Author Topic: Tar Sands Companies Fudge Environmental Assessments  (Read 337 times)

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Offline Gorgeous Graham

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Re: Tar Sands Companies Fudge Environmental Assessments
« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2019, 10:39:25 am »
I could not disagree more since "acting" by wasting resources on showy gestures that accomplish nothing is worse that doing nothing.

Read again what i said:   "But logically we as a society need to take a stance on climate change. Either acting or not acting is a choice, and it needs to be made and it needs to be based on something. "

Not acting to greatly reduce CO2 and adapting to CC is a stance too, and it needs to be based on something.
I can tell how good of a person you are by how you treat the people you disagree with.

Offline waldo

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Re: Tar Sands Companies Fudge Environmental Assessments
« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2019, 11:34:08 am »
That's fine, but can he articulate the problems with the different methods? Just the fact that they're different isn't enough to throw them away. Understanding what those differences mean is more important.

full paper requires subscription/pay-per

Quantifying the impacts of oil sands development on wildlife: perspectives from impact assessments --- Mac A. Campbell, Brian Kopach, Petr E. Komers, Adam T. Ford --- Published 31 January 2019

Abstract

Quote
Anthropogenic landscape disturbances, including industrial development, can have significant impacts on wildlife populations. In Canada, federal, territorial, and provincial laws require major industrial development projects to submit detailed environmental impact assessments (EIA) reports as part of the project application process. These assessments are meant to establish baseline habitat conditions and predict which landscape components will be altered by the project and to what degree. Based on these changes, indirect predictions for wildlife impacts are made using a variety of models, which can vary in validation adequacy and often rely heavily on expert opinion.

In the oil sands region of Canada, wildlife species and habitat types used to make predictions are not comprehensive nor standardized between EIAs, despite a high degree of landscape similarity between projects. We extracted habitat model parameters, projected impacts, and anticipated mitigation effectiveness from 30 project EIAs. Despite all these projects occurring in the same natural region, we found very little agreement in the species used to assess wildlife impacts as well as the parameters used to model impacts on those species. Relative to unvalidated habitat models, we found that models receiving independent validation required half the habitat amount for proponents to conclude that the project will have an adverse effect.

Our analyses have exposed a number of areas where policy could improve the efficiency of the EIA process as well as the scientific rigour underlying regulatory decisions.
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Offline the_squid

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Re: Tar Sands Companies Fudge Environmental Assessments
« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2019, 12:21:43 pm »
I don't think he's arguing that anything be thrown away.  He's calling for a more standardized approach. It looks to me like the main thrust of his argument is that they very wildly, which suggests that the regulatory bodies that evaluate these studies don't appear to have clear standards in deciding what's good or not good. Maybe they just put the report on a desk and measure how thick it is. I don't think he's saying that any particular methodology is crap, just that there doesn't seem to be any way of telling which reports are crap and which are not.  There might not be settled science on these issues yet. And maybe going forward one can look at all these reports with these different methodologies and find which ones were better than others.

 -k

Projects in the same animal habitat didn't have the same species in their reports... 

This is not an oversight in some scientific methodology.    This is leaving entire species out of the oil company's environmental assessments...   hmmm...   I wonder how they missed that... 

Quote
"You would think that projects that are that close together, that are similar in nature, would have a more common set of shared species," he said.
------------------

Some 316 different mathematical models were used to measure habitat and they came up with different results from each other 82 per cent of the time.

Only 33 of the models were independently verified by field data or separate statistical methods. Ford found the assessments that used verification were about twice as likely to project serious lingering environmental impacts.

Since there's so much variation with so little checking, there's no way to tell which assessments are more accurate, Ford says.

"Given the largely inconsistent approaches used to measure and rank 'habitat,' we have no basis with which to measure the performance, accuracy, or reliability of most habitat models used in oilsands (assessment)," the paper says.

If they are using accredited biologists (RPBio), I hope they remove the accreditation of these biologists that are doing this shoddy, and dishonest,  work.

Quote
Ford says the current approach has real consequences for real people.

"There's people who live on this land (whose) culture and way of life is tied to those animals. And we're telling them we're pretty much making this up."

They're just "making this up".  And you're trying to defend the oil company's "scientific" work?   It's like defending big tobacco when they found no links between smoking and health.

Offline TimG

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Re: Tar Sands Companies Fudge Environmental Assessments
« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2019, 01:17:34 pm »
Not acting to greatly reduce CO2 and adapting to CC is a stance too, and it needs to be based on something.
It is very important to accept that we do not and cannot know everything and large uncertainties exist. A lot of my issues with climate science could be resolved if people stopped talking about these various predictions of future outcomes as if they are foregone conclusions and instead frame them as possibilities that may or may not come true.
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Online Omni

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Re: Tar Sands Companies Fudge Environmental Assessments
« Reply #34 on: February 19, 2019, 01:21:31 pm »
It is very important to accept that we do not and cannot know everything and large uncertainties exist. A lot of my issues with climate science could be resolved if people stopped talking about these various predictions of future outcomes as if they are foregone conclusions and instead frame them as possibilities that may or may not come true.

A rather feeble attempt to try to dismiss the actual science that shows what is happening to the climate.
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Offline ?Impact

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Re: Tar Sands Companies Fudge Environmental Assessments
« Reply #35 on: February 19, 2019, 03:29:21 pm »
I have for years no longer read news articles about climate change,

Problem solved, close your eyes and cover your ears and climate change is no longer.
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Online Omni

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Re: Tar Sands Companies Fudge Environmental Assessments
« Reply #36 on: February 19, 2019, 03:52:29 pm »
Problem solved, close your eyes and cover your ears and climate change is no longer.

Yeah but hey, Donald Trump does the same thing. He ignores 13 of his own agencies and 300 of professional climate scientists. He just says "I don't believe it". So there ya go.
Mind you he also prefers to believe his buddy Vladi Putin over his own intel agencies. So there ya go.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/26/politics/donald-trump-climate-change/index.html

President Donald Trump on Monday dismissed a study produced by his own administration, involving 13 federal agencies and more than 300 leading climate scientists, warning of the potentially catastrophic impact of climate change.
Why, you ask?
"I don't believe it," Trump told reporters on Monday, adding that he had read "some" of the report.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 03:54:24 pm by Omni »

Offline cybercoma

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Re: Tar Sands Companies Fudge Environmental Assessments
« Reply #37 on: February 20, 2019, 07:47:41 am »
He's calling for a more standardized approach.
This doesn't work in research because data sources, research questions, and even research resources vary. As long as methods are clearly explained, someone educated in the field can understand what the limitations are.

It looks to me like the main thrust of his argument is that they very wildly, which suggests that the regulatory bodies that evaluate these studies don't appear to have clear standards in deciding what's good or not good.
One doesn't necessarily follow from the other. Varying methods doesn't undermine the findings. Varying methods just makes interpretation more work. Just because different studies use different methodologies, that doesn't mean their conclusions are not sound.

Maybe they just put the report on a desk and measure how thick it is.
Don't be facetious.

I don't think he's saying that any particular methodology is crap, just that there doesn't seem to be any way of telling which reports are crap and which are not.
They might all be good. It doesn't mean that some are crap and some aren't because they use different methods. It's just a matter of understanding what they're reporting and how they've come to those conclusions. It involves actually reading, understanding, and analyzing the material. All things the public doesn't have the time nor attention span to do.

There might not be settled science on these issues yet. And maybe going forward one can look at all these reports with these different methodologies and find which ones were better than others.

 -k
That's certainly what needs to be done. All I'm saying is that a wide range of methodologies is not necessarily a problem. If there is a problem with some of the methodologies then they should be pointed out. It's not enough to just observe that many different methods were used. In fact, using a wide range of methods and coming up with largely the same results would imply that the findings are accurate. If there's a wide range of results and just as much of a range of methods, then we need to take the time to analyze how the methods influence the results.

Offline cybercoma

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Re: Tar Sands Companies Fudge Environmental Assessments
« Reply #38 on: February 20, 2019, 07:52:52 am »
Projects in the same animal habitat didn't have the same species in their reports... 

This is not an oversight in some scientific methodology.    This is leaving entire species out of the oil company's environmental assessments...   hmmm...   I wonder how they missed that... 
That's not a difference in methodology, if those species are relevant to the area under assessment. That's just bad science. So it should be the case that these environmental assessments are independently reviewed. The problem with that is that it will delay projects even further and cost the government even more money. All the conservatives who cry about their tax dollars aren't going to like that.

They're just "making this up".  And you're trying to defend the oil company's "scientific" work?   It's like defending big tobacco when they found no links between smoking and health.
Just so. These impact assessments should be done by independent third parties. Not those with a conflict of interest, ie, being paid by the oil companies.

Offline Rue

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Re: Tar Sands Companies Fudge Environmental Assessments
« Reply #39 on: February 20, 2019, 09:39:13 am »
Mr Ford isn't alleging any fudging, cover-up, or criminal activity.  He is criticizing a lack of uniform methodology in these impact studies.

 -k

Would you stop being accurate and explaining the actual comment he made. This is a Liberal fiction forum. The world is according to Squid-Omni projections. Either that or the Mandela effect is kicking in and you are from another dimension. I can't handle it man. Are you Kimmy or Kimy?
Jif or Jiffy?
You have me mistaken with an eagle. I only come to eat your carcass.
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Offline ?Impact

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Also, anti-vaxers say this about the science that vaccinations cause autism...  "oh, they are suppressing the science".

Speaking of autism, I just learned there is a cure. Apparently the old MMS (Miracle Mineral Supplement) also known as CD (Chlorine Dioxide) is now being touted as a cure for autism. Those same people who preferred their (and other) kids die of measles instead of getting the vaccine are now feeding them bleach.