Canada and global warming: a state of denial 2

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Canada and global warming: a state of denial 2

Continued from here.

Issues Pages: 

I wanted to edit my last post in Part 1 of Canada and global warming: a state of denial but this has been closed so I have reposted it with an re-edited update. The paragraphs in bold are my new comments. 

To remind us of how successful the Liberals have been in selling the message of we can expand fossil fuel production while reducing Canada's greenhouse gas emissions let's look at their record on this.

It's just as good as their record on childcare, which they ran on in the 1993, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011, and 2015. Their record on childcare has been so great that they are running on it again, promising to create 250,000 urgently needed childcare spaces, because somehow their numerous previous promises did not get the job done.

They have also done the same thing with pharmacare promising major reform during a number of elections, as they are once again doing in this election, but leaving us with a system that has us paying the third highest costs for prescription drugs on average in the world, behind only the United States and Switzerland, the home bases of two of the largest pharmaceutical drug industries in the world with tons of lobbying power. The Liberal proposal to price new drugs at the average of world prices, which may or may not be put into practice as has been the case with their previous climate change election platform proposals, would leave already existing pharmaceuticals at way above average world costs and take a decade to have a significant effect on overall drug prices. 

The housing cost crisis that has seen accomodation prices go through the roof in our large cities is in large part a result of the Chretien Liberals getting out of social housing development in the 1990s. Now, that we have a crisis and we, by coincidence also have an election, the Liberals are suddenly saying they want to address the problem. 

Unfortunately, this approach of waiting until one is in extreme crisis mode does not work with global warming, because if we warm the planet to the extent the latest climate change models that have been released in the last few days predict, we will be warming the planet by 6 to 7 degrees Celsius by 2100. Thousands of scientists have warned us in 2018 in the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that we have 12 years to greatly reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. We are now three months away from having ten years left to address the problem and the Liberals continue to dither away our future as they have since failing to live up to their 1997 Kyoto Accord promises and their even earlier 1992 promises in the run-up to the 1993 election to deal effectively with climate change. 

What great electoral salesmen the Liberals are!

The Liberal 25 year history of promising to deal with global warming has been one long series of promises followed by actions that always fail to meet their greenhouse emissions reduction targets and often result in an increase in emissions.

“Canada has missed two separate emission reduction targets (the 1992 Rio target and the 2005 Kyoto target) and is likely to miss the 2020 Copenhagen target as well. In fact, emissions in 2020 are expected to be nearly 20 per cent above the target.” (

The Liberals were deeply involved in negotiating the 1997 Kyoto Accord agreeing that "Canada's Kyoto target was a 6% total reduction by 2012 compared to 1990 levels of 461 Megatonnes (Mt)". Instead the 1997 emissions of 671 Mt during the year of the signing of the Kyoto Accord had risen to 747 Mt in 2005, the last full year of a Liberal government before the Conservatives took over. This was 33% above the 1997 Liberal Kyoto target. (

The Liberals declared a climate emergency in June and then announced today the tripling of the Trans Mountain pipeline to carry bitumen to the coast bringing about a massive expansion of the fossil fuel production. Trudeau won the understatement of the year award today when he said "Not everyone will agree with this".  

Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna called climate change a “real and urgent crisis, driven by human activity,” requiring the government to make deep emissions reductions to meet its Paris commitments. The Liberals have failed previously failed to meet their greenhouse gas reduction goals of 1992, 1997, and 2005.

In March 2018 the auditor general concluded  the Trudeau Liberal government "is likely to miss the 2020 Copenhagen target as well". (

In April 2019 Environment Commissioner Julie Gelfand concluded "Canada is not on track to hit its 2030 target,". These targets were actually those of the Conservative Harper government. (

Eugene Kung, lawyer with West Coast Environmental Law, and lead on the First Nations case against the pipeline commented on Trudeau's announcement that profits from the pipeline would be used to promote green energy: "That’s like saying we need to keep selling cigarettes to have money to fight cancer". Former Liberal Environment minister David Anderson point out "There is no credible evidence to suggest that Asia is likely to be a reliable or a significant market for Alberta bitumen". (

By the way "there are no refineries in Asia that can currently handle Canadian bitumen, which needs to be processed first into synthetic crude." ( So the line that we will be able to sell it for higher prices in Asia is a myth. 

The Liberal solution: declare a national climate emergency and immediately announce more pipeline and fossil fuel production. The announcement of the Trudeau Liberal go-ahead on the Trans Mountain pipeline came one day after it also declared a national climate change emergency as Alberta wildfires continued to grow and force more people out of their homes. Those forced from their homes are often indigenous people, since many of their communities are in boreal forest regions, where the risk of such fires is greatest as a warmer, drier regional climate greatly increases the wildfire risk.

Then the Liberals built a campaign around promising to deal with climate change.

Does anybody see a pattern here?


In my last post I referred to new climate models which were released just yesterday that project a 6.5 to 7 degree temperature rise by 2100 instead of earlier models predicting a 3 to 4 degree Celsius rise by 2100  based on new climate information. Although I posted this in part 1 of this thread, here it is again in modified form for clarification of what I talked about in the previous post. 

While all models are based on assumptions, there is some evidence that such a temperature rise could trigger a further temperture rise through the release of methane, which has at least 30 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide, from the deep ocean, thereby raising the temperature ten degrees Celsius above today's temperature. Such a temperature rise was responsible for the greatest mass extinction at the end of the Permian period when "up to 96% of all marine species[6][7] and 70% of terrestrial vertebrate species becoming extinct.[8] It was the largest known mass extinction of insects. Some 57% of all biological families and 83% of all genera became extinct. Because so much biodiversity was lost, the recovery of land-dwelling life took significantly longer than after any other extinction event,[6] possibly up to 10 million years." (–Triassic_extinction_event)

The chart below shows that we are approaching the extinction rate seen during the Permian extinction, which was the greatest in the Earth's history, an extinction rate that the rise in carbon dioxide emissions has contributed to in a major way, in addtion to loss of wildlife habitat and pollution. 

Related image

AFP / Sabrina BLANCHARD, Frédéric HUGONAnomalies in world temperatures

New climate models unveiled by French researchers Tuesday showed Earth's average temperature could rise a "terrifying" 6.5-7.0°C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century if dramatic action is not immediately taken to slash carbon emissions.

The findings, presented at a press conference in Paris, suggest the planet may be warming significantly faster than scientists previously believed as the world's major economies continue to burn fossil fuels at unsustainable rates.

"Unfortunately, our global failure to implement meaningful action on climate change over recent decades has put us in a situation where what we need to do to keep warming to safe levels is extremely simple," Joeri Rogelj, an associate professor at Imperial College London, told AFP. "Global greenhouse gas emissions need to decline today rather than tomorrow, and global CO2 emissions should be brought to net zero."

The new models are expected to form part of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Sixth Assessment Report, which is set to be published in 2021. The IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report, published in 2014, presented a worst-case scenario of five degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century.

Olivier Boucher, head of the Institute Pierre Simon Laplace Climate Modeling Center in Paris, which developed one of the new models, said the latest data provide a better look at where the climate is heading without drastic changes to global energy production.

"We have better models now," Boucher told AFP on Tuesday. "They have better resolution, and they represent current climate trends more accurately."

Bloomberg reported that just "one of the updated climate models used by the researchers allowed for the global temperature increase to remain below 2°C by the end of the century." That model assumed global carbon neutrality by 2060.

The worst-case scenario of 6.5-7.0°C of warming assumed continued economic expansion driven by growth of fossil fuel production.

The IPCC warned last year that even limiting planetary warming to 1.5°C by the end of the century, the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement, would not prevent many of the disastrous effects of the climate crisis. Warming of 6.5-7.0°C would be catastrophic.

"Higher warming would allow less time to adapt and mean a greater likelihood of passing climate 'tipping points' such as thawing of permafrost, which would further accelerate warming," said Boucher.

In an email to Common Dreams, Penn State University climate scientist Michael E. Mann sounded a note of caution about the dire scenarios predicted by the new models.

"Some earlier versions of the models appeared to underestimate climate sensitivity somewhat," said Mann, "and I suspect that some of these more recent versions are actually over-estimating it a bit."

"I suspect, when all is said and done, we're probably looking at something in the range of 3-4°C and no higher, at least for near-term warming," Mann added. "If we allow the warm[ing] to persist for centuries, then other long-term positive feedbacks (vicious cycles) could kick in, giving us substantially more warming."



The results of another climate change study were also released yesterday, this time in the journal Science Advances that looked at "The rate at which the planet warms in response to the ongoing buildup of heat-trapping carbon dioxide gas could increase in the future, according to new simulations of a comparable warm period more than 50 million years ago." The researchers warn that older models have underestimated the positive feedback effects of carbon dioxide rises accelerating further increases in carbon dioxide and its climate warming effects on the planet. 

The problem with previous climate change models is that have consistently underestimated the amount and rate of change created by global warming around the world. The articles referenced in the previous post and this one give explanations of why this could be the case and further accentuate the need to act quickly and dramatically to greatly reduce our carbon dioxide emissions, instead of building more pipelines and producing more oil and natural gas as the Liberals and Conservatives are proposing to do. 

The graph below illustrates the steadily growing rate of increases in average temperature compared to the average temperature of the 20th century. 

Researchers at the University of Michigan and the University of Arizona used a state-of-the-art climate model to successfully simulate -- for the first time -- the extreme warming of the Early Eocene Period, which is considered an analog for Earth's future climate.

They found that the rate of warming increased dramatically as carbon dioxide levels rose, a finding with far-reaching implications for Earth's future climate, the researchers report in a paper scheduled for publication Sept. 18 in the journal Science Advances.

Another way of stating this result is that the climate of the Early Eocene became increasingly sensitive to additional carbon dioxide as the planet warmed.

"We were surprised that the climate sensitivity increased as much as it did with increasing carbon dioxide levels," said first author Jiang Zhu, a postdoctoral researcher at the U-M Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

"It is a scary finding because it indicates that the temperature response to an increase in carbon dioxide in the future might be larger than the response to the same increase in CO2 now. This is not good news for us."

The researchers determined that the large increase in climate sensitivity they observed -- which had not been seen in previous attempts to simulate the Early Eocene using similar amounts of carbon dioxide -- is likely due to an improved representation of cloud processes in the climate model they used, the Community Earth System Model version 1.2, or CESM1.2.

Global warming is expected to change the distribution and types of clouds in the Earth's atmosphere, and clouds can have both warming and cooling effects on the climate. In their simulations of the Early Eocene, Zhu and his colleagues found a reduction in cloud coverage and opacity that amplified CO2-induced warming.

The same cloud processes responsible for increased climate sensitivity in the Eocene simulations are active today, according to the researchers. ...

The Early Eocene (roughly 48 million to 56 million years ago) was the warmest period of the past 66 million years. It began with the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, which is known as the PETM, the most severe of several short, intensely warm events.

The Early Eocene was a time of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and surface temperatures at least 14 degrees Celsius (25 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer, on average, than today. Also, the difference between temperatures at the equator and the poles was much smaller.

Geological evidence suggests that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels reached 1,000 parts per million in the Early Eocene, more than twice the present-day level of 412 ppm. If nothing is done to limit carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, CO2 levels could once again reach 1,000 ppm by the year 2100, according to climate scientists.

Until now, climate models have been unable to simulate the extreme surface warmth of the Early Eocene -- including the sudden and dramatic temperature spikes of the PETM -- by relying solely on atmospheric CO2 levels. Unsubstantiated changes to the models were required to make the numbers work, said Poulsen, a professor in the U-M Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and associate dean for natural sciences.

"For decades, the models have underestimated these temperatures, and the community has long assumed that the problem was with the geological data, or that there was a warming mechanism that hadn't been recognized," he said. ...

"For the first time, a climate model matches the geological evidence out of the box -- that is, without deliberate tweaks made to the model. It's a breakthrough for our understanding of past warm climates," Tierney said. ...

The term equilibrium climate sensitivity refers to the long-term change in global temperature that would result from a sustained doubling -- lasting hundreds to thousands of years -- of carbon dioxide levels above the pre-industrial baseline of 285 ppm. The consensus among climate scientists is that the ECS is likely to be between 1.5 C and 4.5 C (2.7 F-8.1 F).

The equilibrium climate sensitivity in CESM1.2 is near the upper end of that consensus range at 4.2 C (7.7 F). The U-M-led study's Early Eocene simulations exhibited increasing equilibrium climate sensitivity with warming, suggesting an Eocene sensitivity of more than 6.6 C (11.9 F), much greater than the present-day value.




I just got back from a trip to New Zealand, Australia, Tahiti, Bali and Brunei. Unfortunately, the common thread of my visits to these countries was the alarming rate at which global warming is already having devastating consequences in all of these places. While I was aware of some of these problems, I was shocked at the extent of the damage already done by them and I also heard of problems that I had not previously known about. Here is a summary of what I found, some of it from the media but much of it from working class people: 

New Zealand

- a cab driver in Wellington told me how when he started his shift at 3 AM there was always thick frost on his windshield during the winter just five years ago, but now that only occurs "once or twice" a winter

- on a bus trip down the west coast of New Zealand, the driver told me that cyclones never use to hit New Zealand but now they are getting two to four a year, something that scientists predicted was likely to happen as early as 2003 (

-the same bus driver noted that the west coast highway of the South Island, whose communities are overwhelmingly economically dependent on tourism, were shut down twice within a month because of torrential 1200 mm of rainfall in one day and 1000 mm a month in one day during their summer. This had devastating effects on the economies of these communities and himself due to the washing out of a major bridge in one case and flash flooding in the other that not only closed the highway but also wiped out an entire coastal forest 

- climate change induced cyclones also had devastating effects in New Zealand last year 

Kaiaua resident Alex Corbett never believed in climate change - but a large storm that hit the Firth of Thames in January, flooding his home and dozens of others, was an eye-opener for him.

Flooding on Kowhai Ave in Kaiaua.

Flooding in Kaiaua in January this year Photo: RNZ / Supplied

"I've been a total non-believer up until the fact." He said he saw Al Gore's documentary last year which began to open his eyes but after seeing the tide take over his town, he was now a firm believer.

The storm that flooded Mr Corbett's home was the first major one of 2018 - since then several cyclones have battered the country during a record-breaking summer.

Niwa figures show the average temperature nation-wide during the summer months was 18.8°C, which is 0.3° above the previous record set in 1934-35.

The seas around New Zealand saw temperatures that were 6° above average, while a high of 38.7° in Alexandra on 30 January was the country's hottest January temperature in 39 years.

It wasn't just warm weather affecting the country though - cyclones and flooding prompted 10 civil defence state of emergencies to be declared in the past three months. That's compared to 13 throughout all of last year.(

-a second bus driver noted that as we approached the famous Franz Josef Glacier, that we would not be able to see the glacier from the Glacier View Motel, which had chosen that name to attract tourists, because so much of the glacier had already melted, and therefore the glacier was no longer visible from the motel

-another bus driver told me about a massive die-off of penquins in 2018 that has been tied to global warming 

Scores of dead little blue penguins that have washed up on northern New Zealand beaches this year probably died of starvation in extreme sea conditions, researchers say.

And they warn that climate change and its big storms could mean many more mass deaths of cherished bird and other vulnerable marine species.

Extreme weather, including several ex-tropical cyclones and record-hot sea surface temperatures, led to high numbers of reports of dead penguins washing up on beaches across the upper North Island. ...

Forest and Bird seabird expert Dr Karen Baird and Massey University’s Dr Daniel Thomas, along with students, found all of the birds had depleted fat reserves and had started using pectoral muscle for energy, resulting in wasting. Ten of the birds had empty stomachs, one had eaten a small amount of grass, and all showed other signs of starvation.

“These birds starved after experiencing a series of severe weather events, which may have prevented them from feeding, and these results may also explain the deaths of many hundreds of other little penguins around northern New Zealand,” Baird said.

Baird noted the record marine heatwave in the Tasman Sea, which also affected the East Auckland Current as it flowed into the Hauraki Gulf, raising sea surface temperatures around the north of New Zealand. “High temperatures could affect productivity and hence food supply but high temperatures have likely exacerbated a series of summer storms causing turbidity and hence poor visibility at critical times for little penguins.” (

- a third bus driver on a my trip from Queenstown to Milford Sound in the southernmost and coldest part of New Zealand described how extensive the snow on the mountains had retreated and said that the older retired drivers remembered when the mountains were all covered with snow much furhter down all year round

-a weatherman travelling on one of the buses told me about the damaging effects climate change is already having on New Zealand agriculture

In New Zealand, malnutrition is already putting twice as many children in hospital as 10 years ago, as rising food prices consume a greater percentage of household incomes – from 48 per cent in 2007 to 60 per cent in 2017. Pediatrician, Dr Nikki Turner, says 40,000 children are hospitalised every year due to poverty and inadequate nutrition – and that vitamin deficiencies are more common in New Zealand compared to similar countries.[99] Another study has found that almost a quarter of elderly New Zealanders are also malnourished.[100]

As temperatures rise, more frequent and severe water extremes, including droughts and floods, will impact on agricultural production. Rising temperatures will also lead to increased water demand for farming and agriculture. Due to chronic water shortages and desertification in food growing regions, internationally, crop yields are predicted to drop by 20% by 2050 combined with a decline in nutritional content.[101] Prices are likely to skyrocket, while job losses and reduced incomes will further reduce people’s capacity to purchase food. New Zealand researcher, associate professor Carol Wham, says malnutrition is "associated with higher infection rates, loss of muscle mass, strength and function, longer hospital stays, as well as increasing morbidity and mortality." (

-the weatherman noted, on the other hand while the west coast of the South Island is suffering from torrential downpours, eastern regions of New Zealand are already facing less rainfall - something that scientists predict could lead to drought and less agricultural production (

I will report on my visits to other countries in future days. However, what I saw throughout the region is widespread and rapidly growing impacts of global warming that suggest strongly most Canadian politicians, including the current government, are not dealing with quickly and effectively enough. 



My visit to Australia in the last month was my second visit there. While waiting at the airport in Fiji in 2014 I met a young woman returning home to the family farm in bush country - the region between Australia's coast and the Outback. She told me then that she thought bush farming was going to disappear within a generation. Sadly her prediction is coming true as climate change induced drought has already cut sheep flocks which are overwhelmingly in bush country to 37% of their mid 1990s highs in an industry which Australia dominates as the following graphs illustrate. Even a $5 billion dollar government rescue package for the industry appears to have little likelihood of changing the downward path as the two graphs below illustrate.

The 31 months from January 2017 to July 2019 show they have been the driest on record for the state of New South Wales and in the Murray Darling Basin, the country’s biggest wool growing areas, according to rainfall data from Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology.  ...

The plight of wool growers — an industry which epitomises Australia’s rise as an export heavyweight in the 20th century and supplies three-quarters of the world’s top-quality merino wool — is focusing attention on the threat posed by climate change and on strategies to adapt to drought conditions to prevent a collapse in sheep numbers and wool production. ...

Last month parliament passed a A$5bn government assistance package for farmers. Wool growers, traditionally a conservative constituency sceptical about climate change, have begun to lobby the government to take stronger measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  ...

A graphic with no description

A graphic with no description

Drought is a recurring feature in Australia — the driest continent on earth — but the current dry period in the country’s eastern states is devastating for farmers, who are struggling to grow crops to feed their animals.

This week bushfires have spread across the state as well as Queensland, prompting Australian firefighters to warn they had “never seen” such severe blazes so early in spring.

The extensive wildfires during the first week of September, at the very beginning of the Australian spring, which caused the New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian to come on TV to warn that these never-before seen wildfires at the start of spring meant that people had to now expect the wildfire season to not only get worse under these extreme conditions but to last an previously unheard of six to nine months. Similar concerns were expressed by the Premier of Queensland state. 

Also increasing the risk of extensive wildfire damage is the temperature rise associated with climate change. People told me that although it was not the end of winter in Melbourne, temperatures were typical of spring. 

We’re already seeing the impact of rising temperatures today. In January 2018, temperatures in Sydney soared to over 47 degrees Celsius (about 117 degrees Fahrenheit). It was the hottest day the city had seen in nearly 80 years. It’s true, heatwaves are not a new phenomenon. But climate change is making heatwaves more common, more severe, and longer lasting. Heatwaves have real impacts on human health and wellbeing – leading to heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. (

As you probably already know, Australia's Great Barrier Reef and its associated tourist industry are under severe threat. 

Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef has been hit exceptionally hard by both factors. Stressed by warmer and more acidic waters, coral expels the colorful algae it depends on to survive. The coral turns white – known as “coral bleaching” – and unless the coral has a chance to recover and the algae can return, it can die, upsetting entire marine ecosystems.

This can happen on a vast scale, in what’s called a “mass bleaching event.” In 2016, the Great Barrier Reef experienced a mass bleaching event that scientists say was made 175 times more likely by climate change.

Coral can recover from bleaching but that doesn’t always happen. In fact, about 30 percent of corals on the reef have died since the 2016 mass bleaching event.

Marine life depends on the Great Barrier Reef – and so do Australians. A Deloitte Access Economics report values the reef at over AUD $57 billion (over $40 billion in US dollars). The reef supports fisheries, helps employ more than 64,000 people, and brings tourists from around the globe to see this World Heritage Site. If we’re going to save the Great Barrier Reef, we must act on climate. (

Several Australians in coastal areas told me about their concerns about sea level rise destroying their homes. "The Australian Government released a report on the impacts of climate change on coastal areas of Australia, finding that up to 247,600 houses are at risk from flooding from a sea-level rise of 1.1 metres. There were 39,000 buildings located within 110 metres of 'soft' erodible shorelines, at risk from accelerated erosion due to sea -level rise." (



Since Tuesday of this week the number of Student Strikes for Climate Change scheduled from September 20-27th around the world has grown from 3,395 to 4,118 in more than 150 countries. This set of student strikes is expected to exceed the 1.5 million student strikers for climate action that occurred on March 15th. 

Student Strikes for Climate Action come just before the United Nations meeting for the Climate Action Summit which will be held on September 23, where countries are supposed to ramp up their ambitions to dramatically cut greenhouse gases under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. A second worldwide strike is planned for September 27.

Here is more information on the September 20 -27th student strikes in Canada and the rest of the world. 

September Strike Map of locations in Canada are shown on the map at the url below

If you don't see your strike on the map yet. Fill out this Google Form with your strike details and we will add it to the map.

September 20th

Students around the world will be striking from school. Many local Climate Strike Canada groups will be holding coordinated die-ins at 12pm PST/3pm EST. Some smaller groups will be having their main September strike on the 20th. 

September 21st-26th

Many cities across Canada will be holding daily actions to keep up the momentum throughout the week. 

September 27th

Students all across Canada will strike from school for the climate. This strike will be similar to previous ones on May 3rd and March 15th, only on a much larger scale. We will be joined by adults participating in a general #EarthStrike around the world. 

Who is welcome?

EVERYONE!! Though the September strikes will be organized and led by students, we welcome everyone to our movement. Find a strike near you and join us in demanding climate action before it’s too late. The September 27th strike will feed into the Canadian election rhetoric, and will incentivize political candidates to step up, and make the climate crisis the foremost issue in this election. Visit our contact page to get involved in planning one of the largest nation-wide protests in Canadian history, or click here to find an activist group in your area.



Aware that Montreal has been one of the world's strongest cities in supporting Student Strikes for Climate Action, Greta Thunberg, the autistic 15 year old girl who started what started a global movement in August 218 by protesting outside Swedish Parliament alone about political inaction on climate change (

"The young activist has previously expressed support for activism in Montreal during the 'student strike' demonstrations back on March 15. "The Montreal march was one of the largest demonstrations in the world during the Friday for the Future Global Walkout, with more than 150,000 students taking part. " (

Greta Thunberg has agreed to attend the Montreal student strike, which is expected to have 300,000 protesters marching, although she turned down an offer to speak to the National Assembly in Quebec City. 

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante took to Twitter this morning to make the announcement, adding that she and Thunberg will be among “the 300,000 people expected to march for the climate in Montréal on September 27.”


Millions of students and supporters have come out to support the Student Strikes for Climate Action started a week long global set of demonstrations before a United Nations meeting on the issue. 

Millions were taking to the streets in roughly 150 countries around the world on Friday for a global strike demanding world leaders gathering at a UN climate summit adopt urgent measures to avert an environmental catastrophe.

The protests kicked off in the Pacific islands — some of the nations most threatened by rising sea levels — and Australia, where social media posts showed huge demonstrations around the country, from the big coastal cities of Melbourne and Sydney to outback towns such as Alice Springs.  

The worldwide strike was inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. ...

The co-ordinated student "strike" culminated in New York's financial centre, Wall Street, where some investors have embraced the fossil fuel industry. Massive crowds overwhelmed the streets of lower Manhattan, letting out roars of "Save our planet," while anticipating an address by Thunberg.

"Right now, we are the ones who are making a difference. If no one else will take action, then we will," Greta Thunberg told demonstrators in New York. ...

"We demand a safe future. Is that really too much to ask?" she said.

Three million people had participated worldwide as of midday ET, organizers with the anti-fossil fuels group 350 said. Britain's Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted that 100,000 people joined the demonstration in London. ...

Protests extended beyond student-led demonstrations, with hundreds of Amazon workers walking out of their offices in Seattle, Wash. The employees held signs, some made from recycled Amazon boxes, that urged the company to stop dealing with oil and gas companies and to not make political contributions to people who deny climate change.

Amazon, which ships more than 10 billion items a year, vowed Thursday to cut its use of fossil fuels. It said it had ordered 100,000 electric vans to deliver packages beginning in 2021.

Employees of Google also participated in demonstrations, as about 60 gathered in downtown San Francisco and marched to join a larger, student-led climate strike in the city. One held a sign reading: "Google Do Better." 

In Brazil, thousands mounted climate demonstrations of their own, largely aimed at President Jair Bolsonaro, whom they say is allowing fires to destroy the Amazon rainforest and worsen the environmental crisis. On Twitter, Brazilians tweeted #EleNao and #ForaSalles, calls to reject Bolsonaro and oust Environment Minister Ricardo Salles. Protesters criticized and mocked the two leaders with signs and costumes.

A few dozen people, mostly students, gathered on the steps of Rio de Janeiro's state assembly behind a banner reading "climate justice."

Global anxiety has focused on Brazil since August, when it was revealed fires in the Amazon have surged to their highest level since 2010. Many environmentalists blame Bolsonaro for policies they say favour development over environmental protections, and which have led to deforestation. ...

In Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel unveiled a major new climate protection package thrashed out by parties in her coalition in all-night talks. ...

The UN summit brings together world leaders to discuss climate change mitigation strategies, such as transitioning to renewable energy sources from fossil fuels. The issue is vital to low-lying Pacific islands, which have repeatedly asked wealthier nations to do more to prevent rising sea levels. Children in the Solomon Islands rallied on the shoreline wearing traditional grass skirts and carrying wooden shields in solidarity with the global movement. ...

Carbon emissions climbed to a record last year, despite a warning from the UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in October that output of the gases must be slashed over the next 12 years to stabilize the climate.

No protests were authorized in China, the world's biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions, but Zheng Xiaowen of the China Youth Climate Action Network said Chinese youth would take action one way or another.


In New York, 250,000 people turned out at the Student Strike for Climate Action. The following article discusses the New York strike and contains a video that describes 16 year old autistic Greta Thunberg's role in starting and stimulating this ongoing protests. 

Greta Thunberg spoke at the climate strike in New York City Friday, arriving on stage at a rally in Battery Park to cheers of “Greta! Greta!” 

Thunberg began by listing off numbers of participants in the climate strike around the world, stating that at least 250,000 people in New York City joined roughly four million others striking worldwide. CNN has not verified these numbers. 

“It’s just not the young people’s house. We all live here. It affects all of us,” Thunberg said. “Why should we study for a future that is being taken away from us? That is being stolen for profit? Some people say we should study to become climate scientists or politicians, so that we can, in the future, solve the climate crisis. But by then, it will be too late. We need to do this now.”


Rabble outlines the reason for Canadians to strike for climate action:

Here's why we strike:

  1. Because anything less than system change means jeopardizing the future of our planet.
  2. Because Canada owes the rest of the world a massive climate debt.
  3. Because Canada needs a Green New Deal.
  4. Because workers deserve a just transition to clean, good jobs.
  5. Because climate justice is migrant justice is racial justice.
  6. Because we need to build a new economy that is based on caring for each other and our Earth.
  7. Because air pollution alone contributes to more than 7 million respiratory-related deaths annually around the world.
  8. Because Indigenous communities are on the frontlines of the climate crisis and there can be no reconciliation without climate justice.
  9. Because we believe in a better world and just future for all.
  10. Because austerity logic has harmed teachers, domestic workers, artists, educators, students, and other people who already work in low-carbon industries -- and it's time to reverse that logic.
  11. Because our universities and institutions are invested in the fossil fuel industry.
  12. Because our prime minister just bought a pipeline.
  13. Because real coverage of the climate crisis requires independent, activist-fuelled media.
  14. Because we need sustainable food systems.
  15. Because climate change is a top concern for Canadians going into the election and our political parties aren't listening.
  16. Because a carbon tax just isn't enough.
  17. Because we need massive investment in fully free, excellent, and universal public services, including health care, pharmacare, child care, and transit.
  18. Because climate change isn't a single issue, it's every issue.
  19. Because it's climate justice now, or eco-fascism later.
  20. Because the time is up.



Bertha Zúñiga Cáceres, the daughter of the late environmental and Honduran indigenous leader Berta Cáceres, who in 2016 "was assassinated in her home by armed intruders, after years of threats against her life. ... Twelve environmental activists were killed in Honduras in 2014, according to research by Global Witness, making it the most dangerous country in the world, relative to its size, for activists protecting forests and rivers. Her murder was followed by those of two more activists within the same month." (áceres)

has joined Greta Thunberg in supporting climate action.

Berta's mother warned that a Canadian company operating in Honduras was involved in making death threats against her before her murder because of her being a leader of a movement to resist "corporate development projects being launched without local consent" that had many major negative environmental impacts including with regard to climate change. 

In August 2019, the Trudeau government put out a ombudsman guideline for Canadian firms operating abroad that is so useless it caused the environmental group Mining Watch and 13 other civil society organizations to resign in protest (for a detailed description of this see post #20). 

Murdered Honduran Indigenous activist Berta Caceres warned on multiple occasions that she had received death threats and other harassment from state and corporate agents, including Canadian hydroelectric giant Blue Energy, as a result of her activism resisting unwanted development projects on Indigenous territory.

Caceres made statements last April claiming that “men close to Blue Energy,” a transnational Canadian company looking to build a dam in the Rio Blanco area in western Honduras, or people “close to politicians” and “death squads promoted from government policies” were behind the death threats leveled against her.

“I have received direct death threats, threats of kidnapping, or disappearance, of lynching, of pummeling the vehicle I use, threats of kidnapping my daughter, persecution, surveillance, sexual harassment, and also campaigns in the national media of powerful sectors,” Caceres told EFE last year.

Caceres, co-founder of the Indigenous organization COPINH and prominent resistance activist, was a key leader of resistance movements in Rio Blanco against corporate development projects being launched without local consent.


Berta's daughter said in support of the student strikes for climate action:

“We believe that all struggles are worthwhile. We will continue to push for climate action to protect our nature, our people and our future,” said Bertha Zúñiga Cáceres, an environmental and indigenous rights activist from Honduras. ... “We have no choice but to fight for our rights. Our proposal is for governments to set high ambitions and how are we going to make radical change. And this is an opportunity for us to clamor [for] climate justice,” said Zúñiga, who, along with more than 200 environmental and human rights groups, took part in a people’s summit that was held ahead of the global climate strike." ...

The summit adopted a declaration calling on governments and corporations to urgently tackle the climate emergency and ramp up climate commitments.

“This is the moment of urgency. This is the new era of climate movement. And it is time to fight for human rights-centered climate action,” said Kumi Naidoo, secretary-general of Amnesty International. “We need to seize the opportunity to hold governments and corporations alike to be accountable. Nature does not negotiate and we cannot change the science. We need political will because it is our responsibility to rise up for the benefit of the generations to come.”

Naidoo said that apart from joining the strike, these organizations plan to pursue more concerted climate litigation efforts, target the financial sector’s funding of fossil fuels, make more effective use of human rights accountability mechanisms, and coordinate more mass mobilization campaigns at national and regional levels.
Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International, said the declaration marks a new era of climate activism by putting people and human rights at the core of its solutions.

“We will all take action and confront those responsibilities. Weak governments and toxic corporate power will have nowhere to hide as we put people at the center of our demands, and seek climate justice for the communities least responsible but most vulnerable to this climate emergency,” Morgan said.

Pointing to the case of people in poorer countries being hit hardest by the impacts of climate change, Greenpeace Southeast Asia executive director Naderev “Yeb” Saño said the global climate strike led by the young has not only created awareness but put pressure on climate policymakers to help people cope with these impacts.

In 2013, Yeb Sano was the lead negotiator for the Philippines at COP19 in Warsaw. Image by Push Europe via Flickr (CC BT-NC 2.0).

“There is a massive clamor from all sectors at this time of climate emergency. The Philippines, for instance, is a stark example of the gross injustice brought on by climate impacts which infringe on people’s most fundamental rights such as the right to life, shelter, food and livelihood,” Saño said. ...

Thousands of Filipino youths are expected to stage protests in 28 locations demanding the government declare a climate emergency.
“Calling for enhanced climate action is not enough anymore,” said Jefferson Estela, convener of the Youth Strike for Climate Philippines. “This is a climate emergency and the government needs to send a clear policy signal about the urgency of this crisis.”


The Trudeau Liberal government has continued previous Canadian government's failing to curb in any way corporate Canada's abuse of the environment and murder of environmentalists in Third World countries. This is tragic, especially when it comes to Canada's mining companies that dominate much of the industry globally, carrying out murder and sexual abuse, especially with regard to environmentalists, with impunity. These firms are also allowed to destroy forests that store megatons of carbon dioxide in their pursuit of profits. 

Since 75 per cent of the world’s mining and exploration companies are based in Canada and 40 per cent of global mining capital is raised on the Toronto Stock Exchange, it’s easy to argue that Canada is the world leader in this industry. Mining interests influence international aid, dictate the activities of our foreign diplomats and prescribe the conditions of our multilateral investment and “free  trade” agreements.

When it comes to abuse by mining companies, Canada also reigns supreme. Killings and sexual abuse by security forces and unchecked environmental devastation are regularly reported occurrences at Canadian mining sites around the world. Barrick Gold, the company founded by Peter Munk, does not escape this seeming industry norm. 

The company has acknowledged a massacre at one of its mines and compensated 120 women and girls who were gang raped at another of its sites with just over $10,000 each in exchange for signing an agreement not to sue. 

Beyond facing charges of human rights abuses, Barrick and Munk’s associated social enterprises have been accused on numerous occasions of thwarting efforts to correct the Canadian regulatory framework that allows these violations to continue. As such, it will be interesting to see how much Canadian mining impunity will feature in the foreign-policy debate hosted by none other than the Munk Debates, at Roy Thomson Hall on Monday (September 28).

According to a 2005 report from the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, “Canada does not yet have laws to ensure that the activities of Canadian mining companies in developing countries conform to human rights standards, including the rights of workers and of indigenous peoples.” 

This landmark report, the result of years of advocacy on human rights abuses at Canadian mine sites, spurred a multi-year process known as the Canadian Roundtables on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the Canadian Extractive Industry. ...

Despite the painstaking effort, the report’s proposals were ignored by the Harper government. ...

The state of mining injustice today is horrifying, and it’s essential that these issues be aired to curtail the current level of impunity enjoyed by mining companies abroad.


Why has this been allowed to continue? In part, because Canadian laws have been extremely weak in dealing with this, the Trudeau government has done to meaningfully to address the issue despite lobbying for social justice and environmental groups, and Canadian corporations know this. 

All over the world, companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and run out of lawyer’s offices on Bay Street or skyscrapers in downtown Vancouver (whose real financiers may live in Australia or Nevada) are handling the mining game at home, throughout parts of Asia, South America and surprisingly, even with all the talk of China’s investment in Africa, it turns out that it’s Canada, not China, who is quietly dominating and exploiting African mining. All told, almost 1,300 mining companies based out of Canada are investing hundreds of billions of dollars in over 100 countries around the world.

So the question is, why? What makes Canada such an attractive option for the ‘extractive sector’? Canadians don’t own all of these mining companies—but these organizations do plop their headquarters down here—what is it about this country that makes it such an industry haven?

I asked Jamie Kneen, research coordinator with Ottawa based MiningWatch Canada, a non-profit organization that describes itself as “a direct response to industry and government failures to protect the public and the environment from destructive mining practices and to deliver on their sustainability rhetoric.” Just why it is that Canada is the go-to place for mining companies to set up shop?

“There’s two sides to it,” he said. “One is that there is a concentration of expertise in mining finance and mining law, it does have a historical basis” He is of course referring to the various Canadian gold rushes, the nickel deposits in Sudbury, coal in Cape Breton, etc. “The other side is that Canada provides very favourable conditions. The listing requirements for the TSX are pretty lax, the disclosure requirements are pretty lax, you don’t have to have Canadian directories or Canadian shareholders to be a Canadian company... and the Canadian government doesn’t ask too many questions about whether you’re paying your taxes in other jurisdictions (i.e. foreign countries where the mines are operating).”


Here are more examples of Canada's mining industry's involvement in these murders. 

Barrick Gold Corporation is a name that comes up on a number of issues. Based out of the TD Canada Trust Tower at 161 Bay Street in Toronto, their gold mine in Papua New Guinea has been the site of fatal shootings as well as of hundreds of rapes, gang rapes,and beatings of indigenous women by the mine’s security forces. Barrick has acknowledged the problem by offering victims some compensation—on the agreement they sign away their rights to ever legally sue. I wasn’t able to find any evidence of Canadian government investigation or intervention in the matter.

In the Congo in 2005, Anvil Mining Ltd, based out of Quebec, allegedly provided logistical support and transportation to the Congolese militaryas it made its way to the port city of Kilwa where it massacred hundreds of people. A Canadian organization representing survivors of the massacre, the Canadian Association Against Impunity—whose mandate is to hold mining companies in Africa accountable for their actions—had their class-action suit thrown out by the Supereme Court of Canada, saying the complaint should be heard in the Congo (whose military the mine supported). This, again, reinforces my understanding that our mining companies can act with impunity overseas, without the threat of any legal repercussions in Canada.

Calgary based TVI Pacific has employed its own paramilitary force in a remote region of the Philippines to intimidate and remove the indigenous population from their ancestral lands so they can mine for gold. In one documented incident, members of TVI’s security force—all of which are employees of Canadian companies—entered the house of a local man, beat him with a hammer, smashed a small-scale piece of mining equipment that he owned – likely his only livelihood – then, just for good measure, slapped his pregnant wife, and shot at the feet of their teenage daughter. ...

The recklessness of Vancouver-based China Gold International left 83 Tibetan miners after a landslide dead in March—a natural disaster that many believe was caused by the environmental disruption that the mining industry has caused in the area. Apparently more than 5,000 Chinese troops were sent in to “serve as rescue efforts” but a Tibetan monk from the area, who lives in Canada, believes they were actually there to curb protests by the locals.

A protest in Vancouver over our mining operations in Tibet

In Central and South America, Canada’s reputation is being dragged through the dirt to the point where in some countries, it’s apparently better for travellers to say they’re American than Canadian, and it’s not hard to see why. Vancouver-based Pacific Rim is suing the government of El Salvador, a country with a GDP of $23 Billion (Canada’s is $1.7 trillion) for $315 million dollars because they didn’t let them follow through with a mine that threatened to pollute the Lempa River—a watershed that accounts for 60% of the country’s clean water.

As if that’s not enough, a region of Guatemala was militarized last month—and the right to protest or form meetings has been suspended by the president—following clashes between local protesters who are concerned for their drinking water and employees of Vancouver-based Tahoe Resources inc.


Canadian mining companies have played a major role in the growing violence against environmentalists. The article found at the url below describes the murder of 37 environmentali activists and their connections to Canadian mining companies. 

1Vigil1.jpg          Blanket: "Canadian Mining Kills"


Four days after the assassination of Honduran indigenous leader Berta Cáceres captured worldwide headlines, a vigil to remind of the blood on Canada’s hands for all those who have died protesting Canadian mining projects abroad interrupted the mining industry’s annual confab in Toronto on Sunday, March 6.

The vigil held by the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network at the convention of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) was presided over by Anglican priest Maggie Helwig. “We are here to name the dead,” she said.

The names of some two dozen victims of such violence were read out at the PDAC vigil. The protesters were then escorted out by police.

Canadian mining companies are among the worst human rights offenders on the planet. The most recent evidence of that is a 2014 report submitted to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. A 2009 report commissioned by PDAC but never made public also detailed targeted assassinations and persecution of activists and union leaders opposing Canadian projects abroad. 

It’s impossible to know exactly who killed each of these people. The vast majority of the cases have not been solved or in many cases even investigated. But they all have something in common: all were assassinated and all resisted Canadian mining projects.


The murder of 1,780 environmentalists identified in Global Witness's 2002 to 2018 reports is only a small fraction of those murdered globally. Not all of these murders involve Canadian firms nor the mining industry. Many of those attempting to protect the land, water and atmosphere live in remote regions where there is little or no law and their deaths are not even noted officially. Here is the url of the 2017 Global Witness report: (


According to the Brazilian environmental watchdog Comissao Pastoral da Terra (CPT), the death toll in Brazil alone is even worse than that reported by Global Witness. 

More than 1,500 Brazilians have been killed trying to protect the Amazon rain forest over the past 25 years, and some 2,000 more have received death threats. ...

For decades, Brazil has struggled with how to manage the staggering natural resources of the Amazon. The region, which is nearly the size of the contiguous United States, shelters 10 percent of the Earth's known species. The Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit environmental group, estimates that an average four-square-mile plot in the Amazon contains 750 species of trees, 400 species of birds, and 150 species of butterflies. The rich soil means there's also huge financial potential for farming and livestock. In the 1970s, the country's dictatorship inaugurated a policy known as integrar para não entregar (­"Occupy it, or risk losing it"), and a frenetic landgrab ensued. The new land barons seized vast tracts of forest, which they promptly clear-cut. The timber was sold to foreign countries or burned to make charcoal, and the land was planted with soybeans or populated with cattle.

This, in part, has led to Brazil's emergence as a global economic power. It is already the world's largest exporter of beef and the second-largest supplier of soybeans. ...

In July 2011, public outcry over the violence forced the Brazilian government to announce that it would provide protection to approximately 130 threatened activists, and at the end of September, four months after Zé and Maria's deaths, the country's Council of Justice unveiled plans to create a special task force to investigate the killing of activists. According to federal prosecutor Pontes, however, only five of the 40 threatened activists in Pará have received any government protection. A spokeswoman for the Council of Justice said that her office has actually reduced the number of unsolved murders from nearly 700 to 74. ("The court figured that a dispute over land was not the main reason behind many of the murders," she said.)

Brent Rushforth, a lawyer in Washington, D.C., who in 2005 helped Brazil prosecute the killers of a 73-year-old American nun and rain forest activist named Dorothy Stang, blames flaws in the country's legal system for the inefficacy of these programs. "Brazilian criminal law is a stew that's made up of common law, Napoleonic code, and Brazilian salsa," Rushforth says. "The Amazon is so vast and completely unfettered to any true rule of law." Rushforth says that to find the men who killed Stang, the Brazilian government had to send its army into the rain forest – and it did so only in response to international pressure.

Many believe that the Brazilian legislature operates under the undue influence of the ranchers, who have the money to win favor. ...

 The Brazilian congress voted to amend the country's forest code, granting amnesty to ranchers who have illegally cleared land while also reducing the percentage of holdings that they're required to preserve. As an ecologist with Greenpeace put it, "Brazil woke up to the news of the murders of two leading environmental activists, and it's going to bed with the murder of the forest code."

Meanwhile, the killings and death threats continue.




In 2018, Climate Change News noted that the most dangerous place for activists and indigenous communities was the Philippines, which saw 30 murders, according to the latest Global Witness report. (Photo: Cassi Gurell/Flickr) (

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is known as a dictatorial thug for good reason, having said that he has personally thrown a corrupt poltician out of a helicopter, promising to kill 100,000 criminals in his first six months in office (currently "An average 1,015 people have been reportedly killed each month by police or vigilantes since Duterte took office on June 30.") (

Ironically, in view of his own atrocious human rights abuse record, one of the reasons for his popularity is his threat to kick the ten Canadian mining companies out of the country because of their record of cooperating in murder and sexual abuse. Of course his record never matched his promise. 

He has also said foreign mining companies, including Canadian firms, need to "shape up" and would prefer Filipino ownership. This may well be an attempt to reward his own cronies, but with the murderous record of Canadian and other foreign mining firms they have no local support and are worried, despite saying otherwise.

I have no faith that a Duterte-led Filipino set of cronies would be much better, but it just might send a message to foreign firms that being so ruthless could be costly to their own interests.

New Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte may make headlines because of his outspoken (and often controversial) ways, but his approach to mining will have a substantial impact on foreign firms — including several Canadian companies.

Duterte, who is known for his tough stance on crime and disregard for due process, said after winning the country’s presidential election in May that mining companies in the Philippines need to “shape up”. He went on to say he prefers mining assets to be owned by locals, rather than foreign companies.

That was followed by the naming of committed environmentalist Regina Lopez to head the country’s natural resources department, which set off uncertainty for foreign firms operating in the Philippines. One industry official told Reuters the sector is “shell shocked” by Lopez’s appointment.

For their parts, the 10 listed Canadian mining companies operating in the Philippines said they are not concerned, according to the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC), a leading industry group.

“PDAC supports responsible mineral exploration and mining everywhere in the world, including the Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia,” said PDAC executive director Andrew Cheatle in a statement. “Each (of the 10 Canadian firms) is expected to observe the highest environmental and social responsibility standards. … We fully support responsible exploration and improved regulatory processes in the Philippines.”

Other observers have been less optimistic. Dave Forest, managing geologist for the Pierce Points resource-industry newsletter, called Lopez’s views on open-pit mining “horrific” evidence that the Filipino minister has taken one of the strongest anti-mining stances ever by a government official. It could put the industry at risk, he said in an analysis.

“Strong anti-mining sentiment seems to be permeating all levels of authority in the country,” Forest wrote, adding that foreign mining operations may soon face full-scale reviews if violations are discovered. “Here’s to knowing when to fold ’em.”


Another example of how the Canadian government and courts fail to do anything to stop the murder of environmentalists occurred in Mexico. 

Abarca, Chiapas, August 19 (Otros Mundos).jpeg

On August 19, the Abarca family held a press conference to mark the 10th anniversary of the murder of Mariano Abarca over his opposition to Canadian mining operations in Mexico - Courtesy of Otros Mundos

On August 19, members of the Abarca family, along with a number of Mexican organizations, held a press conference in San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico, to mark the 10th anniversary of the murder of Mariano Abarca.

The former community leader was gunned down in broad daylight outside his home in November 2009. 

The Federal Court of Canada recently decided not to order the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner to investigate alleged “actions and omissions” on the part of officials at the Canadian embassy in Mexico City in the months leading up to Abarca's death. 

Abarca had gone to the embassy to report threats and allegations of harassment against community members in Chiapas opposed to a barite mine in Chicomuselo operated by Calgary-based Blackfire Exploration. ...

In a 26-page decision published on July 18, Federal Court Justice Keith Boswell conceded that “perhaps Mariano Abarca would not have been murdered” if the embassy had “acted in a certain way.” But Boswell determined that the integrity commissioner’s decision not to investigate the actions of embassy officials was acceptable. Moreover, he ruled that it was “reasonable” to conclude that Canadian embassy officials in Mexico did not violate any code of conduct. Officials had travelled to Chiapas to discuss issues with locals and mining officials. 

But the judge appears to have based this conclusion on the presumption that Canadian government policies related to corporate social responsibility, corruption, and human rights are not binding on embassy officials.


ETA: As the election writ was about to be dropped the Trudeau Liberal government put out a paper tiger "mandate of the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE) – once again failing to address the main concerns raised by MiningWatch Canada and many other civil society members." However, Mining Watch and 13 other "civil society organizations resigned from a federal advisory committee after the federal government took away powers to investigate from the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE)," because they saw its as toothless and doing nothing to solve the problem. I guess when you lobby the Trudeau Liberals 530 times in 15 months, like the mining industry, you get rules that suit you perfectly. 

report released today by the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project shows that the two mining industry associations, the Mining Association of Canada and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, lobbied the federal government 530 times between January 2018 and April 2019. (

This is just a continuation of non-action by Canadian governments over decades on human rights for environmentalists harmed by Canadian corporations. 

MiningWatch, other members of the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability, and Professor Surya Deva of the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights  have repeatedly pointed out that the Ombuds’ mandate fails to provide the most critical characteristics of an ombudsperson tasked with investigating allegations of human rights abuses by Canadian corporations operating overseas: independence and the powers to compel witnesses and documents. ...

“We need answers,” says MiningWatch spokesperson Catherine Coumans. She asks, “Why has the government failed to release the legal study it commissioned? Why has the government revised the ombudsperson’s Order-in-Council in the dying days of its mandate, but again failed to give her the necessary powers to compel evidence?”

The ongoing failure by Minister Carr to answer these questions leads to only one conclusion; once again, in the face of a massive mining industry lobby, the government has failed to show the political will to hold Canadian companies to account for serious human rights abuses.

On August 19, MiningWatch Canada resigned from its position as an alternate on the government’s Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Body on Responsible Business Conduct Abroad (MSAB). “We have lost confidence that this government is at all serious about human rights when it comes to the activities of Canadian companies operating overseas,” says Coumans, adding, “If it will not empower the ombudsperson to do her job effectively, then what is the point in talking about other possible business and human rights initiatives?”


One of the classic complaints of those wanting to do nothing or the minimum about reducing greenhouse gas emissions is "What about India?" Well in terms of reaching its Paris Agreement targets India, although still has its problems, is significantly,  ahead in meeting these targets, of Canada, it  which has blown by our 2020 targets and is well set to blow by our 2030 targets under the Trudeau Liberals, just as they did with the Kyoto Accord under Chretien and Martin even though Trudeau adopted Harper's lowball targets. 

Overall, countries are failing miserably to meet the Paris climate target of 1.5 degrees C.  Without new efforts to cut emissions, the planet will “likely to lead to a breaching of the 1.5 degree warming limit by 2035, two degrees by 2053 and a total warming of 3.2 degrees by the end of the century,” warned CAT in a special update released this past Thursday. If current policies aren’t improved, the CAT update said, there’s a 25 per cent chance of exceeding four degrees, a level widely considered catastrophic.

“We are not just a little bit off track, we are way off track,” said Niklas Höhne, partner at NewClimate Institute, a CAT partner. That’s the reason why more than 100 heads of countries are expected to attend the UN Climate Action Summit on Monday.  The UN Secretary-General António Guterres has repeatedly said: “Bring plans, not speeches.” ...

Canada will bring neither, due to the election. Although the Trudeau government has said Canada will be a climate leader, their policies are far from that, according to a CAT analysisreported last summer. “If all countries were to follow Canada’s approach, warming could reach over 3°C and up to 4°C,” it said.

India is on the cusp of ensuring its emissions are compatible with the Paris climate goal of 1.5 degrees, says Claire Stockwell of Climate Analytics in Berlin, another CAT partner. Only Morocco and The Gambia are in this exclusive club.

“India has become a global leader in renewable energy,” Stockwell says, “and could announce a new target in New York on Monday.”  It also has strong energy efficiency policies, and has replaced over 700 million street and household lights with energy-saving and long-lasting LEDs.

However, India still has plans to build new coal power plants. Under the Paris Agreement, as a developing country India’s emissions can increase until 2030 and then decline. Building more coal plants could push India off the 1.5°C-compatible pathway, Stockwell says. ...

Keeping global warming to 1.5°C matters to Canada since it has already warmed up on average 1.7°C since 1948, twice as fast as the global average, a government study reported last spring. Canada’s 2030 emission-reduction target of 30 per cent below 2005 levels is rated as “insufficient” in a CAT report. This means the target is too low for Canada to do its fair share in meeting the 2015 Paris agreement of keeping global temperatures from rising above 1.5°C.

Last December the government estimated that its policies would only get Canada halfway to its 2030 target.

“Canada should double its 2030 target and have plans to meet it,” said Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International, when asked what Canada needs to do. “And it has to stop any expansion of fossil fuel projects, including pipelines.”



Climate Action Tracker, "independent scientific analysis produced by three research organisations tracking climate action since 2009. We track progress towards the globally agreed aim of holding warming well below 2°C, and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C " ( rates Canada's climate change current policies under the Trudeau Liberals as "highly insufficient" in helping hold global warming below two degrees Celsius. 

The CAT rates Canada’s NDC as “Insufficient”. The “Insufficient” rating indicates that Canada’s climate commitment in 2030 is not consistent with holding warming to below 2°C, let alone limiting it to 1.5°C as required under the Paris Agreement, and is instead consistent with warming between 2°C and 3°C. If all countries were to follow Canada’s approach, warming could reach over 2°C and up to 3°C. This means Canada’s climate commitment is at the least stringent end of what would be a fair share of global effort, and is notconsistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit, unless other countries make much deeper reductions and comparably greater effort.

The CAT ratings are based on climate commitments in NDCs. If the CAT were to rate Canada’s projected emissions levels in 2030 under current policies, we would rate Canada “Highly insufficient”, indicating that Canada’s current policies in 2030 are not consistent with holding warming to below 2°C, let alone limiting it to 1.5°C as required under the Paris Agreement, and are instead consistent with warming between 3°C and 4°C: if all countries were to follow Canada’s approach, warming could reach over 3°C and up to 4°C. This means Canada’s current policies are not in line with any interpretation of a “fair” approach to the former 2°C goal, let alone the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit.


Here in graph form is a comparison fossil fuel burnt per capita in G20 countries with Canada continuing to be second only to Saudi Arabia under the Trudeau Liberals: 

Canadians and Americans are at the extreme end — burning four times the global average. Only the Saudis, in dead last, burn more than we do. Back in 1990, Canadians burned much less than Americans, per person. Now, we burn more than they do.

Fossil fuel use in G20, per person, 2018.


Illustration for article titled Greta Thunberg Isn't Your Mascot

Here is a video of Greta Thunberg speaking at the United Nations on Monday criticizing all governments for their failure to deal with climate change for decades. Obviously, that includes our Liberal and Conservative governments.

Here is some of what she said in written form: 

"This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you come to us young people for hope. How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.” ...

People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about are money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you? For more than 30 years the science has been crystal clear. How dare you look away?

Ashley Reese comments on how she is treated by many leaders. 

Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg is regularly on the receiving end of unhinged vitriol from the right—condemned as an alarmist propagandist by those who refuse to read the writing on the wall—but she is also repeatedly condescended to by her supposed allies. She knows it, too. 

It’s been easy for people to approach Thunberg as an endearing, precious oddity: she’s a 16-year-old white girl from Sweden who speaks in a soft, careful voice about the already unfolding climate crisis. But Thunberg has made it clear that she’s not here to be a cute, vapid mascot of progress for lawmakers who want to pat her on the head and move on. She addressed this tension on Monday in a cutting speech before the United Nations General Assembly. ...

Thunberg is not here to be palatable. She is not here to be adorable GIF-fodder, or to reassure apathetic elites that the future is in good hands. She is here to be taken seriously. The stakes are too high for her not to be. Her activism isn’t cute—it’s terrifying.


A new United Nations report on climate change is scheduled to be released tomorrow. It has even more dire warnings than previous reports, according to leaks that also say that politicians, especially those from the oil producing countries (who would that be!) are trying to minimize the language in the report. 

One of the most dire warnings in an earlier draft is that sea level rise caused by global warming is now well on the way to creating hundreds of millions of climate change refugees by 2100.

One problem even if the countries that made monetary promises to increase their spending on greenhouse gas emissions reductions do keep their promises (which is often not the case), that is not enough to deal with the problem.

Trudeau is not at the UN meeting because the election means he cannot guarantee that even short-term promises cannot be guaranteed to be kept because there is no guarantee he will win the election. This also enables him to avoid international condemnation for not living up to his 2015 climate change promises or even the Harper emission reduction targets that he set as his own after winning the election. The Trudeau Liberals did not even meet those targets for 2020 according to the auditor-general ( and based on current emissions the Liberals are almost certainly going to blow by for 2030 according to Environment Commissioner Julie Gelfand (

Today Trudeau promised to reduce emissions to zero by 2050. I guess he is just following in the the tradition of the Chretien and Martin Liberals who blew by the 1997 Kyoto Accord greenhouse gas emission reductions that they agreed to. After all the Liberals have been highly successful is using these climate change promises to help them get re-elected time and time again despite failing to come anywhere near meeting these standards.

Delegates from dozens of countries worked all night in Monaco to nail down the final wording of the United Nations new report on climate change. The report is due to be released on Wednesday morning, but as CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips reports, the document based on science is tangled up in politics. 

It was already clear from a draft version that the news the U.N. is about to deliver on the Earth's changing climate isn't good. In fact, it's their gloomiest set of predictions to date, and it will be delivered during a week of highly-charged argument and emotion on the topic.

At the special United Nations climate summit in New York, it was not government leaders who stole the show, but Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg. Phillips notes there wasn't much stealing to do from President Trump, who she gave a hard stare, as the administration has already pulled out of the U.N. climate pact, and Mr. Trump made only a brief appearance on Monday.

But the leader of the teen-movement for climate action directed her anger at a target far broader than the Trump administration, or even the United States. She tore into everybody. ...

"People are suffering. People are dying and dying ecosystems are collapsing," she told the gathered leaders through tears. "We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is the money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!"

But it will take money to try to slow climate change. The U.N. summit was called to prod countries to raise their pledges on how quickly they will cut back on the use of fossil fuels that produce the greenhouse gasses that are warming the Earth. There were larger pledges made, but not enough to slow the warming to levels that most scientists agree is necessary. ...

The final editing of the new report from the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provided the usual drama, as oil-producing countries tried to tone-down the rhetoric on the implications of global warming, and the scientists cited studies showing that things really are worse than previously thought.

The negotiations were being held behind closed doors, but frustration seeped out. French news agency AFP quoted one of the representatives from inside the talks as saying the delegation from Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil producer, had blocked language taken straight from last year's IPCC report.

The lines discuss the scientific consensus on the dangers of letting the planet's temperature rise by just 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). 

"It has been 24 hours and there has been absolutely no compromise from the Saudis," AFP quoted a participant in the negotiations as saying early Tuesday. "They are undermining the science underlying this report, and it is despicable." 

Phillips said while the Saudis did object to including the specific language from the 2018 report, the other delegations agreed to replace it with a reference to "relevant IPCC reports." With the impasse broken, they apparently agreed a new draft on Tuesday.

An earlier draft of the report seen by CBS News said the melting of ice in the polar regions has already accelerated to the point where it's increasingly likely that sea-level rise will force hundreds of millions of coastal dwellers around the globe to abandon their homes within this century.

People in the room told Phillips that the report says global warming has progressed to the stage where some of its most severe consequences; flooding, intense storms and prolonged drought, are already inevitable.  

The argument in Monaco, much like global warming itself, goes on.


Friday September 27th will be another day of Student Strikes for Climate Action around the world including in Canada. 

You can find where they are located on the map at the following url:

Image result for picture of montreal student strike for climate action march 2019

Montreal March 15th Student Strike for Climate Action

Greta Thunberg will be attending the Montreal Student Strike Climate Action protest on Friday because she was impressed by the 150,000 people who attended the March 15th protest. Tomorrow's protest is expected to be even larger. 



Here's some more information on the Friday September 27 Student Strikes for Climate Action brought on by the failure of governments around the world, including Canada, to effectively deal with global warming. 

Wasn’t the global climate strike last Friday?

Yes! Sept. 20 was the kick-off for a week of climate activities, with two global climate strikes planned on Sept. 20 and Sept. 27. The UN emergency climate summit was held on Sept. 23, in between the two climate strike dates. The global strikes were inspired by #FridaysForFuture, a movement following Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s call for students to strike. ...

Which Canadian cities are striking this Friday?

There are strikes happening coast to coast. A full list can be found by searching on the climate strike map at Global Climate Strike Net. There is also a map on the Fridays for Future website, which says that around 200 strikes, demonstrations, or meetups are happening across Canada on Friday.

Some of the cites where strikes will be held are Vancouver, Thunder Bay, Ont., Victoria, Winnipeg, Yellowknife, Calgary, Regina, Edmonton, St. John’s, N.L., Halifax and Toronto.

Thunberg will be joining the Montreal march, and will be giving a speech along with other activists. Federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has also said. ...

Will students be allowed to skip class for the strike?

Some school boards are taking measures to allow students to miss class to attend the strikes.

The Toronto District School Board has asked schools not to schedule tests or have assignments due on Sept. 27, so that students’ academics will not be impacted if they attend the climate strike. (However, they still need to officially get their parents’ permission to skip class.)

The University of British Columbia is allowing faculty members to cancel classes in support of the climate action, and said students should discuss accommodations with instructors.

The Commission Scolaire de Montreal -- the province’s largest school board -- has called Friday a “pedagogical day,” and will be shutting down its schools.

Students should check in with their specific school boards to know what the policy is where they are.

What are the strikes hoping to achieve?

The idea is for youth and adults to walk out of their schools and workplaces to show that more needs to be done to counter the effects of climate change.

“What (the climate strikes) can do is demonstrate that people are no longer willing to continue with business as usual,” reads the Global Climate Strike website.

At the UN’s global summit last Monday, Thunberg said the current plans to tackle the climate crisis do not take it seriously enough, saying that the strictest emission cuts being talked about would only give the world a 50 per cent chance of limiting future warming to another 0.4 degrees Celsuis, which is a global goal.

“We are in the beginning of a mass extinction,” she admonished world leaders. “And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”


I felt it was important to repost this from the Activist thread because the question is central to our future.

Paladin1 wrote:

Does Greta Thunberg have a plan to tackle climate change?


Thunberg is a sixteen year old girl who began her protest alone in front of the Swedish Parliament. Her strategy is protesting how climate change is destroying the future of those who are too young to vote and future generations has caught on globally because youth see that they will be the biggest losers from global warming as the effects of climate change grow worse and worse over time. Without the vote, money or power they have pushed the global warming issue  to the top of the politicial agenda, dragging the politicians along to say the right thing.

Sixty nations have pledged at the UN meeting this week to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 as mass pressure on them has grown, with a significant part of this coming from global youth. Do I believe the politicians or Trudeau? No. But as Thunberg said "We'll be watching you". They are pushing as hard as they can and will continue to pressure the politicians well into the future because their own futures depend on it.

The tragedy is that by the time their votes may be decisive in changing our energy plans, it may be too late, as the overwhelming majority of climate scientists said we have twelve years left to deal meaningfully with this problem through an enormous change in energy sources by rapidly moving away from fossil fuels. We are now three months away from having ten years left of these tweleve years and global emissions continue to grow. Nevertheless, the fight continues because the alternative of giving up is globally catastrophic. 


CBC News is reporting that 170,000 Student Strike for Climate Action protesters, more than 3% of the population, are marching in New Zealand and that the first protest in Canada, with thousands in attendance, has started in Halifax.


Large student strike are occurring across Canada with up to 300,000 expected in Montreal. 

Thousands of people began to fill streets across Canada on Friday in support of the Global Climate Strike movement, demanding action against climate change.

Climate marches began early in St. John's, N.L. as crowds marched to Memorial University's clock tower. The march is set to make its way to the provincial legislature on Confederation Hill.

More than 80 cities across the country are capping off a week of international protests and a call for action for governments to do more to slow climate change.

In Halifax, hundreds of people, including large groups of students from Dartmouth High School, gathered in Victoria Park for the protest. The Halifax march's route is expected to wind through the centre of the city to the headquarters of Nova Scotia Power, where some of those participating planned to participate in a so-called "die-in."

In New Brunswick, students staged a mass walkout at Samuel de Champlain School in Saint John.

Sept. 20 was the kick-off for a week of climate activities, with two global climate strikes planned on Sept. 20 and Sept. 27. The UN emergency climate summit was held on Sept. 23, in between the two climate strike dates. The global strikes were inspired by #FridaysForFuture, a movement following Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s call for students to strike.

In Toronto, demonstrators arrived at the Ontario legislature ahead of the 11 a.m. protest. Mayor John Tory said on social media the city's iconic Toronto sign will not be lit today in solidarity with all those taking part in #ClimateStrikeCanada.

In Montreal, Thunberg delivered remarks just after 10 a.m. before taking part in the city's protest.

"I'm very excited to be here… to once again stand together, people from all round the world for one common cause that is very empowering," the teen activist said. "It is very moving to see everyone, everyone who is so passionate to march and strike. People of all ages, all generations, it's a very good day I would say."

City officials said as many as 300,000 people, many of them students, will pack downtown streets. Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau will also take part in the strike.

In Calgary, more than 600 students at the University of Calgary are expected to walk out of morning classes and parade down to city hall for a rally scheduled for noon. With just weeks until the federal election, the group is calling for a Green New Deal and demanding climate policies from all candidates. ...

At the UN’s global summit last Monday, Thunberg said the current plans to tackle the climate crisis do not take it seriously enough, saying that the strictest emission cuts being talked about would only give the world a 50 per cent chance of limiting future warming to another 0.4 degrees Celsuis, which is a global goal.

“We are in the beginning of a mass extinction,” Thunberg warned world leaders. “And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”

A climate report put out this week says that oceans are becoming more acidic and warmer, glaciers are shrinking, new illnesses are breaking out due to warming waters, and by 2060 it is estimated that coastal floods off British Columbia and the Maritimes that used to occur once a century will be annual events.


Sixty nations have pledged at the UN meeting this week to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 as mass pressure on them has grown, with a significant part of this coming from global youth.......

...this of course assumes that climate change primarily is due to CO2 increases and as Greta claims...the science is conclusive...which it is not!

There are a number of theories describing the causes of climate changes, not to mention the extinction crisis....which if true, of course puts the proposed carbon capture solutions into the wastebin.

Recently read Engdahl's estimate that 45 trillion $US is riding on the carbon futures markets...a lot of umph to support the CO2 hypothesis....

If you care to hear the theories far more plausible, be happy to provide, one by one.....


There is a climate change consensus that climate change is made primarily through the use of fossil fuels. Many of those scientists 

Do scientists agree on climate change?

Yes, the vast majority of actively publishing climate scientists – 97 percent – agree that humans are causing global warming and climate change. Most of the leading science organizations around the world have issued public statements expressing this, including international and U.S. science academies, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a whole host of reputable scientific bodies around the world. A list of these organizations is provided here.




Many of the climate change deniers have been funded by the fossil fuel companies who have used the same researchers to promote climate change denial. 

Tobacco and Oil Industries Used Same Researchers to Sway Public

Documents housed at the University of California, San Francisco, and analyzed in recent months by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group, show that the oil and tobacco industries have been linked for decades. The files CIEL drew its research from have been public for years. ...

“From the 1950s onward, the oil and tobacco firms were using not only the same PR firms and same research institutes, but many of the same researchers,” CIEL President Carroll Muffett said in a statement.

“Again and again we found both the PR firms and the researchers worked first for oil, then for tobacco,” he said. “It was a pedigree the tobacco companies recognized and sought out.”


Willie Soon is the most famous of the climate change denier 'researchers' who hid his funding from the fossil fuel industry . 

Soon is a climate change denier, disputing the scientific understanding of climate change, and contends that most global warming is caused by solar variation rather than by human activity. He co-wrote a paper whose methodology was widely criticised by the scientific community. Climate scientists such as Gavin Schmidtof the Goddard Institute for Space Studies have refuted Soon's arguments, and the Smithsonian does not support his conclusions. He is nonetheless frequently cited by politicians opposed to climate-change legislation. ...

From 2005 to 2015, Soon had received over $1.2 million from the fossil fuel industry, while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his work.




More than 300,000 people attended the Montreal Student Strike for Climate Action march. Trudeau was heckled extensively for buying the Trans Mountain pipeline and his brown/blackface costumes in the past. 

An estimated 315,000 people took part in the Montreal march.

Waves of Canadians led by global climate change fighter Greta Thunberg marched the country’s streets Friday to demand leaders take action to put a halt to rising temperatures. ...

In Montreal, Indigenous teenagers and Ms. Thunberg arrived about 20 minutes before the last stragglers left the starting point of the city’s walk. Marchers spilled into side streets along the planned route, taking over much of the downtown. The 4.4-kilometre continuous stream of humanity defied precise counting, but the city’s emergency services estimated 315,000 people were there.


Teenage activist Greta Thunberg, who is spearheading a climate change strike in Montreal, said on Friday that people want to 'silence' her because she and other young activists are 'becoming too loud.'

Image result for Reuters photo of Greta Thunberg with indigenous strikers Montreal

The Liberal Leader joined the Montreal march for a short time as he campaigned for re-election Oct. 21. The reception was hostile as protesters marched near him yelling “No pipeline” and heckled him for his history of wearing brownface and blackface before he entered politics.






Generation fix-it


Good one

‘Hey Justin, next time try Greenface’ 

- sign at climate strike rally today


NDPP wrote:


"Raoni Metuktire, Chief of the Kayapo people of the Brazilian Amazon, was told he doesn't have the right pass to hold a press conference at the UN Climate Summit.

"He was recently nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his life of work to protect the Amazon."

Sorry Chief, only Greta...



Although the United Nations did not allow Raoni Metuktire, Chief of the Kayapo people of the Brazilian Amazon, Greta Thunberg made sure she kicked off the Montreal Student Strike for Climate Action with Canadian indigenous leaders in an 18 minute ceremony in the video below that was shown on the CBC. The video of the ceremony can be seen at the url below. She has more wisdom than our politicians. 

"Greta Thunberg was welcomed by Indigenous leaders before a climate march in Montreal. "


Jagmeet Singh attended the Victoria Student Strike for Climate Action while Justin Trudeau, Elizabeth May and Yves-Francois Blanchet attended the Montreal rally. Greta Thunberg told Trudeau to his face that "he is not doing enough" to curb greenhouse gas emissions.  Trudeau also got more boos than cheers from the Montreal protesters. 

The teen activist Greta Thunberg has urged Justin Trudeau and other world leaders to do more for the environment as she led half a million protesters in Montreal as part of a global wave of “climate strikes.”

The 16-year-old Swede met privately with the Canadian prime minister but later told a news conference with local indigenous leaders that he was “not doing enough” to curb greenhouse gases responsible for global warming.

“My message to all the politicians around the world is the same. Just listen and act on the current best available science,” she said.

Trudeau was asked about a June 19 tweet from Thunberg in which she questioned Canada's decision to declare a climate emergency one day and say yes to expanding the Trans Mountain pipeline the next.

"This is shameful. But of course this is not only in Canada, we can unfortunately see the same pattern everywhere," she said. ...

Some in the crowd chanted slogans attacking Trudeau's embrace of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

A small but energetic group of protesters dogged Liberal leader Justin Trudeau at the Montreal climate march, voicing a familiar criticism of the prime minister from the left about the purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Walking in the march, people beside Trudeau shout: “what about the pipeline, what about the pipeline”



Jagmeet Singh's attendance at the Victoria Student Strike for Climate Action contrasted with Andrew Scheer, who was also in BC, in Vancouver and Bernier' comment about Greta Thunberg yesterday. 

Singh attended a climate strike rally in Victoria on Friday after an earlier campaign stop where he said a New Democratic government would commit $40 million to help protect Canada's coastline. He did not make a speech at the rally, but he waded through the crowd, stopping to hold impromptu conversations with people.


On the other hand, Scheer did not attend any climate action rally today but instead announced he would provide more money for highways and bridges to relieve congestion. Just what the climate needs!

Andrew Scheer is promising to prioritize infrastructure spending on projects intended to cut commuting times as part of a wider pledge to reshape how the federal government doles out billions annually for roads, bridges, highways, and transit systems.

Scheer made the pledge in Coquitlam on Friday and said the George Massey tunnel replacement in the greater Vancouver area would be placed high on a Conservative government’s priority list.


However Bernier even topped Scheer with his comments on Greta Thunberg, climate change and immigration yesterday. 


Article Featured Image

Over the past couple of weeks, the People’s Party of Canada leader, Maxime Bernier's Greta Thunberg opinion has been no secret. In several tweets since the beginning of the month, Bernier has attacked the 16-year old climate activist, from calling her “mentally unstable,” to suggesting she “could not possibly understand” climate change. Now, Bernier has gone for Thunberg once again, and this time he's dragging her family too.

In a tweet on Thursday afternoon, Bernier attached a collage of Thunberg and her parents, Svante Thunberg and Malena Ernman, all wearing the same Converse-brand inspired t-shirt, that reads, "Antifascist All Stars."

He added the caption, "Climate alarmism. Calls to radically change our economy and way of life and curtail our freedoms. Coordinated attacks against free speech. Antifa is a violent Far Left movement. Can you spot a pattern?"

Only days ago, Thunberg took to her own social media accounts to discuss some of the hate and online trolling she had experienced over the last few months in the spotlight.

In an emotional and heartfelt post, she explained, “Here we go again... As you may have noticed, the haters are as active as ever - going after me, my looks, my clothes, my behaviour and my differences." She went on, "They come up with every thinkable lie and conspiracy theory. It seems they will cross every possible line to avert the focus, since they are so desperate not to talk about the climate and ecological crisis."

Thunberg ended the post by saying, "I honestly don’t understand why adults would choose to spend their time mocking and threatening teenagers and children for promoting science, when they could do something good instead."


"I don't like what this young lady, Greta, 16 years old, is saying. I'm saying to Canadians, there is no climate emergency and no crisis," Bernier said about the Swedish girl's scolding of world leaders this week at a United Nations climate summit in New York. ...

Bernier said he would slash immigration numbers nearly in half to about 150,000 people a year and 50 per cent of those would have to be "economic" immigrants, such as skilled workers and entrepreneurs. He said he's against "mass immigration" but is not anti-immigrant and believes Canada should accept "real refugees," not those trying to enter Quebec and other parts of the country without crossing at official border checkpoints.


Here is some very interesting research on the power of mass protests and the 3.5% rule. Once around 3.5% of the whole population has begun to participate actively, success appears to be inevitable.​ 

This gives some hope for the Student Strikes for Climate Action. 

In 1986, millions of Filipinos took to the streets of Manila in peaceful protest and prayer in the People Power movement. The Marcos regime folded on the fourth day.

In 2003, the people of Georgia ousted Eduard Shevardnadze through the bloodless Rose Revolution, in which protestors stormed the parliament building holding the flowers in their hands.

Earlier this year, the presidents of Sudan and Algeria both announced they would step aside after decades in office, thanks to peaceful campaigns of resistance.  

In each case, civil resistance by ordinary members of the public trumped the political elite to achieve radical change.

There are, of course, many ethical reasons to use nonviolent strategies. But compelling research by Erica Chenoweth, a political scientist at Harvard University, confirms that civil disobedience is not only the moral choice; it is also the most powerful way of shaping world politics – by a long way.

Looking at hundreds of campaigns over the last century, Chenoweth found that nonviolent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns. And although the exact dynamics will depend on many factors, she has shown it takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.

Chenoweth’s influence can be seen in the recent Extinction Rebellion protests, whose founders say they have been directly inspired by her findings. So just how did she come to these conclusions? ...

Needless to say, Chenoweth’s research builds on the philosophies of many influential figures throughout history. The African-American abolitionist Sojourner Truth, the suffrage campaigner Susan B Anthony, the Indian independence activist Mahatma Gandhi and the US civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King have all convincingly argued for the power of peaceful protest.

Yet Chenoweth admits that when she first began her research in the mid-2000s, she was initially rather cynical of the idea that nonviolent actions could be more powerful than armed conflict in most situations. ...

But Chenoweth was surprised to find that no-one had comprehensively compared the success rates of nonviolent versus violent protests; perhaps the case studies were simply chosen through some kind of confirmation bias. “I was really motivated by some scepticism that nonviolent resistance could be an effective method for achieving major transformations in society,” she says. ...

Working with Maria Stephan, a researcher at the ICNC, Chenoweth performed an extensive review of the literature on civil resistance and social movements from 1900 to 2006 – a data set then corroborated with other experts in the field. They primarily considered attempts to bring about regime change. A movement was considered a success if it fully achieved its goals both within a year of its peak engagement and as a direct result of its activities. A regime change resulting from foreign military intervention would not be considered a success, for instance. A campaign was considered violent, meanwhile, if it involved bombings, kidnappings, the destruction of infrastructure – or any other physical harm to people or property. “We were trying to apply a pretty hard test to nonviolent resistance as a strategy,” Chenoweth says. ...

Overall, nonviolent campaigns were twice as likely to succeed as violent campaigns: they led to political change 53% of the time compared to 26% for the violent protests. ...

Once around 3.5% of the whole population has begun to participate actively, success appears to be inevitable.​

“There weren’t any campaigns that had failed after they had achieved 3.5% participation during a peak event,” says Chenoweth – a phenomenon she has called the “3.5% rule”​


I attended the Vancouver Student Strike for Climate Action protest where police estimated there were 100,000 protesters and many anti-pipeline and anti-Trudeau signs and chants.

Vancouver police, who estimated the crowd downtown at 100,000 people, said no major incidents were reported. ....

Holding signs that read “rise up before the ocean does,” and “the planet is hotter than my boyfriend” were Nikola Toma, 13, and Aaron Albindia, 12. They took the day off from Kwantlen Park Secondary in Surrey because they are concerned about environmental issues, such as plastic waste and rising sea temperatures.

“I have a lot of dreams and ambitions that I’d love to live out but the way the world’s going now, I can’t see many of them happening,” Nikola said. “That’s definitely a big bummer so I think we should say something.”



Greta Thunberg has received heavy criticism, been called mentally ill because she is on the autism spectrum, including from Canada's Maxime Bernier, and even had death threats from extreme right-wingers in her fight against climate change. She is not the only young person being attacked because of their support of climate action.

This url describes the death threats against Greta Thunberg:

On the morning of August 25, 11-year-old Lilly Platt tweeted a video clip of a Brazilian Amazon tribe speaking out against deforestation. Awareness of the Amazon wildfires was already at a fever pitch, and the tweet exploded. Then, within an hour, a swarm of troll accounts started flooding her mentions with porn.

Shortly after the attack, her mom, Eleanor Platt, made an online plea for help: “Dear Friends of Lilly, this is Lillys mum she is being targeted by revolting trolls who are spamming her feed with pornography. There is only so much i can do to block this. Please if you see these posts report them.” Over the course of the day, some of Lilly’s nearly 10,000 followers did just that. ...

Personal attacks have always been a part of the climate denial playbook, even as fossil fuel companies secretly funded campaigns and researchers to question the scientific consensus on climate change. The most famous incident, 2009’s Climategate, involved scientists getting their emails hacked and then facing death threats. ...

The clearest example of this is what's happening today with climate activism’s biggest star, Greta Thunberg. The 16-year-old Swedish crusader single-handedly launched the climate strike movement last year and has become the biggest target for attacks on climate activism online. Climate science deniers, right-wing media pundits, and politicians are the most high-profile figures fixating on everything from her braided hair to her Asperger’s to the motivation behind her strikes. ...

On August 14, as Greta set sail across the Atlantic for a packed trip involving multiple strikes, testimonies to Congress, and the United Nations climate summit in New York, former UK Independence Party funder Arron Banks tweeted that “Freak yachting accidents do happen in August.” Shortly after Greta’s arrival in the US, Maxime Bernier, a Canadian politician associated with extreme far-right groupswrote: “She should be denounced and attacked.” A viral tweet from conservative firebrand Dinesh D’Souza after the global climate strike hit at another recurring theme: comparing Greta to children in Nazi propaganda. On Monday, a Fox News guest called her “mentally ill,” a jab at her Asperger’s diagnosis, prompting the outlet to issue an apology. Shortly after the UN summit, President Donald Trump tweeted sarcastically, “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!” ...

Meanwhile, upward of 5,000 tweets by suspected bots have mentioned Greta, according to an analysis by Bot Sentinel provided to BuzzFeed News.

But it’s not just Greta. Other young girls in the movement are facing a flood of online abuse. It’s less clear where those attacks are coming from, but they involve a mix of regular accounts, trolls, and bots. While the youngest activists are often shielded from this, due to constant monitoring of their social media by their parents, there’s no filter for many of the teens. Jamie Margolin, a 17-year-old climate activist in Seattle, described how it felt experiencing a recent Twitter swarm: “You start getting so much anxiety.”

“The ugly truth is that these girls are subject to the deepest darkest evil side of social media on a daily basis,” Bethany Edwards, mom of 8-year-old climate activist Havana Chapman-Edwards, told BuzzFeed News in an email. Havana, who is black, has gotten racist messages, death threats, and was contacted by one man who the family later discovered was a registered sex offender.

Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University said she adds someone to her Twitter block list “on average at least once a day, if not more.” For Hayhoe, as the voices of the climate teens grow louder, there is increasingly a target pointed squarely on their backs. “They will attack anyone who is perceived as being effective,” she said. “The more effective we are, the greater the attacks.”


David Suzuki talks about Greta Thunberg's autism and how it has helped her below. 

Image result for picture David Suzuki and Greta Thunberg

She shares the prophet’s lot in being mocked and reviled. “I am just a messenger and yet I get all this hate,” she explains on Facebook. Elsewhere she says, “people tell me that I’m retarded, a bitch and a terrorist.”  

She sees the world as a burning house, its inhabitants going about their daily lives, notwithstanding. Some are ignorant of climate solutions, others knowledgeable, but none treats the situation as the emergency it is: “Even most green politicians and climate scientists go on flying around the world, eating meat and dairy.” She cannot fathom this. ...

Her bewilderment comes, in part, from being a person on the autism spectrum. “I have Asperger’s syndrome, and to me, almost everything is black or white,” she explains. “If the emissions have to stop, then we must stop the emissions.” She sees Asperger’s as a gift. Indeed. It is a gift to the planet.  

Thunberg lives between despair and hopefulness. One is reminded of Samuel Beckett’s, “I can’t go on, I’ll go on.” She tells the World Economic Forum, “I don’t believe for one second that you will rise to that challenge [of safeguarding the future]. But I want to ask you all the same.” She suggests humanity is failing to address the crisis and then adds, “We can still fix this.” ...

Her great contribution is helping us see the obvious. We live in a “strange world,” she explains, where “a football game or a film gala gets more media attention than the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced.” We know this, but Thunberg presents it with freshness and force and we start to hear it as if for the first time. 

Isn’t that part of the prophet’s role?


Even a right-wing columnist like John Ivison sees problems coming from the Montreal Student Strike for Climate Action, not only for Andrew Scheer, although it could help him with his 30-35% base, but also for  Trudeau.

Andrew Scheer quit Montreal under cover of darkness, just hours before hundreds of thousands of mainly young Canadians took to the streets to protest climate inaction.

Justin Trudeau, who is trying to rebuild his tattered credibility post-blackface with the young voters he needs to win, flew into town and may have wished he hadn’t. He nearly got egged by one protestor, was heckled by others, with chants of, “What about the pipeline” and received a public scolding from young Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg, for not doing enough on climate change. Having Trudeau on the march was “like having an employer on the picket line” tweeted one environmentalist.

Scheer saved himself all of those headaches by heading to Vancouver. In truth, he may have had no choice. Such is the anger brewing over the Conservative Party’s environmental non-plan, his RCMP protective detail would probably have vetoed his participation. ...

But it was a strange decision, to say the least, to schedule an announcement to build more bridges, roads and tunnels on the same day as mass climate change protests across the country.

Scheer positioned the new infrastructure announcement as one that will benefit the environment. “We will take real concrete action that will lower emissions,” he said, suggesting that fewer cars idling will reduce pollution.

That flies in the face of all the evidence on induced demand – that if you build more roads and bridges, more drivers will come. But is instructive of Scheer’s attitude to the issue of climate change and the way he talks about it to his particular audience. ...

Scheer is an upgrade from Conservatives of yesteryear, who publicly decried the green movement as radical ideologues. “I believe Canadians want government to take the environment seriously. That’s why we have a real plan,” he said.

He acknowledges global warming as a climactic and political phenomenon. But it is not paramount for Conservatives – it is not even one of their prevailing considerations. They believe that they can win government by campaigning on pocketbook issues and appealing to the people battling to make ends meet. That appears to mean turning a blind-eye to the tragedy of the commons unfolding before our eyes. Opponents will call that a cynical, short-sighted and obscene strategy. But it may prove to be a successful one.


jerrym wrote:

Greta Thunberg has received heavy criticism, been called mentally ill because she is on the autism spectrum, including from Canada's Maxime Bernier, and even had death threats from extreme right-wingers in her fight against climate change. She is not the only young person being attacked because of their support of climate action.

This url describes the death threats against Greta Thunberg:

The url below describes the attacks, including death threats, on Greta Thunberg and some of the other young Student Strikers for Climate Action that are part of an organized campaign that includes the use of thousands of bots by the extreme right-wing.


Paladin1 wrote:

Is Greta Thunberg just another example of our Reality TV syndrome?

Every time I see something about Greta Thunberg I read that "she's young!". "She's 16!". Okay...That's the big hook?  We know there are people who have devoted their adult lives to fighting climate change and pushing others to recognize it for the danger it is, but they're boring. They're not "a 16 year old girl!". They're ignored.

Don't get me wrong. I think she's pretty awesome and I think she's doing an amazing job, but I can't help but think about the mechanics behind it.  Excluding me I'd guess members here know more about climate change than she does. So why her?

Is she a "prophet" like David Suzuki suggests? Or is she being catapulted to stardom by a society that's always looking for the next new young face to obsess over for a couple weeks or months before moving on to the next in thing? I'm sure Greta Thunberg is being bombarded with sponsors. Under armor and Nike fighting to see which brand they can try and show her wearing on TV. What brand of shoes does Greta Thunberg wear? I need to own the same ones.  And it's entertainment to see who this 16 year old girl calls out, did you see what she said about Trump? lol

I hope her stardom is more than a fad and people become more involved in fighting climate change than going to a protest and posting their selfies about it on facebook.


You are trivializing both what Greta Thunberg has helped activate in terms of fighting global warming and the massive assault, including death threats on her and other young well-known protesters by the extreme right. You accuse her of trying to make money through corporate sponsorship off the Student Strike for Climate Action campaign without a shred of evidence, which is the same strategy employed by the fossil fuel industry, (, its climate denying researchers, like Willie Soon who the oil companies paid over $1,200,00 (,  its PR flunkies hired from the cigarette industry (, and the alt-right ( 


Karl Nerenberg has an excellent article on the complacency of much of the boomer generation in Canada about climate change as young people fight to avoid a catastrophic future if we fail to deal effectively with global warming. He describes how our country is a major global emitter and producer of fossil fuels well beyond what our population would suggest. 

 Greta Thunberg/Twitter

While young people in Canada are taking part in the global climate strike, some of my baby boomer generation are, however timidly, expressing solidarity and support. But a good many others are at best bemused and indifferent; at worst, openly hostile to the anguish and anger of the young.

I know fellow baby boomers who take comfort in the fact that, in the aggregate, Canada, only contributes two per cent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.

We are only 38 million, they say. We might be wealthy enough to be included in the G7, but we are only a medium-size country. What we contribute to global warming has got to be tiny, compared to much larger countries, such as the U.S., China, India, Russia and Germany.

Those are, indeed, comforting thoughts for those among us who want to get back into their SUVs and book this coming winter's flights to a sunny destination. 

But before we wallow too happily in our complacency, consider this: Although by population we rank 39th, when it comes to total emissions we are ninth in the world

Canada's total carbon dioxide emissions for 2016 were 541 million tonnes. That was more than Indonesia's, which has eight times our population, or Brazil's with more than five times our population. 

And even if we only compare ourselves to fellow affluent G7 countries, in 2016, Canada emitted 170 million tonnes more than the U.K., in excess of 200 million tonnes more than Italy, and 250 million tonnes more than France. 

Things get even worse for Canada when you consider per capita emissions.

As a country, we in Canada emit 14.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per person. The per capita figure for Japan is 9 million tonnes, for Germany 8.9 million tonnes, and for France it is less than a third of ours, 4.5 million tonnes. 

When it comes to per capita emissions, only three countries exceed ours: Australia, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. ...

The fact is that, by and large, we do not plan our towns and cities, or our urban transit, or our agriculture, or our lifestyles to minimize our consumption of greenhouse gas producing energy. 

We overheat in the winter and maniacally use air conditioning in the summer. And we design our urban spaces in such a way that, for a huge number of us, every little task in life -- from buying a litre of milk to availing ourselves of medical services to getting to our jobs -- requires the use of the private automobile. 

There are vast regions of Canada's urban landscape where it is, literally, dangerous to walk. If you were to try to get somewhere on foot you would have to navigate streets that are, in reality, virtual highways -- long, dark, lonely stretches of road that make no provision for pedestrians, or, for that matter, cyclists. 

It is also true, of course, that we have a large and economically important industry devoted to exploiting fossil fuel. And much of that fuel is extremely difficult to extract, locked as it is in the inhospitable environment of the tar sands. To get at our reserves of oil and gas, a good part of our industry must produce massive volumes of emissions.

And so, on the one hand, our way of life means that we casually and heedlessly produce far more emissions than most similar countries, while, on the other, our continued prosperity is tied up in the powerful industry which extracts and sells the fuel that creates the emissions. 

No wonder a good many more mature Canadians will keep their distance while the young try to convince us to consider a future beyond the current fiscal year.



If eliminating poverty was a serious government priority we would be addressing the outrageous gap between the rich and the poor and somehow have found a way to shrink it rather than what government policies are doing which is expanding the rich-poor gap

The same for global warming. If the Liberals actually wanted to address global warming and reduce Canada’s greenhouse gases they would have done it. The fact that they pay lip service to it, ridicule themselves by marching against their own policies makes it clear those are just Liberal talking points that don’t do jack to help the climate change war we are all in


You are doing one hell of a job McKenna/Trudeau!

315 billion-tonne iceberg breaks off Antarctica


Although the United Nations did not allow Raoni Metuktire, Chief of the Kayapo people of the Brazilian Amazon, Greta Thunberg made sure she kicked off the Montreal Student Strike for Climate Action with Canadian indigenous leaders in an 18 minute ceremony in the video below that was shown on the CBC. The video of the ceremony can be seen at the url below. She has more wisdom than our politicians. 

"Greta Thunberg was welcomed by Indigenous leaders before a climate march in Montreal. "

Teen activist Greta Thunberg receives a gift from Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde before joining the global climate strike in Montreal on Sept. 27, 2019. REUTERS/ANDREJ IVANOV

In the video above Ghislain Picard, Quebec Regional Cheif of the Assembly of First Nations, said at the indigenous ceremony:

So it is very important to recognize our traditional protocols in recognizing the effort of our sister Greta in convening everyone, our young people, our elders to the challenge we have before us. I just gave her a present on behalf of indigenous women in testimony of their support of her journey. 

Perry Bellegarde, Assembly of First Nations National Chief

We have honoured and thanked this young warrior lady for her work. But as well I want to thank Cedric (Gray-Lehoux ,youth spokesperson for the Assemblée des Premières Nations Québec-Labrador) and Daisy and all these others (First Nations) back here that started the movement here. With Greta being here it helps in building that good strength, that good energy. What we say now that this is not just an issue for Canada, climate destruction is a global issue and when we acknowledge in our ceremonies we always say 'Let's put our mother first'. ... But there is one Mother who gives life to all, Mother Earth.

First Nations woman 

We have a national committe on climate action. We have been so moved by what you (Greta) have done for all human beings around the world. As part of our protocols, coming from the North, a place that is warming faster than anywhere else, we have a gift for you from the North, a bracelet with a wolf on it to remind you of all the indigenous people around the world. We are from the Wolf clan. Thank you. 


There is a climate change consensus that climate change is made primarily through the use of fossil fuels.....

There is no such consensus....I remember the letter from some 30,000 scientists denying such a consensus...recently read a report from 500 scientists in is not percentages, anyway!

There are a number of theories to decribe the present state of climate change, including the destruction of the ozone throughout the troposphere and stratosphere....due to primarily war! Why is war not being considered as an important factor......

Recently read a scientific report on the causes of climate change during the WWII era, due not to increases in CO2 but to increasing particle pollutants...which effect disappeared after the war.

One has to be blind not to notice the increasing reliance on chemtrails, everywhere in the North, the spraying of toxic coal fly ash particles, heavy metals, some radioactive...massive amounts of research done on this!

Another important theory has to do with shifting magnetic poles with its weakening of the Earth's magnetic field permitting higher intensities of solar radiation warming the planet....what is the role of our increasing reliance on electronics, disrupting our magnetosphere?  

These are just some of the theories I've read recently. I vaguely remember the testings being done on electronics effecting water vapour levels done in Berne Switzerland.

Recently the theory that methane fields in the ocean floors, due to increasing temperatures are causing significant increases of water vapours in the atmosphere (remember CO2 is measured in parts per billion!!), a significant greenhouse gas!

No the science is not settled...and hysteria about climate change deniers (due to CO2 increases in the ppb) is nothing but pure censorship, which serious detracts from our scientific understandings of the problems.

But definitely war and electronics must be considered along with the effects of carbon burnings etc.

This is a complicated matter requiring holistic complex solutions...which carbon taxes and the 45 trillion$ carbon futures markets will not remedy!