The Conservative politicians who support pipelines (Keystone XL and Northern Gateway) repeat a tiresome mantra. They assert that the decision whether to approve the construction of these soon-to-be relics of a past era should be based on science and not on politics.
With the approach of the June decision date on Northern Gateway approval we can expect this misleading appeal to scientific wisdom to be re-iterated by Prime Minister Harper and his finance minister Joe Oliver. Oliver will also stress the economic benefits of construction and the prosperity that exporting tar sands oil will bring to Canada.
Let’s just stick with their appeal to science. Scientists have been warning us that we must reduce GHG emissions or face a grim future this century. Their conclusions have been re-affirmed in the three recent reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In their appeal Conservative politicians completely ignore the scientific conclusions of the IPCC.
It is a foregone conclusion that the Federal Government will approve the Northern Gateway pipeline. Government representatives will re-assert how this pipeline will facilitate tar sands operations. They will not comment on the likelihood that Canada will not meet its 2020 GHG reduction targets. Neither will they explain that tar sands emissions will be the principal reason for this failure. That silence may be good political strategy but it has nothing to do with science.
In defending the approval, our Conservative politicians will repeat the science-not-politics mantra ad nauseam.
The reality is that pipeline decision is based on politics, the politics of perceived economic and regional interests. A political strategy that ignores science!