In the U.S. Senate this week, Senator Klobuchar called for Unanimous Consent to pass a resolution acknowledging that climate change is occurring and that it will continue to pose an ongoing risk. Senator James Inhofe objected to the resolution. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse offered this in cogent, informed response. * Whitehouse.Senate.gov ThinkProgress.org
TweetHere’s a question that isn’t often asked in Alberta: Which of the three Progressive Conservative leadership candidates would make the best Leader of the Opposition? An insane trail of scandal continues to leak out of the 43-year-long governing PC Party as it lurches towards a leadership vote on September 6. A CBC exclusive story alleged today […]
Life is sometimes hard. This is in memory of my mother, Leona, who passed on last week. Mom, it turns out, there’s only love. “We are fire and sometimes we are light We are passions that sometimes are right And we are brick, we are mortar, we are ashes tomorrow – that is to say, […]
The science on the theory of climate change is not settled. There is a powerful, scientific consensus that anthropogenic or man-made climate change is real, here now and worsening. There is a powerful, scientific consensus that man-made climate change is already triggering natural feedback mechanisms that eventually can become “tipping points” beyond which we will have runaway global warming. Runaway as in all the king’s horses and all the king’s men won’t be able to stop it.
For all of that, the science isn’t settled. That much is obvious from the tsunami of research studies that keep pouring in from (Read more…)
Surprising perhaps, but the National Hockey League now produces a sustainability report. And it’s worried about global warming. According to League Commissioner Gary Bettman, “Our sport can trace its roots to frozen freshwater ponds, to cold climates. Major environmental challenges, such as climate change and freshwater scarcity, affect opportunities for hockey players of all ages to learn and
Vancouver is Canada’s climate leader (photo: Wendy / flickr)
Amid the dire warnings about global warming’s impacts, what’s often overlooked is that actions to reduce or prevent them will lead to livable communities, improved air quality, protection of natural spaces and greater economic efficiency, to name just a few benefits. So it’s not surprising that tangible positive action on climate change is happening in Canada’s cities.
My hometown, Vancouver, is the real leader on Canadian urban climate initiatives. Oil and gas capital also pursuing energy efficiency
Plenty of examples can be found in the National Measures Report, released in (Read more…)
Read this June 25th story by Wendy J. Palen, Thomas D. Sisk, Maureen E. Ryan, Joseph L. Árvai, Mark Jaccard, Anne K. Salomon, Thomas Homer-Dixon& Ken P. Lertzman in Nature on how debates over oil-sands infrastructure obscure a broken policy process that overlooks broad climate, energy and environment issues.
The debate over the development of oil sands in Alberta, Canada, is inflaming tensions in and between Canada and the United States.
In April, US President Barack Obama deferred a decision on the fate of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, despite escalating pressure to approve it from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen (Read more…)
GETTING SERIOUS about tackling greenhouse gases has to start with dramatically cutting emissions from Ontario’s transportation sector, the province’s environmental watchdog warned recently.
In releasing his latest update on efforts to curb climate change-inducing emissions in Ontario, Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller told reporters at Queen’s Park the biggest sector emitter of greenhouse gases has witnessed the smallest efforts at reducing GHGs.
“The biggest section is transportation emissions and that’s a section where we have achieved only miniscule changes,” Miller said. “The growth in transportation means our emissions are increasing from the 1990 base.”
Since 1990 — the baseline year (Read more…)
This is an expansion of my last piece on the tar sands. The expanded form was republished as a Bullet at Socialist Project. I’ve decided to post the new bits here as they can stand alone.
On a path to nowhere
One way to see how this happens is to turn to the concept of path dependence from the language of mainstream economics. Path dependence is the idea that history matters and reverberates strongly in the present; more metaphorically, economic decision-making (whether about production or consumption) can follow increasingly well-worn grooves. Indeed in many ways, path dependence is actually a (Read more…)
The Council of Canadians this week told TransCanada to “cease and desist” from the deplorable practice of purchasing the silence of Canadian towns likely to be affected by the Energy East tar sands pipeline.
The post Energy East pipeline: TransCanada told to “cease and desist” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- Joseph Stiglitz writes that while we should expect natural resources to result in broad-based prosperity, Australia (much like Canada) is now turning toward the U.S. model of instead directing as much shared wealth as possible toward the privileged few: There is something deeply ironic about Abbott’s reverence for the American model in defending many of his government’s proposed “reforms.” After all, America’s economic model has not been working for most Americans. Median income in the US is lower today than it was a quarter-century ago – not because productivity has been (Read more…)
There have been so many developments on the climate front of late that, collectively, give us a pretty stark warning and yet the media, the public and our political leadership are tuning out. We seem to be culturally embracing a sort of Andean fatalism that seems to precede abrupt civilizational decline. Perhaps we’re hampered by the fact that it’s a moving target that repeatedly exceeds our ‘worst case scenarios’. Far from being pessimists we constantly underestimate the onset of climate change even as severe events increase in frequency, intensity and duration. Maybe that’s why Harper (and his rivals) aren’t coming (Read more…)
This and that for your Thursday reading.
- Marc Lee looks in detail at the risks involved in relying on tar sands development as an economic model: The UK outfit Carbon Tracker was the first to point out this means we are seeing a “carbon bubble” in our financial markets – that fossil fuel companies, whose business model is the extraction of carbon, are over-valued on the stock markets of the world. This analysis was subsequently picked up by Bill McKibben in his now-famous article, “Global Warming’s Terrifying Math,” which launched the fossil fuel divestment movement, plus some local (Read more…)
There’s one simple step that will start to turn around around the climate crisis. Price carbon, get industry to pay the cost of their own pollution, and return the money collected to citizens. It can be done – British Columbia has introduced a carbon tax that includes a 15% reduction in the finance minister’s pay […]
A note from The Mound of Sound with the header, The Tundra’s a poppin’ alerted me to this strange tale from the far north in Siberia, where a giant crater has appeared.
Says the Mound:
Russian helicopter crews stumbled across what appears to be an 80-metre wide crater in Siberia. They thought it might have been a meteor. Wrong. Russian scientists believe it was gas, probably methane, from melting permafrost that formed a bubble and finally blew up. The helo crew posted a great video of it on YouTube. No one has any idea how deep the hole is but (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- The New York Times editorial board chimes in on how Kansas serves as an ideal test case as to illusory benefits of top-end tax cuts: The 2012 cuts were among the largest ever enacted by a state, reducing the top tax bracket by 25 percent and eliminating all taxes on business profits that are reported on individual income returns. (No other state has ever eliminated all taxes on these pass-through businesses.) The cuts were arrogantly promoted by Mr. Brownback with the same disproven theory that Republicans have employed for decades: There will (Read more…)
When it comes to global warming, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change notes that what matters is the total volume of greenhouse gas emissions going forward. This amounts to about 30 years of emissions at current levels – a global carbon budget that would provide the world a 66% chance of staying below 2°C. There is some debate about whether an upper limit of 2°C is itself too high – it poses unacceptable and catastrophic consequences for the most vulnerable countries – but nonetheless the 2°C target has been adopted in international negotiations towards a new treaty to address climate change.
Carbon budgeting is (Read more…)
* Tom Steyer is founder and president of NextGen Climate, an organization that acts politically to avert climate disaster and preserve American prosperity. He recently responded to a New York Times article that detailed how he made his fortune as a hedge fund manager with portfolios in the fossil fuel industry, and claimed his recent […]
The hottest 3 months ever recorded. 2014 is on track to break a lot of records, in a bad way. * * Earth Just Finished Its Warmest Quarter-Year Ever
One of the great malignancies of the 20th century was the spread of neo-classical economics. the macro- and micro-stuff that you probably had to learn in university.
I did a good bit of fraud work in my legal career. One of the key ways to unravel a well-crafted fraud was to ferret out the inconsistencies, the gaps, the irreconcilable contradictions. Neo-classical economics, being a work of fraud, also is replete with inconsistencies, illogic and irreconcilable contradictions, but it bundles them all up and jettisons them under the category of “externalities.” It’s sort of like your teenager shoving all the (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material to start your week.
- Ralph Surette highlights the dangers of a pollution-based economy which fails to account for the damage we’re doing to our planet and its ability to provide food for people: This is something to behold. A more-or-less hurricane in early July. Has anyone ever seen such a thing?
This is climate change, and it’s getting worse. And whereas the news of the day is about people with the power out, the long-term story is about the hit to agriculture, now and in future, here and worldwide — keeping in mind that farming is more (Read more…)
Citizens’ Climate Lobby held its 5th Annual Conference in Washington DC June 22 – 24th. It was my second international CCL conference; at last year’s meeting there were 365 CCLers from across the United States, with a few Canadians thrown in for good measure. This year the number of climate-concerned citizens nearly doubled, with 600 […]