Archive | Climate Change, Carbon Taxes and ENGOs

Winner of “Green Nobel” says India is plundering not protecting tribal lands – by Nita Bhalla (Daily Mail/Reuters – April 24, 2017)

NEW DELHI, April 24 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – India is plundering the land of its indigenous people to profit from mining, with little regard of the devastation caused to poor tribal communities, said an Indian land rights activist who won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize on Monday.

Prafulla Samantara, 66, from India’s eastern state of Odisha is one of six winners of the annual prize – often known as the “Green Nobel” – which honours grassroots activists for efforts to protect the environment, often at their own risk.

Samantara, recognised by the Goldman jury for winning a 12-year legal battle to stop a multi-national firm mining bauxite on tribal lands, said he was honoured by the award but voiced concern at the continued mining threats faced by India’s tribes. Continue Reading →

Canada’s a global leader on clean air – by Lorrie Goldstein (Toronto Sun – April 20, 2017)

The question now is whether carbon pricing to reduce greenhouse gases is
worth the added cost to Canadians in terms of the higher taxes and prices
they will have to pay for almost all goods and services, considering that
Canada produces only 1.6% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

A Fraser Institute study released Thursday comes as a welcome breath of fresh air to Canadians tired of being harangued by politicians and so-called “green” activists as environmental laggards. The study shows a dramatic improvement in Canadian air quality since 1970, despite economic growth, an increasing population and greater energy consumption, making Canada a world leader in reducing air pollution.

It won’t change the debate over man-made climate change because the Fraser Institute is talking about traditional sources of air pollution, rather than industrial greenhouse gases – primarily carbon dioxide – linked to global warming.

But the study by University of Guelph economics professor Ross McKitrick and economist Elmira Aliakbari entitled, “Canada’s Air Quality since 1970: An Environmental Success Story” lives up to its name. Continue Reading →

If the eco-fanatics hate Justin Trudeau this much, imagine what they think of you – by Rex Murphy (National Post – April 22, 2017)

That Justin Trudeau is a genial and pleasant-tempered man may not be “a truth universally acknowledged,” but that he is as close to that perfect status as any human being is likely to get is not a proposition inviting dissent. From Flare to Vogue the oracles agree that our Prime Minister is the very model of a modern Major-General … er, Prime Minister.

Just last week a grand covey of the rich and gorgeous at the Women in the World Conference pronounced him as “near perfect” as perfect can be (his only deficit “that he is not a woman,” a failing that, properly speaking, is more the mischief of blind Nature, than a flaw of his own devising).

Now, beyond the borders of rational opinion, out in the badlands of raw outrage and wild surmise, a distempered few offer bitterly dismissive terms on the subject of Trudeau. One of the volatile tribunes of Toronto’s Black Lives Matter movement, yearning for a cheap headline and clearly out of the reach of any plausible dictionary, called Trudeau “a white supremacist terrorist.” Continue Reading →

For First Time Since 1800s, Britain Goes a Day Without Burning Coal for Electricity – by Katrin Bennhold (New York Times – April 21, 2017)

LONDON — Friday was the first full day since the height of the Industrial Revolution that Britain did not burn coal to generate electricity, a development that officials and climate change activists celebrated as a watershed moment.

The accomplishment became official just before 11 p.m., when the 24-hour period ended.
Coal powered Britain into the industrial age and into the 21st century, contributing greatly to the “pea souper” fogs that were thought for decades to be a natural phenomenon of the British climate.

For many living in the mining towns up and down the country, it was not just the backbone of the economy but a way of life. But the industry has been in decline for some time. The last deep coal mine closed in December 2015, though open cast mining has continued. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Poll Shows Mining’s Environmental Accomplishments Unknown to American Voters (U.S.A. National Mining Association – April 20, 2017)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The vast majority of American voters are unaware of the environmental and technological advancements of today’s mining industry according to new polling, suggesting mining’s legacy skews perceptions.

A new poll by Morning Consult for the National Mining Association (NMA) shows less than 10 percent of voters could assess the scale of emissions reductions that have been achieved in coal-powered plants, the acreage reclaimed and restored from mined lands, and other benchmarks of mining’s progress. Just one in five voters correctly identified clean coal technologies that have dramatically reduced power plant emissions since the first Earth Day in 1970.

“This poll appears to underscore the stubborn impressions that remain from turn-of-the-century mining before the advent of the environmental era,” said Hal Quinn, NMA President and CEO. “The message here is that we need to do a better job of educating the public about the accomplishments of our industry—which like all basic industries is vastly different today than it was before the first Earth Day.” Continue Reading →

Coal Museum Sees the Future; Trump Doesn’t – by Thomas L. Friedman (New York Times – April 19, 2017)

Did you catch this gem on from April 6? “The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum in Benham, owned by Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, is switching to solar power to save money. … Communications director Brandon Robinson told CNN affiliate WYMT that the project ‘will help save at least eight to ten thousand dollars, off the energy costs on this building alone.’”

Go figure. The coal mining museum is going solar, for solid economic reasons, and President Trump is reviving coal, with no economic logic at all. This bizarre contrast speaks to a deeper question of leadership and how we judge presidents.

Trump took two major national security decisions in the past few weeks. One was to strike Syria for using poison gas. Trump summoned his national security team, asked for options on Syria, chose the cruise-missile strike — which was right — and won praise for acting “presidential.” Continue Reading →

Albertans are about to find out just how messy and expensive kicking the coal habit can be – by Peter Kuitenbrouwer (Financial Post – April 10, 2017)

Eight years ago, Ontario passed its Green Energy Act. It then closed its
coal-fired power plants and signed pricey long-term deals to buy wind and
solar energy. As a result, the province that once had some of the cheapest
electricity in North America now has some of the most expensive.

About half the electricity Albertans rely on to power their smartphones, toasters and light bulbs, as well as everything else they plug in, comes from burning coal.

Coal is a lifeblood of the Alberta economy, as it has been across Canada for generations. But coal releases carbon into the atmosphere and contributes to global warming, which is why the province’s NDP government wants to eliminate it by 2030. “It’s aggressive,” said Gary Reynolds, an energy industry consultant in Calgary, about the government’s timetable to kick Alberta’s dependence on coal.

It’s also expensive. And messy. Albertans are only now waking up to just how expensive and messy the cost of going green might be, something Ontarians already know all too well. Continue Reading →

[Power Issues] Actually, witchcraft is a pretty good explanation for all that’s happening in Ontario – by Rex Murphy (National Post – April 1, 2017)

Weird things are happening in Ontario. The premier of the province, a woman generally agreed to be well educated, confident, thoroughly in tune with the times, is virtually keelhauled in recent polling where she resides at an appalling 11 per cent. She is only slightly more popular than traffic tickets and overcooked broccoli (and even those are within the margin of error).

What gives, is the question whispered on every street corner and in every coffee shop. How can Kathleen Wynne have fallen so far when her competition is that other fella, whassiname, that the Progressive Conservatives recently front loaded into their leadership. His charisma floats in the same shallows and he has the inspirational force of kelp. Yet he is miles ahead of the impeccably progressive Wynne. It is not natural. The order of things is awry.

Other unnerving and eerily disturbing manifestations trouble this once stable, well-grounded, equable province. A businesswoman I met recently — on her way, incidentally, to meet with a spiritual adviser — showed me the energy bill for her company. She was distraught and clearly frightened. And with good reason. Continue Reading →

Environmental groups vow to fight Trump climate actions – by Tammy Webber (Detroit News – March 29, 2017)

ASSOCIATED PRESS – Chicago — Environmental groups that have hired scores of new lawyers in recent months are prepared to go to court to fight a sweeping executive order from President Donald Trump that eliminates many restrictions on fossil fuel production and would roll back his predecessor’s plans to curb global warming. But they said they’ll take their first battle to the court of public opinion.

Advocates said they plan to work together to mobilize a public backlash against an executive order signed by Trump on Tuesday that includes initiating a review of former President Barack Obama’s signature plan to restrict greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants and lifting a 14-month-old moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands.

Trump, who has called global warming a “hoax” invented by the Chinese, said during his campaign that he would kill Obama’s climate plans and bring back coal jobs. Even so, “this is not what most people elected Trump to do; people support climate action,” said David Goldston, director of government affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Council, who said Trump’s actions are short-sighted and won’t bring back the jobs he promised. Continue Reading →

Trump signs order dismantling Obama-era climate policies – by Valerie Volcovici and Jeff Mason (Reuters U.S. – March 28, 2017)

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an order to undo Obama-era climate change regulations, keeping a campaign promise to support the coal industry and calling into question U.S. support for an international deal to fight global warming.

Flanked by coal miners and coal company executives, Trump proclaimed his “Energy Independence” executive order at the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency. The move drew swift backlash from a coalition of 23 states and local governments, as well as environmental groups, which called the decree a threat to public health and vowed to fight it in court.

The order’s main target is former President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which required states to slash carbon emissions from power plants – a key factor in the United States’ ability to meet its commitments under a climate change accord reached by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015. Continue Reading →

Trump’s bid to reverse climate agenda puts pressure on Ottawa – by Shawn McCarthy (Globe and Mail – March 29, 2017)

OTTAWA — U.S. President Donald Trump signed an order Tuesday aimed at boosting coal-fired electricity and unravelling key elements of his predecessor’s climate-change policies – a move that will increase political pressure on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s own climate agenda.

Mr. Trump’s push to reverse the climate plans of former president Barack Obama is raising concerns in Canada that domestic industries will find it tougher to compete and raise capital, especially in energy-intensive industries.

Through his use of executive orders, the new President has signalled he has little interest in meeting U.S. commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that were made at the Paris climate summit in December, 2015. Continue Reading →

If the elites are wrong about their ‘man-made climate change’ fixation, they’ll pay dearly for it – by John Robson (National Post – March 22, 2017)

“In addition to the multitude of scientists who work in fields so remote
from climate as to have no professional opinion, there are countless
geologists, physicists, chemists and others who dissent over how much
(a) climate is changing (b) man is responsible and (c) it is dangerous.”

It’s impossible to ignore Donald Trump for any length of time. Even if he didn’t have his “finger on the button”, and whether you blame a “basket of deplorables” or “the elites” for his success, the obvious breakdown of trust between the public and those in authority is ominous. So we shouldn’t go about making it worse, right?

Clearly I am one of those who often uses “elites” in a pejorative sense, along with synonyms like “the chattering classes.” I have nothing against people earning respect through intelligence, wisdom, energy and above all character. Continue Reading →

Wynne’s carbon crap shoot – by Lorrie Goldstein (Toronto Sun – March 4, 2017)

The California/Quebec cap and trade market Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is counting on to fund her $8.3-billion climate action plan just crashed, again. This is the highly speculative carbon trading stock market Ontario will join next year that Wynne is relying on to fatten her government’s coffers by $1.9 billion annually.

This so it can fund its various and sundry green energy initiatives, such as subsidizing Ontario’s electricity rates by up to $1.3 billion – which isn’t actually a green energy initiative.

The problem now confronting Wynne is that in three of the last four quarterly auctions under the California/Quebec cap and trade carbon pricing scheme, only a fraction of the available carbon permits have been bought by industrial greenhouse gas emitters. Continue Reading →

Nova Scotia needs to mine coal while there’s still a market, says minister (CBC News Nova Scotia – March 2, 2017)

Environmental advocate says selling coal represents ‘huge step backward’

The Canadian Press – A provincial cabinet minister from Cape Breton admits the day is coming when the world won’t need coal — but right now it does and he’s celebrating the rebirth of mining it on the island.

The Donkin mine began production earlier this week, marking the return of coal mining more than 15 years after Prince Colliery in Point Aconi shut down, ending 280 years of underground mining in Cape Breton.

“Obviously there is a need for coal in the international markets. We need it for energy, we need it for steelmaking,” said Geoff MacLellan, who represents Glace Bay in the provincial legislature. “Until the world doesn’t need it — and I think that day is coming, quite frankly, the Donkin mine officials know that that day is coming — we’re going to produce it for as long as we can.” Continue Reading →

The revenge of Canada’s climate deplorables could lead to our very own Trump – by Kevin Libin (Financial Post – February 28, 2017)

We haven’t seen much of former U.S. president Barack Obama since he departed the job on Jan. 20th. He was spotted in New York City on Friday looking relaxed as he caught a Broadway show with his daughter. Before that, the ex-president was photographed cavorting with Richard Branson on the billionaire’s private Caribbean luxury resort island. If Obama’s conscience troubles him over whatever responsibility he bears for ushering in the turbulent, truculent Trump phenomenon, it doesn’t show.

But whether you’re pro-Trump or anti-Trump, it’s undeniable the current president is largely a response, a backlash even, to the excesses of Obama’s leadership, his determination to force through Democrat pet policies — Obamacare, climate regulations, the Iran deal — in spite of voter disapproval and, often, their hostility.

When politicians are certain their cause is righteous, they can rationalize away accounting for the will of the people. But in democracies, the people eventually get their revenge. In the U.S. that vengeance looked like Donald Trump. Continue Reading →