Catherine McKenna has been a major disappointment as Minister of Environment Canada. What gives?

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NorthReport
Catherine McKenna has been a major disappointment as Minister of Environment Canada. What gives?

Just  askin’ as McKenna seems more interested in statues and taking pot shots at provincial politicians rather  than her pathetically feeble attempts at protecting the environment meanwhile Canada’s global warming emissions just keep growing in leaps and bounds.

NorthReport

Sir John A Macdonald: Scotland disowns Canada's first PM

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45275651

gadar

Answering the question before the topic changes

No

Ambrose, Baird, Prentice, Agglukkaq were all worse

gadar

NorthReport wrote:

Sir John A Macdonald: Scotland disowns Canada's first PM

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45275651

MacDonald, Scotland, Environment, McKenna. I am sure there is a connection somewhere.

JKR

gadar wrote:

Answering the question before the topic changes

No

Ambrose, Baird, Prentice, Agglukkaq were all worse

Maybe NR thinks Ambrose, Baird, Prentice, and Aggulukkaq were all better ministers of the environment than McKenna?!?!

bekayne

Is this another of those "magical mystery threads"?

NorthReport

Brilliant!

Did she figure that out all by herself, or did one of her advisers explain that to her?

B.C. wildfires show the impact of climate change: McKenna

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/video-bc-wildfires-show-the-impac...

gadar

NorthReport wrote:

Brilliant!

Did she figure that out all by herself, or did one of her advisers explain that to her?

B.C. wildfires show the impact of climate change: McKenna

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/video-bc-wildfires-show-the-impac...

Her advisors are capable of explaining? I wont count on that. Or does she even listen to advisors? Can she listen?

So many questions.

JKR

NorthReport wrote:

Brilliant!

Did she figure that out all by herself, or did one of her advisers explain that to her?

B.C. wildfires show the impact of climate change: McKenna

Brilliant indeed! Catherine McKenna may be the best Minister of Environment Canada has ever had!

JKR

gadar wrote:

NorthReport wrote:

Brilliant!

Did she figure that out all by herself, or did one of her advisers explain that to her?

B.C. wildfires show the impact of climate change: McKenna

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/video-bc-wildfires-show-the-impac...

Her advisors are capable of explaining? I wont count on that. Or does she even listen to advisors? Can she listen?

So many questions.

Maybe she has a new hearing aid?

Sean in Ottawa

JKR wrote:
gadar wrote:

Answering the question before the topic changes

No

Ambrose, Baird, Prentice, Agglukkaq were all worse

Maybe NR thinks Ambrose, Baird, Prentice, and Aggulukkaq were all better ministers of the environment than McKenna?!?!

 

In fairness there may be two measures:

1) objectively worse -- then no she is not the worst.

2) comparitive to expectations -- then she could be.

This is not a small question becuase she was voted in with her party with higher expectations than were the Conservatives. The Conservatives did not have an electoral mandate (within our FPTP system) to do anything for the environment. She, considering her party's promises, actually did.

She may objectively, therefore be the worst: she is not the worst considering our position, but considering the position of the people who voted for her and the electorate as a whole when she ran, may the most out of step with the intentions and mandate she had. She also may be the furthest from the mandate provided by the PM. (Even if this is the fault of the PM for undermining, the instructions given.)

There are many good arguments that she is the worst since she was not elected or given her job to be ineffective. All the conservatives were elected with that expectation and mandated by the PM accordingly.

So, while I am not part of the Liberals-worse-than-the-Conservatives fetish around here, a good case can be made that she is the worst.

NorthReport

How do you spell FAILURE

What a terrible legacy for the Trudeau Liberals to leave behind

https://m.huffingtonpost.ca/amp/2018/09/22/david-suzuki-doubles-down-on-criticism-of-hypocritical-catherine-mckenna_a_23537892/

Pipeline plan inches forward as David Suzuki slams Canada's environment minister

https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1327255619783

NorthReport

Stop Canada’s climate hypocrisy

The Trudeau government is telling the world to stop burning deadly thermal coal for electricity. At the same time, they are letting U.S. coal companies ship their coal through B.C. ports to China, Japan and Korea for that exact purpose. And these exports are increasing.

Did somebody say climate hypocrisy?

Our government has the power to ban thermal coal exports through Canada. Tell Justin Trudeau and Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna to end their climate hypocrisy and stop exporting the problem they aim to solve.

https://dogwoodbc.ca/petitions/climate-hypocrisy/

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

That petition doesn't actually say what we'd be sending to Ottawa if we sign it.

Usually the text that people are signing their names to is clear, often starting with something like "We, the undersigned..."

This just has fields for name, e-mail, phone number and postal code (along with the acknowledgement that if you enter an e-mail or phone number, they may contact you).

And nothing about whether they'll keep that e-mail address or phone number confidential.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Dogwood is one of those unaccountable groups that have inserted themselves into our political system. I thought they and changeorg helped the Liberals get elected. Whether that was deliberate or not I have no way of knowing.

NorthReport

May and NDP MPs show anger in debate on climate change

 

RABBLE NEWS

ENVIRONMENT

POLITICS IN CANADA

Elizabeth May

The House of Commons took the deadly threat of climate change seriously for one long evening on Monday. At the request of the NDP, the Green Party and one Liberal MP, Parliament held an emergency debate on global warming, which went on from the supper hour until midnight.

The NDP got the ball rolling early in the day, with a letter to the Speaker signed by Parliamentary Leader Guy Caron. It pointed to some of the damning numbers in last week’s United Nations Panel report on climate change.

"To meet the required emissions levels outlined by the panel,” the NDP’s Caron said, “Canada’s emissions will need to be reduced by almost half – far below our current performance. In fact, according to the panel, the world needs to reduce its (greenhouse gas) emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 to avoid catastrophic climate change. The panel has made clear that preventing a single extra degree of heat could make a life-or-death difference for millions of people across the globe. It also firmly states that our current course of action is not working."

Liberal MP Nathan Erskine-Smith started off the debate by quoting former U.S. president John F. Kennedy, who famously answered the question, “Why do we go to the moon?” by saying, “We go not because it is easy, but because it is hard.”

Erskine-Smith then quoted the current U.S. president, who, when asked a few days ago about climate change, said: "I don't think it's a hoax, but I don't know that it's man-made. I will say this. I don't wanna give trillions and trillions of dollars.… I don't wanna be put at a disadvantage."

We have politicians in Canada who also want to do nothing about climate change, the Toronto MP said, looking at the Conservative benches opposite him.

"Ontario Premier Doug Ford said that he has heard from people across Ontario and from out west, and he wants the prime minister's hands out of their pockets,” Erskine-Smith told the House. "This is … wilful blindness toward the evidence."

Conservative MPs took umbrage at the suggestion they do not care about pollution and the environment.

As Quebec City Conservative MP Gérard Deltell put it:

"What we are looking for are positive, constructive, effective measures that have a direct impact.

"I hear the government and the other opposition parties say that we absolutely must tax pollution, but we disagree.… They want to impose the Liberal carbon tax and refer to the UN report by quoting it as though it were the Bible. The UN proposes a tax of $5,500 per tonne of carbon emitted…. That means an additional tax of $12 per litre of gas. I would like all House members who agree with the UN report to stand up and confirm that they want a litre of gas to cost an extra $12 tomorrow morning.”

That line about $12 per litre recurred in virtually all Conservative MPs’ interventions. Not one of the Conservatives who spoke proposed even a single specific measure to combat climate change. The closest they got were vague allusions to funding for innovation.

NDP discussed incentives to change behaviour

Speaking for the NDP, Caron wore his own economist’s hat.

"My economist colleagues are likely familiar with the term ‘Pigovian’ tax, which is a tax that seeks to change people's behaviour,” he said. “The problem right now is that we have no incentive to change our behaviour. Without incentives, people will not change their lifestyle.… Many Canadians know that we should drive electric cars, or at least very fuel-efficient cars.… Even so, more and more SUVs are being sold.… There is a big difference between what people know they should be doing and what they actually do."

British Columbia MP Richard Cannings also spoke for the NDP, expressing anger and frustration at the sophistry he hears all too often from defeatist and cynical politicians who say any action to curtail emissions is futile, so why bother.

"The Conservative side says that we should not have a carbon tax because B.C. has had one for 10 years and it is still having fires. So what is the use?" Cannings said scornfully. “That is not how it works. It shows either a shocking misunderstanding of how climate change works or just a wanton disregard."

He then made one of the most honest and telling points of the evening:

"If the whole world went carbon neutral today, we would be at that one-degree rise,” he explained. We would still have those fires. We would still have floods. All that extreme weather would be with us. What we are trying to do is save us from a far more frightening future!"

Cannings pointed out that with a two-degree increase in global warming, we would see the hottest days of summer increase by 4°C, which would mean heat waves in British Columbia that could easily reach 44°C. For those who are still not entirely attuned to the metric system, Cannings translated that number to 112° Fahrenheit.

The NDP MP had a few tangible suggestions for the Liberal government.

"Instead of investing $4.5 billion in an old pipeline,” he said, “we could copy the U.K. and spend $2 billion on building electric vehicle infrastructure across southern Canada. We could provide meaningful incentives for Canadians to switch to electric vehicles, just as Norway has done. We could invest billions in other clean technology projects across the country."

He also mentioned retrofits to buildings, which produce 40 per cent of our carbon emissions.

Elizabeth May was firm and uncompromising

Green Party leader Elizabeth May’s speech was the fiercest and most passionate of the evening. She started by telling a bit of her own story as a long-time environmental policy expert and activist.

"I have had a ringside seat for the decades during which we could have arrested climate change before our glaciers were melting, before we were losing the Arctic, before our forests were on fire, before we saw draught and climate refugees, and before we had tornadoes in Ottawa,” May told her parliamentary colleagues. “We had a chance in the 1990s and we blew it. We had a chance in the first decade of this century, but every time there has been a warning from scientists, the alarm bell has rung and society has hit the snooze button."

She continued in the same vein, directly addressing her fellow politicians, combining controlled rage with a planetary and historical perspective:

"If we are grownups in this place, then we should face the science clear-eyed.  We have allowed greenhouse gas emissions to increase to such an extent that we have already changed the chemistry of the atmosphere.… We do not know when we will hit a tipping point of irreversible self-acceleration where the ultimate consequences are not about bracing for bad weather, but about bracing for millions of species going extinct. Even if humanity can hang on now, can we imagine hanging on to human civilization in a world with a four-degree, five-degree, six-degree or seven-degree rise in temperature? The answer is no."

May made it clear that there is no point now debating the government’s current halting and inadequate climate plan. The UN report calls for far more robust and resolute action than Canada is currently taking.

"This is not a status-quo debate,” she said. “The UN Panel report has said to us as a country that our target is approximately 50-per-cent too little. We need to do twice as much. I know that is hard, but to save the lives of our children, what would we not do?"

Then, in response to a question from a Liberal MP as to what specific actions she would propose, May did not, as government spokespeople so frequently do, retreat behind generalities. She unapologetically proposed a radical series of specific and sweeping measures.

"This is a heroic effort on a global scale," the Green leader said. "It means decarbonizing our electricity sector, not just getting off coal, but making sure we do not switch to polluting natural gas instead. We have to improve the east-west electricity grid, get rid of internal combustion engines, use electric vehicles, and ensure energy efficiency and retrofits for every building. At the same time, we have to ensure that there is green biodiesel for our tractors and our fishing boats."

May concluded by explaining that "all of those things have already been invented. That is the miracle. They are all possible. We just have to tell our fellow citizens that we are ready. It is a challenge, and we are all going to do it together."

Karl Nerenberg has been a journalist and filmmaker for more than 25 years. He is rabble's politics reporter.

Photo: Green Party Flickr

 

http://rabble.ca/news/2018/10/may-and-ndp-mps-show-anger-debate-climate-...

NorthReport

Will the world act on climate change before it's too late?

 

ENVIRONMENT

When our children and grandchildren and those of us still here in 20 years look back to this time, will we say it was when the world finally got serious about the climate crisis? Or will we mark a tragic time when political and business leaders prioritized short-term economic gain over the future of humanity?

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

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

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

It could be worse. The U.S. president's response to the IPCC report was, "I want to look at who drew it. You know, which group drew it. I can give you reports that are fabulous and I can give you reports that aren't so good." Beyond its inarticulate nature, the comment displays a profound lack of understanding of climate change, the IPCC and the work of climate scientists worldwide whose research informs its reports.

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

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

The report warns we have about 12 years to act decisively if we are to avoid a dramatic increase in impacts we're already experiencing: extreme weather events, droughts, floods, rising sea levels, diminishing polar ice and subsequent feedback loops that accelerate warming, and ecosystem collapse among them.

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

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

Will we and our elected leaders heed these dire warnings and start facilitating and implementing solutions at the pace required to forestall disaster? Or will we continue to abuse this small planet that gives us life until it's too late? It's time to decide -- and to hold all politicians to account.

Written with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Senior Editor Ian Hanington.

Learn more at www.davidsuzuki.org.

Image: greens_climate/Flickr

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/david-suzuki/2018/10/will-world-act-clim...