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Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: This Isn’t Going To Work #skpoli

.@laurengolosky Why isn't the Environment Minister up to speed on #climatechange? It's basic knowledge for Environment portfolio. #skpoli

— John Klein (@JohnKleinRegina) May 21, 2015

It’s 2015, and the entire effing cabinet should understand perfectly that climate change is a serious economic and environmental problem that’s overdue to be tackled.

New SK environment minister Herb Cox takes his oath of office. #skpoli pic.twitter.com/gpjtYlY5GA

— Karen Briere (@kjbriere) May 21, 2015

I honestly didn’t know who the Environment Minister was before this shuffle, and from Cox’s early comment it sounds like I needn’t bother still.

Yay, MLA Herb (Read more…)

Things Are Good: MIT Encourages Solar Energy to Power the Future

Solar roof

Now that climate change has reached the point that it is happening regardless if we stop all human produced carbon output we desperately need to change how we generate electricity. MIT has concluded that a mass adaptation of solar energy is the best route to go. They argue that by installing solar panels far nearly everywhere we can generate more than we need to power the planet.

Solar electricity generation is one of “very few low-carbon energy technologies” with the potential to grow to very large scale, the study said. “As a consequence, massive expansion of global solar-generating (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Let’s Give Green Energy $5.3 Trillion This Year

What fraction of a decade would it take to completely get off fossil fuels [oil, gas, coal] and create a post-carbon energy/transportation infrastructure if the clean, green energy sector were publicly subsidized at $10,000,000 per MINUTE, or $5,300,000,000,000 [yes, that’s $5.3 trillion] for 2015?

Please, I dare you to attack me for the numbers. They don’t come from some tree-hugging enviro-hippie think tank. They come from the spinal fluid of neoliberalism: the IMF.

So, when people say it’s not feasible to get off carbon energy, let them know that worldwide, taxpayers are subsidizing them more than everyone in the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Elizabeth Warren reminds us (PDF) that previous trade agreements were packaged with the same promises of labour and environmental standards being used to sell the latest versions – and that there’s been no enforcement whatsoever of the elements of the deals which were supposed to protect the public.

- Kriston Capps discusses the unfairness of New York’s property tax system which makes it easy for the obscenely rich to avoid paying their fair share. And Jon Stone notes that even following an election in which the Conservatives won a majority, UK voters (Read more…)

350 or bust: Earthkeeping: Climate For Change

On May 7, 2015 Dr Katharine Hayhoe presented to a crowd of 800+ at Vancouver, Canada’s Chan Centre for the Performing Arts on the theme of caring for creation. Recently named one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, Dr. Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist who studies climate change. She may be […]

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Brad Delong discusses the two strains of neoliberalism which dominate far too much political discussion – and the reason why the left-oriented version doesn’t offer any plausible analysis of where we stand: (Bill) Clintonian left-neoliberalism makes two twin arguments.

The first is addressed to the left: it is that market mechanisms–properly-regulated market mechanisms–are more likely than not a better road to social democratic ends than command-and-control mechanisms.

The second is addressed to the right: it is that social democracy is the only political system that can in the long run underpin a (Read more…)

350 or bust: Take Time To Renew Your Spirit

The Disaffected Lib: As Expected, Harper’s Canada is Number Last

Stevie-Joe Harper’s lame target for greenhouse gas emissions cuts – 30% from 2005 levels by 2030 – secures Canada’s hold on dead last place among the developed nations.  Last, and by a good measure.  Dead last.

That is a far weaker target than the European Union or the US. The European Union pledged to reduce emissions by at least 40% from 1990 levels, and the US committed to cut emissions to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025.

The target is also less ambitious than the one Canada set in 2009 – and which it is unlikely to meet because of (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Time for some adult supervision

The latest Con dodge on greenhouse gas emission regulations for the oil and gas industry is to say that they’ll promise to deal with a few collateral activities, just as long as actual production continues to receive a free pass: Aglukkaq also announced new rules to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, such as industrial leaks and gas flares, which makes up a significant portion of the industry’s total emissions.

Notably omitted, of course, is the rest of the industry’s total emissions.

So how does that painful level of parsing to avoid what has to be done (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: 30 By 30 – Rachel, You’ve Got Some Catching Up To Do.

It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry but the feds have finally proclaimed Canada’s target for greenhouse gas emissions cuts.  The figure is a 30% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030.

Harper & Co. are playing this true to form.  They’re trying to take credit from the provinces that have taken action with precious little help from Ottawa.

As for Harper’s pet, the Tar Sands, the feds are introducing regulations on methane emissions but have fallen strangely silent on CO2 emissions.  Did I say “strangely”?  I meant “predictably.”

Bill Longstaff: The U.S. military’s war on the environment

One of the American institutions most alert to the threat of global warming is the military. The Pentagon has issued several reports stating that the greatest threat to U.S. national security is climate change. Ironically, the military itself is the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter.

The Department of Defense devours about 330,000 barrels of oil a day, more than the great majority of the

Politics and its Discontents: Creative, But Incomplete, Solutions

If you read The Mound of Sound regularly, you will understand that there is no quick fix for the myriad problems the world faces. As he has pointed out on more than one occasion, threats like climate change cannot be viewed in isolation. It is only part of a wide panoply of interrelated ills that the world faces, ills that include overpopulation, over consumption, and dwindling resources. Our lifestyles are growing well beyond the earth’s capacity to sustain us.

With that proviso in mind, there are a number of developments that, while not a solution to our bloated lifestyles, nonetheless (Read more…)

350 or bust: Father, Forgive Us, For We Know Not What We Do

* As Psalm 104 reminds, we live on an amazing planet. EB White once said: “Every morning I awake torn between the desire to save the world and an inclination to savour it. This makes it hard to plan the day.” Here we are, on Mother’s Day, celebrating the giving of life, that most sacred […]

reeves report: Ontario Anti-Fracking Bill Passes Second Reading

NDP MPP Peter Tabuns speaking with reporters at Queen’s Park. (CBC News Image.)

A PRIVATE MEMBER’S BILL from Toronto-area NDP MPP Peter Tabuns to ban fracking in the province passed second reading Thursday by a 29-18 vote with support from the governing Liberals.

“Water or gas — that’s our choice,” Tabuns explained to the House. “We can’t have both.”

Threats to groundwater contamination as found in Pennsylvania this month; links to triggering earthquakes in Ohio and Alberta; questions over the perilous, ponzi-like investment structuresupporting the fracking industry. It all led Tabuns to believe the (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Connecting the Dots on Climate Change

One of the biggest failures in climate change reporting is the tendency to focus on particular aspects without considering the bigger picture.  What does sea level rise have to do with droughts or floods?  What is the role of changing ocean circulation patterns?  How do these impacts all factor into our rapidly changing jet stream patterns?

When we look at individual aspects we usually wind up with charts that reveal a linear pattern.  Sure, there may be dramatic increases on the curve, but nothing that appears wild or unpredictable.

Yet we’re nearing the point where climate change impacts will be (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: BC’s Carbon Emissions on the Rise

It was a good story while it lasted. Over the past few years, the BC government and many in the policy community have spun a tale about the remarkable success of BC’s climate action policies, with a big spotlight on the carbon tax as a driver of lower emissions while BC’s economy outperformed the rest of the country. In BC’s case, the carbon tax was announced in the February 2008 “green” budget, and implemented in July (starting at $10 per tonne, with annual $5 increments to the current $30 per tonne, in place since July 2012).

Because of time lags, (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: It Couldn’t Be Clearer but Nobody in Ottawa is Listening – Running Out the Clock

Okay, I agree – the science isn’t in.

Not all of it anyway.  There’s more coming in almost daily – research, studies, experiments, observations and analyses, projections – there’s a continually growing mountain of information and knowledge.

The thing is – while there’s more to come, it would be beyond foolish to expect anything else in a world caught in a state of flux.  The important thing is that this new science pouring in affirms, corroborates, supports and reinforces the scientific consensus on anthropogenic or man-made global warming.

Sure the Earth has always changed in the past only not like (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Let’s Call It "Differential Migration"

If you want to see what climate change looks like, venture no further than the beaches of southern California.  There you’ll find hundreds of starving and dead seal and sea lion pups, victims of what I call “differential climate migration.”

Breeding adults still go to the rookeries where their species have given birth to their young for thousands of years.  Except that climate change has triggered a deadly shift.  The prey fish that have sustained the pups in the past, mainly sardines, have headed north for cooler waters as the local waters warmed beyond their liking.

Everything is migrating (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Fair and Balanced Questions

As you probably know, “Fair and Balanced” is the Fox News tagline that exists to trick the more easily fooled into thinking that’s what their actual objective is.

Check out today’s story from the Vancouver Observer about “@FairQuestions”, a Conservative friendly researcher who took thousands of dollars in speaking fees from oil companies and testified for Conservative ends in Parliament. This, after being connected to lucrative oil money roles through Senator Duffy.

The $10,000 fees were paid by the Association for Mineral Exploration of BC (AMEBC), Canadian Energy Pipelines Association (CEPA) and Taseko Mines between March 22nd and June 6, (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Made In Canada Conservative Hypocrisy

“Canada had long been a proponent of harmonizing our climate-change policy with the U.S. until the U.S. started to fight climate change.”

First it was the “Made in Canada” scam plan (that never appeared). Then it was, “We will act when our American partners do.” Now that Americans are acting, it’s exposed the climate denial-ism of the Conservative Party.

So what happened? Why has the government suddenly changed course? The reality seems to be that harmonization has just been an excuse the federal government used to justify doing nothing, and then quickly abandoned as (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Are You Supporting Politics of Nihilism?

2030.  You do realize that’s just 15-years away.  Do you realize that 15-years is a heartbeat when it comes to making fundamental change?

So, what’s so important about 2030?  Plenty.  By then we’ll be experiencing climate change impacts that are disruptive and difficult to bear.  Take your head out of the sand, look around you – all around, and you’ll see many of these impacts are already here and they’re growing.

We’re coping, more or less, at least most of us.  There’s a certain leeway, call it resilience.  We’ve got resilience, so far.  However, as the challenges grow and worsen, (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: We’re Responsible for Letting Them Off the Hook.

When it comes to Canada and climate change, who can fault the Americans for seeing us as almost schizoid.  We acknowledge the reality and danger of climate change, we worry about it, and yet we tolerate, even support, politicians who will do nothing about it.  From Bloomberg View:Last week’s announcement that Canada won’t match U.S. emission-reduction targets offers a fresh look at Canadians’ enduring bipolarity on climate change: They’re far more likely than Americans to say the problem is real, yet keep voting for a government that does nothing about it. Therein lies a cautionary tale for (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Canada’s Latest Climate Change Casualties

We seem to have lost two Dutch researchers to our dwindling Arctic sea ice.

Marc Cornelissen and Philip de Roo were on a two-month scientific study of the area’s ice for the organization. The site says part of their research involved interviewing local hunters about ice conditions.

The two men left Resolute on skis April 6 for the Last Ice Survey.

…In the voice recording he posted online Tuesday, Cornelissen said: “Today was a good day.” He described the weather as surprisingly warm, “too warm actually,” noting that he ended up skiing in just his underwear and boots.

“ (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Koch-Funded ‘Think-Tank’ Traveling to Vatican to Convince Pope Climate Change Isn’t Real

In the previous post the matter of the Pope’s commitment to standing up for the environment and shining a light on the realities of climate change were raised.

Cowichan Conversations reader Sharon Lawrence responded

Read more…

Cowichan Conversations: Pope Francis Steps Up Campaign on Climate Change — Conservatives Alarmed

Climate Change concerns have been swept under the rug as much as possible by those despoiling our planet for profit.

Resistance has been widespread and gathering credible currency as the drought in California, water shortages

Read more…