Oil sands debate is a charade

| March 14, 2012 | 0 Comments

Many of the arguments against the oil pipelines don’t withstand scrutiny

Oil sands debate

There is estimated to be 1 trillion barrels of oil in oil sands

Troy Media – by Tim Ball

A charade called the Northern Gateway Oil Pipeline hearing is going on in Canada as hundreds, paid by organizations with political agendas, appear before a Board of Inquiry.

Concern is about construction of two pipelines to Canada’s west coast. It’s a discussion in ignorance as neither side understands the science.

The issues parallel U.S. President Barack Obama’s political delay of the Keystone Pipeline, which is unnecessary because there are over three years of study, government agencies have approved them, multiple pipelines already cross the continent, there are very few pipeline leaks, there’s technology to control and remediate damage. Pipelines are a ‘bulk carrier’ provision of the NAFTA, and because the issue is not the pipelines, but the false science of CO2 as a Greenhouse gas.

From targets to victims

Obama is reportedly listening to irrigation farmers about potential contamination of water in the Ogallala Aquifer. Ironically in the 1980s these farmers, now victims, were the target. Environmentalists blamed them for a lowered aquifer water table, but as usual they ignored the natural climate pattern of drought at the time. (Figure 1 shows some pipelines relative to the Aquifier.)

Obama’s political actions suit Canadian environmentalists who have long opposed the Athabasca oil sands development. Oil sands are out of sight and out of mind, and their early tactics had little impact. Excessive extraction of water from the Athabasca River was an early attack. Alberta Environment statistics say that oil sands are allocated 7 per cent of available water resources, but only use 1/3 of that amount. Most environmental damage claims haven’t survived examination. Co-option of U.S. activists to protest outside the White House helped, but pipelines allowed them to extend fears to millions along the pipeline corridors.

The oil ands are problematic to these environmentalists because they shatter claims that oil reserves are in decline. Through the notion of peak oil, they argue that we abandon fossil fuels because we are running out, and must switch to renewable alternate energies. We are not running out of oil and alternate energies have so far proved a failure.

There is an estimated 1 trillion barrels in the Alberta oil sands, but there is at least 1/4 trillion (250 billion) barrels under Saskatchewan.

There’s undoubtedly more because the geologic formation dips to the southeast and is still undefined.

Twenty per cent of Alberta oil sands are close to the surface, allowing cheap open pit mining. Since reserve amounts are determined by availability and price, oil sand reserves are impressive even at current prices.

Environmentalists use deception, manipulation, exploitation of fears and lack of knowledge to advance the belief that CO2 is causing global destruction.

Consider the corruption of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) identified in Donna Laframbroise’s book The Delinquent Teenager. It is a devastating dissection of the difference between the carefully promoted public image of scientific integrity and fullness, and the corrupted and compromised procedures carried out to achieve a political agenda. It exposes the IPCC reports as propaganda far removed from science.

Then there are the deliberately deceptive differences between what the IPCC say in their Summary for Policymakers (SPM) created for public consumption and The Physical Science Basis Report. One is full of certainty while the other, which few read or would understand, identifies all the serious limitations. For example, they admit, “In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

The leaked emails further disclose how little they know. Consider how Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and IPCC leader Phil Jones responded to a question about offsetting climate change. Your toolkit assumes there is a technological solution to mitigate climate change. By definition this assumes we fully understand the climate system, and I don’t think we do – in the sense that if we do something, we know what the effect will be. Yet, they claim with certainty that a CO2 increase will cause a temperate increase.

It’s all a charade
The IPCC are 90 per cent certain, but produce consistently incorrect predictions or projections as they call them. Physics Nobel winner Richard Feynamn goes to the heart of the matter:  “It does not matter who you are, or how smart you are, or what title you have, or how many of you there are, and certainly not how many papers your side has published, if your prediction is wrong then your hypothesis is wrong. Period.”

Charade is defined as “an absurd pretense intended to create a pleasant or respectable appearance.” It has nothing to do with facts or reality, just like the oil sands and pipeline debates.

Tim Ball is Senior Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy (www.fcpp.org).

 

 

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Category: Canada, Energy, Oil & Gas

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