Saturday, August 22, 2015

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Andrew Jackson discusses how increased development of the oil sands fits into Canada's economic future - and how it's foolhardy to assume that one necessarily equates to the other:
A new and effective global climate agreement to avoid hitting the 2 degree increase would mandate a large, phased in shift away from carbon fuels through greater energy efficiency, and a major transition to renewable sources of energy. But there would still be a role for carbon fuels in the transition.

Here in Canada, a 2009 study (funded by the TD bank) by Mark Jaccard and Associates for the Pembina Institute modelled the economic and emissions impacts of a comprehensive set of policies as part of a global effort to avoid the catastrophic two degree temperature rise. The package included putting a high and rising price on carbon, tough energy efficiency regulations for buildings and cars, and major public investments in transit and in the electricity grid so as to transition away from power generation from coal and natural gas.

The key finding of the study was that there would be no overall impact on job growth or the overall economic welfare of Canadians. While growth would be slightly lower in Alberta than under a business as usual scenario due to a reduction in the rate of growth of the oil and gas industry, petroleum extraction output would actually continue to grow before tapering off.
The truly “crazy economic policy” for Canada would be to double down on fossil fuel led development at a time when the world is finally starting to take seriously the need to deal with climate change, and at a time when the downside of our over reliance on crude resource extraction  is becoming ever more apparent.

There is a role for the oil and gas industry in Canada's economic future. But a comprehensive plan for environmentally sustainable development must give priority to the needed transition to a post carbon world.
- Adnan Al-Daini explains how Jeremy Corbyn's campaign offers a full social democratic response to failed laissez-faire dogma. And Matt Kieltyka reports on the success of one aspect of an effort to ensure broader prosperity through public policy, as New Westminster's living wage plan has managed to raise wages for city workers and contractors with virtually no difficulty.

- Marvin Ross laments how the symptoms of mental health problems all too often result in people getting dealt with as a matter of criminality rather than health.

- Brian Kelcey rightly slams the Cons' regulation-slashing gimmicks which figure to endanger the public without doing anything to help responsible businesses.

- Finally, Lana Payne discusses how the Cons' lies are piling up over the course of the federal election campaign, while Robert Benzie highlights the fact that even a substantial portion of the Cons' voting base isn't buying Stephen Harper's spin. And Susan Delacourt rightly notes that the obligation to testify under oath at Mike Duffy's trial has forced Harper's staffers to give accurate answers where they never did before - though one can hardly blame Parliament as a whole for Harper's refusal to either be responsible for his office or tell the truth when questioned.

1 comment:

  1. The future of fossil fuels requires a distinction to be drawn between the cleaner varieties and the high-carbon fuels - coal and bitumen. There's an abundance of lower-carbon fossil energy if the major markets genuinely do transition to clean, non-fossil energy. Bitumen is facing a real and steadily growing risk of becoming a stranded asset.