Bombastic bombardment: Parker Gallant on Ontario news release barrage

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Or, just forget the whole thing

Ontario news releases are not really “news” says Parker Gallant

Wow! Signing up to receive updates from the Government of Ontario apparently means your e-mail in-box will pile up with a myriad of announcements that, on the surface, seem focused on making one believe the Ontario Liberal government is creating a utopia for everyone.

On December 7 three media messages popped up in my in-box: the first was all about putting HOT (high occupancy toll lanes) on the QE to relieve congestion. The Province’s oldest divided highway has apparently not been paid for yet, even though it opened in 1939; hence we need to put in toll lanes!

The second message was all about how Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba had signed a MOU (memorandum of understanding) “to facilitate their intent to link the cap and trade programs in Ontario, Québec and Manitoba under the Western Climate Initiative, further strengthening North America’s largest carbon market.” I was a little confused about what “ to facilitate their intent to link the cap and trade programs” actually meant until I read Premier Wynne’s quote which said: “Greenhouse gas emissions do not recognize borders, so climate change cannot be fought by individual governments alone. The new MOU on climate change among Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba commits us to collaborating on a broad range of initiatives, including cap and trade, to address climate change and meet emission targets. We can accomplish much more when we work together — only through our continued cooperation can we succeed in building a sustainable and prosperous world for future generations.”

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Comments

Bob Lyman
Reply

Parker, I agree entirely with your justifiable outrage. Keep it up. If I may let me add a few points to your comments about Ontario’s efforts to reduce GHG emissions from transportation.Despite all the hype about electric cars and government subsidies of $8,500 per unit, electric vehicles (hybrids and plug-ins) represent less than half of one per cent of new car sales.

Environment Canada projects emissions from cars, trucks and motorcycles to decline from 85 Mt in 2012 to 78 Mt in 2020 as a result of improvements in fuel efficiency (including the effects of electric vehicle sales). These declines, however, will be offset by increases in emissions from heavy-duty trucks and railways which transport freight, and from aviation, buses and other sources like marine vessels.

Modal shift offers far less opportunity for emissions reduction than one might think. Doubling intercity train passenger travel would actually increase emissions because of the low occupancy of trains. Doubling intercity bus passenger travel would reduce emissions by 0.5 Mt. Doubling urban passenger travel by transit, a very ambitious goal, would only reduce emissions by 2.5 Mt. Shifting 10% of freight from trucks to rail would reduce emissions by 0.4 Mt; trains just don’t have the flexibility of trucks in terms of pick and delivery.

British Columbia has a $30 per tonne carbon tax that imposes a six cents per litre tax on gasoline. However, a $100 per tonne tax imposed Canada-wide would only reduce emissions by somewhere between 6 Mt. and 12 Mt.

All the costly measures taken up to now plus all those, like carbon taxes, now being considered would only reduce GHG emissions from transportation by 30 Mt from 2013 levels, and at least 8 Mt of that is already reflected in Environment Canada’s projected emissions of 167 Mt by 2020.

At the climate change conference in Paris, Canada is being asked to commit to reduce emissions by up to 70% from 2010 levels by 2050. That would mean reducing emissions by 495 Mt, which is more than Canada’s total emissions from transportation, electricity generation, manufacturing and oil and gas production combined. Let me repeat that – zero from transportation – within 35 years. So we would pay billions of dollars to wreck our own economy. The effect on the climate? Nil.

Barbara
Reply

Now try sending comments such as you have just posted to the local MSM as see what response you get? It would be interesting to know the results.

Johana
Reply

I not only stopped posting to local MSM but stopped my subscriptions as well ~ 8 years ago when the ed. wouldn’t print my very low key dissent from the prevailing wisdom.

Pat Cusack
Reply

Agree totally with Bob Lyman’s comments.

Prof Ted Spicer
Reply

Thanks for your continued efforts.

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