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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Alberta Is Expected to Do Better on Emissions

Let's Make Alberta Obey!
Another new Ipsos Reid poll begs some interesting questions. We see 68% of Canadians want stricter emission standards for the oil and gas industry in Alberta despite it resulting in “significant increased costs.”

The question is a tad loaded but that is not the big deal. What is a “significant increased cost” mean to Canadians? What will this apply to beyond the obvious of gasoline, home heating oil, and increased airfares to name a few. How much tolerance is there for significance? Is a tripling or quadrupling of costs acceptable? Are those cost burdens necessary to achieve the GHG reductions needed?

What does “stricter emission standards” mean? Could a lessen overall fossil fuel production and therefore less energy? We have seen supply problem for gasoline in the East recently. Perhaps a formal rationing of gasoline where the population is the highest and the densest should be part of the solution.

This question sets up the old paradigm that the environment and the economy are mutually exclusive and in a zero sum game. What is “good” for one has to be “bad” for the other.

We need to revisit this mistaken belief and understand we can have a sustainable economy with enhanced environmental outcomes and do so in a profitable capitalist system based on stewardship as a basis of profitability.

We need some serious research into jsut what the tolerance for GHG emissions and addtional costs for people means to them. What are the value tradeoffs here? Are we on a susatainable course when we find out what this really means?

"I Think I'll Go Out To Alberta, Weather's Good There in the Fall."
The other recent Ipsos Reid poll says about a quarter of all Canadians would move to Alberta for a 25% pay increase. Am I the only one to see the irony in this attitude? Some advice – we welcome you in Alberta if you have a trade or other skill set - and happen to also be a turtle. If you are not bringing your own house it is tough to survive. We are building houses as fast as we can in Alberta but not fast enough…and prices are still soaring.