Canada and global warming: a state of denial

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jerrym

Here’s a summary of global warming effects in British Columbia:

- 2018 the worst wildfire season in BC history with an area 13,342 square kilometres (2.4 times the size of PEI) burned in 2,068 wildfires by September 15th, breaking the 2017 record when more than 65,000 people were forced from their homes, including about 10,000 from a massive evacuation in Williams Lake. http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Statistics.asp

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/state-emergency-bc-wildfires-1.4803546

https://globalnews.ca/news/4410346/bc-wildfires-burn-2nd-most-hectares-e...

-Tourism, resource, and green energy industries are being hit by extensive wildfires around BC whose number and effects have been magnified by climate change.

https://www.citynews1130.com/2018/08/17/b-c-resource-and-tourism-industries-braced-as-wildfires-rip-through-forests/

-B.C. wildfires 2018: Medical issues surge as air quality advisory becomes longest on record. https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/wildfires-2018-medical-issues-surge-as-air-quality-advisory-becomes-longest-on-record

-Studies on the effects of wildfire smoke on wildfire firefighters are raising concerns about the health risks associated with this. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-smoke-wildfires-studies-1.4790141

-Study examined why this exponential growth has doubled the number of wildfires in BC and rest of western North America since the 1980s due to climate change. https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/green-life/wildfires-western-united-states-increasing-exponentially-due-climate-change

-While First Nations are only 5% of BC population, they are 50% of those affected and evacuated because live near the northern boreal forests of BC but Trudeau refused to create $200-million emergency preparedness and response fund for Indigenous communities https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/british-columbia/article-disjointed-system-hinders-british-columbia-first-nations-in-wildfire/

- the mountain pine beetle epidemic, the second largest insect infestation in the history of North America, has brought down 18 million hectares of B.C. forest, an area the size of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick combined, greatly reducing BC’s forest industry https://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/features/beetle-destruction-in-bc

-Combating rising sea levels due to global warming could cost $9.5 billion in flood-protection improvements in Metro Vancouver — including sea gates at False Creek and Steveston — by 2100 http://www.realestatetalks.com/viewtopic.php?t=128408

-2018 spring flooding of Sothern Interior, Fraser Valley, and Okanagan Valley of BC due to very hot weather melting the snow rapidly and rainfall https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/waters-continue-to-rise-as-southern-b-c-on-the-brink-of-more-flooding

-B.C. has 17,000 glaciers and they are all melting, it means no late summer water supply, diminished hydro power production, and serious impacts on fisheries and spawning salmon. 

-ranchers and farmers are concerned about climate change induced drought, increased extreme weather events, rising high tides bringing flooding and salt water contamination

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/climate-change-is-a-growing-concern-in-b-c-says-scientist-1.3177871

-Record warm ocean temperatures combined with low, unusually warm rivers pose a double threat to B.C. salmon, prompting officials to curtail some fisheries. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/record-warm-ocean-temperatures-pose-threat-to-b-c-salmon-1.3151406

 

jerrym

One of the crises the MSM almost totally ignores is the strong link between climate change and refugees. Already many of the refugees from Africa going to Europe are driven by desertification linked to the higher temperatures associated with climate change and the resultant displacement of farmers. 

According to the Lexis Nexis database of international newspapers, in the past month there were more than 4,600 articles with “refugee” or “migrant” in the headlines (a headline indicating the article’s focus). But the total number of articles headlined with refugees or migrants and climate change? One.

In the past month, U.S. newspapers published 866 articles with headlines related to “refugees” or “migrants.” The number of articles with headlines related to refugees or migrants and climate change in the same time period? Zero. 

The Canadian Major Dailies database shows a similar pattern in Canada. Over the past year Canadian newspapers published 774 migrant or refugee headlined articles — but just a single article sharing the headline with climate change. ...

But the people most vulnerable to climate change are also most likely to experience extreme weather disasters and climate change’s more generalized threat multiplying effect (food insecurity, heightened violence, etc., due to extreme weather). In other words, climate change has everything to do with the decision to flee one’s home — and those of us in more materially affluent parts of the world have everything to do with climate change.

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2018/07/29/dont-ignore-the-...

jerrym

As temperatures rise due to climate change, large areas of the world will become arid driving mass refugee migration towards countries, such as Canada, less affected by these chnages.

Up to 30 per cent of the planet’s land surface would become arid if global temperatures rise 2C above pre-industrial levels, according to a new study.

A 2C threshold was set out in the Paris climate agreement in 2015, but the new research suggests it will not be enough to prevent devastating environmental changes.As land undergoes “aridification” and becomes drier, water supplies run out. ...

The scientists compared the outcomes of 27 different climate models to find the areas of the world that would be hit worst by increased aridity. Their results indicated that while the 2C target might not be enough to avert an aridification crisis, aiming for the more ambitious target of 1.5C would make a big difference.

“Our research predicts that aridification would emerge over about 20-30 per cent of the world’s land surface by the time the global mean temperature change reaches 2C,” said Dr Manoj Joshi, an environmental scientist at the University of East Anglia. “But two thirds of the affected regions could avoid significant aridification if warming is limited to 1.5C.”

The past century has already seen drought severity increase in places like the Mediterranean, southern Africa, and the eastern coast of Australia.

Increasingly, climate scientists are linking the severity of natural disasters like droughts and wildfires to climate change.

“The areas of the world which would most benefit from keeping warming below 1.5C are parts of South East Asia, Southern Europe, Southern Africa, Central America and Southern Australia – where more than 20 per cent of the world’s population live today,” said Professor Tim Osborn, another of the study’s authors from the University of East Anglia.

Hunger and Climate Vulnerability Index for 2°C global warming.

 Hunger and Climate Vulnerability Index for 2°C global warming. Illustration: Betts et al. (2018), Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/global-warming-world-land-arid...

 

mmphosis
NDPP

'Dumbest Policy in the World': Report Details How Canada's Massive Fossil Fuel Subsidies Undermine Climate Action

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/17/dumbest-policy-world-report...

"What's the dumbest policy in the world? Public cash for oil and gas!"

jerrym

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has declared Hurricane Florence, which hit North and South Carolina, a 1-in-1,000 Year Flood Event.

Over a massive region of southeast North Carolina and northeast South Carolina, Florence produced an extraordinary rainstorm that statistically has a 1-in-100 chance of occurring each year. Over substantial areas, the deluge had a 0.1 percent chance of happening, what is known as a 1,000-year event. These exceptional rainfall events keep happening and appear to be part of a trend toward more extreme tropical rainmakers, probably connected to climate change. ...

Since August 2017, three hurricanes have set rainfall records for tropical weather systems in four states. First came Harvey, which dumped an unheard-of five feet of rain in Texas last August. No storm in recorded history had produced so much water in the United States. In all, the hurricane and its remnants generated 33 trillion gallons of water over the country, enough to engulf Houston in a tank of water 3.1 miles high.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2018/09/18/florence-was-another-y...

 

The trouble is just two years ago Hurricane Mathew, which also hit North and South Carolina, was described as a 1-in-1,000 Year Flood Event.

new analysis by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that Hurricane Matthew brought rainfall to North and South Carolina to a degree which is typically seen once in a thousand years. ...

NOAA also found in an analysis that the Louisiana storms in August—which brought flooding that damaged upwards of 100,000 homes—caused rainfall typically seen once every 500 or 1,000 years in certain areas. As climate continues to change, storms like the one in Louisiana and hurricanes such as Matthew will increase in frequency and intensity.

https://www.colorlines.com/articles/noaa-declares-hurricane-matthew-1-10...

 

The massive damage and death toll associated with the increased frequency and intensity of these hurricanes are related to global warming. 

Extreme weather events are often pointed to as harbingers of what is to come, thanks to manmade climate change. Unfortunately, Hurricane Florence, like Hurricane Harvey last year, is an example of what climate change is doing to storms right now. ...

Human-caused greenhouse gases in the atmosphere create an energy imbalance, with more than 90% of remaining heat trapped by the gases going into the oceans, according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association. Ocean heat content, a measure of the amount of heat stored in the upper levels of the ocean, is a key indicator of global warming.

The record high values of ocean heat content were visible this summer. Last year was the hottest on record for the Earth's oceans, with a record high for global heat content in the upper 2,000 meters of the oceans. This year is trending even hotter, with April-June ocean heat content the highest on record. 

"The heat fuels storms of all sorts and contributes to very heavy rain events and flooding," Trenberth said. 

"The observed increases of upper (ocean heat content) support higher sea surface temperatures and atmospheric moisture, and fuel tropical storms to become more intense, bigger and longer-lasting, thereby increasing their potential for damage."

https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/19/us/climate-change-hurricane-florence-wxc/...

 

jerrym

The following article from 2017 lists the ten most costly hurricanes in the US financially and their death toll, with three of the top six occurring in 2017, as water temperatures rise from global warming. Hurricane Florence estimated damages range up to $180 billion, which would be 1% of the American economy. (https://www.newsweek.com/hurricane-florence-damage-could-cost-over-170-b...)

With even stronger hurricanes and cyclones predicted if we continue to allow water temperatures to rise due to greenhouse gas emissions, the economic, as well as the human and environmental damage on a global basis will be catastrophic. 

 

Disaster damages

https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/hurricane-maria-damages-102-billion-su...

 

jerrym

This type of damage and frequency of these superstorms is increasingly globally with the warmer waters associated with climate change, as Supertyphoon Mangkhut which hit Guam, the Philippines and China at the same time as Hurricane Florence demonstrates. In China alone, more than three million people were evacuated for their safety as Mangkhut approached. (https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/17/asia/typhoon-mangkhut-china-hong-kong-int...)

Storms are brewing all over the world, but Super Typhoon Mangkhut is the most intense tropical cyclone of them all. While Hurricane Florence charges towards the US east coast (and North Carolina’s pig manure lagoons), Mangkhut has already caused flooding and power outages in Guam, and is set to sweep by Luzon, Philippines before heading toward Hong Kong and Macau. The storm could affect as many as 43.3 million people, according to the Global Disaster and Alert Coordination System.

Also known as Super Typhoon Ompong in the Philippines, Mangkhut has winds of at least 157 mph, which makes it equivalent to a category 5 Atlantic hurricane, although it is expected to weaken to a category 4 before it reaches Hong Kong and Macau. As of Wednesday (Sept. 12), Florence had maximum winds of 125mph and dipped to a category 3, but an abrupt jump in strength is possible.

In addition to the risk of floods, landslides, and huge waves, Mangkhut will also lay waste to valuable farmland when it passes Luzon. According to Bloomberg, Philippines agriculture secretary Emmanuel Pinol warned that the storm could cause up to 13.5 billion pesos ($25 million) in damage to crops, just as harvests are nearing.

Hong Kong is also bracing itself for what may be the most powerful storm to ever hit the city. Queenie Lam Ching-chi, a senior scientific officer at the Hong Kong Observatory, told the South China Morning Post that even though there is a chance Mangkut’s path will change, “It can constitute a great danger to Hong Kong.”

https://qz.com/1388210/stronger-than-hurricane-florence-super-typhoon-ma...

 

Even a place where hurricanes rarely hit, such as Hawaii, have seen one just last month. However Hurricane Lane caused catastrophic flooding in August. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYsiIZ4anYI)

 Hurricanes in Hawaii are surprisingly rare, partly due to a quirk of geography that puts the islands just out of the worst swath of danger. While there are usually between four or five tropical cyclones in the central Pacific ocean each year, fewer than ten have gotten within 200 nautical miles of the islands since records began to be kept in 1950, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center located at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.  The most potent to hit since statehood was Hurricane Iniki. In 1992 this Category 4 storm devastated the island of Kauai, killing 6 people and causing more than $3.1 billion in damage. ...

Tropical storms can only form and continue in areas where the ocean surface temperature is 80 degrees or above. They convert the warm air over the ocean into powerful winds and waves. When surface water temperatures fall below 80 degrees they begin to dissipate. The Hawaiian islands are the visible tops of massive volcanos, most of which lie below the surface. The temperature of the water at the ocean floor, which can be as deep as three and a half miles around the islands, is approximately 35 degrees.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/science/2018/08/24/why-hurricanes-so...

However, climate change models predict that Hawaii, Guam and other islands in the area will be increasingly at risk.

In some areas—including the waters near Hawaii—hurricanes will probably become more common by the end of the century, said Hiroyuki Murakami, a climate researcher with the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton University who focuses on extreme weather. ...

In a 2013 study, Murakami and colleagues projected that tropical storm frequency for the area would double by 2100 under a global temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius.

Global climate models are consistent in projecting a significant increase in sea surface temperatures in the vast Central Pacific, which would drive an increase in tropical storms that could affect Hawaii, Guam and other islands in the region, he said.

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/25082018/hurricane-lane-climate-chang...

 

 

 

jerrym

Ireland was another country experiencing extreme weather this year: "The summer of 2018 will be remembered for heat wave and drought conditions that affected many parts of the country. Intense thunderstorms were also a feature at the start of the meteorological season." (https://www.met.ie/2018-a-summer-of-heat-waves-and-droughts)

This was followed by extreme storms Ali and Bronagh in September hitting Ireland and the UK. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvnIOFSll5Q)

 

These extreme weather events foreshadow even more extreme weather events, such as hurricanes which have been unknown in Europe in the past, that are predicted to hit Europe in the future in climate change models. 

Hurricanes move westward with trade winds but can get caught in the eastward winds that prevail further North. In the present climate these remnants are weak because the cooler sea water in the mid-latitudes reduces the hurricane’s strength. ...

Warmer sea water will provide more energy for hurricanes, making them stronger. Stronger hurricanes will have a larger chance to reach Western Europe before they die out. In addition, they will have to travel over a less hostile environment with warmer sea water before they reach Europe. ...

By using a very high resolution weather forecast model for climate simulations we have tested the possibility that hurricanes will reach Europe in a warmer climate. ...

These simulations showed a significant increase in the possibility of Sandy like super-storms for Europe.

https://www.rte.ie/eile/brainstorm/2017/1016/912655-the-future-will-brin...

 

jerrym

The Trudeau Liberals proclaim their devotion to a strong environmental agenda, but "Canada is the largest provider of fossil fuel subsidies in the G7, per unit of GDP, according to a recent study by the International Institute for Sustainable Development." 

As climate change warms the oceans and melts polar ice, rising the seas and provoking extreme storms, G7 members have found themselves unable to share basic facts about their promise to kill off government handouts to carbon-polluting industries. ...

At Wednesday’s G7 meeting in Halifax, Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna appeared unwilling to get into details about any subsidies talks the group may have had, or are scheduled to have. ...

When National Observer pressed her on whether there had been any subsidy talks so far, or if the group was expecting to address them, McKenna pointed out the publication had gone over the allotted amount of questions. "I think this is your third question,” is all she said in response, to laughter in the room.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/09/20/news/g7-promise-kill-fossil-...

 

So much for even the most basic of actions by the Liberals, by simply eliminating the largest G7 subsidies per GDP unit in order to help prevent global warming.

jerrym

It's no wonder that David Suzuki asked Environment Minister Catherine McKenna to resign because Trudeau supports the building of the Trans Mountain pipeline, just as the French Environment Minister, Nicolas Hulot, did when he left the Macron government over inaction on climate change. The fact that Trudeau government also supports the largest subsidies for the fossil fuel sector on a GDP unit basis among the G7 identifies where the Liberals are putting government money as opposed to their mouths.

This is further symbolized by Trudeau removing “climate change” from the name of a powerful committee of ministers, but says the government is no less committed to the issue at the same time.  (https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/08/28/news/trudeau-government-remo...)

The French environment minister recently took that route, saying he didn't want to create the illusion his presence in the government was leading to progress on climate change.

In a story published by La Presse, David Suzuki says if McKenna really believes what she's saying, she too should quit "instead of being an apologist for the government."

He told the Montreal-based news site that Canada lacks credibility on climate change, with the Liberal government supporting the construction of a pipeline to the British Columbia coast to transport Alberta bitumen. Suzuki made the comments in the context of an interview about the resignation of French environment minister, Nicolas Hulot.

"She must stop rationalizing what Canada is doing," Suzuki told La Presse, adding that the government "talks out both sides of its mouth. We have a prime minister who signed (the Paris climate accord), who says, 'We're back,' and we all praised him ... then he approves pipelines! What is that?"

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/09/20/catherine-mckenna-david-suzuki_...

McKenna's response: she's no quitter. I am sure that's right for someone who has the power, prestige and money of a cabinet minister, especially when she is still allowed to say all the right things but do nothing.

Sean in Ottawa

For sure the denial.

I have argued here - to the anger of some - that we must take a global view of economic, social, and environmental sustainability. That these cannot be separated as they are interdependent such that you cannot make progress on one without progress on the others. The greatest risk to this planet is inequality as it compromises any effort to address climate change. It is greed and inequality that drives politics away from any policies that would address climate change.

As I pointed out before we talk about the 1%. In global income terms the 1% includes Canadians earning about $40,000 and up. It is ridiculous to expect that some sacrifices would not have to come from middle income Canadians to address climate change. We are the one percent.

If you go further and consider the top 10% you can include almost all Canadians as social assistance in Canada can just about get you there.

This is just how poor the majority of people in the world remain today.

The denial is fed by reports of a middle class in China (sure in big cities this exists but the country admits to a massive poor population they want to bring up outside of the main cities -- why do you think freedom of movement is so difficult in China?). An aside: this is why correctly China understand that it is a developing country -- its total income and wealth  may be massive but these are divided by an even more massive population. China seeks an understanding of this reality but the more developed countries only see the total wealth and income and no longer want to see that country as one struggling.

Consider that over 1/2 of the world's population live in countries: China, India and Africa and together they have an average GDP per capita of about of one tenth of Canada which is about 42,000. (China is the highest of those earning now earning almost 1/5 of Canada per capita.)

The global 1% is less than 1/10 of  what it takes to be in the top 1% in the US or Canada.

Median global income is about $10,000.

Part of the denial is the relative wealth of Canada when you consider the population of poor people globally. When you consider this you get a better idea of global inequity and the problem with spending on climate change.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
As I pointed out before we talk about the 1%. In global income terms the 1% includes Canadians earning about $40,000 and up. It is ridiculous to expect that some sacrifices would not have to come from middle income Canadians to address climate change. We are the one percent.

If so then why do you suppose the "Occupy" movement tried to tell us that the real 1% were all North Americans like us (who needed to acknowledge their privelege and make changes) instead of telling us that most of us are, in fact, the the real 1% who need to acknowledge our privelege and make changes?

Do you think maybe they thought we'd buy the first argument easily, but push back on the second?

I would have loved to see someone suggest that back in 2011.  If some "Occupier" with an iPhone, a gore-tex tent, an apartment and an income was, in fact, one of those "1%", I would have liked to see which heads exploded.  Or at any rate, who had to go home in shame.  But back then it was those latte-drinking Chardonnay lovers, yes?

gadar

What an informative thread!!!! Thanks to the contributors.

The tireless work by jerrym is amazing, thank you good sir/madam.

gadar
jerrym

Thanks gadar. 

jerrym

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
As I pointed out before we talk about the 1%. In global income terms the 1% includes Canadians earning about $40,000 and up. It is ridiculous to expect that some sacrifices would not have to come from middle income Canadians to address climate change. We are the one percent.

If so then why do you suppose the "Occupy" movement tried to tell us that the real 1% were all North Americans like us (who needed to acknowledge their privelege and make changes) instead of telling us that most of us are, in fact, the the real 1% who need to acknowledge our privelege and make changes?

Whether we believe we have a moral obligation as a wealthier nation or not to pay the costs associated with climate change, we have, are and will be paying some of those costs both within Canada and externally. Here are a few (and this list is very far from exhaustive) of the economic and human costs created by global warming within Canada:

-Mountain Pine Beetle: The MPB epidemic affected more than 180,000 square kilometres (2.5 times the size of New Brunswick). By comparison, the wildfires burned about 12,000 square kilometres last year and 13,000 square kilometres this year. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-wildfires-burned-lar...Results suggest that there will be a cumulative present value loss of $57.37 billion (or 1.34 per cent) in GDP and a $90 billion decline in welfare (compensating variation) from 2009 to 2054 in BC. Consumer welfare was also dramatically reduced due to the MPB, with CV falling by nearly $90 billion. Household incomes were expected to fall by $44.65 billion dollars. This was a result of loss of jobs due to the reduction in timber supply(https://academic.oup.com/forestry/article/89/1/100/2465746) "MPB is extending further north in British Columbia and further north east in Alberta. ...  MPB has become one of the most devastating invasive forest pests in Canada, resulting in huge ecological, economic, and social costs. Currently, there are no populations in Ontario, however reports have predicted that climate change may allow the beetles to spread north and east into other provinces and territories. In fact, the beetle has already spread far outside of its native range and has reached within 50 kilometers of the Saskatchewan border. The cost of fighting the insect in western Canada has been staggering. Since 2001, the BC government has spent more than $917 million fighting the beetle. The Government of Canada has committed $340 million since 2002 and has made a commitment for an additional $800 million. The BC situation has also resulted in excess supply of low quality and low priced pine timber salvaged from affected forests. The depressed lumber prices resulted in increased softwood lumber tariffs imposed by the US (which increases export costs), and made it difficult for eastern mills (i.e. Ontario and Quebec) to compete with the BC lumber. (https://forestinvasives.ca/Meet-the-Species/Insects/Mountain-Pine-Beetle...)

-cost of Fort McMurray Alberta fire: "$9.9-billion figure includes the expense of replacing buildings and infrastructure as well as lost income, profits and royalties in the oilsands and forestry industries"  (https://www.thestar.com/business/2017/01/17/fort-mcmurray-wildfire-finan...)

-“King salmon (Chinook) are going for $13 or $14 a pound in whole form, not even filets. It’s starting to become a luxury item.” That’s if you can buy it at all. The wild catch of B.C. salmon has declined nearly 80 per cent since 1990, according to statistics supplied by the Ministry of Agriculture. ... The Fraser River sockeye may well be the canary in the climate-change coal mine, a harbinger of the decline of wild fisheries around the world expected to result from rising ocean temperatures, changing salinity and oxygen levels. A University of B.C. study released this week projects global fishing revenue will drop seven to 10 per cent by 2050. Cold-water species such as salmon are already dropping as a proportion of the world’s wild caught fish, said co-author William Cheung, a professor at UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries." (https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/what-is-the-future-of-bcs-iconi...)

-$547.7 million for fighting 2017 BC wildfires by BC Wildfire Service; "Government of Canada is providing  $175 million through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements and $38,595,900 to the Canadian Red Cross" - the 2018 BC wildfire broke the 2017 BC wildfire record for area burned but the full costs are not available yet (https://www.mycariboonow.com/24720/2017-wildfire-costs-near-550-million-...)   

-"the bill for dyke improvements to protect against rising sea levels starts at $9.5 billion." for Metro Vancouver according to a BC Liberal government study (https://biv.com/article/2013/11/say-goodbye-to-metro-vancouvers-livable-...)

- "at least 93 people died"  from high temperatures in July 2018 in Quebec, (https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/07/18/89-deaths-now-linked-to-h...) "a report showing Montreal can expect more heat waves as a result of climate change" (https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-after-54-heat-wave-deaths...)

-"Most of Ontario is under a severe weather warning Tuesday, once again threatening flood damage in a province where insurers have already paid approximately $800 million for natural catastrophe damages. This cumulative total for the year in Ontario does not include claims totals for a flooding event earlier in the month (August 2018), when a “pocket storm” drenched areas of Toronto with up to the same amount of rain in three hours as the city usually experiences in a month"  (https://www.canadianunderwriter.ca/insurance/beleaguered-industry-faces-...)

-"Lennox Island, a small 540-hectare Mi'kmaq reserve northwest of P.E.I. The island, home to 470 people, is under threat. ... At the going rate, scientists estimate half the island could disappear in 50 years." (https://www.cbc.ca/radio/day6/facing-the-change-5-canadian-communities-t...)

-"Northern Saskatchewan is no stranger to devastating wildfires. An unprecedented wildfire season overwhelmed the province in 2015, forcing the evacuation of some 13,000 people." (https://www.cbc.ca/radio/day6/facing-the-change-5-canadian-communities-t...)

-Old Crow, Yukon: "Temperatures have increased 2 degrees Celsius over the past 50 years — twice the rate they've increased in southern Canada. And in northern Yukon, winters are warming even faster: on average, winter temperatures have jumped by 4 C in the last half century. That's making it difficult for the community to safely build the winter roads they rely on for access to their traditional hunting and fishing grounds. Permafrost thaw, combined with heavier rainfalls, are causing soil erosion and landslides around Old Crow. ... In some cases, the erosion has caused entire lakes to dry out. In 2007, the six-kilometre-long Zelma Lake, one of the largest in the Old Crow Flats, lost 60 per cent of its water in a month." (https://www.cbc.ca/radio/day6/facing-the-change-5-canadian-communities-t...)

 

jerrym

We have, are and will also continue to pay some of the costs of global warming around the world affect Canadians. In post #158, I provided a chart of the eleven most dangerous extreme weather events in the US since 1980 that totalled $693 billion in damages and 4229 deaths. The Hurricane Maria death toll alone has since been revised from 38 to 2975 because Trump's Republican government did little to prevent subsequent deaths bring the total deaths to 7166. The chart does not include Hurricane Florence that has estimated damage costs of up to $180 billion with 32 deaths. (https://www.newsweek.com/hurricane-florence-damage-could-cost-over-170-b...) In 2013, supertyphoon Haiyan with wind speeds reaching a record 315 km alone killed more than 6,000, with another 1,800 still missing, (https://www.cnn.com/2013/12/13/world/asia/philippines-typhoon-haiyan/ind...) The increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events is affecting the global economy and costing many lives. Here are a few of the other many costs: 

-"Published in Environmental Research Letters, a study led by the UK National Oceanographic Centre (NOC) found flooding from rising sea levels could cost $14 trillion worldwide annually by 2100, if the target of holding global temperatures below 2 ºC above pre-industrial levels is missed. ... "If warming is not mitigated and follows the RCP8.5 sea level rise projections, the global annual flood costs without adaptation will increase to $14 trillion per year for a median sea level rise of 0.86m, and up to $27 trillion per year for 1.8m. This would account for 2.8 per cent of global GDP in 2100." (https://phys.org/news/2018-07-sea-world-trillion-year.html)

-ETA: In the National Geographic video Six Degrees Could Change the World (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_pb1G2wIoA), a Parisian doctor also warns about the complacency in the developed world concerning climate change based on his own experience in treating those dying from global warming. In August 2003, 5,000 people died in Paris during a climate change induced European heat wave. The 2003 European heat wave led to the hottest summer on record in Europe since at least 1540. France was hit especially hard. The heat wave led to health crises in several countries and combined with drought to create a crop shortfall in parts of Southern Europe. "Peer-reviewed analysis places the European death toll at more than 70,000. "(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_European_heat_wave )

-"A new study published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says drought in Syria, exacerbated to record levels by global warming, pushed social unrest in that nation across a line into an open uprising in 2011. The conflict has since become a major civil war with international involvement. Drying and drought in Syria from 2006 to 2011—the worst on record there—destroyed agriculture, causing many farm families to migrate to cities. The influx added to social stresses already created by refugees pouring in from the war in Iraq, explains Richard Seager, a climate scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory who co-authored the study. The drought also pushed up food prices, aggravating poverty. “We’re not saying the drought caused the war,” Seager said. “We’re saying that added to all the other stressors, it helped kick things over the threshold into open conflict. And a drought of that severity was made much more likely by the ongoing human-driven drying of that region.” Seager added that the entire Middle East “faces a drier, hotter climate due to climate change. This will stress water resources and agriculture, and will likely further increase risk of conflict.” Global warming is desiccating the region in two ways: higher temperatures that increase evaporation in already parched soils, and weaker winds that bring less rain from the Mediterranean Sea during the wet season." (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-change-hastened-the-s...)

-This, along with desertification as the Sahara desert spreads south in Africa that destroys large agricultural areas has led to millions of climate change and civil war refugees migrating to Lebanon, Turkey and Europe increasing monetary costs and social strains in these countries. It also has placed a number of African nations on the edge of becoming failed states more susceptible to jihadists, such as Mali where Canadian forces at significant cost have been sent to aid in the fight against them.

-Starting in the 1980s, India has been building a 2,500 km fence along its border with Bangladesh, originally to prevent poorer Bangladeshis from migrating to India. "Climate change didn't bring this fence, but it is providing a fresh reason for its existence and ongoing expansion. ... The prospect of international migration is a touchy subject in Bangladesh. But for national security experts, it's the most feared global consequence of climate change. As warming temperatures deplete water supplies and alter land use, military analysts warn, already-vulnerable communities in Asia and Africa could descend into conflicts and even wars as more people clamor for increasingly scarce resources.  ...  India, for its part, sees climate change bringing multiple threats. Rivers feeding both Bangladesh and Pakistan pass through India, but threaten to dry up because of melting glaciers. Meanwhile, the country can barely handle demands for resources from its own citizens and argues that it shouldn't have to accept the victims of a problem caused by the industrialized world. "If one-third of Bangladesh is flooded, India can soak in some of the refugees, but not all," Retired Air Marshal A.K. Singh, the former commander of India's air force, told a London conference recently. "Low-lying coastal area flooding is a national security issue." ....  Paskal, of the Royal Institute, said Bangladesh, by pouring money and research into new ways to deal with climate change, is actually protecting the world from conflict. "We need a stable India, and [climate migration] has the potential to destabilize India," she said. " (https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/cwire/2009/03/23/23climatewi...)

The destabilization of India, the sixth largest economy in nominal GDP and third largest by Purchasing Power Parity  and its 1.3 billion people as well as Bangladesh's 166 million people would have economic impacts on all other countries. 

While some corporations in the fossil fuel industry have denied climate change exists, other firms, such as Shell and BP, were including climate change in their future planning as early as 1982, according to McKenzie Funk in his book Windfall.

Multinational businesses have a reputation for either denying or downplaying climate change. In fact, Shell has been preparing for it for decades. The company’s business depends on being able to anticipate and respond quickly to seismic shifts in the energy market. So it employs a team of big-thinking futurists, called scenario planners, to keep it a step ahead.

In 2008 the company released a fresh pair of scenarios for how the world might respond to climate change over the coming decades. …

One scenario, called “Blueprints,” envisioned an increasingly urgent and systematic global effort to cut emissions and develop cleaner technologies. Change would come from the bottom up, as individuals, corporations, and cities laid a foundation for national and international policies. The results would include carbon taxes, cap-and-trade schemes, electric cars, solar panels, and carbon-capture technology for power plants. Those actions wouldn’t stop climate change. The seas would rise, hurricanes would wreck cities, and so on. But the results wouldn’t be catastrophic.

A second scenario, called “Scramble,” envisioned the world continuing to balk at real action, because “curbing the growth of energy demand—and hence economic growth—is simply too unpopular for politicians to undertake,” as Shell’s scenario planners put it in an interview with Funk. Coal and biofuels would drive the growth of developing countries, choking the air and driving up food prices. While Indonesia and Brazil were mowing down rainforests to grown palm oil and sugarcane, Canada and the United States would turn their attention toward “unconventional oil projects” like Canada’s tar sands.

Climate activists would grow increasingly shrill, but the general public would suffer “alarm fatigue.” Rich and poor nations would deadlock over who should do what as emissions spiraled past 550 parts per million. (In 2013 they reached 400 ppm for the first time—a frightening milestone.) At that point the impacts of climate change would be too great to ignore—but it would be too late to do much about it. (http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/02/windfall_mckenzie_funk_describes_the_business_of_climate_change.html )

 

NDPP

Get ready to watch Canada tell big beautiful lies about its 'commitment to tackling climate change' during Minister Freeland's big speech to the UN on Saturday.

jerrym

In December 2017, Friends of the Earth Canada, along with Germany's Urgewald, released a report that Canada's national pension plan and Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec that manages many of Quebec's public pensions, as well as four other Canadian firms, are investing in new coal power plants overseas, even though the federal government is a member of an international anti-coal alliance.

Another example of the Liberals saying one thing and doing another that continues today as the next post also shows. 

The report lists six Canadian financial companies among the top 100 investors in new coal plants in the world. Together, Sun Life, Power Corporation, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, Royal Bank of Canada, Manulife Financial and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board have pledged $2.9 billion towards building new coal plants overseas.

Urgewald tracks coal plants around the world and reports there are 1,600 new plants in development in 62 nations, more than a dozen of which don't have any coal-fired plants now.

While Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is claiming to be a global leader on phasing out the dirtiest of electricity sources, private investors are "undermining that commitment," says Friends of the Earth senior policy adviser John Bennett.

Canada and the United Kingdom last month teamed up to launch the Powering Past Coal Alliance, trying to bring the rest of the world on side with a campaign pledge to phase out coal as a power source entirely by 2030 for the developed world and 2050 for everyone else.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/12/12/news/canadian-financial-comp...

 

jerrym

At this month's G7 environmental ministers meeting in Halifax, the president of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Michael Sabia, who manages $300 billion in Quebec public pension plans, said "Too many investors are still seeing climate action as a restraint on profit" even though "trillions of dollars in economic gains that studies have shown will be available to nations that shift to a low-carbon economy." However, Sabia and many Canadian governments are still not been following his advice. 

“Too many investors, even long-term oriented investors today, still see climate change as a constraint — something that forces them to make a choice, to compromise their returns, and therefore runs counter to their fiduciary obligations to their clients,” said Sabia. “As long-term investors, collectively, we need to think differently, because addressing climate change is not only about what you stop doing — more importantly, it’s about what you start doing.” ...

The pension plan was among Canadian companies listed as some of the top investors in new coal power plants overseas, according to a December 2017 report by Friends of the Earth Canada and Germany's Urgewald. The federal government has been pushing to phase-out coal powerworldwide.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/09/18/news/too-many-investors-stil...

 

jerrym

A coaliton of governments, think tanks and businesses has released a report this month that projects $26 trillion in economic gains by 2030 by placing a price on pollution, killing subsidies for fossil fuel, in addition to taking other steps to deal with climate change. However, the report also says that time is running out. It also calls out Ontario's Trump Ford government, and the federal Conservatives for backsliding on combatting climate change.  It notes that nations that fall behind in this change will be left behind economically. 

Their report pegs the reward for climate action at a staggering $26 trillion through 2030 — more than the GDP of the U.S. and Japan combined — but singles out inaction or "backsliding" like that seen in Ontario, Canada's most populous province, as a threat that could lock the planet into a high-polluting, unequal future.

“The train is fast leaving the station...this is our ‘use it or lose it’ moment,” reads the report released Sept. 5 and produced on behalf of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. “The laggards are not only missing out on these opportunities but are also putting us all at greater risk. Over US $26 trillion and a more sustainable planet are on offer, if we all get on board. The time to do so is now." ...

The report, titled “Unlocking the Inclusive Growth Story of the 21st Century,” was overseen by a commission made up of over two dozen leaders in the field including former high-level government officials and business leaders, and was created in 2013 by seven countries in South America, Africa, Asia and Europe.

Its warning about climate inaction comes as political groups in the West, such as the Trump administration in the U.S. and the Ford government in Ontario, trample on climate action gains by their predecessors that were helping to usher in greener economies. The federal Conservative Party has also vowed to kill the Trudeau government’s plans to put a price on pollution nationwide if they get into power, while the United Conservatives in Alberta, home to Canada’s oilsands, are planning to do the same to a provincial carbon tax, after their respective 2019 elections.

"Despite the expansion of carbon pricing systems recently, in many regions, there is still strong political resistance to implementing any new taxes in general," reads the report. "Sometimes carbon taxes face particular resistance, with opposition coming from major incumbent industries and consumers concerned about rising energy bills, making implementing or increasing carbon prices difficult."

Citizens' unwillingness to accept carbon pricing is exacerbated, it adds, "if past efforts to introduce carbon pricing systems in a given jurisdiction have failed or been poorly communicated. The inherently political nature of carbon markets often results in a high level of political uncertainty and challenges, and the threat of backsliding is real. For example, a newly elected provincial government in Ontario, Canada in 2018 has announced it will be looking to cancel the cap-and-trade scheme and fight the national carbon tax scheme."

A graph from the report, Unlocking the Inclusive Growth Story of the 21st Century, shows the expected gains from climate action including a boost of female employment, 65 million new jobs and trillions in economic activity.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/09/05/news/ontarios-ford-governmen...

NDPP

Justin Trudeau

https://twitter.com/JustinTrudeau/status/1044654070957580289

"Today I had another excellent discussion with Shell's CEO, Ben van Bueren, on how we can work together to advance energy projects that are good for our economy...'

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Trudeau overreaching on efforts to undo Harper legacy, says Notley

The Trudeau government’s proposed changes to the environmental impact assessment process for energy projects will harm future investment in Canada and cost the country jobs, says Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.

Speaking at a pipeline industry conference in Calgary Tuesday, Notley also labelled Bill C-69 a “major overreach” by the federal government into the province’s constitutional right to develop and control its own natural resources.

“It hurts our competitive position by creating uncertainty especially with the potential inclusion of downstream emissions,” Notley said in an address that got warm applause. “We need to stop the regulatory merry-go-round, not supercharge it.”

Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna introduced Bill C-69 earlier this year to deliver on a promise made by the Trudeau Liberals to undo major changes to federal environmental laws made by the former Harper government....

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
As I pointed out before we talk about the 1%. In global income terms the 1% includes Canadians earning about $40,000 and up. It is ridiculous to expect that some sacrifices would not have to come from middle income Canadians to address climate change. We are the one percent.

If so then why do you suppose the "Occupy" movement tried to tell us that the real 1% were all North Americans like us (who needed to acknowledge their privelege and make changes) instead of telling us that most of us are, in fact, the the real 1% who need to acknowledge our privelege and make changes?

Do you think maybe they thought we'd buy the first argument easily, but push back on the second?

I would have loved to see someone suggest that back in 2011.  If some "Occupier" with an iPhone, a gore-tex tent, an apartment and an income was, in fact, one of those "1%", I would have liked to see which heads exploded.  Or at any rate, who had to go home in shame.  But back then it was those latte-drinking Chardonnay lovers, yes?

Very good point.

I think the ignorance of the majority on both sides is the problem. But yes, understanding a global context to the environment is illusive even for those who are talking about the 1%.

It is also fair, many would point out, that the 1% of Canada is far ahead of the 1% globally. It gives a perspective to the concentration of wealth. Still when we are talking climate change, we have to be talking about the multiplier not just the excess -- in other words the large volume of people here who are a part of the global one percent are probably more more significant in terms of environmental change than the 1% of Canada despite their excess individually.

jerrym

On CTV's Question Period today, Andrew Scheer said he will attend the October 5th Jason Kenney-Doug Ford anti-carbon tax in support of them. He also gave a few clues as to his greenhouse gases emissions "plan" that won't be announced to next year. Basically, it's no carbon tax, incentives (read individual's taxes to corporations) to businesses to lower their emissions, and keeping companies in Canada because they will produce less emissions here than by going overseas where they would emit more greenhouse gases. In other words, BS!

 

jerrym

The Untied Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be releasing its 2018 report on October 8th following a meeting from Oct. 1st to 5th in South Korea during which government officials will work with the scientific authors of the report to produce a summary for politicians. The IPCC includes representatives from the 195 countries, including the US, which cannot drop out of the organization until the end of 2020, despite Trump's wishes. The report will suffer from limitations with regard to the effects of Trump's policies on climate change. 

A leaked copy of the draft report warns that the world is on a path to a 1.5 degree temperature rise by 2040 that will have drastic consequences unless nations undergo "rapid and far-reaching" economic change.

Canada's Trudeau Liberal government is falling well behind once again in its promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that it made in the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, a repeat of the failure of the Chretien Liberal government to live up to its 1997 promises in the Kyoto Accord.

“To be straight, the Trump effect is not mentioned in the report,” said Jim Skea, the co-chair of the IPCC working group that deals with mitigation, or actions that countries take to reduce their emissions.

“We’re waiting for the literature to emerge that will assess the aggregate effect of the various pledges that countries have or have not made,” added Skea, also a professor and chair in sustainable energy at Imperial College London. “The literature has not really emerged in the time that’s available to allow us to take account of that in this particular report.”

In a call with journalists from around the world, Skea said future reports from the IPCC, in particular the so-called sixth assessment report expected in 2021, will have some of the necessary information to assess the damage from the U.S. ...

Countries like Canada, which made commitments at Paris to ratchet up climate goals in order to phase out fossil fuels polluting the atmosphere, must continually assess their progress against the scientific consensus for how effective those commitments will be at stopping climate change. 

A collaborative report from auditors general across Canada this March found Ottawa would fail to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below the level it was at in 2005 by the year 2030. 

As the Trudeau government gets set to introduce a nationwide price on carbon pollution next year, it has also had to battle the Ford government of Ontario, which is moving to scrap its provincial cap and trade regime for cutting emissions, as well as the federal Conservative Party which has vowed to scrap Trudeau's price on pollution if they win power in a federal election next year. ...

The report is expected to quantify just what it will take to limit global warming to that 1.5-degree rise. “We were invited to produce quite a targeted report focusing on specific questions,” said Skea. In June, Reuters obtained a leaked draft of the report that it said showed the warming of the planet is on course to exceed 1.5 degrees by 2040, and only with “rapid and far-reaching” global economic change can the planet hope to limit warming to that amount. ...

The report will have five chapters, scientists said: an introductory chapter framing the issues; a chapter that looks at the different scenarios for how much carbon humanity puts into the atmosphere the rest of the century; a chapter on the impacts that 1.5 degrees warming will have on humans; a chapter on the measures that will have to be taken to adapt to a warmer world; and a chapter on the links between 1.5 degrees warming and sustainable development and inequality.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/09/25/news/climate-scientists-wont...

 

 

 

jerrym

The $40 billion LNG Canada project in northern BC announced by the BC NDP and Trudeau Liberal governments virtually guarantees that BC and Canada will blow by their greenhouse gas reduction goals.

"How are we going to meet our legislated greenhouse gas targets when this substantial increase in emissions is happening?" Ian Bruce, a director with the David Suzuki Foundation, asked Tuesday. "We don't have a credible climate change strategy that's been released by the province…. Moving forward at this stage is likely very irresponsible." ...

The provincial government maintains that B.C. will meet its climate change targets, however, even with this project going ahead, and there will be a climate plan released soon. ... The province says the estimated carbon output of the LNG Canada project will be 3.45 megatonnes per year. However, a Ministry of Environment spokesperson clarified that this only accounts for Phase 1 of the project, with two production facilities called "trains." Phase 2 would include two additional trains.

Bruce and others estimated that at full size, the facility could increase greenhouse gas emissions by eight to nine megatonnes. "That's more than double all the emissions from all the cars and trucks in Metro Vancouver," he said. "B.C. is going to need the best, most aggressive, world-class climate plan to make up for this additional increase." ...

The province has committed to reducing greenhouse gases by 40 per cent by 2030 and 80 per cent by 2050. Karen Tam Wu, a managing director with the Pembina Institute environmental think-tank, said that means B.C. will only be able to emit a total of 13 megatonnes of greenhouse gases by mid-century. "That just means we're going to need to step up and accelerate the rate at which we're reducing carbon from other parts of our economy in B.C.," Wu told The Early Edition host Stephen Quinn. ... Getting there might be possible, she said, if industry electrifies, the carbon tax is ramped up, and if buildings are rapidly retrofitted to reduce their carbon footprints. ...

But Marc Lee, a senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, said LNG Canada is completely incompatible with meeting the goals. "This project is a carbon bomb," Lee told BC Today host Michelle Eliot. "We don't have the luxury of indulging in building big, new, fossil fuel megaprojects." ...

B.C. Energy Minister Michelle Mungall told On The Coast host Gloria Macarenko that the project will fit within B.C.'s carbon reduction goals, which will be released soon. She touted the government's work on building retrofits, support for zero-emission vehicles and regulations on the LNG sector. Transportation, she said, is the biggest contributor of carbon pollution in the province.

Still, Kathryn Harrison, a University of British Columbia political science professor, was skeptical. She says B.C. will likely need to cut all other emissions in half to meet its 2030 target. "It's hard for me to even imagine," Harrison said.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/lng-canada-carbon-greenh...

 

jerrym

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations report that is to be released on October 8th is expected to have the strongest warning yet about the risks the world faces and the short period of time left in which we can respond effectively before facing catastrophic problems on a global scale. There is also growing evidence that tackling climate change now can provide an economic boost rather than being a drag on the economy. 

This week, scientists are gathering in South Korea to draw together the last five years of advances in climate science to answer key questions for policymakers. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) celebrates its 30th birthday this year with what is likely to be a landmark report to be released on Monday 8 October. What is expected to emerge will be the strongest warning yet that these unusual occurrences will add up to a pattern that can only be overcome with drastic action.

Thousands of the world’s leading climate experts collaborate on the periodic reports, released roughly every half-decade. They have grown clearer over the years in the certainty of their evidence that climate change is occurring as a result of human actions, and firmer in their warnings of the disruptive consequences. ...

When the scientists deliver their verdict, the onus will pass to politicians to translate their advice into concrete action. Already in recent weeks, global initiatives have begun aimed at doing so: the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco last month spurred protests, and dozens of local governments and multinational companies to make pledges; the second One Planet Summit saw advances in climate finance; while at the UN General Assembly, secretary general António Guterres urged world leaders to step up, calling climate change “the defining issue of our time”.

Evidence showing that tackling climate change can be an economic boost rather than a brake has been growing. The recently published New Climate Economy report says more than 65m new low-carbon jobs could be created in just over a decade, and that 700,000 premature deaths from air pollution could be avoided every year by government action on climate change. A further $2.8tn could be added to government revenues by 2030 by reforming perverse incentives to burn fossil fuels.

Nicholas Stern, co-chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, which produced the study, said: “Current economic models fail to capture both the powerful dynamics and very attractive qualities of new technologies and structures [that reduce carbon]. Thus we know that we are grossly underestimating the benefits of this new growth story. Further, it becomes ever clearer that the risks of the damage from climate change are immense, and tipping points and irreversibilities getting ever closer.”

The existence of tipping points – thresholds of temperature beyond which certain natural processes become irreversible, such as the melting of permafrost, which may release the greenhouse gas methane and create runaway warming effects – is a key concern of many climate scientists. The faster emissions rise, the sooner we may unwittingly pass some of these key points.

For all these reasons, the IPCC’s special report comes at a crucial point. Scientists and economists have warned that if the world cannot shift course within the next few years, the consequences will be dire, as new infrastructure built now – in energy generation, transport and the built environment – will be made either to low-emissions standards or in the high-emissions habits of the past. As the IPCC’s next comprehensive assessment of climate science will not be available until 2021, this year’s report will be vital in shaping policy.

The political situation is more fraught than it was in the runup to Paris. The US is pulling out of the landmark climate agreement and is likely to play little part in the talks. Australia’s government is also in turmoil over climate actions. Now the challenger for Brazil’s presidency, Jair Bolsonaro, is threatening to withdraw its participation – a potential blow to the Paris consensus, as Brazil was a linchpin among rapidly developing nations.

All eyes will be on China, which has shown remarkable progress on renewable energy and emissions reduction, and India, where climate champions have found common cause with opponents of increasingly damaging air pollution. Patricia Espinsoa, the UN’s top climate official, warned that only “uneven progress” had been made so far on the 300-page rulebook for implementing the Paris targets, leaving the rest of the work for December. ...

Adopting low-carbon aims now would set developing countries on a course to a brighter future, added Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former economic minister of Nigeria and a member of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. “Now is the time to do this, before we lock in high-carbon infrastructure,” she said. “Now is the opportunity for real sustainable growth.”

 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/05/why-the-next-four-mo...

jerrym

Meanwhile, Canadian governments continues to deny the catastrophic risk of climate change by failing to take any measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as in the case of Conservative leaders Scheer, Kenney, Ford and Pallister or, in the case of nearly all other political leaders, take actions that will not come close to meeting the 2030 greenhouse gas emission reductions agreed to in the 2015 Paris Agreement. 

With Manitoba's reversal this week of its plan to impose a carbon tax, it's clear the federal government's overall climate plan is in jeopardy. But that's only part of the story.

Why did Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister ditch years of work to join with other conservatives like Doug Ford and Jason Kenney? Winnipeg Free Press columnist Don Lett puts it this way: 'When you boil it all down, you have this: a premier with a penchant for erratic behaviour who willingly trashes two years of hard work by his own government, with the full knowledge he cannot stop a carbon tax from being implemented and will get all the money anyway.'

In this, Pallister is in good company. Doug Ford killed a working, revenue-generating cap-and-trade plan. Jason Kenney is against a carbon tax even though prominent conservatives, Preston Manning being one, support it. Saskatchewan's Scott Moe attacks carbon pricing at every opportunity. Ford and Moe are committed to fighting the tax in court, even though legal experts agree the federal government has the right to impose it. Ford is prepared to waste $30 million on an unwinnable fight.

All taxes are unpopular. And it's always good optics for provincial premiers to be seen as fighting Ottawa. But there's method in this madness. The premiers know, almost certainly, they can't win a legal fight. But by pulling out and blaming Ottawa, they get the optics they want. And, they get the revenue from that nasty tax, because the government has pledged that all carbon tax revenue collected will be returned to the provinces it was collected from. Brilliant?

Maybe not. This strategy doesn't work nearly as well if the Trudeau government imposes the tax and sends the cheques, probably through Revenue Canada, directly back to Canadian citizens, effectively cutting out the provinces. Trudeau takes the bold but necessary step of fighting climate change, but returns a tangible benefit to Canadian taxpayers.

All this partisan jostling is interesting, but it misses a central point. The federal carbon tax plan isn't perfect. As taxes go, it's flat as opposed to regressive, but it's still a tax. And there are fears that the carbon tax won't be high enough to allow Canada to meet its targets. But the carbon tax isn't the only option. There's cap-and-trade, which has proven effective and, in Ontario's case, was providing millions in infrastructure revenue, before Doug Ford killed that revenue along with the plan. 

If the carbon tax plan is so bad, what's better? Ford, Kenney, Moe, Pallister — none of them have a better idea. Federal Conservatives want to fight an election on the carbon tax, but they don't even have a position of their own yet. 

Climate scientists say Ford's gutting of Ontario's climate change regime is setting the province back decades, including in terms of air quality. Is this what the premiers and their federal leader, Andrew Scheer, want for all of Canada? To do nothing about climate change, now happening right in front of our eyes? Is that the kind of Canada we want to leave for our kids? It's clear these premiers don't want the carbon tax, but what exactly do they want?

https://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/8948919-canada-s-fight-against-cli...

jerrym

The 2018 New Climate Economy Report argues that the 21st century can provide opportunities for economic growth and sustainability than continuing down the fossil fuel path that threatens economic ruin because of global environmental devastation. 

We are on the cusp of a new economic era: one where growth is driven by the interaction between rapid technological innovation, sustainable infrastructure investment, and increased resource productivity. This is the only growth story of the 21st century. It will result in efficient, liveable cities; low-carbon, smart and resilient infrastructure; and the restoration of degraded lands while protecting valuable forests. We can have growth that is strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive.

Over the last decade, we have seen amazing technological and market progress driving the shift to a new climate economy. We are seeing real results in terms of new jobs, economic savings, competitiveness and market opportunities, and improved wellbeing for people worldwide. And this progress in the real economy has been delivered on the back of often weak or even contradictory policies in countries. How much more could be achieved in the coming years with clear, consistent policy signals?

In 2014, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate concluded that ambitious climate action does not need to cost much more than business-as-usual growth. The evidence today shows that climate action is even more attractive than we imagined then. This remarkable new growth opportunity is now hiding in plain sight. ...

The next 10-15 years are a unique ‘use it or lose it’ moment in economic history. We expect to invest about US$90 trillion in infrastructure to 2030, more than the total current stock. Ensuring that this infrastructure is sustainable will be a critical determinant of future growth and prosperity. The next 10-15 years are also essential in terms of climate: unless we make a decisive shift, by 2030 we will pass the point by which we can keep global average temperature rise to well below 2oC. 

We know that we are grossly under-estimating the benefits of this new growth story. Current economic models are deeply inadequate in capturing the opportunities of such a transformational shift, or the grave dangers of climate inaction.  We need a new class of economic models that can capture the powerful dynamics at play, including technological advances, preservation of essential natural capital, and the full health benefits of cleaner air and a safer climate including the containment of pandemic diseases.

While recognising the shortcomings of current economic models, analysis produced for this Report found that bold action could yield a direct economic gain of US$26 trillion through to 2030 compared with business-as-usual. And this is likely to be a conservative estimate.

Making such a shift would also limit dangerous climate change. With each passing year, the risks of unabated climate change mount. The last 19 years included 18 of the warmest years on record, worsening food and water security risks and increasing the frequency and severity of hazards such as wildfires. Disasters triggered by weather- and climate-related hazards were responsible for thousands of deaths and US$320 billion in losses in 2017. Climate change will lead to more frequent and more extreme events like these, including floods, droughts, and heat waves. It is increasingly our ‘new normal’.

The challenge now is to accelerate the transition to a better, more inclusive, new climate economy in five key economic systems: energy, cities, food and land use, water, and industry.

https://newclimateeconomy.report/2018/key-findings/

The full 2018 New Climate Economy Report can be found here: 

https://newclimateeconomy.report

 

 

jerrym

Summary of the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report by its scientists released after a full plenary of  its 195 country members: 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/live/2018/oct/08/ipcc-climate-ch...

jerrym

Here are more details on the 2018 IPCC Report.

The world’s leading climate scientists have warned there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.

The authors of the landmark report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released on Monday say urgent and unprecedented changes are needed to reach the target, which they say is affordable and feasible although it lies at the most ambitious end of the Paris agreementpledge to keep temperatures between 1.5C and 2C.

The half-degree difference could also prevent corals from being completely eradicated and ease pressure on the Arctic, according to the 1.5C study, which was launched after approval at a final plenary of all 195 countries in Incheon in South Korea that saw delegates hugging one another, with some in tears. ...

Policymakers commissioned the report at the Paris climate talks in 2016, but since then the gap between science and politics has widened. Donald Trump has promised to withdraw the US – the world’s biggest source of historical emissions – from the accord. The first round of Brazil’s presidential election on Sunday put Jair Bolsonaro into a strong position to carry out his threat to do the same and also open the Amazon rainforest to agribusiness.

The world is currently 1C warmer than preindustrial levels. Following devastating hurricanes in the US, record droughts in Cape Town and forest fires in the Arctic, the IPCC makes clear that climate change is already happening, upgraded its risk warning from previous reports, and warned that every fraction of additional warming would worsen the impact.

Scientists who reviewed the 6,000 works referenced in the report, said the change caused by just half a degree came as a revelation. “We can see there is a difference and it’s substantial,” Roberts said.

At 1.5C the proportion of the global population exposed to water stress could be 50% lower than at 2C, it notes. Food scarcity would be less of a problem and hundreds of millions fewer people, particularly in poor countries, would be at risk of climate-related poverty.

At 2C extremely hot days, such as those experienced in the northern hemisphere this summer, would become more severe and common, increasing heat-related deaths (as seen in the 93 heat releated deaths this summer in Quebc) and causing more forest fires (like those occurring across Canada and especially in BC).

But the greatest difference would be to nature. Insects, which are vital for pollination of crops, and plants are almost twice as likely to lose half their habitat at 2C compared with 1.5C. Corals would be 99% lost at the higher of the two temperatures, but more than 10% have a chance of surviving if the lower target is reached.

Sea-level rise would affect 10 million more people by 2100 if the half-degree extra warming brought a forecast 10cm additional pressure on coastlines. The number affected would increase substantially in the following centuries due to locked-in ice melt. Oceans are already suffering from elevated acidity and lower levels of oxygen as a result of climate change. One model shows marine fisheries would lose 3m tonnes at 2C, twice the decline at 1.5C. ...

Time and carbon budgets are running out. By mid-century, a shift to the lower goal would require a supercharged roll-back of emissions sources that have built up over the past 250 years.

The IPCC maps out four pathways to achieve 1.5C, with different combinations of land use and technological change. Reforestation is essential to all of them as are shifts to electric transport systems and greater adoption of carbon capture technology.

Carbon pollution would have to be cut by 45% by 2030 – compared with a 20% cut under the 2C pathway – and come down to zero by 2050, compared with 2075 for 2C. This would require carbon prices that are three to four times higher than for a 2C target. But the costs of doing nothing would be far higher. ...

Although unexpectedly good progress has been made in the adoption of renewable energy, deforestation for agriculture was turning a natural carbon sink into a source of emissions. Carbon capture and storage projects, which are essential for reducing emissions in the concrete and waste disposal industries, have also ground to a halt. Reversing these trends is essential if the world has any chance of reaching 1.5C without relying on the untried technology of solar radiation modification and other forms of geo-engineering, which could have negative consequences. ...

Bob Ward, of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change, said the final document was “incredibly conservative” because it did not mention the likely rise in climate-driven refugees or the danger of tipping points that could push the world on to an irreversible path of extreme warming.

The report will be presented to governments at the UN climate conference in Poland at the end of this year. But analysts say there is much work to be done, with even pro-Paris deal nations involved in fossil fuel extraction that runs against the spirit of their commitments. Britain is pushing ahead with gas fracking, Norway with oil exploration in the Arctic, and the German government wants to tear down Hambach forest to dig for coal.

At the current level of commitments, the world is on course for a disastrous 3C of warming. The report authors are refuseing to accept defeat, believing the increasingly visible damage caused by climate change will shift opinion their way. ...

Regardless of the US and Brazil, he said, China, Europe and major cities could push ahead. “We can set an example and show what can be done. This is more about technology than politics.”

James Hansen, the former Nasa scientist who helped raised the alarm about climate change, said both 1.5C and 2C would take humanity into uncharted and dangerous territory because they were both well above the Holocene-era range in which human civilisation developed.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/08/global-warming-must-...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Climate Scientist: As U.N. Warns of Global Catastrophe, We Need a “Marshall Plan” for Climate Change

quote:

KEVIN ANDERSON: Certainly. Whilst I think it is a really good report in trying to understand the impacts between 1.5 and two degrees centigrade of warming, when it comes to what we have to do about it, I think again, it runs scared of really being very honest. And given it is effectively a scientific report, I think our role as scientists and as academics is to tell it like it is, not to color it or sweeten the pill to make it more attractive.

So my comments here—and it’s not just with this report. It has really repeatedly come out at the IPCC. So whilst we’re quite direct and honest about the impact side, when it comes to what we have to do about this, we run scared. We don’t want to scare the politicians or the public. We don’t want to move away from this, of the energy systems that we have today, so we always try to broadly sort of massage the status quo, so incremental changes, if you like.

And what I’m saying is that actually when you really look at the numbers behind the report, look at the numbers the science comes out with, then we’re talking about a complete revolution in our energy system, and that is going to beg very fundamental questions about how we run our economies. And again, you can turn around and say, “Well, that seems just far too removed from the current economic system we have.” But we have to remember it has only been 10 years now since the banking crisis and many parts of the world are still suffering the repercussions of that banking crisis. So the current economic framework has struggled within its own remit, if you like.

So I think this has been a real opportunity, which we are now losing, to reshape that economy to an economy that’s suitable for society, not as a society that’s suitable for the economy. And I think the policymakers or the academics have just run scared of this, of being honest about what our numbers tell us about the rates of change that we require and how we have to move the productive capacity of our society from building second homes for professors or private jets or private yachts or large four-wheel drive cars—moving from that to building public transport, electrification, improved homes for everyone. So it’s a shift of that productive capacity, the resources and the labor from the—if you like, the luxury for the 20 percent—to the essential low-carbon infrastructure for all of us.

jerrym

Last week, on the eve of the release of IPCC report involving 721 experts from 90 countries  saying that we have twelve years to avoid a climate change global disaster, the Conservatives continued in their state of denial in spite of the reality of mountain pine beetle destroying tens of billions of dollars of our boreal forests as they march from BC across Canada having already reached Saskatchewan, wildfires that broke the record for land area burned in BC set just year and destroying 13,000 square kms (2.4 times the size of PEI), 93 people dying from the extreme heat in Quebec, torrential rains in Toronto causing massive flooding and hundreds of millions in insurance costs that will be passed onto consumers, historic floods in New Brunswick from the record high temperatures in the spring causing rapid melting of the snow coupled with massive rainfalls, thousands driven from their homes in Ontario and Saskatchewan by wildfires, sea level rise continuing to wipe out the Lennox Island reserve in Prince Edward Island, Arctic sea ice melting near the North Pole where it is oldest and thickest and previously not seen melting. And I am only touching a few of the massive problems climate change has hurled at us in Canada this year. Meanwhile the Conservatives evangelize "More fossil fuel production ... more ..."

A raucous crowd of more than 1,500 crammed into a Calgary convention centre Friday night to hear Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Jason Kenney, leader of Alberta's Opposition United Conservative Party, rail against the federal carbon tax.

"It's really, my friends the worst tax ever, a tax we can't afford, a job-killing tax that hikes up the price of services and goods and drives up the price of heating your homes," Ford told the anti carbon-tax rally. ...

Provincial resistance to Ottawa's carbon policy has been ramping up. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and Ford met in Saskatoon on Thursday, where the two conservative leaders said they will continue to fight the tax together. To that end, Moe announced Saskatchewan will file for intervener status in Ontario's court challenge. Ontario had already pledged to support Saskatchewan's court challenge when the premiers met in New Brunswick in July. Moe's government has asked Saskatchewan's Court of Appeal to rule on whether the federal plan is constitutional.

Ford and Moe gained another ally Wednesday when Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced his province will not go ahead with a $25-a-tonne levy that was to come into effect in December.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/10/07/news/raucous-crowd-hears-for...

 

jerrym

Despite the IPCC warning that politicians around the world are not doing enough to combat global warming, the Trudeau Liberals plan to continue their current plan that climate scientists say is already guaranteed to surpass the 2020 greenhouse gas emission targets, which are no longer mentioned just like the 2011 targets that were exploded before, and will make it a trifecta of failure as the 2030 are blown past. 

The world is going to blow past its most stringent climate goal in less than a quarter century unless the political will erupts to act faster and more directly to curb greenhouse gas emissions. That's the key message in a new report released Sunday by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which says meeting the ambitious goal "would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society."

The report is a scientific blueprint for how the world can meet its climate change targets. However, it shows that right now the world is on track to warm up by 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2040. The world is currently warming up at about 0.2 C each decade, and has already warmed by more than 1 C compared to the mid-19th century. ...

In an interview with The Canadian Press recently, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said she knew the IPCC report would say "we're not on track to be hitting 1.5 degrees. We acknowledge this and we all know we need to do more," she said. "That's why the Paris agreement is set up the way it is. Every country in the world needs to take action, and then we need to be more ambitious about the action we are willing to take."

But Canada has no immediate plans to increase its own ambition. Instead, the focus is on implementing the current plans, which include a national price on carbon, eliminating coal-fired power plants, making homes and businesses more energy-efficient, and investing in clean technologies and renewable energy.

Blair Feltmate, head of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo, said the UN report may "serve as a wake-up call" for some governments. However, he was a bit disheartened at a recent meeting of the G20 climate group in Argentina, where he found most countries were committed to cutting emissions only "at their own pace, without affecting their economies. Effectively, what they're saying is the probability of them living up to what they committed to under the Paris accord is negligible to zero," said Feltmate.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/10/08/news/no-change-canadas-clima...

 

jerrym

ETA: Hurricane Michael has hit the Florida Panhandle today with a speed of 155 mph, the fourth highest windspeed and the third lowest pressure of any hurricane to hit land in US history, making it a Category 4 hurricane, on the verge of becoming a Category 5 if its speeds reach 157 mph. This hurricane has the hidest windspeeds of any to hit the Florida Panhandle in all of the more than 150 years of recorded weather history for the area.

However, there is nothing to worry about in terms of global warming and this event - this is only the 27th once-in-500-year catastrophic weather event to hit the United States since 2008. Those 721 scientists from 90 countries on the UN's 195 courntry Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change whose report two days ago said we have only twelve years to make previously unseen rapid changes in the world's economic system to avoid climate catastrophe - what the hell do they know? Drill, baby, drill. 

Supercharged by abnormally warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday with potentially catastrophic winds of 155 mph, the most powerful hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland in nearly 50 years. ...

Its winds roaring, it battered the coastline with sideways-blown rain, powerful gusts and crashing waves. It swamped streets, bent trees, stripped away limbs and leaves, knocked out power, shredded awnings and sent other building debris flying. Explosions apparently caused by blown transformers could be heard. ...

The meteorological brute quickly sprang from a weekend tropical depression, becoming a furious Category 4 by early Wednesday, up from a Category 2 less than a day earlier. It was the most powerful hurricane on record to hit the Panhandle.

https://www.apnews.com/b4a51136559d44f589319ecfbf6f11a9

 

jerrym

At the end of September, the Trump administation even released a report that said temperatures will rise by seven degrees Fahrenheit (four degrees Celsius) by 2100. But there is nothing to worry about according to the Trump administration - there is nothing we can do about it. The report was written to justify Trump's removal of vehicle fuel efficiency standards.

Last month, deep in a 500-page environmental impact statement, the Trump administration made a startling assumption: On its current course, the planet will warm a disastrous seven degrees by the end of this century.

A rise of seven degrees Fahrenheit, or about four degrees Celsius, compared with preindustrial levels would be catastrophic, according to scientists. Many coral reefs would dissolve in increasingly acidic oceans. Parts of Manhattan and Miami would be underwater without costly coastal defenses. Extreme heat waves would routinely smother large parts of the globe. But the administration did not offer this dire forecast, premised on the idea that the world will fail to cut its greenhouse gas emissions, as part of an argument to combat climate change. Just the opposite: The analysis assumes the planet’s fate is already sealed. ...

“The amazing thing they’re saying is human activities are going to lead to this rise of carbon dioxide that is disastrous for the environment and society. And then they’re saying they’re not going to do anything about it,” said Michael MacCracken, who served as a senior scientist at the U.S. Global Change Research Program from 1993 to 2002.

The document projects that global temperature will rise by nearly 3.5 degrees Celsius above the average temperature between 1986 and 2100 regardless of whether Obama-era tailpipe standards take effect or are frozen for six years, as the Trump administration has proposed. The global average temperature rose more than 0.5 degrees Celsius between 1880, the start of industrialization, and 1986, so the analysis assumes a roughly four degree Celsius or seven degree Fahrenheit increase from preindustrial levels.

The world would have to make deep cuts in carbon emissions to avoid this drastic warming, the analysis states. And that “would require substantial increases in technology innovation and adoption compared to today’s levels and would require the economy and the vehicle fleet to move away from the use of fossil fuels, which is not currently technologically feasible or economically feasible.”

The White House did not respond to requests for comment.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/trump-administrat...

Martin N.

The state of denial exists entirely in the minds of activists who equate political bloviations with 'doing something'. 

Nothing will be done as long as politicians can game the system to bullshit you into voting for them. Activists should open their eyes long enough to see that unrealistic targets and ideological bs will never do anything to address climate change.

Quit obsessing about statistics, get off your ass and put a solar system on your roof.

jerrym

When the facts are not on your side, troll with personal attacks to divert attention from your lack of evidence to back your position and distract the reader. Here are some more facts from Canada's Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development that you probably won't like on how poor a job the Trudeau Liberals are doing and the great risks generated by these failures. 

Julie Gelfand gives "a failing grade" to 14 government departments for the work they've done in assessing the risks of climate change — departments like National Defence and Infrastructure Canada.

Gelfand, Canada's commissioner of environment and sustainable development, tabled five audit reports yesterday with the House of Commons.

"Unfortunately, in the audit that we've just tabled, we found out that only 5 of the 19 departments that we looked at had actually identified the risks [they face related to climate change]," Gelfand tells The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti. ...

Which, to Gelfand is unacceptable, given that the stakes are so high.

"What's at stake is, in a way the world that we used to know and grew up with and are kind of used to is in change."

The Canadian government has $66 billion in assets that could be affected, from ports to buildings to canals. ...

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna responded to the audits saying, "we know we need to be doing more and that's exactly what we're doing."

But Gelfand says the effects are already being felt. "We continue to not hit our targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions," she says. "We've already missed two complete targets. The 2020 target we're not going to hit as well… During that same time that we've had all these targets, we've developed eight to 10, 11, 12 different plans, and our emissions just keep rising."

 https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-october-4-2017-1.432...

 

jerrym

In the fall audit report just released by Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development Julie Gelfand, she describes how the Trudeau Liberals have failed to meet their 2020 targets, and now do not even mention them as they talk about their 2030 targets. It sounds a lot like what the Chretien Liberals did after signing the 1997 Kyoto Accord. Run to the left and rule to the right by continuing to give fossil fuel companies, the world's wealthiest industry, billions in subsidies, while also cutting this industry's required emissions.

The federal government must put its plan to cut greenhouse gases and adapt to climate change into concrete action to mitigate the catastrophic effects of wildfires, floods and extreme weather events, Canada's environment watchdog warns. In a blunt fall audit report tabled in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development Julie Gelfand said the government has failed to implement successive emissions-reduction plans, and is not prepared to adapt to the life-threatening, economically devastating impacts of a changing climate.

It is "crucial" that the government act now, she said. "It's time for change. The federal government needs to start doing the hard work to turn this latest broad framework into tangible and measurable actions," Gelfand concludes in her report.

The government released the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change in December 2016, which was endorsed by all provinces and territories except Saskatchewan and Manitoba.  But instead of presenting a detailed action plan to reach the 2020 target for reducing emissions, Gelfand said the government changed its focus to a new 2030 target.

In her report, Gelfand said measures to adapt to climate change can save lives, minimize damage and strengthen the economy, yet a 2011 adaptation policy framework was never implemented.

The federal government has not provided its departments and agencies with the critical tools and guidance to identify and respond to risks. ...

"If Canada is to adapt to a changing climate, much stronger leadership is needed," she said. ...

The audit says adaptation policies should be in place to ensure services to Canadians despite the unpredictable conditions, especially in northern and coastal and Indigenous communities most vulnerable to the effects of thawing permafrost, reduced sea ice, rising sea levels and severe wildfires. ...

Gelfand called on parliamentarians to hold the government to account on its climate change commitments to make sure the framework on climate change and clean growth bears "concrete results" for Canadians. ...

At the news conference, Gelfand said at this point the government would not meet its 2030 target without additional measures, but said it needs time to "bend the curve." She urged the government to more closely track the individual and collective effects of provincial and territorial policies and said she would likely have a better sense of progress in a follow-up audit in about two years' time.

NDP environment critic Linda Duncan said the report confirms the goverment is "all talk and no action" on climate change. "The Liberals adopted Stephen Harper's weak targets, and now it's clear that they will fail to meet the 2020 targets, yet alone the 2030 targets," she said in a statement.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/environment-commissioner-report-climate...

 

NDPP

'This Is A Scam': Exxon Mobil-Backed Carbon Tax Will Not Save The Planet

https://goo.gl/SJ4Rko

"It comes as no surprise that Exxon Mobil and other oil companies are calling for anything and everything short of moving off fossil fuels entirely - most notably the unwieldly and unproven concept of carbon taxes. 'Market-based carbon pricing schemes are a false solution to climate change, and a dangerous distraction from the urgent transition to a truly clean, renewable energy future we must undertake now..."

MegB

Karl Nerenberg on the  UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - read it here.

Quote:

And the story of Canada’s emissions per person is even more damning. Only three countries – Saudi Arabia, the United States and Australia – produce more emissions per capita than we do. Canada produces 15.32 metric tonnes of emissions per person per year. Britain, France and Italy produce far less than half of that. In fact, France, at 4.37 metric tonnes per person, produces less than a third of Canada’s per-capita emissions. When you consider those numbers, the only justification for Canada to do nothing to reduce its outsized emissions would be to deny climate science altogether.

jerrym

The state of denial with regards to global warming extends well beyond Canada and is particularly strong in the United States, as some of the response to Hurricane Michael and other climate change related disasters show. Fortunately, some in the media are not buying it. Of course, as a politician one can always solve the problem of climate change by imitating North Carolina and passing a law forbidding the use of the words "climate change" in any state planning document. 

As Hurricane Michael rips through homes and communities, we send our sympathies to all those in its path, but let’s also review what some leading Florida residents have said about climate change.

“One of the most preposterous hoaxes in the history of the planet,” scoffed Rush Limbaugh of Palm Beach. Gov. Rick Scott’s administration went so far as to bar some agencies from even using the term “climate change,” according to the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting (Scott denied this).

Myopic Floridians have plenty of company. President Trump dismissed climate change as a hoax “created by and for the Chinese.” Senator James Inhofe, a Republican of Oklahoma, “disproved” climate change by taking a snowball onto the Senate floor and noting that it was chilly outside; using similarly rigorous scientific methods, he wrote a book about climate change called “The Greatest Hoax.” ...

Alas, denying climate change doesn’t actually prevent it. North Carolina passed a law in 2012 prohibiting the use of climate science in certain state planning, yet that didn’t intimidate Hurricane Florence last month. And banning the words “climate change” isn’t helping Florida now. ...

Consider that the three warmest years on record are the last three. And that the 10 years of greatest loss of sea ice are all in the last dozen years.

It’s true that we can’t definitively link the damage from any one hurricane (or drought or forest fire) to rising carbon emissions. But think of it as playing with loaded dice: A double six might have occurred anyway, but much less often. “There is strong consensus among scientists who study hurricanes and climate that warming temperatures should make more intense hurricanes possible,” Kerry Emanuel, a hurricane expert at M.I.T., told me. He said that the probability of Hurricane Florence-magnitude rains in North Carolina has roughly tripled since the middle of the 20th century.

Flooding actually causes more hurricane deaths than wind, and climate change amplifies flooding in two ways. First, it raises the base sea level, on top of which a tidal surge occurs. Second, warmer air holds more moisture — about 10 percent more so far — and that means more rain.

Prof. Michael E. Mann of Penn State told me that Hurricane Michael should be a wake-up call. “As should have Katrina, Irene, Sandy, Harvey, Irma, Florence,” he added wryly. “In each of these storms we can see the impact of climate change: Warmer seas means more energy to intensify these storms, more wind damage, bigger storm surge and more coastal flooding.”

As recently as the early 2000s, there wasn’t much difference between the parties on climate policy, and Senator John McCain campaigned in 2008 as a leader in reducing carbon emissions. In 2009, Donald Trump joined other business executives in backing more action to address climate change.

Yet in the following years Al Gore helped make climate change a Democratic issue, and the Koch brothers helped make climate denial a litmus test of Republican authenticity. Tribalism took over, and climate skepticism became part of the Republican creed. So polls show that today climate denial is far greater in the United States, home to the greatest scientific research in the world, than in just about any other major country. Trump says he will pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord, and he had nothing substantive to say about a new United Nations report, which has been called a “deafening, piercing smoke alarm” of catastrophic consequences ahead from climate change. ...

 I worry that television coverage in the coming days will be dominated by heroes on boats rescuing widows on rooftops. Yes, that human drama is riveting — but it doesn’t address the larger problem. ...

Climate change may be the most important issue we face, reshaping our children’s world. At some point, those calling “hoax” will fade away and we’ll reach a new consensus about the perils. But by then, it may be too late.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/10/opinion/climate-change-hurricane-mich...

 

jerrym

For those who haven't seen the damage caused by Hurricane Michael, whose wind speed at landfall was 248 Km/hr (the fourth fastest in US history), in Mexico Beach, Florida here is a video of the destruction in the community that  illustrates one of the problems that the world faces as ocean temperatures rise, thereby providing more energy to hurricanes. As sea level rise due to melting glaciers, this also means hurricane climate-change-reinforced winds bring storm surge walls of water into coastal communities. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13UoLG4assM

 

jerrym

The just realeased Intergovernmental Panel Climate on Climate Change report describes how global warming will have major negative consequences for the most disadvantaged children around the globe. 

Unless we act now, we will face an unprecedented climate change catastrophe within twelve years, according to a sobering new UN report. A half degree of extra warming will wreak havoc on the lives of hundreds of millions of people — by heightening the risks of drought, floods, extreme weather events, food scarcity and poverty. The most disadvantaged children, who often live in the world’s poorest and most polluted environments, are especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. ...

These are some of the ways climate change is impacting children:

-By 2040, almost 600 million children — 1 in 4 children worldwide — will live in areas with extremely limited water resources. If we don’t address this crisis, many of these children will face a higher risk of death, disease and malnutrition.

-With rising global temperatures leading to an increase in droughts and desertification, hunger and malnourishment will become increasingly widespread and children will be the most affected. Food crises contribute to a rise in displacement, fueling the global refugee and migrant crisis.

-An estimated 260 million children live in areas where the risk of floods is extremely high and open defecation is widespread, threatening to contaminate water sources with human waste. This will increase the incidence and spreading of disease.

-Each year, more than half a million children die from acute respiratory infections caused by household air pollution. Using fuel-efficient cooking stoves and cleaner waste management systems and implementing renewable energy in schools can help reduce children’s exposure to toxic air pollution.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/unicefusa/2018/10/10/climate-change-urgent-...

 

jerrym

Despite the warning in the IPCC report that we have only 12 years to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in a major way, both the federal Liberals and BC NDP continue to push forward a LNG Canada terminal near Kitimat that makes reaching 2030 greenhouse emission reduction objectives extremely difficult. 

In B.C., the effects of climate change will manifest as wetter winters and hotter, drier summers. Local government's such as Vancouver's have already begun preparing for these changes and related weather, spending millions on improved flood protection, for example.

Meanwhile, the 2018 wildfire season was one of the worst ever recorded in B.C. So far in the fiscal year 2018, the province has seen 2,076 wildfires burn 1.4 million hectares. A state of emergency was declared on August 15 and remained in effect until September 7.

This year is only one of two in the last 10 where B.C. saw more than one million hectares lost to wildfires. The other was 2017. In all of 2017, there were an estimated 1,353 wildfires in B.C. and 1.21 million hectares burned. The 10-year average for hectares burned annually is 151,000.

A July 2017 release from the provincial government notes that year's fires—which were recorded as "the worst in generations"—were due, "in large part," to climate change.

Last August, B.C. premier John Horgan warned that wildfire seasons of unprecedented scale and intensity could occur with increasing frequency.

"We're concerned, all of us, that this may be the new normal," he told reporters while touring areas affected by more than 50 "wildfires of note" that burned across the province that day.

Horgan's awareness of the problem has not dampened his government's enthusiasm for massive fossil-fuel projects that will add to B.C.'s greenhouse-gas emissions for generations to come.

On October 2, the B.C. NDP and federal Liberal government jointly announced they had approved a massive LNG Canada terminal and pipeline that will be constructed near Kitimat. According to the B.C. government's own estimates, the project "could add up to 3.45 megatonnes of carbon emissions" to the province's existing greenhouse gases.

Clean Energy Canada executive director Merran Smith argued that B.C.'s approval of the LNG Canada project mean the province will likely struggle to meet commitments it has made to reduce carbon emissions.

“Today’s announcement brings with it a defining challenge for B.C.: squaring the imperative to cut carbon pollution while accepting a huge new source of it," she said quoted in a release.

https://www.straight.com/news/1147741/un-sounds-alarm-climate-change-say...

 

Sean in Ottawa

Martin N. wrote:

The state of denial exists entirely in the minds of activists who equate political bloviations with 'doing something'. 

Nothing will be done as long as politicians can game the system to bullshit you into voting for them. Activists should open their eyes long enough to see that unrealistic targets and ideological bs will never do anything to address climate change.

Quit obsessing about statistics, get off your ass and put a solar system on your roof.

Easily produced bloviation.

Now if everyone had the means to do this perhaps we could stop the discussion right there.

Many of the activists who talk also do so out of desperation becuase they do not have the means -- sometimes it is economic sometimes it is practical (don't own a house live in an apartment, condo, etc.) Only a minority actually have this power counting all people.

Some things need collective support and speaking out it is part of that. There is not a lot that some people can do so quit sneering at the people with less power than you.

As an aside: congrats on the fact that you own your own home and have the investment means at hand to make such a choice.

jerrym

Evidence suggests Manitoba will be moving toward weather extremes because of global warming because of the weakening of  the polar vortex due to global warming. 

If you think Manitoba will be sheltered from the dire consequences of global warming, or that a few extra degrees might actually be good for this frozen province, think again, say climate change experts. ...

The Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a gloomy report last week, saying that the world is only a couple decades away from facing significant food shortages, extreme weather, and mass migration if we can't prevent global temperatures from reaching a critical threshold. ...

For Manitoba, that means more extreme weather patterns, like this summer's scorching hot temperatures — but also colder, more extreme winters, said David Barber, a University of Manitoba scientist and Canada research chair in arctic system science.

"The probability is that we're going to get hotter hot spells, and colder cold spells, wetter wet spells and dryer dry spells because we're changing the probability distribution of those types of climate systems," he said. "That's a problem for us, because we evolved on this planet because of the stable climate system that we're in right now."

The cold fall in Manitoba and record high temperatures to the east and west aren't just coincidence, he said, tying them to melting sea ice. He says air from the polar jet will come faster and be more persistent, holding cold, snowy, rainy weather in our area.

"This is one of the manifestations of climate change, in that sea ice changes are changing the way the polar vortex works," he said.  

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/climate-change-manitoba-un-repor...

Here's how the polar vortex is affected by global warming:

New research shows that some northern regions have been getting hit with these extreme cold spells more frequently over the past four decades, even as the planet as a whole has warmed. While it may seem counterintuitive, the scientists believe these bitter cold snaps are connected to the warming of the Arctic and the effects that that warming is having on the winds of the stratospheric polar vortex, high above the Earth's surface.

Here's what scientists involved in the research think is happening: The evidence is clear that the Arctic has been warming faster than the rest of the planet. That warming is reducing the amount of Arctic sea ice, allowing more heat to escape from the ocean. The scientists think that the ocean energy that is being released is causing a weakening of the polar vortex winds over the Arctic, which normally keep cold air centered over the polar region. That weakening is then allowing cold polar air to slip southward more often.

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/27092017/polar-vortex-cold-snap-arcti...

 

NDPP

Scared By That New Report on Climate Change?

https://twitter.com/KateAronoff/status/1049657280873009152

"Here's what you can do to help..."

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