you offer no evidence that misinformation is being presented by McKibben or Hansen, suggesting instead that a distorted or otherwise exaggerated conclusions are drawn. Fair enough - but misinformation it is not.
I don't simply "suggest it", I quote them and then go on to show that these things are not true. Distorted information is misinformation. Exaggerated information is misinformation. Calling the oil sands the fuse to the biggest carbon bomb is flat wrong, plain and simple. In fact, the paper I linked shows the potential for coal to minimize the oil sands contribution into noise. So anyone listening to either of these guys on this is getting a picture of the situation that is false.
To assume that no new reserves of tar sands will be discovered and exploited before 2075 ignores every historical precedent.
This is why I showed the growth rate of the industry. If you presume the contribution is going to be greater on a faster time scale, you have to assume that Canada's oil industry grows at unprecedented rates for a long period of time.
Third, are you prepared to back up your tu quoque requirement that pipeline opponents must "stop using oil" before they're entitled to object to the dirtiest of extraction methods?
You and I both know that many of these opponents are simply opposed to oil. McKibben just said this weekend that we have no choice but to leave it in the ground. That's an easy position to take: Be against everything and you don't have to make any tough choices. But if you put McKibben in charge of the world's oil production, he would have to make some very difficult choices and would find himself approving certain projects. Right now, I would challenge you to point to any fossil fuel projects that he has supported. Yet without them over the next couple of decades, a lot of people would die.
What higher dirty energy prices would provide is a real incentive to reduce consumption, as well as make zero-carbon technologies like renewables and 3rd gen nuclear more competitive.
I am long on record as supporting higher energy prices, and if I got my way Keystone would be irrelevant. But stopping Keystone is unlikely to have much impact on prices. It might add a penny a gallon as the oil is transported by costlier (and more carbon-intensive) methods like rail and truck -- which is what is happening now. I think that's the real problem: Opponents have an unrealistic view of what happens if they get their way. It doesn't stop the oil sands; it more likely forces them into more carbon intensive ways of getting to market, and it makes it more likely that more of the oil ultimately ends up in China. After all, China is not buying Nexen to supply the U.S. with oil.