The graphic above was created by the report authors, Swart and Weaver, and is made available on this webpage.
The oil sands shouldn’t be the energy pariah they’ve been made out to be – at least that’s the conclusion of a couple of B.C. climatologists in a recent study.
Andrew Weaver, a professor at the University of Victoria, took a look at carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of Canada’s oil sands reserves and those of coal.
Weaver, and colleague Neil Swart, essentially asked the question of how much global warming would occur by burning a variety of fossil fuel resources. Here are their calculations.
In other words: Coal presents a climate challenge 1,500 times greater than that presented by the oil sands.
Weaver and Swart certainly gained some attention in the media and in social media circles as more experts are beginning to take issue with environmentalists’ doomsday dogma that the pursuit of the oil sands resource is akin to charting a course to global climate change Armageddon.
Weaver and Swart do issue warnings that unmeasured pursuit of fossil fuels as our primary source of energy isn’t a competent response to climate change.
But certainly their study does bring a measure of context to the debate that shouldn’t be restricted to in-situ drilling, upgraders and pipelines.