Posts filed under ‘Climate’

The best way to reduce your personal carbon emissions: don’t be rich

carbon inequality

One of the perennial debates around global warming has to do with the role of individual choices. What responsibilities do individuals have to fight climate change? Are people who advocate for political action on climate change hypocrites if they drive to work, fly to climate conferences, or have three children?

Discussing the role of individual choices in climate change without discussing income inequality is a mug’s game. It smears the responsibility evenly over everyone, when the responsibility ought to be concentrated where the emissions are concentrated: among the wealthy. And the only way to get at the individual consumptive choices of the wealthy, in any meaningful way, is through policy.

So if you’re rich, quit flying so much. But if you’re not, the best thing you can do to reduce carbon emissions is to get involved in politics and policymaking. That’s the only frame for climate mitigation that makes sense.

Read the full article: The best way to reduce your personal carbon emissions: don’t be rich by Dave Roberts at Vox.

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July 17, 2017 at 10:51 am Leave a comment

Energy East pipeline review may look at broader climate impacts

Image result for sunset lake ontario

The National Energy Board’s review of TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline has had more than a few hiccups along the way. Take, for example, the revelation of secret closed-door industry meetings and the allegations of bias that led to the entire National Energy Board’s panel reviewing the project stepping down last September. In January, the newly appointed panel voided all prior decisions, sending the process back to square one and appointing a new panel.

With that black mark behind it, the board recently announced it would be taking public input on the issues it should consider as part of its review. It’s especially interested in hearing about the issue of the pipeline’s broader environmental effects, including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Read Energy East pipeline review may look at broader climate impacts by Charles Hatt and Dyna Tuytel at Ecojustice.

June 21, 2017 at 9:48 am Leave a comment

No country on Earth is taking the 2 degree climate target seriously

If we mean what we say, no more new fossil fuels, anywhere.

One of the morbidly fascinating aspects of climate change is how much cognitive dissonance it generates, in individuals and nations alike.

The more you understand the brutal logic of climate change — what it could mean, the effort necessary to forestall it — the more the intensity of the situation seems out of whack with the workaday routines of day-to-day life. It’s a species-level emergency, but almost no one is acting like it is. And it’s very, very difficult to be the only one acting like there’s an emergency, especially when the emergency is abstract and science-derived, grasped primarily by the intellect.

Read No country on Earth is taking the 2 degree climate target seriously by David Roberts at Vox.

May 8, 2017 at 10:45 am Leave a comment

Despite Trump, Canada’s budget stays the course on climate change

Some industry groups and politicians worry about making a clean energy transition in Canada when President Trump still “digs coal.”

So perhaps the most important test for this budget was whether Canada would stick to its guns, or whether Trump’s influence would spur a change in course.

The budget’s clean technology section opens by saying that the “global campaign against climate change is an economic opportunity for Canada,” an opportunity where Canada “can be a true global leader.”

The government zeroes in on clean tech, along with digital industries and agri-food, as growing industries that are key to Canada’s economic success.

The clean power sector alone employed over 9 million people in 2015, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (and including large hydro).

Canada has a strong clean tech foundation. According to data from Analytica Advisors, a consultancy tracking Canada’s clean tech sector, Canada had over 700 companies, $11 billion in revenues, and 55,600 people working in the sector in 2016. But we’ve also been losing market share to our peers, falling from 14th to 19th among the world’s top 25 clean tech exporters in 2016.

Read Despite Trump, Canada’s budget stays the course on climate change by Clare Demerse at cleanenergycanada.

March 27, 2017 at 10:56 am Leave a comment

Ten Climate-Conscious Parents on Talking to Kids about Global Warming

walkingNobody wants to frighten their kids. (We know even the most reasonable adults are shut down by fear.) But as the stakes grow more stark and the politics get more divisive, it’s more crucial than ever that we bring the full force of our emotions to this fight and that we raise active, community-minded, and environmentally-aware citizens. And, I believe, talking to our kids is one way to focus all our own difficult and powerful feelings in a way that fuels rather than saps our civic and political engagement.

Think about it: dealing with climate change is about things kids already know well. It’s about cleaning up our messes; about the sun, wind, air, water, and our own bodies; it’s about treating all people with respect and dignity, about stopping bullies; about sharing; and also about making rules that keep us safe — and making sure everyone follows the same rules! Young people are naturally curious, observant, and creative — they can get excited about nature, science, and new ideas.

Read Ten Climate-Conscious Parents on Talking to Kids about Global Warming by Anna Fahey at The Tyee.

March 1, 2017 at 11:05 am Leave a comment

Canada Can Make Huge Climate Gains by Cleaning Up Transportation Sector: Experts

emissionsCanada’s transportation emissions are mainly from vehicles on the road. Personal vehicles — cars and light trucks — account for half of all emissions in the sector and freight trucks are an additional 32 per cent. Aviation, rail, marine shipping and recreational vehicles make up the balance.

If we are serious about meeting our climate targets and we are committed to action to do so, decarbonizing our transportation is one effective way and electric vehicles provide an opportunity to do that,” Suzanne Goldberg, director of research at Simon Fraser University’s Sustainable Transportation Action Research Team (START), told DeSmog Canada.

The International Energy Agency estimates to avoid increasing the average global temperature by more than two degrees — the Paris Agreement target — sales of electric vehicles must exceed 40 per cent of all vehicle sales by 2040.

Goldberg and START analyzed federal and provincial policies that directly or indirectly affect electric vehicles sales in Canada and found no province will hit the agency’s proposed target.

Read Canada Can Make Huge Climate Gains by Cleaning Up Transportation Sector: Experts by Derek Leahy at desmogcanada.

January 4, 2017 at 11:18 am Leave a comment

Sustainable Activism: Managing Hope and Despair in Social Movements

activismSustainable activism has what (Antonio) Gramsci called a ‘pessimism of the intellect’ which can avoid wishful thinking and face reality as squarely as possible. However it also retains an ‘optimism of the will’, an inner conviction that things can be different. By holding optimism and pessimism in tension, sustainable activism is better able to handle despair, and it has less need to resort to binary thinking as a way of engaging with reality. It can hold contradictions so that they don’t become either/or polarities and can work both in and against the system

… sustainable activism holds that it is never too late. In the context of climate change it is able to face the truth that some irreversible processes of change are already occurring; that the two degrees limit in the increase in global temperatures agreed at the 2015 Paris climate conference may not be achieved; that bad outcomes are inevitable, and that some are already happening. Nevertheless it also insists that this makes our struggles all the more vital to reduce the scale and significance of these future outcomes, to fight for the ‘least-worst’ results we can achieve, and to ensure that the world of our grandchildren and their children is as habitable as possible.

Read Sustainable Activism: Managing Hope and Despair in Social Movements by Paul Hoggett, Rosemary Randall at OpenDemocracy.

December 19, 2016 at 11:57 am Leave a comment

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