GOLDSTEIN: Numbers show Trudeauís climate promises are fake news

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GOLDSTEIN: Numbers show Trudeauís climate promises are fake news
Lorrie Goldstein
July 6, 2019
July 6, 2019 1:29 PM EDT
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pauses as he addresses the media on the terrorist attacks in Paris prior to his departure for the G20 and APEC summits from Ottawa, Friday November 13, 2015. Trudeau says Canada has offered all the support it can to France following Friday's attacks in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick ORG XMIT: SKP501
With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau threatening to fine social media platforms if they donít control ďfake news,Ē the question arises whether the Liberals should be fined for promoting fake news themselves.
Because their insistence Canada is on track to meet the greenhouse gas emission targets Trudeau agreed to in the 2015 United Nationsí Paris climate accord is fake news ó knowingly distributing false information to mislead.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheerís claim his plan gives Canada the best chance of achieving the Paris targets ó which used to be Stephen Harperís ó is also fake news.
Heíll have the same credibility problem Trudeau does if the Conservatives win the Oct. 21 election.
But the point here is that the Trudeau governmentís own numbers refute its claims about reducing emissions and no one who has seriously looked at them backs the Liberals.
Not the UN, not the federal environment commissioner and nine of 10 provincial auditors general, not the parliamentary budget officer and not the federal environment ministry, which says Trudeauís getting further away from his Paris targets, not closer to them.
To understand why, you have to monitor a variety of federal websites to calculate the numbers, since the feds donít put them all in one place.
Hereís what they show when you do.
Canadaís 2030 Paris climate target is to lower our industrial greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to 30% below 2005 levels.
Canadaís emissions in 2005 were 730 million tonnes, also expressed as 730 megatonnes or 730 Mt.
That means our emissions have to be 511 Mt by 2030.
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Canadaís emissions in 2017, the last year for which the government provides figures, were 716 Mt, up 8 Mt from 2016.
Reducing emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030 means cutting them by 205 Mt annually (716-511) in less than 12 years.
The two largest sources of industrial greenhouse gas emissions in Canada are the oil and gas sector (189.5 Mt annually) and transportation sector (173 Mt annually).
This means in order to meet his Paris targets, Trudeau will have to shut down the equivalent of Canadaís entire oil and gas sector (and still be 15.5 Mt short), or its entire transportation sector (and still be 32 Mt short), in less than 12 years.
Given Trudeauís target of reducing emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, itís useful to compare Canadaís success at reducing emissions from the time former Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien signed the (now-defunct) United Nationsí Kyoto accord in 1997 up to 2017, the last year for which government figures are available.
Over that 20-year period, Canadaís emissions have gone up 4.2% (716 Mt in 2017 compared to 687 Mt in 1997.) Canada has reduced emissions slightly since 2005 when they were 730 Mt, but only by 2% over the 12-year period from 2005 to 2017, when they were 716 Mt.
This makes Trudeauís claim the Liberals will lower emissions by 30% compared to 2005 in the less than 12-year period from 2019 to 2030 farfetched.
The environment ministry reported last year that if Canada does everything itís promised, it will still fall 79 Mt short of its 2030 target ó 13 Mt more than the 66 Mt it was short in 2017 and the equivalent of the annual output of Canadaís entire electricity sector (78.7 Mt).
The Liberals say they have more plans in the works to achieve their target. But based on their record, itís absurd to believe them.
In Canada, Vancouver energy consultant Aldyen Donnelly calculated that to achieve the “deep decarbonization” Canada is aiming for will require massive expansions of non-fossil fuel sources of energy.

To produce the electric power needed to offset the lost fossil fuel energy, Canada would have to build 2.5 hydro power dams the size of British Columbia’s $13-billion Site C project somewhere in the country “every year for the foreseeable future” leading up to the proposed 2050 carbon reduction targets. The geographic and cost obstacles send that prospect into the realm of the impossible.

On a global basis, the magnitude of the decarbonization effort takes us beyond the possible and into the world of junk science fiction. In 2018, world consumption of fossil fuels rose to 11,865 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe). To get that down to near zero by 2050 as proposed by the zeroists would require a lot of alternative energy sources.

University of Colorado scientist Roger Pielke Jr. did some of the rough numbers. “There are 11,161 days until 2050. Getting to net zero by 2050 requires replacing one mtoe of fossil fuel consumption every day starting now.” On a global basis, such a transition would require building the equivalent of one new 1.5-gigawatt nuclear plant every day for the next 30 years.

If not nuclear, then maybe solar? According to a U.S. government site, it takes about three million solar panels to produce one gigawatt of energy, which means that by 2050 the world will need 3,000,000 X 11,865 solar panels to offset fossil fuels. The wind alternative would require about 430 new wind turbines each of the 11,865 days leading to 2050.