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David Broadland

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Article Comments posted by David Broadland

  1. 2 hours ago, Bruce Cowper-Smith said:

    David, I in no way wish to be critical of your fine article, nor of the publication as a whole. However, if we accept your numbers, we are left to think either our politicians are ignorant or dishonest. We certainly have plenty of evidence to think politicians can be either or both of these. So, I don't think your article went far enough. In fact most of these sorts of articles don't go far enough. Just why is it that people we have elected to make very important decisions for us and for our country make at times very poor decisions? It seems here in Victoria we have lots of evidence of rather poor decisions being made. Why? I have some of my own theories, but I would invite you to consider this question. Maybe there is another interesting article in this for you.  Bruce  

    Bruce,

    In the case of the issues that I raise in this story, I don't think politicians are being dishonest. Are provincial and federal politicians a little bit ignorant about oil sands emissions? Sure, but that's to be expected. Most politicians are just getting to the question of whether to take climate change seriously, and the issue leaders are currently working out what a serious response would actually look like.

     

    My best guess is that, right now, politicians make decisions on pipelines on the basis of ideas that are easier for voters to grasp than accurate depictions of upstream emissions. Like the negatives associated with a marine spill of bitumen, or the positives of short-term employment in Canada generated by fossil-fuel exports. But as Canadians get further into seriously reducing atmospheric emissions of carbon, there will need to be a rigorous scientific determination of where our emissions are coming from and what the levels are—exactly—and an examination of how we ought to arrange our economy to get the biggest economic bang for the least amount of emissions. Do we need to redesign our politics to accomplish this?

    I'd be interested in hearing your theories about why our politicians make poor decisions. 

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