Failure to check global warming: are environmentalists really to blame?

In our recent blog “Margaret Thatcher – an Environmental Saint” we emphasized how a quarter century ago Prime Minister Thatcher expressed in the clearest possible terms what had to be done to avoid the danger of global warming. In the intervening twenty five years the world has done little.  Over this period extreme weather events, such as …

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A Convert to the Cause

The environmental movement has an unlikely convert to the cause: Tom Steyer, a Californian and hedge fund founder whose funds included shares in fossil fuel and pipeline companies. Last year he came to recognize that climate change was the defining issue for his generation. In words reminiscent of President Obama, he stated: “I have a passion to push for what I believe is the right thing.”

His passion stretched all the way to Massachusetts, where he intervened in the Democratic Primary to succeed Senator John Kerry, who is now the U.S. Secretary of State.  He supported one candidate who opposes the Keystone XL Pipeline, and launched an advertising campaign against another who was in favour.

A Globe and Mail article on Steyer comments that California is a long way from Massachusetts and the Keystone issue is “moot” to Massachusetts voters.   Steyer’s explanation for his involvement is that climate change issues affect all U.S. states.

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Tar sands spills. Take time to write this letter!

We are still trying to obtain information regarding potentially toxic spills from the Tar Sands operations.  Now our concern extends to another spill from Suncor two years ago that was not made public until very recently.

We invite visitors to the 4RG Site to send a letter to Diana McQueen, the Alberta Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Resource Development pointing out that you and other concerned Canadians need more information before you will accept excuses for this spill.

You may wish to use the following text as a model for our letter.

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Vancouver Port Authority and coal

Despite the general recognition that it is the worst generator of GreenHouse Gas Emissions, coal is making a comeback on a worldwide basis.

In several of our blogs we addressed the subject of exports of North American coal to the Pacific Rim.  We noted that the Vancouver Port Authority wishes to grab its share.  Apparently the Port’s coal facilities are currently working to capacity, which means the Authority must make capital expenditures to expand terminals etc. to handle the large volume of future exports. The Vancouver organization, Voters Taking Action on Climate Change (VTACC) is opposing expansion for this purpose, and For Our Grandchildren (4RG) has supported their opposition.

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Pointing the Finger at Canada!

The recent Washington demonstration against the Keystone XL Pipeline caused a reaction from the Conservative Government in Canada, which is offended that U.S. environmentalists would point the finger at Canada’s tar sands as a blameworthy source of GHG emissions.  In Canada we tend to be resentful of US criticism of our national policies.   In rejecting the criticism …

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Fierce US opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline: Why?

Certainly there are many reasons advanced by US supporters why President Obama should approve construction of the Keystone Pipeline. The construction will boost employment at a time when US unemployment is higher than average.  The cash pumped into the US economy will assist a sluggish recovery from the 2008-2009 recession.  Finally, the oil refining industry on the Texas gulf will benefit because the tar sands bitumen will be refined there for export to international markets.

There is another reason that probably does not serve to mobilize US public opinion, and will be taken into consideration by the Obama administration.  The company promoting Keystone, Trans Canada Pipelines, has spent many years planning and obtaining environmental approval from the states through which Keystone will pass. For many years, Canada has lobbied the Obama administration and Federal US politicians, and our Federal Government has “counted” on ultimate approval.

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Keystone XL Pipeline Demonstration Day

The fossil fuel industry is slowly waking up to the new reality:  the day for new, hugely expensive projects that exploit the tar sands are over. If allowed to proceed, these projects will lock in climate change and greatly increase the impact of global warming.   President Obama recognizes this obvious fact. In the near future he …

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