A “Wall”-a-buster

The Premier of Saskatchewan, Brad Wall, recognizes the seriousness of climate change.Even so he is against the Federal Government’s proposal to reduce CO2 emissions that are the cause of climate change.  Wall opposes  the Federal policy to put a price on carbon, whether it is by a carbon tax or by cap and trade. He …

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A  Fight against Climate change – not a war on coal!

The US Environmental Protection Agency has released its much-awaited rules requiring reduction of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) from coal-fired power plants.  These plants are responsible for 75% of the US GHG emissions from the generation of electricity, but produce only 38% of US electricity.

To prevent the rules being characterized as purely a climate change measure, the EPA points out that lessening emissions from coal will reduce air pollution, moderate asthma rates and avoid deaths caused by heart attacks.  The EPA refers to these benefits as the “clean-air” revolution. The saving in health costs through a decrease in these medical problems will be significant.

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Writing on the Wall: the IPCC Fifth Assessment (mitigation)

The most important statement in the recently released IPCC Report from Working Group III on mitigation is the affirmation that disastrous effects of global warming can still be avoided.

In practical terms avoidance of disastrous climate change requires international agreement on a price for carbon. The price must reflect the emerging scarcity of disposal space for carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere.

With a price on carbon, fossil fuels will lose their competitive edge over renewable sources of energy. Canada and certain other countries will find that dependence on fossil fuels for energy cannot be sustained.

There is another consequence for Canada in the displacement of fossil fuels as a source of energy. In future Canada’s fossil fuel resource industry will progressively contribute less and less to our economy.

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A Cash Shower

On May 3 last,  the Canadian Government (described in its Press Releases as the Harper Government) showered cash on certain Canadian businesses and research institutions. Coordinated press conferences to announce these grants took place across Canada: in the Maritimes,  Quebec City (Harper was there), the Canada Cement Lafarge cement plant in Ontario, Toronto and the Yukon.  These grants approved in the 2011 budget under the Federal ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative total 85 million.

Grants for $17 million were awarded for research into Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), larger  than amounts granted to any other research category.  Still the amount is relatively small in comparison with the Alberta Government committment to advance $1.3 billion to support the development of CCS as a solution to Alberta’s GHG emissions.

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Subsidies for Renewable Energy under attack

Most electricity is currently generated from fossil fuels.  The “market pricing” of this electricity takes into account generation and transmission costs, including the price of the fuel.  Environmental costs are included to a degree, but not potential costs of global warming attributable to the emission of Greenhouse Gases (GHG).  Without including these future costs, electricity generated …

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