Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, a renowned scientific institute from Germany, has decided to pull out of research into the Canadian tar sands pipeline project "over fears of reputational impact."
Canada has the world’s third largest crude reserves, overwhelmingly in the form of tar sands.
Germany’s largest and most prestigious research institute has pulled out of a Canadian government-funded CAN$25 million research project into sustainable solutions to tar sands pollution, citing fears for its environmental reputation.
As many as 20 scientists at the world-famous Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres have ceased involvement in the Helmholtz Alberta Initiative (HAI), after a moratorium on contacts was declared last month. [...]
“It’s a clear signal that Canada’s energy and climate policy is not accepted by the international community, especially Germany,” [Professor Frank Messner, Helmholtz UFZ’s head of staff] said [...]
Canada’s tar sands deposits contain twice the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by global oil use in human history, according to James Hansen, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
“If Canada proceeds, and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate,” Hansen famously wrote. It would elevate global temperatures to levels not seen since the Pliocene era, more than 2.5 million years ago, he added. [...]
A 2011 report commissioned by the EU from Adam Brandt, an Assistant Professor at Stanford University, found that the lifecycle emissions of fuel from tar sands – also known as oil sands – were between 12-40% higher than conventional crude, with the most likely barrel being 22% more carbon intensive.
I just finished posting in "Senate narrowly passes $3.7 trillion budget, its first in 4 years. But nobody is talking about this part of it" that the Tar Sands pipeline is a disaster waiting to happen:
And the proposed Keystone oil pipeline, between Canada and the Gulf of Mexico, drew broad bipartisan support.
To all those inexplicably shortsighted members of Congress and the Obama administration, here’s the problem: There has been a huge jump in atmospheric CO2 due to fossil fuels. So how’s that Keystone Tar Sands Pipeline coming along?
Yet the State Dep’t. draft report looks promising for backers of Keystone XL even though it would bring the dirtiest oil on earth through America.
It would also create very few long term jobs, gas prices would increase, dependence on foreign oil would not lessen, and Bill McKibben and NASA’s Jim Hansen both warn that it would be “essentially game over for the climate” if this crackpot project gets the go ahead.
Yet it is getting “broad bipartisan support.” From bipartisan recipients of Big Oil money.
As Grist points out, Keystone "has nothing to do with U.S. energy security. In reality, only a small portion will be used in the United States. Oil companies can get a higher price for these fuels in Asia." It will also "create social license for deforesting an area the size of Florida and turning it into the globe’s largest open-pit strip mine." Please follow the Grist link to their must-read article.
On top of all of that, we now have twenty scientists who want no part of it. Why is this message not getting through to the State Department, Congress, and the president?