Climate Change

2030 is the new 2050

British Columbia is not just North America’s largest coal shipper, it plans to be a major LNG exporter. Destructive public policies demonstrate the hold on Canadian politicians enjoyed by private vested interests and lobbyists. Otherwise intelligent people have turned into fools who pretend climate change can be ignored or dealt with by comforting words as long as money can be made from fossil fuels.

For some years, scientists have warned of the developing climate emergency.

Ripple and colleagues warned of untold suffering and declared a climate emergency together with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from 153 countries. They presented graphs of planetary vital signs indicating very troubling trends, along with little progress by humanity to address climate change

Government responses avoided decisive action. The Washington Post summarized American efforts under Trump:

For four long years, the federal government tried to pretend that climate change was either an illusion, a “natural” process or a hoax concocted for political reasons. The White House effectively ordered scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency and other departments to cover their ears and hum “na-na-na-na-na” to cover up the planet’s escalating distress

Take away the hollow promises and fancy public relations work and Canadian governments have been no better. But ignoring or downplaying climate change doesn’t make it go away. The loud message sent by 2021 shows real action is needed.

This year, wildfires have already burned more than 2 million acres in British Columbia and four million acres more in five western American states. Fire has raged in many parts of the world.

Drought threatens regions we rely upon to feed our families while Metro Vancouver is producing a steadily declining share of its food supplies — now about 10%.

In Antarctica, the doomsday glacier and the massive west Antarctic ice sheet are at risk. Thwaites “is the widest glacier on the planet, more than 1km deep and holds enough ice to raise the sea level by 65cm” (2.1 feet).

This year, western Europe experienced unusual flooding that killed hundreds and caused damages worth billions of dollars. Scientists have warned climate change will mean more flooding because warmer air holds more moisture, which can translate into heavier rainfall.

Canada’s Insurance institute reports that payouts for severe weather damage claims have doubled every 5 to 10 years since the 1980s. “If the trend continues it will drive profound, transformative change in Canada’s insurance industry.

Melanie Nakagawa, special assistant to President Biden and senior director for climate and energy, said that the 2020 decade is the “decisive decade” to make meaningful climate change action.

Canada’s response is to invest more than $18 billion in a pipeline that will ship Alberta tar sands product from Burnaby, with dangerous materials stored close by an elementary school, a residential area and near to Simon Fraser University.

BC’s response is to protect fossil fuel projects from protesters by mobilizing armed forces prepared to use snipers with shoot-to-kill orders and instructed to use as much violence “as you want.”

RCMP Planned to Use Snipers in Assault on Wet'suwet'en Protest, Guardian  Reports | The Tyee

A few years ago, BC NDP members in opposition, including John Horgan and George Heyman, promoted PowerBC, a clean energy program that focused on conservation and innovation. After taking office, they dumped those ideas in the bin and focused on increased subsidies to fossil fuels. The centerpiece for Horgan — as it was for Christy Clark — is LNG.

That is a dangerous and destructive change of course.

Climate scientists say that rising production of natural gas is emerging as one of the biggest drivers of climate change, and that plans for industry expansion could hobble efforts to stabilize the Earth’s climate.

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an New York based environmental group with more than three million members, including some 750 lawyers, scientists, and other professionals. It spends roughly C$200 million annually on programs for clean energy, sustainability, wildlife and wildlands.

In 2020, NRDC issued a report explaining that Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is not an effective climate strategy.

Following are excepts from the document:

Historically, gas has been considered a “bridge fuel”—cleaner and with lower carbon dioxide emissions than coal or oil—and a potential tool to help address climate change. However, LNG is neither clean nor particularly low in emissions. In addition, the massive investments in new infrastructure to support this industry, including pipelines, liquefaction facilities, export terminals, and tankers, lock in fossil fuel dependence, making the transition to actual low-carbon and no-carbon energy even more difficult.

Our analysis shows that using LNG to replace other, dirtier fossil fuels, is not an effective strategy to reduce climate-warming emissions. In fact, if the LNG export industry expands as projected, it is likely to make it nearly impossible to keep global temperatures from increasing above the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold for catastrophic climate impacts.

  • The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the extraction, transport, liquefaction, and re-gasification of LNG can be almost equal to the emissions produced from the actual burning of the gas, effectively doubling the climate impact of each unit of energy created from gas transported overseas.
  • The liquefaction, tanker transport, and re-gasification steps required for overseas export can account for up to 21 percent of total life-cycle emissions for LNG.
  • Leaks and intentional releases of methane, a potent GHG, during the extraction and transport of the LNG can constitute up to 14 percent of LNG’s life-cycle emissions.
  • Because methane has a much stronger and more immediate climate impact, the near-term climate effect (over the next 20 years) of LNG is close to that of coal…
  • Compared with clean, renewable energy sources, LNG falls far short (Figure ES-1). Life-cycle GHG emissions for solar power are less than 7 percent of LNG emissions; emissions for wind power are even lower, less than 2 percent of LNG emissions.
  • Exporting LNG will not help meet the global goal of holding warming at or below 1.5 °C, and it will have devastating effects on frontline communities.
  • NRDC opposes LNG export due to the substantial climate risks it poses, including its large GHG footprint, the long life span of LNG infrastructure that locks in fossil fuels instead of clean energy, and methane leaks that can eliminate any climate benefit even if LNG is used to replace coal.
  • Much of LNG’s sizable climate impact comes from methane leaks that occur throughout the production, processing, and transport of the gas.

Categories: Climate Change, LNG

10 replies »

  1. 1. Implement world-leading regulations and technologies to support detection and reduction of harmful methane emissions in the oil and gas sector.

    2. Collaborate with other government ministries, agencies and partners to help achieve BC’s methane emissions reduction targets from oil and gas operations, including by monitoring the effectiveness of new methane regulations, undertaking robust compliance and enforcement activities, and advancing research to improve the detection, measurement and reduction of methane emissions.

    The directives above are taken from BC government mandate letters for this year. One would expect they were directed at BC’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. They were not. The mandate letter he received was far more general and dealt with vague zero-emission targets for the future. It never even mentioned methane.

    #1 is from the mandate letter to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation.

    #2 is from the Minister’s mandate letter to his deputy, the Chair of the BC Oil and Gas Commission, one Fazil Mihlar.

    This is taking the concept of fox in charge of the chicken coop to whole new levels

    Liked by 2 people

    • Here’s another directive in a mandate letter to a minister.

      “Undertake a review of oil and gas royalty credits to ensure they meet B.C.’s goals for economic development, a fair return on our resources and environmental protection.”

      Was it directed at the Minister of Finance? Environment? Labour? Jobs and Economic Development? Nope. Energy.

      So Minister Ralston’s deputy Fazil Mihlar, who does the actual day to day running of the ministry, is tasked with determining whether oil and gas subsidies are effective and appropriate.

      After examining his pedigree, which Norm so thoroughly provided for us in the https://in-sights.ca/2017/08/22/when-regulators-dont-believe-in-regulation/ article reintroduced yesterday, take a wild guess what Mr. Mihlar will come up with.

      The question that arises here is whether John Horgan has his own Mr. Fix-It, or is it the other way around?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You know what will solve all these problems . Road pricing and increase the carbon tax on gas .
    At the pump of course the producers will pay nothing.
    This message brought to you by the one party running BC. The Corporate Party.

    Like

    • No, road pricing will not work, nor is the carbon tax for that matter. In fact these measures greatly affect the poor and just becomes another revenue source for government.

      For Road Pricing to be effective, one must have a credible, affordable and user friendly public transportation alternative.

      We don’t in Metro Vancouver, nor will we with present transit expenditures.

      The love affair with our SkyTrain light metro system has prevented the implementation of a user friendly transit system and will continue to do so. The grade separated SkyTrain, keeps the roads clear for cars and why the government keeps building with it.

      Example: The $3 billion, 5.8 km, Millennium Line subway in Vancouver and the $4 billion, 16 km Expo line extension to Langley, which combined offer 21.8 km of light metro for around $7 billion. This investment will not take cars off the road but drive up transit costs, providing non user-friendly transit.

      Now add in the $1.4 billion Pattullo Bridge replacement. This makes the investment pot $8.4 billion.

      For the same amount of money we could build.

      A road/rail replacement bridge for the Pattulo Bridge and the decrepit Fraser river Rail Bridge (as planned for by the GVRD in the 1970’s) – $2 billion

      A Vancouver to Chilliwack regional rail service using TramTrain or light DMU (As per the Leewood Study) – $1.2 billion.

      A BCIT to UBC/Stanely Park LRT (European style) – $1.5 billion.

      A New Westminster to Vancouver LRT, via the Arbutus corridor – $750 million (with direct servcie to Chilliwack).

      A Whiterock to Surrey Centre LRT $1.5 billion (with direct service to Vancouver)

      Over 200 km in rail transit, connecting the Fraser Valley for the cost of around $7 billion.

      This is the type of network needed for road pricing to succeed, this is the network needed to stem auto use.

      Like

      • Evil Eye, This sounds logical but I fear the costs are not accurate. Beware of P3s. Here is what Ottawa’s costs are so far “Mayor Jim Watson announced that the line would open on September 14, 2019. At a cost of just over $2.1 billion, it was the largest infrastructure project awarded in the history of the city before being surpassed by the Stage 2 extension of the line which will cost $4.66 billion.”

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  3. some one is making money but it isn’t us. It doesn’t make sense for B.C. to ship coal and LNG. we may makthe e some money but not dam much. You’ve had the information up about how little the province makes. Then when you look at the fires and the cost of fighting them, well that is a shit load of cash. We as a province loose money. Even I can figure that one out and I’m really, really bad at math.

    The cost of groceries are going up faster than most people’s incomes and lets not forget a lot of people in this country are on pensions. CHEK News here on the Island had a feature on the rising cost of groceries and interviewed one of the managers of an Island chain, Country Groceries. the man explained why meat is going up in price. We paid less here for veggies, but that could change also if we have more drought.

    If we do not stop this changing climate, we will be in big trouble. We can live without oil, but without clean water to drink, you’re dead in 3 days and we in North America haven’t even gotten to the point of realization it may be time to use desalinization plants to use ocean water for irrigation.

    B.C. needs to stop shipping that coal. We don’t even use it. It goes to other countries. Why are we helping them destroy our enviornment and people. The west coast of north america is burning while the east coast is flooding. At some point we will not be able to continue. The only people really benefiting from any of this are the world’s billionaires and their political friends. We ought to remember that the children of today, in 60 years may not be alive due to climate change. With droughts we can expect world wide hunger and death. For what? So billionaires can make more money? We need to get a grip on our priorities. Try to ensure your grandchildren can stay alive in 60 yeears.

    Like

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