Joe Clarke wants a Price on Carbon

Joe Clarke was the keynote speaker at a symposium sponsored by the University of Waterloo entitled “Communicating Sustainability in a Polarized World.” Clarke observed that Canadians will have difficulty understanding how others see the world during this period of continuing change.  Canadians must be prepared to resolve differences that are profound and deep.  Canadian policy should attempt … Read more

Gilbert and Sullivan on Canada’s climate leadership!

As did many grandparents, I grew up with Gilbert & Sullivan operettas.  Regrettably these charming musical and literary offerings are the now preserve of traditionalists.  But they still have a message for our times.

I sang – not very well and so not very loudly – in the chorus of “The Gondoliers”.  One of the leading characters in the Gondoliers was a regimental commander, the Duke of Plaza-Toro. (For Gilbert & Sullivan diehards go to YouTube to appreciate the Duke at his finest!)

The recent performance of Canada at COP19 reminded me of the Duke.

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Consumers want lower taxes and cheap energy!

4RG has commented that subsidies to keep the cost of electricity down lessen the financial incentive for consumers to use less electricity.  Effectively these subsidies are a road block to reducing GHG emissions in any province that generates electricity from fossil fuels.

A prior commentary, Politicians and Energy Subsidies, reviewed strategies adopted by Provincial Governments to keep costs down.  In Ontario hydro bills credit residents with a flat ten per cent reduction. The Ontario Government introduced this credit to lessen the financial impact of the cost of renewable energy sources, particularly windpower. The Government’s explanation was that today’s taxpayers should not have to pay the entire costs of a shift to renewable energy that will be benefit future taxpayers.

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A Canadian Credibility Gap

In his State of the Union address, President Obama’s comments on what must be done to combat climate change have put Canada on the spot.  The Canadian and Alberta Governments have spared no expense in trying to persuade the US to approve TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.   Now this long and costly campaign appears … Read more

Kent touts Canada’s climate record

“Kent touts Canada’s climate record”: this is the headline from the Ottawa Citizen that carried the story of Peter Kent’s address at Doha. A McMillan Dictionary definition of “tout” is:   “to try to persuade people to buy something by telling them about it, especially loudly and in public”.  Kent’s speech to the approximately 1200 delegates in a … Read more

Doha: the Week in Review

After three conferences on Climate Change (Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban) the politicians and the general public in North America are comfortable with the lack of progress in fighting global warming at a world level. So there is no great expectation that the outcome of discussions/negotiations at the Doha Conference (Conference of the Parties or COP18) … Read more

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