More Bang for our Buck

This summer I had a thoroughly pleasant morning with an old friend at the Fredericton Saturday farmers’ market. Steve stopped to chat with friends wherever he turned, we bought provisions, and I bought a few gifts for my family. I was intrigued by the number of people wearing yellow t-shirts with the logo you see at …

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Canadian Government Press Releases = “Spin”

“An Environment Canada press release advises that Canada will provide garden hoses to fight forest fires.  The Minister of the Environment pointed out that this program will support Canadian jobs.”

No, you will not find this “Press Release” on the Environment Canada site.  Or any other Government of Canada site. The Press Release is a parody of the numerous press releases that are shovelled out every week by Government Media Relations.

Environment Canada or Natural Resources press releases all extol the wonderful efforts of the Harper Government, such as its encouragement of renewable energy, Canada’s reduction of GHG or the support of other countries fighting climate change.   Almost invariably there is a mention of a dollar figure that is impressive . . . . as long as you don’t compare it with the billions of dollars to repair damages resulting from Climate Change or the billions of dollars required to develop reliable alternative energy sources to fossil fuels.

Other frequent claims in Canadian Government press releases are:

  • the Harper government is balancing the reduction of GHG emissions with the need to support Canada’s economy, or
  • the program will produce jobs across Canada, or
  • the financing of the activity is another example of Canada’s role in the fight against climate change/or maintaining the environment.

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News Flash – The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the first part of its Fifth Assessment Report today, Friday, September 27.  Earlier this summer we commented on the science that underlies this lengthy report. 

Climate Action Network Canada points out that the report shows with greater certainty than ever that climate change is real, caused by human activity and requires urgent action. The report shows that it is certain that the earth is getting warmer, precipitation pattern are changing sea levels are rising, sea ice and glaciers are melting and oceans are acidifying, with serious consequences for our communities, environments and economies.

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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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Pipeline Propaganda!

Two advertizers seem to have a lot of money to spend on their message: fossil fuel producers and pipeline operators.  We have already commented in our blog Propaganda and Advertizing on the success of ads by fossil fuel producers so this blog will concentrate on the pipeline operators. The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) is …

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