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Montreal Simon: Donald Trump and the Man Who Would Torch the Planet

Everybody knew that Donald Trump was a climate change denier, a man who believes that global warming is a hoax.He's made that abundantly clear…

Over and over again.But still the flaming orange got elected, and now we're all going to burn with him.Read more »

. . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Donald Trump and the Man Who Would Torch the Planet

Politics and its Discontents: More From The Conservative Braintrust

Well, we know what an abomination Kellie Leitch is as a Conservative leadership hopeful, but what about Brad Trost?

The pool, it would seem, is very, very shallow:

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Montreal Simon: Donald Trump’s Insane War on the Planet

Donald Trump is always declaring war on something or somebody, so he can look bigger in one of his many mirrors, or in the eyes of the mob.

One day it’s Mexico, the next day it’s lying’ Hillary Clinton, or the media, or anyone who dares criticize him.

So it’s sometimes hard to remember his most dangerous war.

His insane war on the planet itself.
Read more » . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Donald Trump’s Insane War on the Planet

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Notley NDP make pigs fly again with support for Climate Leadership Plan

When the Alberta government released its Climate Leadership plan in November 2015, I said that Premier Rachel Notley and Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips had made pigs fly by uniting a coalition of industry leaders and environmental l… . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Notley NDP make pigs fly again with support for Climate Leadership Plan

The Canadian Progressive: Al Gore, US Attorneys Generals Announce Historic Pursuit Of Climate Change Deniers: Why Canadians Should Care

Earlier this week, former U.S. vice president Al Gore and several U.S. state attorneys generals announced “historic effort to combat climate change” – by going after fossil fuel climate deniers. The post Al Gore, US Attorneys Generals Announce Historic… . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Al Gore, US Attorneys Generals Announce Historic Pursuit Of Climate Change Deniers: Why Canadians Should Care

Politics and its Discontents: The Demagogue Speaks Again

Won’t anyone tell him just to shut up?Recently, the CBC, which has an ongoing yet inexplicable and wholly unwholesome relationship with Rex Murphy, gave him yet another opportunity to spew his denigration and venom about those who criticize Alberta and… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: The Demagogue Speaks Again

Montreal Simon: David Suzuki: Stephen Harper Should Be Jailed

As you know I've long believed that Stephen Harper has got away with murder, and should be put on trial for his many crimes against Canada.And for his crimes against the planet.So I'm really happy to see that David Suzuki also believes that Har… . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: David Suzuki: Stephen Harper Should Be Jailed

Montreal Simon: Rex Murphy: Who Needs An Environmental Review?

In my last post I argued that the CBC should fire the Con clown Rex Murphy, for promoting the Energy East pipeline.While being paid by Big Oil to give speeches glorifying their dubious achievements.And for attacking Justin Trudeau, and acting like Ron… . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Rex Murphy: Who Needs An Environmental Review?

The Canadian Progressive: Stephen Lewis, Prominent Canadians Demand Investigation of Climate Change Deniers

Stephen Lewis and five other prominent Canadians recently called on the Commissioner of Competition to investigate climate change denier groups. The post Stephen Lewis, Prominent Canadians Demand Investigation of Climate Change Deniers appeared first o… . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Stephen Lewis, Prominent Canadians Demand Investigation of Climate Change Deniers

Montreal Simon: Now Will the CBC Finally Fire Rex Murphy?

It couldn't have been a more jarring contrast. While negotiators in Paris worked desperately to put the finishing touches on a historic climate change deal. And prepared to celebrate its successful conclusion.Back in Toronto, the Con clown and c… . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Now Will the CBC Finally Fire Rex Murphy?

A Different Point of View....: Fossil fuel lobby seen as main threat to meaningful progress in Paris

In the early-1950s, when it became widely known that smoking caused cancer, giant tobacco companies formed the Tobacco Industry Research Council (TIRC). Its main goal was to deny the harmful effects of tobacco and confuse the public.

The tobacco lobby wormed its way into the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO), wreaking havoc and slowing the WHO’s efforts to reduce the growing number of cancer deaths. 

Realizing that the tobacco corporations were obstructing progress, the WHO finally built a firewall between public health officials and industry lobbyists. Only then was it possible to better control tobacco.

Flash forward to Paris and the 21st annual UN Climate Conference, November 30 to December 11   The 190 participating countries are charged with trying to hold carbon emissions to liveable limits between the years 2020 and 2030.

But – just like when the tobacco lobby was powerful – the fossil fuel lobby is strongly influencing decisions to be made in Paris.

Pointing to the struggling world economic situation, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) says climate change is important, but it should not jeopardize economic growth.

Fossil fuel corporations have spent billions-of-dollars over the years funding front organizations that mislead and confuse the public by claiming that climate change is not serious threat.

But scientists say that the human race cannot continue to function in a near-normal way unless about 80 per cent of the remaining fossil fuels are left in the ground.

The corporations oppose government regulations, and their main goal is to have the marketplace determine the amount of carbon emissions. However, public interest groups believe that industry will serve its own interests for profits instead of prioritizing the reduction of carbon emissions.

The public interest group Corporate Europe Observatory, located in Brussels, has compiled information on the agenda the corporations will be pushing at COP21:  
  •  Instead of governments taxing emitters – a simple and inexpensive system to operate – corporations want to create a world market where polluters and investors can buy and sell carbon credits. They claim the system would help spur investments in low-carbon energy However, this system has worked poorly in Europe and is vulnerable to abuse.
  • The fossil fuel industry wants governments and the public to acknowledge natural gas as a “clean energy source.” This would result in significant increases of fracking in many parts of the world. It’s true that gas, when burnt, has low emissions, but the fracking process leaks methane into the atmosphere, which is 80 times worse than carbon.
  • The ‘net zero’ proposal: Rather than attempting to reduce emissions to zero, ’net zero’ means that some emissions can keep rising. The industry says this would be offset in the future via the removal of emissions from the atmosphere when yet-to-be developed technologies make the removal possible.
  • According to Shell, going to net zero would allow them to keep burning fossil fuels for the rest of this Century. This would be balanced off by the – so far – theoretical removal of carbon from the atmosphere at some point in the future.

While public interest groups will be kept mainly on the sidelines, corporations are being allowed to hold at least 10 special events for government officials. Names of some of the sessions: “Business and Climate: A positive revolution for companies?”; “The Future is Looking Up”; and “Energy for Tomorrow.”

In addition, some of France’s dirtiest corporations are official sponsors and donors for COP21.  Included are nuclear and coal giants EDF, energy utility corporation Engie, coal-financing bank BNP Paribas, and airline Air France.

Some of the very corporations driving global warming will be represented in Paris. Included will be Shell, BP, Volkswagen, Monsanto, Total, Dow Chemical, Monsanto, Syngenta, Nestles, McDonalds, Walmart and others.

Fossil fuel companies have not managed to get a much coveted seat at the actual negotiating table during COP decision-making. But they are lobbying so hard that they hope politicians will come up with pro-industry solutions.

Meanwhile, a growing number of public interest groups want the fossil fuel lobby barred from the UN process. 

“When you’re trying to burn down the table,” says HodaBaraka of the protect group 350.org, “you don’t deserve a seat at it.” 

NGOs have launched a campaign, Kick the Polluters Out  and are planning demonstrations in Paris. Close to a half-million people signed the protest document over a short period of time.

But, at the present time at least, it would be very difficult to get the fuel lobby organizations out of the climate change process.  

The corporations are so powerful in the UN climate talks process they appear to be the proverbial tail wagging the dog. Christiana Figueres, head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), scolded those who claim the fossil fuel industry is not part of the solution, telling them to “stop demonizing oil and gas companies.”

In what critics consider a betrayal of the climate control effort, after a few years inside the system, UN experts move over to the private sector. According to the Corporate Europe Observatory, this revolving door helps business to control the process in the COP process. 

At the national level, because oil, coal and other fossil fuel corporations are so wealthy and so important to national economies, corporationsare able to intimidate governments from taking the best possible carbon reduction pledges to Paris. Energy corporations are successful in compromising the policies of the U.S. government. 

In October, the European Parliament expressed concern that an early analysis government pledges indicated the temperature would increase between 2.7 and 3.5 degrees Celsius.  An increase within this range would be disastrous for humankind.

The European Parliament has now called on governments to agree in Paris to revise the projections downward before 2020 to keep the increase to 2 degrees Celsius, which is the target recommended by scientists.

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CLICK HERE, to subscribe to my blog. Thanks Nick

Contact Nick Fillmore at fillmore0274@rogers.com

. . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: Fossil fuel lobby seen as main threat to meaningful progress in Paris

A Different Point of View....: Fossil fuel lobby seen as main threat to meaningful progress in Paris

In the early-1950s, when it became widely known that smoking caused cancer, giant tobacco companies formed the Tobacco Industry Research Council (TIRC). Its main goal was to deny the harmful effects of tobacco and confuse the public. The tobacco lobby … . . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: Fossil fuel lobby seen as main threat to meaningful progress in Paris

Cowichan Conversations: JEFF RUBIN – Why the oil sands no longer make economic sense

The Oil and Gas crowd are an addicted and confused force that take up air and space at a time when change is begging for action.

Somewhat like the ‘Flat Earther’s refusal to get that

Read more…

Cowichan Conversations: Water Shortages Dictate Changes Whether We Like It Or Not–Freeze All Residential Rezoning–Raise The Weir.

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Rainy days, especially rainy summer days are but sweet memories for those of living on the ‘Left Coast.’ The reality is hitting home. Forest fires raging through areas where forest fires

Read more…

A Different Point of View....: Weak tactics, stupidity and lies cloud seriousness of climate change for Canadians

In addition to the staging of the PanAm Games, Toronto was the location of some unusually high profile activities in recent days that were supposed to increase the efforts to tackle climate change.

The events raised some important questions: How effective are efforts to slow the increase of carbon emissions into the atmosphere, do Canadians agree on the extent of damage to our environment, and what do scientists say in their most recent reports about the degree of the threat?

Celebrities lead ‘the big protest: First, Toronto had the spectacle of actor/activist Jane Fonda, environmentalist David Suzuki and author-activist Naomi Klein leading a march of some 12,000 protesters belonging to a new coalition through downtown streets. From all accounts, they were a cheerful bunch.

“I think that the coalition that is represented in today’s march and rally … will make a difference.” said Jane Fonda. But isn’t the year 2015 a little late to form a new coalition? Climate change has been a growing problem over 30 years, and Canada still does not have an effective, coordinated environmental effort to fight the biggest crisis in history.

Radicals have their say: Later in the week, a much angrier group of some 200 protesters  succeeded for a short time in blocking a lot of high profile delegates to the Climate Summit of the Americas from entering the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.

The aggressive small group chanted “Shut down the summit.” After their initial success, they were blocked by dozens of police. This scene has been repeated across the country hundreds of times in recent years and, unfortunately, instead of rallying “ordinary” people to their cause, it instead tends of turn them off.

Delegates from 20 countries make an appearance: Inside the Fairmont Royal York, more than 300 delegates from 20 countries were claiming to be urging jurisdictions around the world to come forward with meaningful commitments for carbon reductions to present at the long-anticipated UN Climate Summit in Paris in December. This UN Summit is “the biggie” of 20 years of efforts to come to agreement on how to slow climate change.

A news op for politicians: Politicians  at the Toronto Summit turned into a news op for political opportunism, with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Environment Minister Glen Murray, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, and even California Governor Jerry Brown taking turns tearing strips off Stephen Harper, whose government was not represented at the meetings.

Big corporations help set agenda: Interestingly, powerful corporations lurked in the background. While politicians take the heat for failing to act effectively on climate change, giant corporations, including Shell’s CEO and the head of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, had already steered the pre-Summit discussions enough to make sure non-renewables would not be unduly targeted in a closing statement.

Non-renewable energy corporations have spent many millions-of-dollars during their evil campaign of deception and lies, producing and circulating disinformation about the dangers of their carbon-producing products for more than 25 years. The independent Union of Concerned Scientists earlier this month released a 56-page dossier detailing the lies of the industry.

Delegates sign meaningless statement: At the close of the Toronto Climate Summit, hundreds of delegates signed a non-binding, motherhood statement urging jurisdictions around the world to make carbon-reduction commitments and present them in Paris.

In short, while athletes from the Pan American region were delighting crowds with some wonderful performances, the Climate Summit was, well, a fraud. It was a massive, hugely expensive and cynical public relations stunt – a nice travel perk – for participating politicians. We all would be better off if the wasted money had been spent on a practical carbon-reduction program, perhaps in Africa, the continent that has the fewest resources and that will suffer the most.

Mainstream media ‘misinforms’: Unfortunately, mainstream media coverage of the Summit failed to go beyond the speeches. The papers, TV and radio news dutifully reported the politicians’ rants. But a Google search failed to find any mainstream news report that provided any analysis of the event or that explained the extremely serious threat that climate change presents.

Mainstream media must be held largely responsible for the fact that only 50 per cent of Canadians are “extremely” or “definitely” concerned about the climate threat.  Corporate news coverage and media analysis of the seriousness of climate change is too often wrong, misleading or incomplete.

If bad reporting on climate change issues confuses the public, so do incorrect statements by poorly informed politicians.

Premier Couillard was an offender at the Toronto Climate Summit. He said Quebec is committing itself “to a very ambitious set of targets with only one objective: to keep warming below or at the maximum 2 degrees Celsius by 2050.”  This says, as Bob Marley’s famous song goes, Everything gonna be alright.

But sorry Philippe, according to a lot of scientists, keeping the average temperature to 2 degrees Celsius – which has been the goal pulled out of a hat several years ago, is pretty much impossible.

Here’s what scientists who I trust have to say:

Because of the melting of the icecaps, we’re already on our way to surpassing 2 degrees, says the highly regarded and independent Union of Concerned Scientists. The melting of the icecaps cannot be reversed.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said in June that, if governments do not strengthen policies dramatically, the world would be on a path to an average temperature increase of 2.6C by 2100 and 3.5C after 2200.

The IEA says this translates into an average temperature rise of 4.3C over land in the northern hemisphere where most of the world’s population lives, and even more in urban areas.

Yes, this would be catastrophic.

And here we are, poorly informed Canadians, going on with our lives pretty much as usual because — as I have shown here — our environmental groups, politicians, media, and our corporations, will not tell us a) how serious a problem we face, and b) what can an ordinary person do to make a meaningful difference?

It’s impossible to say how massive an effort would be required to keep temperature increases to levels that will allow us to continue living pretty much as we do now. We can only guess.

Dr. Matania Ginosar, a prominent California environmental scientist, says that “only a global effort larger than WWII may be able to save the Earth’s environment from destruction. . . .”

In Paris in December, enormous pressure will be put on many of the 196 countries taking part in the much-anticipated United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21). They will try to come up with some sort of agreement or understanding that will allow an orchestrated attack on greenhouse gas emissions starting in 2020.

But the UN process has been under way for 20 years now and, because of its repeated failure to advance the climate agenda, cannot be considered an overall success.

One serious problem with the UN meetings has been that powerful corporations have used their influence and money to move into a powerful position in the process. So far they have helped prevent the kind of progress required.

In one major way, the Paris Summit is already a failure even before it begins. UN officials involved with the talks are already saying that whatever is accomplished in Paris alone, it will not hold global warming to less than 2 Celsius.

Embarrassed when the crucial Copenhagen talks ended in chaos and vicious attacks, leaders such as U.S. President Barack Obama and the Chinese premier Wen Jiabao won’t attend the Paris Summit. Only high level ministers will be there.

Reflecting back, given the seriousness of the crisis as it is now being described internationally, it is difficult to understand how Toronto’s protests and climate talks were allowed to be so meaningless. These weaknesses, plus deplorable reporting by mainstream media, are responsible for millions of Canadians being poorly informed and not taking the threat of potentially disastrous climate change seriously.

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CLICK HERE, to subscribe to my blog. Thanks Nick
Contact Nick Fillmore at fillmore0274@rogers.com

. . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: Weak tactics, stupidity and lies cloud seriousness of climate change for Canadians

Montreal Simon: Pope Francis and the Moral Revolution to Save the Planet

His enemies tried to undermine Pope Francis' encyclical on climate change by leaking it before it was officially released today.But it's still an incredibly powerful document. Pope Francis on Thursday called for a radical transformation of politics, economics and individual lifestyles to confront environmental degradation and climate change, as his much-awaited papal encyclical blended . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Pope Francis and the Moral Revolution to Save the Planet

Montreal Simon: Pope Francis and the Wolves in the Vatican

As you may know Pope Francis' encyclical on climate change has been leaked to the media before its scheduled release on Thursday. Pope Francis will this week call for changes in lifestyles and energy consumption to avert the “unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem” before the end of this century, according to a leaked draft . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Pope Francis and the Wolves in the Vatican

Montreal Simon: The Real Reason Pope Francis Humiliated Stephen Harper

Well now we know why Pope Francis ruined Stephen Harper's little photo-op at the Vatican the other day.By giving Harper only ten minutes of his time, compared to the fifty minutes he gave Vladimir Putin.And looking like he couldn't wait to get rid of him.But the reason Harper looked so green after the meeting . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Real Reason Pope Francis Humiliated Stephen Harper

A Different Point of View....: G7 false commitments won’t help us tackle 7-million air pollution deaths

During the hour that it took the world’s elite G7 politicians discussing climate change to wander through an enchanting meadow of flowers in Germany’s Bavarian Alps earlier this week, at least 800 people died prematurely from the impact of air pollution, most of it caused by the burning of non-renewable fossil fuels.

Wanting to show . . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: G7 false commitments won’t help us tackle 7-million air pollution deaths

A Different Point of View....: G7 false commitments won’t help us tackle 7-million air pollution deaths

During the hour that it took the world’s elite G7 politicians discussing climate change to wander through an enchanting meadow of flowers in Germany’s Bavarian Alps earlier this week, at least 800 people died prematurely from the impact of air pollution, most of it caused by the burning of non-renewable fossil fuels.

Wanting to show the world – particularly voters at home – that they care about the seven-million people a year dying from various pollution and carbon related causes, the leaders of the world’s richest countries, including Canada, signed a joint declaration calling for a global phasing-out of fossil fuels 85 years from now.

It’s unlikely that, during their deliberations in the picturesque Schloss Elmau at the foot of Germany’s highest mountain, anyone at the Summit reflected on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) report of a year ago that said in 2012 around seven million people died – one in eight of total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure.

Unfortunately, despite positive coverage in mainstream media in several countries, the section of the Summit dealing with climate change must be considered an over-blown failure.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was disappointed that G7 members – largely because of opposition from Canada and Japan – wouldn’t agree to a commitment to a low-carbon economy by 2050. Instead, the G7 agreed to a full-blown, no-carbon economy, but not until 2100.

According to their declaration, the G7 countries say they intend to insist on greenhouse gas reduction at least in the upper 40 to 70 per cent range by 2050. There’s also a promise to cut emission by 17 per cent by 2020.

But, despite the tough talk, no nation-specific targets were set, and the G7Declaration is not binding.

Canada, living up to its long-held reputation as the world’s leading foot dragger on climate issues, balked at Merkel’s earlier proposal that G7 countries would eliminate carbon emissions by 2050.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who rejects scientific information on the threat of global warming, said Canada would reach the G7 targets through developing new technologies, not by reducing living standards.

Meanwhile, the G7 countries – in a farcical display of public relations – agreed on a binding two degree target for limiting global warming. Again, no timeframe was set, but the G7 group will take their declaration with them to Paris in December for the crucial UN Climate Summit.

Had they been more concerned about the hardship people around their world are experiencing – including people in some of their own countries – perhaps the Summit would have taken a more realistic, more dynamic approach to tackling the world’s most pressing problem.

Environmental groups were divided
in their opinions of the Summit. 

Christoph Bals from the NGO Germanwatch said “the summit sends a strong signal for a successful climate agreement at the end of the year in Paris.”

But the development organization Oxfam said the outcome was inadequate. “If the G7 really want to implement their decisions, they must take concrete measures – such as promptly initiating a phase-out of harmful coal,” said Oxfam climate protection analyst Jan Kowalzig.

“Coal is the biggest single cause of climate change”, says Oxfam, “yet the G7 countries are still burning huge amounts, despite efficient, affordable, renewable alternatives being available. G7 coal power stations emit twice as much fossil fuel CO2 as the whole of Africa, and their contribution to global warming will cost Africa alone more than $43-billion per year by the 2080s . . . .”

In addition, despite the bravado in Germany, G7 countries have pledged US$8-billion per year in subsidies to expand fossil fuel production. This runs totally contrary to their claimed emission commitment positions.

Despite U.S. President Obama’s action-oriented position in Germany, the globe’s second largest polluter is not committed to substantive action on climate change. Back home, 70 per cent of Republicans in the Senate and 53 percent of Republicans in the House deny the existence of human-caused global warming.

In view of such contradictions, holding global warming to two degrees appears to be a monumental challenge.

In fact, expectations for a successful outcome in Paris have been waning, and the lack of any concrete action by the G7 further decreases expectations.

If the planet is to avoid large increases in global warming, massive actions never before accomplished by humankind will be necessary.

No doubt some progress will be made but, according to the independent Climate Action Tracker, the world’s current policies would result in global warming of 3.6 to 4.2 degrees Celsius by 2100. Even the current pledges of the G7 countries, if converted into effective policies, probably would not be enough for the world to stay under the target of keeping warming to 2 degrees Celsius.

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Contact Nick Fillmore at fillmore0274@rogers.com

. . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: G7 false commitments won’t help us tackle 7-million air pollution deaths

Montreal Simon: The Arrival of Spring and the Con Climate Change Deniers

Well I have to admit that there were times during this brutal winter when I thought the blessed day would never arrive. But Spring is here at last.The island ferry is running again after being grounded for days due to the thick ice.And although my beautiful swans are still having trouble feeding themselves…

. . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Arrival of Spring and the Con Climate Change Deniers

Montreal Simon: Amanda Lang, Rex Murphy, and the Journalistic Crimes of CBC Management

If there was any doubt that CBC management has either lost its moral compass, or its marbles, now there can be none.For all you have to do to arrive at that conclusion is read how they are defending Amanda Lang.So, let's add it up: the government thought RBC did something wrong and RBC . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Amanda Lang, Rex Murphy, and the Journalistic Crimes of CBC Management

Scott's DiaTribes: How 2 cold winters in Eastern North America doesn’t disprove climate change/global warming.

When it gets as cold as it has this winter (and last), you often see message boards yelling, “How about that global warming!” … as if these winters prove to those who are climate change skeptics (or climate change deniers, as I call them) that global warming or climate change is just one big government . . . → Read More: Scott’s DiaTribes: How 2 cold winters in Eastern North America doesn’t disprove climate change/global warming.

Politics and its Discontents: David Bellamy Being Humiliated By George Monbiot Over Climate Change

The willfully ignorant will be offended, the critical thinker gratified, by this video:

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Politics and its Discontents: Lest We Forget

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