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Are we ready for a managed retreat from BC's Coasts and Forests?
if we were smart we would be exploring our options now
It sure looks like it is time to get the word out that electricity is the way to go for us to heat our homes and that Site C Perhaps should proceed for that reason alone
More huge tragedies this summer following the previous summer's large wildfire tragedies
Come on BCers. Stop listening to all the naysayers and get going with solar energy
Aim for this George!
Dude, where's our premier?
Staving Off the Coming Global Collapse
‘Overshoot’ is when a species uses resources faster than can be replenished. We’re already there. And show no signs of changing.
George will be pleased to see this.
Feds providing $900 per household for B.C. wildfire evacuees
What's the plan George?
Make it happen George
The future is here for the new B.C. government—with hurricane force
B.C. has a unique opportunity and must play a crucial role in the fight against global warming. The province is outstanding due to its large size, spectacular beauty, and vast natural resources that together confer wealth on a relatively small human population. Our use of this abundance, however, has been in many cases shortsighted and unfair.
A new vision is needed. It is justified by the recognition that critical change is now coming at an increasingly visible rate. We have significantly overstepped the planet’s capacity to provide what we demand, to absorb the pollution we produce, and to heal the wounds we have inflicted on its natural systems. In many parts of the world, lives and business as usual are already being disrupted by an increasingly unpredictable climate.
Fortunately, solutions exist that enable us to save our natural systems while offering a sustainable lifestyle. Wind and solar are now beating the price of fossil-fuel energy in a growing number of countries. Grid and battery solutions are being developed at a mind-boggling pace.
Renewable-energy systems, improved resource and energy efficiency, mass transit, materials recycling, and new service models like the sharing economy are contributing more and cleaner jobs than resource-extraction sectors. Our province, like so many other parts of the world, needs the leadership necessary to quickly phase in solutions and phase out destructive activities. History shows that ecosystem breakdown makes societal collapse more likely. Now is the time to make the changes we need to make while relatively stable conditions prevail.
A coherent response to the climate crisis requires far-reaching steps to reduce climate pollution, moving to low-carbon economy, and saving nature at the same time without pretending we can take one step at a time. Stopping the pollution from our old economic system is crucial to maintain a healthy environment as a basis for the new economy. Increasing protection of ecosystems on land and in the sea to safeguard environmental services is also tied to maintaining the foundations for long-term prosperity.
B.C.’s new provincial government made far-reaching policy commitments for people and the planet. Sierra Club B.C. has developed a vision called The Future is Here to support the needed policy changes. To defend our communities and environment now and into the future, B.C. needs to show leadership in three key areas: climate action, nature conservation, and a low-carbon economy.
B.C. must follow climate science, meet existing emissions-reduction targets, and set new ambitious targets to exceed the Paris Agreement. We must expand and increase the provincial carbon tax and declare the majority of our vast fossil-fuel reserves off-limits to extraction, based on the newest carbon budget research. We have sufficient renewable-energy sources and low-carbon solutions to become carbon neutral before 2050.
Our environment is healthy enough that we can set aside 50 percent of it in support of nature. We need an expanded network of protected areas with new and existing land-use designations that address Aboriginal title, respect cultural values, and give priority to species and carbon sinks while allowing appropriate uses. We can allow species the means to adapt to the changing climate while protecting clean water, air, and soils for our children. B.C.’s globally rare temperate-old-growth rainforests are a particularly spectacular example of resilient ecosystems with outstanding values for species, communities, and climate that we can save if we act today.
Low carbon economy
By redirecting resources and political priorities, we can create new, better, and safer jobs and build a low-carbon economy that maintains our high quality of life with a greatly reduced resource footprint. We can and must phase out oil-and-gas activities such as fracking and the Kinder Morgan pipeline and tanker proposal that destroy our environment and are increasingly uneconomic as international climate agreements are implemented.
Sierra Club B.C.’s The Future Is Here vision includes 10 recommendations outlining more detailed steps to address these three areas of action.
No government will be able to implement the scope of change required once the costs of environmental crisis and climate impacts become unmanageable. As a wealthy industrialized country with a high carbon footprint, we have the ability—and the responsibility—to pursue an alternative path. The new B.C. government has promised to start the change we need so that we can avoid turmoil such as this year’s terrible wildfires in the future.
AFTER THOUGHT: B.C.’S NEW ENVIRONMENT MINISTER
What are the tax incentives for electric cars in BC?
David Suzuki: SUVs and trucks nullify car-efficiency gains
B.C.’s environment minister ‘disappointed’ appeal will not be heard in Trans Mountain case
One tiny thing that Palmer purposely forgets is that we are in a minority government situation here in BC, eh!
Heyman proves to be artful dodger on Kinder Morgan file
Somebody, somewhere, somehow, has got to start listening to the climate change scientists
David Suzuki: Reports emphasize urgent need to reverse biodiversity decline
Rural region in B.C. on evacuation alert as threat of flooding rises
The alert means residents should be prepared to leave immediately if an evacuation order is issued.
Burnaby woman leads charge to clean up shorelines
B.C. scientists link catastrophic wildfires to human-caused climate change
by Travis Lupick on January 8th, 2019 at 11:14 AM
It isn’t your imagination. In recent years, B.C. wildfires have burned with extraordinary ferocity.
The latest 10-year average for hectares burned across B.C. is 151,041.
Then came 2017. That year, the province lost 1,216,053 hectares to wildfires.
“The summer of 2017 will be remembered as one of the worst wildfire seasons in British Columbia’s history,” reads a government summary of that year.
The province called it “unprecedented,” and supported its use of the word with hard statistics.
“It was unprecedented by measure of: the amount of land burned (over 1.2 million hectares), the total cost of fire suppression (over $568 million), and the amount of people displaced (roughly 65,000 evacuated),” the summary continues.
Then 2018 was worse.
During the last fiscal year, wildfires destroyed 1,353,833 hectares of forest across B.C.
The numbers speak for themselves. We have a problem. But what is its cause?
Humans, at least in part, scientists at the University of Victoria say they have determined.
“Key factors in this unprecedented event were the extreme warm and dry conditions that prevailed at the time, which are also reflected in extreme fire weather and behavior metrics,” begins a summary of an academic paper authored by Megan Kirchmeier‐Young, a postdoctoral fellow with the Canadian Sea Ice and Snow Evolution Network and Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, and four of her colleagues.
From there, the paper’s language gets a little technical. But the researchers’ conclusion is simple enough: B.C. has always experienced wildfires, but the effects of human-caused climate change are making such fires more intense.
“Using an event attribution method and a large ensemble of regional climate model simulations, we show that the risk factors affecting the event, and the area burned itself, were made substantially greater by anthropogenic climate change,” the paper reads.
“We show over 95 percent of the probability for the observed maximum temperature anomalies is due to anthropogenic factors, that the event's high fire weather/behavior metrics were made 2‐4 times more likely, and that anthropogenic climate change increased the area burned by a factor of 7‐11,” it continues.
“This profound influence of climate change on forest fire extremes in B.C., which is likely reflected in other regions and expected to intensify in the future, will require increasing attention in forest management, public health, and infrastructure.”
The BC NDP answer to our climate chaos is to frack the north and build LFG plants.
Good one George! Now what about the coal at the 2 other locations in the Vancouver area?
How B.C. can power the clean future
By Maximilian Kniewasser and Brianne Riehl — Pembina Institute — Feb 26 2019
Maximilian Kniewasser and Brianne Riehl
Three months ago, the British Columbia government released CleanBC, a new economic strategy aimed at getting us back on track to achieving our province’s climate targets. The plan’s stated objective is to shift B.C. from an economy powered by oil and gas to one increasingly powered by clean energy. This is an ambitious proposition.
Given the importance of this challenge, let’s explore the state of B.C.’s energy system, the changes CleanBC will bring, and what should happen next to achieve the transition necessary to reduce carbon pollution in line with B.C.’s goals and build a strong clean economy.
B.C.’s current energy picture
To understand where our energy system needs to evolve, it’s important to understand where we are at right now. While B.C. is a clean electricity powerhouse — more than 98% of our electricity comes from renewable sources — fossil fuels actually satisfy the majority of B.C.’s energy needs. In fact, compared to clean electricity, we use four times the amount of energy from fossil fuels. Oil fuels cars, trucks, ferries, and airplanes. Natural gas heats homes and powers industry.
Energy efficiency can play a catalytic role in the transition away from fossil fuels by lowering the overall energy requirements of B.C.’s economy — and should be a priority. In addition, as we increasingly electrify our economy, we can achieve further efficiency gains. For example, an electric vehicle motor is 85–95% efficient, compared to 20–40% for gasoline and diesel vehicles. Electric heat pumps can be 3–4 times more efficient than gas furnaces.
However, several dynamics present a challenge to reducing our total energy consumption. Not all energy uses have electric alternatives to fossil fuels readily available (e.g. high heat industrial processes, such as smelting and cement production, as well as aviation), preventing the efficiency gains that come with electrification. B.C.’s population is projected to increase to 5.6 million in 2030, a 16% increase from now, and gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to increase by 28% over the same period. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports will introduce a new energy-intensive industry to B.C. Lastly, the rebound effect — the tendency to increase energy use when cheaper (cleaner) options exist — often negates much of the benefit of efficiency improvements.
On balance, we expect energy demand in 2030 will be around 15% greater than now. This further compounds the challenge of transitioning away from an energy system dominated by fossil fuels to one primarily composed of clean sources. Clean energy alternatives will need to meet much of the energy demand currently satisfied by fossil fuels, as well as any future incremental increases in demand.
According to government analysis, implementing CleanBC will get us 75% of the way to our 2030 emissions target of a 40% reduction below 2007 levels. This is the first time since the 2008 Climate Action Plan that B.C. has a climate and energy strategy that gets us back on track to meeting our targets. Stalling of policy implementation and strengthening ultimately undermined the 2008 plan and resulted in B.C. being off-track on its 2020 target.
Initial government projections suggest that clean energy consumption will increase by around 40% by 2030, while fossil fuel use will decrease by around 15%. Fossil fuels will still account for the majority of B.C.’s energy consumption in 2030 under this plan, but the expected progress in reducing emissions and scaling up clean energy alternatives in just over a decade is a challenge not to be underestimated.
CleanBC plans to achieve this transformation by addressing most sources of emissions and applying a variety of tools to reduce them. The strategy takes advantage of our clean electricity system to further electrify key parts of our economy, while seeking to reduce the carbon intensity of our liquid and gaseous fuel sources by requiring higher renewable fuel contents. It also focuses on energy efficiency improvements and reductions in process and other non-energy related emissions to achieve this transition.
The benefits of this broad-based approach cannot be overstated. It increases the total supply of low carbon energy solutions available and maintains a diverse energy system that is well suited to meet the specific needs of various activities, ensuring that all sectors of B.C.’s economy can prosper in the low carbon future. It reduces costs by allowing development of the highest quality resources of a number of different energy sources and solutions. Lastly, it increases resiliency of our climate response.
Realizing CleanBC’s aim of materially transforming how we power our economy in just over a decade will require a rapid build out of a variety of clean energy alternatives that reduce carbon pollution by 19 megatonnes (Mt) across all sectors of B.C.’s economy. Even more clean energy development will be needed to achieve the remaining 6 Mt of emissions reductions to our 2030 target. To improve our chances of achieving this, we need to:
Completing the transition to a clean energy economy is not an easy task, but it is one that B.C. is uniquely well positioned to take on. In addition to widespread electrification and tremendous renewable electricity potential, B.C. has several other clean energy alternatives available, and a clean tech sector that is providing world-leading solutions to energy system decarbonization. The rewards for success will not just be a more sustainable energy system and a healthier province, but also the many benefits of seizing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to be a leader in a global technology revolution.
Maximilian Kniewasser is the director of the B.C. clean economy program at the Pembina Institute, Canada’s leading clean energy think-tank.
Brianne Riehl is an analyst at the Pembina Institute.
On February 28, the Pembina Institute hosts the Clean Future Forum in Vancouver.