Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Accidental Deliberations: How to destroy the climate in three easy steps

1. Abandon all previous targets and commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.2. Set a new target which one intends to ignore.3. Make clear to the world that developing policies to actually meet the new target is somebody else’s problem, no matter how obvious it is that the result will be failure.

Of course, we recognize how asinine and ineffectual that combination is when it originates with Stephen Harper. Who’s willing to do the same when it’s the Anointed One?

reeves report: Melting Glaciers to Release Billions of Kilograms of CO₂ by 2050

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…)

Accidental Deliberations: I see what you did there

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…)

The Canadian Progressive: Leehi Yona: Canadians’ best interests “certainly not represented” at COP20

Canada’s best interests weren’t represented at the recent COP20 climate conference in Peru, argues Leehi Yona, a Canadian youth delegate recently named one of Canada’s top environmentalist under 25.

The post Leehi Yona: Canadians’ best interests “certainly not represented” at COP20 appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Harper Breaks Promise To Regulate Oil And Gas Emissions

In Parliament today, PM Stephen Harper said “it would be crazy economic policy” to regulate the Canadian oil and gas industry’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The post Harper Breaks Promise To Regulate Oil And Gas Emissions appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- The OECD reports on the relationship between equality and growth, and concludes that rising inequality is as toxic for economic development as it is for our social fabric. And David Rider discusses how increasing inequality is manifesting itself in several Toronto neighbourhoods.

- Meanwhile, Daniel Tancer finds finds that Canada’ workers receive a significantly lower share of income than in other developed countries: Our modern economy is anything but egalitarian, and labour’s share of income has been shrinking for decades as business profits soar while wages stagnate.

On this measure, Canada is (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Excuses, excuses

Shorter Leona Aglukkaq: It’s absolutely essential that we align our greenhouse gas emissions policies with the U.S. if that means delaying regulations which could limit pollution from the tar sands. Also, it’s absolutely essential that we refuse to align our greenhouse gas emission policies with the U.S. if they’re committing to targets which could limit pollution from the tar sands.

Carbon49 - Sustainability for Canadian businesses: From Ground to Store: We Look at Carbon Neutral Wines

When you see a product that says carbon neutral, what does it mean? I recently enjoyed a bottle of Italy’s number one selling wine in Canada, Santa Margherita’s Pinot Grigio. Each bottle has a green label that says “Carbon neutral from ground to store. Measured and offset with Carbonzero”. It is produced in Italy, imported into Canada by Lifford Wine, and certified by Carbonzero as carbon neutral. I investigate its Italian supply chain and production, shipping to Canada, and sales and consumption in Canada to learn what it means to be carbon neutral.

Carbon neutrality, or having a (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Energy East—another reason why we need Quebec

Among the arguments that might be made to keep Quebec in Canada is simply that it’s our most progressive province. One can cite ample of evidence for this: it showed the strongest support for the Kyoto Accord and gay marriage, it has the most advanced child care program, it is probably the major reason we said no to the Iraq war … the list goes on.

Earlier this month, the province

The Canadian Progressive: Naomi Klein: Reject Keystone XL Pipeline, Radical Change Needed [VIDEO]

Naomi Klein calls on Barack Obama to reject TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, urges “radical change to prevent catastrophic warming.”

The post Naomi Klein: Reject Keystone XL Pipeline, Radical Change Needed [VIDEO] appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

- The Economist discusses how a tiny elite group is taking a startling share of the U.S.’ total wealth: The ratio of household wealth to national income has risen back toward the level of the 1920s, but the share in the hands of middle-class families has tumbled (see chart). Tepid growth in middle-class incomes is partly to blame; real incomes for the top 1% of families grew 3.4% a year from 1986-2012 while those for the bottom 90% grew 0.7%. But Messrs Saez and Zucman reckon the main cause (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Why the Obama-Xi Emissions Deal is Window Dressing.

The CO2 emissions deal reached this week by the presidents of the US and China is a positive step, no doubt about that.  It’s also far too little, much too late, although it’s reflective of how inflexible our global society has become even in matters of our very survival.

Even the numbers are squishy.  Obama has pledged that America will reduce CO2 emissions by 25 to 28% from 2005 levels by 2020.  The Chinese pledge is even more obscure.  It commits China to cap its emissions by 2030 and then begin reductions.

What’s wrong with this?  Well, for starters, these (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Dear Tony, You Can Kiss Our…

A group of Australians gathered on Bondi Beach to bury their heads in the sand in protest of their prime minister’s fossil fuel fetish.

More than 400 protesters stuck their heads in the sand on Australia’s Bondi Beach on Thursday, mocking the government’s reluctance to put climate change on the agenda of a G20 summit this weekend. Prime minister Tony Abbott’s perceived failure to address climate change is all the more galling in the wake of an agreement between the United States and China on Wednesday to limit their carbon emissions, they said.“Obama’s on board, Xi Jinping’s on (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Eugene Lang discusses the importance of fiscal choice in the lead up to the 2015 federal election. And Don Cayo reminds us that the Cons’ determination to hand free money to the wealthy – most recently through income-splitting and increased TFSA limits – means that everybody else has to pay more for a lesser level of public service.

- Jordan Press reports on the latest conclusions from Canada’s Environment Commissioner, who finds the Harper Cons predictably doing nothing whatsoever to meet greenhouse gas emission targets. And Karl Nerenberg looks at the Environment Commissioner’s (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: 50 Canadian Climate Experts Support People’s Climate March

In a letter supporting the People’s Climate March, 50 Canadian climate change and sustainability researchers warn that Canada is running a sustainability deficit.

The post 50 Canadian Climate Experts Support People’s Climate March appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Climate Criminals: Harper Misses Canadian People’s Climate March Caravan

By skipping the UN Climate Summit, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is solidifying his place among the ranks of global climate criminals.

The post Climate Criminals: Harper Misses Canadian People’s Climate March Caravan appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Disaffected Lib: What Happens When Earth Says, "I’m Outta Here."

Earth may have had just about enough of us.

One indication that we may be outstaying our planetary welcome is the spike in atmospheric greenhouse gases in 2013.  Part of that reflects our increased use of fossil fuels.  The other part is more worrisome by an order of magnitude.

The Earth, it seems, may have had its fill of absorbing our emissions.

Concentrations of nearly all the major greenhouse gases reached historic highs in 2013, reflecting ever-rising emissions from automobiles and smokestacks but also, scientists believe, a diminishing ability of the world’s oceans and plant life to soak up the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Gerald Caplan suggests that Rogers and Bell might be ripe for nationalization – though it’s also worth pointing out that we don’t have to guess what happens when a Crown delivers telecommunications services: The British Labour Party has begun to make the case that market fundamentalism, or neoliberalism, is not necessarily the best way for society to operate. Specifically, it’s been trying to show that private enterprise is not always superior to public enterprise.

Beginning with Margaret Thatcher, British governments have denuded the UK of almost all public enterprises, from British Airways to (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Keystone XL greenhouse gas emissions higher than estimates: Study

by: Obert Madondo Follow @Obiemad | Published Mon, Aug 11, 2014

Keystone Pipeline Handout

A new study strongly suggests that U.S. State Department grossly underestimated the negative environmental impact of TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

In its Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Assessment earlier this year, the State Department concluded that the pipeline wouldn’t be a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, estimating the carbon impact would be 27 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. The new study estimates that Keystone would produce four times that amount: 110 million tonnes.

The research was conducted at the Stockholm Environment (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Keystone XL greenhouse gas emissions higher than estimates: Study

reeves report: Transportation sector key to reducing GHG emissions in Ontario: ECO

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…)

reeves report: ECO urges province to create new climate action plan

SO MUCH OF THE THINKING around climate change has evolved since 2007 that Ontario’s seven-year-old climate action plan is now “irrelevant” according to Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller.

In releasing Looking for Leadership: The Costs of Climate Inaction this morning, Miller said the province has been a leader in the climate file but has not kept up with the changing social, scientific and economic dynamics of climate change since Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan was released in 2007.

In particular, Miller identified four areas where society and science have moved beyond the baseline assumptions about climate change it held seven years (Read more…)

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Alberta tar sands a “war on the earth”: Brigette DePape

For Canadian activist Brigette DePape, participating in last weekend’s final tar sands Healing Walk in Fort McMurray, Alberta, was akin to “witnessing a war on the earth, and being part of a growing movement to stop it.”

The post Alberta tar sands a “war on the earth”: Brigette DePape appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Alberta tar sands a “war on the earth”: Brigette DePape

For Canadian activist Brigette DePape, participating in last weekend’s final tar sands Healing Walk in Fort McMurray, Alberta, was akin to “witnessing a war on the earth, and being part of a growing movement to stop it.”

The post Alberta tar sands a “war on the earth”: Brigette DePape appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Emmett Macfarlane and Justin Ling both weigh in on the Cons’ newly-unveiled prostitution legislation – which seems downright calculated to exacerbate the risks to sex workers’ lives and safety that resulted in the previous version being struck down as unconstitutional.

- And on the subject of policy designed entirely out of prejudiced desire to punish and exclude marginalized groups, Christopher Ingraham writes about a study showing that restrictive voter ID laws arise out of discriminatory intent.

- Newsweek takes note of the Harper Cons’ gag order against meteorologists informing the public about (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Gary Engler explores Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century from the perspective of a reader who’s far more skeptical than Piketty about the prospect of tinkering around the edges of our current corporatist economic system. And Seth Ackerman writes that Piketty’s observations look like compelling evidence challenging the doctrine of marginal productivity theory which is taken as an article of faith by laissez-faire fundamentalists.

- Meanwhile, Bill Moyers interviews Joseph Stiglitz about corporate tax evasion. And Michael Madowitz points out what we should have learned about austerity economics by now: There (Read more…)