Oil sands exploitation means the end of hope for controlling climate change, according to James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. In op-ed piece in today's New York Times, he writes:
"We should impose a gradually rising carbon fee, collected from fossil fuel companies, then distribute 100 percent of the collections to all Americans on a per-capita basis every month. ... Most ...would get more back than they paid in increased prices. Not only that, the reduction in oil use resulting from the carbon price would be nearly six times as great as the oil supply from the proposed pipeline from Canada, rendering the pipeline superfluous, according to economic models driven by a slowly rising carbon price. "
But "If Canada proceeds, and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate.
"Canada’s tar sands, deposits of sand saturated with bitumen, contain twice the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by global oil use in our entire history."
He ends with a plea to President Obama to show some real leadership in this case. Without a doubt that will be necessary, but Canadians must also demand that the Stephen Harper government also look around and realize that it is throwing our future away.