Environmentalists’ claims that the Keystone XL pipeline will make global warming worse are starting to be refuted by scientists who are actually against the project.
“I'm of two minds,” said David Keith, a Canadian climate scientist. “The extreme statements — that this is 'game over' for the planet — are clearly not intellectually true, but I am completely against Keystone, both as an Albertan and somebody who cares about the climate.”
President Barack Obama has said that he would only oppose the Keystone XL pipeline if it significantly contributed to global warming. That has not done much to stop the debate about the pipeline’s environmental impact.
Opponents of the pipeline like former NASA scientist James Hansen have called Keystone a “monster.” Hansen and other activists chained themselves to the White House fence earlier this year, The Daily Caller reported.
“I don’t believe that whether the pipeline is built or not will have any detectable climate effect,” said Ken Caldeira, a climate researcher at the Carnegie Institution for Science in California. He went on to say that Obama needed to “signal whether we are going to move toward zero-emission energy systems or whether we are going to move forward with last century’s energy systems.”
He is not the only one who sees the pipeline as somewhat of a non-issue.
“As a serious strategy for dealing with climate, blocking Keystone is a waste of time," said David Victor, a global warming policy expert at the University of California. "But as a strategy for arousing passion, it is dynamite.”