Monday, November 24, 2008

The Big Lie

As Ed Stelmach and friends tour the country, and globe for that matter, trying to improve the image of the tar sands, his central thesis has been the idea of carbon sequestration as solution. No need for concern, early research is promising, Stelmach has a workable plan that will eliminate those pesky environmental concerns, most of the criticism just ill-informed hysteria. It's been a pretty impressive sales job, if you listen to Stelmach, you can easily be seduced by his carbon capture argument to negate. The only problem, and it would appear both the feds and province are aware, the oil sands are a horrible candidate for this technology, any talk of managing carbon in this manner essentially a lie:
The ministerial briefing notes, initially marked "Secret," say that just a small percentage of the carbon dioxide released in mining the sands and producing fuel from them can be captured.

The briefing notes, obtained by CBC under freedom-of-information legislation, are based on the findings of a joint Canada and Alberta task force on carbon capture and storage...

Little of the oilsands' carbon dioxide can be captured because most emissions aren't concentrated enough, the notes say. For efficient capture, there must be a high concentration of CO2 coming out of a smoke stack.

"Only a small percentage of emitted CO2 is 'capturable' since most emissions aren't pure enough," the notes say. "Only limited near-term opportunities exist in the oilsands and they largely relate to upgrader facilities."

Rational people shouldn't focus on reducing emissions in the oilsands through carbon capture and storage, Keith says.

The Prime Minister had this knowledge prior to the government's commitment on carbon sequestration, and cited the oilsands as the first example for implementation. Premier Stelmach uses sequestration to allay any and all fears, it is the magic solution that will make the problem disappear. Stelmach goes further, having the audacity to claim any opposition is driven by propaganda and misconceptions, initiated by people with agendas, his campaign merely a desire to "set the record straight". And yet, Stelmach is the one presenting a false solution, one he is well aware can't deliver in the way he suggests. Stelmach is correct, there is a great deal of misinformation and propaganda making the rounds, but it would seem he is the one engaged in a campaign of deception.


Red Tory said...

Well said.

I didn't actually cotton on to the "sequestration" aspect of Stelmach's argument at first but was more just puzzled by what he was on about in his little polemic... that was brought to my attention by a commenter.

It's still kind of difficult to fathom what "point" he's trying to make with that weird editorial.

Who is he appealing to?

Steve V said...


I think he's trying to convince Ontario voters that the oilsands are our economic salvation. It's a very bizarre argument, exaggerated benefits aside, there is actually an inverse relationship between the two economies.

Anonymous said...

A politician lied? No way.

Steve V said...


JimmE said...

Can someone tell me why in the province with the most hours of bright sunlight per year no one has turned to one of the most tried & true alternatives ie. solar heating? I should think this is a no brainer.

Anonymous said...