August 19th, 2017

Environment minister’s climate-change folly

By Letter to the Editor on March 16, 2017.

During a presentation to SACPA on Nov. 15, 2015, Minister Phillips made light of so-called climate change “deniers” by dismissing any and all questioning of the “real” climate change “facts.” She went on to state that “It’s not that I believe in the science of climate change, it’s that I understand the science of climate change.”

That is a very audacious, if not arrogant, claim for anyone not trained and experienced in physics disciplines such as radiative and convective heat transfer, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, biology and the complex analysis needed to achieve even a basic understanding of climate change.

Now, Minister Phillips is “moving forward” to add injury to insult on the climate file. She has established a “Residental No-Charge Savings Program,” apparently intended to teach uninformed Albertans how to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This will be achieved by engaging one of those green companies, Ecofitt, established to profit from the mad rush to combat climate change.

Ecofitt is responsible for employing a cadre of workers who will be invading homes, replacing incandescent with LED bulbs, providing low-flow shower heads, installing smart thermostats, and providing energy-saving power bars. A quick check of the Ecofitt website reveals their store charges roughly three time as much per LED bulb as some local big-box stores. Remember – homeowners will not be charged for this service. There is more to come. The total cost of the “Energy Efficiency Alberta” program over the coming five years is estimated to be $645 million.

Albertans who have already implemented these well-established technologies as a matter of course will thus be overpaying hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of the slow starters. The inflated costs to bring them up to speed will be covered by the carbon tax Minister Phillips rammed through last year.

Surely this continuing condescending contempt for the majority of informed Albertans will influence their choices when the next election cycle comes around. Minister Phillips may then appreciate the folly of her misplaced philanthropy with our carbon taxes.

Duane Pendergast

Energy Collegium


10 Responses to “Environment minister’s climate-change folly”

  1. already extinct says:

    “audacious”, Check! “arrogant” Check”

    “Remember, homeowners will not be charged for this service” – Mr. Pendergast, – you must be kidding!

    Otherwise spot on op-ed.

  2. Fescue says:

    The good Minister was saying at SACPA that climate change is a scientific discussion, not a matter of opinion or faith. To ‘understand’ means that you accept what the scientific community is saying in overwhelming terms, that is, global warming is real, and it is a threat to human civilization not to mention the ecosystem upon which we rely.

    When we speak of audacious and arrogant, we should be thinking of groups of people who believe their opinions to be superior than the scientists who are actually studying the systems and publishing in peer-reviewed journals.

    Finally, with respect to the support for homes to reduce their energy consumption, I think you overestimate the number of households who have transitioned to best practices. It is a good idea to give anyone the opportunity who want one to receive this support. If everyone is doing it, then nobody will apply for the service and this program will be very inexpensive.

    • FrankDracman says:

      The issue here is we don’t want to import Ontario’s climate change fiasco in the form of doubling electricity bills, and for a population already nervous about rising energy costs due to a carbon tax, using an Ontario company seems rather stupid on the part of the Alberta government.

      • Fescue says:

        Have to agree with you that the optics could be better on this one. I don’t know if they were the lowest bidder or how they landed this contract.

        BC is a closer example to what our government is doing (as opposed to Ontario which got tangled up with feed-in tariffs, etc.). BC has had few economic issues caused by their carbon levy and they have had measurable reductions in emissions (which is the goal).

  3. phlushie says:

    Wow!!! So much discussion of a well integrated cash crab of a new revenue stream, which is going to reverberate throughout North America. Just another example of “Any excuse will do!!”. The common people have been well set up and if they do not agree they are labeled as deniers.

    • Fescue says:

      That’s right, phlushie, everything is a government conspiracy and the cash crab is gonna come and take it all away.

      • phlushie says:

        Do a little studying. It is not the government, they are the scape goats manipulated into this to assure funding for industries. After all, how can money reduce carbon foot print? But. the money can be turned over to the industrail complex who are claiming they have a solution.

  4. Fescue provides an interesting interpretation of Minister Phillips SACPA comments. Could it be that I erred in taking her comments literally?

    I quoted Minister Phillips statement on “understanding” climate change from Track 2 of the SACPA presentation of November 12, 2015.

    That quotation; “It’s not that I believe in the science of climate change, it’s that I understand the science of climate change.” starts at minute 38:00 of Audio Track 2.

    Well done Fescue! Your interpretation of Minister Shannon Phillips comments reminds me of Kelly-Anne Conway’s coining of the term “alternate facts” to explain some of President Donald Trump’s tweets.

  5. Montreal13 says:

    Thanks Duane Pendergast for pointing out the similarities in their usage of fake news, alternative facts or whatever the politicly correct term is for a selective memory.

  6. Thank you Montreal13.

    Good discussion on this issue between Danielle Smith and an energy consultant. Both making sense. Fifteen minutes.

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