Asking companies to shut down plants isn't easy but as Alberta wades into this challenge it behooves us to examine successful case studies where coal power producers, workers, governments and environmental groups worked together to shut down a coal plant in a smart, humane and economically responsible way.
There are a group of people often overlooked in the fight against climate change and they can be one of our greatest allies as we figure out how to limit the damage from extreme weather, rising seas and threats to food security. They are the millions of indigenous people who live in the world's remaining forests. Often overlooked, ignored, marginalized and attacked, they stand at the heart of a global solution on climate change that all of us, whether we live in big cities or remote villages, can benefit from.
Selling carbon offsets is an important funding mechanism for progressive organizations such as NCC and provides critical funds to steward existing properties and conduct future conservation activities. It allows companies to demonstrate the importance of climate change mitigation in their corporate missions.
Because Alberta oil is landlocked and therefore traditionally sold below world prices, it's been suggested that bringing it east will lower energy prices for us. It's probably more realistic to expect that Alberta crude will get more expensive as soon as a pipeline links it to us, and the world market.
Dr. Burton believes that although there are climate skeptics now, they will come around and the necessary change to reduce greenhouse emissions will happen -- likely in something like 50 years. The problem with this scenario is that many irreversible impacts of climate change will have already occurred.
The oil industry is used to getting its way without much fuss, but now thousands of citizens, unions, legislators and celebrities have come together to fight for the energy future they want. It has been inspiring, but it also raises an important question: shouldn't every decision about a new energy project face this type of scrutiny?