If you can’t stand the heat, get out of Australia. A new report claims that the ‘land down unda’ will be hit harder by climate change impacts than the rest of the world.
It’s a real ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire’ predicament. Most of the country is already miserably hot. Adding another 5.1 degrees Celsius by 2090 would be turning your oven up from ‘roast’ to ‘broil.’
Good thing Aussie prime minister Tony Abbott, the King of Coal, and our own Stephen Harper are BFFs. At some point Abbott might need Steve’s help to (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material to start your week.
- Larry Elliott writes that at least some business leaders are paying lip service to the idea that inequality needs to be reined in. But Alec Hogg points out that at least some of the privileged few are using their obscene wealth to remove themselves from the rest of humanity, rather than lifting a finger to help anybody else.
- Meanwhile, Joseph Stiglitz observes that sheer stubborn stupidity on the part of austerians is doing untold damage to the global economy. But Jon Henley notes that in advance of Syriza’s election victory, a new (Read more…)
A new study finds sea-level rise isn’t the only thing to fear about melting glaciers.
Antarctic Ice Shelf Loss Comes From Underneath by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center \ CC BY 2.0 via Flickr
WE KNOW SEA levels are rising as climate change causes glaciers to melt. But it turns out rising seas may not be the only catastrophic by-product of glacier melt we need to worry about.
A new study from researchers at Florida State University published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience has discovered there will be a substantial carbon impact resulting from the loss of (Read more…)
Yesterday, Justin Trudeau appeared to be backing away from a national carbon price. He says some of the provinces have already implemented carbon pricing, so the federal government will be left to “oversee”. What Trudeau is actually saying isn’t quite clear, but it certainly seems like he is giving up on creating a national carbon price and leaving it to the provinces.
In the subsequent discussions on twitter, some pointed towards the difficult politics of carbon pricing in Canada’s regionally diverse federation. Below I will argue that the ideal policy response to Canada’s regional diversity involves implementing geographically specific clean (Read more…)
Let’s face it: a broken Red Book promise, an ignored Kyoto Protocol commitment and zero policy action later, nobody would have had reason to believe any Lib policy promises on greenhouse gas emissions anyway. So why wouldn’t Justin Trudeau try to spin continued neglect at the federal level as a feature rather than a bug?
Of course, anybody who actually wants to rein in climate change might recognize that an opt-in approach to a collective action problem is set up to fail. But apparently, “anybody who actually wants to rein in climate change” isn’t in the Libs’ pool of target (Read more…)
Cheaper gas means more fill-ups at the pump
With oil prices plunging from more than $100 a barrel last summer to below $50 now, the consequences of a petro-fuelled economy are hitting home — especially in Alberta, where experts forecast a recession. The province’s projected budget surplus has turned into a $500-million deficit on top of a $12-billion debt, with predicted revenue losses of $11 billion or more over the next three or four years if prices stay low or continue to drop as expected.
Alberta’s government is talking about service reductions, public-sector wage and job cuts and even (Read more…)
This and that for your Thursday reading.
- Amy Goodman discusses Barack Obama’s call to reverse the spread of inequality in the U.S. And Seumas Milne writes that the effort will inevitably challenge the world oligarchs have built up to further their own wealth and power at everybody else’s expense: In most of the world, labour’s share of national income has fallen continuously and wages have stagnated under this regime of privatisation, deregulation and low taxes on the rich. At the same time finance has sucked wealth from the public realm into the hands of a small minority, even (Read more…)
I put a stand of firewood in my garage this year figuring it would spare me having to go out to the woodshed in back on cold winter nights. I figured it would hold enough firewood to get through maybe six weeks of winter heating. As things are looking now, the modest cache in the garage won’t even need refilling this winter.
Crocuses and daffs are coming up. Trees are budding. The herbs are re-awakening. Before long it’ll be time to fire up the lawnmower.
I never did get to dig out my snow shovel from the dark recesses of (Read more…)
More Canadian homes need to be built like this to survive coming fossil fuel shortages. It certainly saves a lot of money for the homeowner.
Passive House in Alaska using water insulated in a tank as a giant battery for energy.
The world would have forgotten the Saskatchewan house, too, were it not for a quirky German physicist interested in energy-saving buildings. After studying the Saskatchewan house and a handful of similar buildings, Dr. Wolfgang Feist wrote a mathematically precise — and elegantly simple — criterion for designing buildings that require less than a tenth of the energy of (Read more…)
French President Francois Hollande is pressuring Stephen Harper ahead of Paris climate talks (Twitter/@pmharper)
The pressure is building to reduce global carbon emissions. At each meeting of the United Nations’ Conference of the Parties (COP), the urgency becomes more palpable.
The Lima meeting of COP 20 in December, 2014, failed to reach the preliminary commitments necessary for the binding international agreements expected at the COP 21 meeting in Paris in December, 2015. France is getting nervous because its reputation will be sullied if the Paris COP is a failure — French President Francois Holland made this very clear to Prime (Read more…)
A new scandal blew up at the CBC this week when the website Canadaland published an exposé charging that Amanda Lang, the broadcaster’s senior business reporter and host of The Exchange, tried to sabotage an investigative story the CBC produced about abuses committed by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) over the temporary foreign worker program (TFWP).
The story aired in April of 2013 and revealed that the RBC was using an Indian company called iGATE Corp. that was bringing in foreign workers under the program, but then allowed the workers to stay in Canada for years, with the intention (Read more…)
I’m a fan of carbon taxes, but increasingly I see the term “revenue-neutral” attached to it. Where I live, in BC, we have perhaps the most prominent example of a revenue-neutral carbon tax, and carbon tax advocates have come to promoting the BC model to other jurisdictions, such as Ontario, who are contemplating their own carbon tax. This includes the new EcoFiscal Commission, which endorses a naive view of markets – the magic of free markets is alive and well, and if only we could put a price on carbon to change marketplace incentives, all will be well.
Revenue neutrality is a (Read more…)
What better place to speak out against climate change than the severe storm ravaged Philippines?
Wading into the climate change debate on board the papal plane, the Pope told journalists he hoped negotiators at the next round of climate change talks in Paris in November would take a courageous stand to protect the environment.
“I don’t know if it is all (man’s fault) but the majority is, for the most part, it is man who continuously slaps down nature,” he said.
“We have in a sense taken over nature. I think we have exploited nature too much.”
The comments (Read more…)
Well, why would you support something called Science World when it participates in a program to brainwash students into supporting the liquid natural gas industry, despite the science indicating how harmful it is to the world.
Climate change deniers deny science.
The BC government pretends to care about climate change but is roaring ahead with oil, gas, coal, pipelines and tankers. Pure hypocrisy. They think we’re stupid.
Science World, by joining in with the BC government pimping LNG to kids, has joined the wrong team.
Why would you go to a Science World that rejects the sociopolitical implications of (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Jeff Begley criticizes the Cons and the Quebec Libs for their refusal to even recognize inequality as an issue – which of course results in their only exacerbating the gap between the rich and the rest of us: While Couillard and Harper find the “courage” to attack workers, starting with those in the public sector, they are completely silent when it comes to the growing social and economic inequalities. Worse still, they are working actively to heighten those inequalities!
In our video message over the holidays, I indicated that we hoped this (Read more…)
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere, you’re probably well aware that the price of oil has fallen dramatically, to less than $50 / barrel. What this means for Canada’s economic output & labour markets is not yet clear. But Stephen Poloz at the Bank of Canada has said that he expects the effect to be “not trivial”, and suggested that it might lower the Bank’s GDP expectations by around 0.3 percentage points. Deputy Governor Timothy Lane’s talk on January 13th is good background reading on this topic, and overall he suggested that the effect will be at least somewhat (Read more…)
We have to be prepared to leave most of the world’s fossil fuels in the ground. So says a new published report.
Expect none of us, neither our political ‘leaders’ nor our fellow citizens, to rise to the occasion.
Recommend this Post
John Oliver gives us the best climate quote of 2014: * If you want to watch the whole fantastic segment where he tackles the “debate” over climate science, here it is:
There are four broad outcomes depending on whether we act to mitigate climate change, and whether it is as bad (or worse than) what the models predict in terms of temperature increase by 2100 and the associated likely impacts of a +4-8C world environment: We do nothing. Global warming is not a big deal. We do nothing. Global warming is as bad or worse than feared. We act. Global warming is not a big deal. We act. Global warming is as bad or worse than feareded.
Key here is the only “variable” we as humans control is whether we act. (Read more…)
Yesterday, The Mound of Sound had a post on the role that Pope Francis is playing in the climate change debate. Given his growing moral authority and extensive popularity throughout the world, those with vested interests in retaining the status quo that is destroying the earth, and their aiders and abettors, (Stephen Harper et alia), have, I think, much to fear.
Here is a video well-worth watching from Democracy Now! that discusses Pope Francis and the encyclical he is slated to release in March on climate change. It is so refreshing to see a pontiff who is doing what we (Read more…)
“As 2015 has been declared the Year of Soil, let us recognize that in the seed and the soil we can find answers to every one of the crisis we are facing.” Dr Vandana Shiva * “The joy of growing food, the joy of eating food, is what the future is all about.” Dr Vandana […]