Canadian pipelines vs. Chinese coal

There is an important article in The Guardian which says that “China’s growing appetite for new coal-fired power stations has outstripped plant closures in the rest of the world since the start of last year, data shows … [and] … Elsewhere countries reduced their capacity by 8GW in the 18 months to June because old plants were retired faster than new ones were built. But over the same period China increased its capacity by 42.9GW despite a global move towards cleaner energy sources and a pledge to limit the use of coal.” Essentially, that means that, globally, for every single lump of coal that the whole rest of the world stops digging and burning the Chinese dig up and burn five new lumps. The Chinese and those who don’t really give a damn about greenhouse gasses brag about China leading the world in electric car production, but as I mentioned a few days ago all those new electric cars are powered by coal-fired power plants so they represent a net loss for the environment:

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It is not just an Alberta oil vs. Chinese coal debate. As Eric Reguly points out in a data-filled article in the Globe and Mail, the mid to long term goal must be to stabilize and, windturbineeventually, reduce ALL carbon-based fuel use, but, as he says, “Don’t believe everything you hear about the green-energy revolution. It’s coming, but more slowly than 000094_5bb3b6372acc6_n1advertised. Fossil fuels, in absolute terms, are still on the rise because of population and economic growth.” There is a vital role for green energy and it may require public support (subsidies) while it elbows its way into the market, but, even with public support, not all green solutions work well enough in all situations.

Anyone who actually thinks about this ~ which pretty clearly excludes Prime Minister Trudeau and may also exclude Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s new Minister of the Environment and Climate Change ~ can see that Canada can help China, India and other coal-burning nations, and, therefore, the whole world, by building pipelines, now, to tidewater, to seaports on the both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts and, probably, to the Arctic Ocean and Hudson’s Bay, too. Instead, we remain mindlessly focused on reducing the <2% of global greenhouse gases that we actually produce. Blocking pipelines is policy rubbish and global climate change stupidity of the worst order.

 

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