By Letter to the Editor on December 7, 2019.
We have in Alberta a new government which says there is a consensus among 97 per cent of climate scientists that humans are the main cause of global warming, yet they seem to have only climate policy in their toolbox; the TIER program which puts a carbon tax on large emitters and uses the revenues to drive innovation and efficiency in those same companies.
Alberta farmers can also be part of the solution. Sure, engineers can capture CO2 in power plants and bury it miles underground, but it’s darned expensive. We can get more bang for our buck by paying farmers to sequester carbon in the soil; this includes means like grazing of native fescue grasses by Alberta cattle which supply the free-range beef I’ve been buying for 25 years; thank you very much!
In Germany there are more than 5,000 farm-based biogas plants burning methane, and they get paid a premium for sending clean power out onto their electricity grid. I only know of one such project in Alberta; why not hundreds more? Starland County has led the way in helping local farmers and ranchers to install solar panels; there should be a program making this happen across the province.
We shouldn’t wait for dictates and regulations from Ottawa to address the climate crisis. In our oil and gas industry as well as our farming communities, we already have many of the solutions at hand; we just need some supportive policies to unlock and deploy them. I’ve always been a city kid, but I’m happy to support good work in rural Alberta that brings food and resources to my home and table, and builds a sustainable future for our children.
Roger L. Gagne