The most fruitful way forward for resource development in B.C. appears to be through true co-management. Co-management moves beyond mere consent, to full and meaningful partnerships -- which require building a tremendous amount of trust through good-faith government-to-government negotiations and bringing in mature private sector partners.
For several decades, the urgency to fight climate change has been systematically paralyzed by the climate deniers. In order to deliberately create confusion in public opinion and block all concerted political action which might attempt to remedy the situation, the fossil fuel magnates have spent millions on pressure groups or bogus foundations.
By not acting on climate change, not engaging with the world, our national interests were undermined. Under the Conservatives' watch we came within a single vote of having our energy products barred from sale in the EU. In contrast we are reacting to the needs of Albertans and the opportunities arising in the global economy. Alberta now has a true partner in the federal government.
We're being left behind by other countries and economies while we chase an elusive ideal under some imaginary rainbow. It's time for our leaders to stand up and draw a line in the sand and stop enabling these fanatics, lest they achieve their ultimate goal of completely shutting down our economic engine.
Most national governments have committed to the 2015 Paris Agreement's goal of limiting global warming to 2 C above pre-industrial levels, with an aspirational goal of 1.5 C. We're already nearing the latter, with growing consequences, including increasing extreme weather events, water and food shortages, migration crises and extinctions. We must conserve energy, quickly phase out coal power and continue to develop renewable resources.
I have come to the conclusion that this decision is too important to leave in the hands of short-sighted federal, provincial and municipal politicians. Nor do I want to leave it to the oil industry or other lobbyist or environmental groups to decide. I want the ultimate decision to be made by the people of Canada, all the people, every single one.
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.
There are many uses for fossil fuels, including oil, where the alternatives are nowhere near as advanced as wind turbines, solar panels or electric cars. Stopping pipelines in Canada does not speed up the development of alternatives to oil. It doesn't slow growing oil demand in emerging economies, where most of the growth in energy demand will come from in the future.
I can understand that Alberta faces economic hardships; Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the cabinet meeting would examine the challenges that Alberta has to face because the price of petroleum has fallen through the floor. But in 2015-16, is the building of pipelines an appropriate remedy for the economic woes of Alberta?
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.
How is it that the national debate is not about bitumen and the future markets for that commodity? Instead, people drone on about pipelines, an abstraction of the petroleum production. The mantra has become: "If we build them, money will come." But will it? Is the world market price for bitumen so attractive that success is assured if we can only get it to tide-water? The answer is simple: No.
Raising the minimum wage, diversifying Alberta's economy and supporting working people have my full support, but I'm sorry Premier Notley, I just can't get behind you on pipelines. New pipelines aren't good for the environment, they aren't good for the climate, and I'm sorry, but they aren't good for working people or good governance, either.
Columbia operates a 24,000-km pipeline network.