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Climate change by the numbers

Tar sands exploratory mission

Fighting climate change is a numbers game, in units of degrees Celsius and millions and billions of tonnes.

As the atmospheric concentration of earth-warming CO2 rises above 400 parts per million -- almost twice what it was 200 years ago – the nations of the world struggle to roll back their emissions by the gigatonne. Canada has vowed to cut emissions by 30 percent, relative to its emissions in 2005.

Most climate change scientists say that target falls far far short of what is needed. Still, Canada’s emissions rise relentlessly, notably in oil-rich Alberta, where bitumen-rich tar sands generate billions and billions of dollars for huge corporations, and for the province.

To placate Alberta, the Canadian government has declared that expanding fossil fuel production is perfectly consistent with Canada’s larger goal of reducing emissions from burning that fuel.

Keith Stewart, senior energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada, says the government approach won't work. In a repeat of an interview from The Green Blues Show, originally broadcast on CKUW Radio in Winnipeg and online on The Green Planet Monitor, David Kattenburg talks to Keith Stewart about what's wrong with the picture the government has painted.

Thanks to The Green Blues show for permission to podcast his interview.  You can subscribe to the whole show through your favourite mobile podcast app. Just put Green Blues Show in the search box. Or, you can listen from the show website

Image: Tar Sands exploratory mission/Flickr

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