Vancouver Canucks contracted the Sedin brothers to advise General Manager Jim Benning. The men were outstanding hockey players and are excellent human beings. Aptness of the Canucks’ move cannot be disputed.
However, the extent of news coverage when a sports organization hires two individuals illustrates a major problem. Large media corporations in Canada see their primary role is to entertain, not to inform. The company now owning properties that were once titans of news operations in BC—CKNW and BCTV—even styles itself CORUS ENTERTAINMENT.
If there is a bear swimming in someone’s backyard pool, corporate media will have the story quickly. When massive sums of taxpayers dollars flow to wealthy organizations without good public purpose, the subject is mostly ignored in billionaire-owned news providers. New media is left responsible for protecting the public interest and explaining complex issues.
For example, while an extraordinary heat wave envelopes western North America, and concern for climate change mounts, BC NDP and BC Liberals promote harmful fossil fuel projects that will cost tens of billions of taxpayer dollars. Not discussed in corporate media.
This article from The Tyee focuses on LNG but that is just one part of the road BC is paving toward Earth’s devastation.
Royalty reduction credits taken and accrued by BC natural gas producers now are well more than $10 billion. With flat demand for electricity in BC since 2005, the only justification for the $16 billion Site C dam was to provide electricity to LNG producers that politicians promised would add $1 trillion dollars to the BC economy.
Most projects never received a final investment decision and still involved investors are seeking additional bailouts from governments. Without further public subsidies, even the largest project may be abandoned. In any case, tens of billions of dollars have been committed to projects that were like infamous vaporware that was common in the computer industry during the late 20th century.
Already North America’s largest coal exporter, British Columbia is adding terminal capacity to ship even more coal. Railways are busy with coal traffic from eastern BC, Alberta and the USA. That traffic precludes the use of existing lines for passenger traffic, necessitating public expenditures of more billions for dedicated transit routes.
Corporate media has little interest in reporting the financial and environmental costs of fossil fuels. That’s one reason each of us should provide financial support to the real truth tellers. The Tyee and The Narwhal are just two that need reader support.
Excerpts from The Tyee:
Canadian LNG is particularly bad off, Ted Nace, executive director of the Global Energy Monitor, told The Tyee. “The problem with the Canadian LNG expansion is that it’s especially vulnerable because Canada is a high-cost producer on a world basis.”
That’s because Canada plans to produce its LNG from fracking — an energy and capital-intensive process to access gas hidden deep inside shale rock.
Canadian LNG comes up short on the global market, said Nace, particularly when it competes against countries where conventional gas sources make LNG cheaper to produce.
Nace said the pinch on LNG will get stronger as renewables prices drop. And those prices will not will be as volatile. “If you build a renewable [project] there is no question what it’s going to cost because there’s no fuel cost.”
A recent analysis projected cost for renewable energy would fall by around half between 2019 and 2030.
Meanwhile, the oft-cited argument that LNG provides a “transition fuel” is on shaky ground.
Back in 2013, the BC Liberal Party pledged that LNG would create $1 trillion in economic activity for the province. But that dream never materialized.
Yet efforts to establish an LNG industry in Canada have received billions in subsidies from provincial and federal governments.
LNG Canada alone has received $5.3 billion from the province.
When an industry is on a path to extinction, private investors exit and governments often step in, spending huge dollars to delay the inevitable.
Ted Nace, executive director of the Global Energy Monitor, told The Tyee:
I think the public should really keep an eye on not letting the government go down that road again.
The Tyee and writer Zoe Yunker produced a very useful article but it should be read with others that illustrate the many ways that we are being forced to pay for destruction of our world.