Canada and global warming: a state of denial 2

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jerrym

O'Toole said today he would only  commit to the Paris Agreement's 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that was first set  Harper and has since been raised by Trudeau to 40-45%. Of course Trudeau is as likely as every other Liberal or Conservative government to meet these reductions, that is there is zero chance. In March 2018 the auditor general concluded  the Trudeau Liberal government "is likely to miss the 2020 Copenhagen target as well". (http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_otp_201803_e_42883.html) 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. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/environment-commissioner-julie-gelfand-...)

However, O'Toole has another problem. He cannot stay in the Paris Agreement with the 30% reduction target because the Agreement states that one can never lower the target once it has been raised. So, he has no intention of even meeting this insufficient goal. 

Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole.

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole said today that a government led by him would not seek to hit the Liberals' more aggressive emissions reduction target but would instead commit to the target first set by former prime minister Stephen Harper. ...

When Canada signed on to the Paris agreement in 2015, it adopted the previous Conservative government's target of reducing emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.  ...

At an international climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden in April, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau adopted a more aggressive target — a reduction of at least 40 per cent over that time period, a target that could rise as high as 45 per cent. ...

Mark Jaccard, a professor of resource and environmental management at Simon Fraser University, said it's a waste of time to get hung up on the targets that federal parties put in the election window.

"Canadians should not pay attention to the targets that political parties are putting out. They should pay attention to the policies," he said. "We do want aggressive climate policy and targets but we want them to be honest about what they cost."

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/o-toole-trudeau-emissions-targets-un-1....

jerrym

Here's more on the impact of O'Toole's adapting Harper's 30% greenhouse gas emissions target, which would blow up the Paris Agreement for Canada at least since it states that one cannot adopt lower standards than ones that have already been accepted, namely Trudeau's 40-45% greenhouse gas emissions target reduction. Of course the Trudeau's, Chretien's and Martin's history of blowing past these targets tells us that these tragically won't be met either. 

 

"This would be a violation of the Paris treaty and, while there'd be no legal impact, it would send the wrong signal to the rest of the world, including potential investors, about our commitment to climate action." ...

Caroline Brouillette, a policy manager at Climate Action Network Canada said in a statement that weakening Canada's target submitted to the UN "would not only be a diplomatic disaster, but a failure to recognize that Canada should do its fair share of the global effort to limit global warming to 1.5C."

"Raising ambition is at the heart of the Paris Agreement. Levelling down would violate its spirit," she said.

Greenpeace senior energy strategist Keith Stewart said O'Toole "is effectively trying to blow up the Paris climate agreement" and Clean Energy Canada executive director Merran Smith said "for Canada to go backward on this: it would worsen our contributions to climate change, hinder future trading prospects and genuinely embarrass Canada on the world stage."

https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/federal-election-2021/conservative-leade...

jerrym

ExxonMobil, with a score of -23%, is ranked dead last in Standard & Poor's list of the 500 largest companies in the US when it comes to racial equity and environmental racism. Four other fossil fuel companies (Kinder Morgan, Valero, Marathon, and Occidental Petroleum) made the list of the worst ten on the list. Even the top two firms, Microsoft and CVS, only received 60% on this measurement. Of course these terrible scores were not only due to placing polluting and environmentally damaging fossil fuel facilities in non-white neighbourhoods, but also scoring extremely low on hiring and promotion possibilities, thereby providing more evidence of the intersectionality of life.

A view of an Exxon logo at a Gas Station in Flushing.

ExxonMobil got last place on As You Sow’s racial justice scorecard, in large part due to its pollution of nonwhite communities in Beaumont, Texas. John Nacion / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

ExxonMobil isn’t exactly known for being an environmental justice champion. But according to a scorecard published last week, the oil major is dead last among the S&P 500 companies when it comes to racial equity and environmental racism.

The scorecard was compiled by the shareholder advocacy group As You Sow, whose racial justice initiative aims to hold large corporations responsible for their contributions to systemic racism. It released an earlier version of the scorecard in March, evaluating the 500 largest publicly traded companies on 26 racial justice performance indicators — things like workplace diversity, promotion rates of employees of color, and donations to organizations fighting for racial justice.

But following criticism that the scorecard failed to capture big polluters’ impact on nonwhite communities, an update from As You Sow puts environmental justice front and center. One new criterion rewards companies for acknowledging environmental justice issues, and three others dock points from firms that have violated environmental regulations, incurred pollution penalties, or harmed nonwhite communities. This update, said Olivia Knight, manager of As You Sow’s Racial Justice Initiative, has helped paint a more complete racial justice profile for each company. “We see the environmental and racial justice as completely linked,” Knight said. “You can’t have racial justice without acknowledging and remedying environmental justice.”

The evaluation’s results weren’t rosy for any of the S&P 500 companies — Microsoft and CVS, tied for first place, got a total score of only 60 percent — but the energy sector stood out for its particularly bad performance. Overall, the sector scored an average of just 3 percent, with seven companies’ scores dipping into the negative numbers — meaning that their actions had done more harm than good to low-income and nonwhite communities. Fossil fuel producers made up half of the scorecard’s worst 10 companies on racial justice, with ExxonMobil at the very bottom, along with other oil and gas firms like Marathon Petroleum and Valero Energy.

According to Knight, the energy companies’ low scores were largely attributable to the sector’s ongoing legacy of polluting nonwhite communities. Across environmental justice criteria, all of the S&P 500’s 23 energy companies received scores below zero. ExxonMobil, for example, was penalized for its activities in Beaumont, Texas, where one of its crude oil refineries has regularly been in noncompliance with the Clean Air Act, spewing carcinogens into a majority-Black neighborhood.

“Environmental racism is built into their business plan,” Knight said. “They have allowed all of these environmental violations to become just business as usual.” ...

The report also mentions Marathon Petroleum’s oil refineries near Black and brown communities in southwest Detroit, where vapor releases and chemical leaks have exacerbated local cancer and asthma rates....

Valero, which got 491st place on As You Sow’s scorecard, was criticized for a proposal that would have routed a natural gas pipeline through 7 miles of 97-percent-Black neighborhoods in Memphis, Tennessee, avoiding majority-white suburbs in the north of the city. ...

Beyond its habit of putting polluting infrastructure in predominantly nonwhite neighborhoods, another reason the energy sector underperformed on the scorecard was what As You Sow called a “serious lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion disclosure.”

https://grist.org/climate/as-you-sow-racial-justice-scorecard-exxonmobil/

NDPP

On Contact: Mainstream Environmental Lies (and vid)

https://www.rt.com/shows/on-contact/533294-mainstream-environmental-move...

"Chris Hedges discusses the lies and fantasies told by the mainstream environmental movement about how to solve the crises, with authors and activists Derrick Jensen and Lierre Keith.

We will not extract outselves from the death march toward extinction by recycling, building wind turbines, relying on solar-panels or driving electric cars.

This is a fantasy sold to us by an environmental movement that promises we can continue to indulge in orgies of consumption and maintain the levels of waste and perpetual growth that define the industrial age. The fact is our time is up.

We must radically reconfigure how we live, and this means largely dismantling industrial society, or the human species, and most other species, will vanish. Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith and Max Wilbert's new book is 'Bright Green Lies: How the Environmental Movement Lost its Way and What We Can Do About It.'

"A correct diagnosis is the first step toward proper treatment. This way of life will not last. And when it's over I would prefer there is more of the world left than less." - Derrick Jensen -

NDPP

Hurricane Ida could be 'life altering storm': Louisiana governor (and vid)

https://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/topstories/hurricane-ida-could-be-life...

"Ida is forecast to make landfall on the very difficult anniversary of Hurricane Katrina..."

 

#HurricaneIda - Live UPDATES

https://twitter.com/accuweather/status/1431835501665951746

 

Tracking Ida : Live streaming coverage

https://youtu.be/yDhRFKNprKE

jerrym

As Hurricane Ida hits the Gulf Coast of the US after hitting Cuba, it is now projected to hit 155 mph, making it the highest speed hurricane to hit this area since at least the 1850s and at 155 mph just 2 mph below Category 5 speeed. Of course this is another example of how global warming is impacting our lives every day, in this case because the 5°C ( 8°F) warmer than average at this time of the year Gulf waters are providing the heat energy to fuel the hurricane's high speeds. 

A utility pole bends from winds caused by Hurricane Ida on a road leading to Batabano, in the Mayabeque province, Cuba on Friday. Ramon Espinosa/AP

Hurricanes are expected in hurricane season, but read the explanations of Ida and something else stands out: Ida is going to be a lot worse than it would have been, because the Gulf of Mexico is really warm right now.

Per Reuters: “This storm has the potential for rapid increases in intensity before it comes ashore” because of extremely warm waters off Louisiana, said Jim Foerster, chief meteorologist at DTN, which provides weather advice to oil and transportation companies. ...

At Sarasota Magazine, Bob Bunting offers a good explanation of what “extremely warm” means in this case, pointing to NOAA data (and handy maps) showing that “the Gulf is up to 8°F warmer than it should be this time of the year.” I won’t try to get into the mechanics of how hurricanes work, but suffice to say that hotter water temperatures correlate with more severe storms. ...

And that’s the ominous story underlying the immediate story here, because the Gulf of Mexico is getting warmer. A 2017 study of the potential impacts of warming water temperatures on Gulf storms found that the region might be due for fewer hurricanes overall, but the ones that did hit would be more damaging—specifically, “an increased proportion of category 3, 4, and 5 storms.” ...

Ida’s emergence, one year after the United States set a record with 22 billion-dollar weather events—as fires rage out west and flash floods wreak havoc in Tennessee and New York—is nonetheless an image of a future that’s already here. We are, and increasingly will be, confronted with the sorts of disasters that our existing infrastructure and routines were not set up to absorb.

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2021/08/hurricane-ida-is-about-to-h...

jerrym

The latest evidence from Greenland shows that daily melt rates of its ice sheet is seven times normal resulting in the formation of large meltwater lakes, thereby increasing the rate of sea level rise and future flooding around the world, particularly for low-lying nations that may no longer exist, as well as Canada, with its three ocean coastlines having a coast three times larger than the next largest coastline of a nation. 

In a satellite image of the Greenland Ice Sheet's southwestern corner, captured on August 21, 2021, pale blue meltwater streams across ice or collects in slushy depressions. The deeper blue areas are meltwater lakes with depths up to about 30 feet. EUROPEAN UNION, COPERNICUS SENTINEL-2 IMAGERY

Following a mid-August heat wave that led to the first-ever recorded rainfall at Summit Camp, at the ice sheet’s highest point, torrents of meltwater streamed across its surface. Climatologists recorded daily melt rates seven times higher than normal. In the satellite image above of the southwestern corner of the ice sheet captured on Aug. 21, pale blue water carves extensive channels around islands of bright white ice or collects in slushy depressions. The left side of the image is darker and, like storm clouds on the horizon, it’s a warning of what’s to come. The Greenland Ice Sheet, like the rest of the Arctic, is trapped in a feedback loop caused by climate change: As more ice melts, it creates conditions for even faster, more extreme melt events. ...

University of Lincoln climate scientist Edward Hanna says the “quite dramatic” surface meltwater shown in the image is a scene that’s likely to be repeated because “Greenland is breaching a crucial tipping point driven by human-induced climate change.” ...

“Albedo is a fancy word for how reflective the surface is,” says Serreze. As highly reflective snow and ice melt, the darker surface exposed — rock, open water, or older ice, depending on the location — absorbs more of the sun’s energy and spurs even more intense melting. “We’re seeing this across the Arctic as we’re losing the sea ice cover, and we’re losing the snow cover,” he says. ...

“You have, on the right, the future: a patchy, wet, slushy ice sheet. You have in the middle the present, which is basically your ice now, frozen. And you have a very deep past on the left, which is also driving the future because, of course, the darker it is, the more it absorbs sunlight and the faster it melts.”

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/greenland-ice-sheet-melt

jerrym

One place where sea level rise caused by melting ice sheets and glaciers due to global warming is already happening is in the Lennox Island First Nations reserve in Prince Edward Island where the indigenous grave yard and homes are now  threatened by rising water. 

Climate change is having significant effects on Lennox Island, an indigenous (First Nation) community on the north coast of the Canadian province Prince Edward Island. Within one generation the island has lost 200 acres of land to erosion and sea level rise. Of the islands 79 homes, 10 are now dangerously close to the sea.

The Mi’kmaq people have lived on PEI for thousands of years and are now working to adapt to the island’s changing conditions. They are rescuing archaeological artifacts from their ancestors before they are submerged. Computer simulations are being used to determine how the island will look as it is claimed by the sea. The community has commissioned 10 scientific studies on climate change and another study looking at the effects of ocean acidification is in the works. However, the community knows the island will eventually be submerged and are looking at nearby locations where they can eventually relocate.

https://www.communityconservation.net/sea-level-rise-and-lennox-island-pei/

jerrym

The Clayoquot First Nations of Vancouver Island, are reforming fishery planning, diversifying food sources, and strengthening infrastructure to deal with the climatic changes brought on by global warming. The greatly detailed nature and honesty of this analysis of the impact of global warming on their communities is an example of  how extensive the problems all communities will face andwhat communities need to do to adapt to the changing conditions created by climate change. Here is a small sampling of the problems and adaptations described in their very detailed climate change adaptation plan at the url below:

 

Clayoquot Sound Biosphere

The First Nation communities within Clayoquot Sound have lived for thousands of years in a forested landscape from which they have gathered food and harvested building materials creating a society rich in culture. Although many aspects of First Nation life have changed recently, this connection to the forest still exists, but impending impacts caused by climate change have the potential to increase still further these changes.

Although climate change impacts can be observed at the local level, climate is by its nature something that acts at a bioregional scale and this assessment of the forest ecosystems of Clayoquot Sound is being considered in this context. ...

The combination of increasing warmth and rainfall will create a variety of different growing conditions for the forest to adjust to. Very old stands, which dominate in Clayoquot, are likely to undergo increased mortality due to elevated rates of pathogen attack and increased storm events leading to wind throw and stem breakage. ...

The mountain hemlock zone is the highest elevation of closed canopy forest on the coast. It is characterized by cold and snowy winters where mountain hemlock, yellow cedar and amabalis fir dominate. ...For this zone the overall estimated ecological sensitivity is high, since this system and its associated tree species is expected to largely disappear. ...

If rainfall and storms increase into the future, both landslides and windthrow may increase in the region. Two of the most significant potential impacts from these events include: a) a positive effect upon regeneration rates, by increasing disturbance and allowing young trees more sunlight and better growing mediums, with the result that the forest may respond more quickly into the future; and b) increased disturbance rates may have a negative impact upon streams and rivers as material is deposited into the channels adding to sediment loads and negatively impacting spawning beds for salmon. ...

Climate change is going to bring a considerable warming trend with increased rain from autumn through to spring. There will be a gradual shift of BGC subzones across elevation bands as the more productive sub montane and montane types move up the mountainsides and the region is likely to lose virtually all the Mountain Hemlock zone. ...

Among the many hydrologic changes that will accompany future climates, changes in three processes and/or metrics will be of particular importance: 1) a decline in snowpacks due to an overall increase in temperature (particularly in the spring and at night), 2) an increase in winter (and fall) precipitation partially at the expense of summer (and spring) precipitation, and 3) an increase in the intensity of winter rainfalls. ...

Higher volumes of rainfall arriving in higher intensities will lead to an increase in the frequency of slope failures in steep terrain and a subsequent decline in water quality and channel stability. ...

A direct consequence of increased frequency of winter rainfall will be an increase in flood frequency. The higher volume and intensity of rainfall, coupled with a warmer wetter snowpack, will together yield yet higher runoff and larger downstream floods as the air temperatures climb in the coming decades. ...

While the winter period will experience a great number of flood peaks, the late summer period will experience an increase in the number and magnitude of low flow days. ...

Table 4: Aspects of physical, chemical, and biological changes in the Northeastern Pacific Ocean based on literature reviews by Tom Okey.

Physical and chemical changes         Biological changes

  • Temperature (+)  Poleward shift of species ranges

  • pH (-) Changes in phenology, or timing of life stages and migration

  • Precipitation (+)   Changes in phenology, or timing of life stages and migration

  • Snowpack (-) Mis-matches and re-assembly of communities

  • Salinity (-) Mis-matches and re-assembly of communities

  • Stratification (+) Increased extinction risk

  • Dissolved oxygen (-) Physiological stress

  • Sea level (+) Invasive species and disease

  • Storminess (+)  Effects of exposure to toxins

  • North Pacific current (+)  Nutrient enrichment and algal blooms

  • Upwelling (+)  Increased vulnerability to other anthropogenic stressors

Direction of change is indicated in parentheses (+ is up, - is down). ...

In Clayoquot Sound, marine systems will change fastest because they are more ‘fluid’and some species can move more easily. Temperature changes will affect all systems –but the physical changes in the ocean are expected to be dramatic, and cause severe changes to marine biodiversity. Humans will need to alter their management regimes to take this into account – changing expectations about what the ocean will offer, and how certain this will be, will be a key part of managing for uncertainty in the future. The ocean system has the potential to quite radically change its state and dynamic processes, and may therefore not be resilient into the near future as feedback loops alter key processes dynamically within this system. There is high certainty that the marine systems will change significantly from their current patterns, and that this will affect the abundance and distribution of specific species important for the First Nations in Clayoquot Sound. Novel species have already arrived in this system – and we do not know how they are interacting with species already in this environment. ...

The forested ecosystems of Clayoquot Sound, in contrast, are likely relatively resilient naturally because of the predominance of slow disturbance factors and because they create and maintain their own micro-climate and internal processes. ...

The communities face a new challenge in the form of climate change that will again impact many aspects of their lives. ...Chief among these vulnerabilities are threats to health and safety, food supply, livelihoods, infrastructure and shelter and various cultural, social and political resources. Past adaptation successes would suggest that the communities will adapt to these changes but how well they adapt depends on how well they are prepared. ...

The expected climate changes are chiefly a threat to health and safety from increased storm severity and rain-induced flooding. The most likely short-term vulnerabilities are those related to stress or harm from infrastructure failure, particularly in the low lying areas (below 5m). More likely than not, there are also risks associated with boating and more severe storm activity in the short-term. In the mid- term, potential impacts include mild health risks related to exposure to new pests and diseases as temperatures increase.

A primary consideration should be the large amount of new housing to be built in the next few years and a need to be proactive about using the best designs and available features to deal with air circulation and mould as a warming, precipitation and possibly windsincrease. At this time, although the communities are very resourceful, there is no real strategy for dealing with more severe storm and rain conditions or increases of pest and disease, if they arise on a wide scale or in a recurrent manner. This situation could leave thecommunities’ health and safety moderately vulnerable. ... 

Climate change is likely to cause gaps in traditional seafood supplies in the Clayoquot Sound. This may be offset to some degree by new seafood species moving into the area and by the relatively benign effects on the terrestrial environment but overall the effects of climate change will likely result in food supply uncertainty. ... The Clayoquot communities depend heavily on seafood for their diet, with approximately 60% of the Nations’ annual protein derived from wild marine sources. ... At the same time, new marine food species such as mackerel, squid and other finfish may emerge in the Clayoquot Sound, which may substitute for lost food species. ...

Presently, the Clayoquot communities are educating their people about gardening and healthy diets, with the hope of strengthening local food security and health. If this is adopted across the communities in a permanent way, this will leave them less vulnerable to shifts in the wild food supply. ...

All of the Clayoquot communities are invested in the forest sector through Iisaak Resouces Ltd. and therefore all stand to benefit. The dependence of the communities on the fishery/aquaculture sector, however, may be risky, since this sector will likely be the most destabilized climate change. The Ahousaht are particularly vulnerable here, since they are the most heavily invested in this sector. ...

The Tlaoquiaht are the only Clayoquot community heavily invested in the tourism sector but the other two communities have aspirations to grow this sector as well. Climate change will likely increase uncertainty in this sector, however, since it may both benefit and threaten it. Warmer and drier summers may attract greater numbers of tourists to the area but also increase the risk of water shortage. Sports fishing stocks may be put in jeopardy with ocean changes and more severe winter storms may damage important infrastructure (beaches, wharves, and resorts) which attracts or serves the tourist population. ...

Lastly, the Clayoquot communities are hoping to strengthen their local economies by negotiating treaties and greater control over the natural resources in their traditional territories. However, little is being discussed in these negotiations regarding how climate change may affect these resources or their livelihoods. To the extent that climate change impacts are not being considered in these negotiations, the communities leave themselves vulnerable.

https://ecotrust.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Climate-2011-ClayoquotCli...

jerrym

 Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms in international trade deals are a major roadblock to governments taking action against climate change. But a Canadian legal scholar drafted a carve-out of ISDS agreements that if implemented in COP21 in Paris in December 2015 that would have exempted Paris Agreement countries from this mechanism. Unfortunately, this exemption disappeared from discussions about the meeting. The Trudeau Liberal government continues to advocate for making more free trade deals with ISDS clauses that create an even greater stranglehold for our fossil fuel industry to prevent movement towards a green enery economy. 

 BLM Wyoming/Bureau of Land Management/Flickr

Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms help preserve fossil fuel firms stranglehold on governments, including Canada's.

Critics of international trade deals have long been warning that the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism in these deals will hinder government action on climate change, and now, that is indeed what's happening.

The ISDS mechanism in trade deals allows foreign companies and investors to sue countries over policies and regulations that hinder their future profits -- including moves to restrict fossil fuel use under the Paris climate agreement.

Hamstrung by trade agreements such as The Energy Charter, NAFTA and CUSMA, and bilateral investment treaties, European, North American, and South American governments are being hit with ISDS lawsuits which, as The Guardian columnist George Monbiot argues, make "effective action against climate breakdown almost impossible."

On September 20, 2015 Canadian legal scholar and professor Gus Van Harten released a report warning that trade and investment deals could threaten implementation of a Paris climate agreement through their investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms.

Van Harten, an internationally-recognized authority on investment law and trade, offered a legal "carve-out"(several paragraphs in length) that climate negotiators could include in a Paris agreement in order to protect signatory countries.

For existing treaties that contain the ISDS clause, "a carve-out in a multilateral climate change agreement should be designed as a subsequent legal agreement that would take precedence over the existing ISDS treaty," he wrote. The signatory states to a Paris climate accord would be agreeing that ISDS claims against them "simply do not apply to climate change measures."

In a foreword to Van Harten's report, Council of Canadians chair Maude Barlow explained  that countries are in "a Catch-22"; if they try to regulate against greenhouse-gas emissions in order to fulfill their Paris pledges, they could be sued for billions of dollars.

In advance of the COP21 Paris negotiations (Nov. 30-Dec. 11, 2015), this proposed legal carve-out got a fair amount of press exposure in Europe, and in mid-October of 2015 the European Parliament adopted a resolution asking the European Commission and national governments to protect the upcoming Paris agreement from all adverse affects (including ISDS) of trade agreements.

The resolution:

"calls on the [European] Commission and the Member States to ensure that any measure adopted by a Party to the Paris Agreement relating to the objective of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, or relating to any of the principles or commitments contained in Articles 3 and 4 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will not be subject to any existing or future treaty of a Party to the extent that it allows for investor-state dispute settlement."

It was a Dutch Green/Left Member of the European Parliament that put forward this motion, and he acknowledged the important contribution made by Van Harten's proposed carve-out....

But something happened to the carve-out when the actual Paris COP 21 negotiations got underway in December. ...

As Van Harten later told me by email, "The carve-out was adopted by a vote of the European Parliament and thus formed part of the EU's negotiating team, but was not incorporated into the Paris Agreement."

Subsequently, Van Harten has not responded to requests for more information. Similarly, I have recently been unable to find anyone in Canada or Europe able and willing to provide information about the scuttling of the legal carve-out during the 2015 Paris negotiations. ...

As Nick Fillmore recently wrote for rabble.ca: "Developed countries failed to come together over 25 years to create a meaningful response to the growing crisis" of climate change. "The United Nations climate program, infiltrated and funded in part by corporations, has not been able to provide the leadership needed."

When contacted, Fillmore responded by email that at the 2015 Paris negotiations, the corporate sector was so powerful that it appeared to be "the proverbial tail wagging the dog." He also cited the November 2015 report by Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), The Corporate Cookbook: How Climate Criminals have captured COP21.

CEO's report detailed the many special events being planned by the corporate sector for government officials, stating, "At this winter's UN climate talks in Paris approach, the lobbying and public relations push from the world's biggest climate criminals has gone into over-drive." ...

Rather than curtail and rethink Canada's participation in such trade deals, readers will recall that Canada's International Trade Minister at the time, Chrystia Freeland, vociferously pushed for more, including CETA (the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) -- which will greatly expand the number of ISDS lawsuits. ...

An October 2020 report by the International Institute for Environment and Development states that even "removing fossil fuel subsidies" is a government action that is "likely to be challenged through ISDS". With life on Earth placing second in importance to future corporate profits, it's difficult to see any hope from the upcoming United Nations climate conference -- COP26 -- in Glasgow.

https://rabble.ca/news/2021/08/one-big-expensive-avoidable-reason-why-go...

jerrym

Because of global warming almost all ocean surface climates could disappear by 2100 if we don't quickly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study. With 2.7 times the length of coastline of the next longest coastline country and facing on three oceans, Canada's marine environment and nearby regions will be greatly affected. 

seal1

Sub-Antarctic and equatorial regions could experience disappearing ocean surface climates, disrupting the delicate ecosystems.

If the rate at which we've been releasing carbon doesn't change, environmental researchers suggest about 95% of ocean surface climates could disappear by 2100, creating a grim future for some marine species that may face two options: adapt or die. Ocean surface climates refer to a combination of water temperature, acidity and concentration of aragonite, a mineral used by marine creatures like coral. ...

The study, published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports, also found that in the next 80 years -- based on the current carbon emission trajectory -- over 80% of the ocean surface may be covered in novel, high-temperature and acidic climates.

Such novel ocean surface climates have never existed before on Earth. Both disappearing climates and novel ones -- which are most likely to emerge near the equator and sub-Antarctic regions, according to the study -- threaten the animals that call these places home. "If they are narrowly adapted to the conditions that they live in, and those conditions start to disappear or be replaced with novel climates," said Katie Lotterhos, an associate professor of marine and environmental sciences at Northeastern University, "they can't disperse to a place, or migrate to a place, where they're going to find that climate." She added that "some people have called that an adapt or die scenario."

Lotterhos and fellow researchers sought to understand how the climates have already changed since 1800 and to project how they're expected to fluctuate into 2100. To form conclusions, the team modeled ocean surface climates across the 300-year timespan. ...

They ran their models under two scenarios of Representative Concentration Pathways, or RCPs, which are used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and refer to hypothetical climate change trajectories dependent on atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. 

First, we have the aptly named "business as usual" scenario, which represents a high RCP of 8.5. The other, RCP 4.5, is a more optimistic situation, but one that would require active measures to drive down human-generated carbon emissions. 

If our carbon emissions continue on track with "business as usual," the study found that 82% of the ocean surface could have novel climates by 2100. That's bad news for marine creatures. If emissions are lessened to follow RCP 4.5, that figure plunges to 10% of the ocean surface.  "If we can implement mitigation measures," Lotterhos said, "It can drastically reduce the proportion of the ocean surface that was projected to experience novel conditions." Relatedly, the 4.5 pathway also appears to control ocean surface climate disappearances, endangering only 35% of the ocean by 2100 instead of the jaw-dropping 95% with business as usual. ...

Lotterhos' team is also the first to consider ocean surface climate change on a global scale; that aspect, in particular, is what allowed the team to uncover features of novelty. That's because even if a marine climate near the Gulf of Alaska, for instance, transforms into a warmer one, it might not be historically new. The rest of the globe would need to be analyzed before a "novel" declaration is made.

https://www.cnet.com/news/climate-change-almost-all-ocean-surface-climat...

jerrym

Climate change is radicalizing youth as the following articile illustrates. However, the author says that the negativity of the future outlook that this article illustrates leads to depression and inaction because of a sense of hopelessness. Her view is "The story that we can build the future we want has to be the central story with young people. I don’t care whether that’s rose tinted. I don’t care if that’s Pollyanna to some people."

My view is that the Pollyanism of past and current generations has put us where we are. We are in a grim state when it comes to dealing with global warming and it is no use pretending otherwise. How do I deal with climate anxiety? I remember my ancestors fight for survival on both sides of the family. On my father's side, my illiteratera great-great-grandfather was left behind in Ireland at age nine when his parents came to Canada. When the Irish famine hit, he lost his rented land, boarded a coffin ship (called that because one quarter of them were so unseaworthy they sank on the voyage to North America) where 60 of 361 passengers died of disease on the trip, was quarantined on Grosse Isle 50 miles from Quebec in 1847 where 60% of the 8,500 people who died in the 105 year history of this quarantine station died in the year he arrived, only to find his parents 27 years later, move in next door and raise a well-educated family. On my mother's side my great-grandmother, while Ireland was still under English rule, had to hitch herself up to a donkey cart as a teenager after her father and the family donkey died and pull it up a 300 foot hill to get peat every day or lose the farm and be left to starve on the roadside. The moral is you look at the situation truthfully, and keep fighting no matter what instead of becoming a Pollyanna or giving in to despair. 

The article comes from CNBC, the business channel, so while admitting there is a risk to climate change, it doesn't want people to think it is extremely great, unless they also start to question the fundamentals of our system, such as capitalism itself. 

The youth are right we are in an extremely difficult fight for the future of the planet but neither Pollyanism, which results in not enough being done to deal with the problem as is the case over the last fifty years, or giving in to despair will accomplish anything. The only way out is to fight on in a very hard struggle to survive, no matter the odds. 

Sarah Ray, a professor of environmental studies at Humboldt State Universityin Arcata, California, has had a front row seat to the way climate change has landed on young people and most notably, how the weight of that anxiety has changed over the decade-plus years she’s been a professor....

The existential weight that my students were bringing to me personally and into the classrooms to each other was something I had no tools to deal with.

I was seeing a great impatience with doing the work of classes: “Why am I wasting my time in college when this stuff is happening out there?” Very much like what we hear from Greta Thunberg and the youth climate movement. This sense of impatience with the types of activities we do in classes, a real desire for action, a real desire for getting out there, rolling your sleeves up and doing something and fixing these problems. The urgency has totally sunk in. There was a fetishizing of action over thinking or talking or reading.

Economics, politics, law, engineering, science used to be the places where students would go into if they wanted to get into environmental stuff. And they were predominantly white, and they often came in with a nostalgia about wanting to get things back to nature the way it was before “bad stuff happened to it.” And that was the modus operandi of the field.

This new generation is radically different. There is a real awareness of the social justice dimensions and the sort of systems change thinking around climate change. The new generation doesn’t think of this as just something that we need to go into science to fix or technology to fix or engineering to fix or even politics or law. There’s a sense of this being a systemic thing that we need all hands on deck to address. We need all the talents, we need all the skills we from the artists, to the creative types, to the imagination people, to the children’s book writers, to the teachers to the parents — in addition to all of the usual suspects that used to be in sort of thinking about the major leverage points of affecting climate change.

It used to be that climate change was sort of imperceptible, abstract, hard to get your head around hard to deal with. ... The younger generations are thinking, “In my lifetime, I’m going to be the one who’s going to be beset with the worst of this.” And they know from the IPCC reports, and all the successful science communication that’s come out, that the next 10 years is the most important. So they see themselves coming of age, coming onto the political and professional scene of their lives, coming into adulthood, when the most important effects can happen, the most responsibility the most urgency is on them. ...

They won’t be flying as much. They will refuse things that my generation takes for granted, like plastic and single-use containers. They will slowly, hopefully, successfully change how infrastructure works, how their transportation works, how they build their families, how they build their homes, how they live on this planet and walk on this Earth. Their lifestyles won’t accept what my generation has accepted as normal. There’s going to be a real reckoning around reproductive refusal. ... this generation is choosing not to have children because they don’t think their children will have a livable future. ...

The climate movement forever has thought, “We’re never going change capitalism, this is never going to happen.” ... The younger generations are saying, “No, actually Covid has shown us that we can change a lot of stuff.” They feel more politically powerful than previous any previous generation before them, except for maybe in the ’60s. In the last 50 years, this is the most powerful feeling generation, and they have good reason to feel that way. ...

The story that we can build the future we want has to be the central story with young people. I don’t care whether that’s rose tinted. I don’t care if that’s Pollyanna to some people. The science is out there on what happens with young people if they think that their future is already written for them, and that is not good. That is not an option for me.

The future of climate communication, the future of climate psychology has to simply be the “both-and” orientation. It’s just going to have to be, because we’re all going to learn at some point that living in doom and gloom narratives is very ineffective, and it makes us literally want to kill ourselves. This is very scary. We’ve gone from nobody caring enough about climate change to people caring so much that they’re nihilistic. We cranked up the urgency and then we’ve like overshot the mark....

We can be aware of how bad things are, and also how good things are. We can counterbalance the overwhelming negativity of news and our own biases around negativity by consuming and actively seeking out things that are positive.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/30/how-to-stop-climate-change-despair-accor...

jerrym

Britain's economy is already undergoing rapid economic change because of global warming. While some industries have benefit, such as wineries, there are many other facing major problems and future problems are starting to manifest. Unfortunately, Canada cannot even match Britain's weak record. 

A vineyard in Surrey, England

A vineyard in Surrey, England

Climate change could spark major shifts in British produce in the coming decades as the country attempts to avoid a “catastrophic” environmental fallout, experts have said.

At the end of July, the U.K.’s Royal Meteorological Society published its State of the U.K. Climate 2020 report, with the authors noting that last year was England’s third warmest year since records began in 1884.

Meanwhile, the U.K. Met Office predicts that the country is set for warmer and wetter winters, hotter and drier summers and “more frequent and intense weather extremes” because of climate change.

Michael Christie, professor of environmental and ecological economics at Aberystwyth Business School in Wales, told CNBC in a phone call that unless drastic measures were taken in the U.K. and internationally, temperature rises would have “more and more catastrophic effects.”

“And those effects will be irreversible,” he added, noting that certain industries were at greater risk.

“For agriculture, for example, there will be risks in terms of potential impact on what crops can grow,” he said. “There are also issues in terms of livestock and methane emissions, so farmers might not be able to have [as much] livestock in the future. But there are maybe some benefits in that warmer temperatures in the U.K. might actually lead to increased yields.” ...

“In areas where a lack of grass biomass to feed the cattle had never been an issue, all of a sudden, this was on everyone’s agenda, because there was no pasture to be had,” he said.

What happens overseas also affects British agriculture, Lukac pointed out.“A greater impact will be felt in other parts of the world, but agriculture has become globally integrated,” he told CNBC. “For example, a failure of yield in Brazil will be felt by the U.K. livestock industry, because we buy soya from Brazil and feed it to the cows in Britain.”

Issues with water availability could also bring new challenges in the future, Lukac predicted. “The cost of water is minimal right now — it’s not really costed into farmers’ business models. But I suspect at some point, when farmers will be competing directly with the general population for drinking water because of supply limitations, this will become an issue,” he explained. ...

In recent years, Lukac added, Britain’s changing climate had altered what was being grown locally. For example, more areas had become capable of growing maize. Meanwhile, government policies aimed at reducing emissions had had what he called a “cascade effect.”

“Some years back there was a drive to biodiesel,” he said. “Some agricultural policy in the U.K. changed and started to subsidize rapeseed a little more than other crops. ...

Although the climate had become more suitable for wine production in certain areas of the U.K., Dorling noted that a natural variability in Britain’s climate could still lead to production shocks. ...

Companies and investors outside of land-dependent industries are also changing the way they operate. England’s high-speed HS2 railway development will use 3D-printed graphene-reinforced concrete, which is more environmentally friendly than traditional concrete. Elsewhere, a hybrid aircraft took its maiden 37-mile flight between Orkney and Wick in Scotland earlier this month. ...

While some businesses are attempting to mitigate climate risk and become more sustainable, others are falling behind. 

The U.K. is currently in its third carbon budget period, which ends in 2022. According to the Climate Change Committee — an independent advisory body established under the 2008 legislation — the U.K. is currently “off track” for its fourth, fifth and sixth budgets.

Speaking to CNBC via email, a spokesperson for the CCC said there was a lack of evidence businesses were taking action to prepare for climate risks such as flooding, coastal change, extreme weather events and supply chain disruption. “Without action on climate adaptation we will struggle to deliver key government and societal goals, including Net Zero itself,” the CCC spokesperson warned.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/31/britains-economy-is-already-seeing-rapid...

jerrym

The record-breaking flooding stretching from West Virginia to Massachusetts in the US Northeast is what climate change models predicted, only that it is occurring much earlier and therefore almost certainly going to get worse over time:

With dense population and development along its coastline, the northeastern United States is, at present, highly vulnerable to coastal flooding. At five sea level stations in the United States, from Massachusetts to New Jersey, sea level rise (SLR) trends and tidal effects were removed from the hourly sea level time series and then frequency analysis was performed on the positive remaining anomalies that represent storm surge heights. Then using eustatic SLR estimates for lower and higher greenhouse gas emissions scenarios and assumed trends in local sea level rise, new recurrence intervals were determined for future storm surges. Under the higher emissions scenario, by 2050, the elevation of the 2005 100-year event may be equaled or exceeded at least every 30years at all sites. In more exposed US cities such as Boston, Massachusetts and Atlantic City, New Jersey, this could occur at the considerably higher frequency of every 8years or less. Under the lower emissions scenario, by 2050, the elevation of the 2005 100-year event may be equaled or exceeded at least every 70years at all sites. In Boston and Atlantic City, this could occur every 30years or less.

Study area showing the location of five sea-level gauge stations and associated trend values obtained from the Tides and Currents website of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration / National Ocean Service Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services’ ()

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/225865499_Coastal_Flooding_in_t...

jerrym

Here's more on what the Northeast region of the US can expect and much of which is already occurring because of global warming. Of course many of these problems will extend northwards into Canada. 

Climate change means is suffering from more heat waves, coastal flooding due to sea level rise and storm surge, and river flooding due to more heavy rainfall events.

In addition to national data, the Third National Climate Assessment has chapters that explore how climate change will affect different regions of America.

Among the National Climate Assessment’s findings for the Northeast:On rising temperatures:

Projected Increases in the Number of Days over 90°F.

LOWER EMISSIONS (B1)HIGHER EMISSIONS (A2)

  •   Temperatures in the Northeast have increased by almost 2 degrees Fahrenheit since 1895.

  •   The frequency, intensity, and duration of heat waves in the Northeast expected to increase in the future.

  •   The majority of Maryland and Delaware, and southwestern West Virginia and New Jersey, are projected to see more than 60 additional days per year above 90 degrees Fahrenheit by the middle of this century.

    On heavy rains:

  •   Precipitation in the Northeast has increased by

    approximately five inches since 1895.

  •   The Northeast has experienced a greater recent increase in heavy downpours than any other region in the United States.

  •   The frequency of heavy downpours will likely increase, especially in the northern portions of the region.

    On flooding:

Source: National Climate Assessment

  •   Coastal flooding in the Northeast has increased due to a rise in sea level of approximately one footsince 1900 -- more than the global average sea level rise of approximately 8 inches.

  •   Global sea levels are projected to rise one to four feet by 2100. Sea level rise of two feet would more than triple the frequency of dangerous coastal flooding throughout most of the Northeast.

  •   Many of the Northeast’s key highways (including I-95) and rail systems (including Amtrak) span areas that are prone to coastal flooding. Ports like Baltimore are also vulnerable to floods.

    Want even more info? Check out these state-by-state fact sheets on the White House web site.

https://www.edf.org/sites/default/files/content/regional_releases_northe...

jerrym

A new branch of science can examine to what extent extreme weather events are the result of climate change, with "70% of the 405 extreme weather events and trends included in the map were found to be made more likely or more severe by human-caused climate change". Hurricane Ida's trail of death and destruction from Louisiana to the US Northeast, I am almost certain will be added to the list.  

 How climate change affects extreme weather around the world

The map above shows 405 extreme weather events and trends across the globe for which scientists have carried out attribution studies. The different symbols show the type of extreme weather; for example, a heatwave, flood or drought. The colours indicate whether the attribution study found a link to human-caused climate change (red), no link (blue) or was inconclusive (grey).

In the early 2000s, a new field of climate-science research emerged that began to explore the human fingerprint on extreme weather, such as floods, heatwaves, droughts and storms.

Known as “extreme event attribution”, the field has gained momentum, not only in the science world, but also in the media and public imagination. These studies have the power to link the seemingly abstract concept of climate change with personal and tangible experiences of the weather.

Scientists have published more than 350 peer-reviewed studies looking at weather extremes around the world, from heatwaves in Sweden and droughts in South Africa to flooding in Bangladesh and hurricanes in the Caribbean. The result is mounting evidence that human activity is raising the risk of some types of extreme weather, especially those linked to heat.

To track how the evidence on this fast-moving topic is stacking up, Carbon Brief has mapped – to the best of our knowledge – every extreme-weather attribution study published to date.

Carbon Brief’s analysis reveals:

– 70% of the 405 extreme weather events and trends included in the map were found to be made more likely or more severe by human-caused climate change. 

– 9% of events or trends were made less likely or less severe by climate change, meaning 79% of all events experienced some human impact. The remaining 21% of events and trends showed no discernible human influence or were inconclusive.

– Of the 122 attribution studies that have looked at extreme heat around the world, 92% found that climate change made the event or trend more likely or more severe. 

– For the 81 studies looking at rainfall or flooding, 58% found human activity had made the event more likely or more severe. For the 69 drought events studied, it’s 65%.

First published in July 2017, this article is the fourth annual update (see endnote) to incorporate new studies. The aim is that it serves as a tracker for the evolving field of “extreme event attribution”.

https://www.carbonbrief.org/mapped-how-climate-change-affects-extreme-we...

jerrym

ETA: New York Governor Kathy Hochul just noted that the record-breaking rain that fell overnight and crippled New York City broke a record set just last week. She said there are no more unforseen catacalysmic events, this is the new normal and we have to start dealing with it. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Senator Chuck Schmuer agreed. Time for Trudeau to wake up and end fossil fuel subsidies and pipelines.

The following CNN series of articles traces the trail of destruction wrought by Hurricane Ida from Louisiana from which I have selected a small sample of the problems created by this climate crisis event. 

Water spills over the banks of the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia on Thursday.
Water spills over the banks of the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia on Thursday. (Matt Rourke/AP)

Hurricane Ida's remnants drenched the Northeast last night, causing dangerous flash floods and tornadoes across several states. 

Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania are reporting deaths from the storm, and search and rescue and clean up efforts are underway today. Meanwhile, parts of Louisiana — where Ida made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane earlier this week — could be without power for weeks because of the storm.

Here's a state-by-state look at Ida's aftermath:

New York

  • There have been at least 13 storm-related storm deaths in the state, according to officials.
  • New York declared a state of emergency early today, and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she spoke with President Biden, who “guaranteed” full support in the wake of a “devastating” and “record-shattering” storm.
  • In New York City, almost all the city subway lines were suspended due to the flooding. The Metropolitan Transit Authority website said that only the "7" line and the Staten Island Railway were operating with delays.

New Jersey

  • At least six storm-related deaths have been reported across the state.
  • At least 25 homes in Mullica Hill were completely or partially destroyed and are currently uninhabitable, according to a police lieutenant.
  • Gov. Phil Murphy also declared a state of emergency, urging residents to "stay off the roads, stay home, and stay safe."

Pennsylvania

  • Three storm-related deaths are currently being investigated in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, a county official said.
  • Dozens of people in Bridgeport, Pennsylvania, were rescued from floodwaters, Borough Manager Keith Truman said Thursday.
  • The city of Philadelphia is reeling after its Schuylkill River rose 2 feet above a major flood stage.

Maryland

  • Maryland Montgomery County Police said while final autopsy is pending, the death of a 19-year-old found dead after an apartment complex flooded Wednesday can be preliminarily attributed to the storm.

Louisiana

  • While the state is now four days out from Ida's Sunday landfall, parts of the state are still reeling from the hurricane.
  • Millions of Gulf Coast residents who survived Ida's devastating winds and deluge of rain face a new danger — widespread power outages that are expected to last for weeks, coupled with a period of excessive heat.
  • Some “key areas” along the Mississippi River and in the Port of New Orleans remain closed following Hurricane Ida, the US Coast Guard said Thursday. 

https://edition.cnn.com/us/live-news/ida-aftermath-09-02-21/index.html

 

jerrym

Indigenous community members in New Brunswick describe how global warming is affecting their way of life below. Elders Cecelia Brooks and  Albert Marshall discuss the damage that has already been done to the environment and their way of life. Sophia Sidarous, a 19-year-old Mi'kmaq, is one of fifteen Canadian youth that have filed a lawsuit to force the federal government to develop a climate recovery plan that is now before the Federal Court of Appeal. 

Cecelia Brooks of St. Mary's First Nation says climate change is threatening traditional plants and medicines. The orange ribbons above Brooks are tied to a willow tree to honour the memory of schoolchildren whose unmarked graves were found on former residential school grounds.  (Oscar Baker - image credit)

Cecelia Brooks of St. Mary's First Nation says climate change is threatening traditional plants and medicines. The orange ribbons above Brooks are tied to a willow tree to honour the memory of schoolchildren whose unmarked graves were found on former residential school grounds. (Oscar Baker - image credit)

Cecelia Brooks remembers a time when the deep forest of New Brunswick was so cold, snow could still be found in its depths in August. That rarely happens anymore, says Brooks, a traditional knowledge keeper with Wolastoqey, Mi'kmaw, Mohawk and Korean bloodlines who has been foraging and harvesting foods and medicines all of her life. These days, Brooks says, plants like the mayflower will come up, "you'll see the buds … then all of a sudden they get hit by that heat and it shrivels."

Brooks, who lives on St. Mary's First Nation in Fredericton, is one of many Indigenous people in the Wabanaki region who say climate change is threatening traditional plants and medicines. Those changes, Brooks says, could alter their way of life.

In the past 30 years, the province has seen an increase to the mean annual temperature of 1.1 C, prompting rising sea levels, increased flooding, increased coastal erosion risks and extreme weather events, according to the New Brunswick government. ...

Sophia Sidarous, a 19-year-old from Metepenagiag Mi'kmaq Nation, about 30 kilometres west of Miramichi, sees the effect of those changes all around her.

Sidarous is a traditional harvester whose work takes her deep into the woods to collect medicines and foods. "We see ourselves as part of the land, we are interconnected with the land," she says. "It's where we're from and it's who we are." Sidarous says the threat that climate change poses to the health of the Mi'kmaq, the planet and the sacred plants that inhabit it — particularly the four sacred medicines of cedar, sage, tobacco and sweetgrass — concerns her.

She is particularly worried about sweetgrass, a tall, grassy herb that represents "the hair of Mother Earth. Sweetgrass is going to become very rare," Sidarous says. "If our marshes are flooded, we won't be able to pick sweetgrass. It'll erode the banks." ...

Already, Sidarous says, there's been a noticeable browning of cedar trees that are close to roads radiating heat from rising temperatures. She fears that rising temperatures will also jeopardize cultural activities such as sweat lodge ceremonies and powwows, which will become harder to hold safely without risking heat exhaustion.

For Mi'kmaw Elder Albert Marshall, 82, these are all signs that humans have forgotten their role in the ecosystem. "In our beliefs we're constantly reminded — nature has rights, humans have a responsibility," he says. ...

He thinks that if more people adopted Mi'kmaw ways of knowing and began to see soil, air and water as essential elements of life — and even better, protected them by granting them legal protection — it would go a long way toward combating climate change.   

Sidarous, meanwhile, is taking a legal route.  She is part of a youth-led lawsuit that seeks to force the federal government to develop a climate recovery plan, saying Ottawa's inaction is stripping youth of "the opportunity to learn our culture."   The case, launched by 15 young Canadians in 2019, was dismissed by Federal Court in October 2020 when a judge ruled that the claims didn't have a reasonable cause of action or prospect of success. The case is now before the Federal Court of Appeal.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/indigenous-medicine-climate...

jerrym

NDPP wrote:

We should not be surprised that the msm does not bring us the real truth on climate change, just as it doesn't on most other topics of importance. Its owners and advertisers operate their media business for their own benefit and profit, not planetary survival.

Thanks to jerrym and all who contribute to bringing awareness in this regard.

I failed to notice your comment until today, so a belated thanks. 

jerrym

In February, intense public protest has persuaded the Alberta government to U-turn on a major section of its economic road map and reinstate a policy that has kept open-pit coal mines out of the Rocky Mountains for almost 45 years. But Kenney is looking to use a committee to review Alberta's coal policy to get these operations going again. 

A conveyor belt transports coal at the Westmoreland Coal Company's Sheerness Mine near Hanna, Alta., on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. File photo by The Canadian Press/Jeff McIntosh

Albertans want to talk about a lot more than coal when it comes to development in their beloved Rocky Mountains, says the head of the committee charged with collecting public opinion on the issue. "There was such a dam of public sentiment built up behind this issue, it's like opening a sluice gate," Ron Wallace, chairman of the province's coal policy committee, said in an interview. 

His group has just wrapped months of meetings with industry, environmental groups, municipalities and individuals. As the public comment period closes, he said the group has collected 605 emailed submissions and held 59 meetings. On its website, it has published 16 technical papers and 36 meeting submissions. 

If there's one theme that has emerged, Wallace said, it's that people don't want a coal policy that only deals with the how and where of mining. They want a broad policy that balances economic, environmental and recreational needs over an entire landscape. "While our terms of reference are clearly focused on a modernized coal policy, we are recognizing that any factors that are going into that modernization are going to have to take account of these broader issues," he said. ...

Coal development has been controversial in Alberta since spring 2020 when the United Conservative government suddenly revoked a policy that had protected the summits and foothills of the Rockies from open-pit coal mines since 1976. Within weeks, thousands of hectares were leased for coal exploration on those landscapes — the headwaters for most of the province's drinking water and one of its favourite travel destinations. ...

Water concerns were prominent, Wallace said. Albertans were concerned about the amount of water the industry would need in an already water-challenged region as well as about selenium contamination, an element common in coal seams and toxic to fish.

"Water has become a major theme. The great majority of Albertans are concerned primarily about water." Others wanted to ensure that the area's recreation potential isn't impaired, especially as Alberta's population continues to grow. Some were concerned about coal's impact on endangered animal and fish species. ...

Others wanted to express their concerns over how the province regulates and manages energy development. Wallace pointed to a survey conducted early in the committee's consultations that suggested 85 per cent of Albertans didn't trust the province's energy regulator. ...

Some submissions supported mining. "Those people have a great deal at stake," said Wallace. "It's their jobs, it's their welfare, it's their economy."

But most have wider concerns, including 25 municipalities that signed a letter from the Town of High River that said "the inherent value of the eastern slopes only exists with the landscape remaining intact."

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2021/09/03/news/coal-committee-albertan...

NDPP

New York's Ida disaster: A social crime in the center of world capitalism

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/09/04/pers-s04.html

"...While the storm's intensity was unprecedented, it was by no means unexpected. Scientists have warned for decades about the consequences of global climate change.

The impact of the storm has put a spotlight on the horrific social reality in the US, especially in the heart of global capitalism. While the wealthy were protected in their insulated penthouses and multistory brownstones, the brutal housing conditions for the working class were tragically exposed by the storm. Hurricane Ida is not simply a tragic 'natural' disaster. More fundamentally, it is a social crime..."

NDPP

Hunziker: Brazil's Fierce Drought

https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/09/03/brazils-fierce-drought/

"The Amazon rainforest is arguably the world's premier asset. Indeed, it's the world's most crucial asset in a myriad of ways, nothing on Earth compares. Yet it is infernally stressed because of inordinate drought.

As it happens, Brazil is not alone as hemispheric drought is now occurring in parallel, north and south. Both northern and southern hemispheric droughts are running in parallel, sending a strong message that something's horribly wrong. Increasingly, scientists send the same message...'It's happening all over the world."

And especially here in 'Brazil North' - In BC (brutal colonialism) pipelines and clearcut logging the last of the ancient forests are well underway.

jerrym

Like cars, boats are starting to go electric to reduce greenhouse emissions. With more freshwater and more coastline than any other country in the world. Trudeau, continues to subsidize the fossil fuel extraction and pipeline industries heavily while ignoring new industries such as electric boats.

Covid has helped increase boat sales as people want a form of recreation without having to make contact with others. 

This photo provided by Jeff Helmkamp/LakeExpo shows Vision Marine Technologies' Vision Marine Bruce 22 boat with one of their E-Motion motors. The electric boat is capable of reaching speeds of 49 mph. (Jeff Helmkamp/LakeExpo via AP)

The auto industry has raced ahead on an electric wave with more manufacturers joining the race seemingly every day. The boating industry has sputtered far behind, bogged down by low-horsepower engines and batteries that take up nearly half the boat.

That's in the process of changing. Bolstered by new technology, the electric boats are now faster, have smaller batteries with longer ranges and are still zero emission.

“Electric boats used to be good for just cruising around,” said Alex Mongeon, CEO of Montreal-based Vision Marine Technologies. “Now they have more power and last a long longer.” Vision Marine has helped lead the charge in more powerful electric boats. Other companies riding the electric motor wave include Swedish luxury boat builder X Shore and Arc, started by former SpaceX employees.

An avid boat racer and electrician by trade, Mongeon and Vision Marine began working in 2015 on developing a more powerful yet still efficient electric outboard motor. They created the E-Motion 180, the first electric boat engine to use lithium batteries. The electric outboard boasts 180 horsepower and can reach speeds of 60 mph, a first in electric boating. The E-motion 180, which costs about $5,000 more than a standard internal combustion engine, can be used with any boats that use a 180 HP outboard gas engine, typically between 18 to 26 feet.

The engines can fully charge overnight and all that's needed is a 220-volt outlet — a boating version of plug and play. Maintenance is far less than ICE engines because there are fewer moving parts.  The electric engines are noiseless, odorless and smokeless, so there's no more yelling at each other while onboard or leaving a layer of smoke in your wake. ...

Many waters have been designated marine protected areas — 26% in the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — which ban motorized boats. Many allow electric boats because they are cleaner and emit no sound. ...

According to National Marine Manufacturers Association, sales of powerboats were up 12% in 2020 with more than 310,000 new sales, the highest numbers since before the recession of 2008. ...

According to National Marine Manufacturers Association, sales of powerboats were up 12% in 2020 with more than 310,000 new sales, the highest numbers since before the recession of 2008. ...

The new era of electric boats, with the added power and limited environmental impact, are making it even more enjoyable.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2021/09/03/news/electric-boats-noise-quiet

NDPP

Hurricane Ida Blows Away Illusions

https://www.struggle-la-lucha.org/2021/09/05/hurricane-ida-blows-away-il...

"...As in New Orleans and other parts of the state, people here are without power. Gasoline and groceries are in short supply. Climate change means that nowhere is completely safe.

Capitalist society - especially in this period of profound crisis and long-term decline - is completely unable to deal with stress of this, or really any magnitude. Because of socialist planning, tiny Cuba is able to deal with storms far better than the US.

Meanwhile, horror story after horror story is emerging in the aftermath of Ida. Overthrowing capitalist rule is truly a matter of life and death."

NDPP

Climate crisis cannot be separated from extreme wealth inequality

https://buff.ly/2WFe2hx

"The wealthiest 1% of individuals worldwide has emitted 100 times as much CO2 per year as the bottom 50%. According to research by Thomas Piketty and Lucas Chancel, the richest 10% of individual emitters contributed to 45% of global emissions. The poorest 50% of the world's population accounted for 13% of world emissions. Annual per capita carbon emissions for the top 1% of Canadians was about 35 times the world average, placing Canada 5th in the carbon emitter ratings. Canada's climate emissions have risen 26% since the Kyoto Protocol..."

jerrym

A new peer-reviewed study in Oceanography provides evidence that global warming is contributing to the declime of Atlantic right whales, often found in Atlantic Canada. How many other whale species has and will it affect negatively?

Researchers walk near the remains of an 80-ton female North Atlantic right whale in early February 2004 along the Virginia coast, apparently killed by a ship strike. Better regulations are needed to protect the endangered whales.

Researchers walk near the remains of an 80-ton female North Atlantic right whale.

Climate change and warming ocean temperatures could be contributing to the decline in the population of North Atlantic right whales, a new study suggests.

Until about 2010, the whales could be found feeding on copepods, or tiny crustaceans, like plankton — a common food source for them — in their traditional feeding waters of the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine, according to the study, titled Ocean Regime Shift is Driving Collapse of the North Atlantic Right Whale Population.

In the past 10 years, however, warmer ocean temperatures have driven the crustaceans to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the right whales have followed.

"As right whale numbers visiting the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence foraging grounds rose, the risks associated with ship strikes and entanglement increased," according to a peer-reviewed report published Wednesday in Oceanography magazine.

"With no management plan in place to protect it, the right whale population experienced an increasing number of serious entanglements and mortalities in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence beginning in 2015."

Since 2017, 34 dead stranded whales have been found in Canadian and U.S. waters, with entanglements or vessel strikes being the leading cause of death, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The problem goes back to climate change and the impact it has had on ocean currents, namely the Gulf Stream, which moves warm water north, one of the study's co-authors said.

Kimberley Davies, who is also an associate professor of biology at the University of New Brunswick's Saint John campus, said that as global temperatures have warmed, the Gulf Stream has changed, bringing warmer water into areas of the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine.

Waters in those regions have warmed by as much as 2 C. That in turn has driven crustaceans to cooler waters further north, such as the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where right whales have been at higher risk of getting entangled in fishing gear and being struck by vessels, Davies told CBC's Information Morning Fredericton on Friday.

Davies said such mortality events are devastating to "a population of 350 whales where ... it takes 10 years for them to mature and produce their first calf."

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/north-atlantic-right-whale-...

jerrym

A growing number of environmental activists are calling for the COP26 climate conference scheduled for October-November to be postponed because the Covid pandemic and the resultant lack of extensive vaccinations in many developing countries and the high cost of travel means the people of these countries will be grossly under-represented as the global warming crisis worsens, especially for them. However, a group of 48 countries that are most at risk from climate change, which was already postponed last year because of Covid, must go ahead this year because of the growing crisis. 

COP26 Logo.png

A coalition of environmental groups has called for a pivotal climate conference to be postponed amid concern that many of those most affected by global warming won't be able to attend because of the continuing threat from COVID-19.

Campaigners said Tuesday that organizers hadn't done enough to ensure broad participation in the event by providing access to vaccines and defraying the rising cost of travel for people from developing nations, many of which are subject to British government travel restrictions. The UN climate summit, known as COP26, is scheduled for Oct. 31-Nov. 12 in Scotland.

"Our concern is that those countries most deeply affected by the climate crisis and those countries suffering from the lack of support by rich nations in providing vaccines will be left out of the talks," said Tasneem Essop, executive director of Climate Action Network, which includes 1,500 groups in 130 countries. "There has always been an inherent power imbalance within the UN climate talks and this is now compounded by the health crisis." ...

But the Climate Vulnerable Forum, a group of 48 countries that are most at risk from climate change, later said an in-person summit must take place as scheduled to ensure the world responds to a threat "unparalleled in human history."

The tussle over postponement comes just weeks after an international panel of climate scientists issued a stark warning to world leaders, saying time was running out to avert the worst effects of climate change. COP26 is seen as a critical step in the drive to persuade governments, industry and investors around the world to make binding commitments on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The meeting was originally scheduled to be held last year, but it was postponed due to the pandemic.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/climate-and-environment/environmental-groups-call...

jerrym

Europe just had its hottest summer ever with wildfires, floods and record temperatures all related to global warming according to climate change attribution science. 

Flames burn on a mountain near the Greek village of Limni, on the island of Evia about 100 miles north of Athens, on August 3.

Flames burn on a mountain near the Greek village of Limni, on the island of Evia about 100 miles north of Athens, on August 3.

Europe experienced its hottest summer on record this year and temperatures in the Mediterranean smashed records by large margins, the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service said Tuesday. 

Like much of the Northern Hemisphere, Europe was battered by extreme weather events over recent months, including record levels of rain that triggered deadly floods in Germany and Belgium, and heatwaves that contributed to wildfires in the south of the region.

The average temperature from the start of June until the end of August was around 0.1 degrees Celsius warmer than the previous hottest summers in 2010 and 2018, a relatively small increase. But it was a whole 1 degree C (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 1991-2020 average, reflecting the longer-term trend of human-caused global warming. The year 2020 was also the hottest on record for Europe overall. ...

The increase in temperatures was not evenly distributed -- as southern Europe broke heat records and the east was warmer than average, northern Europe experienced below-average summer heat.

Italy recorded a temperature of 48.8 degrees C (119.8 degrees F) on August 11 in Sicily. If verified by the World Meteorological Organization, that would be the hottest day ever recorded in Europe. The hottest before that was 48.0 C in Athens, Greece in 1977.

The heat was related to an anticyclone that impacted Spain as well, and followed extreme heat in Greece and Turkey, which experienced destructive wildfires.

And temperatures at the Greenland summit over the weekend of August 14-15 rose above freezing for the third time in less than a decade, causing rain to fall there for the first time on record, with 7 billion tons of water falling on the ice sheet. ...

A recent analysis by the World Weather Attribution project also found that climate change had made the German and Belgian floods more likely.

Like wildfires, flooding can also be related to high temperatures. Sustained heat can worsen drought conditions, but it can also increase the amount of water vapor held in the atmosphere, which can make rainfall heavier, even if it is less frequent.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/07/europe/europe-hottest-summer-climate-intl...

NDPP

'Why isn't everyone talking about The Indigenous Resistance Against Carbon Report?' Because : #SettlerSupremacy

https://twitter.com/BarbaraXLow/status/1435260134926790661

"They would rather die than let Indigenous peoples 'run the show'. Indigenous Sovereignty is the answer to ALL of the problems in these lands."

'Indigenous resistance has stopped or delayed GHG pollution equivalent to at least one-quarter of annual US and Canadian emissions. There is not climate action without Indigenous people.'

#StopTMX #SupportTinyHouseWarriors

jerrym

ETA: Singh was right during the CBC French debate last night. Canada has the worst greenhouse gas emissions reduction record among the G7 and greenhouse gas emissions instead of falling have risen under the Liberal Trudeau government. Afterall all what elese would expect from Trudeau when he declares a climate emergency one day, and the very next day buys the Trans Mountain pipeline and while he still allows oil drilling permits to be given to the fossil fuel industry for new test wells off Newfoundland, that have already hit oil twice, opening up the prospect of a new oilfield in the Atlantic for his Liberal government. 

However this is nothing new as they have risen 21% since the Liberal Chretien government promised to cut them 6% below 1990 levels in the Kyoto Accord. By 2002 the Chretien government was already about 20% above 1990 levels, as noted in a 2002 Guardian article titled Canada's Promise is More Hot Air .

In March 2018 the auditor general concluded  the Trudeau Liberal government "is likely to miss the 2020 Copenhagen target as well". (http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_otp_201803_e_42883.html)

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. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/environment-commissioner-julie-gelfand-...)

Under Trudeau we are now 29.4% above that target, so the Liberals are still selling hot air during this election. In the future, Canada faces the possibility of carbon tariffs from the US for its high emissions levels. 

Line  graph representing Canada’s historical greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 to 2014  and projected emissions to 2030

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada will arrive for President Biden’s climate summit on Thursday with an outsize reputation for being a warrior in the global fight against climate change.

But one facet of Canada’s economy complicates his record: the country’s insistence on expanding output from its oil sands.

Between Mr. Trudeau’s election in 2015 and 2019, Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 1 percent, despite decreases in other rich nations during the same period, according to government data released last week. In fact, Canada is the only Group of 7 country whose emissions have risen since the Paris climate agreement was signed six years ago. ...

As one of the world’s largest oil reserves, the oil sands are also among the most polluting, given the amount of energy required to extract it. But it’s unlikely that Mr. Trudeau would end production there. ...

“There’s a disconnect, at least on the international stage, between Canada’s reputation on climate and the reality of action on the ground,” said Catherine Abreu, the executive director of Climate Action Network Canada, a coalition of about 100 labor, Indigenous, environmental and religious groups. “We really have to stop selling ourselves that perhaps comforting, but dangerous, lie that there is room for the oil sands in the future.” ...

If Canada lags too far behind the United States in reducing emissions, it could face repercussions, including the imposition of U.S. carbon tariffs on Canadian goods crossing the border, said Jake Schmidt of the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group. “It’ll be quite obvious to the world who’s really serious about climate change and who’s taking half measures,” he added.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/21/world/canada/trudeau-climate-oil-sand...

jerrym

Here is a detailed look at the Madagascar famine, the first famine to be directly caused by climate change, according to climate change attribution science. Models strongly suggest other countries in East Africa are likely next to face famine, with Ethiopia the most likely next target. For me, this is personal, my great-great-grandparents were lucky to escape the Irish famine in 1847, another famine in which almost no one seemed to give a damn about the staggering death toll. 

A baby scale is hung on a tree branch during a malnutrition screening session in the municipality of Ifotaka, in southern Madagascar

A baby scale hangs on a tree branch during a malnutrition screening session in Ifotaka, southern Madagascar.

The UN has announced that Madagascar is on the brink of experiencing the world’s first “climate change famine”. Tens of thousands of people are suffering “catastrophic” levels of hunger. Climate hazard scientist, Chris Funk, provides insights into the causes.

Out of the last six years in Madagascar, five years have had poor or very bad rainy seasons.  My colleagues and I were able to track this because of the satellite-gauge rainfall data that we developed – the Climate Hazards Group’s Infrared Precipitation with Stations (CHIRPS) system – to monitor droughts in regions like southern Madagascar. ...

Our data suggests that since 2015, with the exception of the 2018 - 2019 rains, seasonal rainfall (which usually falls from from October to May in southern Madagascar) has been low. This fall within the driest 10% of years since 1981.

Other data suggests that the past six years have also been exceptionally warm. Warmer air can hold more water vapour which leads to vapour deficits. These deficits can exacerbate droughts by drying out vegetation because the drier air pulls moisture out of the plants.

Looking back over Indo-Pacific sea temperatures, I am really struck at how extreme conditions have been since 2014. 

The Indo-Pacific is dominated by three types of extreme weather events; El Niño, La Niña and the Indian Ocean dipole. These all occur when certain parts of the ocean become exceptionally warm. El Niño is influenced by the eastern Pacific, La Niña by the western Pacific and the Indian Ocean Dipole by the western Indian Ocean. 

When these events happen, wind patterns shift to support heavy rainfall over whichever region is extremely warm. These shifts, in turn, can disturb rainfall conditions over eastern and southern Africa. 

Every year since 2014, there has been either a La Niña or El Niño, except for 2019 to 2020. ...

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is tracking conditions in Madagascar very closely. They report below-average rice, maize, and pulse production in the main producing areas of the highlands as well as across eastern and southern Madagascar. There is also very poor cassava production, a staple food. ...

The droughts have really dried out vegetation. In general, this type of persistent drought stress weakens the resilience of poor households. It can also lead to higher food prices. ...

The link between climate change and more extreme Indo-Pacific sea surface temperatures is quite clear.  Our research, supporting famine early warning, for example, has described how climate change is amplifying the magnitude of natural variations, such as El Niños and La Niñas. This contributed to post-2014 increases in eastern and southern African food insecurity. 

From 2019 to 2021, we saw exceptionally warm ocean conditions in the Indian Ocean and western Pacific. And, as mentioned earlier, warmer air can hold more water vapour which leads to deficits. In two recent papers, one focused on a global drought analysis and one focused on east Africa, we argue that these warmer temperatures have amplified the impact of precipitation deficits, especially in arid regions. ...

My perspective on “projections,” however, is that we need to reject the idea that climate change is some “external” process. There is no physical process that causes all the sea surface temperatures and air temperatures to slowly warm at very similar rates. ...

We are now very concerned about the potential of another sequence of poor rains in east African from 2021 - 2022. Current forecasts appear very similar to recent drought years. This could be especially concerning for Ethiopia, where very poor rains have led to low crop production outcomes. Poor rains, combined with food price increases, conflict, political division, have led to crisis levels of food insecurity. ...

There are vital efforts being made to build resilience. For example, the social enterprise Tatirano (“to collect water” in Malagasy) aims to increase the adoption of rainwater harvesting techniques by communities. ... According to Tatirano, along the coast, over four million people live without basic access to clean water, despite living in areas which receive more than 1500 mm of rain a year. In the drier, arid drought-stricken areas rainwater harvesting can increase water retention for agriculture by increasing the amount of rain absorbed by the soil. Larger scale nature-based rainwater harvesting collection and storage (natural rock reservoirs for example) can help mitigate more variable rainfall and take advantage of extreme precipitation events, which appear to be more frequent.

https://theconversation.com/how-climate-change-contributed-to-madagascar...

jerrym

The vast majority of fossil fuels must stay in the ground if we are to keep the temperature rise below the Paris Agreement's 1.5 C target according to a new study. The study discusses what the top fossil fuel producers, including the Canada, the US, Russia, China, Australia, and the Middle East need to do to achieve the necessary reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. 

Climate protesters from Extinction Rebellion in London last month.

Climate protesters from Extinction Rebellion in London last month. Photograph: Martin Pope/Sopa/Rex/Shutterstock

The vast majority of fossil fuel reserves owned today by countries and companies must remain in the ground if the climate crisis is to be ended, an analysis has found.

The research found 90% of coal and 60% of oil and gas reserves could not be extracted if there was to be even a 50% chance of keeping global heating below 1.5C, the temperature beyond which the worst climate impacts hit.

The scientific study is the first such assessment and lays bare the huge disconnect between the Paris agreement’s climate goals and the expansion plans of the fossil fuel industry. The researchers described the situation as “absolutely desperate”.

“The [analysis] implies that many operational and planned fossil fuel projects [are] unviable,” the scientists said, meaning trillions of dollars of fossil fuel assets could become worthless. New fossil fuel projects made sense only if their backers did not believe the world would act to tackle the climate emergency, the researchers said.

The conclusions of the report are “bleak” for the fossil fuel industry, implying that oil, gas and coal production must have already peaked and will decline at 3% a year from now. States that are heavily reliant on fossil fuel revenue, such as Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, are at especially high risk. A minister from one Opec state recently warned of “unrest and instability” if their economies did not diversify in time.

To keep below 1.5C, the analysis says:

  • The US, Russia and the former Soviet states have half of global coal reserves but will need to keep 97% in the ground, while the figure for Australia is 95%. China and India have about a quarter of global coal reserves, and will need to keep 76% in the ground.

  • Middle Eastern states have more than half the world oil reserves but will need to keep almost two-thirds in the ground, while 83% of Canada’s oil from tar sands must not be extracted.

  • Virtually all unconventional oil or gas, such as from fracking, must remain in the ground and no fossil fuels at all can be extracted from the Arctic.

“It is absolutely desperate,” said Prof Paul Ekins of University College London, UK, and one of the research team. “We are nowhere near the Paris target in terms of the fossil fuels people are planning to produce.”

“Whenever wherever oil and gas is found, every government in the world, despite anything it may have said [about climate], tries to pump it out of the ground and into the atmosphere as quickly as possible. It will require private companies to write down their reserves but, for countries with nationalised oil companies, they just see a whole heap of their wealth evaporating.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/sep/08/climate-crisis-fossi...

jerrym

Yesterday Trudeau said O'Toole is taking us back to the Harper era greenhouse gas emission reduction targets of 17% by 2020 and 30% by 2030. The problem is Trudeau never left them, adopting them as his own targets when he took power in 2015 and keeping them during his six years in power until just before this election when he announced the new target of reducing emissions by 40% by 2030 after failing to meet Harper's and his targets of 17% by 2020 and instead increasing emissions.

What are the chances of Trudeau even meeting Harper's targets, which of course Harper Cons never intended to meet as they planned to triple oil sands production by 2030? There is no chance of Trudeau meeting Harper's targets of a 15% reduction from 2005 emissions levels as noted by both Auditor General Michael Ferguson in 2018 and Environmental Commissioner Julie Gelfand in 2019. AG Ferguson concluded  the Trudeau Liberal government "is likely to miss the 2020 Copenhagen target as well". (http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_otp_201803_e_42883.html) Trudeau has now missed them. Gelfand concluded "Canada is not on track to hit its 2030 target,". These targets were actually those of the Conservative Harper government. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/environment-commissioner-julie-gelfand-...) Trudeau is now well down the road to missing his new 2030 targets, let alone the much weaker targets that were still in place in 2019 when Gelfand wrote her environmental commission report. 

NDPP

CP Podcast: Robert Hunziker

https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/09/04/robert-hunziker/

"Environmental and climate journalist Robert Hunziker joins CP+ and CP Radio to discuss his latest writing about the climate apocalypse unfolding around us. Eric and Robert discuss the Arctic emergency, methane nightmares, the toxic planet, the anthropogenic rocketship, the death of our coral reefs and wetlands, and so much more..."

jerrym

Global warming is worsening both income inequality and the number of people in poverty. 

This Tuesday, May 28, 2019, aerial photo shows flooded homes along the Arkansas River in Sand Spring, Okla. Communities that have seen little rain are getting hit by historic flooding along the Arkansas River thanks to downpours upstream that have prompted officials to open dams to protect some cities but inundate others with swells of water.

The poor are more likely to be forced to live in areas more vunerable to climate change, such as next to waterways

Over the coming decades, climate change and natural disasters have the potential to undo much of the progress made in lifting households out of poverty over prior decades. By one estimate, climate change could push 100 million people across the globe into poverty within the next 10 years. By the end of the century, the ratio of GDP per capita between the richest and poor countries in Latin America and the Caribbean is also expected to dramatically increase as a result of climate change and accompanying natural disasters.  

As the recent IDB report The Inequality Crisis explains, the region needs to make a concerted effort to design policies that foster inclusive growth and sustainability to counteract these dangerous trends.  

There are three reasons that climate shocks and natural disasters exacerbate inequality. First, poorer countries, regions, and people tend to be more exposed to climate change impacts and natural disasters than their wealthier counterparts. Second, they lose a greater share of their wealth when climate shocks hit. And third, they have fewer resources to cope with the negative impacts of climate shocks.   ...

Within Latin America and the Caribbean, the high-poverty regions of Western Bolivia and Central and Southern Peru are the most vulnerable to heavy rainfalls and flooding. Moreover, across countries in Latin America, temperature is negatively correlated with GDP per capita, so that poorer countries are more exposed to high temperature (Figure 1). There are similar patterns within countries as well. For instance, Brazilian states with higher temperature have lower GDP per capita suggesting that poor states are more exposed to the impacts of rising temperature (Figure 2).  ...

When climate shocks do occur, the poor typically lose a greater share of their wealth. For example, Hurricane Mitch wiped out 18% of the assets of the poorest quintile in Honduras compared to only 3% for the richest quintile. These disparate losses of wealth translate into unequal reductions in consumption.  

The poor are least able to cope with and recover from the negative impacts of climate shocks. They have fewer financial resources, both because their social networks — or support systems– tend to also be poor and because they have less access to formal savings, credit, and insurance. Remittances can also alleviate financial pressure — or smooth consumption — but the poor are disadvantaged here too. One study in Jamaica found that households who lived in better constructed housing, a proxy for wealth, were more likely to smooth consumption after tropical storms using remittances. Further, while wealthier households can adjust their budget, for example by delaying luxury purchases, poor households already dedicate a significant share of their budget to meeting their basic needs.  

These three factors form a negative feedback loop in which the poor are more likely to experience climate shocks and lose a greater fraction of their wealth to them. Forced into poverty as a result, they are now in a worse position, with fewer resources to cope, when the next climate shock hits.  

Fortunately, countries can break this cycle by implementing inclusive development policies that are consistent with climate stabilization and disaster risk management goals and, at the same time, reduce inequality. The first step is to improve social safety nets and enact policies that improve the poor’s ability to cope with the negative impacts of climate shocks. Better insurance and formal financial products, access to health care, and improved infrastructure services are some examples.  

Governments also need to provide assistance to the most needy when natural disasters hit. Without quick assistance in the aftermath of a disaster, poor households may sell productive assets, withdraw their children from school, or delay seeking medical care to meet their immediate needs, jeopardizing their long-term prospects. Using funds pre-authorized for this purpose, governments can quickly target resources to the most vulnerable by utilizing existing cash transfer mechanisms.  

https://blogs.iadb.org/ideas-matter/en/how-climate-change-worsens-povert...

jerrym

How well are developed countries doing in helping developing countries deal with global warming? 

Answer: More global aid flows to fossil fuel projects than to air pollution, of which fossil fuels are a primary cause. Most of this aid goes to middle income countries rather than the poorest ones.

Delhi is engulfed in heavy smog last November. There are more than 1m early deaths from air pollution a year in India.

Delhi is engulfed in heavy smog last November. There are more than 1m early deaths from air pollution a year in India. Photograph: Rajat Gupta/EPA

Governments around the world gave 20% more in overseas aid funding to fossil fuel projects in 2019 and 2020 than to programmes to cut the air pollution they cause.

Dirty air is the world’s biggest environmental killer, responsible for at least 4m early deaths a year. But just 1% of global development aid is used to tackle this crisis, according to an analysis from the Clean Air Fund (CAF).

Air pollution kills more people than HIV/Aids, malaria, and tuberculosis combined, but such health issues receive vastly more funding, the report found. When compared in terms of years of life lost, HIV/Aids projects received 34 times more funding, while malnutrition programmes received seven times more. Increasing funding to similar levels to tackle air pollution would save many lives, experts said.

Funding for air quality projects is also heavily skewed towards middle-income Asian countries, with African and Latin American nations receiving just 15% of the total, despite having many heavily polluted cities. For example, Mongolia, which had an estimated 2,260 deaths related to air pollution in 2019, received $437m (£316m) from 2015-2020, while Nigeria, which had 70,150 early deaths because of air pollution received just $250,000.

Jane Burston, at CAF described the situation as “crazy and shocking”, adding: “When you see the incredibly and chronically low levels of funding on the one hand, and the chronically high levels of public health impacts on the other, it becomes quite obvious that more funding is needed. ...

Almost $6bn in aid was given to air quality programmes from 2015-2020, with 45% going to China, which has cut air pollution by 29% in the last seven years. Mongolia, the Philippines and Pakistan were the next biggest recipients. India, with more than 1m early deaths from air pollution a year, was eighth.

African and Latin American nations have more than 500,000 deaths a year because of air pollution, and that number is rising. But they receive just 5% and 10% of aid funding respectively, the report found. “Africa is where pollution is most likely to grow, because of rapid urbanisation, so there’s a huge opportunity there to tackle air pollution before it gets horrifically bad,” said Burston. ...

A separate report from the Unep found that one third of the world’s countries have no legal limits in air pollution and that, in those nations that do, the limits are often weaker than WHO guidelines.

Another analysis estimates that nearly 12,000 people have died early in Europe because of breaches of legal pollution limits in Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, and Montenegro. It found that the western Balkans’ 18 coal-fired power stations emitted two-and-half times more sulphur dioxide than all 221 coal plants in the EU combined.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/sep/07/more-global-aid-goes...

jerrym

Legal scholars have settled on a definition for the crime of ecocide. Now we need to legislate and enforce it. 

PANEL OF 12 legal experts from around the world on Tuesday released a proposed definition for a new international crime called “ecocide” covering “severe” and “widespread or long-term environmental damage” that would be prosecuted before the International Criminal Court in the Hague, alongside genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression. 

The panel’s announcement was seen by environmentalists and international legal scholars as a significant step in a growing global campaign to criminalize ecocide, which requires one of the court’s 123 member nations to formally request consideration of a fifth crime within the court’s purview. The process could take years to complete.  “The four existing international crimes focus on the wellbeing of human individuals and groups … and rightly so,” Philippe Sands, the noted international human rights attorney and author who co-chaired the panel, said during a virtual press conference. “We don’t in any way wish to diminish those vastly important crimes. But what is missing is a place for our natural world. None of the existing international criminal laws protect the environment as an end in itself, and that’s what the crime of ecocide does.” ...

While the United States, Russia, China and India, the world’s leading greenhouse gas polluters, are not members of the court and remain outside its jurisdiction, the legal scholars said the panel’s work will have effects at the tribunal and beyond, regardless of whether ecocide is officially made an international crime.  ...

If ultimately successful, legal scholars said the crime of ecocide could be used to hold the individuals most responsible for major ecological harms accountable, including business, insurance, financial and government leaders. 

Even consideration of the crime, they said, could signal that mass environmental destruction is now considered one of the most morally reprehensible crimes in the world. A small but growing number of world leaders, including Pope Francis and French President Emmanuel Macron, have begun using the word “ecocide” to connote an offense they say poses a threat to humanity and remains beyond the reach of existing legal conventions. ...

Crafting the definition was a necessary first step because, unlike the court’s other four crimes, ecocide has no international precedent, leaving the court’s member countries without a foundation in law to start the amendment process. 

The 165-word definition begins: “For the purpose of this Statute, ‘ecocide’ means unlawful or wanton acts committed with knowledge that there is a substantial likelihood of severe and either widespread or long-term damage to the environment being caused by those acts.”

The panel defined “widespread” as “damage which extends beyond a limited geographic area, crosses state boundaries, or is suffered by an entire ecosystem or species or a large number of human beings.” 

The panel wrote that “‘severe’ means damage which involves very serious adverse changes, disruption or harm to any element of the environment, including grave impacts on human life or natural, cultural or economic resources,” and defined “long-term” as “damage which is irreversible,” or which cannot be redressed through natural recovery within a reasonable period of time.” 

Without a prior treaty or other legal precedent to work from, panelists had to construct the crime from scratch, ensuring it is sellable to the world’s nations, which are historically reluctant to cede sovereignty to international institutions. 

“A perfect definition does you no good if states ignore it, or worse, become hostile to the enterprise and set the effort back,” said Nancy Combs, an expert in international criminal law and professor. The definition is aimed at being less of a sledgehammer and more of a guardrail for governments and businesses that are most responsible for ecological injuries. “This is not about catching every single horror that occurs in relation to the environment, but those horrors that cross the threshold, and are of international concern,” Sands said.  The definition also had to be general enough to address all manner of environmental harms, capable of keeping pace with evolving science, and specific enough to put would-be wrong doers on notice of what is and is not criminal behavior. 

BUT THE NEW LAW differs in one major respect from the other four crimes prosecuted by the International Criminal Court: harm to human beings is not a prerequisite for ecocide. That shift away from an anthropocentric focus is a major development for international criminal law, which mainly focuses on human injuries, said Rogers, the co-deputy chair. 

The definition is also notable for what it doesn’t include. The panel chose not to incorporate a list of ecocidal examples, such as the deforestation of the Amazon or the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, for fear that something would inevitably be left out, possibly signaling that the excluded act may not qualify as ecocide. By leaving final determinations in the hands of the court’s judges, the panel’s definition is flexible enough to endure into the future when new forms of environmental destruction may emerge, the lawyers said. 

That choice also had a political dimension. The panel did not want countries to feel they were being targeted in any way by listing examples. “We felt that it was best to keep that door shut,” Sands said.  But he did weigh in on climate change. “I’m loath to mention any particular examples, but the authorization, for example, in an industrialized country of a massive new coal field and a massive new coal fired power plant without properly taking into account impacts on the climate system, I think, could arguably come within this definition,” Sands said.

Whether acts that contribute to climate change qualify as ecocide likely will come down to whether they are also unlawful under other national or international laws, he added. The burgeoning body of climate change jurisprudence, including decisions from the Netherlands, France and Germany, holding governments accountable for their failure to adequately reduce greenhouse gas emissions, could take on new significance should the court’s member countries adopt the panel’s definition. “A failure to act is an act,” Sands said. 

https://undark.org/2021/06/22/ecocide-2/

jerrym

The Biden government is aiming for 40% solar by 2035 while Trudeau continues to subsidize fossil fuel corporations and build and support pipelines and rail transport of fossil fuels. 

Solar energy has the potential to supply up to 40% of the nation’s electricity within 15 years — a 10-fold increase over current solar output, but one that would require massive changes in U.S. policy and billions of dollars in federal investment to modernize the nation's electric grid, a new federal report says.

The report by the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy says the United States would need to quadruple its annual solar capacity — and continue to increase it year by year — as it shifts to a renewable-dominant grid in order to address the existential threat posed by climate change.

The report released Wednesday is not intended as a policy statement or administration goal, officials said. Instead, it is "designed to guide and inspire the next decade of solar innovation by helping us answer questions like: How fast does solar need to increase capacity and to what level?'' said Becca Jones-Albertus, director of the Energy Department's solar energy technologies office. ...

The report comes after President Joe Biden declared climate change has become “everybody’s crisis ” during a visit to neighborhoods flooded by the remnants of Hurricane Ida. Biden warned Tuesday that it's time for America to get serious about the “code red” danger posed by climate change or face increasing loss of life and property. “We can’t turn it back very much, but we can prevent it from getting worse,” Biden said before touring a New Jersey neighborhood ravaged by severe flooding caused by Ida. “We don’t have any more time.” ...

The natural disaster has given Biden an opening to push Congress to approve his plan to spend $1 trillion to fortify infrastructure nationwide, including electrical grids, water and sewer systems, to better defend against extreme weather. The legislation has cleared the Senate and awaits a House vote.

The U.S. installed a record 15 gigawatts of solar generating capacity in 2020, and solar now represents just over 3% of the current electricity supply, the Energy Department said.

The “Solar Futures Study,” prepared by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, shows that, by 2035, the country would need to quadruple its yearly solar capacity additions and provide 1,000 gigawatts of power to a renewable-dominant grid. By 2050, solar energy could provide 1,600 gigawatts on a zero-carbon grid — producing more electricity than consumed in all residential and commercial buildings in the country today, the report said. Decarbonizing the entire energy system could result in as much as 3,000 gigawatts of solar by 2050 due to increased electrification in the transportation, buildings, and industrial sectors, the report said.

The report assumes that clean-energy policies currently being debated in Congress will drive a 95% reduction from 2005 levels in the grid’s carbon dioxide emissions by 2035, and a 100% reduction by 2050.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2021/09/08/news/report-solar-could-powe...

 

jerrym

How meaningful are Trudeau's climate change policies? One statistic tells you everything you need to know: Canada is supporting fossil fuels at 10 times the G20 average during the Covid pandemic, adding $12 billion in new fossil fuel support in 2020.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney with pipe destined for the Keystone XL pipeline, which Trudeau also pushed for, even after Biden killed it.

Nobel-winning economists, financial experts and even the highly conservative International Energy Agency (IEA) are all pushing governments to use stimulus to decarbonize the economy. ...

report from the IEA projects the resulting global economic contraction will push fossil fuel burning down about eight per cent this year. ... 

And then what? According to the IEA, “a similar rebound in emissions can be expected after this crisis unless there is effort by governments to place clean energy transitions at the heart of the economic recovery.”

It’s not just that economic stimulus is an opportunity to accelerate the transition to a net-zero economy. It’s crucial that we don’t accelerate deeper into danger, like we did after the last recession. After all, the climate doesn’t care how much clean technology we deploy, it only cares how much carbon builds up in the atmosphere from the fossil fuels we burn.

So, the question for every government becomes: how much money are you spending on fossil fuels during the pandemic recovery?

Fortunately, a new coalition has come together to track the answers from each of the world’s largest economies. We’ve taken this data compiled by Energy Policy Trackerand charted new government support for fossil fuels by each of the G20 countries since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

New support for fossil fuels during 2020 pandemic by G20 countries

As you can see in this first G20 chart, Canadians are at the top of the fossil support charts. Canada has committed nearly ten times the G20 average per capita — for a total of $12 billion so far this year in new fossil fuel support. Only France, with its massive bailout of Air France, has managed to spend more per person, at this point.

You can also see that we’ve added a little green cap onto the top of the bar representing Canada. That’s the amount of money Canadian governments have committed to clean energy (again, per capita). We could belabour this point but, really, the prioritization speaks for itself.

New support for fossil fuels during 2020 pandemic by G20 countries (by category)

Canadian governments have focused most of their public funds on the fossil fuel industry itself.

One thing you may notice is that despite all the news about U.S. President Donald Trump bailing out U.S. coal and the American oil and gas industry, not much money has actually been committed.

One thing you may notice is that despite all the news about U.S. President Donald Trump bailing out U.S. coal and the American oil and gas industry, not much money has actually been committed.

New support for fossil fuels during 2020 pandemic by G20 countries (policy count)

Instead, most of Trump’s support for fossil industries has come in the form of rollbacks to regulations and environmental safeguards.

There has been a lot of handwringing about this issue in the U.S., so the next chart shows the number of additional policies that benefit fossil fuels but where the “value of public money is unquantified.”

And for Canada, we have included the number for clean energy — just one so far — as a green bar on top.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2020/08/12/analysis/canada-supporting-f...

lagatta4

All this is true and hardly surprising in the context of capitalism and imperialism, but it remains a significant change that a couple of the wealthiest regions; the Pacific Northwest in North America and the Rhine basin in west-central Europe, were affected by climate disasters seen beforehand in poorer countries, or at the least, poorer regions of wealthy countries, as in Katrina.

This in no way denies the extent of the class and imperial divide, but is evidence of a scope before unseen.

jerrym

Here is the Climate Action Tracker article mentioned in the last post. The only thing the Trudeau Liberals come somewhat close to in terms of goals is their promises, but even there they fail to achieve an adequate rating in setting these targets. This follows a pattern of setting targets that the Chretien, Martin and Trudeau governments have never met since 1993. In other words, their actions are actually in the opposite direction to the promises, as greenhouse gas emissions have risen under Chretien, Martin and Trudeau, just like with the Conservatives. 

 

The CAT rates Canada’s climate target, policies and finance as ‘Highly Insufficient’. The “Highly insufficient” rating indicates that Canada’s climate policies and commitments are not consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit. Canada’s 2030 emissions reduction target is consistent with 2°C of warming when compared to modelled domestic emissions pathways. If fully implemented, Canada’s current policies are not enough to achieve this target and are only in line with 4°C warming. Canada is also not meeting its fair-share contributions to climate change and in addition to strengthening its targets and policies also needs to provide additional support to others.

Canada needs to walk the talk when it comes to policy implementation. We rate Canada’s policies and action as “Highly Insufficient” when compared to modelled domestic pathways. Canada did release a revised climate plan in December 2020, and has announced further measures this year, largely in its 2021 Budget. If Canada can successfully implement all of these announced plans, it would go a long way to closing the ambition gap and its rating would improve to “Almost sufficient”. It would also help Canada improve its overall CAT rating by one level. ...

For every step forward, Canada also seems to take two steps back. It continues to expand its pipeline capacity for fossil fuels, even though modelling by its own energy regulator shows that the additional capacity exceeds available supply under even relatively unambitious climate policy. This is against the backdrop of a continued exodus of companies and investors from the sector. In April 2021, New York’s state pension fund was the latest to announce it was divesting from six Canadian oil sand companies. Some of the pandemic relief measures announced last year will also effectively lower the cost of compliance for its methane regulations in the oil and gas sector.

Canada’s latest emissions projections for 2030 transport emissions have also increased by 16% compared to last year’s figure, due, in part, to the rollbacks for passenger car and truck standards that occurred under the Trump Administration. The Biden administration is working on reversing these rollbacks. Canada has promised to align both the light and heavy-duty vehicle regulations for post-2025 models with the most stringent American standards either at the federal or state level. As transport emissions are Canada’s second largest source, action in this sector is critical.

For more detail, see the policies and action section here.

From a fair share perspective, we rate Canada’s NDC target as ‘Insufficient’. Canada needs to strengthen its domestic target and provide additional support for emissions reductions achieved in developing countries to improve on this rating.

Canada’s international public climate finance contribution is rated “Highly insufficient.” The government recently announced a doubling of its climate finance over the next five years. While a positive move, Canada retains a poor rating as its contributions to date have been low compared to its fair share. Canada also continues to provide substantial support to fossil fuel developments abroad. To improve its rating, Canada needs to stop funding fossil fuels overseas and accelerate commitments to increase climate finance.

Canada’s climate finance is not sufficient to improve the fair share target rating, and the CAT rates Canada’s overall fair share contribution as “Insufficient”.

Land use and forests in Canada are both a significant source and significant sink of emissions. Although net emissions for land use and forests in Canada are close to zero, underlying this are strong emissions from harvested word products that are balanced by a emissions removals in managed forests. Both the sources and sinks are independently greater than 20% of emissions excluding LULUCF and we therefore highlight the sector for Canada. If either of the source or sink components change, net emissions will also change and there is potential for land-use and forests to become either a stronger contributor to overall emissions sources or removals.

Canada passed the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act in June 2021 which enshrines its 2050 net zero target into law. The act also mandates the setting of intermediary targets at five-year intervals (2030, 2035, 2040, 2045), and the requirement to develop emission reductions plans for these targets. The emissions reduction plan for the 2030 target, including an interim emissions reduction objective for 2026, is due by the end of 2021. While Canada’s Net Zero Act has some positive measures, it does not follow good practice on a number of other aspects, such as including emissions from international aviation and shipping into its target.

https://climateactiontracker.org/countries/canada/

jerrym

Trudeau's climate change plan for Canada has one of the worst ratings by Climate Change Tracker in its classifying of countries climate change plans around the world. 

Smoke billows from a wildfire, seen from Highway 3 lookout near Osoyoos city, B.C., July 20, 2021.

Smoke billows from a wildfire, seen from Highway 3 lookout near Osoyoos city, B.C., July 20, 2021. PHOTO BY @DYLANGALEAS VIA REUTERS

Nearly every nation, including Canada, is coming up short — most of them far short — in their efforts to fight climate change, and the world is unlikely to hold warming to the internationally agreed-upon limit, according to a new scientific report.

Only one nation — tiny Gambia in Africa — is on track to cut emissions and undertake its share of actions to keep the world from exceeding the Paris agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5 C (2.7 F) of warming since pre-industrial times, the report said.

Only one industrialized nation — the United Kingdom — is even close to doing what it should to cut emissions of heat-trapping gases and finance clean energy for poorer nations, the Climate Action Tracker reported Wednesday.

Canada's actions were deemed to be "highly insufficient," along with Australia and China. 

Tom Gunton, a professor of resource and environmental planning at Simon Fraser University, previously worked with the Pembina Institute, an energy-focused think-tank, to rate Canadian and provincial climate change policies, and found they were unlikely to meet Canada's climate targets under the Paris Agreement.

He was not involved in the new study, but said its rating system was consistent and comprehensive, and the rating given to Canada was fair.

"Although we've been making significant progress by increasing our targets and implementing new actions, our policies still are not modelled to meet the requirements in our targets," he said. "And our targets are still not consistent with the Paris climate goals to achieve a warming for no more than 1.5 to two degrees." 

He said what sets Canada apart from many of the other countries in the "highly insufficient" category, such as China and India, is our much higher emissions per capita: "We're one of the few developed countries that has not achieved a reduction in emissions."

https://www.cbc.ca/news/science/climate-change-action-report-1.6176546

NDPP

Hunziker: What's Up With COP 26?

https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/09/17/whats-up-with-cop26/

"What's at risk at COP26?

  • The world is dangerously off track to meet the Paris Agreement goals
  • The risks are compounding
  • Without immediate action the impacts will be devastating in the coming decades..."
jerrym

A new September 16th report is warning "there “is no sign of growing back greener”, as carbon dioxide emissions are rapidly accelerating, after a temporary blip in 2020 due to COVID, and nowhere close to the targets set by the Paris Agreement. According to Secretary General António Guterres "We have reached a tipping point on the need for climate action. The disruption to our climate and our planet is already worse than we thought, and it is moving faster than predicted. This report shows just how far off course we are”, he added.

Meanwhile Trudeau continues to build pipelines and subsidize fossil fuel companies. 

People cross a flooded river in western Haiti after a bridge was washed away by Hurricane Matthew. (file)

‘Tipping point’ for climate action: Time’s running out to avoid catastrophic heating

According to scientists, the rising global temperatures are already fueling devastating extreme weather events around the world, with escalating impacts on economies and societies. For example, billions of working hours have been lost due to excessive heat.

“We now have five times the number of recorded weather disasters than we had in 1970 and they are seven times more costly. Even the most developed countries have become vulnerable”, said the UN chief. Mr. Guterres cited how Hurricane Ida recently cut power to over a million people in New Orleans, and New York City was paralysed by record-breaking rain that killed at least 50 people in the region.

“These events would have been impossible without human-caused climate change. Costly fires, floods and extreme weather events are increasing everywhere. These changes are just the beginning of worse to come”, he warned....

The report echoes some of the data and warnings from experts in the last year: the average global temperature for the past five years was among the highest on record, and there is an increasing likelihood that temperatures will temporarily breach the threshold of 1.5° Celsius above the pre-industrial era, in the next five years.

The picture painted by United in Science is bleak: even with ambitious action to slow greenhouse gas emissions, sea levels will continue to rise and threaten low-lying islands and coastal populations throughout the world. ...

“We must urgently secure a breakthrough on adaptation and resilience, so that vulnerable communities can manage these growing (climate) risks.​

Concentrations of the major greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2 O) continued to increase in 2020 and the first half of 2021. According to WMO, reducing atmospheric methane (CH4) in the short term, could support the pledges of 193 Member States made in Paris. This measure does not reduce the need for strong, rapid and sustained reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gases. ...

The report explains that the annual global average temperature is likely to be at least 1 °C warmer than pre-industrial levels (defined as the 1850–1900 average) in each of the coming five years and is very likely to be within the range of 0.9 °C to 1.8 °C. There is also a 40% chance that the average temperature in one of the next five years, will be at least 1.5 °C warmer than pre-industrial levels. However, it is very unlikely that the 5-year average temperature for 2021–2025 will pass the 1.5 °C threshold. ...

Global sea levels rose 20 cm from 1900 to 2018, and at an accelerated rate from 2006 to 2018. Even if emissions are reduced to limit warming to well below 2 °C, the global average sea level would likely rise by 0.3–0.6 m by 2100 and could rise 0.3–3.1 m by 2300. Adaptation to the rise will be essential, especially along low-lying coasts, small islands, deltas and coastal cities. ...

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that rising temperatures are linked to increased heat-related mortality and work impairment, with an excess of 103 billion potential work hours lost globally in 2019 compared with those lost in 2000. Moreover, COVID-19 infections and climate hazards such as heatwaves, wildfires and poor air quality, combine to threaten human health worldwide, putting vulnerable populations at particular risk.

https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/09/1099992

NDPP

 Debating degrowth: 'Be careful with the alternative energies you wish for.'

https://socialistinCanada.ca/debating-degrowth-be-careful-with-the-alter...

"As heat waves, out-of-control fires and hurricanes increasingly sweep the globe, fossil-fuel apologists continue their 'climate-change denial.' They are matched by the 'energy denial' of AltE enthusiasts who similarly deny that ALL industrially produced energy has seriously negative effects..."

NDPP

As these ancient (1-2,000 yrs old), unceded cedar stands fall in NDP Brutish KKKolumbia, lawyers in a BC Supreme court constituted without the lawful jurisdiction to do so, argue right and wrong.  In such a case, might makes right and wrong will always win.

During final day of hearings, RCMP seeks search and access powers at Fairy Creek to safely enforce injunction

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/during-final-day-of-hear...

"Lawyer Steven Kelliher said it was 'chilling' to hear the Attorney-General of Canada stand before court to try and 'normalize the horrible behaviour' of the police..."

voting ndp clearly hasn't helped.

NDPP

'Activists confront Singh over NDP's Stand on Fairy Creek'

https://twitter.com/DevetRobert/status/1439336713021702155

"While Singh says he does not support TMX, he has not committed to stopping the project.' I find it very difficult to get excited about the Federal NDP."

 Shut-up, ignore all the contradictions and just keep cheering...

jerrym

A foreign view of the climate change crisis and the election from Reuters: " Canadians are demanding decisive action from leaders to tackle climate change after a summer of extreme weather intensified environmental concerns, making it the No. 1 issue in September's snap election, polling data shows." Whether they will get it as a result of this election, considering the failure of the two parties, Liberal and Conservative likely to form a government,  to stop increasing greenhouse gas emissions over the last 30 years through their fossil fuel subsidies and pipelines is for all practical purposes zero. 

A helicopter battles the Bear Creek fire that sprung up south of the White Rock forest on Westside Rd. near Fintry, Canada, August 24, 2021. REUTERS/Artur GajdaA helicopter battles the Bear Creek fire that sprung up south of the White Rock forest on Westside Rd. near Fintry, Canada, August 24, 2021. REUTERS/Artur Gajda

For many Canadians, 2021 is the year the climate crisis hit home. A "heat dome" scorched Canada's westernmost province of British Columbia in June, smashing national temperature records, contributing to more than 500 deaths and heralding the start of the province's third-worst wildfire season. read more 

Across the Prairies, a drought has shriveled crops, while spring sea ice in northern Labrador hit its lowest level in 50 years. 

Data from polling firm Angus Reid shows climate change is the top election issue for Canadian voters, as it was in 2019, and concerns have intensified over the course of the summer, overtaking worries about the pandemic and healthcare. A poll last Friday found 18% of voters put climate and the environment as their No. 1 issue in the Sept. 20 vote.

That focus would primarily cost the main opposition Conservative Party, which has the least ambitious climate policies among the major parties, analysts said. 

But it could also siphon support away from the ruling Liberals led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, with whom the Conservatives are running neck and neck in the polls.

While the Liberal Party has tried to paint itself as the party of climate action, in contrast to the Conservatives, led by Erin O'Toole, it has failed to rein in Canada's carbon emissions, with greenhouse gas emissions rising 1% between 2015 and 2019, government data shows.

Some voters are threatening to abandon parties that are not aggressive enough on climate policy, which could emerge as the swing factor in a tight race.

"Climate anxiety has really set in. ... I can no longer vote strategically as I have done in the past," said Helen Zhou, 23, an investment firm associate in Toronto. In previous elections, Zhou voted tactically for the Liberals, to keep the Conservatives out, but is now planning to support the left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP) or Green Party.

https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/canadas-infernal-summer-put...

jerrym

On September 14th Vermont became the sixth state to sue fossil fuel companies for allegedly falsifying climate info. The Canadian federal and provincial governments inaction on this speaks volumes.  

09162021 Fossil Fuel Lawsuit-Vermont

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan, left, speaks in front of the Chittenden County Courthouse, in Burlington, Vt., Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, as he announces the state had filed a lawsuit against four fossil fuel companies alleging they misled the public about the impact their products have on climate change. Donovan says the state would like the companies to put warning labels on their products in much the same way tobacco products carry warning labels.

Vermont on Tuesday became the latest state to sue some of the country's top fossil fuel companies by alleging they misled the public about the impact their products have on climate change.

The state wants the companies to tell consumers that the use of fossil fuel products harms the environment, Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan said after the lawsuit was filed in Vermont Superior Court in Burlington.

The warnings could be similar to those noting the danger of tobacco products or food products that include nutritional and calorie information, he said.

Donovan, speaking outside the Chittenden County courthouse in downtown Burlington where the lawsuit was filed, said they are not trying to prevent the companies from selling their products in the state and that Vermonters will continue to be able to use fossil fuels.

“What we are saying is that Vermonters have the right to know," Donovan said. “Give Vermonters accurate information. Put a label on the product and let Vermonters decide.”

The suit names ExxonMobil Corporation, Shell Oil Company, Sunoco LP, CITGO Petroleum Corporation and other corporations. ...

The Vermont lawsuit seeks to prevent the defendants from engaging in what the suit alleges to be further unfair or deceptive acts and practices.

“They have known for decades that the Earth’s climate has been changing because of emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, and that the fossil fuels they sell are the primary source of those emissions,” the lawsuit said.

Despite that knowledge, the companies have continued to sell their products in Vermont without informing consumers of the effect those products have on their environment, the suit said.

“They market fossil fuel products to Vermont consumers by advertising that use of their products is supposedly better for the environment than other products, while staying silent in the ads about the continuing, significant contributions their products actually make to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change,'' the suit said. ...

The Center for Climate Integrity says Vermont is the sixth state to file a lawsuit against major oil and gas companies related to their alleged role in climate change. The District of Columbia has also filed a similar suit.

https://www.eagletimes.com/ap/vermont-sues-4-oil-companies-alleges-false...

jerrym

In a sad commentary on the governments of the world, including Canada's Trudeau Liberal government despite all its promises before and during the election, Gambia, one of the poorest nations, is the only on track to meet its greenhouse gas emissions targets. 

cat-2021-09-ratingsdetails-1-overallrating.png

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/climate-change-2030-gambia/

The Center for Climate Integrity says Vermont is the sixth state to file a lawsuit against major oil and gas companies related to their alleged role in climate change. The District of Columbia has also filed a similar suit.

The goal of the Paris Climate Agreement is to maintain that 1.5 threshold. But last month's report said that without "deep reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions," the world will surpass it within 80 years.

If dramatic reductions were made quickly, it would put the world closer to that goal; however, experts have said that such a scenario is unlikely. And Wednesday's analysis of 37 countries by watchdog organization Climate Action Tracker (CAT) seems to echo that assessment. 

Only Gambia has a plan "compatible" with the Paris agreement, CAT said, and the United Kingdom is the only one of the G20 countries among those with "almost sufficient" plans. CAT determined its rankings based on countries' mitigation targets, policies and action, and climate action.

 

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