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Finally a sensible and pragmatic approach both domestically and globally. Not easy to implement but necessary to expedite. The clock is ticking. More action , less value signalling.

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Humans have used exponentially more energy, year after year, since the industrial revolution. (https://ourworldindata.org/energy-key-charts#energy-mix)

Conserving energy spend is a waste of time: it ignores the reality of global human energy consumption and the reality that Canada’s too small to matter from the perspective of absolute amount of atmospheric pollutants created.

For avoidance of doubt, Canada getting to Net Zero will not make *any* difference to whether the world hits 1.5 vs 2C. If the authors disagree, they should bring data demonstrating otherwise.

Instead, Canada should focus on two environmental themes:

1- low carbon (e.g. nuclear, where we invented the CANDU reactor type) power generation

2- moonshot R&D to dramatically improve carbon sequestration capacity.

Anything else is a waste of time (won’t change the ultimate concentration of atmospheric carbon enough to matter) and money (conserving doesn’t create growth… developing innovative new technologies *does*).

Lastly, this essay is far from rigorous in its environmental, technical or economic analysis. IMO it’s below the threshold I expect from the usually well-reasoned arguments in The Line.

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There’s been a lot of talk about manufacturing batteries and battery electric vehicles in Canada. What seems to be missed is there’s a lot of intellectual property and know-how involved in getting into that industry, and Canada hasn’t been a serious player for decades. Where Canada *does* have a significant advantage in clean energy is hydrogen and fuel cells. Canada has had technology clusters in BC, Ontario, and Quebec for decades and continues to be a leader that brings the world to our door. I’m not sure why politicians and policy makers aren’t focusing on building on our strengths rather than trying to be an also-ran in a commodity industry like batteries.

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Real conservatives (recovering or otherwise) need to be careful with energy policy. Germans weren't careful, now they're paying some of the highest prices in the world.

Energy is EVERYTHING. Cheap energy allows us the luxury to debate topics (like the "current thing") because we're not struggling to keep the lights on and get to and from work. Ultimately food is just another form of energy (solar-powered at that), but without cheap fuel, the crops will rot in the field.

Winter is coming (literally) and Europe is about to go through a beta-test of these modern low-carbon policies. Can their industries survive? Can their people avoid hardship?

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May 3, 2022·edited May 3, 2022

I think this is a fine proposal. I actually don't think the current carbon tax/rebate program needs to change and am frustrated that the CPC has painted itself in a corner on this policy so that it has to propose something different. But, as far as 'something different' goes, this is (at this level of detail, anyway) reasonably credible.

Canada should prepare its economy for a post-carbon future, both because its the right thing to do and because it's where the world economy will ultimately go -- and the opportuities lie for those who move quickly. But, there is a signficant trade component to making this work. If we are successful at creating lower lifecycle carbon natural gas, for example, it'll either be more expensive in the market or heavily subsidized by us, the taxpayers (see: carbon capture). What's to encourage others to buy this 'more ethical LNC' over cheaper offerings? Wouldn't it be nice if -- as part of this transition and recent events -- we come to an agreement with allies to purchase our products (instead of, say Russia's) and pay some kind of premium? Can we encourage our allies/trading partners to add a carbon tax on imports from countries without similar plans? Might that not either encourage more domestic economic activity or at least create parity among trading partners that we're all working towards the same efforts to reduce carbon?

Also missing -- what's Canada's plan for dealing with the pending impacts of climate change? We've already waited too long to act, so a certain amount of change (and with it unpredictability) is now baked in. We can expect to see higher frequencies of things like forest fires and floods -- disruptive, expensive and potentially deadly events. It's a huge risk -- what's our plan for mitigating those risks?

I'm glad the authors are working to advocate for this, I really am. But the reality is all Canadian policy plans are still only addressing parts of the problem -- we've got a long ways to go before we have something that is viable and addresses both the pending threats and opportunities.

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We need to start the whole discussion from a world perspective. Canada is responsible for about 1.6% and our most intensive GHG source ( in situ oil sands ) is about .1%. If Canada unilaterally goes to "net zero", we may change the end of the world by a few weeks. Our fates in reality are in the hands of a few large players ( the US, China, India and the EU ) that are generally not paying a lot of attention to us. If we want to push above our weight it will be by championing technologies that are usable by the rest of the world.

Anyone who has checked Canada's emissions by province will note that Alberta is much more GHG intensive than any other province. Alberta does not have the hydro potential of BC, Ontario, or Quebec and it has not been a priority for nuclear development in past decades. About 70% of Alberta's exports are oil, gas and petrochemicals which require large amounts of energy to produce. Heavy oil production uses about the same energy as Ontario's whole electrical grid. Oil and gas also represents about 20% or more of Canada's exports so junking that industry is equivalent to cutting off one arm. In the end the world won't care much anyway.

With respect to wind turbines, solar panels, and EVs, Canada is basically a sales office for technologies produced by others. With respect to new nuclear, we at least have a chance to be a leader in a technology where we have both an advantage and a good fit to the geography of Canada. There are, of course, technological hurdles but Ontario has already proved that it is a technology which can do the heavy lifting for an industrialized country. France has demonstrated a template for nuclear power development decades ago. If you develop one design and get it approved, that is where a lot of the expense for a nuclear plant occurs. If you create a lot of plant based on the same design it also reduces costs. We tend to forget that CANDU reactors are sprinkled throughout the world. It may be possible to recreate this success with small modular reactors.

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I’m getting impatient with the idea that whatever we do in Canada will have a beneficial or negative effect on the worlds climate. We’re small potatoes as a 1.6% contributor to total GHG emissions. Whatever we do will have no consequential effect. As far as I know we don’t have any clout that would make the big GHG emitters change their ways. China will make all kinds of meaningless promises and still continue increasing their consumption of coal and other GHG energy producing resources.

Let’s start protecting ourselves and get into mitigating the effects that climate change is having on Canada. Like it or not we have to learn how to live with climate change. Your supposedly the big thinkers, let’s get on with mitigation. If your home is going to flood move to higher ground, build a diversion or build a dam. Let’s do something practical. It’s essential!

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There are many involved in reducing emissions, companies, industry, and citizens. Its fine to try to reduce emissions but setting unrealistic goals is dangerous to the lives of all Canadians. We are seeing and feeling first hand how ideologically set goals harm the affordability of the people here and we can see what is happening in Europe. How about bringing in some common sense, instead of ideological dogma and unrealistic expectations that are harmful to the survival of humanity. We must also be able to afford to eat.

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I didn't have a lot of use Lisa Raitt when she was minister to transport. But this makes sense. I can't help but also wonder if Canada should be putting some research money into high volume desalination of seawater. Maybe it's a pipe dream; maybe it changes the planet for the better.

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I appreciate your tag “recovering Conservative politicians “. Thank you for being an example for how conservatives should be communicating - offering well considered solutions rather than childish schoolyard politics evident in the national circles.

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Does Canada have unique natural and global advantages? Maybe, maybe not. I have long thought that nuclear power has to be in our future, but over the decades I have come to accept that it will be too little too late. Small modular reactors really don't exist. Candus are old. Can we still build them, I though everyone retired. We just aren't in the business any more.

"There are about 50 SMR designs and concepts globally. Most of them are in various developmental stages and some are claimed as being near-term deployable.."IAEA

We have been hearing how clean, safe, smart and cheap nuclear energy is. It isn't. None of it.

Jan 6th this year, several former heads of nuclear regulatory committees in the UK, USA, Germany and France issued a communique that concluded “nuclear is not a practical means to combat climate change.To make a relevant contribution to global power generation, up to more than 10,000 new reactors would be required, depending on reactor design.”

And none of the problems of waste disposal have been solved. It’s so expensive financial markets won’t invest in it, so it requires massive public subsidies. No one is prepared to insure against the full potential cost of environmental and human impacts of accidental radiation releases. Construction timelines are too long for it to make a contribution to stopping global warming.

I'm not saying no to nuclear. But keep it real. And I really don't think that streamlining the processes for things like nuclear is wise.

Canada has the natural resources. Yes we do. We also have some dreadful mining practices that as far as I can tell has not improved in years. Canada's global mining companies are committed to net zero on paper. More streamlining of approval processes? Why not start subsidizing mining at the rate we subsides O&G. That is what Canada's global mining really wants.

Carbon capture and utilization, or storage, has been a disappointment. EOR (enhanced oil recovery) holds the distinction of being the only current carbon sequestration industry of any

scale. It uses a lot of CO2 and leaves a lot of it permanently buried. EOR is an easy call for O&G. More oil, more revenue; it’s all upside. But much more is needed, yes?

It's nice that they have started a club where "We will work with any Conservative Party of Canada leadership candidate to develop a credible climate, energy and economic plan." So 10/11 people?A small group then. I wish they'd do their homework first. There is a large pool of expertise that actually works towards solutions already out there. Not everything will work but I for one are very glad they are trying.

Cons should lead...cons should be at the forefront...cons must be domestically serious and globally conscious. Shouldn't it be Cons will work with anyone to lead...at the forefront...domestically and globally. We are all Canadians and we are in this together.

And we all understand that government sets the conditions for growth, it doesn’t actually make anything grow itself. I see no conditions for growth here.

Why are we subsidizing O&G to the tune of billions?

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Managing climate change must be handled the same way the International Space Station is handled. We must work together on this no matter how many nuclear weapons Russia threatens to send our way.

Canada should take responsibility for the arrangement of an international R & D fund for solar infrastructure, fusion, solar shading, and the protection and maintenance of that infrastructure in places like the Sahara.

The Canadian economy must be ready before fossil fuels becomes outdated.

An Canada East pipeline would have been useful twenty years ago but it seems unclear when the ' too little too late ' scenario will become a thing, if it hasn't already.

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I've been a nuclear supporter for nearly 50 years, since my early teens. I strongly support SMR research and hope Canada can take a lead, nuclear is one of our high-tech economic strengths.

But, it may THEN have to be tossed under the bus, relegated to providing power in remote locations currently paying over $0.25/kWh for smoky diesel power. IF storage can be cheap enough, the need for base-load power will be minimal, an incredible statement, but Form Energy (google it) just got another round of funding.

Support for natural gas is easily attacked by data already available. It turns out that 2.3% of the stuff leaks, from field to furnace:


...and, if it were 4%, it would be just as as bad as coal, another MIT study:


... so 2.3% leakage means gas usage is about 80% as climate-damaging as coal for a given joule of water-heating, air-heating, or electricity generated. If you bet your party on natural gas, and your opponents can convince the public of those figures, you're exposed as an industry shill that doesn't really care about results. I wouldn't advise it.

The climate issue is so important, I'd switch parties, ideologies, become a volunteer and donor, the works - for a party that addressed climate with a strict just-the-facts-maam ability to face hard choices and hurt existing business models, hurt *people*. Making these hard choices is why you have government.

There's no party that doesn't have to hurt some of its own supporters with a truly facts-based strategy. It will require enormous political courage that's rarely in evidence. Best of luck with that.

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Thus illustrating why Lisa would have been a fine candidate for CPC leader and then PM.

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And what exactly is a "recovering conservative"?

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another progressive party in the making? "...will someone lead me to a pub?"

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