The International Energy Agency (IEA), a well-recognized authority in such matters, has categorically stated that no more than one-third of proven fossil fuel reserves can be consumed prior to 2050 if the word is to reduce GHG emissions and limit global warming to 2 degrees C. So for the environmental health of this planet, two-thirds of proven fossil fuel reserves must be left unexploited.
The Globe & Mail recently noted that the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers forecasts that Canada’s oil production, including the tar sands, will double by 2030. Oil Change International has a very helpful graph that confirms this projection by examining present production from the tar sands and tar sands projects under construction or approved.
The output of these projects alone will blow by the climate limits recommended by the IEA. Yet, as Oil Change notes, even more tar sands projects are lined up for regulatory approval leading to a possible trebling of production capacity over and above the IEA limit.
Another series of IEA projections show how the world is backing away from switching to renewable energy, the best course of action to moderate the risk that safe limits of GHG emissions from fossil fuels will be exceeded.
“Fossil fuels currently meet 80% of global energy demand. Even if current policy commitments and pledges made to tackle climate change were to be put in place, global energy demand in 2035 is projected to rise by 40% – with fossil fuels still contributing 75% … The use of coal, gas and oil to fuel the power, industry, buildings and transport sectors is set to rise.”
Is this is not collective insanity? Or is it only irrational? Or has collective greed become so ingrained that we are incapable of recognizing the distortion of sanity that results?