Here’s a typical environmental view – high oil prices make oil sands economically feasible – which is a BAD thing! Processing the oil sands will create carbon – a bad bad bad thing:
Oil sands are a mixture of sand, water and sticky oil that need enormous amounts of heat to extract usable quantities of conventional oil. Reserves of oil sands in Canada are equivalent to 174 billion barrels of oil, making it the second largest reserve after that of Saudi Arabia. Canadian oil sand production becomes economically viable once oil reaches $US30 a barrel. Considering the price of oil, there has been huge investment in oil-sand production over the past decade. Production is more than 1 million barrels a day, with some forecasting fourfold expansion by 2030. Oil sands in Canada are three to four times more greenhouse gas intensive than conventional oil, and that is why Canada’s greenhouse emissions have surged over the past decade.
So conventional oil is bad – oil sands are worse. You had better start breeding horses or get those walking shoes going. Because there is absolutely nothing that any environmentalist wants more than to turn the clock back about 300 years.
High oil prices in the absence of imposing a carbon price on fuel will drive Australian coal-to-oil production, like oil sands in Canada, so as to fill the void of dwindling conventional oil supplies. A carbon price in transport is critical to avoid this and to create new investment in Australia’s low carbon economic future – whether it is next-generation cellulosic biofuels, battery technology, fuel cells or plug-in electric cars.
Biofuels – starve the poor for transport. Batteries – just where do you think those electricals come from? Same with plug-in electric cars. And anybody who thinks fuel cells are economically feasible should notify their local car manufacturer.
And that horse will produce dung and farts (methane) so that isn’t acceptable either. Complete dissolution of global transport and going back to local subsistence agriculture (without tractors or beasts of burden) seems to be the only acceptable future the EcoNazis want.
And if lots of people die – so much the better.