Hypocrisy?  You be the judge.

So what did Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s Minister of the Environment say when she spoke to the recent United Nations Climate Summit?

As predicted Ms. Aglukkaq referred to recent draft regulations governing emissions from motor vehicles.  These regulations, promised two years ago, align Canada with similar US regulations.

The Minister also referred to the regulation of coal-fired electricity generating plants.  Nothing new there:  these regulations have been around for some time, and won’t  result in reduced emissions for many years.

Read moreHypocrisy?  You be the judge.

Global warming? Nothing can be done about it!

So says Margaret Wente.  How can global warming be stopped if countries that are the largest contributors are not committed to the necessary reductions in their GHG emissions?

Ms. Wente referred to the proposed new US regulations on coal-fire electricity generating plants, such as the large Ohio plant in the attached image. (Source Wikipedia) As she points out, these regulations are subject to review and comment, a process that will last into next year.  Expected legal challenges could result in further extensive delay.  So there could be little reduction in US GHG emissions for some years, a circumstance that may result in the US missing its Copenhagen targets.

Read moreGlobal warming? Nothing can be done about it!

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.

Read moreWriting on the Wall: the IPCC Fifth Assessment (mitigation)

Carbon Crash – Solar Dawn

In July 2011, 4RG carried a commentary on The Great Disruption, a book by Paul Gildings. The message was simple: In one sense our problem is not climate change, but the delusion that we can have infinite quantitative economic growth supported by fossil fuel energy.  Fossil fuel energy has two large problems:  it is a finite …

Read moreCarbon Crash – Solar Dawn

No stopping the exploitation of the tar sands!

Andrew Gage, Staff Lawyer, West Coast Environmental Law, penned an article with the title “Dear President Obama: In Canada climate change affects none of our decisions!”

His article is a good analysis of the recent State Department Review of the Keystone XL Pipeline.  He compares the process followed by the State Department in conducting that Review with similar decisions of Canadian Government agencies.

We know that the State Department accepted that the tar sands bitumen would get to international markets whether or not the cross-border Keystone XL link was built.   Gage disputes this conclusion.

Regardless, he is right on the key issue!

Read moreNo stopping the exploitation of the tar sands!