Reducing the total amount of greenhouse gas Alberta puts into the atmosphere would devastate the province's economy, Premier Ed Stelmach said Tuesday, the same day his environment minister delivered a similar message in Ottawa.
Meeting Canada's legally binding targets under the international Kyoto agreement would be impossible without reducing government programs, Stelmach said.
"You want to reduce back to 1990 levels -- how do you do it without destroying the economy?" Stelmach said. "Nobody can deliver on it without hurting the economy to the point where we will lose services."
Something has got to be done. A co-worker and I were discussing this on the way home from a committee meeting last night. No one can argue that climate change and global warming is not an issue. All one has to do is look at the bizarro weather this year, particularly that of Vancouver and lower B.C. to realize how dire the situation is getting. The root systems of trees in the area have long since grown to accomodate the high winds the region faces, however, with the change of temperature and the milder winds, these huge, old trees are falling over.
Honestly, who cares if we have to spend a bit more money now, while the economy is booming, in order to adapt our habits and discuss best practices to deal with the changes in climate and global warming? It's going to be a whole lot harder to deal with when our financial situation is as great as it is right now.
All this talk of environment and climate change also reminds me of this (great documentary, I encourage everyone to watch it). World oil has already peaked and will only decline from here. Further to just dealing with climate change, we have to work to create alternative solutions to this energy source. After all, oil is not just used for driving cars and heating homes, it's used in the production of essentially everything. With resources depleting, oil is only going to become more expensive and so are the products that we consume. You don't want to hurt the economy Stelmach? Put the progressive in Progressive Conservative and make the environment a priority. Because when the situation becomes worse, it's going to create a massive blow to the economy, and by then it may be too late to fix.
The environmental issue can be put as simply as this (and I don't often quote Dippers, so listen up):
Alberta NDP Leader Brian Mason said Stelmach is fearmongering and lags behind the public in his attitude towards climate change.
"The government is very much out of step with Albertans on this issue -- they see from day to day, season to season, the changes in the climate and are very concerned about the kind of Alberta they will be leaving to their children and grandchildren," Mason said.