Re: Pipelines and the environment
When I heard that Andrew Nikiforuk, author of Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent, was coming to town with others earlier this spring, my first thought was “How are they going to get here?” In my opinion some of the most egregious users of non-renewable fuels are environmentalists like David Suzuki, Al Gore, Greenpeace and the Sierra Club, who constantly travel to places around the world to tell us how bad we are for using fossil fuels. Nikiforuk and his friends should set an example by travelling to Nelson by other means, such as walking, biking, canoeing, or horse and buggy. In addition they should dispose of their cell phones, because cell phones are about 80 per cent plastic from the oil industry.
Speaking of world travel, at the 2009 Copenhagen conference, Canada and Prime Minister Stephen Harper were insulted by the thousands of “environmentalists” present, but the environmentalists gave standing ovations to two of the speakers who gave anti-capitalist rants, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. In his book The Fear, author Peter Godwin lays out the evil, vindictive nature of Robert Mugabe and his socialism. He gives full details of the rapes, torture and murders, which the Mugabe regime used in order to remain in power after he lost the 2008 election. The unemployment rate in Zimbabwe is currently about 80 per cent and at least 25 per cent of the population has fled the country.
In Venezuela socialist Hugo Chavez has been in power for over 12 years. During that time he has nationalized the oil industry and several other businesses. The government now owns and runs all of the oil industry. A quick trip to the websites will tell you that in spite of the vast oil wealth pumped into the economy, combined with anti-poverty programs, large disparities remain between rich and poor. The rate of inflation is about 30 per cent, and the murder rate is greater than 50 in 100,000. In 2011 over 19,000 people were murdered. This is about the same as Mexico and Iraq combined, and much greater than Syria. Canada has about 600 murders a year.
Venezuela’s Lake Maracaibo is heavily polluted. In addition to having raw sewage dumped into it, it contains 4,000 inactive oil wells and 6,000 active wells. The wells, which are connected by 45,000 km of pipelines, pump about 700,000 barrels a day, and there are many leaks. Fishermen have faced reduced catches of over 80 per cent in the last 15 years. “The government could do so much but it does nothing,” said Eliseo Fermin, deputy of the council of Zulia state. “What the government has done with the lake is a terrible crime”.
Dr. Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria, and a lead author on the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has found in February 2012 that if the Alberta oil sands were fully exploited it will lead to an increase in the world’s temperature of 0.36 C, and if you exploit only the commercially viable oil sands it will increase the world temperatures by only 0.03 C. If you burn all of the world’s coal it will increase world temperatures by 15 C. The US coal industry is over 50 times more polluting than the Alberta oil sands. Venezuela’s oil reserves are the biggest in the world at 297 billion barrels, much larger than Canada’s.
I hope that Nikiforuk explained to the audience why the environmental movement has such great admiration for thugs like Robert Mugabe and Hugo Chavez, and why he chooses to demonize Canada’s oil sands while remaining silent about the world’s worst polluters, such as the US and China’s coal industries and Venezuela’s Lake Maracaibo.