Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

The Canadian Progressive: Maude Barlow: Five questions for Justin Trudeau, a year later

Justin Trudeau’s views on key issues do not represent the real change Canadians will be seeking during the 2015 federal election, says Maude Barlow.

The post Maude Barlow: Five questions for Justin Trudeau, a year later appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Site C legal challenges expose flaws in federal and BC environmental assessment processes

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Four legal challenges to last month’s approvals of BC Hydro’s proposed Site C dam demonstrate the risks associated with the erosion of legal mechanisms for meaningful public participation, transparency and accountability in environmental assessments under British Columbian and Canadian federal law. The federal and provincial decisions to approve Site C, an $8 hydroelectric project in northeast BC that would flood thousands of hectares of some of BC’s most important agricultural lands and displace homesteaders, First Nations, rare species and wildlife, occurred despite a finding by their own expert review panel that BC Hydro had not proven (Read more…)

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Field Notes: Coal exports in the BC Supreme Court

Friday, November 14, 2014

On the morning of October 27, I was excited not to have to go into the office, but not for the reasons one might think.  As an articled student for WCEL, I look forward to going to the office because everyone there is so inspirational and the work they do seems so worthwhile, I am thankful just to be a part of it all.  This day was not any different except I had a change of venue. This morning, I was attending a legal challenge brought by Voters Taking Action on Climate Change (VTACC) (Read more…)

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Hey, Suncor: your greenhouse gases are showing!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

We’re gratified that Suncor – one of Canada’s largest oil sands companies – has taken the time to read – and publicly disagree with – our recent report, Payback Time, cleverly downplaygin Payback Time as just one of several efforts to single out someone as responsible for climate change. Suncor then argues that we are all to blame, suggesting that singling Suncor out for special blame is simply wishful thinking on the part of equally blame-worthy polluters (ie. the general public).  The reality is that Suncorp’s product and operations are already causing tens of billions (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Tens of Billions Wasted

How much will we keep spending to develop more fossil fuels when we know we have to stop to avert climate breakdown?

$88b/year?

More?

How about zero. It’s time to redirect that money to wind, solar, geothermal, and hydro so we can stop exacerbating our climate crisis.

Redirect NOW!

Let us end this silent accord to let the carbon energy interests destroy us.

And let’s leave coal and nuclear behind too.

Deal? Good.

Now go let our corrupt politicians know we won’t stand for this nonsense anymore.

June 16, 2014 Hey, BC: Want More Jobs? Dump the LNG and Pipelines! (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Solar power heating up

Here comes the sun, Mother Jones, November 2014 “Last week, an energy analyst at Deutsche Bank came to a startling conclusion: By 2016, solar power will be as cheap or cheaper than electricity from the conventional grid in every state except three. That’s without any changes to existing policy. In other words, we’re only a few years away from the point where, in most of the United States, there will be no economic reason not to go solar. If you care about slowing climate change or just moving toward cleaner energy, that is a huge deal.

And solar energy (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Visualizing Energy Generated from Wind

Renewable energy debates can suffer obfuscation through abstraction and disingenuous allegations like renewable is limited in it’s generation times. For example, wind power is often argued to be useless because we cannot control the wind. We can’t control it, but we can predict it.

To demonstrate the effectiveness of wind power in the UK a new digital design company created a demonstration of using visualization to impact how people think of wind power.

We wanted to make MWh something more tangible, so we’ve taken some data* on the average energy usage of domestic products to hopefully bring those big numbers (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Con MP Supports Action on Climate Change? What?

What?

What?

What?

What?

Could this be the end of the denial of science?

Chong for prime minister?

What?

“This most recent report concludes that the warming of the planet due to emissions is ‘clear’ and ‘unequivocal,’” Chong said. “The report also concludes that without urgent action to reduce emissions, by the end of this century there is a high risk of severe, widespread, and irreversible damage due to extreme heat waves, more intense weather events, mass extinctions, coastal flooding, and crop failures.”

Chong said scientists have done their work, now politicians must do theirs.

“As a Conservative, I (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Carbon Energy Is Dead, Wake Up?

The math is so easy. So why is BC ramping up coal and LNG production? STOP THEM!

 

It really doesn’t get any simpler than this.

Climate realities mean not ignoring science. Here’s some math. Let’s get off the coal, oil and gas.

Click on the image for more enlightenment!

June 16, 2014 Hey, BC: Want More Jobs? Dump the LNG and Pipelines! (1) December 27, 2013 The Ultimate New Year’s Resolution (4) August 11, 2014 Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial! (1) July 4, 2013 New, Better Jobs Building a Green Energy Infrastructure (3)

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Carbon Energy Is Dead, Wake Up?

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: NEB sham exposed

It is been long apparent that the National Energy Board is not an industry regulator. It is an industry facilitator that is staffed by people who serve the fossil fuel industry and work to deflect public concern about whatever projects industry plans. Scroll down through previous Northern Insight articles about the NEB for evidence that goes beyond the comments of Marc Eliesen, a widely respected former public servant and energy executive.

From Dogwood Initiative, November 2, 2014 Marc Eliesen has withdrawn as an intervenor in the federal government’s review of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and oil tanker expansion (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Renewable Energy Use Grows Fastest in Poor Countries

Renewable resources are good for the environment, good for remote areas, and don’t need expensive infrastructure. All of these benefits of renewable power generation have led poorer countries to embrace distributed renewable energy!

The boom in renewables is often made for economic reasons, Ethan Zindler, a Washington-based Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst, said in an interview. An island nation like Jamaica, where wholesale power costs about $300 a megawatt-hour, could generate electricity from solar panels for about half as much. Similarly, wind power in Nicaragua may be half as expensive as traditional energy.

“Clean energy is the low-cost option in (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Should BC taxpayers promote fossil fuels?

If British Columbia continues to encourage the production and transport of coal, gas and oil, we are blowing poisons into the faces of earth’s future generations. I know something about that, I did it to my children.

When a young adult, I smoked tobacco. Initially, it was an effort to look mature and conform with contemporaries; after a while, an addiction, continued even though it threatened my health and the well-being of people around me. They had to share the dependency but I was insensitive. That there were consequences began to register but risks were distant and current day pleasures (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How the Corporate Media Misleads Us, Intentionally

So, here’s Forbes magazine telling us that the majority of scientists are skeptical about global warming.

Hmmm. Well that’s news, for sure.

Except it’s a lie.

As a phrase, I’d be somewhat more interested in “climate change” or “climate breakdown,” but that’s not all that significant compared to the MASSIVE LIE IN THEIR HEADLINE! <echo> <echo> <echo>: “Peer-Reviewed Survey Finds Majority Of Scientists Skeptical Of Global Warming Crisis“.

Here’s what they don’t tell us:

The survey was of petroleum industry scientists and engineers.

Do you think there MAY be some bias here?

They even link to the study (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Welcome, Dropping Oil Prices!

So, expensive oil made the tarsands and LNG more financially attractive if not climate-destroying.

We know this because…science! Unless you are a science-denier.

But even with and prices AND demand dropping, we are seeing the makings of a real flattening of long-term stability in demand that can fundamentally undermine the BC Liberal Party’s ignorance-embracing lust for LNG, fracking, oil, gas and coal.

If you want to see what resilience looks like, and how the global carbon energy market is going to poke holes in the BC Liberal Party’s science-rejecting, short-sighted energy policy, read this piece below, and sign up for (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: "…A lot more electricity being needed."

British Columbians are fortunate to be guided by wise and experienced leaders, people able to analyze events and foresee the future in ways that more practised experts cannot. One of my favourites is Bill Bennett, a man particularly qualified to make decisions on how the public ought to spend tens of billions of dollars.

Bennett gained expertise and honed business acumen as an entrepreneur involved in fishing camps and a goose-hunting lodge on Hudson Bay. Despite potential conflicts, he maintained a financial connection to wilderness tourism even after beginning a career in politics. Reporter Larry Pynn provided detail in Bill (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Climate Change Science Deniers, Ignorance and Media’s False Balance

Climate change deniers are science deniers.

That makes them either stupid, or so incredibly biased/conflicted that they are willing to ignore science and dodge accusations of their own stupidity to accomplish some other goal.

In BC we are producing oil, gas and coal and stunningly stupid rates, only to go up in the future.

Our corporate media is spewing this “false balance” at us. Journalists who deny the scientific truth of climate change should be fired. But corporate media want to keep them on.

We need to continually inoculate our against this wilful ignorance.

February 5, 2014 The Media Corruption (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Big LNG Tax Regime Vomit Bucket

Cue sweet new day[tm] political campaign music, invoking images of a unicorn flying over our quaint village, then Robert Redford in voiceover:

“LNG will be a $ trillion sector, reaping billions in revenue for the province [due to some kind of gruelling tax regime] so we can become debt-free, and pay for the best public services in the solar system, and bring trade junkets to the Golden Temple of Amritsar thrice yearly!”

Cue Law and Order “Bum Bum” loop:

After months of delays, release the actual tax rates. [Place face in palm, in advance.]

It will never be (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Liberal estimates and guesstimates

BC’s Minister of Energy and Mines says the $7.9 billion budget for Site C is “reliable” and the estimate of “direct construction costs” of $3.8 billion has “an 18% contingency.” Bill Bennett’s words are imprecise but if $3.8 billion includes the contingency, the allowance for known unknowns and unknown unknowns would be $580 million, 8% of the entire project cost. Compare that to two much smaller Liberal projects that are $2¼ billion, or 98% over budget.

In 2006, Vancouver Sun’s Miro Cernetig wrote $3-billion plan to end gridlock: “VICTORIA — A $3-billion plan aimed at (Read more…)

Environmental Law Alert Blog: First Nations, Non-Governmental Organizations and Union Get Green Light to Proceed With a Barrage of Court Cases against Enbridge Northern Gateway Proposal

Monday, October 20, 2014

Earlier this month, a large number of First Nations and organizations celebrated an important step forward when all of their cases challenging the federal approval of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines and tankers proposal were given the green light to proceed by the Federal Court of Appeal.

Earlier this month, a large number of First Nations and organizations celebrated an important step forward when all of their cases challenging the federal approval of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines and tankers proposal were given the green light to proceed by the Federal Court of Appeal.

read more

Things Are Good: Floating Wind Turbine in Alaska

In Alaska they are trying something rather cool – a wind turbine that floats in the air. The turbine will be tethered to the ground and will be a test run of this new technology. if successful, the turbine can be used to power remote communities and be used in disaster response.

The helium-filled turbine will be installed over the city of Fairbanks, Alaska, and will feed energy into the grid through cables that will connect it to the ground. The team is planning to further develop the project and initially target remote areas, disaster-stricken regions and military bases.

Read (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Transportation After Fossil Fuels: A Decade Away?

Once upon a time, I rode the maglev at the Japan pavilion at Expo 86.

Since then, I’ve come to see that that was the Commodore Vic 20 of high speed travel. What’s the new standard? ET3.

So if you’ve been having a hard time imagining a post-carbon transportation system that would run on the electricity we’d glean from the wind and the sun, and cost about as much as one year of Air Canada’s gross revenue [$12.4 billion in 2013], start grinning when you read the quote at the bottom.

We could even fund it federally with a (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How to Spot an Ecology Troll

Start with an oil spill apologist/minimizer. Work with the twisted logic that since all ships and oil tankers don’t crash all the time, any concern over one that might [and our government's pathetic incompetence in prevention and disaster-aversion] is eco-hysteria. Pay any attention to and RT anything Ayn Rand. Then spot allied apologists.

Then follow the timelines:

[Timeliness note: as of 115pm, the third tow line on the Simushir snapped, so nothing's safe yet.]

Here's a real crude tanker, off Victoria Golf Course, carrying Alaska crude so no story #haidagwaii pic.twitter.com/04bOWy5xCo

— Tom Fletcher (@tomfletcherbc) October 18, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Transit Should Be Free; Until Then…

$1/day is a good start to get there.

It’s good for the environment. It reduces commuter stress. It forces governments to increase progressive taxation to cover infrastructure costs. It uses BC’s cheap hydro electricity. It combats rampant zombie consumerism. The post-secondary UPass system has improved commuting incredibly.

So $1/day is a good start to get there:

Mayoral candidate Meena Wong of COPE launched another populist proposal Wednesday, calling for a universal transit program that would cost each of Vancouver’s citizens $1 per day.

– from Universal transit in Vancouver for $1 a day, pitches mayoral candidate July 9, 2014 How (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Simushir and BC’s Energy Future

[I was finishing my presentation to the BC government Finance Committee for their 2015 budget the other day. Now Simushir has begun to threaten ecological disaster. That puts a new context in here as I submit my ideas today. I'm very concerned about the next few hours, weeks and decades.]

BC Must Take the Lead in Building the Post-Carbon Energy Infrastructure

On this final day of the 2015 budget submission, the Simushir is adrift off Haida Gwaii and may create Canada’s first massive oil ecological disaster. This should frame our discussion about energy, climate change and the environment, and (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Clean Energy is Actually the $Trillion Sector, Not LNG

According to Analytica Advisors, the global demand for clean energy technology was estimated at $1.1 trillion in 2012 and projected to grow to $2.5 trillion by 2022. It also estimates that the cleantech industry in Canada grew nine per cent in 2012. In the same period, the mining, oil and gas sectors grew by only 0.3 per cent.

In B.C., Globe Advisors found the cleantech industry was responsible for 123,000 jobs and $15 billion in GDP in 2012. In Vancouver, green jobs increased by almost 20 per cent between 2010 and 2013, with (Read more…)