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Three Articles

Three articles worth reading this weekend.

First: why Heathrow = Deathrow

George Monbiot explains why the Heathrow expansion is anything but sustainable.

But this government has always been inventive in devising ways to disappoint, and the Heathrow decision represents the final abandonment both of the sustainable, integrated transport system it promised in 1998 and of any realistic prospect that its promised carbon cuts could be met without cooking the books. As Simon Jenkins argued in his devastating column on Wednesday, its promises to restrict traffic levels and impose carbon constraints on the airline companies are both meaningless and cynical: not only has every other promise governments have made about Heathrow’s expansion been broken, but ministers know that they won’t be around to carry the can when the limits they set today are breached.

If you like that one, you might like this one by Simon Jenkins, also at The Guardian.

Second: The Coal Diaries

How the coal industry made everyone think it’s a good corporate citizen, instead of the world’s worst industry, at Desmog. Details from the astroturfing memo sent to friends of Peabody Energy:

In recent weeks, we have persuaded the RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative) participants to post the following pieces of CEED research on their web site for consumption by the states:

* A 2003 New Hope study showing reductions in greenhouse gases by the RGGI states would have an infinitesimal affect on global GHG concentrations.

* A 2003 Energy Ventures Analysis (EVA) study revealing negative economic results would flow to northeastern states that constrain CO2 emissions.

* A 2004 Energy Ventures Analysis report analyzing the affect of various cap and trade proposals, along with an output-based standard, on RGGI states as well as Pennsylvania and Maryland. EVA found that the economic consequences vary widely.

We plan to use this research to sow discord among the RGGI states.

What a great company!

Third: Ignatieff calls the Alberta Tar Sands “awe-inspiring”

And finally, this discouraging piece on new Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff… It sounds as if he’s trying to do the same thing as Stephen Harper: Lock us into a fossil fuel economy for another generation.

It is awe-inspiring,” he said, adding that the controversial project boasts enough oil to last the rest of this century.

“We’ve got oil reserves there that are just staggering in size. It changes everything about our economic future. It changes everything about Canada’s importance in the world.”

The Alberta Tar Sands — or Oil Sands, if you prefer — are the world’s worst environmental disaster. Perhaps Ignatief missed the memo which suggested that oil production in Alberta might be impossible to clean up. Or pehaps he doesn’t understand that carbon capture and sequestration might not work in Alberta, and if we put all our eggs in one basket, Canada will be screwed!

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