Canada and global warming: a state of denial

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NDPP

As The World Burns: Hurtling Towards An Unlivable Planet

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/08/as-the-world-burns-hurtling-towa...

"The media and political establishments are diddling while the planet burns. Are we really supposed to take their games seriously as humanity veers ever more dangerously off the environmental cliff? If the global warming cataclysm - already significantly underway in vast swaths of the planet - isn't averted and soon, then nothing else we care about is going to matter all that much. We'll soon be arguing about how fairly to slice up a badly overheated pie - how to turn an overcooked world upside down (or right-side up) and how to properly manage a living Hell.

But so what? The chattering and electoral classes and political gossip-peddlers divert us 24-7 with breathless 'breaking news' reports on an endless stream of supposedly bigger stories: The absurd Orwellian charge that Ilhan Omar is an anti-Semite...Nearly two years ago, CNN co-producer John Bonfield was caught on tape telling a right-wing undercover journalist that CNN president Jeff Zucker said this to his executive producers after Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Accords: 'Good job everybody covering the climate accords, but we're done with that. Let's get back to Russia.'

Climate catastrophe? It's not a big seller..."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

U.S. and Canadian oil production pushing planet's climate goals out of reach, says IEA

A surge in U.S. and Canadian oil production over the last decade has added the equivalent of “one Russia or one Saudi Arabia” to the markets — pushing the planet farther away from ever getting a grip on the pollution that is driving climate change.

Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency, revealed this fact Feb. 26 while discussing what he saw as a “growing disconnect” between the countless scientific studies calling for a decline in heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions — each more urgent than the last — and the fact that pollution continues to rise, hitting a record high last year....

NDPP

On Contact: Civil Disobedience to Stop Ecocide 

https://youtu.be/220tv9Jktmg

"...The British-based group Extinction Rebellion has called for non-violent acts of civil disobedience on April 15 in capitals around the world to reverse our 'one-way track to extinction.' Joining Chris Hedges in a two-part discussion from London is Roger Hallam, the co-founder of Extinction Rebellion."

Martin N.

I think the Denial part revolves around the false premise that committing economic suicide for 'climate change' is beneficial to the planet.

Efforts are better spent actually doing something other than protesting. Plant a tree, clean up shoreline, fix a ditch, park n walk - anything other than mindless moaning.

jerrym

Actually, the consequences for continuing on the same old fossil fuel-based economic path is what will lead to economic suicide as the 2018 report from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate outlines. This report describes the economic opportunities associated with shifting quickly to a green energy economy, as well as the risks associated with attempting to maintain a fossil fuel based economy. The Commission was established in 2013 by the governments of Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, and the United Kingdom and already has released reports in 2014, 2015, and 2016.  It consists of 28 former heads of government and finance ministers, as well as leaders in the fields of economics, business and finance. It operates as an independent body and, while benefiting from the support of the partner governments, has been given full freedom to reach its own conclusions. 

The 2018 report concludes that shifting investments to a green energy economy could add $26 trillion to the global economy by 2030, create many more jobs than similar dollar investments in fossil fuels, and help avoid $600 trillion of negative impacts by 2100 that are estimated to occur if we continue with the same old fossil fuel economy.

Unfortunately, our current Trudeau federal government continues to invest in the same old less economically productive  fossil fuel industry that is producing the exponential growth in environmental catastrophes which visibly increases with each passing year. 

 

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

  • Yet we are not making progress anywhere near fast enough. While many private sector players are stepping-up, policy-makers in most countries still have the hand-brake on. We are now at a fork in the road.

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

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

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

The next 2—3 years are a critical window when many of the policy and investment decisions that shape the next 10—15 years will be taken.

 

https://newclimateeconomy.report/2018/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2018/09...

 

 

jerrym

Furthermore, David Wallace-Wells article on climate change vividly describes what continuing with a fossil fuel based economic system means for our planet in terms of its catastrophic consequences. 

When it comes to contemplating real-world warming dangers, we suffer from an incredible failure of imagination. The reasons for that are many: the timid language of scientific probabilities, which the climatologist James Hansen once called “scientific reticence” in a paper chastising scientists for editing their own observations so conscientiously that they failed to communicate how dire the threat really was; the fact that the country is dominated by a group of technocrats who believe any problem can be solved and an opposing culture that doesn’t even see warming as a problem worth addressing; the way that climate denialism has made scientists even more cautious in offering speculative warnings; the simple speed of change and, also, its slowness, such that we are only seeing effects now of warming from decades past; our uncertainty about uncertainty, which the climate writer Naomi Oreskes in particular has suggested stops us from preparing as though anything worse than a median outcome were even possible; the way we assume climate change will hit hardest elsewhere, not everywhere; the smallness (two degrees) and largeness (1.8 trillion tons) and abstractness (400 parts per million) of the numbers; the discomfort of considering a problem that is very difficult, if not impossible, to solve; the altogether incomprehensible scale of that problem, which amounts to the prospect of our own annihilation; simple fear. ...

Most people talk as if Miami and Bangladesh still have a chance of surviving; most of the scientists I spoke with assume we’ll lose them within the century, even if we stop burning fossil fuel in the next decade. Two degrees of warming used to be considered the threshold of catastrophe: tens of millions of climate refugees unleashed upon an unprepared world. Now two degrees is our goal. ...

The Earth has experienced five mass extinctions before the one we are living through now, ... all but the one that killed the dinosaurs were caused by climate change produced by greenhouse gas. The most notorious was 252 million years ago; it began when carbon warmed the planet by five degrees, accelerated when that warming triggered the release of methane in the Arctic, and ended with 97 percent of all life on Earth dead. ...

Actually, we’re about there already. Since 1980, the planet has experienced a 50-fold increase in the number of places experiencing dangerous or extreme heat; a bigger increase is to come. The five warmest summers in Europe since 1500 have all occurred since 2002, and soon, the IPCC warns, simply being outdoors that time of year will be unhealthy for much of the globe. Even if we meet the Paris goals of two degrees warming, cities like Karachi and Kolkata will become close to uninhabitable, annually encountering deadly heat waves like those that crippled them in 2015. At four degrees, the deadly European heat wave of 2003, which killed as many as 2,000 people a day, will be a normal summer. At six, according to an assessment focused only on effects within the U.S. from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, summer labor of any kind would become impossible in the lower Mississippi Valley, and everybody in the country east of the Rockies would be under more heat stress than anyone, anywhere, in the world today.  ... heat stress in New York City would exceed that of present-day Bahrain, one of the planet’s hottest spots, and the temperature in Bahrain “would induce hyperthermia in even sleeping humans.” ... the crisis will be most dramatic across the Middle East and Persian Gulf, where in 2015 the heat index registered temperatures as high as 163 degrees Fahrenheit. As soon as several decades from now, the hajj will become physically impossible for the 2 million Muslims who make the pilgrimage each year. ...

By 2080, without dramatic reductions in emissions, southern Europe will be in permanent extreme drought, much worse than the American dust bowl ever was. The same will be true in Iraq and Syria and much of the rest of the Middle East; some of the most densely populated parts of Australia, Africa, and South America; and the breadbasket regions of China. None of these places, which today supply much of the world’s food, will be reliable sources of any. ...

The scientists know that to even meet the Paris goals, by 2050, carbon emissions from energy and industry, which are still rising, will have to fall by half each decade; emissions from land use (deforestation, cow farts, etc.) will have to zero out; and we will need to have invented technologies to extract, annually, twice as much carbon from the atmosphere as the entire planet’s plants now do.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2017/07/climate-change-earth-too-hot-for-...

 

jerrym

If you are not worried about the catastrophic impacts of climate change across the rest of the world, here is what we can expect in Canada. 

Climate change could impact dramatically on British Columbia and the Yukon:

  • Higher air temperatures could result in droughts in southern coastal and interior zones; cause landslides by melting glaciers and permafrost in northern and mountainous areas; reduce the flow of rivers and streams; make forests drier and more defenceless against pests, diseases, and fire; and imperil wildlife on land and in water.
  • Warmer ocean temperatures could result in shifts in the ranges, spawning time, and food supplies of marine species, like Pacific salmon, thereby depriving terrestrial species, like bears and bald eagles of nourishment.
  • Rising sea levels could threaten such coastal zones as the Fraser River delta with floods and erosion.
  • Increasing rain and snow could cause flooding throughout the interior.

Western Mountain Region

The Rockies’ extremes of climate and altitude make them particularly prone to the effects of climate change:

  • As temperatures rise, low-elevation glaciers are rapidly melting and may disappear or cause landslides that put wildlife habitat at risk; plant and animal species are shifting upward, for example, sagebrush is replacing glacial meadows, and life forms restricted to the highest peaks are being displaced by others moving up from below.
  • Increasing precipitation means deeper snow, which could make it more difficult for animals like deer and elk to forage for food and drive them into valleys where they are more vulnerable to car and train collisions and predator attacks.

Prairie Region

The consequences of climate change in Canada’s Prairies could be severe:

  • Rising temperatures, decreasing rainfall, greater rates of evaporation, and drier soils will mean habitat loss both on land and in water.
  • Warmer weather may prolong the growing season and expand agriculture further north. It could also cause longer, more frequent droughts, diminished crop yields, and the spread of desert-like conditions over part of the southern Prairies.
  • Widespread fires in the boreal forest region may cause the northward expansion of grasslands and shrink the habitat of the woodland caribou and many other species.
  • More than 50 percent of Prairie potholes could disappear.

Boreal Forest Region

Scientists predict that this northern region – comprising one-third of the planet’s forests – will be one of the areas most affected by climate change:

  • Dry, warm weather could alter the ecosystem, making the forest fire season weeks longer, sparking more frequent and sever “monster blazes,” and doubling the area burned each year. Rising temperatures could also result in more frequent and deadly attacks by forest pests, including spruce budworm and pine beetle.
  • The species composition of the forest could change as conditions suitable for the growth and regeneration of pine, spruce, fir, and other temperature-sensitive trees continue to shift.
  • The timberline could move hundreds of kilometres further north, pushing the tundra back to the Arctic Islands and reducing it to one- to two-thirds its current size.
  • As evergreen trees lose ground to hardwoods in the region’s lower latitudes, losses from the southern margin of the forest will likely exceed the gains in the north.
  • More than half of the boreal forest could vanish in the next hundred years due to climate change.

Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region

Climate change models predict major impacts on this region’s lands and waters:

  • Average temperatures could rise by 2 to 5°C while precipitation could increase by up to 25 percent by the end of this century.
  • More days when heat stress and air pollution threaten the health of wildlife and humans, changes in forest composition due to shifting vegetation zones, increases in the frequency and severity of forest fires, the northward extension of agriculture, and a longer growing season are among the changes expected on land. Significant declines in the populations of neotropical migratory birds, including many wood-warbler species, could result.
  • As the region warms up, the temperatures of lakes, streams, and rivers will rise and much more water will evaporate. The levels of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River could fall by a metre in 30 years, reducing the volume of water that flows through the system and circulates oxygen to biologically productive zones.
  • These changes will benefit some aquatic species and spell disaster for others. Cold-water fish, like salmon and trout, could suffer substantial loss of both habitats and populations. Such species at risk as the spotted turtle and swamp rose-mallow could see their habitats dry up while the nesting sites of waterfowl become more accessible to predators in Great Lakes marshes.

Atlantic Region

This region will be particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels and increased storm activity.

  • Increased coastal erosion, sedimentation, flooding of low-lying habitats, shrinking of tidal flats and nesting beaches needed by shorebirds, and submersion of barrier islands vital to breeding raptors and colonial birds are among the effects of sea level rise.
  • Most at risk are salt-marshes. These coastal wetlands have adapted to a unique mix of fresh and salt water. Too much salinity could throw them off balance and harm the habitat of a wide range of species, particularly fish and waterfowl.
  • Heavier rainfall would increase the volume of run-off polluting bays and estuaries that provide key stopovers for migratory bird sand nourish and feed countless species of molluscs, crustaceans, and fish.
  • Changes in sea temperature would affect the range, distribution, and food supplies of sea-bird and marine-mammal populations.
  • Heightened storm intensity, frequent fires, and other ecological pressures would increase the die back of coniferous trees and promote a transition from boreal to mixed and temperate forests.

Arctic Ocean Region

The far- reaching impacts of climate change will be felt nowhere greater than in Canada’s Arctic, one of the fastest-warming regions on Earth:

  • As temperatures rise, climatologists anticipate not only the shrinking of the Arctic tundra but also the shrinking of the Arctic sea ice . This frozen platform is integral to the lives of a huge array of species, such as walruses , seals, and polar bears, that feed, travel, and breed on its vast expanses. Algae living under the sea ice are the foundation of an ocean food chain that supports plankton, copepods, fish, sea birds, and mammals. The average thickness of the sea ice has shrunk by 40 per cent in the past three decades, jeopardizing the future of this web of life.
  • Among the species affected most is the black guillemot, a sea bird whose populations have plummeted since 1990 as the melting of sea ice increases the distances it must fly to forage for food.

http://cwf-fcf.org/en/about-cwf/contact-us/faq/faqs/how-will-climate-cha...

jerrym

Fed up with the lack of action by adults on climate change, students in 1301 protests in 99 countries around the world are planning to protest on March 15th and May 3rd to protest the failure of previous generations including those currently in power to deal with the global existential problem of the 21st century, one that will have a greater impact on youth than any previous generation. The protests are open to people of all ages. It all started with a 15 year old girl with autism, Greta Thunberg, protesting alone outside the Swedish parliament last August and has avalanched into a worldwide movement that has already staged several protests. 

Greta Thunberg strikes outside the Swedish parliament

 Greta Thunberg strikes outside the Swedish parliament last summer. Photograph: Michael Campanella/The Guardian

 

 

For the past several months, growing numbers of students around the world have been cutting class — not to play but to protest. The topic driving them is the same: Earth’s changing climate. Increasing wildfires and droughts, rising seas and more extreme weather are among the events being tied to elevated emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide. As students see it, governments have not done enough to cut those emissions or to plan ways to adapt to the impacts of climate change. So students have been going on strike. And on March 15, many plan to participate in a coordinated strike that will take place across the globe. ...

Many young protesters have drawn inspiration from Greta Thunberg. The 16-year old Swedish teen has Asperger’s syndrome. This mild form of autism can leave people uncomfortable in social situations. Yet Greta began regularly protesting outside Sweden’s Parliament last summer. She also has encouraged kids to strike in other countries. She even spoke to delegates at the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNCCC). It was held in December in Katowice, Poland.

“You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes,” Greta told attendees at the UNCCC. There is still time to limit the worst impacts, she noted — but only if governments act now. “Until you start focusing on what needs to be done rather than what is politically possible,” she said, “there is no hope.” 

Haven Coleman, who turns 13 this month, is one of the co-leaders of the U.S. school strikes. She, too, has been inspired to act by changes she’s seen in her part of the world. “We’re affected by floods and fires, and we’ve been in a 19-year drought,” says this student in Denver, Colo. Climate change will make such events more common and worsen air pollution, especially from wildfires. Breathing dirty air already causes problems for Haven, who has asthma.

“All ages are welcome for the climate strikes,” notes Nakate Vanessa. “Not being a teen does not stop you from striking for climate,” says the 22-year old. She lives in Uganda, a nation in east-central Africa. The first two months of this year in her area have already been unusually hot and dry, she observes. So on March 15, she plans to join student protests in the capital city of Kampala. Ugandan students also will go on strike in Jinja, a town on the shore of Lake Victoria, she notes.

https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/students-climate-strike-m...

 

jerrym

Here's a list of March 15th Fridays For Future climate change protests in 99 countries around the world. 

https://fridaysforfuture.org/events/list

jerrym

By clicking on the circles on the global map of the url below, you can find a March 15th Fridays For Future climate change protest near you, including 42 in Canada. 

https://fridaysforfuture.org/events/map

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..moved

jerrym

The remarkable story of Greta Thunberg's solitary protest growing into worldwide movement is described below: 

Thunberg has risen rapidly in prominence and influence. In December, she spoke at the United Nations climate conference, berating world leaders for behaving like irresponsible children. Last month, she had similarly harsh words for the global business elite at Davos. She said: “Some people, some companies, some decision-makers in particular, have known exactly what priceless values they have been sacrificing to continue making unimaginable amounts of money. And I think many of you here today belong to that group of people.”

The movement she started has morphed and grown around the world , and, at times, linked up with older groups, including Extinction Rebellion, 350.org and Greenpeace. ...

Veteran climate campaigners are astonished by what has been achieved in such a short time. “The movement that Greta launched is one of the most hopeful things in my 30 years of working on the climate question. It throws the generational challenge of global warming into its sharpest relief, and challenges adults to prove they are, actually, adults. So many thanks to all the young people who are stepping up,” said Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org. Around the world, so many student strikes are now taking place or planned that it is becoming hard to keep up. ...

Australia was one of the first countries to mobilise. Last November, organisers estimate 15,000 students went on strike. Last Friday, students lobbied outside the offices of the opposition party. On 1 March, they will target the federal treasurer’s office. Two weeks later, they will join the global strike. ...

In Belgium, there have been strikes by thousands of students for at least four consecutive weeks, with one now-famous placard – addressed to politicians and policymakers – reading: “I’ll do my homework when you do yours.”

More than 3,000 scientists have given their backing to the strikes. The Belgian government is clearly feeling the pressure. The environment minister was forced to resign after falsely claiming the country’s intelligence services held evidence that the striking children were being directed by unnamed powers. The allegation was quickly contradicted by intelligence chiefs.

Switzerland has seen some of the biggest actions. Local activists said 23,000 joined the strike on 18 January, followed by 65,000 on 2 February. They too are preparing for the global demonstration on 15 March. They want the government to immediately declare a climate state of emergency, implement policies to be zero-carbon by 2030 without geo-engineering, and if necessary move away from the current economic system. ...

The global strike on 15 March is expected to be the biggest yet with mobilisations in 150 cities. “It is not acceptable that grown-ups are destroying the future right now,” said Jakob Blasel, a high-school student. “Our goal to stop coal power in Germany and fossil energy everywhere.” He said politicians have expressed admiration for their campaign, but this has not translated into action. “This is not acceptable. We won’t stop until they start acting.”

Until now 75% of the participants have been schoolchildren but increasing numbers of university students are joining. Luisa Neubauer, a 22-year-old, was among those invited to talk to senior cabinet officials. She told the German minister of economy that he was part of the problem because he was working for industry, rather than for people or the planet.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/15/the-beginning-of-gre...

 

jerrym

Here's a description of the single autistic girl who started a gigantic student-led global warming movement. 

Greta Thunberg cut a frail and lonely figure when she started a school strike for the climate outside the Swedish parliament building last August. Her parents tried to dissuade her. Classmates declined to join. Passersby expressed pity and bemusement at the sight of the then unknown 15-year-old sitting on the cobblestones with a hand-painted banner.

Eight months on, the picture could not be more different. The pigtailed teenager is feted across the world as a model of determination, inspiration and positive action. National presidents and corporate executives line up to be criticised by her, face to face. Her skolstrejk för klimatet (school strike for climate) banner has been translated into dozens of languages. And, most striking of all, the loner is now anything but alone.

On 15 March, when she returns to the cobblestones (as she has done almost every Friday in rain, sun, ice and snow), it will be as a figurehead for a vast and growing movement. The global climate strike this Friday is gearing up to be one of the biggest environmental protests the world has ever seen.  ...

A year ago, this was unimaginable. Back then, Thunberg was a painfully introverted, slightly built nobody, waking at 6am to prepare for school and heading back home at 3pm. ...

She was never quite like the other kids. ... Four years ago, she was diagnosed with Asperger’s.

“I overthink. Some people can just let things go, but I can’t, especially if there’s something that worries me or makes me sad. I remember when I was younger, and in school, our teachers showed us films of plastic in the ocean, starving polar bears and so on. I cried through all the movies. My classmates were concerned when they watched the film, but when it stopped, they started thinking about other things. I couldn’t do that. Those pictures were stuck in my head.”

She has come to accept this as part of who she is – and made it a motivating force instead of a source of paralysing depression, which it once was. At about the age of eight, when she first learned about climate change, she was shocked that adults did not appear to be taking the issue seriously. It was not the only reason she became depressed a few years later, but it was a significant factor. ...

“I kept thinking about it and I just wondered if I am going to have a future. And I kept that to myself because I’m not very much of a talker, and that wasn’t healthy. I became very depressed and stopped going to school. When I was home, my parents took care of me, and we started talking because we had nothing else to do. And then I told them about my worries and concerns about the climate crisis and the environment. And it felt good to just get that off my chest.

“They just told me everything will be all right. That didn’t help, of course, but it was good to talk. And then I kept on going, talking about this all the time and showing my parents pictures, graphs and films, articles and reports. And, after a while, they started listening to what I actually said. That’s when I kind of realised I could make a difference. And how I got out of that depression was that I thought: it is just a waste of time feeling this way because I can do so much good with my life. I am trying to do that still now.”

Her parents were the guinea pigs. She discovered she had remarkable powers of persuasion, and her mother gave up flying, which had a severe impact on her career. Her father became a vegetarian. As well as feeling relieved by the transformation of their formerly quiet and morose daughter, they say they were persuaded by her reasoning. “Over the years, I ran out of arguments,” says her father. ...

The climate strike was inspired by students from the Parkland school in Florida, who walked out of classes in protest against the US gun laws that enabled the massacre on their campus. Greta was part of a group that wanted to do something similar to raise awareness about climate change, but they couldn’t agree what. Last summer, after a record heatwave in northern Europe and forest fires that ravaged swathes of Swedish land up to the Arctic, Thunberg decided to go it alone. Day one was 20 August 2018.

“I painted the sign on a piece of wood and, for the flyers, wrote down some facts I thought everyone should know. And then I took my bike to the parliament and just sat there,” she recalls. “The first day, I sat alone from about 8.30am to 3pm – the regular schoolday. And then on the second day, people started joining me. After that, there were people there all the time.”

She kept her promise to strike every day until the Swedish national elections. Afterwards, she agreed to make a speech in front of thousands of people at a People’s Climate March rally. Her parents were reluctant. Knowing Thunberg had been so reticent that she had previously been diagnosed with selective mutism, they tried to talk her out of it. But the teenager was determined. ... Despite her family’s concerns, she delivered the address in nearly flawless English, and invited the crowd to film her on their mobile phones and spread the message through social media.  ...

People with selective mutism have a tendency to worry more than others. Thunberg has since weaponised this in meetings with political leaders, and with billionaire entrepreneurs in Davos. “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act,” she told them.

Such tongue-lashings have gone down well. Many politicians laud her candidness. In return, she listens to their claims that stronger climate policies are unrealistic unless the public make the issue more of a priority. She is unconvinced. “They are still not doing anything. So I don’t know really why they are supporting us because we are criticising them. It’s kind of weird.” She has also been withering about leaders in the US, UK and Australia who either ignore the strikers or admonish them for skipping classes. “They are desperately trying to change the subject whenever the school strikes come up. They know they can’t win this fight because they haven’t done anything.” ...

The girl who once slipped into despair is now a beacon of hope. One after another, veteran campaigners and grizzled scientists have described her as the best news for the climate movement in decades. ...

In this regard, her family see her Asperger’s as a blessing. She is someone who strips away social distractions and focuses with black-and-white clarity on the issues. “It’s nothing that I want to change about me,” she says. “It’s just who I am. If I had been just like everyone else and been social, then I would have just tried to start an organisation. But I couldn’t do that. I’m not very good with people, so I did something myself instead.” ...

She seems incapable of the cognitive dissonance that allows other people to lament what is happening to the climate one minute, then tuck into a steak, buy a car or fly off for a weekend break the next. Although Thunberg believes political action far outweighs individual changes to consumer habits, she lives her values. She is a vegan, and only travels abroad by train. ...

This Friday, when she takes her usual spot outside the Swedish parliament, she will be joined by classmates and students from other schools. “It’s going to be very, very big internationally, with hundreds of thousands of children going to strike from school to say that we aren’t going to accept this any more,” she says. “I think we are only seeing the beginning. I think that change is on the horizon and the people will stand up for their future.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/11/greta-thunberg-schoolgirl-...

 

 

jerrym

Here is Greta Thunberg's TED talk.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAmmUIEsN9A

 

jerrym

While Trudeau continues to proclaim himself the climate change warrior, the IEA says American and Canadian oil production are pushing climate change goals out of reach, while the developing world is now using more renewables than the developed world, thereby giving lie to another of the climate change deniers, who say we cannot possibly compete if don't continue using fossil fuels in a major way. 

A surge in US and Canadian oil production over the last decade has added the equivalent of “one Russia or one Saudi Arabia” to the markets—pushing the planet farther away from ever getting a grip on the pollution that is driving climate change.

Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency, revealed this fact Feb. 26 while discussing what he saw as a “growing disconnect” between the countless scientific studies calling for a decline in heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions—each more urgent than the last—and the fact that pollution continues to rise, hitting a record high last year.

In order to avoid the extreme flooding, drought, heat waves, rainfall, disease outbreaks and other dangers to human health that climate change will provoke, nations must stop burning fossil fuels in sufficient amounts to limit the rise in average surface temperature to below two degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels.

The problem, said Birol, is that there is already no more room to increase the amount of pollution that humans add each year to the atmosphere. All of the cars, trucks, power plants, factories and other facilities that have already been built around the world, he said, will eat up the rest of the planet’s so-called “carbon budget”—an expression used to describe the maximum amount of pollution that could be generated if the planet wants to limit the rise of average global temperatures—by 2045.

Canada has committed to investing billions of dollars over the next several years in clean technology that Birol said can take a big bite out of oil demand. ...

But the government also spent billions of dollars to buy the Trans Mountain oil pipeline and expansion project, and Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi recently announced $1.6 billion in support for the oil and gas sector to expand into new markets. Even Ottawa’s electric-car charging fund is also supporting natural gas refueling stations.

Those waiting in the wings to take power in Canada promise even more fossil fuel exploitation. Official Opposition Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has referred to Canada’s oil as the “cleanest” energy in the world, and continues to do so despite petroleum needing to be kept in the ground to keep global warming in check. ...

The Liberal government does not see a contradiction in all its efforts. It says decarbonization won’t happen overnight, and needs to be encouraged over several years, with the energy sector continuing to receive support in the interim. It sees lower-carbon shifts, such as from diesel to natural gas, as better than doing nothing.

Even so, a report from the International Institute for Sustainable Development describes how clean tech companies in Canada are facing challenges competing on a level playing field with the financially powerful oil and gas sector. ...

Birol laid out a stark assessment of the planet’s energy picture, and the uphill battle facing nations in cutting their carbon emissions.

Oil production in North America has more than doubled since 2009, despite Canada promising to cut its carbon emissions since the 1990s. A decade ago, Birol said, US and Canada together produced roughly 10 million barrels per day of oil, and today that number is roughly 22 million. The increase in production alone is equal to “one Russia or one Saudi Arabia” in additional output, he said, and an increase in natural gas is a “similar story.” “I believe the full impact of the North American oil and gas surge has not been felt yet” in terms of energy markets and petro-politics, said Birol. ...

Most of the world’s nations, including Canada, have committed to the Paris Agreement goal of keeping the global average temperature increase to well below two degrees Celsius. ...

Canada, for example, will fall short of its target unless it can close a gap of 79 million tons of carbon pollution. ...

Last year, solar was the largest growing power sector source in the world. Costs have plummeted and many governments are encouraging solar energy adoption. The developing world, in fact, is now deploying more renewables than developed nations. “We are going to see a big role for solar in the years to come,” Birol predicted. ...

“Emerging firms are struggling to operate in the low-carbon economy, where prices for the commodities they replace—including energy derived from oil and gas—are volatile and where prices for the pollution they address—such as carbon—remain low and are also subject to volatility.”

In January, National Observer reported that 45 per cent of the funding in a program that had been described as a boon for electric vehicles, was actually going towards natural gas refueling stations. Electric vehicle advocates said at the time that they felt slighted that the program wasn’t advancing the cause of electrification as much as it could. Under the program, the electric vehicle charging stations have cost about $50,000 to install, making them much cheaper than natural gas stations which cost around $1 million each.

https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2019/03/us-and-canadian-oil-prod...

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Solar panels fill a field in Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, France.

Panoramic Images/Getty Images

jerrym

Today there were 2,052 events in 123 countries as part of the student led and Greta Thunberg inspired Fridays for Future school strikes to protest the lack of action on climate change. 

 

Graphic showing number of protests worldwide 15.3.2019 EN

https://www.dw.com/en/fridays-for-future-students-hold-international-cli...

 

jerrym

In Canada, Montreal had the largest crowd, an estimated 150,000, attending the Fridays for Future protest of adult inaction on climate change. 

 

Thousands of protesters continue to flood the streets of Montreal during the march for climate change. Some 150,000 students throughout Quebec province are on strike for the day.

Thousands of protesters continue to flood the streets of Montreal during the march for climate change.  (MARTIN OUELLET-DIOTTE / AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Tens of thousands of young protesters marched through Montreal on Friday as part of climate change demonstrations taking place around the world.

Marches are also being held in other Canadian cities, including Toronto, Vancouver, St. John'sCharlottetown and Regina, but Montreal's appears to have been the largest.

Greenpeace estimated the crowd to be be at more than 150,000 people.

The co-ordinated "school strikes" being held in more than 100 countries were inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who began holding solitary demonstrations outside the Swedish parliament last year.

Since then, the weekly protests have snowballed from a handful of cities to hundreds, driven by social media-savvy students and dramatic headlines about the impacts of climate change.

High school students in Montreal have been holding climate marches every Friday afternoon for several weeks. 

'We are more mature than you'

Some have been penalized for cutting classes, while others have been encouraged by their schools, teachers and parents to attend.  ...

"We are declaring an environmental emergency," one said.

"We are more mature than you," said another, echoing Thunberg.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/climate-march-montreal-1.5058083

 

jerrym

In Vancouver,

Thousands of students marched in downtown Vancouver Friday, calling for action on climate change.

The School Strike for Climate, or #climatestrike, is part of an international movement to have young people’s voices heard about climate change.

Today’s protest garnered impressive numbers as herds of college and university students joined in as well.

The group marched downtown chanting “For our future, for our life,” and “Hey Hey Ho Ho, climate change has got to go,” before converging at the north side of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/student-climate-change-protest-vancouver...

 

 

jerrym

An estimated 1.4 million students took part in Fridays for Future protests worldwide. There were 2052 student-led protests in 123 countries, including 55 in Canadian cities and towns, despite students facing threats of punishment for missing school in many cases. 

An estimated 1.4 million young people in 123 countries skipped school Friday to demand stronger climate policies in what may be one of the largest environmental protests in history. 

“This movement had to happen, we didn’t have a choice,” wrote the Swedish activist and strike leader Greta Thunberg with other young climate activists in the Guardian Friday. “We knew there was a climate crisis ... We knew, because everything we read and watched screamed out to us that something was very wrong.”

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2019/3/15/18267156/youth-clim...

 

 

Open this photo in gallery

People take part in a demonstration against climate change organised by 'Youth For Climate' on March 15, 2019, in Brussels.

 

Prague Friday for Future protest today

Image result for Denial is not a policy South Africa photo Fridays for future

Cape Town South Africa

Image result for Photos  Fridays for Future protest March 15 2019

New Delhi

Many more pictures at Photos Fridays for Future protest March 15 2019

jerrym

Unfortunately, the world got another warning yesterday from the United Nations on how fast global warming is changing our environment and lives: the Arctic is facing unavoidable catastrophic impacts from climate change even if the world reaches its Paris Agreement targets that we are currently well on the way to surpassing. These changes will have global impacts beyond the Arctic. 

Winter temperatures in the Arctic are set to rise by 3 to 5 C by 2050 even if the world succeeds in cutting emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, according to a new report by the United Nations. These temperatures are set rise even higher – up to 9 C –  by 2080, bringing devastating changes to the region and triggering sea level rises worldwide, the report by UN Environment finds.

Further warming may also surpass tipping points for the stability of the Greenland ice sheet, as well as the rapidly melting permafrost, which could release large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and derail efforts to meet global greenhouse gas emission goals. Other possible tipping points are related to increased fresh water input or ocean acidification, with direct impacts on ocean circulation and ecosystems, warns the report titled Global Linkages – A graphic look at the changing Arctic.

“What happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic,” said in a statement Joyce Msuya, UN Environment’s Acting Executive Director. “We have the science; now more urgent climate action is needed to steer away from tipping points that could be even worse for our planet than we first thought.”

Even if all carbon emissions were to be halted immediately, winter temperatures in the Arctic would still increase 4 to 5 C by the end of the 21st century compared to the late 20th century, the study finds. That’s because of greenhouse gases already emitted and stored in the world oceans. ...

But it’s not just about reducing carbon emissions. “Longer-term efforts to transition to low-carbon economies, both in the Arctic and globally, must be complemented by instant measures to reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP), including methane, tropospheric ozone and black carbon,” the study says. “Immediately controlling SLCPs across the world could cut the rate of warming in the Arctic by up to two-thirds by mid-century.”

The report warns that Arctic societies, especially Indigenous Peoples who already face increased food insecurity, must prepare for what’s coming with suitable adaptation actions. By mid-century nearly four million people, and about two-thirds of today’s Arctic infrastructure, will be threatened by thawing permafrost, the report warns. ...

Global impacts

Source: UN Environment

The Arctic region has a significant impact on the global climate and there are strong feedback mechanisms between the Arctic and the rest of the world, the study says.

From 1979 to the present, Arctic sea ice is estimated to have declined by 40 per cent. Climate models predict that, at the current rate of carbon dioxide emissions, Arctic summers will be ice-free by the 2030s, according to the report. “Global emissions drive the melting of ice caps and glaciers, significantly contributing to rising sea levels, which will affect coastal and island communities throughout the world,” the report says. The melting of the Greenland ice cap and Arctic glaciers contribute to one third of sea level rise worldwide.

The slightest change in temperature can have a substantial effect on the fragile ecosystems in the Arctic, which is home to over 21,000 species of plants, fungi, mammals, birds, fish, insects and invertebrates, the report says. “This makes climate change the most serious threat to biodiversity in the Arctic.”

Ocean acidification is another threat

Growing ocean acidification is another factor impacting Arctic marine species. “The increase in ocean CO2 has caused average ocean surface acidity to increase by 30 per cent since the beginning of the industrial revolution,” the report said. “Lower pH levels can affect life in the ocean: for example, sea creatures like corals, molluscs, sea urchins and plankton build their shells and skeletons from aragonite, a carbonate mineral. This mineral becomes less available when pH levels of seawater fall, meaning these creatures need more energy to build their shells.” ...

The report also warns of other threats such as plastic pollution, invasive species and new diseases appearing in the region.

http://www.rcinet.ca/eye-on-the-arctic/2019/03/14/the-arctic-locked-in-f...

 

jerrym

Here's more on the devastation facing the Arctic and the globe from the UN report described in the last post. Of course, Canada being an Arctic nation means the impact will be even greater here. 

The Arctic is now locked into a destructive degree of climate change regardless of what measures are taken to halt global greenhouse gas emissions.

This conclusion comes out of a new UN environment report on the Arctic, which describes scenarios where Arctic winter temperatures increase by three to five degrees by 2050 compared to 1986-2005 levels, and by five to nine degrees by 2080. This temperature rise is expected to happen regardless of the success or failure of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

This would, according to the report, devastate the region while "unleashing sea level rises worldwide."

Even if global emissions were to stop overnight, the report says winter temperatures in the Arctic would continue to rise by up to 5 C by 2100 compared to average temperatures in the late 20th century. The temperature rise is described by the report as "locked in" because of greenhouse gases already emitted and heat stored in the ocean.

"Carbon emissions and the greenhouse gas emissions have a delayed effect and the emissions which we are producing today and which we will keep producing … will have effects for decades," said Jan Dusik, principal adviser on strategic engagement for the Arctic and Antarctic with the UN environment program, in a phone interview. ...

Devastating impact

According to one study cited in the report, up to 70 per cent of Arctic infrastructure could be threatened because of thawing permafrost by 2050.  The Arctic, according to the report, is to become a very different place. While a warming Arctic will bring with it some new economic opportunities, Arctic communities must prepare to adapt to the expected changes rather than hope Arctic warming will reverse itself.

"What we can expect in the Arctic is that there will be a massive melting of ice and thawing of permafrost. It will be a threat for biodiversity, there will be a change in living conditions for the Arctic communities," Dusik said. ...

Permafrost will not be the only geographic casualty in the North. Under current rates of carbon dioxide emissions, the report anticipates Arctic summer sea ice could largely disappear within two decades. Thawing permafrost and melt water from sea ice and glaciers will have impacts worldwide. The melting of Arctic glaciers and the Greenland ice cap will increase sea levels and affect global ocean currents and weather patterns, while thawing permafrost is expected to contribute to increased carbon dioxide and methane emissions. ...

"The thawing trend appears irreversible," the report states. "While compliance with the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change would stabilize permafrost losses, the extent would still be 45 per cent below current values. Under a high emissions scenario, stable permafrost will likely only remain in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago [Baffin Island and surrounding Arctic islands], the Russian Arctic coast and the east Siberian uplands."

According to the report, the world's frozen soils hold approximately 1,672 billion metric tonnes of carbon. The resulting emissions from thawing permafrost could derail the Paris Agreement's stated goal of limiting global temperature rise to well below 2 C. "It's time to adapt and to prepare for the changes that will come," Dusik said. "But it's also time to make the impact as little as possible and reduce … emissions. That cannot be done in an isolated way by the Arctic communities or Arctic countries. ...

"It has to be a global action so that one-and-half degrees Celsius that is in the Paris Agreement needs to be fulfilled as quickly as possible. Even that will mean a big change in the Arctic climate."

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/arctic-warming-locked-in-1.5056548

 

jerrym

We as a society have not done a good job of dealing with the rapidly increasing financial costs of climate change, including in where and how we build homes. 

The impacts of floods, wildfires and other catastrophic events are on the rise in Canada. They’re already costing the country billions of dollars in losses, which only stand to grow in the coming years.

The Canadian insurance industry defines a catastrophic event as one that exceeds a threshold of $25 million in insured losses — the portion covered by private insurance. Insurance claims due to extreme weather reached $1.9 billion in 2018, including the late December wind storm on British Columbia’s south coast that downed trees and powerlines, and damaged more than 3,000 homes. ...

These costs have come close to, or exceeded, $1 billion in most years since 2009. They surpassed $1.5 billion in 2011, $3 billion in 2013 and $4.9 billion in 2016. In the past decade, the sum of all severe weather-related catastrophic events in Canada topped $17 billion. These numbers, however, are only the tip of the iceberg. ...

In many western industrialized countries, only about 40 per cent of disaster damages are insured. This means that citizens absorb the lion’s share of damage costs in the form of insurance deductibles, costs not covered by insurance such as lost work days and higher prices passed on by businesses.

Taxpayers also fund government disaster assistance, which topped $1.02 billion in 2013-2014. Between 2009 and 2015, the federal government provided $3.3 billion in recovery funding, more in those six years than in the first 39 fiscal years of the program combined. As people place more assets in harm’s way, existing public infrastructure ages and climate change impacts increase in the decades ahead, these large losses will only worsen. ...

The solution to the challenge of building societal resilience involves fostering a “whole of society” approach that includes academia, private industry, all levels of government and property owners to mitigate the impacts of natural disasters on society.

One of the weakest links in the chain is the lack of resiliency built into homes. Building codes represent the minimum legal requirements for house construction and do not take extremes into consideration. ...

Current and future damages are unacceptable when weighed against small changes in construction practices such as extra fasteners that secure roofs in high winds, $150 backwater valves that keep sewage out of basements during extreme rainfall events and fire resilient siding that is often close to the same price as more flammable options. ...

Builders now face another challenge: adding resiliency to homes so that they withstand severe weather. In many cases, we know what needs to be done to make homes more resilient, but face objections from some groups who need to be onside to make this happen. The challenge is amplified by homeowners and voters who don’t seem aware of riskand who are not giving clear direction on climate change to politicians and builders.

https://globalnews.ca/news/5060791/commentary-climate-change-construction/

 

Sean in Ottawa

One of the problems is that a large number of units are rental units and landlords have few incentives to improve them when the tenants pay the utilities. Grants that cover part of the money are not attractive enough where the owner will never pay utilities.

The Rental housing legislation in Canada does not have minimum efficiency standards for energy use. For the most part they simply are required to make it possible to heat to a certain temperature regardless of cost.

The cheapest install for heating remains inefficient baseboard electric, something no person paying the bill would ever consider.

jerrym

Hurricane Idai that hit Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbawe on the weekend will be quite possibly the worst cyclone to ever hit the southern hemisphere once all the damage is fully assessed. Interestingly, the Guardian was the only newspaper to lead with this story reflecting the similar low level of coverage generally given climate change, which was also the case with the global student strikes for action on climate change of 1.4 million students in 123 countries last week and many other global warming events.

It also raises the question of when governments around the world, including Canada, are going to start effectively tackle this problem with action, not just words. 

 

A general view shows destruction after Cyclone Idai in Beira.

A general view shows destruction after Cyclone Idai in Beira.

The devastating cyclone that hit south-eastern Africa may be the worst ever disaster to strike the southern hemisphere, according to the UN.

Cyclone Idai has swept through Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe over the past few days, destroying almost everything in its path, causing devastating floods, killing and injuring thousands of people and ruining crops. More than 2.6 million people could be affected across the three countries, and the port city of Beira, which was hit on Friday and is home to 500,000 people, is now an “island in the ocean”, almost completely cut off. ...

Houses, roads and telegraph poles are completely submerged. The Mozambican and South African military and other organisations are working to rescue people from the air, though many are struggling to get supplies and teams to the region because roads and bridges have been ripped up or have huge sinkholes in them. Some people are stranded clinging to trees; others are on houses or “new islands” that have formed, and have no food, according to rescue workers. ...

Health is a major worry and the risk of outbreaks of cholera and typhoid is high, especially as there are reports that water pipelines to the city have been cut. ...

Residents of Beira said there were reports of dams 70km from the city bursting, possibly Chicamba dam above Chimoio, north-west of Beira, or perhaps the Mavuzi dam, a smaller reservoir. Other dams are thought to be full to the brim and will have to open their floodgates soon. The colossal Kariba and Cahora Bassa dams on the Zambezi river are not thought to be under threat, but both were built about 50 years ago and the Kariba needs urgent maintenance.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/19/cyclone-idai-worst-weather...

 

The disaster to hit Mozambique is reported as one of the worst tropical cyclones to visit the southern hemisphere, with hundreds dead and hundreds of thousands more needing urgent assistance. I note the Guardian was the only major newspaper to lead with this story on Wednesday (Race to find survivors after deadly cyclone, 20 March).

People suffering in Mozambique and neighbouring countries didn’t create the climate crisis, but they are dying from more intense weather events like Cyclone Idai. ...

Climate scientists are clear: storms, cyclones and floods will worsen as the planet warms. ...

Something can be done to make disasters of this scale less likely. The question is: will political leaders do it?

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/20/storms-cyclones-and-...

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..the collusion between government and corporations is astounding.

Fired Quebec scientist blew the whistle on pesticide lobby influence

In May 2009, Quebec government scientist Louis Robert was 15 minutes away from entering a conference room to give a lecture about phosphorus when he got a phone call from his boss ordering him to call it off.

His boss threatened to move Robert into another office to perform administrative tasks if he dared to proceed with the lecture.

A year earlier, a senior public servant summoned Robert to a meeting at a restaurant with his boss, in which the scientist was told to cancel an on-camera appearance with journalists to talk about the management of fertilizers.

The interview was scheduled to be four days away, but it was cancelled and the journalists were then forced to send their questions to the ministry to proceed with their reporting.

Both incidents were recounted in an email sent to National Observer by Robert's public sector union.

Robert was previously employed at Quebec's Agriculture Department for three decades.

All in all, the scientist was personally ordered to cancel these types of appearances "five to six" other times over the past few years, according to his union.

Throughout this period, the union said he was trying to alert his superiors about attempts by industry to suppress publicly-funded science on the health effects of pesticides.

Phosphorus is a mineral that can pollute water as a result of runoff from fertilizers used in agriculture. An overabundance can lead to the growth of toxic bacteria, for example on Canadian lakes.

His supervisors gave him the brush-off. Eventually he leaked a document to Radio-Canada, feeling he had an obligation to inform the public.

He gave a journalist at the public broadcaster an internal note. This document revealed a crisis unfolding in the provincial grain research body, Centre de recherche sur les grains (CÉROM).

The leak triggered an internal investigation. Robert was suspended on Sept. 12 and put in limbo for over four months, the union says, until he was fired on Jan. 24.....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..hemp is the better way to go.

Canada clearcuts one million acres of boreal forest every year. A lot of it for toilet paper.

The Canadian boreal forest is part of our country’s cultural identity.

Often called the “Amazon of the North,” the boreal is the lungs of the northern hemisphere, helping store carbon and regulate the effects of climate change. This vast landscape is breeding ground for billions of North America’s songbirds and critical habitat for the threatened boreal woodland caribou. It is the traditional territory and holds cultural significance for many First Nations, whose treaty rights to hunt and fish are under threat.

Despite this, our federal and provincial governments have failed for decades to protect the boreal from destruction. But today, on this International Day of Forests, Canadians are waking up to the fact that we desperately need to do more.

Canary in the Coal Mine

Canada cuts down its forests at a truly alarming rate — among the highest in the world.

Every year, Canada clearcuts a million acres of boreal forest, or seven NHL hockey rinks per minute. From 2001 to 2017, Canada lost nearly 40 million hectares of forest — releasing huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere equivalent to the annual emissions of nearly 321 million cars.

This scale of logging contributes to climate change, and the protection of these ancient forests is crucial for protecting the water we drink and the air we breathe, and ensuring a stable climate.

Few species have been more impacted by the logging of Canada’s forests than the boreal caribou. Boreal caribou once inhabited more than half of Canada, but now their original habitat has been cut in half. Only 14 of 51 herds are considered self-sustaining, and another third of the remaining boreal caribou could disappear in the next 15 years.

In my home province of British Columbia, for example, the province has tripled the rate of approved cutblocks in endangered caribou habitat in the last five months. Boreal caribou are disappearing across Canada, and scientists point to their decline as the “canary in the coal mine” that is warning us of greater ecosystem collapse.....

Pondering

jerrym wrote:

Could it be that they will save humanity when we adults could not?

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editors/2019/03/07/studen...

Not unless they figure out that "adults" are not the problem. Neoliberalism and corporate power stand in the way of climate change action. 

jerrym

Pondering wrote:

jerrym wrote:

Could it be that they will save humanity when we adults could not?

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editors/2019/03/07/studen...

Not unless they figure out that "adults" are not the problem. Neoliberalism and corporate power stand in the way of climate change action. 

Of course. But adults are not totally off the hook. The failure of so many of them to protest or place the environment at the top of their priorities helps the corporations and neoliberals to continue as usual. 

If you say adults have no power to change anything on global warming, then you are arguing the world is doomed. We are in deep trouble but I do not think we are doomed yet.

 

 

jerrym

InfluenceMap has produced a report on the hundreds of millions spent by the fossil fuel companies on lobbying to block legislation policies, influence publich opinion including on social media and misleadingly brand themselves as supporting action on climate change. Not a surprise but concrete evidence of what many suspected. The article includes charts of spending to block action on global warming by each of the five major fossil fuel firms. 

The largest five stock market listed oil and gas companies spend nearly $200m (£153m) a year lobbying to delay, control or block policies to tackle climate change, according to a new report.

Chevron, BP and ExxonMobil were the main companies leading the field in direct lobbying to push against a climate policy to tackle global warming, the report said.

Increasingly they are using social media to successfully push their agenda to weaken and oppose any meaningful legislation to tackle global warming.

In the run-up to the US midterm elections last year $2m was spent on targeted Facebook and Instagram ads by global oil giants and their industry bodies, promoting the benefits of increased fossil fuel production, according to the report published on Friday by InfluenceMap.

Separately, BP donated $13m to a campaign, also supported by Chevron, that successfully stopped a carbon tax in Washington state – $1m of which was spent on social media ads, the research shows.

Edward Collins, the report’s author, analysed corporate spending on lobbying, briefing and advertising, and assessed what proportion was dedicated to climate issues. He said: “Oil majors’ climate branding sounds increasingly hollow and their credibility is on the line. They publicly support climate action while lobbying against binding policy. They advocate low-carbon solutions but such investments are dwarfed by spending on expanding their fossil fuel business.” ...

The five publicly listed oil majors – ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, BP and Total – now spend about $195m a year on branding campaigns suggesting they support action against climate change.

But the report said these campaigns were misleading the public about the extent of the oil companies’ actions because while publicly endorsing the need to act, they are massively increasing investment in a huge expansion of oil and gas extraction. In 2019 their spending will increase to $115bn, with just 3% of that directed at low carbon projects.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/mar/22/top-oil-firms-spending-...

 

 

jerrym

The following article discusses how global warming is already having a major impact on Tuktoyaktuk in the Northwest Territories. The article also discusses the impact of global warming in cottage country and coastal Nova Scotia. 

Wishing to stay by the water, each homeowner plans to accede to its unrelenting march by uprooting their house and towing it over the ice to a new location

Waves from an August 2018 storm that caused four metres of land to erode in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T. ...

This past fall, when the temperature chilled and Tuktoyaktuk’s 900 residents steeled for the long annual freeze, Cockney, 51, measured the gap between the water and her front door — a distance once large enough to accommodate a truck, shrunken to the point where it can’t fit a Ski-Doo. The gap, she found, was two feet. “It’s because of the erosion,” Cockney said. ...

Tuktoyaktuk, Cockney’s home for most of her life, is simultaneously booming and drowning, oppositional states of affairs brought on by a new road that in 2017 connected the remote town to the rest of Canada for the first time — and by climate change, a crisis arriving from the other direction. ...

Across the Arctic, powerful storms and thawing permafrost are causing the coastline to erode at speed, overrunning uninhabited islands and prompting people in seaside Alaskan villages to vote to relocate their entire community to safer ground inland: Newtok in 2003, Shishmaref more recently in 2016.

Tuktoyaktuk, known locally as Tuk, is not quite at that stage. For now, the threat of imminent consumption by the sea is mostly limited to the four remaining addresses on a street called Beaufort Drive. ...

The last remaining homes on Beaufort Drive in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., can be seen in the centre of this photo of the Beaufort Sea coastline. ...

Tuktoyaktuk isn’t the only Canadian community where encroaching seas are swamping buildings and forcing people to consider moving, Whalen said: it’s commonplace in cottage country and problematic in parts of Nova Scotia, where he works for most of the year. But he can attest firsthand to the accelerating rate at which storms are targeting Tuk — and to the damage those storms are causing, epitomized by a blustery few days he spent hunkered inside a rented house a couple of hundred metres from the shore last August.

https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/eroding-tuktoyaktuk-every-day-homes...

jerrym

Another place already major impacts from global warming is the Lennox Island Reserve in Prince Edward Island. The following study, CLIMATE MIGRATION IN CANADA: A CASE STUDY OF LENNOX ISLAND, PEI, discusses how sea level rise has already permanently flooded large parts of Lennox Island and will lead to lead to the community having to move. It also looks at what previous climate change migrations occurred and what can be learned from them. The movement of the First Nations community will be far from the last community in Canada to have to move due to global warming.

The community of Lennox Island, Canada will require relocation due to climate change-induced erosion and sea-level rise. The Canadian government is not yet prepared for climate migration events. There are varying social and economic challenges to community relocations. For this reason, it can be useful to learn from past forced relocation events within Canada and climate migrations abroad. This study uses the precedent of Newtok, Alaska’s climate migration to determine measures that should be used during Lennox Island’s climate migration. 

Lennox Island is expected to be one of the first Canadian communities requiring relocation due to climate change. Situated on the northwest coast of Prince Edward Island, Canada, Lennox Island is located in the Malpeque Bay. The Malpeque Bay is enclosed by a chain of sandy islands that act as a barrier protecting Lennox Island from the strong Gulf of St. Lawrence tides (Lewis & Peters, 2017). Lennox Island is reserve land that the Lennox Island First Nation call home. ...

Saltwater intrusion poses an infiltration threat to the groundwater of Lennox Island (Charles et al. 2012). Other environmental threats include sea-level rise, erosion and storm intensification (ParCa, 2016). These threats are decreasing the long-term viability of the island’s infrastructure, such as the causeway and sewage lagoon (CBC, 2015). Erosion is causing the islands coastline to recede, which is gradually encroaching inland towards the islands historic church, residential housing, traditional pow wow grounds, cemetery and archaeological sites (Majeed, 2015). ...

A 1-metre sea-level rise (Hedley, 2014), or a major storm surge (CBC, 2015) is capable of breaking down the islands’ multi-million-dollar sewage lagoon (INAC, 2011). This breakdown would result in the contamination of the Malpeque Bay and the groundwater of Lennox Island. This degree of sea-level and storm intensity could render the causeway unusable due to flooding or infrastructural damages. This provides a safety concern for the residents. The community has emergency plans in place in the event the causeway is damaged. However, the last time the causeway was damaged, it took nearly six months to repair (CBC, 2015). With the combination of sea-level rise and soil erosion anticipated to continue (Majeed, 2015), the emergency plans to protect the causeway and sewage lagoon, are only temporary. The island is already pursuing development on reserve land, on the mainland of P.E.I, in nearby East Bideford (Fraser, 2016). Residents themselves are increasingly acknowledging relocation as the only long term solution. With these gradual environmental threats, Lennox Island is anticipated to be one of the first Canadian communities requiring relocation due to climate change (Beaumont, 2016; Fraser, 2016). 

https://dalspace.library.dal.ca/bitstream/handle/10222/73876/HBROOKS_Hon...

THE CANADIAN PRESS

A house on Lennox Island off Canada’s Atlantic coast sits so close to the shoreline that its occupant, Dave Haley, worries that storms and erosion will sweep it out to sea. During a severe storm five years ago, the water lapped at his door. “Today our high tides have become almost like a storm tide. The water is higher, our low tides have become like our regular high tides, so things have changed,” he says.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/small-east-coast-island-lo...

 

jerrym

ETA: However, the Lennox Island Reserve in PEI is not the only Prince Edward Island community under threat from global warming says Lab director Adam Fenech of the UPEI Climate Research Lab. He says sea level rise around the world is occurring three times faster than previously thought making the need for at risk communities to adapt much faster. Some global warming problems that weren't expected until the next century are happening now.

Lab director Adam Fenech and other researchers are travelling across Prince Edward Island over the next few weeks to speak to communities about sea-level rise. Eight communities across PEI will be visited. Lennox Island was the first stop in the tour. ...

Mr Fenech said new reports are indicating that sea-level rise is going to increase three times as much than originally thought by scientists, adding oceans are getting warmer and are expanding while ice around the world continues to disappear faster than scientists anticipated, rising sea levels.

“Those two things that scientists didn’t think were going to happen until at least the next century are happening now,” said Mr Fenech during his portion of the presentation entitled Our Incredible Shrinking Island, “That’s why we are getting a little concerned about this idea of sea-level rise.”

With PEI’s sandstone not very resistant to erosion, it’s estimated the Island has lost an overall 5,000 acres of land from 1968-2010 as a result of coastal erosion. ...

As a First Nations member, Natalie Knockwood said she feels it’s her responsibility to care for the whole of PEI, not just Lennox Island and asked why Island reserves were being treated as separate entities.

Mr Jardine explained the climate lab does conduct studies for the rest of PEI as well, but admitted there isn’t a whole lot of funding available for since research. The Mi’kmaq Confederacy applied for the funding for these projects through INAC, which provides funding specifically for Canadian reserves.

“This work that we are describing is not being done for all of PEI, it’s just being done for the reserves. You’re getting special treatment in a sense because you’re getting special focus on your territories,” said  Mr Fenech’s colleague Don Jardine.

[Lennox Island First Nations residents Natalie] Knockwood agreed with Mr Labobe then that politicians need to be attending these meetings.

“This isn’t just a Lennox Island problem, it’s not just a Rocky Point problem, Scotchfort problem, a Morell problem, it’s a whole Prince Edward Island problem and we all need to get on the same bandwagon in order for things to change here,” she said, “We can do things here in our First Nations community, but what about all of PEI? What all of PEI does affects us in our First Nations communities... We’re at risk. Is the government of PEI going to allocate us land somewhere else for our community... Those are the questions we have that need to be answered.”

http://www.peicanada.com/west_prince_graphic/article_3bc68786-1672-11e8-...

 

 

Sean in Ottawa

Question: Why don't we have a movement seeking constitutional protection for the environment in the Charter. This would be truly groundbreaking and if it is possible to get this amendment, new governments would find it near impossible to undo. A federal party could run on the idea that it would seek out this protection. Current governments would have to admit if they are not in favour and might be shamed into it. Once the level of support has been reached based on the amending formula, it is unlikely that any provincial or federal government if anti-environment woudl be able to undo it and they would have to abide by this law.

This would be new law to see Charter protection against the further destruction of the environment but it is a legitimate protection.

For either the NDP or Greens to present this, I think they would draw out a difference between themselves and the parties of nice words and no substance on the environment.

DSloth

Well it is very difficult to amend the Charter of Rights (and anything else useful in the Constitution). Even if you successfully did so, relying on the courts to protect the enivronment is a very slow process. 

If Jagmeet Singh (or Elizabeth May) want to fight the climate crisis they need to campaign on some form of Green New Deal and they should pledge to declare a Climate Emergency the first day they form government. 

Sean in Ottawa

DSloth wrote:

Well it is very difficult to amend the Charter of Rights (and anything else useful in the Constitution). Even if you successfully did so, relying on the courts to protect the enivronment is a very slow process. 

If Jagmeet Singh (or Elizabeth May) want to fight the climate crisis they need to campaign on some form of Green New Deal and they should pledge to declare a Climate Emergency the first day they form government. 

On the first point, I think that this is a worthy effort and would draw attention politically to any breeches. There are often times when the provinces and the Federal government could be aligned to do this succeed once and it could not be undone as we never get a solid enough alignment to remove it. As for the courts a consitutional right to protect the environment woudl definitely speed things along and make illegal regressive policies in one jurisdiction that woudl affect others.

I agree entirely with your second paragraph.

jerrym

Considering the history of Meech Lake and the Charlottetown Accord, as much as I would like to see a envirnomental constitutional right, I just don't see any government going down this route in the near or even middle future. Getting all  or even most of the provinces onside at the same time is highly unlikely and by the time the vast majority of the population is demanding it because of environmental extreme devastation is hitting them personally in the face, it will be too late for the planet.

jerrym

The loss of forests is not just a problem for biodiversity, it increases carbon dioxide emissions as trees store a large amount of the gas. In Canada our boreal forest is under threat from the forest industry and increasingly from wildfires as we have seen in 2016 with the wildfires that destroyed much of Fort McMurray and the 2017 and 2018 record-setting forest fire seasons in BC as temperatures rise due to global warming.

The tropical forests are also disappearing at an alarming rate further intensifying the resulting release of carbon dioxide as the following article illustrates. For the tropical forests, Brazil by far has led the way as the 2017 data in the following article shows. Keep in mind this was before Bolsonaro took power promising to greatly increase the rate at which Brazil's tropical forests are cut. 

Last year was the second-worst on record for tropical tree cover loss, according to new data from the University of Maryland, released today on Global Forest Watch. In total, the tropics experienced 15.8 million hectares (39.0 million acres) of tree cover loss in 2017, an area the size of Bangladesh. That’s the equivalent of losing 40 football fields of trees every minute for an entire year.

Despite concerted efforts to reduce tropical deforestation, tree cover loss has been rising steadily in the tropics over the past 17 years. Natural disasters like fires and tropical storms are playing an increasing role, especially as climate change makes them more frequent and severe.  But clearing of forests for agriculture and other uses continues to drive large-scale deforestation.

Here’s a snapshot of tree cover loss in key tropical countries last year:

 

 

 

https://www.wri.org/blog/2018/06/2017-was-second-worst-year-record-tropi...

 

jerrym

A string of legal challenges now face Exxon over its climate change denials.

A wave of legal challenges that is washing over the oil and gas industry, demanding accountability for climate change, started as a ripple after revelations that ExxonMobil had long recognized the threat fossil fuels pose to the world.

Over the past few years: Two states launched fraud investigations into Exxon over climate change, and one has followed with a lawsuit. Nine cities and counties, from New York to San Francisco, have sued major fossil fuel companies, seeking compensation for climate change damages. And determined children have filed lawsuits against the federal government and various state governments, claiming the governments have an obligation to safeguard the environment.

The litigation, reinforced by science, has the potential to reshape the way the world thinks about energy production and the consequences of global warming. It advocates a shift from fossil fuels to sustainable energy and draws attention to the vulnerability of coastal communities and infrastructure to extreme weather and sea level rise.

From a trove of internal Exxon documents, a narrative emerged in 2015 that put a spotlight on the conduct of the fossil fuel industry. An investigative series of stories by InsideClimate News, and later the Los Angeles Times, disclosed that the oil company understood the science of global warming, predicted its catastrophic consequences, and then spent millions to promote misinformation.

That evidence ignited a legal clamor that included calls for a federal criminal investigation of Exxon. The challenges gained momentum when attorneys general in New York and Massachusetts subpoenaed the oil giant for internal climate change-related documents. Then some of the country's largest cities entered the fray, seeking billions of dollars to fortify against climate change.  

The storm of litigation could have a broad impact if it succeeds in holding fossil fuel companies accountable for the kinds of damages they foresaw decades ago, said Harold Koh, a professor of international law at Yale Law School who served as senior legal adviser to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"The industry has profited from the manufacture of fossil fuels but has not had to absorb the economic costs of the consequences," Koh said. "The industry had the science 30 years ago and knew what was going to happen but made no warning so that preemptive steps could have been taken.  "The taxpayers have been bearing the cost for what they should have been warned of 30 years ago," Koh added. "The companies are now being called to account for their conduct and the damages from that conduct."

The attorneys general of New York, Massachusetts and the U.S. Virgin Islands launched investigations of Exxon in 2015 and 2016. Prosecutors want to see if the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how such risks might hurt the oil business.

The investigations drew a quick, fierce response from Exxon. The company went on the legal offensive to try to shut down the probes, employing an army of aggressive, high-priced lawyers and a strategy of massive resistance. The attorney general of the Virgin Islands capitulated and ended his investigation just three months after issuing subpoenas.

Since then, Exxon has been waging a relentless fight though state and federal courts to impede the continuing investigations by New York and Massachusetts. It sued Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and then-Attorney General of New York Eric Schneiderman in federal court to block the investigations, but the judge rejected Exxon's claims that the investigations are politically motivated. Legal battles also spilled into the courts of both states; all the way up to the supreme courts of New York and Massachusetts.

In October 2018, New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood sued Exxon, stating in the lawsuit that the oil giant engaged in "a longstanding fraudulent scheme" to deceive investors by providing false and misleading assurances that it was effectively managing the economic risks posed by policies and regulations it anticipated being adopted to address climate change. The lawsuit said the alleged fraud reached the highest levels of Exxon, including former Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson, who it said had known about the misrepresentations for years. 

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/04042018/climate-change-fossil-fuel-c...

 

jerrym

The European Union has started hearings to ban Exxon from lobbying European lawmakers because of previous attempts to mislead them by Exxon through climate change denial. Too bad Canadian governments haven't started doing this. 

Exxon’s history of publicly sowing doubt about climate science despite internally acknowledging the impacts of its products on climate change was the subject of a public hearing on climate denial held Thursday in the European Parliament in Brussels.

Thought to be the first-ever hearing by a major government body into Exxon’s climate deception, a panel of experts was convened to explore climate denial communication used by Exxon and other fossil fuel companies. Experts also examined how that deception has influenced European climate policy. 

The group could ban Exxon from lobbying European lawmakers on climate and energy issues, especially because the company declined to attend the hearing, which was dominated by evidence that Exxon has worked for decades to deceive the public.

“The more public ExxonMobil’s climate change communications are, the more they communicate doubt,” said panelist Geoffrey Supran, a Harvard University researcher who has published a study  comparing Exxon’s internal corporate memos with the company’s public communication. They contributed quietly to the science, yet loudly to raising doubts about it,” said Supran, who was invited to testify by committee members. ...

The effort to hold Exxon accountable for its allegedly deceptive communication was organized after a petition was brought in 2016 by Frida Kieninger and the non-profit Food and Water Europe. Brought in the wake of investigativereporting in the U.S., the petition was signed by hundreds of E.U. citizens who say Exxon’s campaign of climate denial has harmed the environment, public health, agriculture, water sources, tourism, energy and transportation. The petition calls for parliament to revoke Exxon’s lobbying access badge, as was done with Monsanto when it refused to appear before a parliamentary hearing on the herbicide glyphosate. Other companies, including McDonald’s, Amazon and Fiat have been threatened with similar action, but later appeared before the lawmakers. ...

The report’s researchers found Exxon spent more than 3.5 million Euro on lobbying in 2018 and has utilized a web of lobbyists, trade associations and think tanks in efforts to delay and weaken EU climate policy.   “The sheer scale of access that Exxon enjoys via its vast network of lobby group, it’s like a Hydra, you cut off one head and five more appear,” said Pascoe Sabido, a Corporate Europe Observatory researcher and campaigner. The report found Exxon’s lobbying is slowing the EU’s fight against climate change and is not compatible with the EU’s commitments under the Paris Agreement. Six of Exxon’s 12 lobbyists have badges allowing them direct access to the European Parliament.

https://www.climateliabilitynews.org/2019/03/21/eu-parliament-exxon-clim...

 

jerrym

A jobs report released this month in the United States puts the lie to the argument that a green energy strategy means economic hardship for workers. Renewable energy jobs now outnumber fossil fuel energy ones by a 3:1 ratio and are growing in number quickly.

Meanwhile the Trudeau Liberals subsidize with taxpayers' money our fossil fuel industry to the tune of $13.8 billion consisting of $4.7 billion purchase and $9.8 in estimated construction costs (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/kinder-morgan-trans-mountain-pipe...) with a misleading

" claim of 15,000 jobs during the construction phase of the pipeline ... [when Kinder Morgan's] own submission to the National Energy Board stated that the total number of construction jobs for the project would be 2,500 per year for two years." (https://www.corporatemapping.ca/lets-share-actual-facts-about-the-trans-...)

"As for permanent jobs, Kinder Morgan’s application notes that the existing Trans Mountain pipeline supports 100 jobs in Alberta and 100 jobs in BC. Kinder Morgan projects an additional 90 workers as a result of the expansion, 50 of which would be in BC." (https://www.policynote.ca/kinder-morgan-costs-and-benefits-unbalanced-no...)

But even with Trump's pro fossil fuel policies renewables are forming a major part of the American economy.

Overall, clean energy jobs totaled more than 3.26 million at the end of 2018, growing despite the impact of the Trump administration’s tariffs on solar panels and market uncertainty from the administration’s inaction and planned rollbacks of energy efficiency and clean vehicles policies. Clean jobs outnumber fossil fuels jobs nearly three to one (3.26M to 1.17M) and clean energy employers said they anticipate 6 percent job growth for 2019.

INDUSTRY JOB TOPLINES

  • Energy Efficiency – 2,324,865 jobs
  • Renewable Energy – 508,484 jobs
  • Solar Energy – 334,992 jobs
  • Wind Energy – 111,166 jobs
  • Clean Vehicle – 253,599 jobs
  • Clean Storage – 74,569 jobs
  • Grid Modernization – 64,377 jobs
  • ALL US Clean Energy Sectors – 3,264,383 jobs

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Solar alone employs more than twice the number of coal workers
  • Wind and solar account for nearly 2 out of every 5 construction jobs in the electric generation sector
  • Not included in the clean vehicles sector are 486,000 employees in the motor vehicle industry who work with parts making vehicles more fuel efficient
  • Jobs in grid modernization grew 3.3 percent in 2018, adding more than 2,000 jobs
  • More Americans work in energy efficiency (2.3 million) than there are waiters and waitresses in America’s bars and restaurants (2.25 million)
  • All but two of America’s 3,007 counties are home to jobs in clean energy
  • More than one out of every three employees working in the energy sector (from traditional energy to motor vehicles) are involved in energy efficiency
  • After two years of losses, solar energy employers predict 8 percent job growth for 2019
  • Two-thirds of U.S. clean energy jobs (67%) are involved in construction and manufacturing
  • There are now more Americans working in clean energy than there are school teachers

https://www.e2.org/reports/clean-jobs-america-2019/

 

jerrym

On a global basis, renewable energy is growing rapidly, reaching 10.3 million jobs thanks to a half a million new jobs in 2017, while the Trudeau Liberals, despite their green speech, focus on subsidizing the fossil fuel sector, its global warming emissions and its relatively small number of jobs per dollar invested. On the other hand, "in countries where attractive policies exist, the economic, social and environmental benefits of renewable energy are most evident, ... data supports our analysis that decarbonisation of the global energy system can grow the global economy and create up to 28 million jobs in the sector by 2050.”

The renewable energy industry created more than 500,000 new jobs globally in 2017, a 5.3 per cent increase from 2016, according to the latest figures released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). According to the fifth edition of Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review, launched at IRENA’s 15th Council in Abu Dhabi today, the total number of people employed in the sector (including large hydropower) now stands at 10.3 million globally, surpassing the 10 million figure for the first time.

China, Brazil, the United States, India, Germany and Japan remain the world’s largest renewable energy employers, representing more than 70 per cent of all industry jobs globally. Although growing numbers of countries are reaping the socio-economic benefits of renewables, the bulk of manufacturing takes place in relatively few countries and domestic markets vary enormously in size. Sixty per cent of all renewable energy jobs are in Asia.

“Renewable energy has become a pillar of low-carbon economic growth for governments all over the world, a fact reflected by the growing number of jobs created in the sector.” said Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency.

“The data also underscores an increasingly regionalised picture, highlighting that in countries where attractive policies exist, the economic, social and environmental benefits of renewable energy are most evident,” continued Mr. Amin. “Fundamentally, this data supports our analysis that decarbonisation of the global energy system can grow the global economy and create up to 28 million jobs in the sector by 2050.”

The solar PV industry remains the largest employer of all renewable energy technologies, accounting for close to 3.4 million jobs, up almost 9 per cent from 2016 following a record 94 gigawatts (GW) of installations in 2017. China was estimated to account for two-thirds of PV jobs – equivalent to 2.2 million – representing an expansion of 13 per cent over the previous year.

Sector adds half a million jobs boosted by strong growth in Asia

https://www.e2.org/reports/clean-jobs-america-2019/

 

 

jerrym

The future is now when it comes to global warming. 

Beira, Mozambique “will go down in history as having been the first city to be completely devastated by climate change,” said Graça Machel, the country’s former first lady.

UN: This is the worst weather disaster in history in the Southern Hemisphere.

Mozambique flooding

Copernicus / European Space Agency

https://twitter.com/EricHolthaus/status/1110293529085906945

 

Mozambique floods cover more ground than NYC, Chicago, D.C., and Boston — combined

Post-flood satellite images of Mozambique show that Cyclone Idai submerged about 835 square miles of homes and fields — an area larger than New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Boston combined. Aid workers in Mozambique describe the floodwaters as “inland oceans extending for miles and miles.”

Idai’s official death toll in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi reached 761 on Monday, but that total will surely rise. There are reports of hundreds of bodies alongside a single road as floodwaters began to recede.

Beira, Mozambique, reportedly the hardest hit city, “will go down in history as having been the first city to be completely devastated by climate change,” said Graça Machel, the country’s former first lady and a prominent humanitarian in an interview with the Mozambique newspaper Verdade on Monday.

The United Nations has characterized the storm and its aftermath as one of the worst weather-related disasters ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere. As a result, the UN World Food Program now considers it one of its top concerns globally— on par with the wars in Syria, Yemen, and South Sudan — estimating that some 3 million people have been affected, nearly half of them children. ...

Mozambique received nearly a year’s worth of rainfall in the days following Cyclone Idai, consistent with findings that rainstorms are becoming stronger and more common as Earth’s atmosphere warms up. After centuries of colonial rule by Portugal and decades of war after independence (in which the U.S. played an active role), Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world — a stark reminder of the inherent injustice of climate change, that those least responsible for greenhouse gas emissions are bearing its worst consequences.

An estimated 128,000 survivors have made their way to temporary camps near Beira, with an escalating risk of cholera and other waterborne diseases. The Red Cross announced plans to provide humanitarian support to 200,000 people for up to two years. “The scale and scope of suffering and damage is breathtaking,” saidRed Cross secretary general, Elhadj As Sy, after touring the region around Beira.

https://grist.org/article/mozambique-floods-are-larger-than-nyc-chicago-...

 

NorthReport

Richmond city council unanimously votes to declare climate emergency

https://globalnews.ca/news/5097725/richmond-city-council-votes-climate-emergency/

jerrym

The Ontario environmental commissioner calls the Ford government's climate policies "frightening".

 Ontario’s environmental commissioner issued dire warnings Wednesday about the “frightening” state of climate policy in the province as she delivered her office’s last report. The Progressive Conservative government announced last fall that it was eliminating the office of the environmental commissioner and merging its functions with the auditor general. In delivering a report on energy conservation, Dianne Saxe said Ontario is heading in the wrong direction on the environment.

 Ontario’s environmental commissioner issued dire warnings Wednesday about the “frightening” state of climate policy in the province as she delivered her office’s last report. The Progressive Conservative government announced last fall that it was eliminating the office of the environmental commissioner and merging its functions with the auditor general. In delivering a report on energy conservation, Dianne Saxe said Ontario is heading in the wrong direction on the environment.

“On the big things that will reduce our climate pollution, allow Canada to fulfil its role under the Paris agreement and show the poorer countries of the world that are suffering the greater damage that we are going to do our part, we are causing great damage.”

Saxe is critical of the government’s cancellation of a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gases, as well as the cancellation of electricity conservation programs and a growth plan that she says increases urban sprawl and therefore reliance on transportation fuels.

“I think that what we’re doing in Ontario and what we may do in Canada this year puts the entire Paris Agreement at risk,” she said, referring to the federal Conservatives’ opposition to the upcoming carbon tax. If the world can’t hold together on the Paris Agreement we are toasted, roasted and grilled.” ...

Saxe was critical of the government’s recent cancellation of a slew of electricity conservation programs, including rebates for energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment, discounts for buying energy-efficient products such as LED light bulbs, incentives for builders to improve energy performance in new residences, and refrigeration equipment upgrade incentives. ...

The government’s environment plan doesn’t even mention electricity conservation, Saxe said, and abandoning it would increase greenhouse gas emissions from electricity by about two megatonnes. ...

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said reports and comments like the ones Wednesday from the environmental commissioner are why the government got rid of Saxe’s office. “They don’t want to hear what it takes and what’s necessary to meet greenhouse gas emission reduction targets,” she said. “Instead, they just want to continue along their merry way and not take seriously our responsibilities when it comes to climate change.”

https://globalnews.ca/news/5101825/ontarios-climate-policy-frightening-w...
 

jerrym

British Columbia's Harbour Airlines is planning to become the first airline in the world to be all electric. This is an significant development in the airline industry because "Air travel accounts for a rapidly growing piece of our greenhouse gas emissions. In 1992, it accounted for just 2% of total human-created (anthropogenic) carbon dioxide emissions or about 13% of CO2 from all transportation sources. The world’s air passenger traffic more than doubled from 1985 to 2000 and air cargo traffic grew even more quickly." (https://climatechangeconnection.org/solutions/transportation/air-travel/)

Harbour Airlines operates 30,000 flights each year on 12 routes between Seattle, Vancouver, Victoria and other destinations in those areas. It says in a news release that it's partnering with MagniX, a Washington-state-based firm that has developed an electric propulsion system, to modify its commercial fleet. The fleet will be powered by the Magni500, a 750 horsepower electric motor. The release says, if successful, the partnership will create the world's first completely electric commercial seaplane fleet. ...

Greg McDougall, Harbour Air's founder and CEO, says his company is North America's largest seaplane airline and also became its first fully carbon-neutral airline in 2007.

"Through our commitment to making a positive impact on people's lives, the communities where we operate and the environment, we are once again pushing the boundaries of aviation by becoming the first aircraft to be powered by electric propulsion," he said in the statement.

The first aircraft to be converted will be the DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver, a six passenger plane, and the companies expect to conduct the first tests late this year.

"In 2018, 75 per cent of worldwide airline flights were 1,000 miles or less in range," Roei Ganzarski, CEO of MagniX, said in the statement. "With MagniX's new propulsion systems coupled with emerging battery capabilities, we see tremendous potential for electric aviation to transform this heavily trafficked 'middle mile' range."

Greg McDougall, Harbour Air's founder and CEO, says his company is North America's largest seaplane airline and also became its first fully carbon-neutral airline in 2007.

"Through our commitment to making a positive impact on people's lives, the communities where we operate and the environment, we are once again pushing the boundaries of aviation by becoming the first aircraft to be powered by electric propulsion," he said in the statement.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bc-seaplane-company-s-pl...

jerrym

We need more politicians like Alexandria Octavio Cortez in Canada. She defended her Green New Deal while linking the harmful effects of climate change to those who suffer the most from it, the poor, after a Republican criticized it as an elitist plan of California and New York "rich liberals". The url below includes a video of her fiery full response. 

“This is not an elitist issue, this is a quality of life issue,” Ocasio-Cortez responded, her voice rising in exasperation. “You want to tell people that their concern and their desire for clean air and clean water is elitist? Tell that to the kids in the south Bronx which are suffering from the highest rates of childhood asthma in the country. Tell that to the families in Flint.”

The fiery exchange came as the Senate blocked a measure to advance the Green New Deal. Republicans, who have so far offered no plans to combat climate change, repeatedly mocked the Democratic plan as unserious and “socialist” during Tuesday’s debate. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) made a splash of his own by relying on various charts that included images of babies, Ronald Reagan, and cartoon sea creatures for his criticism.

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/03/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-gr...

 

NorthReport

I am beginning to wonder if Trudeau’s climate change policies are really designed to drive everyone who has concerns about the environment crazy

 

https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2019/03/29/BC-Climate-Leadership-Fundamental-Incoherence/

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Our own hands

Two communities in the Tŝilhqot'in Nation are saying "yes" - yes to clean energy solutions, yes to self-determined economic development and yes to a brighter, more sustainable future for their families and future generations.

Russell Myers Ross is chief of Yuneŝit'in (known in English as 'Stone' or 'Stoney') and Michelle Myers is from Xeni Gwet'in (known as Nemiah Valley), two communities in the Tŝilhqot'in Nation, located in the interior of B.C. (about a six hour drive northeast of Vancouver). Both Ross and Myers are working hard to develop their local economy and manage its resources in a way that aligns with their values, culture and laws as Tŝilhqot'in people.

Ross, who has been chief of his community for the past six years, sees the Dasiqox Tribal Park as a way for his people to actively exercise their rights and title rather than waiting to see whether the government will meet or fail in its duties to consult and accommodate.

For Michelle Myers, clean energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and run-of-river hydro are the types of projects her community can stand behind, different from Canada's historical extractive industrial practices, which have either devastated or damaged some lands, waters and Indigenous ways of life.

Those extractive industries are represented locally by Taseko Mines Ltd, which first proposed to mine the mineral wealth under Tŝilhqot'in territory in 2008 and was last seen earlier this month in a Vancouver court pushing for an expansive “exploratory drilling” plan to go ahead. The legal battle continues.

"The history of Canada is based off of the extraction of resources and the expansion of large industries, and First Nations communities have been affected directly," Myers said in an interview by a campfire at Konni Lake, in her home community in Xeni. It was the last day of school before spring break and her and other parents joined the kids to skate around Konni Lake, drink hot chocolate and get some ice fishing in before the weather got too warm....

jerrym

The Prince Edward Island Aquaculture Alliance has picked climate change's impact on this industry as one of the key themes of its annual conference. It's just another of the industries suffering major challenges as global warming hits home.

Climate change was one of the key themes at this year's conference of the Prince Edward Island Aquaculture Alliance. That impressed one of the presenters, Sally McGee, who's with a new group in the United States called the Shellfish Growers Climate Coalition. In its first year, the group has 94 shellfish growers in the United States from 19 states that are all working together to address climate change. ...

"They all see the impacts of climate change, they all want to take action because it's having impacts on their businesses," said McGee, who's also with The Nature Conservancy, U.S., which is helping with the project. To promote the message that impacts of climate change are real, do something about it, to policy makers."

The coalition has created a series of videos of members talking about the impact of climate change on their businesses. "Their stories told from their own perspectives are what makes the coalition as powerful as it is," McGee said. "A lot of law makers don't hear about climate change at all so when they do hear from these businesses that play an important role in local economies, then they start paying attention."

McGee says the members of the coalition are being impacted by ocean acidification, sea level rise, increased frequency and intensity of storms and rising water temperatures. The coalition is calling on legislators to move forward on a carbon tax, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. "The primary thing is to limit carbon emissions," McGee said. "Part of the agreement is for members to take personal action as well. They're all committed to doing things to lower their own carbon footprint."

Laura Steeves did a modelling project on sea surface temperatures and shellfish growth in coastal waters of Nova Scotia and P.E.I., looking at blue mussels and the eastern oyster. ...

She says summertime temperatures are already a concern for mussel farmers on P.E.I. "Especially sometimes with increased water temperatures you see decreased oxygen in the water which those mussels need to breathe," Steeves said. "You can already sometimes see decreased growth or even mortality happening."

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-aquaculture-clim...

 

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