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CALGARY, AB Oct 7, 2015/ Troy Media/ – When it was revealed that Volkswagen had been duping diesel-emissions tests on some of its high-end environmentally friendly cars, people were outraged. The CEO resigned.
About the same time, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley told the Alberta Chambers of Commerce that her province had better get its environmental house in order or it would have measures imposed upon it. She also said that Alberta has “bad air.”
Really? I challenge that statement. In 2011, Canada’s air was judged to be the third highest quality in the world. In 2006, Environment Canada reported that Red Deer was an unusual hot spot for poor air quality related to fine particulate matter, but this was said to be due to the transportation corridor emissions, nothing else. Nav Canada’s handbook on weather conditions for flying around Alberta confirms that weather and terrain play a big role in air quality.
Likewise, transportation emissions, stagnant air and humidity are factors in making Paris – the site of the upcoming UN climate change talks – one of the dirtiest cities in Europe in terms of air quality.
Episodes of stagnant, damp air led to Paris air-quality pollution levels as high as 180 micrograms of particulate matter 10 microns or smaller per cubic metre – more than double the safe limit of 80. This spring, during such an episode, the French government forced people not to drive. (Albertans only experience levels like that during wildfire smoke or weather inversions.)
But what is the real reason for this terrible pollution? Faulty climate policy, of course. As Bloomberg View explains in Climate politics and the Volkswagen scandal on Sept. 23, Europe made a push for diesel on the claim that it uses less fuel overall, but diesel emits more smog-inducing soot and more nitrogen oxides. Preferential tax rates led to Europe now having more than half its cars on diesel, and in France, now more than 80 per cent, thus creating a much larger public health risk and not saving the planet.
Does it not strike you as hypocritical that 50,000 people, intent on saving the planet, will be flying, driving, taking a fossil-fuelled boat, train or car to COP21 in December to reduce emissions?
Shall Canada impose solutions upon them? Economist Ross McKitrick pointed out to me that Canada never gets credit for the advances we have made in addressing real pollution.
From 1985 to 2011, our industrial carbon-monoxide emissions are down 26 per cent; industrial carbon particulate emissions are down 44 per cent; and industrial sulphur dioxide emissions are down 69 per cent. Total economic output: up by 89 per cent.
When we go to Paris for the Climate Change Summit (COP21), we should demand that every other nation meets these standards and, until they do, they should have nothing to say to Canada on emissions.
The UN is based on the principle of equal sovereignty. This is probably why Saudi Arabia can be elected to be head of the UN Human Rights Commission even though it has reportedly beheaded more people this year than ISIS. Point that out, if someone tries to impose environmental standards on us.
As Google engineers recently revealed, renewable is not doable, so let’s stop promoting it. Global warming has stagnated for over 18 years and eight months, with temperature rise being at values “very close to zero,” to quote German climate scientist Hans von Storch.
The real push behind COP21 is related to carbon trading – not climate change, not air quality, not saving the planet, but rather saving the financial backside of those who made rush-to-renewables investments and, like Volkswagen, have been caught out. They’re hoping to impose a global carbon-trading system on us. Their bad investment decisions should not require us to pay their piper.
There’s lots of foggy, smoggy hot air emitted by the whole climate change circus.
Let’s clear the air in Paris.
Michelle Stirling-Anosh is communications manager of the Friends of Science Society and co-author of their report, Clear the Air in Paris, a submission to the federal and provincial governments. These are her personal views.
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