Possible Lessons from the destruction of Fort McMurray

The Fort McMurray wildfire uprooted 88,000 residents of the area. When it is safe to do so, some of these people will return to run the industrial installations that extract bitumen from the neighbouring tar sands. For those who don’t, their immediate future will be uncertain.  They are Canada’s first climate change refugees. Ironically, only … Read more

Overcoming Two Solitudes

Canada has experienced regional differences that worked against Canadian unity.  Hugh MacLennan’s novel, “Two Solitudes”, recognized the opposition to use of the French language by Quebecers in a predominately English speaking country. With patience and honesty and reasonable concessions, Canadian politicians were able to reduce these “solitudes” over many decades. Climate change requires us to face … Read more

Only the Climate has changed!

Four years ago the City of Memphis was flooded by the Ohio River, a tributary of the Mississippi river, causing $2 billion of damage. Now Southern US states are bracing themselves for major flooding as surging waters that have inundated parts of Missouri and Illinois flow down the Mississippi. Jay Nixon, governor of Missouri, toured … Read more


Recently Francois Holland,  the President of France, spoke out strongly for developed nations to be generous with their contributions to the Green Climate Fund.  This Fund will assist developing nations to mitigate their GHG emissions and adapt to climate change. President Holland stressed that progress in limiting climate change must be the goal of COP … Read more

Lessons from Beverly Hills

What does Beverly Hills have in common with the tar sands?  Simple:  both are experiencing a shortage of water needed to maintain “their lifestyle”. In  the case of Beverly Hills the consequences are not that serious.  Natural green lawns are disappearing, but ultimately these attractive yards can be replaced with Astroturf. For tar sands, the … Read more

So Mr. Oliver, what are the other options?

On hearing that Ontario was joining a cap and trade system with Quebec and California to set a price on carbon, our finance Minister, Joe Oliver, reacted predictably.  He described cap and trade as effectively a tax. Horrors! Oliver objected to cap and trade as it would raise the price of everything for hard working … Read more

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