You can’t have it both ways.
In one breath new Environment Minister Peter Kent claims the emissions from the Tar Sands are too small to matter (it’s 5% of Canada’s total ghg emissions). Yet at the same time the claim is that it is far too important an economic sector to regulate (never mind cap development). “Oil-sands production accounts, I think, for 5 per cent of Canada’s total greenhouse-gas emissions. … ” he said. “When you look at relevant measurements, it is not nearly the product that has been demonized.”
Really? Total economic output of the Tar Sands is indeed enormous in absolute terms. At a $100 per barrel, and 1.2 million barrels a day, that’s … um … $43 billion dollars a year. That is indeed a lot of money. Adds up to about 3.4 percent of Canada’s GDP.
Wait a minute. I thought 5% of a pie is not enough to bother about? You can’t have it both ways.
If you want to talk in relative terms, then the ghg numbers are a larger proportion than the contribution to GDP. If the Tar Sands’ contribution to GDP is important, then so too are the emissions.
It’s easy to flip back and forth between absolute and relative amounts for the purpose of semantic effect. Ghg emissions from the Tar Sands,for example is an astronomical 40 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. That’s 40 billion kilogram! Sounds like a lot. It is.
If the Tar Sands are an important portion of the economy (at 3.4% they are) then they are an even more important portion of our ghg emissions (at 5%). Peter Kent has already started the gobbledegook speak of the Harperites on climate change.