Canada and global warming: a state of denial

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Sean in Ottawa

NDPP wrote:

Scared By That New Report on Climate Change?

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

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

All of that is collective political action not individual action. I agree that is what it will take -- of course everyone should do what they can individually but not point in pretending that it would be enough without collective action.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture
kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The "elephant in the room" is the perpetual war. Our navy has been effectively at war for almost two decades continuously. Our air force is flying around Eastern Europe trying to look useful.  In Canada our governments are supposed to deliver PEACE as a primary principle under which the Canadian Parliament should legislate. That is one area that requires parliamentary action. However even talking about scaling back on our NATO commitments is not something that appears to be allowed in Ottawa.

All the personal choices for energy savings pale in comparison to scaling back the military and its ravenous consumption of petroleum products.

Sean in Ottawa

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The "elephant in the room" is the perpetual war. Our navy has been effectively at war for almost two decades continuously. Our air force is flying around Eastern Europe trying to look useful.  In Canada our governments are supposed to deliver PEACE as a primary principle under which the Canadian Parliament should legislate. That is one area that requires parliamentary action. However even talking about scaling back on our NATO commitments is not something that appears to be allowed in Ottawa. All the personal choices for energy savings pale in comparison to scaling back the military and its ravenous consumption of petroleum products.

I think you are quite right -- and the issue of energy consumption by militaries is not on the radar for most people despite the waste. Nobody has a better life because of the activity.

jerrym

Over the last 25 years the Liberal and Conservative governments have failed to deal effectively with climate change by failing to: reduce our dependence on fossil fuels; develop green renewable energy alternatives; or even develop meaningful plans to deal with the increasingly frequent and intense extreme weather events caused by global warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report involving scientists and government leaders from 195 countries warns that the world is likely to reach a global average temperature 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2030 at current rates of greenhouse gas emissions with catastrophic consequences. This means Canada, like many other nations, is lagging well behind in an economic transformation to prevent this outcome. 

Another area of failure by the Canadian government that must change if we are to prevent a global environmental climate change disaster, is Canadian government contributions to the funding of similar programs for less developed nations. 

In December 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined leaders from around the world in Paris to set goals to reduce carbon pollution, in an effort to keep the global temperature at a level safe for human life. Scientists are now warning that those goals are inadequate. Yet after three years under the Trudeau government, Canada has no chance of meeting even the much less ambitious target for emission reduction established by prime minister Stephen Harper, under whose watch Canada was called a “climate laggard.”

Every increment of global warming will produce more climate chaos, and disorder to life as we know it on the planet, in the form of ocean acidification, rising sea levels, species extinction and climate refugees. To tackle these threats, we must end fossil fuel subsidies, and the expansion of fossil fuel production, including the oilsands. In Canada, the Trans-Mountain Pipeline and other fossil fuel infrastructure (including the LNG pipeline recently approved by British Columbia) represent huge leaps backward in our mitigation efforts. 

While enhanced carbon pricing is essential to foster the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, by itself it is not sufficient to mitigate the causes of climate change. However, we specifically support the federal government’s plan for a national carbon tax in the face of a seemingly growing chorus of opposition.

Climate change is already here, and further impacts are now inevitable. While we must continue to tackle the causes, we also need to strengthen resilience to the impacts of climate change. We need smart, flexible electrical grids, zoning to prohibit building on flood plains, updated building standards, retrofits to make current housing stock more resistant to floods and high winds, and emergency medical plans. The increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events have also made it pitifully clear that we are not adequately prepared.

Canada urgently needs, but lacks, a plan. According to a report released by the Auditor General in March, most governments in Canada have not fully assessed climate change risks and have not developed detailed adaptation plans.

Developing countries also need adaptation plans but have limited means to create them. No matter how devastating recent weather events in Canada have been, they have been far more overwhelming in developing countries in terms of significant loss of life and property damage. Moreover, the poorest countries are far less to blame for causing climate change, having generated far less carbon pollution than rich countries. For this reason, countries such as Canada have an obligation to assist the developing countries.

Under the Paris Accord, a target of $100 billion (which is far from adequate) was set for this purpose but, lamentably, only $5 billion has been mobilized. Canada’s fair share would be around $4 billion. Canada currently spends a paltry 0.26 per cent of Gross National Income on official development assistance, far below the international target of 0.7 percent and below the average performance of all donors. There is obviously room for Canada to allocate more foreign aid to help developing countries build their resilience against climate change. 

Carbon pollution increasingly costs everyone. Governments around the world are not acting fast enough. We must press our governments to act with more ambition and take the lead both in attacking the causes of continued carbon pollution and preparing Canada and the world for the challenges of climate change now and in the future. 

https://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/culpeper-and-tanner-canada-...

 

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Oil sands production using nearly one-third of Canada's natural gas

Nearly one-third of the natural gas burned in Canada last year was used to produce oil from the oil sands, according to the National Energy Board.

The federal regulator says nearly 2.38 billion cubic feet per day or a record 29 per cent of purchased natural gas was used for oil sands production in northern Alberta in 2016. That compared with 730 million cf/d or 12 per cent of total demand in 2005.

Overall Canadian natural gas demand increased over the same period by 34 per cent to an estimated 8.27 billion cf/d from 6.17 billion cf/d.

Natural gas is largely used in the oil sands to generate steam to inject into underground formations to thin the heavy, sticky bitumen crude and allow it to be pumped to surface. The growth in so-called "thermal" projects is the main driver behind increased oil sands demand for natural gas, the NEB says....

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The state of denial in a cartoon.

Sean in Ottawa

Sure other things are important but avoiding the disaster from the environmental collapse is a prerequisite even thoguh it now looks more and more unavoidable due to denial.

jerrym

On October 7th extreme right-wing congressman Jair Bolsonaro came close to getting the 50% needed for winning the Brazilian presidency when he obtained 46.03% of the vote. It also gave him a large lead over second place Fernando Haddad of the Worker's Party who took 29. 28% of the vote. If Bolsonaro wins the second round on October 28, his policies based on denying climate change could not only have a major impact on Brazil, but on the entire globe. The two articles below explain why.

In the journal Science, Herton Escobar explains what his policies would mean for Brazil. 

Bolsonaro has vowed to withdraw Brazil from the 2015 Paris agreement, which requires nations to reduce greenhouse emissions to combat climate change, and he plans to eliminate the Ministry of the Environment and fold its duties into the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply. The “Myth”—as his supporters call him—has also said, while campaigning in the Amazon, that Brazil has “too many protected areas” that “stand in the way of development.” ...

Under the slogan “Brazil above everything, God above all,” Bolsonaro’s campaign exalts national pride, military discipline, and a zero-tolerance, iron-fist stance against crime. Famous for inflammatory remarks about women and minorities, Bolsonaro openly cherishes the 21-year military dictatorship that started with a coup in 1964. ...

Through law enforcement and mechanisms such as incentives for sustainable practices, Brazilian authorities have substantially reduced Amazon deforestation in the past 13 years, and the nation’s commitment to the Paris climate change accord requires it to continue that trend. Bolsonaro’s campaign instead promises to promote agriculture and mining in the region. One of the generals helping develop the candidate’s policies told O Estado de S. Paulo last week that he missed the days when road builders could cut down trees in the Amazon without being bothered by environmental authorities.

Unfettered development of the Amazon would be a “grave mistake,” says Eduardo Assad, a climate change and agricultural scientist at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation in Campinas. He adds that studies show Brazil’s agricultural production could be doubled by exploiting abandoned or degraded pastures and farmland—“without any additional deforestation.”

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/10/we-are-headed-very-dark-period-b...

 

 

jerrym

Besides the impact of removing Brazil, a country of 200 million that is fast developing, from the Paris Agreement, the widespread destruction of the Amazon would have a great impact on global weather as the following article explains. 

"The issue is that the Amazon is so big that it affects weather at the continental and even the global scale," Meg Symington, Amazon director at the World Wildlife Fund-U.S. (WWF), said.

According to Symington, researchers have been looking for teleconnections, the impacts such a massive forest can have beyond on just its immediate environment. The World Bank released a report in 2011, Assessment of the Risk of Amazon Dieback, which discusses how changes in the Amazon could transform it from a carbon sink to a carbon source. The density of the trees in the rainforest absorb a great deal of carbon dioxide, 0.8 to 1.1 billion metric tons of it. As the ecosystem changes, however, it could begin to release more of the greenhouse gas than it takes in, which could affect global temperatures.  ...

Because of the size and location of the Amazon, as well as the amount of rain that it produces, the effects it has on weather patterns reach well beyond its immediate area.

"Studies have shown that rainfall in southern South America is actually impacted by the Amazon and could decrease significantly if you have additional deforestation," Symington said. "Maybe even the American Midwest, parts of North America, in terms of the weather pattern, could be affected."

Symington said that trade winds bring 50 percent of all the rain that falls in the Amazon from evapotranspiration, which is a crucial part of the water cycle that includes water evaporated from plants; as precipitation falls in the rainforest into the lush vegetation, the evaporation of that rain from the plants creates more rain to fall. Fifteen percent of the atmosphere's water vapor comes from this process. ...

"All of this has to do with a tipping point," Symington said. "With deforestation, if you go beyond a certain point in the Amazon there's an issue of where the whole system becomes destabilized and you would switch from a tropical, moist forest system, to something that was much drier and more like the Cerrado of central Brazil, sort of a dry forest, savanna system. If that happened it would have a huge impact on species in the Amazon and also on the climate."

About 20 percent of the fresh river water in the world comes from the Amazon River, and drying of the forest can negatively influence that water source. Symington told Accuweather.com that changes to this freshwater output would affect the entire current off the coast of South America, which could affect the jet stream, which would ripple into a change in weather patterns across the globe.

There is also an immediate issue of how the balance of the rain forest affects its own ecosystem. 

"The Amazon is home to at least 10 percent of the world's species, probably more, because there are a lot of species that have not been discovered yet that live in the Amazon," Symington said.  ...

"The most fish species in the world are found in the Amazon. Too much deforestation and you lose not only the terrestrial species, but you would completely change the hydrological system in the Amazon with flooding. The river comes up meters in the rainy season and that would all change if you had this forest dieback as well."

Without the trees to absorb the river's flooding, the soil and landscape around the river would be drastically altered. In Brazil, where a large percentage of their electric energy comes from hydropower, a change to the flow of the river would affect the amount of gigawatts that the hydropower dam produces. Moderate, careful and controlled use of the Amazon also supports local food sources, livelihoods and pollinating animals and insects that agriculture depends on. Some scientists and researchers seek out genetic resources that could be used for global medicinal purposes.

Too much unnecessary change to an ecosystem can create a chain reaction on its species and on the general environment, and we may not fully know the extent of where this chain reaction may go.

"We always talk about conservation in terms of 'don't throw away the rivets,'" Syminton said. "If you pull rivet by rivet out and throw them away, the whole system falls apart, so we need to be careful. People may think, 'What's one species?' but then you never know what happens when the whole system falls apart."

The World Bank's assessment supports the same idea, stating, "Changing forest structure and behavior would have significant implications for the local, regional and global carbon and water cycles. Amazon forest dieback would be a massive event, affecting all life-forms that rely on this diverse ecosystem, including humans, and producing ramifications for the entire planet."

https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/amazon-climate-change/20184965

 

 

jerrym

While the first two articles deal with climate change and global inequaility  the third one is by a oil industry shill, Gail Tverberg, as the subtitle of the article indicates: namely "Exploring how oil limits affect the economy" (in other words how limiting oil production would have catastrophic economic consequences while it ignores the environmental catastrophe that global warming is already creating because of fossil fuels).

The movie Six Degrees Could Change the World gives the best visual summary of the damage that has already occurred and that we will face because of global warming. Remember this movie is ten years old, so we the problem has gotten substantially worse. You can watch the video at 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_pb1G2wIoA 

 

jerrym

Here's a written summary of the 2008 book on which the movie Six Degrees Could Change the World was based. I've copied the Introduction of the summary. The url below not only also provides a summary of each of the book's six chapters, one for each degree rise in temperature, but updates each of these chapters with findings up to its publishing on June 23, 2018 (which means the information from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report released this month is not included but the summary is otherwise quite inclusive.)  The chapter reviews can be found at the url below. 

Mark Lynas's Six Degrees* is first, a graceful yet massive synthesis of a very large selection of scientific research papers; second, an eloquent and honest plea for action on the 'slow-motion crisis' that is climate change; and third, a coherent account of how global warming would affect humans and their world, if allowed to proceed.

That makes it something of a modern classic. Given the rapid pace of climate research, any summary of the 'state of the art' is apt rapidly to become dated. Nor have sociopolitical developments been lacking since Six Degrees's publication in 2008. Accordingly, I'll try not only to evaluate and summarize the book, but also--to a limited degree at least--to update it, comparing its information with recent sources, such as the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.

* Six Degrees: Our Future On A Hotter Planet, by Mark Lynas, National Geographic Society, 2008. 

Introduction ... Lynas's account proceeds systematically from the "one-degree world" in which we live now--for global mean temperature is roughly .8 degrees Celsius above pre-Industrial levels--to the "nightmare" world of six degrees. For each level, Lynas sets forth the possible impacts and implications of that level of warming, as known at the time of writing. 

https://owlcation.com/stem/Mark-Lynass-Six-Degrees-A-Summary-Review

 

jerrym

Although the October 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is not country specific it does lay out serious implications for Canada. 

Many parts of the world—including Canada—are already feeling the impacts of global warming and changing climates. The italicized words below are from the report, followed by their implications for  Canada. 

“Impacts on natural and human systems from global warming have already been observed (high confidence). Many land and ocean ecosystems and some of the services they provide have already changed due to global warming (high confidence).” ... 

Warming greater than the global annual average is being experienced in many land regions and seasons, including two to three times higher in the Arctic.

For some time, we have known that global warming is neither linear in growth nor equal in its impact across the globe. As a northern country, the rate of warming in Canada is proving greater than the global mean, having already increased by 1.5°C between 1950 and 2010. One part of Canada that has experienced even more significant warming is the Arctic, which has warmed by 1.9oC over the past three decades. Western Canada is also warming faster than eastern Canada.

Several regional changes in climate are assessed to occur with global warming up to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels, including warming of extreme temperatures in many regions (high confidence), increases in frequency, intensity, and/or amount of heavy precipitation in several regions.

In short, we will see a change in the frequency of high intensity weather events throughout Canada, but the type of events will differ. For example, drought conditions are more likely to be experienced on the Canadian Prairies while the Maritimes more intense storms are anticipated. ...

High-latitude tundra and boreal forests are particularly at risk of climate change-induced degradation and loss, with woody shrubs already encroaching into the tundra.

The changes already experienced are projected to increase with greater degrees of warming. They will profoundly affect Indigenous ways of life and livelihood in our North. Hunting and gathering patterns will shift forever. Ice roads and transportation routes suddenly are less reliable. Food and necessities for isolated communities become far more expensive and difficult to secure. Think of Churchill, Manitoba and the recent loss of its single railway line due to degrading rail beds and extreme weather impacts.

Populations at disproportionately higher risk of adverse consequences of global warming of 1.5°C and beyond include disadvantaged and vulnerable populations, some indigenous peoples, and local communities dependent on agricultural or coastal livelihoods (high confidence). Regions at disproportionately higher risk include Arctic ecosystems, dryland regions, small-island developing states, and least developed countries (high confidence).

Coastlines will be more exposed to extreme weather events and erosion. Tundra warming will likely lead to faster permafrost degradation and greater releases of stored carbon into the atmosphere.

This feedback loop between warming and the release of greenhouse gas from thawing tundra represents a potential tipping point.

Tipping points are where climate change impacts become irreversible and lead to a cascade of other negative impacts.  Arctic sea ice has already shown the effects of warming temperatures with shorter seasons and thinner ice. Higher temperatures are projected to have even more profound impacts.

There is high confidence that the probability of a sea-ice-free Arctic Ocean during summer is substantially lower at global warming of 1.5°C when compared to 2°C. With 1.5°C of global warming, one sea ice-free Arctic summer is projected per century. This likelihood is increased to at least one per decade with 2°C global warming.

An ice-free summer in the Arctic would be a significant occurrence. Beyond the major biodiversity impacts, the prospect of new polar shipping transit bears understanding. Canada’s sovereignty footprint would require a renewed financial and national commitment in return. The Arctic as many have known it, will simply be changed forever. ...

Sea level rise will continue beyond 2100 even if global warming is limited to 1.5°C in the 21st century (high confidence). Marine ice sheet instability in Antarctica and/or irreversible loss of the Greenland ice sheet could result in multi-metre rise in sea level over hundreds to thousands of years.

Higher sea levels put Canada’s coastal regions risk as they are more exposed to extreme weather events and erosion. Higher storm surges will ravage coastal property and communities. Infrastructure failures can result putting safety and lives at risk. Property values can plummet, undermining financial savings Canadians have invested in their homes, not to mention higher insurance premiums to compensate. Very exposed communities will have to contemplate strategic retreat in the face of coastal erosion and personal safety as living there will become more and more untenable. ...

Impacts associated with other biodiversity-related risks such as forest fires, and the spread of invasive species, are lower at 1.5°C compared to 2°C of global warming (high confidence).

We have already experienced intense forest fires that have burned more area and lasted longer than in the past. Think Fort McMurray or Kelowna. Global warming will intensify this risk. More forest fires impact timber supply for housing and construction, hurting jobs and forest communities. They raise disaster management costs for governments which must pay for forest fire suppression, community relocations, and emergency relief efforts. 

The spread of invasive species will over time change the complexion of our forests and agricultural supplies and practices. Recall the pine beetle devastation in the forests of British Columbia and Alberta. Even now, Genome Canada, for example, is pondering ways to create hardier, more climate resilient tree species. 

Canada’s fishing industry, rich and central to many coastal communities but precarious too, will be affected by these projections of higher warming. 

Global warming of 1.5°C is projected to shift the ranges of many marine species, to higher latitudes as well as increase the amount of damage to many ecosystems. It is also expected to drive the loss of coastal resources and reduce the productivity of fisheries and aquaculture (especially at low latitudes).

As fish migrate and new breeding patterns emerge, fishers and processors will have to adjust. Previous high-value species may diminish or even disappear due not just to climate change but short-term human responses such as overfishing to compensate.  Higher temperatures around the world will directly affect current food production practices everywhere. Keeping warming to 1.5C is clearly advised by the IPCC.

Limiting warming to 1.5°C, compared with 2ºC, is projected to result in smaller net reductions in yields of maize, rice, wheat, and potentially other cereal crops, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and Central and South America;

For Canada, shifts in food production elsewhere may mean accompanying shifts here. The prospect of greater export opportunities needed to compensate for these changes is obviously appealing. That will necessitate adjustments in planting patterns and crop management in Prairie Canada in particular—and doing so in a manner that also adapts to the climatic changes we will be experiencing. As food production fails in some parts of the world, regional and nation-state conflicts can exacerbate, leading to population shifts and migration. Canada as a safe and prosperous haven will need to come to grip with ‘climate refugees’ as a consequence.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/10/17/analysis/what-un-panels-spec...

 

jerrym

Newfoundland and Labrador will also face major impacts from global warming.

 In Newfoundland and Labrador, climate change is expected to bring weather that is warmer, wetter and stormier. Outlined below are examples of how climate change may affect our province, including environmental impacts and the potential risks and opportunities associated with each.

Climate EffectImpactsIncreasing Air Temperatures
Temperatures are rising throughout the world. Newfoundland and Labrador is already 1.5°C warmer than the historical average and areas of the province could be between 2.2°C and 4.0°C warmer by mid-century.

  • Survival of new invasive species, including pests and diseases that could threaten human health
  • Increase risk of forest fires
  • Changes in ecosystems and wildlife
  • Longer summer tourism and growing seasons
  • Decreasing energy demand

Increasing Sea Surface Temperatures
While sea surface temperatures vary regionally, they have been higher during the past three decades than at any other time since reliable data collection began in 1880.2

  • Survival of new aquatic invasive species
  • Changes in marine ecosystems and species distribution
  • Changes in aquaculture productivity
  • Reductions in winter sea ice
  • More tropical storms and hurricanes

Rising Sea Level
As temperatures rise, Arctic ice is melting and sea levels are rising. A study from 2010 estimates that sea-level rise around Newfoundland and Labrador could be as high as 40 centimeters by 2050 and 100 centimeters by 2100.3

  • Coastal erosion
  • Loss of low-lying land
  • Soil salination
  • Saltwater intrusion

More Extreme Weather
Warming waters mean stronger storms are able to reach northern areas more frequently. It's expected that, in certain areas of the province, storm activity could increase significantly.

  • Increase in inland flooding
  • Increase in coastal flooding due to sea surges
  • Changes in water quality and availability
  • Damage to homes and infrastructure, including transportation infrastructure
  • Risks to public safety

https://www.turnbackthetide.ca/about-climate-change-and-energy-efficienc...

 

jerrym

Inuit climate change activist Shiela Watt-Cloutier discusses humanizing the issue of climate change for the people of the Arctic.

The IPCC report notes that the greatest challenge in the fight against climate change is not the lack of scientific know-how, but the lack of political will. It seems that politicians and voters are not recognizing how profoundly climate change will affect them, their children and grandchildren. Inuit and Indigenous peoples are well placed to add that human understanding to spur action. 

Climate change is happening now in the Arctic and it is affecting every other part of the world because the north and south poles are an integral part of the planet’s own cooling system. The rest of the world cannot afford to ignore our struggles in the Arctic because what happens in the Arctic does not stay there. We know this as we witness more and more disasters around the world as polar ice disappears. The connection is there.

The world has come to know the wildlife of the Arctic more than its people. It is critical to humanize the issue of climate change because the changes that Inuit and Indigenous peoples observe in their close relationship with the natural environment provide warning and wisdom for the rest of humanity in collectively working to curtail climate change. ...

We Inuit hunters, fishers and gatherers are connected culturally, nutritionally, emotionally and spiritually to the land, waters and ice. These are our universities. It is where we train our children to develop their character and life skills for the opportunities and challenges of life. Teaching wisdom on the land and the ice is the hallmark of Inuit culture. It is not only the ice that is at risk of being lost, but the wisdom that comes with it. ...

The climatic changes have only added more stress and anxiety to a community with a historical context of trauma. Stress and anxiety related to climate change affects the victims of ever more extreme weather events in the north as well as in the south, whether they be hurricanes, droughts, floods or forest fires. This growing human trauma reflects the trauma that humans have been inflicting on our planet. We must make the connection that human trauma and planet trauma are one of the same. 

Climate change isn’t just about starving polar bears or melting ice. It is about human rights, human health, food security, poverty, loss of traditional knowledge, and global insecurity as traditional ways of life that are lost to glacier melt, coastal erosion, permafrost melt, rising seas, extreme drought, floods and violent weather. ...

Given the United States is walking away from the Paris Agreement and other governments are slow to act, climate litigation is increasingly seen as an essential tool to protect human rights and to safeguard the environment, as we saw recently in the Netherlands and Colombia. 

While Inuit and the world’s other Indigenous peoples are among the most seriously affected by climate change, we do not accept the role of victims. We have much to teach the world about sustainability and living in harmony with nature, and about being responsible stewards of nature. This is a critical message in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Recognizing this unique role for Inuit and Indigenous peoples of the world restores our hope that we will be able to help address both climate change and the social and health crises afflicting many Inuit and Indigenous communities. 

Inuit and Indigenous peoples provided life-saving guidance to early European visitors unfamiliar with the severe conditions of this land, which they ignored at their peril. With the IPCC report providing the scientific proof of ever-worsening climate change, it is time to rely on us for guidance as we are well-placed to explain in deeply human terms the climate crisis at our doorstep. We’re ready to help and lead urgent climate action.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/10/19/opinion/its-time-humanize-cl...

 

NDPP

Why 'Good Liberals' Won't Save the Climate

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/10/24/why-good-liberals-wont-save-the-...

"...The pro-market politics of 'good liberal' politicians too frequently view corporations as allies in the fight against climate change. They publicly applaud companies for creating 'carbon principles' and hiring Chief Environmental Officers. They enter into public partnerships with massive polluters. They create market based systems like 'cap and trade' to seemingly regulate emissions but instead subsidize industry..."

jerrym

As the wildfire season comes to a close, 2,250,047 hectares (22,500 square kilometres - equivalent to 40% of the province of Nova Scotia) were burned across Canada, which is 450.6% of average area burned in Canada in the last ten years. There were 6,826 wildfires across the country compared to the ten year average of 1,515. (http://cwfis.cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/report) In other words, the impact of global warming has arrived as predicted by global climate models, except it is occurring earlier than the models predicted.

BC suffered the worst wildfire season with 1,349,669 hectares (13,497 square kilometres - which is 2.4 times the size of Prince Edward Island) burned in 2,093 wildfires. (http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Statistics.asp)

The scientific consensus is that as global warming heats up the planet, the number, intensity, and size of the area burned by wildfires will grow exponentially, especially in Canada's boreal forest, thereby doing damage to our health from the smoke and fire, destroying valuable timber resources, and further raising greenhouse gas emissions greatly from the carbon released from the burning forests. 

jerrym

On Friday October 26th, David Suzuki and filmmaker David Mauro will present the world premiere of the documentary Beyond Climate at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema in Toronto. Suzuki notes that United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report urges humans to limit global warming to 1.5°C on climate change. He also points out that in order to achieve consensus among the 195 member nations of the UN, "the actual window for reducing emissions is likely much narrower that IPCC timelines suggest. What you find throughout the entire history of the IPCC reports is that they have always been very, very conservative. They’re predictions of what’s going to happening in the next five years have always -- always -- fallen short of the reality.” 

The film lays bear the devastating impacts of forest fires, crop failures, pine beetle infestations and ocean acidification in communities in British Columbia, an area described as Canada’s “sentinel province” for climate change.

The documentary film is part of the 2018 Planet in Focus Film Festival, running from October 25 to 28. Beyond Climateexplores the impacts of climate change in areas of B.C. like Haida Gwaii, Whistler Blackcomb and the Okanagan Valley, and the wide-ranging hardships the changes due to climate are having on all aspects of daily life for people, living and working in a region known for its rich ecosystems and biological diversity. ...

For Mauro, the reports findings are consistent with what he and Suzuki have seen in British Columbia.

“One of the things that David and I agreed upon very early is that B.C. is a sentinel province for climate change. It is really showing us what kind of future is going to unfold across Canada and across the world. The film shows what’s happened with a degree of warming since industrialization. With one degree of warming, where we’re at right now, we’re already seeing the visual impacts across the landscape, lived impacts across the landscapes, the economic impacts.” ...

Despite the magnitude and urgency of climate change, Canada continues to stray from its emissions targets, routinely seeking to expand oil and gas production. Canada has the second-worst mining record in the world, according to a 2017 UN report and, in Ontario, under the newly-elected Progressive Conservative government, cap-and-trade emissions controls have been repealed.

For Suzuki, this kind of decision-making reflects the fact that governments and people still treat the environment as a special issue that is secondary to the economy, rather than the defining issue.

“When I hear (Environment Minister Catherine) McKenna say ‘Well, oh yeah, we’re doing our best. We’re doing this and that,’ while justifying the investment of billions of dollars in a new pipeline, which is going to have to stay busy for another 30 or 40 years to recoup that money, when I see Canada’s investment in a $40-billion liquefied fracked gas plant, you can’t say that we’re serious about meeting the Paris target. I think that before the next election we’ve got to make a massive movement to get our elected representatives to get what we need done.”

http://rabble.ca/news/2018/10/beyond-climate-interview-david-suzuki-film...

 

NDPP

West's Rivers Are Hot Enough To Cook Salmon To Death. Will this Court Ruling Keep Them Cool?

https://www.sacbee.com/latest-news/article220466120.html

"In the Northwest, the problems facing salmon and steelhead are being exacerbated by climate change. The massive fish kills of 2015 represent 'a glimpse into the future as we get hotter and drier,' said attorney Miles Johnson of Columbia Riverkeeper, an environmental group that spearheaded the Seattle case..."

NorthReport
jerrym

Around the world the poorest and women, including indigenous Canadian women, are suffering the most from global warming. 

There is a deep injustice in the impact of climate change. Poor communities around the world are the least responsible for emissions. But they are suffering the greatest effects – increased droughts, floods, disease and hunger. Poverty and isolation makes them the most vulnerable and the least able to adapt. Within poor communities, women suffer the most.

Women are more likely to die during natural disasters than men. Over the past two decades, the number of weather-related disasters has quadrupled. A study by the London School of Economics of 141 disasters showed decisively that a higher death rate for women is directly linked to their lack of rights (when, for example, women can't leave their homes without a male escort). ...

Climate change is deepening the food crisis for women and their families. Women are the majority of the world's small-scale farmers and produce most of the world's food. But climate change has made the risky business of farming all the more difficult. More frequent crop failures mean women work harder and families eat less. 

Globally, the “Big 10” food and beverage companies are both highly vulnerable to climate change and major contributors to the problem. Together they emit so much greenhouse gas that, if they were a single country, they would be the 25th most polluting in the world.

  • Climate change leads to increased illness and disease and women are the primary caregivers for the sick. Climate change has increased both floods and droughts, contributing to outbreaks of diarrhea and cholera. It has increased the spread of malaria and dengue-carrying mosquitoes. Water-related diseases alone kill over two million people every year, most of them women and children.
     
  • Indigenous women bear a triple burden despite decades demanding international action on the environment. Drought, flooding, erratic temperatures and extinction of plants and animals weaken not just the planet but also indigenous women's identity, well-being and way of life.
     
  • Climate change makes women's long workday even longer. When unpredictable rainfall makes food, fuel and water scarce, women have to walk longer and farther to collect them ¾ time that could have been spent studying, earning an income or working to better their communities. What's more, long remote treks often put women at a greater risk of violence.
     
  • Global warming increases the likelihood of armed conflict, including violence against women. The increasing scarcity of resources has already led to wars being fought over access to water and arable land. And with war, too often there is a surge in violence against women.
     
  • Women have the knowledge and skills to adapt to climate change and to find a sustainable path out of poverty. They need the power, tools and resources to turn this knowledge into solutions.

Women are the most likely to suffer from climate change, but they are also the most capable of creating change and adaptation within their communities. Oxfam feels that women with agency and social power will minimize the effects of climate change.

https://www.oxfam.ca/our-work/climate-change?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIuMqX3I-o3...

 

 

jerrym

In July 2018, the effects of climate change hit home dramatically in Quebec. The global warming related heat  wave that month resulted in at least 93 deaths. (https://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/quebec-heat-wave-death-t...)

However, climate change is having many other major problems to Quebec. 

In southern Québec, average annual temperatures rose 1°C to 3°C from 1950 to 2011. According to Ouranos, this trend will continue, and annual temperatures will further increase by about 2°C to 4°C by 2070, and by 4°C to 7°C from 2070 to 2100. A rise in temperature of a few degrees may seem harmless, but it will have very real consequences. ...

Climate change increases the number and length of heat waves, which can have an effect on health. Children, seniors, and people with certain chronic illnesses are the most vulnerable to extreme temperatures. Rising temperatures boost air pollution and extend the hay fever, forest fire, and wildfire seasons. This can cause breathing and cardiovascular problems in some people. ...

Because of climate change, many animal species may disappear along with their natural habitats. Some are already moving north. Certain exotic or harmful plant species are also starting to appear in some areas. This trend is likely to intensify. The rapid spread of ticks carrying Lyme disease in southern Québec is an eloquent example. ...

Climate change is already affecting transportation and infrastructure. For example, increased freezing and thawing is damaging road surfaces more and more. Thawing of the permafrost in northern Québec affects the stability of buildings, roads, and air strips. More intense precipitation events are also anticipated, which could result in more frequent landslides.

More frequent heavy rainfall will cause sewer systems to overflow more often, put more pressure on drainage systems, and increase the risk of flooding at interchanges, in tunnels, on roads, etc.

Rising sea levels and shrinking ice cover, combined with more frequent storms and freeze-thaw cycles, will aggravate the risks associated with shore erosion, coastal flooding, and floods in coastal municipalities in Québec. This will threaten any infrastructure located near water. These risks are a particularly important issue along the St. Lawrence, where about 60% of Québec’s population lives. ...

Many sectors of the economy, such as farming, forestry, mining, and tourism, are sensitive to climate change. In the mining industry, climate is one of the main factors affecting operations both directly (sun, good weather, snow, ice) and indirectly (landscape and plants). Winter activities such as downhill skiing and snowmobiling will be threatened by rising temperatures. Higher temperatures may result in less snowfall, increasing the need for snowmaking operations, thus boosting costs for ski resorts. ...

A number of other activities are or will be directly affected by climate change: drinking water supply and management, waste and storm water management, crop production and harvesting, the supply of energy for heating and air conditioning, hydraulic and wind energy production, and transportation. Lower water levels in the St. Lawrence could also disrupt the shipment of goods by water, which would affect the entire economy. Extreme weather events are intensifying and occurring more and more frequently. Businesses are likely to be affected, with some experiencing a decline in income following a disaster and others even going out of business.

https://www.faisonslepoureux.gouv.qc.ca/en/climate-change/impacts-of-cli...

 

jerrym

The growing awareness of the impact of climate change on Quebec is increasing pressure on the new Legault government to attend the United Nations COP24 climate summit taking place from Dec. 3 to 13 in Poland. 

Following the Parti Quebecois and Quebec solidaire, the official Opposition Liberals as well as the environmental group Greenpeace have now added their voices to those calling on Francois Legault and his new environment minister, MarieChantal Chasse, to attend. ...

Legault has thus far been reluctant to commit to attending the summit, even though previous premiers have attended similar meetings.

He told the media in a news conference in Quebec City 10 days ago that his agenda is “very busy.”

While the federal government will be responsible for signing any agreements at the summit, the provinces will be responsible for implementing the measures to meet greenhouse gas emission targets.

https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/pressure-mounting-...

 

jerrym

Nothing more ilustrates the fraud and hypocrisy that is the Trudeau Liberal government's just announced greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan than its proposal to eliminate 95.5% of carbon taxes on New Brunswick (NB) Power's Belladune coal-burning plant, thereby all but eliminating NB Power's carbon tax in reducing it next year from $20 a tonne to less than $1 a tonne. This is accomplished by exempting 800 tonnes out of the 838 tonnes of greenhouse gases emitted for every gigawatt hour of electricity produced, thereby cancelling nearly all of the carbon taxes proposed just six months ago. 

Meanwhile Minister of Environment Catherine McKenna assures us that the Liberal emissions plan intends to eliminate all coal-fired plants in Canada by 2030. In other words let's keep the worst form of greenhouse gas emissions to well beyond the life of the Liberal government (as Canadian governments of any stripe rarely last 15 years or more) so that this government does not have to do any of the heavy lifting needed in tackling global warming. The trouble is that putting off dealing with greenhouse gas emissions of the big emitters for many years leaves us facing a major crisis in the near future. It also transfers the tax burden from the major polluters to the average taxpayer, while trying to claim it is doing the opposite.

The Trudeau government has already announced curtailing its plan to price carbon pollution of the big emitters in response to the lobbying of the fossil fuel industry by reducing the percentage of emissions on which some polluters will have to pay the carbon tax. McKenna in August had already adjusted the proposal for the big emitter's carbon tax from 70% of the industry average as the benchmark at which big emitters would start paying carbon taxes up 80% of the industry average of emissions — and 90% for producers of cement, iron and steel, lime and nitrogen fertilizer. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/liberals-carbon-price-lower-1.4769530)

In other words, New Brunswick Power will be getting an exemption on greenhouse gas emissions above and  beyond even the increased exemptions just announced by McKenna in August. The federal Liberals are focusing on trying to retain in the 2019 election as many as possible of the 32 seats that they won in wiping out the opposition in the Maritimes in 2015 and possibly helping the New Brunswick Liberals in the process. Forget reducing greenhouse gas emissions even though the October 2018 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report of 195 countries and over 800 scientists says that we only have until 2030 to avoid a global warming catastrophe. 

In a climate-policy retreat over the treatment of coal, federal Liberals are proposing to loosen emission standards for power plants that burn the fuel, effectively lowering carbon taxes on each tonne of greenhouse gas released from coal-burning stations, like NB Power's Belledune, next year to less than $1. ...

But it also undermines federal claims made as recently as last week that major greenhouse gas polluters, like Belledune, would pay the most under Canada's new carbon pricing scheme. ... 

The proposed exemption for coal is so large it will eliminate most of the carbon taxes New Brunswick's biggest greenhouse gas emitter, NB Power, was warned it would be facing just six months ago. It would also allow it to continue releasing most of the greenhouse gases it currently produces at its coal-fired generating station in Belledune for free. ...

According to federal records, the Belledune generating station, which burns a combination of coal and petroleum coke, emits 838 tonnes of greenhouse gases for every gigawatt hour of electricity it produces.  

The new federal proposal would exempt 800 tonnes of that from carbon taxes. That will allow 95.5 per cent of Belledune's greenhouse gas emissions to pass through its giant 168-metre smoke stack for free and will slash NB Power's carbon tax bill at Belledune next year to $2.5 million. That is an effective carbon tax rate for Belledune next year — which emits up to 2.8 million tonnes of greenhouse gasses annually — of just 91 cents per tonne. ...

Belledune was the second largest source of greenhouse gases in Atlantic Canada in 2016, behind the Irving Oil Ltd. refinery in Saint John. Last week, federal officials were indicating it would be operations like Belledune hit hardest by national carbon taxes.  ...

Last year, NB Power sketched out scenarios for what a full carbon tax applied to its fossil fuel-burning generating stations would cost it and customers. It included a worst case 22 per cent, carbon-driven rate hike over nine years, most of it caused by emissions at Belledune. ...

New Brunswick Green Party Leader David Coon said that tells him, lobbyists had their way with the first proposal. "The price business is so open to being gamed and influenced by lobbying and that's exactly what's been happening," said Coon. "We need to have legally binding caps that are ratcheted down over time on emissions."

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/coal-fired-power-plants-car...

 

jerrym

A report last month by Oil Change International and the International Institute for Sustainable Development concluded that Canada spends more per capita on the subsidies for fossil fuels than any other member of the G7 and is one of the least transparent about the size of these subsidies. 

At the same time the Trudeau Liberal government offers discounts of up to 95.5% to the biggest greenhouse gas emitters in Canada, such as New Brunswick Power as described in the last post, it provides billions in tax and non-tax measures that subsidize the fossil fuel industry. The Trudeau government is also failing to be transparent about exactly how much money this amounts to, according to Above Ground, "a non-profit that aims to improve corporate accountability and access to justice in Canada", despite having promised to eliminate the 'inefficient' ones by 2025. In spite of the Conservative government making this promise in 2009  and  the Trudeau government having included it in 2015 in its finance and environment ministers' mandate letters, no strategy has been developed to phase out these subsidies by 2025, let alone taken action to actually begin to do this, according to the auditor-general. In addition, there is no plan currently to reveal to the public the findings of two reviews of these subsidies. 

In other words, both Liberal and Conservative governments have done nothing to end the subsidization of the fossil fuel and continue to subsidize this sector at very high levels, while saying they are taking steps towards shifting towards a renewable energy economy. 

As it stands, the federal government hands out hundreds of millions of dollars in tax-based subsidies to the oil and gas industry, through a handful of credit programs such as the Canadian Development Expense, the Canadian Exploration Expense, the Deep Drilling Credit and the Atlantic Investment Tax Credit. 

Lesser known however, are the federal goverment's non-tax measures, which also include "government loans or loan guarantees at favourable rates, resources sold by government at below-market rates, research and development funding, and government intervention in markets to lower prices."

Environment Canada's initial uncertainty about publishing its complete review of such financial supports had raised a red flag at Above Ground, which argues that Canadians have the right to review how the federal government delivers its climate change promises, including the pledge to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.  ...

Export Development Canada (EDC) helps Canadian companies extend their international reach by providing insurance, financing and guarantees to banks. It operates at arm’s length from the federal government, but ultimately reports to Parliament through the minister of international trade.  Last year, the credit agency helped facilitate $10.4 billion in exports in the oil and gas sector, representing 10 per cent of all exports and international investments it facilitated that year. ...

Above Ground, which also noted that the government has not clarified what it considers "inefficient" either, said a number of arguments could be made that EDC's loans, guarantees and other financial supports for the industry are indeed subsidies. ...

Last year, a scathing auditor general report found that Ottawa had not yet developed a strategy to phase out the inefficient subsidies by 2025, despite making the initial promise in 2009, placing it in the mandate letters of both the environment and finance ministers in 2015, and reaffirming it again in 2016.

The auditor general, Michael Ferguson, also noted that the Finance Department had refused to share information about how the government was keeping its promise to phase out the subsidies.

A few months later, in October, federal MPs held a secret meeting about fossil fuel subsidies, prompting an environmentalist, Annie Bérubé from Équiterre, to accuse Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals of trying to prevent politicians from studying the issue.

Last month, a dozen of Canada's most well known and influential environment groups also flagged lack of action on fossil fuel subsidies in a report card on the government's efforts to deliver on its environmental promises.

Earlier this month, Canada fared poorly in a report ranking the progress of the G7 nations on phasing out fossil fuels. The report, completed by Oil Change International and the International Institute for Sustainable Development, concluded that the seven biggest developed economies in the world collectively contribute more than $100 billion a year to help the fossil fuel industry.

While the U.S. spent the most overall, Canada spent the most per capita of any G7 country on oil and gas production, according to the report.

Canada also received a poor grade for transparency about its subsidies.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/06/19/news/environment-canada-urge...

 

jerrym

As global warming continues many of the forests of the world are succombing to the environmental changes that it brings, including Canada's boreal forest. 

In her bestseller The Sweetness of a Simple Life, Beresford-Kroeger described the global forest as “a molecular memo” that harvests one carbon atom at a time and “pulses that sweet gas we call oxygen, needed for every single breath we take.”

But the most ancient denizens of this forest are now dying and disappearing. 

The botanist, who has been studying the health and importance of global forests for decades, rhymes off one example after another. ...

She also worries about the fate of the “totally unique” boreal forest, which covers northern Canada and much of northern Europe and Asia. 

It is what Beresford-Kroeger calls a “frugal” forest, yet it captures and holds nearly one-third of the world’s carbon dioxide. ...

“That is exactly what it does for the planet,” says the botanist emphatically. Yet the most recent forecast for the boreal forest is grim. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that if global temperatures exceed 1.5 degrees in warming, more wildfires, pests and heat-related die-offs would overcome southern portions of this forest system. ...

She writes in The Sweetness of a Simple Life, “that one cannot remove the forests of Borneo and Sumatra and expect the orangutans to live. Nor can one remove the temperate rainforests of the west coast of Canada and see salmon coming back to the rivers.”

https://thetyee.ca/News/2018/10/29/Tree-Teachings-Global-Forest/

 

jerrym

David Suzuki is deeply concerned that the Liberal government's slow-go approach to climate change and the warning of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report released last month that we only have until 2030 to make major changes to avoid the worst effects of global warming will mean we are likely to be facing an global environmental disaster before the time that children born today grow up. 

Listening to Canada's minister of environment and climate change respond on the radio to the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, Global Warming of 1.5°C, didn't raise my hopes. Despite outlining good policies such as pricing carbon pollution and phasing out coal power, the government representative who should know the most about climate issues repeated numerous debunked and false talking points.

She floated the excuse for inaction I've been hearing for at least 30 years: "We aren't going to get off fossil fuels overnight." She skirted around a question about the climate impacts of burning the increasing amounts of bitumen government plans to ship to foreign markets. She touted Canada's biggest fossil-fuel venture, a $40-billion, foreign-owned liquefied-natural-gas project, as a "climate solution" because it could replace coal power. That's despite research and advice from scientists about how the project impedes meeting our climate targets, the substantial and underreported release of the potent greenhouse gas methane from LNG and fracking, and the fact that LNG is as likely to slow renewable-energy development as to replace coal-fired power.

She also repeated the tired refrain of politicians from across the spectrum, that economic considerations are as important as environmental ones—equating the relatively new, human-created, outdated economic system with the timeless natural systems on which our health, well-being, and survival depend. ...

Listening to these politicians could lead people to think global warming isn't an urgent challenge or that the science and its well-known, already observable effects are up for debate. The only issues we should be debating are the best ways to confront the crisis.

The IPCC special report, prepared by 91 researchers from 40 countries and based on more than 6,000 scientific resources, is clear: "Limiting global warming to 1.5ºC would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society." Temperatures have already risen close to 1ºC. ...

Those who argue the economy is too important to stop developing and expanding fossil-fuel infrastructure—from oilsands to pipelines to deep-sea drilling to fracking—ignore the mounting costs of climate disruption and the economic benefits of shifting to cleaner energy. A report by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction found climate-related disaster losses cost US$2.2 trillion over the past two decades, up from $895 billion over the previous two decades. (It only accounts for official reports and insurance stats, so likely only represents a fraction of the true costs.) Meanwhile, worldwide employment and opportunities in the clean-energy sector continue to grow.

The IPCC report lays out numerous solutions, including "shifting to low- or zero-emission power generation, such as renewables; changing food systems, such as diet changes away from land-intensive animal products; electrifying transport and developing 'green infrastructure', such as building green roofs, or improving energy efficiency by smart urban planning, which will change the layout of many cities."

https://www.straight.com/news/1151546/david-suzuki-will-world-act-climat...

 

jerrym

The Climate Atlas of Canada is an interactive website where you explore the impact of climate change on Canadian towns, cities, and rural areas in the hopes of inspiring local, regional and national action to deal effectively with global warming. 

Here is the website: https://climateatlas.ca

“Climate science has been something that has been inaccessible to Canadians. They hear about it in this top-down kind of way that the climate is changing and they haven’t been given the tools to see it,” said Dr. Ian Mauro, co-director of the project. 

The atlas contains reports summarizing projected climate change across Canada’s major cities. The data allow users to compare temperature changes from the past (1976-2005) with the future (2051-2080) for both high- and low-carbon scenarios.

University of Winnipeg president and vice-chancellor Dr. Annette Trimbee said she believes the atlas will get used because it shows people what will happen in their own backyards. 

The 250-layer interactive map is based on data from 12 global climate modules. It contains data for about 2,000 regions across Canada and includes 25 climate variables that fall under hot weather, cold weather, temperature, precipitation and growing season. ...

The atlas includes documentaries on how climate change is affecting regions across the country and the solutions some communities have developed in response. ...

The atlas is free and bilingual and Dr. Mauro said his team will be adding new topics on the website. Coming topics include Indigenous knowledge, agriculture and forestry. 

He added that they will also be adding data from the Northwest Territories and Yukon in the next year.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-new-atlas-shows-projected...

 

 

 

JKR

Canada's effort to combat climate change is in a huge amount of trouble if we can't even place a modest price on carbon.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Noam Chomsky: The Future of Organized Human Life Is At Risk Thanks to GOP’s Climate Change Denial

quote:

NOAM CHOMSKY:

I should—at the same time, the Trump administration, right now, is opening up new areas of the West for fracking, for increasing the use of fossil fuels. You’ve probably seen maybe discussed one of the most amazing documents I have ever seen. The Trump department of highway standards, whatever it’s called, just issued a long report, hundred-page report, urging that all regulations on automotive emissions should be ended. And they had a very logical argument. They said if we extrapolate current trends by the end of the century, the climate will have warmed several degrees centigrade, meaning a huge rise in sea level, which they underestimate. So, basically, we’re going over the cliff anyway, and automotive emissions really don’t add much to this, so there’s no point cutting them back. The assumption of the department is that everyone in the world is as criminally insane as we are, and isn’t going to do anything about it. And since—on that assumption, yeah, let’s just rob while the planet burns, putting Nero into the shade—he only fiddled while Rome burned. I can’t think of anything like this in human history. You just can’t find words to describe it. And at the peak of the monstrosity is, in fact, the Trump administration.

We should recall that Trump himself, as I mentioned, is a firm believer in global warming. Recently, he applied to the government of Ireland for permission to build a huge wall, one of his famous walls, this one to protect a golf course of his in Ireland, which, as his plea indicates, is threatened by sea level rise as a result of global warming. You take a look at the big banks, JPMorgan Chase and the others. They’re increasing their investments in fossil fuel development. The energy corporations are working all over the world to try to find new resources that destroy the environment.

The media are focusing on real outrages, like the ludicrous military preparation for this wave of mothers and children planning to invade us and destroy us—you know, they’re concentrating on that, but take a look at their coverage of these things. So, there was a big report, long front-page report, in The New York Times a couple days ago about the opening up of the West to further fossil fuel extraction. Discussed everything you can think of. Did mention some of the negative consequences, like it might harm water resources. It might make things harder for ranchers. Not one phrase, one phrase in this long report, on the effect on the environment. In the political campaign going on, every—all kinds of issues are discussed, but not the two existential threats that human beings face, threats that have never arisen in human history.

We have to make decisions now which will literally determine whether organized human life can survive in any decent form. You can just imagine what the world would be like if the sea level rises, say, 10 or 20 feet or even higher, which is within the range—easily within the range of predictions. I mean, the consequences are unimaginable. But it’s as if we’re kind of like the proverbial lemmings just happily marching off the cliff, led by leaders who understand very well what they’re doing, but are so dedicated to enriching themselves and their friends in the near future that it simply doesn’t matter what happens to the human species. There’s nothing like this in all of human history. There have been plenty of monsters in the past, plenty of them. But you can’t find one who was dedicated, with passion, to destroying the prospects for organized human life. Hitler was horrible enough, but not that.

jerrym

JKR wrote:
Canada's effort to combat climate change is in a huge amount of trouble if we can't even place a modest price on carbon.

Tragically we need a lot more than a modest price on carbon at this point. As David Suzuki notes

Those who argue the economy is too important to stop developing and expanding fossil-fuel infrastructure—from oilsands to pipelines to deep-sea drilling to fracking—ignore the mounting costs of climate disruption and the economic benefits of shifting to cleaner energy. A report by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction found climate-related disaster losses cost US$2.2 trillion over the past two decades, up from $895 billion over the previous two decades. (https://www.straight.com/news/1151546/david-suzuki-will-world-act-climat...)

Unfortunately, the Liberals and Conservatives continue down the fossil fuel expansion road as if a modest carbon tax is enough. This is part of an ongoing problem where despite signing the Kyoto Accord, the Chretien, Martin and Harper governments allowed a 33% increase in greenhouse gas emissions instead of a 6% reduction compared to 1990 levels that the Kyoto Accord called for. Well over 95% of this emission increase came under the Liberals (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_and_the_Kyoto_Protocol)

Since the Liberals have come back to power under Trudeau promising to address Harper's neglect of the issue, they have simply adopted Harper's greenhouse gas emission targets. We now know "Canada is on pace to overshoot its emissions target for 2020 by nearly 20 per cent, and that much more action is needed to meet the Paris Agreement target by 2030.",  according to a report tabled in the House of Commons in March of 2018.  (https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/03/27/liberal-climate-plans-not...

The $13.7 billion that is being spent on the purchase and building of the Trans Mountain pipeline is incompatable with reaching the Trudeau Liberals' 2030 greenhouse emission targets, according to environmentalists. 

Many environmental activists were also expressing doubts Tuesday about Canada's commitment to climate change reduction. Greenpeace spokesperson Mike Hudema said the pipeline purchase flies in the face of Canada's talk of climate leadership. "You can't be a climate leader and build a pipeline to one of the largest carbon bombs on the planet," Hudema said. "Those two things aren't compatible." ...

Peter McCartney, with Wilderness Committee, says the move changes the role the federal government now plays in the energy industry. "I was in shock this morning," McCartney said. "I didn't think the government was actually this stupid to buy a pipeline that has 17 court cases against it." (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/paris-climate-change-tra...)

According to a June 2018 report by Oil Change International and the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Canada spent the most per capita of any G7 country on subsidies for oil and gas production. The report also gave Canada a poor grade for transparency about the extent of these subsidies. The Trudeau Liberals have continued the fossil fuel subsidies of previous governments instead of shifting these subsidies to the development of renewable energy projects and have largely hidden them from the public. 

As it stands, the federal government hands out hundreds of millions of dollars in tax-based subsidies to the oil and gas industry, through a handful of credit programs such as the Canadian Development Expense, the Canadian Exploration Expense, the Deep Drilling Credit and the Atlantic Investment Tax Credit. 

Lesser known however, are the federal goverment's non-tax measures, which also include "government loans or loan guarantees at favourable rates, resources sold by government at below-market rates, research and development funding, and government intervention in markets to lower prices."

Environment Canada's initial uncertainty about publishing its complete review of such financial supports had raised a red flag at Above Ground, which argues that Canadians have the right to review how the federal government delivers its climate change promises, including the pledge to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. (https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/06/19/news/environment-canada-urge...)

Thanks to the lobbying efforts of the biggest greenhouse gas emitters, the Trudeau Liberals have also greatly reduced the percentage of emissions on which the big emitters will have to pay the carbon tax.(https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/liberals-carbon-price-lower-1.4769530)

They have also played political games with the carbon tax. For example, they have provided New Brunswick Power, which is a coal-fired power plant a 95.5% reduction in its carbon tax from $20 a tonne to "just 91 cents a tonne", even though coal produces the highest greenhouse gas emissions by far. In other words, it amounts to a payoff to political friends and an attempt to keep Maritime voters, who elected only Liberal MPs, onside in the next election. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/coal-fired-power-plants-car...)

These reductions in big emitters' carbon taxes mean middle, working and poor Canadians pay a greater share of carbon taxes instead of the wealthy fossil fuel producing and consuming corporations.

 

JKR

Unfortunately a lot of people are believing the Conservatives argument that carbon pricing is a mistake and many people are also believing the Conservative argument that climate change is just a hoax being perpetrated by the left.

Sean in Ottawa

The things that Conservatives are most concerned about are deeply affected by climate change:

1) immigration and refugees -- we have never seen the kind of dislocation of people that is coming from climate change

2) security and defence -- most wars are caused by scaricity and pressure on resources. Climate change does this on a global scale like never before.

3) stability, regulation and profits on business. Climate chagne intereferes with profit, introduces more climate variables that make forcasting business more difficult and introduces severe costs.

The conservatives, if they care about their priorities should care about climate change even if they have no concern about people (which we already know).

NDPP

Carbon Tax Myths and Other Contradictions Messing Up Canada's Climate Change Strategy

https://nowtoronto.com/news/carbon-tax-climate-change-justin-trudeau/

"So why is a carbon tax one of the cornerstones of the Trudeau government's plan? Some believe it's because Liberals have no desire to force the powerful oil and gas sector to clean up its act..."

Sean in Ottawa

NDPP wrote:

Carbon Tax Myths and Other Contradictions Messing Up Canada's Climate Change Strategy

https://nowtoronto.com/news/carbon-tax-climate-change-justin-trudeau/

"So why is a carbon tax one of the cornerstones of the Trudeau government's plan? Some believe it's because Liberals have no desire to force the powerful oil and gas sector to clean up its act..."

I think the answer is clear: a carbon tax is beneficial and it will not have to cost the government money. It also does not ahve to cost the economy money.

The government has to collect money to function, it can certainly use its collection policies to encourage or discourage behaviour effectively. In theory you could design a carbon tax to fully sustain the federal government and have no other taxes. This does not mean it would have to collect more money.

Another point is that while the carbon tax has a benefit this is another benefit (beyond raising revenue) that the public can in theory support. Most taxes are hated but if people recognize the climate change part of it they might come to hate it less than the money the government taxes - "just becuase it needs it."

The biggest problem  with the carbon tax is the initiative is too small. Properly done it would be more significant in the economy and drive innovation (as is often done) into tax avoidance -- which in this case means carbon avoidance. If paired with a universal basic income it would be fantastic. An aggressive carbon tax could go a long way to funding  public transit, less environmentally damaging freight transport, and a universal basic income.

JKR

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

The things that Conservatives are most concerned about are deeply affected by climate change:

1) immigration and refugees -- we have never seen the kind of dislocation of people that is coming from climate change

2) security and defence -- most wars are caused by scaricity and pressure on resources. Climate change does this on a global scale like never before.

3) stability, regulation and profits on business. Climate chagne intereferes with profit, introduces more climate variables that make forcasting business more difficult and introduces severe costs.

The conservatives, if they care about their priorities should care about climate change even if they have no concern about people (which we already know).

I think very many conservatives in Canada feel that Canada should ignore the plight of foreigners and refugees and support denying then entry into Canada. Being a northern country, many conservatives even feel that global warming could benefit Canada. They also tend to feel that the huge amount of money to be made from oil far outweighs the consequences of global warming. These sentinents are especially strong in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Even many NDP'ers in Alberta seem to be thinking along these lines. The NDP in Alberta is now against the establishment of even a modest price on carbon. Establishing a modest price on carbon may be very removed from what is necessary to combat climate change but it may be the only way Canada can establish a price that can be steadily increased in the future. I think it's imparitive the the NDP, Greens, BQ, and the Liberals all support establishing a carbon price ASAP. Many right-minded conservatives who think man-made climate change is happening are already supporting putting a price on carbon but they now seem to be clearly in the minority amongst Conservatives. The Conservatives are likely going to be making their opposition to placing a price on carbon a very majour part of their 2019 election platform and they are currently in second place and in position to win a FPTP election and become government if they can manage to get around even just 34% of the vote.

Sean in Ottawa

Of course the reality is that Canada is deeply harmed by climate change -- we are not just talking about fires and extreme weather, sea level rise, damage from the global economic collapse that is inevitable, pressure from massive volumes of climate refugees, desertification of the centre of the country such that we will not be able to grow enough food (while other coutries in the same position will not export it to us) inevitable global conflict... No, there is more.

Those who think Canada is going to be better off are ignorant and many of them willfully so.

JKR

Sadly it seems that some people's minds will only be changed through experiencing a catastrophe. I think the left should unite to counter this ignorance.

jerrym

JKR wrote:

I think very many conservatives in Canada feel that Canada should ignore the plight of foreigners and refugees and support denying then entry into Canada. Being a northern country, many conservatives even feel that global warming could benefit Canada. They also tend to feel that the huge amount of money to be made from oil far outweighs the consequences of global warming. These sentinents are especially strong in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Even many NDP'ers in Alberta seem to be thinking along these lines. The NDP in Alberta is now against the establishment of even a modest price on carbon. Establishing a modest price on carbon may be very removed from what is necessary to combat climate change but it may be the only way Canada can establish a price that can be steadily increased in the future. I think it's imparitive the the NDP, Greens, BQ, and the Liberals all support establishing a carbon price ASAP. Many right-minded conservatives who think man-made climate change is happening are already supporting putting a price on carbon but they now seem to be clearly in the minority amongst Conservatives. The Conservatives are likely going to be making their opposition to placing a price on carbon a very majour part of their 2019 election platform and they are currently in second place and in position to win a FPTP election and become government if they can manage to get around even just 34% of the vote.

While the Alberta NDP, since coming to office in 2015, have failed to create an effective  overall strategy to deal with global warming caused by the province's greenhouse gas emissions they have at least developed a plan to phase out coal, the worst form of fossil fuel in terms of greeenhouse gas emissions by far, by 2030. In fact, unlike the Liberals and Conservatives, their plan is well ahead of schedule as coal-fired electricity generation is on the road to ending by 2020. 

Alberta could realize its goal of phasing out coal-fired electricity years ahead of schedule as ATCO Ltd. announced Wednesday it planned to transition its power plants to burn natural gas by 2020. (https://business.financialpost.com/commodities/energy/alberta-could-be-c...)

Notley pulled out of the carbon tax after the Federal Court of Appeal quashed Trudeau's planned Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. She said that Alberta would implement the tax if the Liberals get the pipeline back on track, which Trudeau is endeavouring to do by spending $13.7 billion on buying and constructing the pipeline, as well as by trying to meet the conditions the court laid out to gain its permission to build the pipeline. Both the Notley NDP and Trudeau Liberals are wrong in pursuing this pipeline. Tripling the oil flow through the pipeline will only further increase greenhouse emissions. After all, under the Trudeau Liberal climate change plan, "Canada is [already] on pace to overshoot its emissions target for 2020 by nearly 20 per cent, and that much more action is needed to meet the Paris Agreement target by 2030.",  according to a report tabled in the House of Commons in March of 2018.  (https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/03/27/liberal-climate-plans-not...

Carbon pricing can be a part of a greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan, but a very modest carbon pricing plan will not get the job done by itself. Part of the reason we need much more dramatic changes to deal with our greenhouse gas emissions is that the Chretien and Martin Liberal governments allowed greenhouse gas emissions to increase 33% between 1997, when they signed the Kyoto Accord, and 2005 instead of decreasing them 6% below 1990 levels. Greenhouse gas emissions under the Conservatives actually decresed between 2006 and 2009, but that was not because of any Conservative greenhouse gas emission reduction plan, but because of the Great Recession in economic activity during this period (see Emission Profiles and Trends in Canada in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_and_the_Kyoto_Protocol)

In additon to the $13.9 billion subsidy of the Trans Mountain pipeline by the Trudeau Liberals, both Liberal and Conservatives have and are continuing into the future its tax and non-tax fossil fuel subsidies that run into many billions instead of shifting this money into transforming our country into a green renewable energy economy. (https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/06/19/news/environment-canada-urge...)

 

 

jerrym

The Trudeau Liberals are also giving the biggest emitters reductions of up to 95.5% in their carbon taxes so that it is often no incentive to move from a fossil fuel to a green source of energy. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/liberals-carbon-price-lower-1.4769530

(https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/coal-fired-power-plants-car...)

Environmentalists see the large reductions in carbon tax for the biggest emitters as a sign that the Trudeau Liberals are not serious about doing anything meaningful about climate change. After all, after years of complaining about Harper's Conservative government failing to deal with climate change and then making it a central plank of their 2015 election platform, the Trudeau Liberals simply adapted Harper's greenhouse gas emissions targets.

Easing the proposed burden on industry suggests the government isn't as serious about taking action on climate change as when they were first elected, said Dale Marshall, national program manager at Environmental Defence.

"There are a number of climate policies that have been either weakened or delayed," Marshall said in an interview with CTV News. "Government has to decide whether it's going to actually hold fast and put into place the policies needed to improve the life of Canadians and to actually address climate change, or whether it's going to continue to kowtow to Canadian industry that always whines about these kinds of regulations."

The change means Canada won't meet its 2015 Paris targets, Marshall said. Environmental groups were already disappointed the Liberal government had maintained the previous Harper government's emissions targets rather than choosing more ambitious limits.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/feds-easing-proposed-carbon-tax-for-big-...

 

jerrym

double post

jerrym

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

The things that Conservatives are most concerned about are deeply affected by climate change:

1) immigration and refugees -- we have never seen the kind of dislocation of people that is coming from climate change

 

Politicians around the world are becoming increasingly leery of climate change refugees coming to their countries. The Syrian War was caused in part by a severe climate change-induced drought that caused farmers to abandon their arid land for urban centers where they could find few jobs, leading to social dislocation, protests and ultimately government repression that further aggravated the situation. As millions fled the war into Europe, right-wing populism and anti-refugee feelings grew greatly. (https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/10.1175/WCAS-D-13-00059.1)

The primary cause migration from of sub-Saharan Africa to Europe has been climate change, further exacerbating the refugee situation in Europe. 

Europe is underestimating the primary cause of migration from sub-saharan Africa: climate change. ...

The Sahel belt, which is at the centre of EU efforts to combat illegal migration in Africa, is a useful case study in this regard. Here, environmental and demographic changes combine with devastating effects. Greenhouses emissions are on the rise, temperatures are increasing and, as a result, the intensity and frequency of catastrophic events is rising dramatically. (https://www.ecfr.eu/article/commentary_climate_driven_migration_in_africa)

India has already raised “a fence along roughly 70 percent of India's 2,544-mile border with Bangladesh.” India argues that the aim of the fence is to prevent smuggling, terrorism, and ‘infiltration’ into India. “But as climate change forces what could be millions of Bangladeshis from their homes, the fence will also prevent many of them from finding refuge in India.”

(http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/green_room/2010/12/the_great_wall_of_india.html)

Unfortunately, Bangladeshis wanting to escape the dangers of climate change will face another danger. In 2010, a report by Human Rights Watch, called “Trigger Happy”, concluded that 900 Bangladeshis had been shot by Indian border guards at the Indian border. (https://www.hrw.org/report/2010/12/09/trigger-happy/excessive-use-force-indian-troops-bangladesh-border

Climate change is already here and it is impacting literally millions of people. The most impacted nations are what we call the small island states of the South Pacific and the Caribbean.

Tongan Member of Parliament Lord Fusitu'a says the South Pacific islands are experiencing more cyclones, coastal erosion and higher sea levels due to climate change. Many residents are migrating inland or leaving entirely to find new homes in other countries.

But are they considered considered refugees? Not under the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, which was originally created for European refugees in the aftermath of the Second World War.Lord Fusitu'a argues this convention needs to be updated to include refugees displaced by climate change.

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thesundayedition/the-sunday-edition-july-22-201...

jerrym

The UN definition of refugee does not recognize climate change refugees. Furthermore, because estimates of the number of climate change refugees range up to two billion by 2100, many politicians are extremely reluctant to change the definition because this would obligate them to take into their country many of these refugees.

Alexander Betts, a professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs at the University of Oxford, discusses how this now outdated definition of refugee came about and how it is impacting a world where climate change is an ever growing problem. 

The UN Refugee Convention was written in 1951 and still governs who qualifies for refugee status today. It defines a refugee as someone who has fled their country because of a "well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion."

Over the decades, that definition has more or less remained constant, but the major drivers of forced migration have changed dramatically. By the end of this century, as many as 2 billion people could be displaced by climate change - but they don't meet the current legal definition of "refugee."

Alexander Betts: The convention is a product of its time and geography. It was created for post Second World War Europe. Millions had been displaced in the aftermath of the Second World War, and Europeans were very conscious of a 'Never Again' mentality. In the early years of the Cold War, there were new movements from east to west, and the idea was to protect people whose governments were out to get them. ...

The convention was initially for Europe. It wasn't until the late 60s that it was actually expanded to the rest of the world. So the image we have of that moment, protecting people whose governments were out to get them, is a different world from the one we're in today. ...

Today, that's not the image that defines most refugee movements. Most refugees are fleeing fragile states like Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan. People are fleeing generalized conflict and violence ... rather than that individualized persecuting regime. ...

In the context of climate change and environmental displacement, those numbers are going to increase and the problem is that courts and bureaucrats around the world are being forced to shoehorn contemporary circumstances into an old anachronistic definition. ...

For much of the first 68 years of the 1951 convention's life, there was almost a taboo against politicians questioning [its] relevance. That too has been shattered. And today more and more populist politicians around the world are prepared to openly defy the '51 Convention.

We've reached a tipping point, and I think citizens are more concerned in many cases with having managed migration and holding their governments accountable on controlling borders than they are with seeing their countries as civilised ambassadors for international human rights norms. So I'm very worried that reconciling democracy with political support for the 1951 Convention is at its most difficult level in the last 68 years.

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thesundayedition/the-sunday-edition-july-22-201...

 

 

jerrym

On October 31st Ontario's Ford PC government passed the Cap and Trade Cancellation Act despite the $3 billion it will cost in payments to corporations for cap and trade credits already purchased. The PCs have promised a climate change plan in November but this will be all fluff. 

Ontario is in the midst of debating its Cap and Trade Cancellation Act, which the province's fiscal watchdog has determined will worsen Ontario's debt by $3 billion, while undergoing a public consultation for a new climate plan. 

Provincial hearings at the legislature that sought expert opinion and a clause-by-clause discussion ended on Oct. 22, with little to no change made to the bill. NDP MPP and energy critic Peter Tabuns and Green Party leader Mike Schreiner tried — and failed — at getting the bill amended to include legislated targets in line with the Paris Agreement and alternative compensation schemes. 

"They were pretty business-like when they were talking about having a systematic plan to put in place for climate action and for climate adaptation," Tabuns told National Observer in an interview after the bill was voted by a majority to go to third reading. "It again underlines my fear that they aren't going to approach this question in a serious way, that we're going to get a bit of cosmetic fluff for a climate plan and that the crisis are going to continue unaddressed and unabated."

Both in committee and in an interview with National Observer, Tabuns noted the urgent and sweeping action called for by the authors of the landmark Oct. 8 report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for all countries to reach or exceed their Paris agreement pledge to keep temperatures between 1.5C and 2C.

"If you're not aligned with the nations of the world on trying to limit the increasing temperature to 1.5 C then you're just talking nonsense," Tabuns said. 

"I think the nature of their direction on this is much clearer now: that's shutting down cap and trade and doing as little as possible and at the same time being able to say we're doing something," he said. "They have to say something. This is "something," but not what's needed."

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/10/22/news/trudeau-impose-climate-...

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Newfoundland’s carbon tax gives ‘free pass’ to offshore oil industry

After months of secrecy — and a few vague threats to withdraw from carbon pricing altogether — the provincial government of Newfoundland and Labrador has finally unveiled its federally approved climate plan.

While many details around its implementation remain unclear, what we know so far suggests that the big winner is the province’s oil and gas industry.

Filled with exemptions for large producers and consumers alike, the carbon pricing framework was designed to spur plans to double Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil production by 2030.

“The way the [Dwight] Ball government has chosen to roll this out is to say: ‘there is no real carbon tax here, it doesn’t apply to anything, don’t worry, keep your head down, ignore this,’ ” Memorial University political scientist Russell Williams told The Narwhal.

“That’s exactly the opposite motivation for why we adopt carbon pricing systems in the first place.”

quote:

Offshore oil industry dominates

Plans for Newfoundland and Labrador, put forward by the Liberal government, anticipate more than 100 new offshore exploration wells will be drilled in the next decade.

“That is absolutely remarkable,” Carter said, “because based on the data I’m seeing, there have only been 151 wells drilled into the offshore on Canada’s east coast since 1955.”

“The emphasis more than ever is on situating Newfoundland as the preferred location for oil extraction.”

Newfoundland and Labrador has become increasingly dependent on the petrochemical industry.

jerrym

epaulo13 wrote

Newfoundland’s carbon tax gives ‘free pass’ to offshore oil industry

After months of secrecy — and a few vague threats to withdraw from carbon pricing altogether — the provincial government of Newfoundland and Labrador has finally unveiled its federally approved climate plan.

While many details around its implementation remain unclear, what we know so far suggests that the big winner is the province’s oil and gas industry.

Filled with exemptions for large producers and consumers alike, the carbon pricing framework was designed to spur plans to double Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil production by 2030.

Thanks, epaulo13. On Power and Politics last week, Progressive Conservative Premier of Manitoba Brian Pallister used the excuse of the Trudeau Liberals were favouring the Maritimes in his carbon pricing plan to excuse his own backing out of his previous willingness to impose a $25 a tonne carbon tax. Pallister argued because the MPs from the Maritimes are all federal Liberals that Trudeau wants to help get them re-elected by not imposing an equivalent carbon tax to that of Manitoba as this would turn some of the Maritime voters away from the Liberals, in stating why he is abandoning the carbon tax. While this is no doubt an excuse, it is convenient that it is true that the Trudeau Liberals allowed New Brunswick Power, the biggest emitter in its province, a carbon price reduction of 95.5% from an initial $20 a tonne to 91 cents a tonne. By also now allowing Newfoundland and Labrador to largely escape the carbon tax, Trudeau is making a shambles of his carbon pricing plan and helping other provinces back away from any meaningful commitments to it. 

jerrym

Image result for california fires pictures

With California entering its second fire season of 2018, we once again see wildfires destroying vast areas and communities. Three major wildfires are causing most of the damage.  Paradise California, a city of 26,000 has been almost totally and rapidly destroyed by fire. Thousand Oaks, a city of 75,000 that had 12 killed in a mass shooting on Wednesday has been evacuated as fire threatens it. Malibu has also been evacutated. At least nine have been killed by the fire, including five in cars as they tried to escape Paradise, in addition to 35 reported missing. More deaths are expected.

The intensity and number of wildfires in California have been tied to global warming.

Residents of Malibu, California, woke up Friday morning to mandatory evacuation orders as extreme winds pushed the raging Woolsey Fire over the hills toward the oceanside city. As the members of the famously affluent community packed up their cars and fled, news broke that the Camp Fire, burning on the northern end of the state, had claimed at least five lives.

The Woolsey and Camp Fires mark a continuation of unprecedented burning in California, a trend that seems unlikely to end: The particular conditions that have turned the Woolsey and Camp Fires into infernos have only been intensified by the effects of climate change. As Kate Wheeling reported for Pacific Standard last year:

California has two distinct fire seasons: the summer season, when hot temperatures dry out vegetation providing fuel for wildfires; and the fall fire season, when hot, dry Santa Ana winds blow in over the mountains from the desert. Research shows that global warming is making both of them worse. ...

Scientists report that both dry conditions and extreme winds are being intensified by climate change, meaning that California may face even larger crises in the future. "California is only expected to get hotter and drier," Wheeling reported last year. "As such conditions become the new normal, California could become a perpetual tinderbox."

https://psmag.com/news/climate-change-continues-to-intensify-california-...

 This year 22,500 square kilometres - equivalent to 40% of the province of Nova Scotia - were burned across Canada, which is 450.6% of average area burned in Canada in the last ten years. There were 6,826 wildfires across the country compared to the ten year average of 1,515. In BC alone, 13,497 square kilometres - which is 2.4 times the size of Prince Edward Island) burned in 2,093 wildfires were destroyed breaking the wildfire record number of fires and areas burnt in just the previous year. We must expect this is our new normal. 

jerrym

Here is more on the California fires that have already caused the evacutation of almost 250,000 people and placed more than 20 million on 'red flag warning', meaning conditions are ideal for rapid wildfire spreading. Videos within the following article showing people fleeing on highways with flames burning on both sides of the highway, a vivid reminder of our own Fort McMurray wildfire in 2016. Some people were found dead in their burned vehicles as they tried to escape the intense flames that rapidly destroyed the city of Paradise. 

When will people start taking global warming seriously?

One of three major wildfires roaring though California has burned its way into state history as the most destructive blaze on record in terms of structure loss, with more than 6,700 structures gone in two days, according to Cal Fire, the state's fire-fighting agency.

The large Camp Fire in Northern California, which obliterated 80% to 90% of the homes in one town, has left at least nine people dead, officials said Friday. Kory Honea, the Butte County sheriff, said 35 people have been reported missing in the Camp Fire.

The fast-moving wildfires in the state have destroyed thousands of structures and prompted thousands of residents to flee, sometimes through jam-packed flame-lined streets that forced evacuees to chose whether to try to drive to safety or to get out and run.

The Camp Fire left the mayor of Paradise, population 26,000, in shock. 

    "There's really not much left. There are very few homes still standing and we've been in multiple different neighborhoods this afternoon," Mayor Jody Jones said. She estimated only 10 to 20% of homes are left.

    Four people were found dead in vehicles that were overcome by flames and one body was discovered near the vehicles, the Butte County Sheriff's Office said. The other victims were found near or inside homes that burned. ...

    Fanned by high winds and fueled by low humidity and dry vegetation, the fires spread rapidly Thursday and overnight into Friday. The threat continued Friday, with millions of Californians under "red flag" warnings portending windy arid and warm conditions that pose extreme fire risks. 

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/09/us/camp-fire-california/index.html

     

    JKR

    Trump is blaming the situation in California on bad forest management by the Californian Democratic Party government. He's threatening to take federal funding away from California because of it's faulty forest management. This is what the left is up against.

    Sean in Ottawa

    JKR wrote:
    Trump is blaming the situation in California on bad forest management by the Californian Democratic Party government. He's threatening to take federal funding away from California because of it's faulty forest management. This is what the left is up against.

    True and worth noting that with this lurch to the extreme right, the old centre-right is the new left.

     

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