Contributed by Robert Lyman © 2020. Lyman’s bio can be read here.
Over the last four years, I have written over 100 articles on energy and climate issues that the Friends of Science Society has been kind enough to post on its blog. My objective has been to offer sound factual and analytical information that would help readers to understand the implications of current climate policy trends in Canada and the world. More recently, many of my articles have tried to illustrate the adverse consequences of specific climate policies and measures that affect different sectors of the economy.
Despite all the articles, people frequently say that they do not understand exactly what the cost of climate policy is for the average family or the average person. They complain that I have not boiled all my analysis down to one number that can be used on social media to confront alarmists. In a recent article, I tried to explain why it is virtually impossible to tally up the costs of existing government measures, let alone the costs of future measures. You can read it here:
This seemed to satisfy no one, which has led me to think about the question in terms of fundamentals.
What is Canada? It is the coldest country on earth. It is one of the largest countries on earth, with more than 7,000 km separating St. John’s Newfoundland from Victoria, British Columbia. There are long distances between our major urban centres and between our areas of high population density and the remote communities of the North. Canada is a country rich in resources of all kinds, including the resources needed to produce energy like oil, natural gas, coal, uranium and hydro-electric resources. Partly because of this, Canada is a relatively wealthy, industrialized country; it has been able to use its comparative advantages in low cost, plentiful and secure energy to build a modern economy with plenty of high income jobs.
It has been like this for a long time. For well over a century, Canadians have developed their economy, settlement patterns and infrastructure based on plentiful and cheap energy. Our roads, railways, electricity generation and transmission facilities, mines, pipelines, city structures, industrial plants, commercial facilities, vehicles and homes have all been designed and built based on the use of a heritage of plenty. Much of that infrastructure has a long life. It cannot be replaced in a few decades.
Along came an international organization, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that uses a computer model to predict climate changes over the next century. That organization told us and the other countries of the world that we must stop using the 84% of our energy needs now supplied for oil, natural gas and coal. More, it insists that we hasten the pace of this transformation using the central planning and taxation powers of government. Outside of Europe, most of the countries of the world have turned a blind eye and deaf ear to this claim.
Within or own country, however, every major political party has accepted the calls of alarm and set political goals that would utterly transform our country. The immense costs to be incurred will fall heavily on all regions, but almost half of them will fall on two provinces – Alberta and Saskatchewan. The governments and people of those provinces are unlikely to take this without grave response. The result of current climate policies, I seriously fear, will not only be the destruction of much of the Canadian economy but also a serious threat to Confederation.
So how does one estimate the cost? How do we calculate the cost of turning one’s country on its head, of ignoring the central facts of our geography, climate, history and economic advantages? What is the cost of denial of who and what Canada is?
There cannot be one single number for that.
Investigative journalist Donna Laframboise exposed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as “The Delinquent Teenager” fraught with green activists, politics and conflicts of interests. Curious that the UN felt it appropriate to host another teenage, Greta Thunberg, to berate the world. Hundreds of scientists of CLINTEL dispute the claim of #ClimateEmergency.
Donna Laframboise blogs at “The Big Picture News”