Canada and global warming: a state of denial

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jerrym

In Quebec, twenty health care organizations are starting a campaign to warn people that our health care system is not ready to deal with the impact of climate change as its effects grow. 

Air pollution due to emissions alone caused 7,700 deaths in Canada in 2015 and cost $36 billion. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/air-pollution-results-in-7-700-premature-...)

For comparisons sakes car accidents killed only 1,860 people in 2015. (https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/motorvehiclesafety/canadian-motor-vehicle-traff...)

A coalition of 20 health care organizations in Quebec also launched a campaign Tuesday, warning Canada's health system is not ready for the force of climate change. They say 20,000 people in Quebec alone will die of climate-change related illnesses and events in the next 50 years.

Last fall, a scientific report published in the medical journal The Lancet suggested more than 7,000 Canadians die each year from chronic air pollution resulting from emissions.

https://www.timescolonist.com/climate-change-should-be-top-issue-for-vot...

 

jerrym

The following article from the Guardian asks "Why are the US news media so bad at covering climate change?" The same question could be asked about Canadian media with much the same answer. The Nation and the Columbia Journalism Review are trying to help partially rectify that, beginning with a journalism conference on April 30th at Columbia University focusing on the problem. Is it likely to work. Probably not. But not trying to change the way the media deals with climate change won't work for sure and engaging alternative media could help spread what needs to be done. 

Last summer, during the deadliest wildfire season in California’s history, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes got into a revealing Twitter discussion about why US television doesn’t much cover climate change. Elon Green, an editor at Longform, had tweeted, “Sure would be nice if our news networks – the only outlets that can force change in this country – would cover it with commensurate urgency.” Hayes (who is an editor at large for the Nation) replied that his program had tried. Which was true: in 2016, All In With Chris Hayes spent an entire week highlighting the impact of climate change in the US as part of a look at the issues that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were ignoring. The problem, Hayes tweeted, was that “every single time we’ve covered [climate change] it’s been a palpable ratings killer. So the incentives are not great.”

The Twittersphere pounced. “TV used to be obligated to put on programming for the public good even if it didn’t get good ratings. What happened to that?” asked @JThomasAlbert. @GalJaya said, “Your ‘ratings killer’ argument against covering #climatechange is the reverse of that used during the 2016 primary when corporate media justified gifting Trump $5 billion in free air time because ‘it was good for ratings,’ with disastrous results for the nation.”

When @mikebaird17 urged Hayes to invite Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University, one of the best climate science communicators around, on to his show, she tweeted that All In had canceled on her twice – once when “I was literally in the studio w[ith] the earpiece in my ear” – and so she wouldn’t waste any more time on it. ...

This spring Hayes redeemed himself, airing perhaps the best coverage on American television yet of the Green New Deal. All In devoted its entire 29 March broadcast to analyzing the congressional resolution, co-sponsored by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey, which outlines a plan to mobilize the United States to stave off climate disaster and, in the process, create millions of green jobs. In a shrewd answer to the ratings challenge, Hayes booked Ocasio-Cortez, the most charismatic US politician of the moment, for the entire hour. 

Yet at a time when civilization is accelerating toward disaster, climate silence continues to reign across the bulk of the US news media. Especially on television, where most Americans still get their news, the brutal demands of ratings and money work against adequate coverage of the biggest story of our time. Many newspapers, too, are failing the climate test. Last October, the scientists of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a landmark report, warning that humanity had a mere 12 years to radically slash greenhouse gas emissions or face a calamitous future in which hundreds of millions of people worldwide would go hungry or homeless or worse. Only 22 of the 50 biggest newspapers in the United States covered that report.

Instead of sleepwalking us toward disaster, the US news media need to remember their Paul Revere responsibilities – to awaken, inform and rouse the people to action. To that end, the Nation and CJR are launching Covering Climate Change: A New Playbook for a 1.5-Degree World, a project aimed at dramatically improving US media coverage of the climate crisis. When the IPCC scientists issued their 12-year warning, they said that limiting temperature rise to 1.5C would require radically transforming energy, agriculture, transportation, construction and other core sectors of the global economy. Our project is grounded in the conviction that the news sector must be transformed just as radically.

The project will launch on 30 April with a conference at the Columbia Journalism School – a working forum where journalists will gather to start charting a new course. We envision this event as the beginning of a conversation that America’s journalists and news organizations must have with one another, as well as with the public we are supposed to be serving, about how to cover this rapidly uncoiling emergency. Judging by the climate coverage to date, most of the US news media still don’t grasp the seriousness of this issue. ...

And given journalism’s deeply troubled business model, how can such coverage be paid for? Some preliminary suggestions. 

Don’t blame the audience, and listen to the kids. The onus is on news organizations to craft the story in ways that will demand the attention of readers and viewers. ... This is especially true of the younger people that news organizations covet as an audience. ...

Establish a diverse climate desk, but don’t silo climate coverage. The climate story is too important and multidimensional for a news outlet not to have a designated team covering it. That team must have members who reflect the economic, racial and gender diversity of America; if not, the coverage will miss crucial aspects of the story and fail to connect with important audiences. ...

Learn the science. Many journalists have long had a bias toward the conceptual. But you can’t do justice to the climate crisis if you don’t understand the scientific facts, in particular how insanely late the hour is. At this point, anyone suggesting a leisurely approach to slashing emissions is not taking the science seriously. ...

Don’t internalize the spin. Not only do most Americans care about climate change, but an overwhelming majority support a Green New Deal – 81% of registered voters said so as of last December, according to Yale climate pollsters. Trump and Fox don’t like the Green New Deal? Fine. But journalists should report that the rest of America does. ...

Lose the Beltway mindset. It’s not just the Green New Deal that is popular with the broader public. Many of the subsidiary policies – such as Medicare for All and free daycare – are now supported by upwards of 70% of the American public, according to Pew and Reuters polls. ...

Help the heartland. Some of the places being hit hardest by climate change, such as the midwestern states flooded this spring, have little access to real climate news; instead, the denial peddled by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh dominates. ...

Cover the solutions. ... But with the Green New Deal, the US government is now, for the first time, at least talking about a response that is commensurate with the scale and urgency of the problem. ...

Don’t be afraid to point fingers. As always, journalists should shun cheerleading, but neither should we be neutral. Defusing the climate crisis is in everyone’s interest, but some entities are resolutely opposed to doing what the science says is needed.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/22/why-is-the-us-news-m...

jerrym

The hidden costs of climate change are rarely discussed. This article looks at those hidden costs in Atlantic Canada, one of which is hitting home dramatically with the severe flooding in New Brunswick. 

The latest scientific information shows Canada’s climate is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. And while international calls continue for action now to prevent catastrophe in the coming decades, the simple fact is climate change is already affecting the lives and livelihoods of Atlantic Canadians.

The financial costs to Atlantic Canadians of climate change and extreme weather are becoming more apparent with every season. From millions in damage to crops by late frosts, to the growing price tag to repair storm damage and deal with coastal erosion, the bill is starting to add up. ...

“There’s every indication that a warming of three degrees in the past has melted all the ice sheets when sustained for hundreds of years,” she said.

Warming weather means more evaporation of surface water, which then means more precipitation. And that could mean more extreme weather events and wet extreme weather events for the Atlantic provinces.

She said heat absorbed at the equator gets moved north, primarily by ocean currents, which can then push cold air south.

With the melting ice caps and increased rain comes rising sea levels, which Wiacek said can be expected to increase by two to three feet by the end of the century. She said a city like Halifax, which has had problems with waterfront businesses flooding during storm surges with high tides, will see more of that. ...

David Phillips, the chief climatologist for Environment and Climate Change Canada, said that ... while all models agree on how temperatures will rise, precipitation models generally are showing a 10 per cent increase in precipitation in Canada. That probably means less in the summer and more in the winter, Phillips said, but in the winter it will be more rain, not snow. He said that has implications for flood forecasting and spring water flow, and an increase in the annual number of days with heavy rain to 16 or 17 means urban flooding will be more of an issue in the future. And, days where the temperature stays below freezing around the clock will be halved to 30. ...

Fall may be drier, but spring and summer are likely to be wetter with a projected increase of up to 15 per cent in spring and summer precipitation between 2041 and 2070, with greatest impacts in New Brunswick. ...

While balmier conditions can seem enticing, “it’s a package deal. You can’t get the warming without the other consequences,” Phillips said.That includes an increased prevalence of diseases like Lyme disease, the possibility of the West Nile virus, invasive species, the risk of drought, and earlier and more intense wildfires. Storms could last longer, and infrastructure and building construction aren’t designed for more intense storms, and rising sea levels that are expected to come. ...

[David Phillips] said the best bet is that in the next 50 years (“I’ve averaged the hell out of it”), compared to the past 30 years, the number of days the actual temperature will rise above 30 C will go from two to 17. And tropical nights — those in which the temperature stays above 20 C — will go to seven. “Those are the ones that kill people,” Phillips said. “When people die in heat waves, it’s because of the nights being warm.” ...

Lucy Clearwater is a scientist and acting sector analyst with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada based in Fredericton. ... From her view the warmer temperature trends are a double-edged sword for Atlantic farmers. “Anticipated higher temperatures and longer growing seasons could benefit agriculture, but increased storm frequency and water variability, as well as increased pests and diseases, pose risks,” she says. “If we can manage water variability and increase the resiliency of farmland through technologies and practices to help farmers manage risks, then Atlantic Canada’s farming sector can continue to be productive and competitive. And given that climate impacts may affect farming in other regions, including our southern neighbours, we may even have a competitive advantage. But we have to help our farmers in making the transition to adaptat to new climate realities.” ...

Since the late 1990s, six oceanographers with federal Fisheries and Oceans based in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Quebec have been taking the pulse of the North Atlantic through the Atlantic Zone Monitoring Program (AZMP), studying ocean conditions and the ecosystem in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Scotian Shelf and Gulf of Maine. ...

Dave Herbert, PhD, one of the oceanographers involved in the program, said "In 2018, “the new record” for water temperatures at a depth of 200 metres was Georges Basin, where conditions registered 2.5 degrees C above normal. Normal is eight degrees and it was over 10.5 degrees deep down. That was basically the highest value we’ve ever seen at 200 metres,” said Herbert. ...

From this Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada concludes

There will likely be an increase in the intensity and magnitude of storms and extreme weather events. The type of disastrous storms that typically occur 1-in-100 years could become 1-in-50 or even 1-in-25 year events by mid-century, and a 1-in-25 years storm could become 1-in-5 year events.

https://www.capebretonpost.com/in-depth/climate-change-economy/exploring...

JKR

I think Upton Sinclair did a good job of describing why we have such a difficult time dealing with man made global climate change:

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

- Upton Sinclair

DSloth

This line stood out to me:

jerrym wrote:

Learn the science. Many journalists have long had a bias toward the conceptual. But you can’t do justice to the climate crisis if you don’t understand the scientific facts, in particular how insanely late the hour is. At this point, anyone suggesting a leisurely approach to slashing emissions is not taking the science seriously. ...

Too bad the only number attached so far to the party's "bold" climate change plan is the year 2050. Sure hope we figure this thing out by the time I'm in my seventies. 

jerrym

 Canadian Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, with Banque de France governor François Velleroy de Falhau and Frank Elderson, chair of the Network for Greening the Financial Services (NGFS)  have written an open letter warning

The catastrophic effects of climate change are already visible around the world. From blistering heatwaves in North America to typhoons in south-east Asia and droughts in Africa and Australia, no country or community is immune. These events damage infrastructure and private property, negatively affect health, decrease productivity and destroy wealth. And they are extremely costly: insured losses have risen five-fold in the past three decades. The enormous human and financial costs of climate change are having a devastating effect on our collective wellbeing.

The prime responsibility for climate policy will continue to sit with governments. ... But as financial policymakers and prudential supervisors, we cannot ignore the obvious risks before our eyes.

That is why 34 central banks and supervisors – representing five continents, half of global greenhouse gas emissions and the supervision of two-thirds of the global systemically important banks and insurers – joined forces in 2017 to create a coalition of the willing: the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS). ...

We recognise that the challenges we face are unprecedented, urgent and analytically difficult. The stakes are undoubtedly high, but the commitment of all actors in the financial system to act on these recommendations will help avoid a climate-driven “Minsky moment” – the term we use to refer to a sudden collapse in asset prices.

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/news/2019/april/open-letter-on-climate-r...

 

 

jerrym

In order to avoid a Minsky moment -the sudden collapse of financial assets from catastrophic changes induced by climate change, Bank of England and former Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney and other financial sector leaders mentioned in the last post, emphasize we must rapidly shift away from the global carbon economy. Carney "warned that a 'massive reallocation of capital' was necessary to prevent global warming above the 2°C maximum target set by the Paris climate agreement, with the banking system required to play a pivotal role."

“If some companies and industries fail to adjust to this new world, they will fail to exist,” Carney and De Galhau said. (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/17/mark-carney-tells-gl...)

As noted below both the federal Liberals and most of our provincial governments are running our economy on burning fossil fuels as fast as they can. As a result, Canada continues pumping more greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, thereby risking global catastrophe and being left behind economically if the world does succeed in shifting away from fossil fuels fast enough. 

Carney and his colleagues advise the masters of the universe; they are the consiglieri of the world’s corporate capos, and when they murmur a warning in the capos’ collective ear, wise capos heed them.  ...

Their open letter announced the first report of the Network for Greening the Financial Services, a group that includes central bankers from around the world. That report tells the capos that “climate-related risks are a source of financial risk.” ...

I can imagine how badly the Trudeau government will take this advice, never mind the Conservative provincial governments that now extend from Edmonton to Toronto. Their agendas amount to burning fossil fuels as fast as possible, whether by shipping them overseas, flying Canadians to charming tourist destinations or burning gas domestically in their Ford F150s.

But Carney and his colleagues are consiglieri who can count. They’re reminding the capos that sometimes there’s no money left in the racket.

“The stakes are undoubtedly high, but the commitment of all actors in the financial system to act on these recommendations will help avoid a climate-driven ‘Minsky moment’ — the term we use to refer to a sudden collapse in asset prices,” he wrote. A Minsky moment is the instant when you realize that the house you’ve bought is worth less than the mortgage you’re still paying off. When, even if the house is paid off, selling it wouldn’t sustain you through even a short retirement — not after you’ve also paid off the consumer debt you’ve blithely run up ever since your first student loan.

That debt has put Canadians at the bottom of a hole $2.16-trillion deep, the highest relative household debt load of any Group of Seven country. We are collectively running on the CO2 fumes of our fossil fuels.

According to a recent report, almost half of us are just $200 from insolvency and our own personal Minsky moment.

That helps to explain why Alberta is so obsessed with expanding the Trans Mountain pipeline: Albertans have the highest average debt in the country. After borrowing during the boom years, the average Alberta household debt rose from $164,000 in 2010 to $192,000 in 2016. And that includes an average mortgage in 2016 of $124,000.

A Minsky moment might start when enough debtors declare bankruptcy to cause problems for their banks. Or it might start when oil companies realize even a pipeline won’t save them, fire all their workers, and shut down. Or when sanctions shut off Iranian oil and the price soars beyond many countries’ ability to pay. (which with Trump's recent sanctions could be much sooner than previously thought). ...

Politicians talk about “balancing” the environment and the economy; it’s understood as code for business as usual and never mind the emissions. Carney and his colleagues are reminding the capos that business as usual is going to cost them far more than diverting their funds into renewable, sustainable energy. The capos should be grateful: it’s an offer they can’t refuse.

https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2019/04/23/Mark-Carney-Climate-Change-Economi...

 

 

jerrym

Two years after 'once in a century' spring flooding, the records are being broken again. Liberal PM Trudeau, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs even admit the flooding is climate change induced and the costs are rising exponentially, which is exactly what climate change computer models predicted, only it is occurring even faster than those models estimated.

 

The federal government has deployed more than 1,700 soldiers to help with sandbagging and other relief efforts in Quebec, New Brunswick and Ottawa. Municipalities are calling for volunteers to also help if they can. ...

Ontario

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency because of flooding Thursday, with another 20 mm to 50 mm of rain forecast to fall Friday and Saturday. Water regulators estimate the Ottawa River’s level will rise nearly a metre within the next few days, well above its peak in a 2017 flood that was thought to have been a once-in-a-century event. ...

Quebec

Several regions in the province are affected by flooding, including Gatineau and other communities along the Ottawa River, parts of Montreal and the Beauce region south of Quebec City. Montreal declared a state of emergency, with Mayor Valerie Plante saying the situation in Quebec’s largest city was under control, but adding the heavy rain in the forecast could change conditions rapidly. She said the emergency declaration gives Montreal’s fire chief the authority to force evacuations and spend money without requiring city council’s approval. Officials in Rigaud, Que., about 70 km west of Montreal, ordered evacuations in all flood-affected areas Friday morning.

Quebec officials said 3,150 homes had already been flooded and 1,111 people forced to leave. Another 2,300 homes had been isolated by flooding. Twelve municipalities have declared states of emergency and 1,000 soldiers are on the ground helping. ...

New Brunswick

The Saint John River is flooding for the second year in a row. Officials now think the water will crest at about the same levels as last year but the weekend rainfall could change things. In New Brunswick, Goodale said, 140 roads have been flooded, 290 people are out of their homes and downtown Fredericton is closed. The Trans-Canada Highway between Oromocto and River Glade is closed and likely will remain so for several more days. The Red Cross has registered 900 evacuees from 330 households in New Brunswick. ...

Manitoba

The rising Red River in southern Manitoba has forced some road closures and a small number of evacuations near the community of St. Jean Baptiste. ...

The bills for flood relief and mitigation are already climbing. The federal disaster-assistance program covers 90 per cent of government costs for major events, and provincial programs can help municipalities pay some bills. In 2017, the Ottawa River flooding also racked up $223 million in private insurance coverage.

Goodale said the military is entitled to reimbursement, but in the last decade, it has never sent a bill for disaster help.

Goodale and Ford became the latest politicians Friday to warn that this type of flooding is becoming the norm thanks to climate change. “I think all levels of government are learning some expensive lessons from this flooding experience of the last number of years and the message from climate change is: Don’t think it is going away,” said Goodale. “It’s going to get progressively more and more difficult. It’s going to get worse rather than getting better.”

Ford also said having another 100-year flood just two years after the last one can be blamed on climate change. “Something is going on and we have to be conscious of it,” he said.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs both said this week it is time to start getting homeowners in these flood prone areas to move.

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2019/04/26/premier-doug-ford-links-f...

jerrym

Trudeau has adopted Harper's climate change 2020 and 2030 targets, but has already surpassed the 2020 target and is virtually guaranteed to pass the 2030, just like Chretien, Martin and Harper did with the Kyoto greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

Flooding is now more costly than fires or theft of property. 

Ford is forced to admit what reality is when climate change hits him in the face, but doing something meaningful about it is a different story. 

And now officials are warning some areas in Eastern Canada could experience flood levels exceeding the 2017 levels. This week, the federal government warned this type of extreme flooding is the new reality of climate change and Canadians should embrace to see it more often. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said Thursday that the “one in 100-year flood” is happening much more frequently. ...

“This flooding is happening here in Quebec, it’s happening in Ontario, it’s happening in New Brunswick. And really sadly, what we thought was one-in-100-year floods are now happening every five years, in this case, every two years,” she said. ...

Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Friday said he also believes climate change is among the reasons flooding is inundating communities for the second time in three years. “They say it’s 100-year storms — well it’s a few years later and we’re back in the same boat,” Ford said. “Something is going on and we have to be conscious of it.” ...

University of Manitoba civil engineer and flood expert Jay Doering said he believes climate change is changing the statistic.

“We need to understand where the 100-year plan is now in light of climate change,” he said. “Where it’s going to be in 2050 or 2100. The problem is that in light of climate change we need to look forward, it’s our best shot.” ...

One thing is certain, the cost of flooding is on the rise. ...

A 2017 report by the Munk School of Global Affairs found that flooding is now more costly than fire or theft for property owners. Almost two million households in Canada are at “very high risk” of flooding. Federal disaster relief has almost doubled over the last few years and it’s projected to rise to as much as $650 million annually.

On Friday, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said climate change means annual flooding that damages homes is not going away and it is only going to get worse. ...

Canadians should brace for more flooding in the future due to climate change, Daniel Henstra [a specialist in flood management policies and assistant professor at the University of Waterloo] said. “Scientists say the temperature and precipitation patterns we see today are consistent with changing climate … and so they do expect we will see more flooding in future because of more extreme precipitation, which continues to impact river and urban flooding and also in coastal areas because of rising sea levels,” he said. ...

Doering said because flooding will likely occur more often in the future, governments should start looking at cost-benefit analysis: require people to build homes on pads (elevated homes), build ring dykes around properties or simply say “you cannot build a home on a flood zone. It’s about long-range planning, not just compensating people year after year,” he said. “Governments should plan how to bring an end to flooding on property.”

https://globalnews.ca/news/5206116/100-year-floods-canada-increasing/

 

jerrym

Despite admitting climate change is causing major flooding in Ontario and saying he takes it seriously, Doug Ford is cutting a program to plant millions of trees that would help fight global warming because the trees would take some carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. 

Ontario has slashed the 50 Million Tree Program - the goal of this program, as noted on the Forests Ontario website, was to plant 50 million trees by 2025.

The latest casualty of Ford’s 2019 budget: $4.7 million in annual funding for Forests Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program. The goal of the program was to plant 50 million trees by 2025, which would improve soil quality, cut back on erosion, increase wildlife habitat and mitigate the effects of climate change across the province.

Rob Keen, the CEO of Forests Ontario, told CTV News that, “40 per cent forest cover is needed to ensure forest sustainability, and the average right now in southern Ontario is 26 per cent, with some areas as low as five per cent.” Keen also explained that part of the $4.7 million went to Forest Ontario’s planting partners, like conservation groups and First Nations who worked with landowners to get more trees planted.

According to Ed Patchell, the CEO of one of the nurseries that works with Forest Ontario, this budget cancellation will likely also lead to layoffs throughout all the organizations that partner with Forest Ontario. “It may be a way for the government to save some money, but it’s very short-sighted and it’s going to cost us a lot more in the future,” he said. 

https://www.flare.com/news/doug-ford-changes-for-ontario/

    Sean in Ottawa

    One of the perhaps not so hidden costs is that any part of the world not devastated by climate change will be by migration waves they cannot hold back -- or violent right wing extremism as nativists get triggered by the migrations.

    The world, even assuming that we are somehow able to limit the damage, just cannot support the human population it now has with the climate change that is already happening and unstoppable now.

    Conflict, is itself a cast since both war and war preparation are two of the most costly activities for the environment. Assuming that some humans survive what we are doing to the climate now -- will they survive the fighting over limited resources that will follow?

    jerrym

    ETA: While Canadian governments dither or simply deny the extent of the global warming problem the Labour Party in the UK will force a vote this week that would declare a national environmental and climate change emergency, the first by a national government anywhere, although numerous cities here and elsewhere have done so. This was triggered by documents that reveal that the Conservative government has spent only a tiny fraction of a £100m fund allocated in 2015 to support clean air projects.

    Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg meets Jeremy Corbyn on 23 April.

    Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg meets Jeremy Corbyn on 23 April. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

    Jeremy Corbyn’s party will demand on Wednesday that the country wakes up to the threat and acts with urgency to avoid more than 1.5°C of warming, which will require global emissions to fall by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching “net zero” before 2050.

    The move will place Conservative MPs under pressure to back the plan, or explain why they refuse to do so, now fears over the combined problems of air pollution and climate change have risen to the top of the political agenda.

    On Saturday night Corbyn said the recent wave of protests were “a massive and necessary wake-up call” that demanded “rapid and dramatic action, which only concerted government action and a green industrial revolution can deliver.” He said that if parliament backed the move and became the first national legislature to declare a climate emergency it would “trigger a wave of action from governments around the world”.

    The motion was welcomed by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who has criticised the inaction of the world’s politicians. “It is a great first step because it sends a clear signal that we are in a crisis and that the ongoing climate and ecological crises must be our first priority,” she said. “We can not solve an emergency without treating it like an emergency. “I hope the other UK political parties join in and together pass this motion in parliament – and that political parties in other countries will follow their example.”

    The motion will call for new targets on the mass rollout of renewable and low carbon energy and transport, proper funding of environmental protection, reversing species decline and developing plans to move towards a zero waste economy.

    The plan comes as confidential minutes of a government advisory group obtained by the Observer show how all but a small proportion of a £100m pot allocated to Highways England to combat air pollution “on and near our roads” in 2015 has not been spent, despite a 2020 deadline. ...

    Polly Billington, director of UK100, a network that campaigns for clean air, said on Saturday night: “This is scandalous. Ministers and quangos have sat on funding that should be used to clean up toxic fumes from our major roads and motorways 700 people in the UK die every week from diseases related to air pollution, 20 times the number of deaths in road accidents. No more dithering or delays – government must deliver this funding urgently to prevent more needless illness and deaths.” ...

    This week, Pascal Lamy, the World Trade Organisation’s former director general, will add to the pressure on the government, warning a London audience that Brexit risks damaging the UK’s leadership on climate change. Lamy’s intervention accompanies new research from leading lawyers showing that existing preparations would not prevent damaging roll-backs on key climate change and environmental protections. It comes just days before the Committee on Climate Change publishes advice to the government on long-term climate change targets.

    Lamy will say: “It is vital that any new trade deal or environment treaty between the UK and EU protects the region’s global leadership position on climate change. Without safeguardsto ensure strong continued cooperation and alignment, Brexit could destroy environmental protections – well beyond allowing chlorinated chicken imports.”

    Writing in Sunday’s Observer shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey says: “Unless we take rapid action to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide we are releasing into the atmosphere, we face total catastrophe.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/27/corbyn-declares-nati...

     

     

    jerrym

    Meanwhile Conservative Premier elect Jason Kenney engages in global warming conspiracy theories. 

    I give you Rockefellergate, or whatever you want to call it, the fruitcake theory that the scions of a famous American oil fortune are secretly financing and conspiring with Canadian environmental groups and prominent environmentalists to "defame" Alberta's oilsands and throw roadblocks in the way of pipelines to tidewater in an effort to land lock our resources.

    Needless to say, while there are certainly people all over the planet who are deeply concerned about the huge carbon footprint of Alberta's bitumen mining operations (bigger than British Columbia's entire carbon output, it is said) and money crosses all borders to support many political causes, the idea the Rockefellers are behind a big-money scheme to bottle up the resource is built on the stuff they use to fill bubble-wrap.

    But this is now the official position of Alberta's newly elected United Conservative Party government, due to be sworn in on April 30. Said UCP leader and premier-designate Jason Kenney in his victory speech: "I have a message to those foreign-funded special interests who have been leading a campaign of economic sabotage against this great province. To the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Tides Foundation, Lead Now, the David Suzuki Foundation and all of the others -- your days of pushing around Albertans with impunity just ended."

    Kenney has been talking about taking legal action against oilsands and pipeline opponents, and has said he will launch "a public inquiry into the foreign source of funds behind the campaign to land lock Alberta energy." He vowed: "we will use every means at our disposal to hold you to account." ...

    It's ironic, I suppose, that a political party aided by think tanks and Astroturf groups funded and otherwise abetted by U.S. corporate money would gin up this kind of baseless conspiracy theory. As premier of Alberta, Kenney will not be in a position to direct federal policy, command the attendance of witnesses from other jurisdictions or delve into the books of organizations to prove this dubious theory.

    One thing is for sure, though, he has handed the determined opponents of oilsands development -- the people who really would like to lock up Alberta's bitumen resources -- the biggest fund-raising opportunity in their history.

    Another is likely: The potential for taxpayer-financed boondoggles is huge, as Conservative lawyers and whomever Kenney hires to run the UCP Government's $30-million "war room" rake up cash that will no longer be available for health care or education.

    And unless conflict breaks out in the Middle East, disrupting world oil supplies and sending prices northward, which could happen sooner than you think, none of this is likely to make much difference to Alberta's financial position -- although it will give the government someone to blame for our self-inflicted troubles.

    Finally, the ravings of several Postmedia columnists notwithstanding, since the whole edifice is built on an already fanciful conspiracy theory that cannot stand up to scrutiny, it will be very hard for an honest inquiry to reach the conclusions the government wants.

    That suggests two additional possibilities: Either the inquiry will never be held, or it won't be honest.

    http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/alberta-diary/2019/04/foreign-funded-spe...

     

    jerrym

    Sean in Ottawa wrote:

    One of the perhaps not so hidden costs is that any part of the world not devastated by climate change will be by migration waves they cannot hold back -- or violent right wing extremism as nativists get triggered by the migrations. In June 2018 diplomats from around the globe failed to reach agreement on how to deal with 

    There is no perhaps about the growing number of climate change refugees. 

    In December 2018, the Global Compact on Rufugees was adopted by most members of the UN General Assembly after years of negotiations.  It recognizes that ‘climate, environmental degradation and natural disasters increasingly interact with the drivers of refugee movements.’ (https://www.unhcr.org/climate-change-and-disasters.html)

    In Kiribati, an island republic in the Central Pacific, large parts of the village Eita (above) have succumbed to flooding from the sea.

    Since 2008, an average of 24 million people have been displaced by catastrophic weather disasters each year. As climate change worsens storms and droughts, climate scientists and migration experts expect that number to rise.

    Meanwhile, climate impacts that unravel over time, like desert expansion and sea level rise, are also forcing people from their homes: A World Bank report in March projects that within three of the most vulnerable regions — sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America — 143 million people could be displaced by these impacts by 2050. 

    In Bangladesh, hundreds of thousands of people are routinely uprooted by coastal flooding, many making a treacherous journey to the slums of the capital, Dhaka. In West Africa, the almost total disappearance of Lake Chad because of desertification has empowered terrorists and forced more than four million people into camps.

    It's a problem in the United States as well. An estimated 2,300 Puerto Rican familiesdisplaced by Hurricane Maria are still looking for permanent housing, while government officials have spent years working to preemptively relocate more than a dozen small coastal communities in Alaska and Louisiana that are disappearing into the rising sea.

    A December study by Columbia University climate researchers in the peer-reviewed journal Science projected that if global temperatures continue their upward march, applications for asylum to the European Union could increase 28 percent to nearly 450,000 per year by 2100. ...

    Climate refugees pose a number of unique challenges for international policymakers compared to those displaced by persecution, the traditional driver recognized by the 1951 UN Refugee Convention. While some people, like the Puerto Ricans displaced by Maria, are affected by a specific disaster, many others are forced to move because of slow-onset changes like sea level rise and desertification, which can make it hard to identify them as climate refugees. Researchers are still working to understand how climate change interacts with the panoply of other factors, including national security and local economic trends, that might prompt a family to move.

    At the same time, the majority of today's climate refugees are displaced within the borders of their own country, whereas the new compacts focus exclusively on cross-border movement. And for Pacific island nations that face a truly existential threat from sea level rise, there's no legal precedent to guide how they might relocate to new territory in another country — if they even want to move. Even a comparatively simpler effort — to relocate a community of fewer than 100 people in Louisiana whose island home, Isle de Jean Charles, has lost 98 percent of its land to sea level rise since the 1950s, to a new town 40 miles inland — has taken several years and cost $50 million and still faces setbacks, including complaints from the predominantly Native American residents that the state government didn't adequately involve them in the planning process.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/06/20/621782275/the-refug...

     

    Sean in Ottawa

    For those not in Ontario, you may need to understand Ford's motivation. Ford is an extreme conservative and a liar. He will use any argument -- in the moment -- to justify reduction of government support -- on any item except support to business. Right now he is setting rhetoric up to leave the people who are losing their homes without any rebuilding help.

    To bridge the two lies in the moment he is saying that there is such a thing as climate change but Ontario has already done enough,

    Ford will oppose support to people in flood damaged regions based on climate change happening and oppose support to mitigate climate change based on Ontario having done enough. It will fit nicely with his attacks on workers wages, unions, health care, and education. Ford is on a 4-year mission to wreck Ontario as it was and turn it into an Alabama of the North where rich people play and everyone else can fuck off and die.

    That is the present Ontario, so let's not think for a moment that Ford is a more moderate version of what exists in Alberta or wants to take power in October nationally. Same shit. Same flavour. Slightly different coloured label.

    jerrym

    Sean in Ottawa wrote:

    For those not in Ontario, you may need to understand Ford's motivation. Ford is an extreme conservative and a liar. He will use any argument -- in the moment -- to justify reduction of government support -- on any item except support to business. Right now he is setting rhetoric up to leave the people who are losing their homes without any rebuilding help.

    To bridge the two lies in the moment he is saying that there is such a thing as climate change but Ontario has already done enough,

    Ford will oppose support to people in flood damaged regions based on climate change happening and oppose support to mitigate climate change based on Ontario having done enough. It will fit nicely with his attacks on workers wages, unions, health care, and education. Ford is on a 4-year mission to wreck Ontario as it was and turn it into an Alabama of the North where rich people play and everyone else can fuck off and die.

    That is the present Ontario, so let's not think for a moment that Ford is a more moderate version of what exists in Alberta or wants to take power in October nationally. Same shit. Same flavour. Slightly different coloured label.

    Considering what else I have written on this thread, it should be apparent that I was not giving Ford, or for that matter Trudeau or Higgs who I also mentioned above for saying much the same thing, any credit for being forced to admit that climate change was having a catastrophic impact on people's lives. Around the globe, there are very few politicians who are tackling this problem with anywhere near the urgency and resources that it deserves. Simply finally saying what is growing transparently obvious when catastrophe hits is not doing anything to solve the problem.

     

    jerrym

    Another of the growing costs of global warming is the increasing costs of military deployments to deal with climate change emergencies.

    Canada's defence minister says if the impact of climate change disasters ranging from floods to fires worsens, he may have to increase the number of Canadian Forces personnel available to respond.

    "With the impact of climate change, if we see that it's even getting even worse, we'll do a re-evaluation of the numbers that we have," Harjit Sajjan said Monday as he stood next to floodwaters in Saint John, N.B.

    Sajjan said there's been a growing need for personnel to help with events such as the current flooding hitting the Saint John River in New Brunswick and many regions of Quebec. He also noted the forest fires that swept through parts of Western Canada last year required military help.

    In fact, he said, more Canadian soldiers are currently deployed to domestic disaster relief than to operations outside the country. ...

    He said the military has already been increasing its reserves to cope with climate change fallout. However, with the combat training centre in Gagetown, N.B., facing other commitments, the response to disasters could require additional personnel, the minister told reporters. ...

    The minister said that climate change has been a security threat for some time, and the Defence Department "looks at climate security challenges around the world." He added: "It is real."

    https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/sajjan-says-climate-change-disasters-could...

     

    LB Cultured Thought

    Sean in Ottawa wrote:

    Ford is on a 4-year mission to wreck Ontario as it was and turn it into an Alabama of the North where rich people play and everyone else can fuck off and die.

    How long did you spend living in Alabama, Sean? Or was that just a drive by of the south?

    Sean in Ottawa

    LB Cultured Thought wrote:

    Sean in Ottawa wrote:

    Ford is on a 4-year mission to wreck Ontario as it was and turn it into an Alabama of the North where rich people play and everyone else can fuck off and die.

    How long did you spend living in Alabama, Sean? Or was that just a drive by of the south?

    Yes it was a drive by of the South but not entirely uninformed: this is where the states engage in considerable amounts of:

    1) racism

    2) engaging the private sector in order to sell prisoner work in modern day slavery

    3) keeping extremely low minimum wages

    4) having poor populations but then cutting all support

    5) attacking workers in every way possible

    6) denying health care as much as possible in order to profit the rich

    7) Opposing any climate mitigation but of course expecting emergency help

    8) electing rapists

    9) Shooting people of colour

    10) having crooked elections

    So yeah I did a drive by of the South due to the tendency toward these things

    I don't like these tendencies much.

    This is a well-earned reputation. Perhaps if they want to be proud of something else they can work on that?

    Your point?

    jerrym

    ETA: Friday May 3rd is Canada National School Strike for Climate Action Day. Here are some of the locations. In Montreal, 150,000 people turned out for the climate change student strike on March 15th. Support the students. 

    “Our house is on fire. I am here to say, our house is on fire. ... I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.” — Greta Thunberg

    CLIMATE STRIKE / FRIDAYS FOR FUTURE

    SCHOOL STRIKE FOR CLIMATE ACTION
    Canada National School Strikes
    Friday May 3, 2019

    Many more locations:
    https://ClimateStrikeCanada.org | https://Fridaysforfuture.ca

    https://www.goodwork.ca/action/school-strike-for-climate-change-action-c...

     

     

    Policywonk

    iyraste1313 wrote:

    At least BC has begun to look at mitigating some of these problems. It's not enough but it's a start....

    you coincide climate change with CO2 accumulations, which I do not agree...there are many theories for climate change, which I do not feel adequate to judge.......but the focus on fossil fuel reduction, period is dangerous....what BC is planning is to develop mega dam projects in violation of the rural communities and indigenous Nations, which will come with a fight!!

    fossil fuels are not fossil fuels..it is the extraction methods that must be analysed and challenged...

    e.g. one theory is the increasing vapourizations caused by fracking and tar sands extraction that is significantly damaging.......sure a reduction in our use of fossil fuel, especially the dangerous types is important...but analysis must be holistic, looking at a breadth of factors

    Paleoclimatologists overwhelmingly agree that past climates cannot be explained without reference to solar output and carbon dioxide concentrations. This does not negate other local, regional and global influences, which are well known. Fossil fuels are not fossil fuels? What does that mean?

    In any case ocean acidification is as great or greater a problem than climate change.

    We not only need to reduce fossil fuel consumption significantly and quickly, but find a way to quickly remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through biological carbon sequestration, and protecting carbon sinks. 

    jerrym

    The Trudeau Liberals are significantly weakening the environmental regulations of Bill C-69 in a manner that is not gaining support from the Cons or industry on one side or the NDP, Greens or environmentalists on the other. 

    Facing criticism from industry over its controversial overhaul of the environmental assessment process, the federal Liberal government released new details Wednesday about which projects will be subjected to greater scrutiny by Ottawa's regulators.

    Ottawa is vowing to exempt certain non-mining projects that use steam to extract crude from deep under the earth — known as in-situ projects — as long as Alberta Premier Jason Kenney maintains a hard cap on emissions from his province's oil sector.

    Kenney's predecessor, Rachel Notley, vowed to limit emissions from the sector to 100 megatonnes in any given year — a limit the sector currently is in no danger of exceeding.

    The federal Liberal government previously cited that cap as a condition for approving the much-delayed Trans Mountain expansion project that will move product from Alberta to B.C.'s coast for export.

    Speaking to reporters in Alberta Tuesday, Kenney called the oilsands emissions cap "an academic abstraction" and did not say for certain whether he would keep it in place.

    Federal officials, speaking to reporters on background Wednesday about draft regulations to be implemented following the passage of Bill C-69, said in-situ projects would be left off the "project list" — a list of proposed developments that are to receive federal reviews by impact-assessment panels — as long as they are constructed in a jurisdiction with an emissions cap. ...

    In an interview with CBC News, Tim McMillan, the president of CAPP, said the draft regulations bring him no comfort as he wanted to see in-situ projects left off the list entirely and not subjected to the condition that they'll be free from federal oversight only as long as Kenney keeps the cap. "Today's project list, I think, makes it worse not better. It clouds the whole process," he said. "We see regulations that reaffirm our fear that there will be politicization, which we absolutely do not want. I think there is some political brinksmanship at play here when it should be regulator excellence at play." ...

    Stephen Hazell, director of policy at Nature Canada, said he was "flabbergasted" by the pipeline regulations and said his group will rethink its support for Bill C-69.

    "I'm really shocked ... What they're doing with this list is promoting the fossil fuels industry at the expense of the renewables industry. They're decreasing thresholds on pipelines, on coal mines," he said. "At the same time, there will be federal assessments on wind energy projects that have more than 10 turbines. It's just astonishing." ...

    Bill C-69, the government's environmental assessment overhaul, is currently before the Senate. It has faced intense criticism over how much authority it gives the environment minister to suspend an assessment or extend timelines.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/ottawa-bill-c-69-regulations-1.5118233

     

    jerrym

    Indigenous leaders have already warned that weakening of Bill C-69, such as those just proposed by the Liberals, will lead to a "flood of litigation". 

    Northern Alberta Indigenous leaders warn that watering down the federal government's proposed environmental assessment law would only doom energy projects to more years of court wrangling. ...

    It proposes to repeal the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and retire the National Energy Board. The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada and the Canadian Energy Regulator would be the authorities responsible for assessing the environmental, health, social and economic impacts of designated projects. ...

    “If C-69 is softened, there’ll be more court cases coming in for sure,” said Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.

    Both bands have done millions of dollars of business with energy companies. Neither chief opposes development. But they have a long list of grievances with the way assessment are done now. They say current legislation, which dates to the previous Conservative government, has driven them to the courts in nearly a dozen cases. Some have resulted in overturning development approvals.

    They also say the province’s current approach to consultation “subverts the law.” Regulations define who has the right to speak at public hearings so narrowly that First Nations are shut out, they say. An Indigenous community must be within one kilometre of a development to be considered affected by it. Traditional use, protected under the Constitution, must be documented by First Nations much more strictly than by any other landowner.

    As well, they say, the Alberta Energy Regulator doesn’t consider crucial issues such as endangered species, greenhouse gases and treaty rights. Waquan said First Nations have little confidence in the office. “They have a bad record,” he said.

    The chiefs also criticize Alberta’s efforts to keep Ottawa out of examining smaller in-situ oilsands projects. They say companies are splitting projects up to keep them under the federal threshold.

    Four Athabasca-area chiefs are to speak to a Senate committee Wednesday in Fort McMurray, Alta., about Bill C-69.

    They say criticism of the bill from Alberta and the energy industry is "riddled with errors." The chiefs, who represent bands in the oilsands region, say the current approach is rigged against them and has clogged the courts with constitutional lawsuits.

    "Our intent with Bill C-69 is to ensure that it is robust enough to allow First Nations across Canada to have their rights considered without having to resort to courts," said Chief Archie Waquan of the Mikisew Cree First Nation.

    If the bill is weakened, "Alberta should expect a flood of litigation in the coming years," he said.

    https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/northern-alberta-c...

     

    jerrym

     David Suzuki says it is time to stop fiddling while the planet burns in his article on the global warming crisis. 

    Last October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a special report indicating that global emissions are still rising despite more than three decades of warnings. Now we're on a path to a 3C to 5C temperature rise above pre-industrial levels by 2100. The IPCC concludes that anything above a 1.5C rise will take us beyond our ability to "manage" the consequences, but that it's still possible to keep global average temperature increase at or below that.

    The report's urgency, coupled with the possibility of remaining within a manageable temperature, should be the driving force behind all we do from here on. Yet some federal and provincial political leaders continue to downplay or deny the reality and severity of climate disruption, loudly opposing proven measures to address it. Canada is warming even faster than most of the world! Even those who agree it's a crisis are doing little about it. They are not leaders.

    Swedish teen Greta Thunberg says political inaction is destroying her future. She refuses to listen to politicians' words and instead judges them by their actions. When I was her age, we would say, "Big talk, no action." Thunberg has listened to what scientists are telling us and is taking their predictions seriously. Every child on Earth has the right to say that no government is acting in their best interests. But kids can't vote, so ignoring them has no apparent political consequences, at least until they are old enough to vote or their voting-age parents rise up and demand action on their behalf.

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna have young children who will surely be greatly affected by climate change, but they've done little to raise the IPCC's alarm or educate the public about the severity of climate disruption. It's all because of politics. They don't want to jeopardize their chances in the next election so they avoid antagonizing some segments of society. ...

    As economist and Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs recalls, ozone-depleting CFCs were not eliminated by raising taxes on them or encouraging the public to stop buying CFC-containing spray cans or refrigerators. They were legislated out.

    We're in a battle for a liveable future and must make a declaration of war against catastrophic climate change. It's too late to remove the carbon we've already put into the atmosphere, so we'll have to live with the results for decades. But it makes no sense to continue to add to what is already at a devastating level higher than it's been for millions of years. ...

    Many of my colleagues argue it's too late, that we're like the coyote, already over the edge, about to fall. Is that an argument for doing nothing? I don't think so, because we still don't really know whether we're the coyote or the roadrunner. And even if we fall, we might be able to avoid being crushed by the falling rock or anvil. Let's stop all the name-calling and denial, listen to the experts, seize the challenge and make the commitment to meet the IPCC target.

    The economic, social and environmental consequences of whatever governments do or don't do now will be enormous, but we have to do all we can to keep from hitting bottom.

    http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/david-suzuki/2019/05/stop-fiddling-while...

     

    jerrym

    Today was Canada's National Student Strike for Climate Action day. One of the many student strikes across Canada was in Edmonton.

    The march on Friday was part of an international #FridaysForFuture day of action, which have spurred more than 725 strikes worldwide.

    One sign at the Edmonton rally read: “There is no Planet B.”

     

    05-03-climaterallyEB2

    Students demanding action on climate change march in Edmonton and rally at the Alberta legislature on Friday, May 3, 2019.

    Climate Justice Edmonton’s objective is to have the Canadian government enact a Green New Deal, a plan for a transition that must:

    1) Act to keep global warming below 1.5°C by transitioning to a 100 per cent renewably-powered economy by 2030 with net-zero carbon emissions, whilst also following the commitments Canada made in the Paris Climate Agreement.

    2) Decolonize the land by respecting the rights, title and sovereignty of Indigenous Peoples.

    3) End all fossil fuel subsidies and new fossil fuel development and instead use government money to fund renewable energy development.

    4) Facilitate a just transition for all workers by providing retraining opportunities, creating new jobs and maintaining pensions for retired workers, by funding renewables, public transit, education and other climate solutions instead of new fossil fuel projects.

    5) Promote and engage youth views on the future, addressing youth concerns regarding their and other generations’ futures.

    https://globalnews.ca/news/5237992/edmonton-students-march-climate-chang...

     

    jerrym

    In the UK, Jeremy Corbyn's motion to declare a national climate change emergency, the first such declaration, was approved without a vote.

    Meanwhile most of Canadians politicians talk about building more pipelines and extracting more fossil fuels. 

    MPs have approved a motion to declare an environment and climate emergency. This proposal, which demonstrates the will of the Commons on the issue but does not legally compel the government to act, was approved without a vote.

    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who tabled the motion, said it was "a huge step forward".  Environment Secretary Michael Gove acknowledged there was a climate "emergency" but did not back Labour's demands to declare one.

    The declaration of an emergency was one of the key demands put to the government by environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion, in a series of protests over recent weeks. 

    Addressing climate protesters from the top of a fire engine in Parliament Square earlier, Mr Corbyn said: "This can set off a wave of action from parliaments and governments around the globe. "We pledge to work as closely as possible with countries that are serious about ending the climate catastrophe and make clear to US President Donald Trump that he cannot ignore international agreements and action on the climate crisis." ...

    Dozens of towns and cities across the UK have already declared "a climate emergency". 

    There is no single definition of what that means but many local areas say they want to be carbon-neutral by 2030. Some councils have promised to introduce electric car hubs or build sustainable homes to try to achieve that goal.  It's a much more ambitious target than the UK government's, which is to reduce carbon emissions by 80% (compared to 1990 levels) by 2050.

    Labour's motion also calls on the government to aim to achieve net-zero emissions before 2050 and for ministers to outline urgent proposals to restore the UK's natural environment and deliver a "zero waste economy" within the next six months.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-48126677

    jerrym

    climate protest

    As part of more than 75 student strikes for Climate Action across Canada on May 3rd, hundreds of students from across the Lower Mainland marched on the streets of downtown Vancouver Friday.

    https://www.vancourier.com/news/vancouver-students-strike-against-climat...

     

    jerrym

    In Regina, at least 500 students walked out of school on May 3, 2019, to protest climate change. The url includes a video of the student strike for climate action. 

    https://globalnews.ca/video/5239188/students-walk-out-of-saskatchewan-sc...

     

    jerrym

    In Ottawa, students at Carleton University confronted Trudeau, over his climate inaction. The url includes a video of this protest. 

    “I’m striking, because you brought us here to listen, but you are not acting.” Students stood up the moment Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took the stage at the Canada Youth Summit at Carleton University on Friday, protesting government leaders’ including Doug Ford and Jason Kenney’s “inactivity” on climate change and Indigenous issues.

    https://globalnews.ca/video/5237724/students-interrupt-trudeau-to-protes...

     

    NorthReport
    jerrym

    A broad coalition of scientists, First Nations, unions, activists and artists is demanding a Green New Deal for Canada. 

    Rallies are planned across the country on Monday to make climate action an election issue, inspired by the U.S. movement in support of a stimulus program known as the Green New Deal.

    In Canada, the non-partisan coalition Pact for a Green New Deal is calling for a move away from fossil fuels and to cut emissions in half by 2030 while protecting jobs. The group launches in three cities this week, including Vancouver, bringing together high-profile figures including environmental activist David Suzuki, Grand Chief Philip Stewart and musician Dan Mangan.   

    "Basically, it's calling for a very fast and far-reaching transition away from fossil fuels," said Nayeli Jimenez, a youth organizer involved in the movement.  This basically just puts, at the forefront, the issue as an election issue in front of our politicians to actually take action." ...

    The Green New Deal is essentially a road map to shift the Canadian economy. The plan, she emphasized, has to address issues like economic inequality, green transportation and job creation.

    "As we build this diverse movement, we are going to host town halls all across the country so that every day Canadians can actually come and have a say in what that looks like," she said.  "Once that gets built, it will be brought to politicians to put pressure on them so it becomes the centre of the election."

    Change comes partly at the ballot box, Jimenez said, but also wants to ensure those who can't vote are also included. She has been living in Canada for a decade, after immigrating from Mexico, but can't vote.  "That doesn't mean I don't have a say," she said. "Climate impacts don't care about borders or [immigration] status."

    The Pact for a Green New Deal also launches in Montreal and Toronto this week.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/green-new-deal-launches-...

     

     

      jerrym

      Unions are a key part of this push for a Green New Deal as this article from the United Steel Workers shows, in noting that we need a transition process for workers. The coalition includes youth leaders, David Suzuki, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, Greenpeace, Indigenous Climate Action, 350.org Canada, singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, Neil Young, K.D. Lang, William Shatner, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Naomi Klein, and Stephen Lewis, among others.

      In a month where unprecedented floods have ravaged many Canadian communities, the immediate perils of climate change have never been more evident. At the same time, the news is full of reports underlining the economic anxiety felt by many Canadians. One recent poll showed that nearly half of us fear that we’re only $200 away from personal bankruptcy.

      South of the border, some U.S. progressives have started floating the idea of a “Green New Deal” — a modern version of President Roosevelt’s historic effort to restore prosperity to America coming out of the Great Depression. Though the idea is still nascent, the core of the Green New Deal concept is to arrest the creeping catastrophe of climate change by decarbonizing the American economy through massive investments in green jobs and infrastructure.

      For now, the Green New Deal discussion is in its early stages: an ambition designed to reconcile the often false dichotomy created between economic and environmental priorities. Much work remains to be done, both when it comes to policy specifics and building broad coalitions of political support. The same applies here in Canada.

      While Canadians should seek to harness the momentum created by our progressively minded American counterparts, we must generate our own, “Made in Canada” approach. Canada, after all, never had a New Deal. More importantly, our economy and history are distinct and the challenges we face — both in fighting climate change and winning a just transition for workers — are unique. 

      Designing our own solutions also gives us the opportunity to learn from any missteps south of the border. The lukewarm response from much of the American labour movement to the Green New Deal resolution currently before the U.S. House of Representatives illustrates why co-operation between unions and environmental activists is essential in the work ahead. Labour will be absolutely critical to the success of any effort in Canada.

      Our urgently needed transition to a low carbon future won’t be achieved without the support of Canadian workers. That support can and should be won through a plan that guarantees them a just, fair and prosperous future. We can build a formidable coalition to fight climate change by bringing together unlikely allies to reconcile environmental necessities with economic priorities. ...

      In an age of where affordability concerns are rampant, we shouldn’t be surprised to find that carbon taxes have become a popular target for those resisting climate action. Clearly, an alternative route is needed. And, however we ultimately decide to label it, a Canadian Green New Deal could offer us an exit from this cul-de-sac by putting the concerns of labour and environmental groups to work in a mutually reinforcing way. ...

      in an age of where affordability concerns are rampant, we shouldn’t be surprised to find that carbon taxes have become a popular target for those resisting climate action.

      Clearly, an alternative route is needed. And, however we ultimately decide to label it, a Canadian Green New Deal could offer us an exit from this cul-de-sac by putting the concerns of labour and environmental groups to work in a mutually reinforcing way. ...

      Once a novel idea, co-operation between union and environmental activists has increasingly entered the mainstream. In the emerging and urgently needed climate discussion, those bonds can become frayed once again or they can be strengthened for a new century.

      To win climate progress in Canada and safeguard the future of our planet, let’s make sure it’s the latter.

      https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2019/labour-a-key-partner-...

       

      jerrym

      Here's more on the Canadian Green New Deal:

      Climate scientists tell us we have until 2030 to halve our carbon impact if we hope to sustain human life on this planet. The devastating impacts of extreme weather events are all around us: from wildfires in BC, to flooding in the Maritimes, to extreme heat deaths in Quebec.

      At the same time, we face a spate of interconnected crises: economic inequality, gaps in our healthcare system, and household debt among them. We live in a time when 46 percent of Canadians are hovering on financial insolvency and the top 20 percent of Canadians control almost 70 percent of the wealth.

      These challenges are aggravated by the climate crisis, which impacts those with the lowest income the most significantly. ...

      The bottom line is this: How we respond today will seal the fate of our natural ecosystems, economic prosperity, and global security. ...

      Modelled after that of the U.S., a made-in-Canada Green New Deal could include:

      • Shifting to 100 percent zero-emission and renewable energy sources.

      • Retrofitting all existing buildings to the highest energy efficiency standards.

      • Building clean, affordable, and accessible public transit, including high-speed rail.

      • Building a more sustainable food system that ensures universal access to healthy food.

      • Ensuring truly universal access to clean water and affordable housing.

      • Skills retraining and a federal jobs guarantee for workers across the country.

      A Canadian Green New Deal would create thousands of high-wage jobs from coast to coast to coast. It would be our opportunity to further reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and address the systemic inequalities faced by so many people living in Canada.

      In Canada, we could kick-start this shift with public money we’re currently using to subsidize the economy of the past. If we began by simply eliminating corporate tax loopholes and ending all federal fossil fuel subsidies, we would free up $265 billion over the next ten years.

      To refine what a made-in-Canada Green New Deal could look like, we need to start a national conversation about it. One that includes workers in affected industries, businesses, civil society groups, and Indigenous communities.

      Thankfully, young people across Canada are already at the frontlines: In February, thousands met in Ottawa at an event called PowerShift. There, they began talking amongst themselves and with Canadians about the specifics of a made-in-Canada Green New Deal. ...

      It is about our collective interest in acting decisively to secure a bright future for generations to come.

      https://futureofgood.co/a-made-in-canada-green-new-deal/

       

      kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

      When it was called the Leap Manifesto it was a fantasy story that the NDP could never embrace. I am very happy that progressive people in the US have taken up the Leap ideas and are now marketing them in a format that will allow progressive Canadians to accept the idea that they can dare to advocate for what needs to be done..

      NorthReport

      As permafrost thaws in Canada's Arctic, locals and researchers raise 'alarm bells'

      Abrupt permafrost thaw can also dramatically increase greenhouse gas emissions, study finds

      https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/as-permafrost-thaws-in-canada-s-arctic-locals-and-researchers-raise-alarm-bells-1.5124238

      jerrym

      Today, with over 60 organizations involved, unions and associations Canadian Green New Deal has laid out the detail of its plan:

      Today (May 6), a long list of Canadian organizations and individuals together unveiled a proposal to reduce emissions in the country by 50 percent by 2030.

      “The climate crisis is here,” begins a statement at GreenNewDealCanada.ca. “Arctic permafrost is melting, forests, towns, and Indigenous territories are burning. States of emergency—declared for once-in-a-century floods—are becoming commonplace, and millions around the world already face dislocation and starvation. But that’s not the only thing keeping us up at night,” it continues. “Many of us are struggling to find an affordable place to live, or a decent job to support our families. Hate crimes and racism are on the rise. And promise to Indigenous peoples have yet to be implemented. We need an ambitious plan to deal with multiple crises at the same time.”

      The details of the plan remain a work in progress.

      The coalition’s website states that step one is to “unite a diverse movement,” and then that step two is to “develop a shared vision”. Step three will be to “push political leaders to act”.

      The new deal’s website asks anyone who represents an organization that might want to get involved to contact organizers. ...

      At a press conference in Vancouver today, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, said that his support for the plan is rooted in the future. "We owe it to our grand children,” he explained. As Indigenous people, our market place is the land and it's disappearing rapidly," he said. "The window is closing at an alarming rate and we need true, genuine leadership." ...

      Nayeli Jimenez, an organizer for Our Time 2019 who’s based in Vancouver, also spoke there. She argued that the Green New Deal is different from plans to combat climate change that have come before it. “It’s not just an environmental issue,” Jimenez explained. “It’s not just a political issue. It actually kind of brings everything into one narrative. So to me, this is the first time that’s seen the relationship and the intersection of all these issues.”

      https://www.straight.com/news/1237156/canadas-green-new-deal-calls-plan-...

      jerrym

      Canada is falling behind even the UK and its Conservative government that has been forced into declaring a national climate emergency because of Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party demanding one and the reality facing the population of ongoing and worsening climate-related disasters.

      Conservative politicians who think action on climate change is a left-wing project should look to Britain. While not advertised under the Green New Deal banner, the U.K.'s climate plan, expected to be approved by Britain's Conservative government, has many similarities, intending to boost the economy while fighting climate change.

      Many Canadians, observing extraordinary levels of flooding, windstorms, forest fires and drought have come to accept that "something's going on," as Ontario Premier Doug Ford said during a visit last week to flooded Ottawa suburbs. ...

      When they do commit to using their enormous spending power, governments can have a transformational impact, says British-based scholar Mariana Mazzucato using evidence from the most successful parts of the U.S. economy. 

      In her 2015 bookThe Entrepreneurial State, the economist's intent was, as the book's subtitle suggests, "Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths." Mazzucato makes the strong case that, contrary to the stereotypical neo-liberal view that the private sector creates wealth while governments spend it foolishly, the most vibrant parts of the U.S. economy have been a direct result of government investment. "From the internet to biotech and even shale gas, the U.S. state has been the key driver of innovation-led growth —willing to invest in the most uncertain phase of the innovation cycle and let business hop on for the easier ride down the way," Mazzucato writes.

      Private sector risk-takers might not call it easy, but as Mazzucato points out, Uber would not exist without government-funded GPS. The billions in the coffers of Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Samsung, Tesla, SpaceX and many lesser companies would simply not have happened if taxpayers had not financed the technology they depend upon. Even the earlier generation of computer technology credited to Bell Labs was based on a government deal forcing the telecom giant to divert a share of its windfall as a monopoly to R&D.

      Otherwise the money would have simply disappeared into the pockets of shareholders — reinvested yes, but usually in financial endeavours that would show a short-term return, not in the highly risky original research that transforms economies.

      And as governments consider how to reshape the economy to fight climate change Mazzucato has said perhaps the most wasteful way to spend is to simply hand out taxpayer money to companies to do what they were going to do anyway. "You give them some sort of tax incentive to do it," said Mazzucato, in a recent interview about her latest book, The Value of Everything.

      Instead, she says, governments must spend on green innovation the same way they spent on winning a war or launching a moon shot, with a goal firmly in mind. The modern green equivalent is ARPA-e, similar to defence research (DARPA) and space research (NASA), except directed at "high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment." 

      One common argument against government-directed investment is that governments aren't qualified to "pick winners," but Kyla Tienhaara, Canada Research Chair in Economy and Environment at Ontario's Queen's University, says that seems to be forgotten when taxpayer money is directed into projects like pipelines.  Tienhaara conducted research on green stimulus spending following the 2008 credit crunch, and she discovered that in many cases taxpayer cash labelled green turned out to be handouts to the better-off or to corporations in ways that did not necessarily advance a climate agenda.

      She cites a British Columbia transmission line funded under a green infrastructure project. "The only people wanting to use that amount of electricity up there were actually mining companies," said Tienhaara. ...

      She also points to taxpayer-funded carbon capture and storage that she says was mainly a justification for the oil and gas industry to keep producing as normal. ...

      On the Green New Deal front, Tienhaara said there is plenty of room for Canada to compete by investing in appropriate specialities that might include such things as radical cold-weather construction or energy-storage technology. Tienhaara says research investment need not be just in high technology, but in new ideas about "decoupling," a term for thinking of ways to separate economic growth from climate destruction, and on how to stimulate climate action at the grassroots level.

      Community involvement is exactly what Priyanka Lloyd's organization, Green Economy Canada, is all about. A biochemist with an MBA, she heads a national organization that has grown up out of the Waterloo project that Mike Morrice founded a decade ago. Lloyd's group, now operating without government funding since the scrapping of Ontario's cap-and-trade program, cancelled by the new provincial government, is working to support green business hubs like the original Sustainable Waterloo in cities across Canada. Lloyd's organization acts as a national hub for new regional hubs that share ways for small and medium enterprises to boost their bottom line with things such as improved lighting, keeping in the heat and advanced telecommunications systems to save money — and carbon — on unnecessary airline trips.

      https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/green-new-deal-1.5116955

      Policywonk

      kropotkin1951 wrote:

      When it was called the Leap Manifesto it was a fantasy story that the NDP could never embrace. I am very happy that progressive people in the US have taken up the Leap ideas and are now marketing them in a format that will allow progressive Canadians to accept the idea that they can dare to advocate for what needs to be done..

      Both the concept and the label Green New Deal predate the Leap Manifesto in both the US and UK by a number of years.

       

      BertramPotts BertramPotts's picture

      kropotkin1951 wrote:

      When it was called the Leap Manifesto it was a fantasy story that the NDP could never embrace. I am very happy that progressive people in the US have taken up the Leap ideas and are now marketing them in a format that will allow progressive Canadians to accept the idea that they can dare to advocate for what needs to be done..

      The Green New Deal does have much better branding then the Leap Manifesto. Evoking the most successful demsoc legislative package in history is a much better way to get your foot in the door than conjuring the polemics of Mao and Marx (not to mention the Unibomber).

      kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

      It was merely an aside. Calling every scandal some kind of gate irks me the same way.

      This plan is great and now all we have to do is implement it. The question is how does our society get back its ability to direct our national capital resources to the right projects. I thought for sure that the BC NDP was going to scrap Site C and regulate the fracking industry based on what they said on the campaign trail. Instead they have committed incredibly large amounts of capital to these projects instead of the numerous zero emission projects already envisioned.

       

      jerrym

      There are now over 65 organizations and 50 individuals involved in the Green New Deal which is a "coalition of workers, artists, Indigenous leaders, scientists, youth, and people directly impacted by climate catastrophe -- from cities and towns, businesses and communities, working beyond our political differences and in solidarity with Indigenous peoples -- who want to ensure a safe world for our children and all generations after that." 

      Here is a list of who they are: https://greennewdealcanada.ca/#who-we-are

      Here is what you can do wih regards to the Green New Deal:

      The Pact for a Green New Deal recognizes that climate change is not the only crisis we face. Indeed, what is unique about a Green New Deal is it offers us a chance to address all of them. A Green New Deal for Canada could help address the climate crisis, lift people out of poverty, and create over a million jobs in the process.

      WHAT YOU CAN DO

      1. Help unite a diverse movement: Sign the pledge for a Green New Deal. If you’re part of an organization, encourage it to endorse and participate in the Pact for a Green New Deal.
         
      2. Help develop a shared vision. Join a town hall near you or sign up to host one to help shape the vision for Canada’s Green New Deal.
         
      3. Help make the climate crisis a federal election issue by pushing political leaders to act. Spread the word by sharing this campaign with your networks and by calling on federal election candidates in your riding to support a Green New Deal. On social media you can use the hashtag #GreenNewDeal.

      https://canadians.org/blog/pact-green-new-deal

      jerrym

      Two one-in-a hundred-year floods in three years and last fall's extremely destructive tornadoes in Ottawa are prompting the city to look at climate change mitigation and the increased financial and social costs associated with global warming. Other cities across the country are going to face similar challenges and costs. One thing is clear: it won't come cheap. 

      Image result for Alberta regulator $260 fossil fuel clean up climate change picture

      2019 Climate Change Induced Flooding Does Not Stop Because There Is A Border 

      Image result for Pictures Ottawa flooding 2019

      Flooding in the Ottawa and Gatineau area

      "It's really tough on the people, and it's tough on the infrastructure and we have to build to a tougher, more resilient stand," Mayor Jim Watson also said in Fitzroy Harbour. The city has plans related to climate change and renewable energy. It has declared a climate emergency. But what does that mean in practice? ...

      The city's planning starts with getting the right information. The City of Ottawa, working with the National Capital Commission, has a consultant coming up with climate projections specific to the Ottawa area. It already has a sense of what to expect: more very hot days, violent storms, and precipitation. Staff foresee built-up areas holding their heat and struggling with what's called the "urban heat island" effect, freeze-thaw cycles continuing to pock roads with potholes, and big sudden storms knocking out power and washing water across paved areas.  City council has also told staff to speed up a study into how Ottawa is vulnerable to climate change, and come up with a list of gaps to fill. ...

      Stephen Willis, the city's general manager responsible for infrastructure and planning, says, in relation to flooding, he knows the city will need to zero in on stormwater ponds, pipes and culverts and build them so they can carry away more rain in a big storm. The easiest, most cost-effective fix, he said, is usually to bolster the infrastructure — the city has $20 billion in water infrastructure alone — when it's due to be upgraded anyway. Making sure the city's critical drinking and wastewater plants can operate as islands unto themselves is also a priority, Willis said. "Our water supply is one of those is one of the most critical backbones of our infrastructure system so it needs to be able to operate no matter what conditions are going on," he said. The city is beefing up backup power to those plants so they last longer in a power outage. The recent flooding also taught the city it will have to take another look at the road to the Britannia water filtration plant, he said. ...

      As for flood mitigation efforts, Willis said the city was pleased with how the berm in Britannia held during the peak flooding this month, but such a barrier doesn't make sense in Constance Bay, where groundwater seeped up through sandy soil. ...

      For major storms, roads and parks in newer areas are designed to collect some water on their surfaces so the city's system isn't overwhelmed, Willis said. New condos are obligated to catch rain water on site and release it slowly. Homeowners can do the same in their yards by using rain barrels or permeable driveways to soak up more rain in the ground.  ...

      The city is working on a new blueprint for how Ottawa will grow — a chance to nudge builders to curb heat by using green or light-coloured roofs or reflective pavement, for instance. Staff, too, will look at Ottawa's hot spots, who's vulnerable, and how big towers going up around light rail stations could add to that "urban heat island." Adding more urban forests to cool the city is also a priority for the city, Willis said. ...

      Spending choices will need to be made by city council come budget time, but federal and provincial governments are better placed to dangle financial incentives to push the envelope, Willis said. "We as a municipality might wish to be very ambitious on this, but there are limits on what our powers will allow us to do," Willis said.

      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/climate-change-adaptation-city-ott...

      jerrym

      The type of climate change induced costs to communities described in the last post does not include the  $260 billion in Alberta fossil fuel clean up costs that the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) of the fossil fuel industry has known for decades but covered up. It's time to stop the industry from externalizing costs and make it start paying up. 

      I say cover up because the AER provided the costs but did so in a private meeting with the industry and has known about the problem for decades but done nothing. It was not meant for the public's eye. Regulator Rob Wadsworth called it a "flawed system" of industrial oversight. I'd call it regulator capture by the industry. 

      And the costs may be even more than $260 billion. 

      Image result for Alberta regulator $260 fossil fuel clean up climate change picture

      The cost of cleaning up Alberta’s fossil-fuel industry could be as staggeringly high as $260 billion, according to internal Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) documents obtained by the National Observer, Global News, the Toronto Star, and StarMetro Calgary.

      The documents were used by Rob Wadsworth, a high-ranking AER official, in providing liability estimates to a private Calgary audience back in February. The liability costs pertain to the amount needed to shut down inactive oil and gas exploration wells, abandoned facilities and pipelines, as well as toxic tailings ponds near Fort McMurray, Alta.

      Wadsworth blamed the costs on a “flawed system” of industrial oversight, urging companies and stakeholders to accept tougher regulations and begin the cleanup process promptly.  “We can continue down our current path until the impacts are felt by the public … or we can start to implement the numerous changes that we know need to be made,” Wadsworth’s notes indicated.

      Until now, the public had been told the cleanup would cost approximately $58 billion. The AER said that Wadsworth’s estimates are based on a “worst-case scenario” of a total industry closure, yet Wadsworth’s presentation suggests the actual costs will be more than his estimates. Several experts who have reviewed Wadsworth’s presentation describe the situation as an economic and environmental crisis, the National Observer reports.

      https://ipolitics.ca/2018/11/01/the-drilldown-cost-to-clean-up-albertas-...

       

       

      jerrym

      The Fijian Prime Minister Bainimarama criticized Australia' PM Alexander for suggesting the solution to climate-change induced sea level rise was to have people move to higher ground. Three Fijian communities have already had to move and forty more are waiting in line to do so. Some other island nations, such as the Maldives, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands,  don't even have higher ground to move to.  He also suggested they might get Australian citizenship in exchange for giving their fishing rights to Australia.  

      Australia is the world's fourth largest coal produceer, the highest carbon producing fossil fuel. Sounds like he would fit right in to Kenney's and Scheer's Conservatives. 

      Meanwhile, New Zealand is moving in the exact opposite direction, as is discussed at the end of the following article. 

      Image result for Fijian community flooded by sea level rise climate change picture

      Fiji's existence threatened by 'frightening new era' of deadly climate change | The Independent

      Fiji’s prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, has slapped down the Liberal MP John Alexander for suggesting Australia should prioritise helping people in the Pacific move to higher ground to avoid sea-level rise over reducing its use of coal.

      In a speech at the Australasian Emissions Reduction Summit at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Bainimarama said Fiji was already feeling effects of climate change and had moved three communities to safer territory, while a further 40 were in a queue awaiting relocation.

      Bainimarama also criticised a suggestion by the former prime minister Kevin Rudd that Australia should offer citizenship to Pacific islanders in exchange for control of their fisheries.

      “In a time where we must be future-facing, we can hardly tolerate such insensitive, neocolonial prescriptions,” he said. “I implore leaders of Australia to visit these communities and see them first-hand before they propose solutions that are so blatantly out of touch with the reality we Pacific islanders live with on the ground, day in and day out.”

      Speaking at a forum last week, Alexander reportedly noted Bainimarama’s repeated call for Australia to stop burning coal and developing new coalmines but said the priority should be to help people to move their settlements to higher ground. According to Nine newspapers, he said: “It’s very much like your house is on fire, your children are in the house – should you call the fire brigade and get the children out of the house?” ...

      Bainimarama said the decision to relocate a community may seem easy but for those affected there was deep emotional loss. ...

      “They have no choice – it is a matter of survival. But despite the enormous difficulty of these decisions, Fiji is lucky we even have the higher ground to allow for relocation at all. I’m keen to hear what [Alexander] believes the people of Kiribati should do in the face of rising seas, where the highest point in their country sits at just 1.8 metres above sea level.”

      He said relocation was “enormously complex”, requiring space, resources and new livelihoods. “That is why Fiji has developed the world’s first relocation guidelines and is in the process of establishing a relocation trust fund dedicated to this purpose,” he said. ...

      The speech came as the New Zealand government introduced legislationdesigned to cut all greenhouse gases except biogenic methane from sheep and cattle to zero by 2050. Its target for biogenic methane is a cut of between 24% and 47% below 2017 levels. Pacific leaders will meet the United Nations secretary general, Antonio Guterres, in Fiji next Wednesday to discuss climate change before a UN climate action summit in September.

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/may/08/fiji-pm-frank-bainim...

       

      kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

      I'm not sure whether this has been posted up thread but here it is in replay if it has. I was very interested in this Global organization of Mayor's. The solutions are local not national in a diverse geography like Canada's. I was proud of Vancouver to read that it had the lowest per capita carbon footprint in North America. I think the place to make the biggest difference is at the municipal level and it is heartening to know that the work has begun in some places. Gregor is supposed to help cities figure out how to squeeze money out of higher levels of government, something he did well during his time as Mayor.

      A proven leader on urban climate action, Gregor Robertson demonstrated climate leadership throughout his mandate as Mayor of Vancouver, creating the city’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan, an award-winning environmental plan set out to make Vancouver a leader in sustainability and greenest city in the world. By tackling the issues of energy efficiency, waste reduction, clean water and air, and by mainstreaming local food and the green economy, Vancouver now has the smallest carbon footprint per person in North America.

      https://www.globalcovenantofmayors.org/press/global-covenant-of-mayors-a...

       

       

      jerrym

      kropotkin1951 wrote:

      I was very interested in this Global organization of Mayor's. The solutions are local not national in a diverse geography like Canada's. I was proud of Vancouver to read that it had the lowest per capita carbon footprint in North America. 

      I agree that local initiatives are important in dealing with climate change. However, coordination across provincial, state, regional, national and international governments and organizations is also needed to deal with the global warming problem. However, I also agree that Vancouver is one of the leaders, now under Mayor Kennedy Stewart, in this area as the following article notes. 

      This morning, Vancouver city council will deal with two major staff reports focusing on greenhouse gas emissions. The first includes recommendations on the city's response to a "climate emergency", which was declared in January by council. Yesterday, I wrote about one aspect: the shortage of electric vehicle recharging stations in Vancouver.

      Straight.com has also posted a commentary by the executive director of Renewable Cities, Alex Boston. He reviewed Vancouver's role as a trailblazer on climate issues since 1990 and focused on the new report's integration of climate action with affordability.

      And Vancouver resident Paul Ratchford raised concerns on this site about appendix H in the report. It calls for ensuring a majority of black, Indigenous, and people of colour at publicly funded workshops that incorporate an intersectional lens into climate actions.

      While this may seem like heavy coverage, it only addresses certain aspects. It's hard to underestimate the impact that this report could have on the city and possibly other countries in the years to come.

      Local governments can change the world. That's been seen in everything from antismoking efforts to cannabis regulation to the peace movement to the trend across the globe to viewing drug addiction as a health issue.

      In all four of these areas, Vancouver was a leading player in North America, just as it has been in responding to climate change.

      Local actions can persuade senior governments to follow because municipalities are often hothouses for innovation. And this has also been the case with climate change.

      Witness the role that municipal governments, including Vancouver, had in strengthening the backbone of world leadersto set hard limits in the Paris Agreement of 2015.  ...

      The city report recommends six "Big Moves", which will be voted on by council. Below, I've listed them, as well as their implications for city residents.

      * Staff are recommending that 90 percent of people will eventually live within an easy walk or roll of their daily needs. That implies much more densification in South Vancouver, where this is mostly not the case—apart from in Marpole, Oakridge, Dunbar, Kerrisdale, and South Hill.

      * By 2030, two-thirds of trips will be by walking, cycling, rollerblading, and transit. This implies that more road space for motor vehicles will be taken away to accommodate nonmotorists. This process has already begun on the Granville Bridge.

      * Council will set a target of 50 percent of kilometres driven in 2030 will be made in zero-emission vehicles. This implies a sharp increase in electric-vehicle charging stations and far more extensive efforts to make these available to tenants, who comprise 53 percent of the city's population.

      * Council will ensure that all new replacement heating and hot water systems will deliver zero emissions. This implies a sharp expansion of neighbourhood energy utilities and the use of heat pumps. There's not a lot of talk in the report about geothermal and solar energy, but city staff's goals could eventually lead to a clash with B.C. Hydro over the extent of distributed power generation in Vancouver. That's because building owners may increasingly want to generate their own renewable power to achieve the city's objectives, but B.C. Hydro won't want to lose revenue sources.

      * Council will set a target of reducing embedded emissions in new buildings and construction projects to 40 percent of the 2018 level by 2030. That would inevitably lead to far more wood construction and far less use of cement, as well as fewer underground parkades.

      * Council would pass policies leading to the removal of one million tonnes of carbon annually by 2060 through regeneration of local forests and coastal ecosystems.

      https://www.straight.com/news/1232101/proposed-big-moves-climate-could-t...

      jerrym

      In Quebec, municipalities are also playing an increasing role in dealing with climate change.  With flooding hitting Quebec municipalities for the second time with once in a hundred year floods in just two years the UMQ (Quebec union of municipalities) today had climate change is its number one priority.

      The umbrella group representing Quebec's municipal governments says it will make sure climate change is a central focus as the 2019 Canadian federal election draws near

      "We want to talk about climate change a lot during the federal election campaign," said the UMQ's president, Drummondville mayor Alexandre Cusson. "It's important — there are huge needs in the municipalities."

      The UMQ says around $4 billion is needed over five years for Quebec municipalities to adapt to climate change. ...

      Cusson said dealing with the impact of climate change must necessarily involve local governments. ...

      Highlights of the UMQ's proposals include:

      • A federal strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that includes a significant role for local governments.
      • Reduced time to issue work visas for skilled workers, better harmonization of Quebec and Canadian immigration systems and tax measures to encourage skilled workers to remain in the labour market.
      • Significant federal investments in public transportation including operating costs.Cusson said

      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/umq-climate-change-1.5132693

      jerrym

      Ireland has become the second country, after the UK, to declare a climate emergency thanks to a cross-party consensus, something unimaginable in Canada, thanks to the Conservatives. 

       

      It follows protests in the UK and around the world by the Extinction Rebellion group

      It follows protests in the UK and around the world by the Extinction Rebellion group ( AFP/Getty )

      The Republic of Ireland has become the second country in the world to declare a climate emergency. The country's climate action minister, Richard Bruton, warned climate change was the greatest threat facing humanity and the level of urgency was justified. 

      "We're reaching a tipping point in respect of climate deterioration," he said. "Things will deteriorate very rapidly unless we move very swiftly and the window of opportunity to do that is fast closing."

      A amendment brought by the Fianna Fáil party calling on the parliament “to examine how [the Irish government] can improve its response to the issue of biodiversity loss” was accepted without a vote on Thursday.

      It followed the release of a parliamentary report presenting a "cross-party consensus for action" on climate change. ...

      The Irish Green party leader, Eamon Ryan, who moved the amendment, described the landmark decision as “historic”.

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/ireland-climate-emergenc...

      jerrym

      The Vancouver Sun newspaper is running a daily poll at the site below where people can vote on whether "Should Canada join other countries and declare a climate emergency?"

      At the time of posting this, the vote was  65.09%  (2,319 votes) for declaring a climate emergency and Yes  34.91%  (1,244 votes) against. Obviously many people in BC are deeply concerned as global warming continues to wreak havoc.

      You can vote at the url below. 

      The idea is that with the declaration, governments can take urgent action and make decisions to become carbon neutral.   Vancouver,Ottawa,and Halifax are among several Canadian cities to declare emergencies, but the federal government has not.

      Many activists and scientists are calling for governments to hit ambitious targets of becoming carbon neutral by 2030 by restoring forests and ecosystems, and phasing out gas-powered vehicles. The movement follows several damning international reports including one from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which states that the world has about 12 years left to try and avoid climate catastrophe and the World Meteorological Organization, which notes 2018 was fourth highest on record for greenhouse gas emissions.

      https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/daily-poll-should-canada-join-o...

      jerrym

      Montreal is also taking measures to reduce its carbon footprints under Mayor Valerie Plante. She also called on independent pension funds to stop investing in fossil fuels. 

      Montreal building owners will have a little more than a decade to rid themselves of their oil furnaces as the city moves to ban the use of heating oil from its territory by 2030. It's the latest initiative announced by Montreal's municipal government as it works to reduce its carbon footprint and meet a long-term aim to be carbon neutral by 2050.

      "A collective effort is absolutely necessary, we are going to encourage all Montrealers to make the transition to a heating system other than heating oil," Mayor Valérie Plante said. Owners of existing commercial, industrial, institutional and residential buildings with oil-burning furnaces will have until 2030 to convert to a renewable energy source.

      The city is leading by example: Plante said Monday the city is investing $4 million to convert its remaining oil-heated municipal buildings by 2021. ...

      Those homes account for 28 per cent of residential carbon emissions. Oil heating also accounts for about 14 per cent of emissions from commercial and institutional sources. ...

      Mayrand said electrifying private homes now is their preferred option as the city will ultimately move to get rid of fossil fuels, like natural gas, by 2050. ...

      Montreal's announcement is just the latest in a series of anti-pollution announcements that includes a plan to ban single-use items such as plastics and polystyrene foam containers. The city's bylaw on wood-burning stoves came into effect last Oct. 1, banning fireplaces and wood stoves that don't meet strict emissions standards and forbidding their use altogether during smog alerts. ...

      On Tuesday, Plante also called on the managers of independently-run pension plans for the city's retirees to progressively stop investing in fossil fuels. "The role of cities is crucial in the fight against climate change," she said in a tweet. "Our environmental commitments must translate into our investments."

      https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/05/09/news/montreal-moves-reduce-c...

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