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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…)

Bill Longstaff: Could Alberta go green?

With 50 per cent more greenhouse gas emissions than Ontario, Alberta is Canada’s pollution province. And that makes us think of the tar sands. But it’s more than bitumen. Alberta’s electrical power generation, heavily dependent on coal, produces almost as much greenhouse gas as the tar sands. The province gets 63 per cent of its electrical power from coal, burning more than the rest of the

The Canadian Progressive: Poll: Albertans clearly support stronger rules for industrial greenhouse gas emissions

by: Pembina Institute | Press Release | May 23, 2014

EDMONTON — New poll results show that 76 per cent of Albertans support the Government of Alberta requiring stronger greenhouse gas performance regulations for industrial facilities.

Federal and provincial greenhouse gas regulations for the oil and gas sector have long been in the works, and Alberta’s existing emissions rules, the Specified Gas Emitters Regulation (SGER), are set to expire on September 1, 2014.

However, recent media reports suggest the Alberta government intends to put off announcing any changes to its existing industrial emissions regulations until the fall, attributing the (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Fracking: Council of Canadians’ ‘Frack Corp’ Fracks Parliament Hill

by: Council of Canadians | Press Release | May 1, 2014

‘Frack Corp’ fracked Parliament Hill this morning using a 14-foot fracking rig spilling fracking wastewater in the process. The Council of Canadians, the organization behind the action, said it was to highlight the grave risks associated with fracking such as well leaks and wastewater spills.

“We organized this action to drive home to Members of Parliament why Canadian and Indigenous communities are calling for a ban on fracking,” says Emma Lui, water campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “Affected communities have been sounding the alarm on fracking for years because (Read more…)

reeves report: Fracking impact report due early May

Fracking well in USA.

A panel report on the potential environmental impacts of shale gas exploration, extraction and development in Canada has been finalized but will not see the light of day until after May 1, 2014.

In 2011, then federal Environment Minister Peter Kent asked the Council of Canadian Academies—an independent, not-for-profit supporting evidence-based expert assessments—to surmise the “state of knowledge” on shale gas development in Canada, the “associated mitigation options” and investigate what environmental impacts could occur from its expansion.

“Extraction of this resource has become more cost-effective in recent years, in part due to advances in (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Ex-US president Jimmy Carter urges Obama to reject Keystone XL Pipeline

“History will reflect on this moment and it will be clear to our children and grandchildren if you made the right choice,” laureates remind President Obama as the world awaits his decision on the Keystone XL pipeline

by: Obert Madondo | April 17, 2014

To show leadership on climate change and leave a lasting legacy, US President Barack Obama must reject TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline. That’s the message from Jimmy Carter.

The former US president joined South African anti-apartheid icon Bishop Desmond Tutu and other Nobel Peace Prize laureates who have signed a strongly-worded open letter urging Obama to (Read more…)

reeves report: Toronto offering on-bill financing for home energy retrofits

A homeowner installing fiberglass insulation as part of Penticton, B.C.’s energy retrofit loan program.

It might be time to replace that aging water heater in the basement. Or that thinning insulation in the attic.

The City of Toronto is here to help, announcing last week that it’s taking steps to make it easier for property owners to make their homes more energy efficient through the Home Energy Loan Program (HELP).

Under the initiative, homeowners will be able to apply for low interest loans (from five years at 2.5 per cent, up to 15 years at 4.25 (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how Brad Wall is again joining Stephen Harper in putting oil lobbying over the public interest – making excuses for doing absolutely nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.

For further reading…- I’ve written before about the federal Cons’ apparent strategy of standing in the way of consensus on action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And lest there be any doubt, the Cons have been well aware of both the need for action in order to keep their own promises – and have  responded by slashing Environment Canada for telling inconvenient truths.- (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline would increase Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions

By: Pembina Institute | Press Release

OTTAWA — The proposed Energy East pipeline would enable a significant increase in Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, says a new report from the Pembina Institute.

Climate Implications of the Proposed Energy East Pipeline is the first public estimate of the west-to-east pipeline’s upstream climate impact. It shows that producing the crude needed to fill Energy East could generate up to 32 million tonnes of additional greenhouse gas emissions each year — an even greater impact than the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

TransCanada is expected to file its regulatory application for Energy East with the (Read more…)

the reeves report: Europe looks to coal to reduce electricity prices

One year after The Economist signalled an ”unwelcomed coal renaissance”, Bloomberg News reported Jan. 6 that Europe’s lust for lower energy prices was reviving lignite mining for coal-fired generation in a big way.

Lignite, a low-quality form of coal that contains less units of energy and greater volumes of carbon than traditional coal, is once again the prize European energy firms are seeking in open-pit mines in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic in an effort to wrestle high-energy prices to the mat.

According to Bloomberg, new coal developments “go against the grain of European Union rules limiting (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: The tar sands—our climate change nemesis

While Neil Young very publicly feuds with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and its ally the Canadian government, tar sands production continues to systematically advance Alberta’s position as the country’s pollution province. Already producing more greenhouse gasses than Ontario, despite having less than 30 per cent of its population, tar sands expansion will have it producing

Bill Longstaff: The folly of aping U.S. emissions policy

Our federal government’s policy on greenhouse gas emissions is simple: whatever the United States’ policy on greenhouse gas emissions is. And that means a target of reducing emissions by 17 per cent from 2005 to 2020. But, as the Pembina Institute pointed out this week, there is a very large fly in that particular ointment. And the fly is that the two countries have very different emissions

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Andrew Jackson writes that Canada needs far more investment in infrastructure – rather than the austerity that’s constantly being prescribed by the Cons: The fiscal policy choice we face is often miscast as one between austerity to deal with public debt and short-term Keynesian-style stimulus. But the real choice, Mr. Summers argues, is whether or not to finance public investments that would have positive long-term impacts on both the economy and on public finances.

Take the case for repairing or replacing Canada’s crumbling basic municipal infrastructure, some 30 per cent of which is (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- The Economist discusses research by Miles Corak and others on intergenerational inequality. And interestingly, other studies seem to suggest Corak has actually underestimated the barriers to social mobility: THE “Great Gatsby curve” is the name Alan Krueger, an economic adviser to Barack Obama, gave to the relationship between income inequality and social mobility across the generations. Mr Krueger used the phrase in a 2012 speech to describe the work of Miles Corak of the University of Ottawa, who has shown that more unequal economies tend to have less fluid societies. Mr Corak (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- George Monbiot discusses how another corporate investment agreement – this time one between Europe and the U.S. patterned after CETA – will transfer yet more power from people and their elected governments to corporate elites: The purpose of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is to remove the regulatory differences between the US and European nations. I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago. But I left out the most important issue: the remarkable ability it would grant big business to sue the living daylights out of governments which try to (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- David Green asks whether decades of corporate insistence on “flexible” labour markets (i.e. ones which offer no stability for workers) have resulted in the improved wages promised at the outset: Increased wages are how we share the benefits of economic growth among a wide range of people in our society. It’s hard to see the fairness in policies that seek to stamp out wage increases wherever possible.

But this raises the second question – has the policy of increased labour market flexibility worked? Has it delivered a better life for most Canadians?

(Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Don Braid comments on Alberta’s complete lack of credibility when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental issues. And Andrew Leach nicely sums up the PC/Con position in trying to put a happy face on growing emissions: Suppose you run into an old friend whom you haven’t seen for some time. You notice that he looks a little thicker than you remembered around the waist, but, since you aren’t one of those academics who shuns basic manners, you keep mum.

“How are you doing?” you say, “What’s new? (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Thomas Walkom writes that the Harper Cons’ much-hyped economic record in fact offers ample reason to demand a change in government: The Conservatives insist that the economy is their strong suit. And for a while it was. In 2011, voters bought Harper’s pitch.

But voter patience can last only so long. For too many Canadians, life is not improving. Income gaps are becoming more blatant. Wages are sluggish. Students are taking on massive debts to prepare themselves for jobs that, in the end, fail to materialize.

Those lucky enough to have jobs — (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On bad-faith negotiations

I’ve written before about the Cons’ blatant strategy of saying just enough about regulating greenhouse gas emissions from the oil industry to confuse voters about the issue while blocking the way toward any action. And so the real news in their offer to let the U.S. write the regulations they’ve been promising “next year” for seven years and counting is the prospect that it might actually result in some policy coming into effect.

That is, assuming one thinks the same prime minister who’s gleefully played Lucy-with-the-football with the Canadian public on this exact issue will voluntarily follow through after (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Matthew Yglesias sums up the effects of four decades of U.S. union-busting, and points out how the supposed benefit from pointing a fire hose filled with money in the general direction of the corporate sector hasn’t materialized: If you turn back 30 or 40 years, the policy rationale for crushing labor union influence went something like this: In the short-term crushing private sector labor unions is going to lead to a surge in corporate profits, but profits are the fuel of investment and long-term economic growth. Companies with high profits have the (Read more…)