Climate Change

U.S. deadlocked on climate change

Americans remained deeply divided on how to slow climate change that scientists say is driving much of the extreme weather seen in many parts of the world. Recently-released results of a national poll by the Washington-based Pew Research Center found that while 49 per cent of respondents agree that the administration’s policies are appropriate, 47 per cent disagreed. Also, while a majority might acknowledge climate change, there’s disagreement on the causes and potential solutions. [node:read-more:link]

Alberta minister “amazed” by federal push

The federal government’s push for a new emissions cap for the petroleum industry threatens the industry and thousands of workers nationwide, says Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage. “I’m a little amazed by the timing of it,” she says. “It’s tone deaf from the federal government to be pushing this at a time when the world is looking for more energy. And it’s looking like in Europe, they’re going to be rationing natural gas over the winter.” [node:read-more:link]

Western Europe continues to swelter

Temperatures continued to soar throughout much of Western Europe today after Britain recorded a record 40.2 degrees July 17. Extreme heat warnings have been issued in France, record temperatures were reported in The Netherlands, and wildfires have been spreading in France, Greece, Portugal and Spain. [node:read-more:link]

New icebreakers sought by U.S.

The commander of the U.S. Coast Guard said July 14 that her service needs to beef up its icebreaker capability to counter growing Russian and Chinese activities in the North. “We are an Arctic nation,” Admiral Linda Fagan pointed out to a congressional committee. “Getting the capability and capacity to create an enduring presence in the Arctic, in the waters off Alaska, are absolutely a priority.” Russia has more than 40 icebreakers and China, hoping to exploit a longer ice-free season, has declared itself a “near-arctic power.” [node:read-more:link]

Cross-border megaproject at risk

A proposed 233-kilometre transmission line to carry Quebec hydroelectricity to Massachusetts is facing a legal challenge in a Maine court 18 months after construction began. Even though it has the potential to eliminate three million tonnes of carbon emissions annually, the $1-billion project funded by Hydro-Quebec and Spanish-owned Central Maine Power was vetoed in a Maine referendum last November. [node:read-more:link]

Gas and nuclear “green” options in EU

Despite objections from some members of its environment and economy committees, the European Parliament has backed an EU move to label investments in natural gas and nuclear power generation as climate-friendly. This sets the stage for legislative approval by gthe parliament unless 20 of the 27 member states oppose it. [node:read-more:link]

Brazil loses record rainforest area

New satellite imagery from Brazil’s space research institute shows that a record area of the country’s rainforests, some 3,750 km2, was lost in the first half of 2022, the worst deforestation since the institute began its monitoring program. Destruction of the world’s largest rainforest has surged since President Jair Bolsonaro took office in 2019 and weakened environmental protections. [node:read-more:link]

Atlantic premiers excited by energy plan

The prospect of a $5-billion Atlantic Loop to transmit Quebec hydroelectricity to the four Atlantic provinces is putting pressure on the federal government to approve it quickly due to the construction time frame. “We need to make sure we have clarity from the federal government on their timelines and, of course, their financial commitment,” Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston said after talks with his New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, and Prince Edward Island counterparts. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. emissions agenda undermined

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has lost some of its ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions as the Supreme Court upheld a challenge by 19 mostly Republican-governed states, led by major coal producer West Virginia, which said the EPA lacked authority to limit emissions state-wide. [node:read-more:link]

Severe derecho storm sweeps Ontario and Quebec

A rare "Derecho" storm extended roughly 1,000km from the Michigan border to Quebec City leaving fatalities and much damage in its wake, toppling trees and power lines, overturning cars, cutting electricity, and tossing debris through windows. At least nine deaths have been attributed to the storm, mostly from falling trees. [node:read-more:link]

Consistent climate modelling recommended

The latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s assessment report, published last August, weighted its prediction modelling according to how it reproduced other evidence. Now there’s a call for the rest of the scientific community to do likewise so that there is useful consistency on how the phenomenon should be addressed. [node:read-more:link]

EVs driving power grid demands

The Canadian Climate Institute says an increase in electric vehicles sales, among other factors behind generally higher power demands, requires upgrades to the country’s electricity grids to meet rapidly growing demand for power. Otherwise, it warns in a May 4 report, the consequences could range from brownouts to failure to meet the government’s emissions-reduction targets. [node:read-more:link]

Arctic development challenged in court

Environmental activists are taking Norway to the European Court of Human Rights in what is considered a potential international test case of how much of the Arctic’s natural resources can be exploited. Seven other countries, including Canada, have interests in the region but since it is mostly marine, there is no international Antarctic-style environmental treaty protecting it from economic development. [node:read-more:link]


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