A decommissioned pumpjack is shown at a well head on an oil and gas installation near Cremona, Alta., on Oct. 29, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

A decommissioned pumpjack is shown at a well head on an oil and gas installation near Cremona, Alta., on Oct. 29, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Our View: Canada’s policy on climate change is two-headed

Are we de-carbonizing, or drilling for ever more oil?

Does the Liberal government have a policy on climate change, really?

Not judging by their actions.

This week, you can drive through northern Langley and spot the construction sites for the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project. This project was despised by environmentalists, because any increase in access to Canada’s oil patch naturally means more carbon dioxide being flung into our already overloaded atmosphere.

The pipeline, however, means jobs and tax revenues, and as such it is so beloved of the federal government that Prime Minster Justin Trudeau’s government actually bought it as Kinder Morgan ran into difficulties with the project

On the other coast, this government has also approved the Bay du Nord oil project, which has all the same issues – jobs versus climate. The present versus the future, essentially.

Meanwhile, the federal budget unveiled last week is all about fighting climate change, somehow.

There is a great deal of money and policy aimed at decarbonizing Canada’s industry, encouraging carbon capture from the existing oil industry, and boosting sales of electric vehicles.

The government needs to make up its mind whether it is for or against global climate change. (Hint: against is the correct position.)

The Earth’s atmosphere is that not a localized phenomenon. It’s a shared resource.

We have the same atmosphere as Albania and Burundi and China and on down the whole alphabet of nations.

If we decarbonize at home, and we have the cleanest oil industry in the world, and we all drive electric cars and heat and light our homes with solar and wind and hydro, we’ll still face rising seas and scorching summers, in part thanks to our exporting oil for other people to burn. The government needs to pick a side – short term, or long?

– M.C.

EditorialsEnvironmentFederal PoliticsLangley