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David Suzuki: Alberta’s Environmental Policies Suck

Ok, he didn’t QUITE say it like that, but it was close:

Federal governments have been reluctant to touch Alberta’s dismal record on climate change because they’re scared of the consequences, says environmental activist David Suzuki. “Ottawa kind of tiptoes around Alberta all the time, because they’re afraid. The closest thing to separation is Alberta, not Quebec,” Suzuki said Saturday night after a sold-out talk to over 800 people at the University of Alberta. “So Alberta is treated with kid gloves…Right now, if you look at Fort McMurray, it’s an economic, it’s a social and an ecological disaster zone.”

Suzuki isn’t a federal politician, so he can be candid about things – good for him in speaking the truth about the province that holds the oil companies and the biggest emitters of Greenhouse Gases. Suzuki also says that politicians who claim that the economy will get hurt from curbing GHG aren’t looking at the big picture:

A drought in southern Alberta and forest fires are the result of drying, warmer summers, he said. And a major pine beetle invasion – the tiny insects have ruined huge tracts of timber in British Columbia and have now advanced into Alberta’s northern forest – is the result of winters that are no longer cold enough to kill them off. Suzuki said politicians who use the economic argument to justify a lack of intervention are ignoring research that shows climate change will eventually cause the economy to collapse.

As with other environmentalists, Suzuki points to the Pembina Institute’s study that would impose a 1.50/barrel tax which would be used for research and develop alternative green energy.. which would in turn stimulate new jobs and trade. Harper of course wont have anything to do with it, since this would be considered part of his “Kyoto sucking money socialist scheme”, but I think Dion and others would do well to endorse it.

Anyhow, as I saw, good on Suzuki for not backing off.


8 comments to David Suzuki: Alberta’s Environmental Policies Suck

  • slg

    Suzuki is not from Ontario – he’s a BC’r. If alternatives were developled Suzuki wouldn’t have to use this fuel to get around. A little difficult this time of year to walk or bike around Canada. About tobacco farmers – talk to Harper about his giving tax breaks to the tobacco farmers in Diane Finley’s riding so she can buy some more votes.

  • David Suzuki is mistaken or is being intentionally misleading about the dangers of Alberta separation. The separatist movement in Alberta is marginal. Its only claim to legitimacy is that certain high profile figures mention it every now and then. This alone renders Suzuki’s speech worthless.

    Legislation that imposes restrictions on Ft.Mac oil companies’ GHG emmissions and water consumption would probably enjoy the support of many Albertans.

    A federal 1.50/bbl tax may end up looking like another Liberal raid on Alberta’s prosperity for political gain. Dion is unlikely to make that particular blunder.

  • The Pembina Institute is Albertan, too, mind. While I understand the need to call out the Conservative government here (they’ve actually reversed environmental legislation to allow new, dirty, coal-fired plants), I sometimes wish that Suzuki and others would be more careful with their language, to acknowledge that Albertans are governed by a regime that isn’t elected fairly or accurately. Pembina themselves commissioned a survey that showed a majority of Albertans are concerned about climate change and are willing to take action.

  • I grew up in that area, Aaron. It put me through University, working on tobacco farms in the summer. But, I and everyone else recognize the dangers and health risks of smoking, and I fully support having government incentive programs to help farmers in that area (and in Oxford County, and everywhere else tobacco is grown) switch over to alternative crops, such as ginseng, tomatoes, garlic and so on. I wish there was more of that, quite frankly.

    The same applies to the oil-patch, and the Pembina Institute is showing how it can be done, and how we can convert over to Green technologies, and make it both profitable for the economy and clean up our environment at the same time. Its time to take some global responsibility and become caretakers of the planet, rather then try to rake in all the money we can get and destroy the future of our planet in the process.

  • I love this. Ontarians trying to tell Albertans what to do with their resources…and then expecting us to listen. Nice to see that you’ve polished off your dixie-cup of Liberal Party kool-aid.

    By the way, we should really think about shutting down all the tobacco farms in the Haldimand-Norfolk area. Evil smoking-peddlers. And if that destroys the local economy and puts most people out of work in the short term, so what?

  • anon

    Erik: What are you babbling about? Do you have sources for any of that, other than a right-wing echo chamber? BTW, assuming Suzuki alone produces 100X the emissions of the average person, but he convinces 1000 people to reduce their emissions by 50% while he continues to do nothing, the overall reduction is still pretty much 50%. It’s the miracle of proportion.

  • Charlie Barnard

    bus on which he’s doing his Save the Ecology tour

    Yeah, because who rides buses? Mass transit is for poor people. He should be shuttled around in a limo like all the politicians right?

  • Suzuki had been under increasing fire at the time for being a proven liar, a denier of truth, and a massive polluter with his “carbon neutral” noxious fume and CO2 emitting bus on which he’s doing his Save the Ecology tour. Deliciously ironic, eh?

    In other words, his mission was to restore the flow of donations to he and his foundation, from previous supporters who had seen through the phoney eco-messiah image.

    So all he did was try to be outrageous enough to change the channel. It will blow over and menawhile/then he’s on thin ice if any more columnists write how much of a liar he is.

    In the meantime, I hope that this Inconvenient Liar is charged commercial advertising rates when he next appears in the MSM, radio, TV, etc.

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