Living in an Age of Unpredictability

Lester Brown, President of the Earth Policy Institute, described one of the disturbing aspects of climate change in these words: “Climate instability is becoming the new norm.  The time when we could use climate trends of the recent past as a guide to future climate conditions is now history.  We are moving into an age … Read more

The Northern Gateway: what the National Energy Board didn’t consider!

The pre-announcement statements from Conservative Politicians show that Federal Cabinet approval of the Northern Gateway Pipeline is a certainty.  Yet a fundamental issue may undermine the legal foundation for Cabinet approval. Did the National Energy Board (NEB) properly discharge its mandate to review the full environmental effects of the Northern Gateway Pipeline?    4RG Contributor Hugh Robertson … Read more

A  Fight against Climate change – not a war on coal!

The US Environmental Protection Agency has released its much-awaited rules requiring reduction of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) from coal-fired power plants.  These plants are responsible for 75% of the US GHG emissions from the generation of electricity, but produce only 38% of US electricity.

To prevent the rules being characterized as purely a climate change measure, the EPA points out that lessening emissions from coal will reduce air pollution, moderate asthma rates and avoid deaths caused by heart attacks.  The EPA refers to these benefits as the “clean-air” revolution. The saving in health costs through a decrease in these medical problems will be significant.

Read moreA  Fight against Climate change – not a war on coal!

Another Denialist Argument “Collapses”

In recent years there has been a controversy over the shrinking Arctic ice cover. Besides disputing the extent and the significance of the loss of ice, Denialists “refuted” scientific observations by referring to the Antarctic.  In parts of the Antarctic ice cover was increasing, which was enough to provide talking points to Denialists who did not consider the whole picture.

Yesterday scientists reported that the collapse of large parts of the ice sheet in Western Antarctica appears to have begun.  The collapse, which appears to be irreversible, will cause a sea level rise of such magnitude that many of the world’s coastal cities would eventually have to be abandoned.

Read moreAnother Denialist Argument “Collapses”

If the cap fits, wear it!

What do you call a report on climate change prepared by 830 scientists around the world?

“Group think”, according to the head of a business panel that advises the Australian Government.

No, this gentleman is not attempting to describe the arrangements that enable these scientists to share their conclusions with each other. Nor is he describing the rigours of the scientific method, and the contribution of peer reviewed papers.

Group think is a “put down” of experts that global warming sceptics don’t agree with.

It is puzzling how anyone could use the term in the context of the consensus of 97% of scientists who advise us about global warming and its causes.

Read moreIf the cap fits, wear it!

Writing on the Wall: the IPCC Fifth Assessment (mitigation)

The most important statement in the recently released IPCC Report from Working Group III on mitigation is the affirmation that disastrous effects of global warming can still be avoided.

In practical terms avoidance of disastrous climate change requires international agreement on a price for carbon. The price must reflect the emerging scarcity of disposal space for carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere.

With a price on carbon, fossil fuels will lose their competitive edge over renewable sources of energy. Canada and certain other countries will find that dependence on fossil fuels for energy cannot be sustained.

There is another consequence for Canada in the displacement of fossil fuels as a source of energy. In future Canada’s fossil fuel resource industry will progressively contribute less and less to our economy.

Read moreWriting on the Wall: the IPCC Fifth Assessment (mitigation)

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