Al­berta ad ig­nores cost of cli­mate change

Times Colonist - - Comment -

In Thurs­day’s news­pa­per, I no­ticed a full-page ad by the gov­ern­ment of Al­berta, claim­ing that the Trans Moun­tain pipe­line ex­pan­sion “de­lay costs Cana­di­ans $40 mil­lion ev­ery day.” It is dif­fi­cult for me to judge the ac­cu­racy of this fig­ure. How­ever, the ad fails to men­tion the over­whelm­ing costs of cli­mate change, to which Cana­dian fos­sil-fuel ex­ports are con­tribut­ing.

Last year’s fire season was the most de­struc­tive on record in BC. For­est fires dis­placed 65,000 peo­ple and burned more than 1,200 square kilo­me­tres of land. This year’s fire season was the sec­ond worst on record, with more than 600 fires and more than 5,400 peo­ple reg­is­tered for emer­gency ser­vices.

Mean­while, hur­ri­cane Florence is drown­ing the Caroli­nas, with cat­a­strophic flood­ing ex­pected. It will likely be a $100-bil­lion dis­as­ter. Flood­ing from hur­ri­cane Har­vey in Texas last year cost more than $125 bil­lion. Glob­ally, the cost of weather/cli­mate re­lated dis­as­ters in 2017 was $306 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal So­ci­ety.

The lost in­come from not ex­port­ing more Cana­dian oil is a pit­tance com­pared with the over­whelm­ing costs of cli­mate chaos. As a so­ci­ety, we should not be prop­ping up an in­dus­try that prof­its from desta­bi­liz­ing Earth’s cli­mate.

We need to shift away from fos­sil fu­els and car­bon pol­lu­tion as quickly as pos­si­ble. Dwight Owens Lang­ford

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