Stephen Leahy:  Canada’s Environmental Journalist

Stephen Leahy, a freelance international journalist who resides just outside of Toronto,is a 2012 co-winner of the UN Global Media Prize for climate change coverage.  He and his colleagues were the source of commentary appearing on the Warsaw Climate Conference (COP 18) of published IN 4RG last fall. These are busy days for international journalists … Read more

Phasing Out Coal

In one country – the US – reducing GHG emissions requires replacing coal-fired generating plants.  In another – India – emissions will increase as many more such plants are built. At the September UN Summit in New York, the Indian Environment Minister, Prakash Javadekar said his government is not planning to cut its greenhouse gas … Read more

“Dire Warning” means really DIRE!

A  Globe & Mail headline for a front page article on the latest UN Climate Change Report released by the IPCC (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) described it as a “Dire Warning”.  The Globe found those words so alarming that it has withdrawn them from its online database of published articles. In our opinion … Read more

Toronto goes to the polls

Two of the three mayoralty candidates in this Toronto civic election had green credentials:  Olivia Chow, who was endorsed by Elizabeth May, and John Tory, who has been active in local environmental projects.  Both these candidates included environmental planks in their election platform directed at climate change.. Just before voting day, both the Toronto Star … Read more

Why are we marching in New York?

Why? Because our grandchildren’s future is at stake and thousands of people from all over North America are sending a message to world leaders. At least five chartered buses are travelling  from Toronto alone. The March starts at Central Park and world leaders in the General Assembly of the nearby United Nations headquarters will, we hope, take note of this outpouring over the climate crisis. We know that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will urge leaders to take greater action than we did to defeat the Nazis in World War II.

We will be joined in New York by James Hansen, former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute, and author of Storms of My Grandchildren, along with a dozen of our grandparent friends from Norway. Bill McKibben, who started  <350.org>  (the organizers of the march) and James Hansen have been champions of the battle to bring about clean energy. And battle it has been. The Bush Administration even cut out parts of Hansen’s early report before releasing it !

Nonetheless, like other grandparents, my wife and I are looking forward to a positive future for all grandchildren. And the march on Sept. 21st could be the start of a quiet revolution as all of us begin to comprehend what the space travellers have told us for years: there is only one fragile, jewel of a planet and we have the responsibility to care for it, not poison it or exploit it.

Read moreWhy are we marching in New York?

Setting a Price on Carbon

How should a Canadian Government set a price for carbon? By legislation, such as a carbon tax? Or by a market based system, such as cap-and-trade ?

In the 2008 Federal Election a majority of Canadians rejected a carbon tax proposed by the Liberal Party.  After this defeat, Jim Prentice, then the Federal Minister of Environment, announced that a carbon market was an important building block in the Conservative Government’s climate change plan.

The market was based on a a cap-and-trade system.   The system would limit emissions of greenhouse gases but emitters would be able exceed the limits by purchasing offset credits to compensate for their excess emissions.  These rules were never finalized and the proposal was effectively dropped.

In October 2010 Prentice resigned from the Government and joined the CIBC.  His departure was never explained.

Read moreSetting a Price on Carbon

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