Climate Change

Suzuki stirs up pipeline debate

Noted environmentalist David Suzuki is standing by his weekend speculation that frustration with governments’ handling of climate change could lead to protesters “blowing up” pipelines. After he broached the possibility, there was a flurry of accusations that he was inciting violence, but he countered Nov. 22 that “we’ve come to a time where civil disobedience is what we have to do now — to put our bodies on the line.” [node:read-more:link]

Climate Change and Economic Growth

(Jan 2009) Grim descriptions of the long‐term consequences of climate change have given the impression that the climate impacts from greenhouse gases threaten long‐ term economic growth. However, the impact of climate change on the global economy is likely to be quite small over the next 50 years. Severe impacts even by the end of the century are unlikely. The greatest threat that climate change poses to long‐term economic growth is from potentially excessive near‐term mitigation efforts. [node:read-more:link]

World’s largest rainforests still threatened

There was a 22 per cent surge in deforestation of Brazil’s Amazon Basin in the year ended last July, according to the government, which is led by President Jair Bolsonaro, a proponent of more development in the world’s largest rainforest. The government says 12,235 square kilometres were deforested between August 2020 and last July, the most since 2006. [node:read-more:link]

UofT scientist wins major prize

University of Toronto theoretical physicist and professor Sajeev John has won this year’s Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering. The prize, which comes with key funding, recognizes his work since 1984 on trapping light, a technology which has been used in laser surgery and now is seen as having applications for improving solar power technology. [node:read-more:link]

Biden and Xi virtual summit

U.S. President Joe Biden used a virtual meeting to press Chinese President Xi Jinping on human rights and trade but Xi, who has not left his country in nearly two years, warned against what he said is continued U.S. provocations over Taiwan. Xi likened the two countries “giant ships sailing in the sea” which needed steady hands to avoid a collision. [node:read-more:link]

More long-term promises on climate change

The 26th Conference of the Parties to the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change wound up on the weekend with nearly 200 leaders drafting a non-binding agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. India, one of the major coal-users, succeeded in getting 11th-hour acceptance that the use of coal, a major global source of GHGs, should be phased “down” rather than “out.” [node:read-more:link]

No Ontario subsidy for EVs

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has flatly dismissed the possibility of reinstating a rebate program for buyers of electric vehicles that the previous government had implemented. “I'm not going to give rebates to guys that are buying $100,000 cars — millionaires," he said even though his own government is counting on rising EV sales to help curb emissions and other provinces’ have rebate programs. [node:read-more:link]

Three Amigos meet next week

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet in Washington next week with Presidents Joe Biden of the U.S. and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico in the first gathering of the “Three Amigos” since 2016. The usually annual event was interrupted the election of Donald Trump and Trudeau’s office says COVID-19, climate change and migration are among the issues to be discussed. [node:read-more:link]

Moe moots Saskatchewan “nation”

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said Nov. 9 that his province must “make every effort to determine our own destiny” because the federal government had not consulted him adequately on its international climate change agenda. “Saskatchewan needs to be a nation within a nation,” he said. “All options most certainly will be on the table.” [node:read-more:link]

Money “is there” for climate change

Mark Carney, the former Bank of Canada and Bank of England governor and now UN special envoy on climate change and finance, evidently has persuaded an array of global investors to commit funds for climate change. “It's a mammoth transition,” he said at the latest UN climate change summit. “We have banks, asset managers, pension funds, insurance companies from around the world . . . “totalling US$130 trillion,” which was $30 trillion more than the target. “The money is there.” [node:read-more:link]

Big Oil’s carbon conundrum

Ben van Beurden, the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, is confident that the petroleum giant can achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. However, he says, the company needs its “legacy” oil and gas cash flows to cover the costs of that transition. [node:read-more:link]

The global nuclear power challenge

Some climate scientists and environmental advocates argue that nuclear power is the best hope of addressing climate change because its carbon emissions are limited. On the other hand, critics decry its huge startup costs and the perennial problem of long-term waste management. [node:read-more:link]

Carbon emissions gains undone

A drop in global carbon dioxide emissions during the coronavirus lockdowns has pretty well gone up in smoke, much of it in China. At the peak of the pandemic last year, emissions were 34.8 billion tonnes, but the Global Carbon Project report says output has rebounded to 2019 levels. [node:read-more:link]

PM promises petroleum sector emissions caps

Canada will impose a hard cap on emissions from the oil and gas sector, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today at the global climate summit in Glasgow. Emissions would decrease “at a pace and scale needed to reach net-zero by 2050,” he said, acknowledging that it would be “no small task.” [node:read-more:link]

Guilbeault tries to calm the waters

Canada's new Minister of Environment and Climate change, Montreal MP Steven Guilbeault, insists that he has no “secret” agenda despite his record as an environmental activitist and pipeline critic. He was responding Oct. 27 to concerns expressed by Alberta Premier Brian Kenney about the federal climate change agenda. “It's a government effort to tackle . . . what many consider one of humanity's greatest challenges,” he said. [node:read-more:link]


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