    So how much did you pay for your last tank of petrol, mate?

    Fucking sanctimonious, self-righteous, self-deluding hypocrites, the whole worthless lot of you.

     499 days ago·2 replies2 replies 
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    •  cosmicrat: 

      Some Canadians don't take criticism very well, do they?  And I thought I was being reasonably polite about it, too.  That's all right-- I'm sure many Canadians are also concerned about the issue.  At least one of those links was to a Canadian organization, I believe.
      This is not about people in one country criticizing another country.  We know we have corporations doing even worse things to the environment in the US and around the world.  But we all reside on Earth, and will for some time to come.  Can't we all work together to keep it a livable planet?

      Those of us who care about this worldwide problem are trying to get our own government and private interests to stop drilling, fracking, and mining and burning coal.  We want them to develop and install clean energy as fast as possible, and we're trying to conserve more individually.

       We're not asking Canadians to do anything we're not willing to do ourselves.  You may have seen how many people sacrificed comfort and risked their safety to try to stop the Dakota pipeline.  We know those making the huge profits have the power, and the people, especially if we're not united, often fail to make a difference.  But we keep trying, and speaking out, hoping more people listen.

      So, criticize the US all you want, but why pick on those of us who want to solve the problem?  There are plenty who don't care, both here and in Canada.  If you are one of them, I'd suggest you read those articles again, and think about it.

       499 days ago·1 replies1 replies 
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      •  Midianlord: 

        Re-read what I wrote.

        Fonda did this after Fort Mac was mostly destroyed by fire, although rebuilding had begun by then (if memory serves?), some silly little rich girl from La-La Land hectoring people whose livelihood depends on resource-extraction based economy (for good or for ill, this is what Canada is), some of whom had literally lost everything.

        Sorry, but all credibility instantly destroyed, right there.

        I know that this may be hard for an American to understand, but we care about class, sensitivity, and restraint in this country.

        Have you people no sense of decency?

        Don't answer --the question was rhetorical, I know the actual answer all too well.

        Mind your own fucking business Yank, we don't need you minding ours for us.

        For that matter we don't need you, fullstop.


         497 days ago 
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    •  SecretCorners: 

      Here is the thing that gets me; we should not even be paying for a tank of petrol.  The truth is the oil companies and motor companies have worked to keep the world dependent on petrol.  Damn it, this is the 21st century and we are using the same basic technology for our cars as the 19th century.

       499 days ago·1 replies1 replies 
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      •  Midianlord: 

        If these people truly gave a shit, then they'd be advocating for nuclear power under strict state oversight (Just off the top of my head, Gen II+, probably breeder reactor type if you can keep the Chicken Littles quiet...I'll have to research a lot more for specifics, it's been a long time since I've thought deeply about this sort of thing.), with as much funding as can be spared for research into nuclear fusion-power.

        But their ideology won't permit that, see. To them, "nuclear" always = "automatically evil" and if you say otherwise then you have at the very least committed thought-crime, or are more likely simply the enemy.

        One of my less popular opinions amongst my --by now probably erstwhile-- fellow Pinko liberal Canucks....

         498 days ago·1 replies1 replies 
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        •  cosmicrat: 

          I have nothing against nuclear power when plants are built in the right places, and very carefully.  Some will probably be needed to fill in the gaps when solar and wind is at low output.  Nuclear plants  are extremely expensive, and there is the waste problem, but they may be needed.

          This is not an ideology question, or at least shouldn't be.  While the right wing sides with the big-money fossil people and promotes science denial, the rest of us are just in favor of solving the problem with the best technology available.

           498 days ago 
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  •  SecretCorners: 

    Did you see where the mining regulations are going to be overturned?  Coal mining today means knocking the tops off of mountains and dumping the soil down the mountainside where it clogs streams and destroys the ecosystem.  Also, coal contains a lot of toxic metals; burning coal produces toxic waste not to mention it produces greenhouse gases.  The increase in mercury in fish is a direct result of coal burning without any scrubbers in China.

     503 days ago·1 replies1 replies 
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    •  cosmicrat: 

      I've heard.  Evidently it isn't just climate change the Trump regime doesn't care about, but the effects of pollution in general.

       502 days ago·1 replies1 replies 
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      •  SecretCorners: 

        We know what it is about, money (and it makes me angry).

         501 days ago 
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