Canadian government bets on climate change

Tue, 2007-07-10 14:17Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Canadian government bets on climate change

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper threw $7 billion into the climate change expense sheet yesterday, promising to build at least six new light icebreakers to patrol Canada's Arctic waters.

Melting ice in the Canadian Arctic is presenting the promise of a usable Northwest Passage and an increased likelihood of affordable resource extraction. Against that backdrop, the U.S.- and now even Denmark - are beginning to challenge Canadian sovereignty in the region, arguing that the passage, once open, would be international waters.

On the question of Canadian sovereignty, Harper said the country must “use it or lose it,” and that six to eight light, and lightly armed, icebreakers would be sufficient to the task.

Presumably, the Prime Minister is betting that the climate change melt will come even quicker than expected, because in commissioning this new fleet, Harper is breaking a campaign promise to build three icebreakers large enough to patrol the neighborhood in colder weather. This is perhaps part of a larger Conservative Party plan that includes unfettered development of the Canadian oil sands - Canada's single largest contribution to the global climate change catastrophe.

It's good to see the Tories finally beginning to take the climate change file seriously. It's just alarming to see them treating it like it's a good thing.

Comments

Ah, yes. Littlemore has drawn the conclusion from the government’s purchase of icebreakers, that it believes in “climate change”.

Presumably, this future climate will continue to include lots of, um, y’know … ice. Hence the icebreakers.

Meanwhile, my own municipal government continues to invest in it’s fleet of snowplows. They are “betting on climate change”, as well. Usually, it changes around mid-November … every year.

After all this time, you still don’t know the difference between climate and weather? Tsk, tsk.

The problem with “light icebreakers” is that they only break thin ice, not the thick stuff that exists now.

These light icebreakers are only capable of breaking ice up to three feet thick. 
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Companies like Shell Oil really need to give their eyes a rub and see that a world with serious constraints on greenhouse gas emissions is not a possible future, but an eventual reality.

Right now, oil companies are investing billions in long term plays in very carbon intensive fuels, like Canada's oil sands, while at the same time there are more and more signs that strict regulations on such operations are on the near horizon.

You don't need to look much further than...

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