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October 27, 2017 11:22 pm

The role of manufacturing in attaining a renewable-based economy

Thursday, April 14, 2016 @ 5:45 AM

By Peter Ewart

The debate over oil and gas extraction and its effects on the environment has been raging for many years in Canada and internationally, and especially now as Canada and the international community have committed to limit climate change to between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius.  Most recently, controversy broke out at the NDP Convention in Alberta where a document called the “Leap Manifesto” was put forward calling for the end of any new fossil fuel infrastructure development that would “lock us into increased extraction decades into the future,” and for moving to a renewable energy-based economy by 2050. The document, although not endorsed at the Convention, was adopted for discussion within the party over the next two years.

Since then, a flurry of clashing views has been put forward both for and against this Manifesto.  However, as in the broader debates about the oil and gas  / environment issue, too often what happens is that the discussion gets reduced to whether we should, on the one hand, simply support “ripping and shipping” the oil and gas resource, i.e. exporting it in raw form via pipelines to foreign markets.  Or, on the other hand, just leave most of the oil and gas “in the ground” and move over to other forms of renewable energy like wind and solar.

Another way that this argument often gets presented is “jobs versus the environment” or Eastern Canada against Western Canada, or rural against urban.   And so Canadians are supposed to line up, amidst bitter acrimony, on either side of this great divide.

But should we line up on any one of these sides?  Or do these divisions block us from finding solutions and ways forward that bring people together?

For example, instead of the “ripping and shipping” versus “leaving it all in the ground” alternatives, what about moving in another direction?  And that direction could be towards further processing and manufacturing of our oil and gas resources in a major way right here in Canada while, at the same time, reducing reliance on fossil fuels, ending the export of crude unprocessed oil and bitumen, and building renewable alternatives.  This would create more jobs, develop an advanced industrial infrastructure, and do so within a framework of reducing oil and gas extraction over time, as well as drastically cutting back on carbon emissions – ultimately moving towards a fully decarbonized economy.  In other words, an increasingly smaller, but better and more rational, use of the oil and gas resource.

Oil workers, labour organizations, sections of the business community and environmentalists in Alberta and British Columbia have long been advocating a similar approach, and many people in other parts of Canada have expressed strong support for using our natural resource advantage to develop home-grown processing and manufacturing within a sustainable environment and in partnership with Indigenous peoples, as well as communities in the Interior and North.

In this regard, oil and gas are remarkable substances and part of the bountiful natural wealth of the country.  Oil and gas, as well as bitumen, are complex organic compounds.  Through processing and manufacturing, they are capable of producing an amazing, boundless variety of beneficial substances from pharmaceuticals, skin care products, paints and textiles to industrial chemicals, and so on.

Yet this tremendous potential is wasted by using up these resources largely as fuels for combustion engines and other uses that pollute the atmosphere and destabilize the climate system.  In centuries to come, future generations will shake their heads at how much we have frittered away these precious resources and damaged the environment, rather than extracting further value from them for the benefit of humanity.

So why not use our non-renewable raw resources (i.e. oil & gas) wisely to finance and pave the way for more jobs and manufacturing infrastructure, even while we tackle the task of dramatically reducing emissions, and building a renewable based economy right here at home?

It will undoubtedly be difficult.  But, like the old saying goes: it is possible to walk and chew gum at the same time.

Peter Ewart is a columnist and writer based in Prince George, British Columbia.  He can be reached at: peter.ewart@shaw.ca



Well, I won’t be holding my breath waiting for this to happen. After all, look at the track record of BC with respect to the lumber industry: raw logs shipped out and only the most grudging willingness on the part of industry to reduce logs into 2X4’s but not much manufacturing beyond that.
If we measure the health of an industry by how many jobs it produces per unit of raw resource, then the BC timber industry is not very healthy: raw log export increased four fold under the Liberals with thousands of jobs forfeited. Do we really expect the oil and gas industry to do any better?

    Actually the export of raw logs did not result in the forfeiture of thousands of jobs, quite the opposite, it resulted in thousands more jobs. You’re assuming that those logs would have been milled here in BC at existing mills. Not so. If they hadn’t been exported they’d still be standing – there’s no demand for them here.

    Krusty, there would be more ‘value-added’ manufacturing if the cost could be recovered in price, plus an additional profit to make the additional risks involved worthwhile. Those risks involve the length of time it takes any product to ‘turn over’ in the marketplace. And that’s one of the main problems with ‘value-added’ manufacturing ~ just how long it takes for the finished product to actually sell. 2×4’s turn over fairly quickly. Something that’s higher end may not. And the if the money that finances all this production is borrowed? Well, your banker wants a payment every month, not when the ‘value-added’ product finally sells.

One 42-gallon barrel of oil creates 19.4 gallons of gasoline. The rest (over half) is used to make other products. The list of products made from petroleum a long aprox 6000 items.

So we are already in the business of making by products from oil, and have been for many many years. So at this point in time the oil that is used for by products is itself a byproduct of the refining industry.

Canada has been getting out of the refining industry for many years and has shut down 20 or more refineries in the past 20/30 years.

Not sure how we can reduce the amount of oil we produce and not have to reduce the number of byproducts as a result.

Electric cars themselves are primarily made from petroleum products, and they will have no real impact on the consumption of oil for many many years, if ever.

So, what’s the solution.? It seems we are once again faced with the dilemma that for every action there is a reaction.

17% of fuel is consumed by airlines, shipping, and trucking/railways. The balance is used by passenger vehicles and a large percentage of the passenger fuel is burned by what is referred to as recreational driving.

So, we can see that the real culprit in the burning of fossil fuels, and polluting the air, is the average citizen who drives all over hells half acres with a car stuck to his butt.

Perhaps its time to ration gasoline to consumers so that they are allowed only so many gallons (litres) of gasoline per month. Once they burn up their portion they have to find other means to get around. That would be a start, however once again when we reduce the sales of gasoline, we reduce the profits to the companies that produce gasoline, reduce the byproducts and of course reduce tax revenue to the Government who thrives on the sale of gas.

So whats the answer????

    The answer is obvious. Face the reality that fossil fuels are a huge benefit to humanity and their usage has save us from much worse pollution. Also face the fact that CO2 emissions are not a problem, increased atmospheric CO2 is, in fact, a benefit to the environment and humanity and there’s nothing wrong with burning fossil fuels.

    The funny thing about you hypothesis is it is based on scarcity , expense and mitigation . The answer is so obvious . Electrification of transport is about narrowing marginal costs ,mitigating repairs/maintaince there by leaving more money for other things in your community . This is measurable . If you look it up you will find that EV drivers tend to drive a great deal more than do ICE drivers . Why ? Because is dirt cheap .

      Where is your evidence that EV drivers tend to drive a great deal more than ICE drivers?

      Let’s look at the City’s LEAF EV! Seems like nobody wants to drive that thing!

      I don’t understand why you need spoon feeding but here it is . “Nissan reveals that European owners of its 100 percent electric car, the Nissan LEAF, travel more than 50 percent further per year (10,307 miles) than the European average for a traditional internal combustion-powered vehicle (6,721 miles).

      Spanish Nissan LEAF drivers come out on top, covering on average more than 228 miles each week, Swedish drivers (211 miles) come second and the UK third with 201 miles.

      “Nissan has been able to report that its European drivers amass on average 198 miles a week in their LEAF* all without any exhaust emissions.

      “Further research from the auto maker indicated that 89 percent of LEAF drivers charge overnight at home, benefiting from a cost per mile of just two pence or less†.”

      Ataloss, Nissan reports that since introducing the LEAF, they have now sold over 150,000 LEAF vehicles globally.

      IHS Automotive reports that 2015 was the U.S car industry’s best sales year ever! Automakers sold 17,470,659 cars. trucks, and SUVs in the U.S. last year, surpassing the record set in 2000 by more than 68,000 units.

      Global LEAF sales since introduction in 2010 account for 0.859%, less than 1%, of U.S. vehicle sales in 2015 alone!

      Ataloss, as I stated a short time ago, while I agree that electric vehicles have their place and in time we will see more and more innovation making them more appropriate for more users, at this point in time and I would suggest for the foreseeable future, ICE vehicles won’t be going away any time soon!

      By the way, I drive a big gas guzzling 4×4! What do you drive?

      Global leaf sales are well over 200,000 . If you want the real numbers just look them up for 2016 .

      Jeff Cobb, HybridCars.com – January 5, 2016 – 2016 Nissan Leaf Sales Did Not Break Sales Slump In December

      “Nissan’s 1,347 December Leaf sales were a bump upwards from 1,054 units in November, but a far cry from 3,102 in December 2014.

      In its heyday, the world’s best-selling EV would typically do high teens to well into the 2,000s or low 3,000s on a given month, but for the past several months has been a shell of its former self.

      Nissan meanwhile is offering inexpensive lease deals, discounts, and a No Charge to Charge promo with free charging for two years in select markets.

      Whether Nissan is able to raise the sales volume to 2,000-3,000-plus units as was the case in its best months remains to be seen.”

      ht tp://www.hybridcars.com/2016-nissan-leaf-sales-did-not-break-sales-slump-in-december/

      …and Ataloss, you still haven’t mentioned what it is that you drive?

There is not one piece of observational evidence that establishes a causation
mechanism between human CO2 (or any CO2, for that matter) and enduring,
planet-wide, climate change. Not one. There is only conjecture. Even those
who “believe” human CO2 causes some small warming have only their belief, yes,
based on theoretical laboratory physics, but never once proven in the real
The climate models touted by the warmists cannot hindcast historical
temperatures and their future projections of temperature are SO far off the
mark that they can be said to be: UNFIT FOR PURPOSE

    Hum no one is able to refute what I posted!

      Still no one.

“So why not use our non-renewable raw resources (i.e. oil & gas) wisely to finance and pave the way for more jobs and manufacturing infrastructure, even while we tackle the task of dramatically reducing emissions, and building a renewable based economy right here at home?”
For one thing, “ripping and shipping” is a wise use of the resources that finances a huge part of our economy including governments and social services.

There won’t be any more jobs in manufacturing unless we can compete with the low-cost competitors like China, and converting from inexpensive fossil fuels to unreliable and high-priced renewables makes us less competitive.

We aren’t going to “dramatically reduce emissions” unless we pretty much shut down all our industry. Moreover, why should we? “Developing” nations such as China have made it abundantly clear that they have no intention of cutting emissions, on the contrary, they’ve also made it clear that they intend to continue to increase. All international agreements to cut emissions have an “out” clause for developing nations, and they will all use it. Any reductions we make here will be overwhelmed by the increases over there in short order.

Besides which, the global warming scare is the biggest scam in the history of the world, its intention is to take the wealth production from the developed, capitalist countries and transfer them to the developing countries. Only a gullible fool would assist in their own demise.

In centuries to come, future generations will shake their heads at how easily the West was duped.

As the rest of the world races towards economies based on alternative energy sources, we cannot continue investing in a fossil fuel industry that has no future, to do so would be to invest the destruction of our planet and against the future well-being of our children. Our use of fossil fuel products is killing this planet. Here is a win-win solution from a former laid-off oilsands worker. In my opinion we need more of this as Canada prepares for a permanent reduction in world demand for oil and gas.

“The downturn in Alberta’s oil economy is hitting many workers hard, and a former boilermaker from Victoria believes retraining for renewable energy jobs could be part of the solution. Lliam Hildebrand is the founder of Iron and Earth, an organization that advocates for retraining opportunities for oilsands workers and hopes to soon provide those opportunities.”

www .cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/green-energy-trades-jobs-1.3528246

Yep as the rest of the world races towards economies based on alternative energies. Just where do you find this clap trap, oh the CBC now there is a worthless expensive chunk of biased media.

Now here is what some of you should be really be worried about.

ht tps://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/04/09/claim-climate-will-stop-women-from-wanting-sex/

In order to alleviate range anxiety all electric cars should have a standardized battery pack. It should be so designed that it can be extracted from the vehicle by a simple extraction robot. A fully charged replacement pack can then be inserted, the customer at the *filling station* pays a fee similar to filling up a gasoline or diesel fuel tank. A network of stations would enable a driver to go on long trips.

Electric cars do not need oil and filter changes, automatic transmissions or clutches, tune-ups and most of the other expensive computer modules and updates.

No wonder there is a lot of resistance to their full scale use – they do not require a lot of maintenance to keep them going and may cause job losses.

As for building a lot of expensive new facilities to process fossil fuels while at the same time calling for phasing out fossil fuels makes very little sense – who would invest in an industry with an intentionally limited life span?

    “who would invest in an industry with an intentionally limited life span?” It’s much worse than limited life span . The tarsands projects one has to wonder if demand will completely collapse before the break even or ROI . It’s a gamble fewer and fewer are willing to risk .

Here is the wind output in the BPA system, notice how low it gets at times, yep real smart and very expensive.

ht tp://transmission.bpa.gov/business/operations/wind/baltwg.aspx

Here is another generation out put for Alberta, check out wind. The present government wingnuts want to build more very expensive inefficient wind, just crazy.

ht tp://ets.aeso.ca/ets_web/ip/Market/Reports/CSDReportServlet

here is the wind output in Australia, just amazing.

ht tp://energy.anero.id.au/wind-energy/

This is what happens when the idiots in government push so called renewables

ht tp://www.thestar.com/business/2014/02/26/ontarios_big_industries_plead_for_lower_hydro_rates.html

To understand why anyone would oppose our transportation going to the next level of ifficiency one has to look at the existing business model . When you buy an ICE car the dealerships paydays are just beginning . Ever wonder why they sell the at inventor prices ? That because the dealerships make very little on the sale itself . The real money is in selling you parts and services . EVs don’t need most if any of that . There are over a million EVs on the roads today . China just this month reached 200,000 million electric bikes and scooters replacing as many two stroke gas burners . The dealers are even more acutely aware of what’s happening . That’s why they don’t want to sell EVs because there is little in it for them . EVs are more like computers than ICE cars . Some replacement parts can even be ordered , replaced by a novice because most of the parts are plug and play . And that’s the rub , ain’t it .

    Funny ain’t it . They’ve made it so tough the do any servicing of the ice car that most won’t even attempt it . Ever wonder why . It’s actually an inside joke and the joke is on the public . Just ask a dealer or a salesmutt. If you know an honest one , that is . I know a few of them . Did you know they call people that are just looking cockroaches . The hand signal to alert the staff is pretending to spray them with a can of raid . Buyers are called fish .

      There you go again school yard name calling.

Ataloss. We will have the same people selling electric cars as we do gas/diesel cars. A car salesman is a car salesman by any other name.

Electric cars in relation to the big scheme of things are a joke. Some people will buy them because of the perceived status it brings, however its much like the people who buy bottled water in plastic bottles. Makes one wonder where their brains are. If you fill their plastic bottled water with tap water, they drink it and don’t notice any difference. Hmmmmm.

Ataloss. You should do a study to determine how much petroleum products is required to build an electric car.

    Tesla has already broken the dealership business model . So have a few others . Ford is already pretending to run Ford stores . EVs are the death of dealerships . A perfect analogy is la Scalia . without people gambling that their car will keep running the dealerships wouldn’t stand a chance of survival . With ICE cars the house always wins .

      Huh, example please. Your claims are getting wild. Is this like you made up solar system, what electric car do you drive? You off the grid yet?

      How come Tesla has not made a profit yet? Musk is very good at milking subsidies.

      I just gave you two examples and an analogy . Do you just pretend you’re the only one in the conversation ? I know the La Scalia analogy is deeper than most like to dive . It’s a little like ray crock wasn’t about making hambergers . You see La Scalia wasn’t about creating the best opera to grace the stage . It was about fleecing drunk nobles at the casino . The PGPAC folks could use a couple of history lessons .

    Be careful what you ask for Pal . An EV could easily be built without a single petroleum product . In fact many have already been built and are operated at this very moment .

People (and established industry) are afraid of and want to hinder or delay large scale change of priorities and technologies, mostly to protect their investments in established industries.

However, change often comes no matter what! Once environmental health concerns and the need to participate in the competition to keep up with the New Profitable the Old bites the dust!

No matter how much ridicule they can create to try to sway the public’s mind in the end, those who repeat the mantras of the old way to do it will fade into history.

If it wasn’t that way mankind would still be making fire by rubbing sticks together!

    Words of wisdom PrinceGeorge, words of wisdom. This is the message that needs to be told time and time again to our future generations… change is inevitable no matter how much a person, or a whole industry, will try to fight it, or deny it, change is going to happen none-the-less.

    In the words on a well know tv series; “resistance is futile” and in this case change is necessary to ensure the continued survival of our planet and our species, and that kind of change is indeed inevitable.

Electric cars do and will have their uses but up in the north we are not anywhere near that yet. If these things are so great why does the government so heavily subsidize them, let the market decide.

Not one user had a good thing to say about the Leaf but the city went ahead with another four year lease. No wonder this city is a mess with that kind of reasoning and they want to buy more. What is up, is there some sort of kick back. Koehler, Frizzel why should the city be involved, why are you playing with taxpayer money. I listened to you two on the news tonight and you have absolutely no knowledge of the subject of these cars. You two sit on council that is a worry. The city should not be involved with charging stations, let the market install them. Why are you guys playing with taxpayers money with these things. Heck get a decent snow plow as PG is sure going to need it in the not so distant future.

Electric vehicles are not maintenance free as has been suggested. They still have lots of moving parts and that battery, wow now there is a cost. yep computers and electronics in an electronic car, lots of them and do you think they will be any more maintenance than a gasser. Hey I have some real cheap shares in Tesla I could sell ya.

So if the chargers are free, the electricity free, and no road tax well then who pays for the roads and environmentally friendly road paint.

    Notice how Ataloss hasn’t commented on my earlier post from HybridCars.com, the one that mentions that Nissan’s LEAF sales are dropping!

    I’m still wondering what he drives?

    Electric vehicles do have a place but they won’t be replacing our current gas powered vehicles to any great degree soon!

    Speaking of electric cars, from Global News today, news that Ontario has announced further electricity rate increases effective May 1st!

    Sure glad that we are building Site C!

      Ontario rates going up because of stupidly shutting down coal and going with inefficient costly so called renewables. Every where this is being done energy costs are steeply climbing and manufacturing is moving to China and India.

      ht tp://www.thestar.com/business/2014/02/26/ontarios_big_industries_plead_for_lower_hydro_rates.html

    “Electric vehicles are not maintenance free as has been suggested.”

    I checked but who has suggested that electric vehicles are maintenance FREE!? They just need a lot LESS maintenance! In many other countries and states cities actively promote this greener technology by installing charging stations. Don’t be too surprised if government buildings such as hospitals soon will have charging stations which are paid for by taxpayers’ money. There are hybrid vehicles which when driven for short commutes rarely ever use any gasoline if they are charged at home and at the place of work!

    I am glad our city council is involved and keeping up-to-date!

In California, they are subsidized ridiculously too much.

Tesla gets $45,000 for each car it sells in state and federal subsidies. The Tesla S starts at $69,000, so about 40% of its total cost is subsidies (Tesla isn’t making any big profits).

ht tps://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/12/lomborg-californians-are-paying-ridiculous-subsidies-for-electric-cars/

    The question you should be asking yourself is , why are the cars being subsidized ? That’s the easiest question to answer . Not how much . Or who pays . Or where the subsidies go . Ask why ? Funny thing is it’s not about the climate like you think .

      Sadly he doesn’t know or worse he doesn’t want you to know . The answer is that the money that stays in California as opposed to going into the Kochs pockets (exxonmoble) stays in California . It then gets churned about buying goods that are taxed by state at 7.5 % sales tax and adding up to a total of 10% depending on what county you pay taxes in . The state gets their money back and it stays in the state . Remember the last time you filled up your tank ? Imagine what it would be like to never do that again . Over a life time it would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars .

      Hey Ataloss any stories about your make believe solar system, hey where is your electric car. Come on dude come clean. You seem to have an unhealthy fixation with the Kochs. hey you ever hear of Soros?

California has a population of close to 40 million. It is a state, not a country like Canada, which has a population of 36 million. Those 40 million have a great impact on the environment,all on a very small land area compared to Canada’s. That fact alone is causing them to be more mindful of what needs to be done now and in the future! I say let them subsidize all they want, we do not pay for it and they are certainly more progressive and realistic in their planning! We owe them a lot as our vehicle pollution standards were originated in California!

    The point is the subsidy, renewables, electric cars only exist because of subsidies that everyone pays. All this for nothing, what is accomplished except making people like Soros very rich and a redistribution of the worlds money and power. The IPCC have even said as much. These programmes are benefiting China in a big way making the west weaker Chana stronger. Electrical costs in the west are skyrocketing upward shutting down industry, more and more people having to decide between food or heat. England for one has a big problem regarding that.

Peter Tertzakian, chief energy economist at ARC Financial and the author of several books that consider how the world will transition away from oil states that it will take decades to transition away from oil.

Right now about 90 million vehicles are sold in the world each year. If electric cars were to capture 10 percent of that market in the next decade -an ambitious estimate to say the least–global oil demand still wouldn’t see a meaningful dent.

According to Tertzakians calculations, selling a million electric vehicles in a year would displace about 50,000 barrels a day of oil consumption. Even a ten-fold increase in that number would only remove a half million barrels of demand from a market that, in another decade, will be around 100 million barrels a day.

He goes on to say that’s a glass-half-full scenario. Consider how long it will take to replace a global vehicle fleet of 1.1 billion cars and trucks if electric vehicle penetration is in the 5% range, which is still more than triple current levels in most major markets.

So don’t expect any major changes in the oil extraction market for some time to come.

Have a nice day.

Wow, good post Palopu!

So far, even though you posted that almost 90 minutes ago, nobody has crawled out from under a rock or stepped up to the plate to attempt to refute you!

You da man! Congrats, haha!

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