Impact of burning all Alberta’s oilsands negligible, scientists argue

“Burning all the proven reserve between 2012 and 2062, they say, would raise global temperatures by just 0.02 C to 0.05 C.”

Paula Simons writes in the Edmonton Journal:

Andrew Weaver isn’t what you’d call an oilsands apologist.

Weaver, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Climate Modelling and Analysis at the University of Victoria, was a lead author with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He is one of the world’s leading authorities on global warming, and one of the fiercest critics of the Harper government’s carbon emissions policy — or lack thereof.

That’s what makes Weaver’s latest research publication such startling news. This Sunday, Feb. 19th, Weaver and his doctoral student, Neil Swart, published an analysis in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change, an offshoot of Nature, the world’s most prestigious science journal.

In their paper, Swart and Weaver conclude the impact of burning all the economically viable proven reserve of Alberta’s oilsands — all 170 billion barrels — would be negligible. Burning all the proven reserve between 2012 and 2062, they say, would raise global temperatures by just 0.02 C to 0.05 C.

Burning up all the oil in the areas currently being mined would have even less impact.

“[I]f only the reserve currently under active development were combusted,” they write, “the warming would be almost undetectable at our significance level”…

Read the entire report.

3 thoughts on “Impact of burning all Alberta’s oilsands negligible, scientists argue”

  1. This is a good example of the ineffectual way in which we’re fighting the climate alarmists.

    In essence, Weaver is trying to squirm out of his indictment of the use of fossil fuels by saying, yeah, it’s bad but there isn’t enough of it for us to really be worried. This causes people not fully versed in the climate hoax like Mr. Kolb above to still have a negative opinion of the use of these reserves.

    Indeed while the potential warming (“the change”) is statistically insignificant, it’s not bad, it’s good!

    As everyone will see, over the next few decades, the only type of climate change that poses any threat whatsoever to man and his environment is extreme cooling. WARMING IS GOOD!

    Prior to Climate-gate we were arguing against cap & trade on the grounds that the meager benefits weren’t worth the enormous cost. Instead, we should have been saying that THERE ARE NO BENEFITS!

    There ARE some real pollution problems that man has caused. GE’s poisoning of the upper Hudson River Valley with PCB’s from it’s plants on the river is one good example. The mess that Texaco / Chevron left in the Ecuadoran rain forest from their drilling activities there is another disgraceful example.


    CO2 is plant food, one the most basic elements of the cycle of life. Without it NOTHING would be green. So the more we have, the better off we are.


  2. “oilsands make it all too easy for North Americans to remain reliant to fossil fuel. With so much oil accessible, so close to home, it’s harder to convince people and policy-makers to wean themselves off fossil fuel, period, be it oil, gas or coal”

    Do these climate people listen to themselves when they talk? He basically said we would be crazy not to use oil sands. No war needed, it’s close, it generates good jobs, it’s cheap. Clearly we should spend trillions of tax payer dollars to find something better.

  3. aren’t they supposed to say something like this at the end of the article: “while the change is small, it moves humanity in the wrong direction”

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