Blair King is a resident of the Township of Langley, B.C. and a practicing environmental scientist. He has an academic background in chemistry, biology and environmental studies and an interest in the use of scientific data in environmental decision-making.
Blair blogs about topics that cross the interface between science and decision-making at: A Chemist in Langley
British Columbia just finished a provincial election and one of the big issues was the Site C dam. During the election, a lot of myths were spread about the project. In this post, I'd like to dispel some of the most egregious of these myths.
Parents teach this behaviour. They teach their children that by feigning inability they can get things done for them. Sadly, after enough time the question arises as to whether these children are feigning inability or actually lack the tools to accomplish the tasks being asked of them.
To be clear, any oil spill, be it crude or diluted bitumen, represents a tragedy and catastrophe. The point of this blog post, however, is to establish whether diluted bitumen sinks in a marine spill; since that is what the activists fighting TMX keep insisting.
I am not saying that the TMX must go forward. I have serious reservations about the project. However, I believe we need a fair debate on the topic and fair debates must rely on demonstrably sound evidence.
As I have written previously, I am the spouse of a teacher and spend a lot of time with teachers. I'd like to start the new school year by reminding you of some truths about teachers. So if your child comes home and complains about something that happened at school give the teacher the benefit of the doubt.
The problem with the activist community is that it seems to be made up primarily of well-meaning but non-technically trained individuals. They both don't know the science and many lack the skill-set to interpret the research when it is presented to them.
Let's be frank, climate change is real. We, as a country, have to do more to fight climate change. That being said climate change is a red herring in this discussion. Why? Because up to 80 per cent of the emissions associated with fossil fuels are generated in their combustion. Pipelines represent a negligible part of that equation.
While, to the energy world, "100% Clean and Renewable Wind, Water, and Sunlight (WWS) All-Sector Energy Roadmaps for 139 Countries of the World" is simply a thought experiment; it also serves as the Leap Manifesto's energy plan.
If consumers in Asia use British Columbian LNG, the global emissions will be 20 per cent lower than LNG from our competitors. If this LNG replaces coal, the global benefit is even greater as it will produce less than half the emissions of a comparable coal plant. In both cases, B.C. LNG is better for the planet than the alternatives.
As a parent of three young children, and a practising scientist, I have some strong opinions about the direction of our education system and at this point I believe that we are heading in the wrong direction.
MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau took a dive that would put Cristiano Ronaldo to shame. Instead of shrugging it off she made a grand speech about how traumatized she was. It is easy to forget that she wasn't the innocent bystander in this story, she was one of the bullies.
A number of climate activists are apparently confused by the weather in Alberta. They do not appear to understand that El Nino, not climate change, is responsible for the warm, dry winter. This fact was well-expected as experts predicted the warm, dry winter months ago.
The reality is that you can't have a legitimate discussion about the topic of oil without considering the ethics underlying our oil supply. Regardless of branding, ethical sourcing has to be part of the discussion. As a pragmatic environmentalist seeking only to ensure a healthy economy on a healthy planet, I would be remiss if I ignored the topic for such an inane reason.
The Manifesto consists of a list of "15 Demands" that range from the somewhat reasonable; to the ridiculous; to the sublime. It would take numerous blog posts to address them individually. Happily, I have been writing blogs for a while and the Manifesto addresses a number of topics I have previously covered.
We have one dad in boy's baseball who, when asked to help out as volunteer umpire, was happily willing to bend the rules in favour of his child's team. What sort of example do you set for your child when he sees his dad make clearly incorrect calls to ensure his team wins?
We are doing a huge disservice to our kids. We are raising a generation of children who are going to be incapable of succeeding in the modern era. They are being taught to be egocentric and to give up, often before even trying.
I have been asked recently why I blog on The Huffington Post. The question has come from a friend as well as a journalist, on Twitter, who suggested that I am taking food off his plate. My intention in my blogs is not to court conflict. Rather, I want to highlight the misuse of science in environmental decision-making.
My blog post last week (I Support The Energy East Pipeline As A Pragmatic Environmentalist) made quite a splash resulting in me receiving a lot of both positive and negative feedback. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the negative feedback consisted of unsupported and/or unsupportable "facts" about the proposal.
I know that the term "ethical oil" has some blemishes on it because of issues surrounding its origin, but I believe in the concept behind the term. I want my personal gasoline purchases to go towards subsidizing medicare and not subsidizing a despot or paying for a tyrant to bomb his neighbour.
In Paris Canada agreed to drop our greenhouse gas emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. To achieve this goal Canada will need to cut fossil fuels out of our transportation and home heating energy budgets by the middle of this century. Fossil fuels represent 60 per cent of B.C.'s current energy needs.