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Progressive Proselytizing: Taking the HST off hydro is bad policy, if good politics

One of the signature campaign planks for the NDP in the 2014 Ontario Election is to remove the HST from our hydro bills, saving perhaps $120 a year for average families. The motivation behind this – reducing the cost to average families – is reasonable and will undoubtedly be a persuasive policy plank in the election. Who doesn’t want to save $120? Unfortunately, the policy is detrimental and should not be supported.

There are numerous ways to save people this $120 dollars. You could reduce, say, their income taxes; you could reduce other costs; heck, you could just write checks (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: The West Coast steps up on global warming

Earlier this week, the governors of California, Oregon and Washington and B.C. Premier Christy Clark announced their Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, “committing their governments, and a region that represents the world’s fifth largest economy, to a comprehensive and far-reaching strategic alignment to combat climate change and promote clean energy.”

The plan makes significant

The Canadian Progressive: Republicans sacrifice environment to spite Obama, says Rachel Maddow [VIDEO]

In the aftermath of another fossil-fuel-related disaster, TV host and political commentator, Rachel Maddow, says House Republicans are sacrificing the environment and resisting President Obama’s clean energy alternatives.

The post Republicans sacrifice environment to spite Obama, says Rachel Maddow [VIDEO] appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Clean energy progress too slow to limit climate change, says report

By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive: An annual report by International Energy Agency (IEA) says the development of low-carbon energy is progressing too slowly to limit climate change. “The drive to clean up the world’s energy system has stalled,” said aid Maria van der Hoeven, the IEA’s executive director, during the presentation of the report [...]

The post Clean energy progress too slow to limit climate change, says report appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Earthgauge Radio: EG Radio April 11, 2013: Our 50th show! EcoBricks, Ontario Home Comfort and Rachel Carson

Download: earthgauge-podcast-april11-2013.mp3

This week marks our 50th program since Earthgauge Radio was launched in the fall of 2011! So we’re celebrating a big milestone today and are sending out our thanks to all the guests we’ve had in the past year and a half, the numerous people who have contributed to the show, the whole CKCU radio family and of course to our faithful listeners for tuning in every week either live, online or by podcast.

On the program this week, we discuss Eco-bricks, saving energy (and money!) on home heating and the 50th anniversary of Rachel (Read more…)

Earthgauge Radio: EG Radio this week: EcoBricks, Ontario Home Comfort and Rachel Carson

On Earthgauge Radio this week, Xerez Bridglall will bring us her interview with two Carleton University undergraduate students who participated in the Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program this year. ASB is an immersive year-long program that culminates with a week of cultural exchange and community service over reading week in February. Mario Pizzuto and Megan Stacey went on the ASB trip to Guatemala where they were involved in building a structure made out of eco-bricks, an environmentally friendly, additive free pressed kiln dried hardwood sawdust bricks used for home heating fuel in wood burning stoves, wood burning fireplaces and

. . . → Read More: Earthgauge Radio: EG Radio this week: EcoBricks, Ontario Home Comfort and Rachel Carson

The Canadian Progressive | News & Analysis: 10 KXL Amendment Co-Sponsors Took $8 Million from Fossil Fuel Industry

Average KXL Amendment Co-Sponsor has Taken 2.5 Times More Money from Industry Than Non-Sponsors, New Research Shows By: Oil Change International | Press Release: WASHINGTON – New research from Oil Change International today (March 22) found that the 10 Senators co-sponsoring the pro- Keystone XL Pipeline Amendment (Hoeven Amendment 494) in the Senate [...]

The post 10 KXL Amendment Co-Sponsors Took $8 Million from Fossil Fuel Industry appeared first on The Canadian Progressive | News & Analysis.

The Canadian Progressive: Federal Budget 2013 missed opportunity to invest in clean energy, says Pembina Institute

By: Pembina Institute | Press Release: OTTAWA — Clare Demerse, federal policy director at the Pembina Institute, made the following comments today following the release of the 2013 federal budget: “Jim Flaherty delivered his eighth budget at a time when the federal government’s track record on the environment and climate change is under heightened scrutiny, and [...]

The post Federal Budget 2013 missed opportunity to invest in clean energy, says Pembina Institute appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

350 or bust: A Fork In the Road

“Transition to a post-fossil fuel world of clean energies will not occur as long as fossil fuels are the cheapest energy. Fossil fuels are cheap only because they are subsidized and do not pay their costs to society. Air and water pollution from fossil fuel extraction and use have high costs in human health, food [...]

The Canadian Progressive: Climate Action Now!: #ForwardOnClimate Rally in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 17th

via Sierra Club: Crippling drought. Devastating wildfires. Superstorm Sandy. Climate has come home — and the American people get it. What: The largest climate rally in U.S. history. When: February 17, 2013, Noon – 4:00 p.m. (please arrive by 11:30 a.m.) Where: The National Mall in Washington, D.C. Gather at the northeast corner of the Washington Monument (Closest Metro subway READ MORE

Earthgauge Radio: Earthgauge Radio December 6 2012: Over the climate cliff! Special program on the Doha Climate Change Conference

Download: earthgauge-podcast-dec6-2012.mp3

This week on Earthgauge Radio, it’s our Doha Climate Change Conference special broadcast. We have several features on the program today:

On the ground reporting and news from the Doha summit courtesy of Deutsche Welle Living Planet An interview from Doha with Beatrice Yeung who is attending the conference on behalf of the Students on Ice Alumni Delegation An interview with Jeff Orlowski, director of ‘Chasing Ice‘, a new film that chronicles the astonishing changes currently taking place in the Arctic as a result of human-caused climate change

We also have our usual update from Ecology

. . . → Read More: Earthgauge Radio: Earthgauge Radio December 6 2012: Over the climate cliff! Special program on the Doha Climate Change Conference

Earthgauge Radio: Tomorrow on Earthgauge Radio: 24 hours of Climate Reality and the International Year of Cooperatives

On Earthgauge Radio this week, we speak with Donna Balkin of the Canadian Co-operative Association about the U.N. International Year of Co-operatives and why the co-op model places environmental values at the core of its business. We’ll also be talking about last week’s 24 hours of Climate Reality, in which millions of people tuned in [...] . . . → Read More: Earthgauge Radio: Tomorrow on Earthgauge Radio: 24 hours of Climate Reality and the International Year of Cooperatives

DeSmogBlog: Does Red Leaf’s "EcoShale" Technology Greenwash Oil Shale Extraction?

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At the Clinton Global Initiative in 2008, former Vice President Al Gore called the possibility of fossil fuel corporations extracting oil shale "utter insanity." 

Insanity, though, doesn't serve as a hinderance for deeply entrenched and powerful fossil fuel interests.

Oil shale, also known as kerogen, should not be confused with shale gas or shale oil, two fossil fuels best known from Josh Fox's "Gasland." As explained in a report by the Checks and Balances Project,

Oil shale itself is a misnomer. It is actually rock containing an organic substance called kerogen. The rocks haven’t

. . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Does Red Leaf’s "EcoShale" Technology Greenwash Oil Shale Extraction?

earthgauge: Earthgauge Radio June 28, 2012: Rio +20 Earth Summit in review and the Emerald Ash Borer beetle

Download: earthgaugeradio-podcast-june28-2012.mp3 //< ![CDATA[ jQuery(document).on( 'ready as-script-load', function($) { if ( typeof window.audioshortcode != 'undefined' ) { audioshortcode.prep( '2968_1', ["http:\/\/earthgauge.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/06\/earthgaugeradio-podcast-june28-2012.mp3"], ["Track #1"], 0.6, false ); } } ); //]]>

On Earthgauge Radio this week, we take a look at the recently concluded Rio +20 Earth Summit and we discuss Ottawa’s Emerald Ash Borer beetle infestation, which is becoming a growing problem in regions across North America.

I have two interviews on today’s program:

David Suzuki (courtesy of Democracy Now!) who gives us his take on the Rio +20 Summit Meg Sears, an Environmental Health advocate in Ottawa, and Sean Barker of the Eastern Ontario Arborists who discuss the threat posed by the Emerald Ash Borer beetle to Ottawa’s prolific ash tree population and what . . . → Read More: earthgauge: Earthgauge Radio June 28, 2012: Rio +20 Earth Summit in review and the Emerald Ash Borer beetle

earthgauge: New Josh Fox Film “The Sky Is Pink” Reveals Fracking Contamination

Check out the latest ant-fracking film from Josh Fox (the maker of Gasland) called The Sky is Pink, which is being called “the best 18 minute movie ever made.”

But “The Sky Is Pink” cites damning evidence that safe fracking is a contradiction in terms. The gas industry’s own documents and case studies show that about six percent of well casing cement jobs fail immediately upon installation. A 2003 joint industry publication from Schlumberger and ConocoPhillips cites cement failure rates of 60 percent over a 30-year span. The sequence that details these industry documents starts 7 . . . → Read More: earthgauge: New Josh Fox Film “The Sky Is Pink” Reveals Fracking Contamination

earthgauge: Earthgauge Radio June 21, 2012: Solar power to the people!

Download: earthgaugeradio-podcast-june21-2012-solarpower.mp3 //< ![CDATA[ jQuery(document).on( 'ready as-script-load', function($) { if ( typeof window.audioshortcode != 'undefined' ) { audioshortcode.prep( '2943_1', ["http:\/\/earthgauge.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/06\/earthgaugeradio-podcast-june21-2012-solarpower.mp3"], ["Track #1"], 0.6, false ); } } ); //]]>

On Earthgauge Radio this week, I have a special program on the coming solar power revolution.

Have you ever thought about installing solar panels on your roof or, if you don’t have a roof, what about investing in solar energy? Well if the answer is yes to either of those questions or if you are just interested in learning more about solar power and its potential as a viable energy source of the future, you’re going to want to listen to the podcast today.

I have four interviews on the show today:

Janice Ashworth of Ecology . . . → Read More: earthgauge: Earthgauge Radio June 21, 2012: Solar power to the people!

earthgauge: Special program dedicated to solar energy on tomorrow’s edition of Earthgauge Radio

On Earthgauge Radio this week (7:00-8:00 AM on CKCU radio 93.1 FM in Ottawa or online at www.ckcufm.com), I’m presenting a special program on the coming solar power revolution.

Ever thought about installing solar panels on your roof or, if you don’t have a roof, what about investing in solar energy?

If the answer is yes to either of those questions or if you are just interested in learning more about solar power and its potential as a viable energy source of the future, you’re going to want to listen to the program tomorrow.

At the

. . . → Read More: earthgauge: Special program dedicated to solar energy on tomorrow’s edition of Earthgauge Radio

earthgauge: Can we “green” the tar sands? The Energy Conversation Canada Needs

For anyone interested in the tar sands “debate” – and this should include all of us as it is really a debate about our collective energy future – you will want to keep an eye on a new investigative reporting series being produced by The Tyee.

Under the general heading of “Canada’s Transition to a Sustainable Energy Economy,” the Tyee has launched today the first of three major projects growing out of a “desire to be of service to the how-to-transition conversation,” beginning with Geoff Dembicki’s “Greening the Oil Sands.” This will be followed by a report

. . . → Read More: earthgauge: Can we “green” the tar sands? The Energy Conversation Canada Needs

earthgauge: Interview with Charles Hodgson of Ecology Ottawa on the City of Ottawa Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Download: charles-hodgson-ottawaghgs.mp3 //< ![CDATA[ jQuery(document).on( 'ready as-script-load', function($) { if ( typeof window.audioshortcode != 'undefined' ) { audioshortcode.prep( '2922_1', ["http:\/\/earthgauge.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/06\/charles-hodgson-ottawaghgs.mp3"], ["Track #1"], 0.6, false ); } } ); //]]>

Click the audio player to hear my interview with Charles Hodgson of Ecology Ottawa who produces the excellent blog climateottawa.ca. Right click here to download the interview. We discuss the recent City of Ottawa greenhouse inventory and what is going on at city hall with regard to Ottawa’s commitment to reducing GHGs. As Charles points out, the City of Ottawa’s own numbers show that we’re not achieving our climate change targets. What’s more, although evidence shows climate change is everyone’s problem some city councillors don’t think it’s a municipal issue and are trying to suppress

. . . → Read More: earthgauge: Interview with Charles Hodgson of Ecology Ottawa on the City of Ottawa Greenhouse Gas Inventory

earthgauge: Fossil fuel subsidies vs renewables: WTF?

Check out this article from the Guardian. We all know that the fossil fuel industries continue to be subsidized but did you have any idea of just how much money the oil, gas and coal industries are receiving from governments the world over? It’s a lot.

In fact, the International Energy Agency estimates that fossil fuel industries receive 5 times the subsidies than those received by renewable energy companies. To quote the Guardian article:

It’s worth pausing for a moment to take in the sheer amount of money we’re talking about here: more than half a trillion dollars in

. . . → Read More: earthgauge: Fossil fuel subsidies vs renewables: WTF?

DeSmogBlog: The Guardian Exposes Fossil Funded Groups Coordinating Renewable Energy Attacks

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Ever wonder why a blooming green energy industry has faced such harsh opposition? Now, as the old adage goes, "the cat's out of the bag."

The Guardian today revealed the network of fossil-funded groups coordinating the ongoing onslaught of attacks on renewable energy, particularly wind power. A memorandum passed to The Guardian from the Checks and Balances Project details the organizations and personnel acting as ringleaders to build an astroturf echo chamber of clean energy critics.

Guardian reporter Suzanne Goldenberg writes in "Conservative thinktanks step up attacks against Obama's clean energy strategy," 

"A number of rightwing

. . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: The Guardian Exposes Fossil Funded Groups Coordinating Renewable Energy Attacks

DeSmogBlog: New Poll: American Voters Very Concerned About Global Warming Pollution, Support Taxing Dirty Energy

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A new poll released today shows that American voters take global warming pollution very seriously and want to see action from government and the private sector to curb emissions and support clean energy solutions.

The new Yale-GMU survey found that 76% of Americans believe that regulating CO2 emissions should be a high priority for the federal government – a stark contrast to Republican politicos who consistently suggest that the government is over-stepping its bounds by trying to regulate global warming pollution. The Yale-GMU findings echo those of a Gallup poll released earlier this month that

. . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: New Poll: American Voters Very Concerned About Global Warming Pollution, Support Taxing Dirty Energy

Impolitical: Harper at the Wilson Center

Harper spoke at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington yesterday following the meeting with Obama and Calderon. The C-Span video at the first link is just under an hour and gives you a bit of insight into Harper’s thinking on a range of issues facing Canada.

Some of the moments of note. At around the 25 minute mark, Harper mentions that the Keystone pipeline will be responsible for about 30,000 jobs. That is a remarkable figure that seems to be quite off in terms of the research that’s been done on the question. You do hear those kinds of numbers

. . . → Read More: Impolitical: Harper at the Wilson Center

350 or bust: TED Talk Thursday: The Future Of Clean, Efficient Energy Is Here Now

This TED Talk features Justin Tipping-Hall, CEO of Nanoholdings, talking about the extraordinary work being done on nanotechnology that’s focused on creating alternative solutions for how we generate, transmit, store and use energy. Tipping-Hall asks us to question our idea of “normal”, and suggests this can lead to huge breakthroughs. Surprisingly moving, I recommend spending [...]

DeSmogBlog: Introducing: Deep Accountability

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This is the first in a series of occasional posts I’m writing to grow an idea I’m calling “Deep Accountability.”

Currently, fossil fuel industry lobbyists, flacks, allied pundits, and government officials are far too comfortable dismissing concerns about what their pollution does to other people. In their minds, it’s a big country, there’s plenty to use, and pollution is no big deal as long as it creates problems forother people. Permanently contaminate water tables with gas drilling’s fracking fluids? Just cart in water for those other people.

The problem is, we really don’t have a big enough country to trash it like we’ve been

. . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Introducing: Deep Accountability