Smith: Throne speech not all that bad for Alberta after all — really

Article content continued

So switching to a strategy of supporting employers with the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy until next summer is a clear sign the government understands the initiative-dampening effect of free money and the need to get people back to work. That’s a Conservative idea.

As for the Greens, the Task Force for a Resilient Recovery had a $100-billion wish list to Build Back Better (their words) and sync up with the global calls to decarbonize the economy. The Greens continue to push the notion that the entire economy, including all heating and transportation, needs to transition to a power grid fuelled entirely on wind and solar with battery backup. Damning books by environmentalists Bjorn Lomberg and Michael Shellenberger, and Michael Moore and Jeff Gibbs’s eviscerating film Planet of the Humans have blown that notion to smithereens. You cannot power a modern industrial economy on intermittent, low-density power sources, and it’s about time we stop pretending we can. Clearly, someone in the PMO is paying attention.

The only mention of solar or wind in the throne speech is this line: “Like a reed in high winds, we might sway but we will not break.” That’s it. In other words, wind and solar power are not mentioned at all.

The government still wants to decarbonize, but it wants to decarbonize in a way that I believe includes Alberta.

First is the commitment to reach net zero by 2050. Remember, net zero is not absolute zero. What could that mean? Exporting natural gas to India and China to displace coal and getting credit here for the reduction in greenhouse gases. Exploring the use of hydrogen and small-scale nuclear at oilsands sites. Using carbon capture technology to create a pure stream of CO2 that can be used for enhanced oil recovery or creating carbon nanofiber for construction materials. Figuring out how much carbon Canada sequesters in trees, grasses, soils and other vegetation and increasing it with tree planting, urban parks and better soil management.

View Source