September 27, 2021

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Heat wave Sears climate doubt in Canada’s oil capital | Climate and environment

In Calgary, Canada, the next emergency vehicle in a line of people waiting to enter a water park and beat the heat.Jeff McIntosh / A.P.

Maria Townsend and her husband are staying for three days at a hotel in the city of Calgary in the Canadian province of Alberta, although they live within a 30-minute walk from this location. “We are self-employed. We do not have air conditioning in the house. In fact, it is not very common in coal because the temperature in summer is generally pleasant. We worked at home at first, but two fans was not enough My husband started to feel bad From the heat, we decided to take a short vacation in an air-conditioned hotel. ”Downsent, Irish-born and Canadian, has lived since 1996. Demand for this specialty has grown significantly as a result of recent corporate scandals. Not by tourists, but mainly by neighbors like Townsend.

An unprecedented heat wave hit Canada It moved furiously eastward, reaching the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. On its way, it has also started in Alberta. A province, above its livestock production, is Canada’s premier oil province (fourth producer in the world) for its extensive talent for folk music and its colorful rodeo festivals. Calgary is home to some of the country’s most important companies in the industry, a city that is now boiling – for a long time and as before – with heat waves. Here is the There will be policies to combat climate change, Above all, as a threat to the economy.

On Thursday, July 1, a mountain fire broke out in Lytton.
On Thursday, July 1, a mountain fire broke out in Lytton. DARRYL DYCK / AP

The impact on British Columbia and the northwestern United States has been severe. Records for high temperatures have dropped like dominoes. On Tuesday, the city of Lytton in British Columbia recorded 49.6 degrees, breaking the national record for the third day in a row. A day later, residents were evacuated by a fire that engulfed 90% of the city. Authorities have warned of 64 fires in the province. According to the Forensic Service, between June 25 and July 2, 719 people died suddenly; Three times more on average than other dates. On the other side of the border, the heat wave caused at least 99 deaths.

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In Alberta, temperatures have also risen. About 50 cities have broken their historical records. Thermometers in the cities of Edmonton and Calgary read 37 and 36.3 degrees, Respectively, this Wednesday. Like British Columbia, Canada’s Ministry of Environment has warned of “lasting, dangerous and historic” heat waves in most parts of Alberta. Electricity consumption in the province has reached unprecedented levels in the summer and officials are urging people not to waste water. Edmonton emergency services announced 125 calls related to the heat wave between Tuesday and Friday; 96 were in coal during the same period. The south of the province has been hit by numerous fires.

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Temperatures of 34.5 degrees to 36.3 degrees, which moved to Coal last week, will not be a nuisance in Seville or Mexico. However, the average high temperature in the city of Alberta every July is 23 degrees. Sue Henry, head of the Coal Emergency Agency, said records these days confirm that this is the longest heat event the city has experienced. Some religious temples (Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Sikh) have set up areas to keep people cool and avoid the sun’s rays.

Experts explain that the increase in thermometers is due to the high constant pressure, which led to an event called the “heat dome”. Nicos Christidis of the UK Meteorological Service pointed out that it is almost impossible to achieve such high average June temperatures in the western United States without man-induced climate change because “natural events occur once every tens of thousands of years”. The Ministry of Environment of Canada has pointed out the need to better prepare Canadians to adapt to the effects of climate change. Fossil fuels, according to scientific consensus, appear to be a major factor.

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Alberta has had a close relationship with the federal government for decades. There is a widespread feeling that Ottawa is more focused on the elite in the center and east of the country than on the “oil cow”. Some groups have promoted their independence from Canada. In Alberta, Trudeau’s name did not receive applause. Former President Pierre Elliott Trudeau ran with the province over the national energy program in the 1980s, which was seen as a federal intervention. In 2014, crude prices fell. A year later, Justin Trudeau, son of Pierre Elliott, became prime minister. One of its promises is to enforce additional regulations in the field of environment.

“In 2018, Trudeau presented his carbon tax plan,” explains Frederick Boyle, a professor of political science at the University of Alberta. “Jason Kenny’s Conservatives withdrew the provincial government in 2019 because they wanted to repeal this kind of price in Alberta. Later, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Trudeau’s plan was constitutional. Many saw the plan as a new intrusion from Ottawa and a direct attack on the provincial economy.”

Trudeau is being criticized by left-wing factions because they believe his environmental goals should be more ambitious. They also blame him for Ottawa’s loans to hydrocarbon companies and the announcement of nationalization and the Transmountain pipeline expansion. Many more Alberts consider Trudeau to be a person Not with gratitude For the opposite reasons. The argument that is constantly being heard is that it has lagged behind in the oil industry.

Alexander, 40, who works at a parcel company, drinks beer on the terrace of Calgary’s famous Artery Eighth Avenue. “It’s hot, but I like to admire myself here. We spent a lot of time locked up by Kovit-19,” he says. “The media says this heat is related to climate change. However, the economy is also important. We can’t let everyone down in the oil sphere, “he added.

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Young people are more involved

Maria Townsend acknowledges that oil occupies the largest space in Alberta’s economy. “It’s a fact, but we need to do something quickly. I think a lot about what my daughter’s life will be like in a few decades. Will these heats be frequent? At least she’s a well-informed teenager who is trying to get involved. New generations are taking this even more seriously. ”.

Frederick Boyle acknowledges that young people in the province are more concerned with climate change, but also point out that there are significant differences between cities and regions where oil is extracted, a greater desire to protect the strongholds of the economically diverse tooth and nail and conservative vote. Boyle points out that while deniers make noise in Alberta, they are actually outnumbered. “There are two major groups on the issue of climate change. Both point to the presence. Some are motivated to change the landscape quickly or gradually, while others are simply marginalized,” he says.

True, Boyle warns, there is a growing difficulty in investing in Alberta’s oil infrastructure. President on January 20th Joe Biden signs off on building and operating permits for the Keystone XL, A pipeline (a project backed by Trudeau) that sends crude from this province to American refineries, which provoked opposition from environmental activists and tribal communities. Alberta’s oil wealth is primarily concentrated in tar sand. Royal Dutch Shell and Stadoil were excluded from Sands-related projects in this Canadian province due to high production costs, high emissions and public reputation.

Regional President Jason Kenny called Biden’s decision “a blow to the Alberta and Canadian economies.” His government had invested $ 1 billion in the pipeline. As for oil sands, Kenny emphasizes that they provide the best economic benefits and that different processes reduce their environmental impact. Meanwhile, the “heat dome” burns the province of Manitoba.

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