Canadians are asking Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, to show us the science on the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Both claim that the decision to build the pipeline is backed by science. Well then, let’s see it. It’s a reasonable request.
Credit: 350.Org #ShowUsTheScience website
Trudeau says self-importantly that if “there was a danger to the beautiful British Columbia coast,” he would never have approved the Kinder Morgan pipeline. But our Prime Minister has become the king of doublespeak. He also said that “no country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and leave them there,” during his address to oil executives in Texas in March of 2017.
Trudeau has linked his government’s national climate plan to the approval of pipelines and the expansion of the Tar Sands. In other words, no pipeline, no climate action. But this shortsighted declaration has backfired on the Prime Minister. This has now opened the door to would-be Progressive Conservative leaders in Ontario and Jason Kenney (Conservative leader of Alberta and anti carbon pricing politician) to run their next respective provincial campaigns on a platform that would eliminate the pricing of carbon.
If victorious, watch for Conservatives in both provinces to combine forces to sabotage Trudeau’s national climate framework.
The next section of the article is sourced from the 350.Org #ShowUsTheScience website.
Show Us The Science: What We Know
1. Tanker traffic poses a huge risk to BC’s coast.
- There is an 87% chance of an oil spill in the Pacific Ocean if the Kinder Morgan pipeline and its tanker terminal are built.
- If a spill does occur, there’s simply not enough information about effectively responding to a tar sands spill.
- Kinder Morgan would increase tanker traffic 7 times in the Pacific NorthWest posing a threat to the entire population of endangered Orca whales.
- Kinder Morgan already has a dirty track record of building unsafe pipelines.
2. Kinder Morgan does not fit within Canada’s commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement.
- Under the Paris Climate Agreement Canada has committed to limiting global warming to 2°C — with simple math, it’s easy to see that building Kinder Morgan would take us well past this limit.
- Kinder Morgan drastically takes Canada beyond its share of the global “carbon budget” that we need to adhere to in order to stay within the 2°C threshold.
3. The approval of Kinder Morgan does not square with Canada’s commitment to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples (UNDRIP).
A central aspect of UNDRIP is the measure of Free Prior and Informed Consent for projects like Kinder Morgan. Recent reports indicate that Justin Trudeau made his decision on Kinder Morgan in 2015, long before completing his government’s additional consultation measures.
By the logic of UNDRIP, if even one Indigenous nation is opposed to a project, it does not have consent. In Kinder Morgan’s case, multiple Indigenous communities oppose the Trudeau government approval and many are fighting the decision in courts.
4. The government hasn’t given us any evidence, effectively refuting the points above.
The publicly-available documents on Kinder Morgan cited by the federal government as the sources weighing in the final decision to approve the pipeline don’t provide the evidence we need to confirm that Kinder Morgan is a spill-proof, climate-safe and Indigenous rights-compatible pipeline.
The #ShowUsTheScience campaign is in its initial stages. Activities are planned in Ottawa as well as in British Columbia. The first volley was launched in Parliament by two Ottawa organizers and climate advocates who displayed a banner during a question period. The next activity is planned for Monday March 5 when volunteers will gather in search of the mysterious science Mr. Trudeau claims was used to justify #KinderMorgan.
These two Ottawa residents raised this banner today during question period in parliament.
It’s time for @JustinTrudeau‘s government to #ShowUstheScience behind their #KinderMorgan claims! pic.twitter.com/NC1MbkFMMA
— 350 Canada (@350Canada) February 28, 2018
The Bottom Line
Mark Jaccard is an energy-climate analyst and professor at Simon Fraser University. In his recent opinion piece in the Globe and Mail, he claims that “studies by independent researchers….consistently show that Mr. Trudeau’s 2015 Paris promise of a 30-per-cent reduction by 2030 is unachievable with oil sands expansion. His staff know this, so he knows it, too.”
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Yes Justin, show us the science, please, if in fact there is any! By defintion, the scientific method requires that scientific claims be vetted by and scrutinized by all who care to examine the science. This is a positive process whereby errors can be identified and the theory can be modified to address the identified problems. If a position is held from scrutiny or if it fails to stand up to public scrutiny it simply not science. If you honestly believe that the Kinder Morgan can stand up to scientific scrutiny, and you have said that you do, well then, let’s see your science. If you are unwilling to let us see your evidence, then at least be honest enough to say you do not trust the Canadian people to make an informed judgement about our future, and then we can make a judgement about your future.
Well put Jef.
I particularly like your last sentence. “If you are unwilling to let us see your evidence, then at least be honest enough to say you do not trust the Canadian people to make an informed judgement about our future, and then we can make a judgement about your future.”
Thank you for your comments.
Thank you Jef and Rolly.
Here’s my plea…
Please write to PM Trudeau and tell him in no uncertain terms that Kinder Morgan’s pipeline will raise global temperatures over the 2 degree mark. For the sake of our children, and children around the world, we must stop this pipeline now. There is no going back once we hit the 2 degree rise in temperature. There is no Planet B.
Welcome to Below2C. Your suggestion to write to the PM is great. But we, all of us, need to write to all our elected officials so that many can receive our message and not just the Prime Minister. Trudeau is an oilsands supporter. We have to nail those around him to knock some sense into him.
Thank you for your comments.