New and Familiar Voices

For over a decade, For Our Grandchildren has campaigned for a limit on greenhouse gas emissions – the principal reason for increases in the world’s average temperature, the acidity of the oceans and rising water levels, climate disruption that has produced new extremes in storms, drought and floods, food shortages . . Even Richard Attenborough,  … Read more

Merchants of Doubt

This is the title of a documentary film that examines the misrepresentation and obfuscation of the US fossil fuel lobby. “Doubt” has been sufficient to stall any effective action on climate change by the US Government. The fossil fuel lobby understood that eventually they would lose the debate over scientific proof of climate change.  If the … Read more

Will Canada ever respect GHG targets?

B.C. Premier Christy Clark wishes to establish LNG plants in British Columbia, tapping into reserves of natural gas in that Province and possibly in the neighbouring province of Alberta.  Her problem is that LNG generating plants are sources of Greenhouse gases.  The contemplated plants would probably make it impossible for BC to meet its 2020 emission targets.

Her solution: reduce the BC target.

Her rationalization:  China will import the LNG, which it will use to replace coal as the energy for electricity generation.

The happy result:  overall China’s Greenhouse Gas emissions will be reduced.

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Canada’s four responses to AR5!

First The CBC carried a story on the Fifth Assessment Report just before its official release.  With so-called journalistic even handedness, CBC presented some conclusions in the report, and then contrasted these opinions with the views of a spokesperson for the Heartland Institute. The news media have some obligation to check out their sources of … Read more

The State of the Planet

We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. . . We will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God.

President Obama, Inaugural address, January 2013.

These stirring words gave hope to millions around the world who were despairing for the future of the planet. At last, a major international leader was taking a stand. But facing Congress a few weeks later, the president was more muted about the environment in his State of the Union address. A brief reference to combating climate change “for the sake of our children and our future” was tucked away in the middle of his speech, sandwiched between the need for energy self-sufficiency and curbing climate change using market-based solutions while “driving strong economic growth.”

Why had the lofty sentiments about the state of the planet dissipated in a matter of weeks? Was it the reality of dealing with a fractious legislature who opposes action on climate change? Was it the need to placate the business community and the fossil fuel lobby? Perhaps he was pandering to consumers who also happen to be voters.

In Canada, however, there were no stirring words about the state of the planet in the last Speech from the Throne in 2011. There was no ennobling vision for the future of our children and grandchildren. There was not even a reference to the dangers of climate change.

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Nobody’s speaking! Nobody’s listening!

The 2012 US Presidential election campaign has seen a few surprises.  Instead of being a walkover, it appears to be a close race. Governor Romney is emphasizing the economy: are you better or worse off than in November 2008?   President Obama appeals to his experience as “Commander in Chief”, to use the US political tag. … Read more