A recent survey by Janet Brown Opinion Research, commissioned by the Pembina Institute, showed some encouraging attitudes of Albertans toward climate change. For example, two-thirds of those surveyed support the goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Albertans are not impressed by their government’s fight-back strategy in defending Alberta’s interests. About two-thirds believe the government has not been effective in enhancing the reputation of the oil and gas industry. Twice as many believe Alberta needs to work co-operatively with environmental advocates to improve its environmental performance as believe it needs to defend itself by fighting back against criticisms of the industry.

All this is promising, however there’s a large “but.” Albertans do not see the solution to greenhouse gas emissions as phasing out the oil industry. Only 16 percent support that approach. Over 80 percent believe new technologies will allow the industry to help Canada reach the net-zero goal. This stems largely from their view that Alberta’s oil and gas industry is a world leader in emissions reduction. And it may well be, but only at the production end. Not that reducing the emissions created when the product is produced doesn’t help—every little bit helps—but the emissions created when the product is burned are the ones that really count.

So the result is a mixed bag. Albertans recognize the need to seriously reduce emissions, but are unrealistic in their belief in how that is to be achieved.

One thought on “Albertans support net-zero by 2050, but …”
  1. It probably hardly matters that Albertans have this weird point-of-view. Circumstances will overtake their opinions. As it stands now, Koch, Esso and Shell have left the oilfields, Pension funds are not investing in oil and gas exploration and tarsand developments, the big re-insurers who actually back insurance companies are not keen on providing insurance for spills and errors and explorations themselves, except at a high pice.

    Apparently, kenney’s reduction of environmental monitoring at tailpond sites passed by their collective consciousness, if they somehow believe production is proceeding “ethically”. Add to that the complete lack of understanding on the CO2 produced by burning oil and natural gas to steam the tarsands to extract bitumen, and I’d have to say they’re a bunch of clueless clots. In Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, they just pump the crude oil out of the ground, no steam required, and that’s it. Nor do millions of gallons of paint thinner have to be produced each day to dilute and hence thin the bitumen so it can go through existing pipelines to the tune of well over two million barrels a day.

    It doesn’t take “science” to understand all these things, merely applying a little common sense to what they’ve observed in everyday life. Apparently, not only is this common knowledge kept from Albertans by successive governments, but they aren’t even curious themselves as to the details. “We are the must efficient least polluting oil producers” is such complete balderdash that a mere five minutes of research would show, Albertans actively don’t look and prefer to live in la la land.

    Amazing. Self-hypnosis on a province-wide scale. They just hope the current clamour will all just go away and the good times will return. Insects are disappearing, our winters in the Maritimes are way milder, the last few summers more like Florida, smoke from California and BC wildfires increases each year, but the stodge heads inhabiting Alberta haven’t noticed.

    You kind of gather the disconnect from reality Albertans suffer because they call it oilsands.

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