Alberta ad ignores cost of climate change

In Thursday’s newspaper, I noticed a full-page ad by the government of Alberta, claiming that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion “delay costs Canadians $40 million every day.” It is difficult for me to judge the accuracy of this figure. However, the ad fails to mention the overwhelming costs of climate change, to which Canadian fossil-fuel exports are contributing.

Last year’s fire season was the most destructive on record in BC. Forest fires displaced 65,000 people and burned more than 1,200 square kilometres of land. This year’s fire season was the second worst on record, with more than 600 fires and more than 5,400 people registered for emergency services.

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Meanwhile, hurricane Florence is drowning the Carolinas, with catastrophic flooding expected. It will likely be a $100-billion disaster. Flooding from hurricane Harvey in Texas last year cost more than $125 billion. Globally, the cost of weather/climate related disasters in 2017 was $306 billion, according to the American Meteorological Society.

The lost income from not exporting more Canadian oil is a pittance compared with the overwhelming costs of climate chaos. As a society, we should not be propping up an industry that profits from destabilizing Earth’s climate.

We need to shift away from fossil fuels and carbon pollution as quickly as possible.

Dwight Owens


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