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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…)

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…)