Archive | Climate Change, Carbon Taxes and ENGOs

Climate crusaders have got lost in space – by Peter Foster (Financial Post – August 18, 2017)

Climate derangement has claimed another celebrity astrophysicist. Last month, Stephen Hawking, author of A Brief History of Time, declared that Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement meant that earth could become like Venus, where it rains sulphuric acid and temperatures reach 250 C.

Now Neil DeGrasse Tyson, “science communicator” and host of the 2014 TV series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, has claimed that climate science is as certain and predictable as next week’s solar eclipse. DeGrasse Tyson tweeted: “Odd. No one is in denial of America’s Aug 21 total solar eclipse. Like Climate Change, methods & tools of science predict it.”

With regards to Hawking’s claim, Roy Spencer, a climate specialist at the University of Alabama, pointed out that Venus had 93 times as much atmosphere and 22,000 times as much carbon dioxide as earth, so we shouldn’t be too worried about it raining acid any time soon. Whatever Donald Trump’s flaws, he’s not threatening to repeal the laws of physics and chemistry. Continue Reading →

[U.S. Environmental Movement] What can really be done about foreign influence in elections? – by Gary Mason (Globe and Mail – August 18, 2017)

Vivian Krause, a B.C.-based independent researcher and writer who has investigated
the role U.S.-based foundations play in the financing of Canadian environmental
groups claiming charitable status, has submitted a 200-plus page complaint with
Elections Canada on the same subject….“But Canadian elections should be fought
using Canadian resources. Tides has Canadianized its money through Tides Canada,
but that’s just cosmetics. They are breaking the spirit of the law here,
in my opinion.”

When an investigation by The Guardian pulled back the curtains on the winning campaign in the Brexit referendum, the newspaper made a somewhat shocking discovery: evidence of foreign intrusion.

It was revealed that factions behind the Leave campaign were employing the services of analytics firms based offshore: AggregateIQ in Victoria, and another in the United States, Cambridge Analytica, a company owned by U.S. billionaire Robert Mercer, one of the men who bankrolled Donald Trump’s campaign for the U.S. presidency.

The microtargeting strategies used by the Leave forces were highly effective and almost certainly swung the vote in their favour. But what has some concerned are indications that perhaps not everything about the involvement of the foreign entities was above board. Continue Reading →

Environment v. economy: Canada’s brewing political battle – by Gary Mason (Globe and Mail – August 16, 2017)

There’s a reason the federal Liberals want to include a clause in any rewrite of NAFTA preventing member countries from diminishing environmental safeguards in the name of fuelling investment: It’s an area in which they suddenly find themselves politically vulnerable.

The North America free-trade agreement negotiations are beginning at the same time as the federal government is preparing to bring in new rules that would put more restrictions on companies looking to establish resource development opportunities in Canada.

Provinces are now bracing for the impact of a national carbon tax that is scheduled to be introduced next year in those jurisdictions currently without one, or the equivalent of. (In Ontario and Quebec, that would be cap-and-trade.) The stultifying impact these initiatives could have on resource investment has become a conservative rallying cry in the west, with outgoing Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall leading the charge. Continue Reading →

Brainwashed movie peer reviewers give Gore’s sequel two righteous thumbs up! – by Peter Foster (Financial Post – August 9, 2017)

Among the egregious whoppers in Al Gore’s Oscar-winning 2006 movie An Inconvenient Truth was the claim that there were exactly zero scientific papers questioning projected catastrophic man-made global warming.

Therefore, Gore continued, the amount of media coverage given to skepticism was entirely disproportionate. In fact, the mainstream media had already mostly wrapped itself in the mantle of the climate crusade, but for Gore even one scintilla of skepticism was one scintilla too many.

Well, the word is in from liberal peer movie reviewers about Gore’s follow-up, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, and it’s two righteous thumbs up! While they admit it’s a bit of a snoozer, there is not a trace of doubt that An Inconvenient Truth — a masterpiece of alarmist agitprop inflicted on an entire generation of schoolchildren — was bang on, and that weather is getting worse. Meanwhile the transition to a low-carbon economy is proceeding apace, whatever roadblocks thrown by the likes of that Neanderthal denier Donald Trump. Continue Reading →

NEP 2.0: ‘Another Trudeau’s’ environmental rules sow seeds of unity crisis, critics say – by John Ivison (National Post – August 8, 2017)

Brad Wall is worried the environmental rules Ottawa is set to introduce later this year will strain national unity in the resource-dependent West.

“The cumulative effect of this and the carbon tax mean we are heading toward an unhealthy debate, just as we did when another Trudeau introduced his energy policy. How is this different from a National Energy Program, in terms of the reality of what it will do to jobs and pipelines and so on? That is starting to sink in,” the Saskatchewan premier said in an interview.

The Liberals are putting the finishing touches to what will be one of their most controversial policies going into the next election – the environmental assessment regulations that will govern natural resource development. Stephen Harper’s intended legacy was to keep government from growing much bigger. Justin Trudeau’s bequest to the nation will be government that is not only bigger but, he hopes, better. Continue Reading →

Canada so ripe with green activism old-fashioned employment has gone out of fashion – by Rex Murphy (National Post – August 4, 2017)

Has there ever been a single energy project — just one — in British Columbia that has not faced protest and demonization?

It’s more than a touch odd or distressing how a project with an overall budget of some $36 billion — billion! — can get cancelled these days, and not kick up as much interest or internet play as, say, Justin Trudeau showing up on the cover of (the much diminished of late) Rolling Stone.

Yet this appears the case with the Pacific Northwest liquified natural gas (LNG) plant in British Columbia, undertaken by the Malaysian company Petronas some years back, and now, despite early expenditures of some billions, cancelled for good.

I don’t suppose there’s any need to point out that all the jobs, technical resources, local development and industry that would naturally follow from an expenditure of this magnitude are good things. Or that Canada hasn’t become so new-age, so ripe with green virtue-signalling as a surrogate for policy, so prideful of its climate change sanctimoniousness, that jobs, employment, old fashioned working for a living has gone utterly out of fashion. Continue Reading →

Germany’s long goodbye to coal despite Merkel’s green push – by Vera Eckert (Reuters U.S. – August 2, 2017)

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Burning coal for power looks set to remain the backbone of Germany’s energy supply for decades yet, an apparent contrast to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ambitions for Europe’s biggest economy to be a role model in tackling climate change.

Merkel is avoiding the sensitive subject of phasing out coal, which could hit tens of thousands of jobs, in the campaign for the Sept. 24 election, in which she hopes to win a fourth term. Although well over 20 billion euros are spent each year to boost Germany’s green energy sector, coal still accounts for 40 percent of energy generation, down just 10 points from 2000.

To avoid disruption in the power and manufacturing sectors, coal imports and mines must keep running, say industry lobbies, despite the switch to fossil-free energy. “(Coal) makes a big contribution to German and European energy supply security and this will remain the case for a long time to come,” the chairman of the coal importers’ lobby VDKi, Wolfgang Cieslik told reporters last week. Continue Reading →

Focus on Economy Before Climate Deal, Glencore Urges Australia – by Perry Williams (Bloomberg News – August 2, 2017)

Australia may need to consider delaying its goals to combat global climate change in order to prioritize energy security and economic prosperity, according to a senior executive at Glencore Plc.

The country’s emerging energy crisis, in conjunction with government-imposed clean-energy targets, has undermined investor confidence and may force businesses to shut or move offshore, the commodity giant’s global coal head, Peter Freyberg, said in a speech Wednesday in Sydney.

“If that means Australia needs to consider a possible delay in meeting its emission reduction targets under the Paris Agreement in order to prioritize energy security and economic prosperity, then its worthy of further discussion,” he said, adding that Swiss-based Glencore has invested $20 billion in its Australian assets and last year contributed more than $12 billion to the economy. Continue Reading →

Al Gore warns us to watch out for manipulative fearmongers — like him – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – August 1, 2017)

Not many people remember Al Gore’s 2007 book, The Assault on Reason. It came out a year after Gore’s 2006 movie/book combo, An Inconvenient Truth. It’s hard to pick up the 2007 effort without a chuckle. As one reviewer put it at the time, Assault on Reason is “an aptly titled tome” that accurately reflects its contents.

Then there’s the book jacket that talks about the “politics of fear” and an opening chapter that warns: “If leaders exploit public fears to herd people in directions they might not otherwise choose, then fear itself can quickly become a self-perpetuating and free-wheeling force that drains national will and weakens national character.”

Fear, adds Al Gore the great climate fear-monger, can be promulgated using three techniques: repetition, misdirection and making the irregular seem regular. “By using these narrative tools alone, anyone with a loud platform can ratchet up public anxieties and fears, distorting public discourse and reason.” Continue Reading →

Protecting Canadians from fake eco news – by Peter Foster (Financial Post – July 26,2017)

There seems to be a radical disconnect between the claim — splashed breathlessly atop the front page of The Globe and Mail on Monday — that Canada is failing to protect its environment and the fact that securing approval for any piece of hinterland development these days amounts to a slog through an endless bog of regulation and review.

According to the Globe story, which was based on the annual report conveniently leaked in advance to it by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, CPAWS, Canada is lagging commitments made under the UN’s Convention on Biodiversity. Since 2010, its “protected” areas have increased from “only” 9.6 per cent to 10.6 per cent of the country, versus the commitment of 17 per cent by 2020 made by the Harper government.

The first question is why the Harper government would have allowed itself to be roped into such an exercise in subversive calculation. All such commitments really do is to provide a fundraising soapbox for radical environmental NGOs. Continue Reading →

[Ontario] No business like coal business – by Lorrie Goldstein (Toronto Sun – July 21, 2017)

Premier Wynne back in black

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government is back in black – meaning the coal business. Specifically, the use of coal to generate electricity, a practice it outlawed in Ontario on Nov. 23, 2015, after shutting down the last of the province’s coal-fired power plants in 2014.

As the Wynne Liberals proudly proclaimed back then: “Ontario passed legislation today to permanently ban coal-fired electricity generation in the province – a first in North America and a significant step in the fight against climate change.

“The Ending Coal for Cleaner Air Act prevents new and existing facilities from burning coal for the sole purpose of generating electricity. It sets maximum fines for anyone who violates the ban and enshrines the health and environmental benefits of making coal-fired electricity illegal in law … Continue Reading →

To save the planet, we must ignore anti-nuclear ideologues – by Konrad Yakabuski (Globe and Mail – July 21, 2017)

There might be a way for the world to meet its carbon-reduction targets that does not involve building more nuclear power plants. The problem is, no one has come up with one. Until that happens, politicians need to get real about nuclear energy’s essential role in saving the planet. Unfortunately, most of them still have their heads stuck in their solar panels.

The latest greener-than-thou politician to make the perfect the enemy of the good is France’s awkwardly titled Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Nicolas Hulot. This month, Mr. Hulot announced the shutdown of as many as 17 of France’s 58 nuclear reactors over the next eight years as part of President Emmanuel Macron’s promise to cut his country’s reliance on nuclear-generated electricity to 50 per cent from 75 per cent by 2025.

Mr. Hulot says he has “absolute faith” in renewable power sources, mainly wind and solar energy, to fill the gap. But as Germany shows, closing emissions-free nuclear power plants, more often than not, leads to burning more fossil fuels to produce power. That’s because wind and solar remain intermittent power sources, while nuclear, coal and natural gas plants can run full-steam 24/7. Continue Reading →

Another wheel flies off Ontario’s green energy bus, and lands on 340 workers – by Kelly McParland (National Post – July 20, 2017)

Despite overwhelming evidence that governments do badly when they try to remove the freedom from free enterprise, Wynne and McGuinty ploughed ahead with their green energy vision

When former premier Dalton McGuinty visited the new Siemens Canada plant in Tillsonburg in 2011, he brushed aside protesters and boasted that the plant was part of the Liberal alternative energy plan that would “put us at the forefront in North America.”

The plant made windmill blades. Windmills were the future. Clean energy was what McGuinty’s two-year-old Green Energy Act was all about. It would free the province of old, dirty manufacturing and introduce new, cutting-edge jobs that would make Ontario the envy of the world.

Just six years later the plant is closing. Management says big changes in the wind industry make it no longer viable. The cutting edge plant that was to help lead Ontario into the Valhalla of a clean energy future can’t survive in a market that wants bigger blades. Continue Reading →

We’re living in a world of energy contradictions – by Peter Tertzakian (Financial Post – July 12, 2017)

The clutch is completely disengaged between consumer trends and conjectures about the imminent demise of oil, making the future cloudy at best

Last week’s announcement by Volvo that every car, “it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor,” jolted oil investors. Then France amped up the newswire by switching on a ban: No more combustion car sales by 2040. To cap off a trilogy of electric vehicle (EV) proclamations, Elon Musk lit up the twitter feed with a photo of Tesla Motor’s first Model 3 production car.

Oil companies and investors should take note. These announcements are impacting the industry and will increasingly do so. But it’s not because electric cords are going to replace pump hoses anytime soon.

The demand for oil is as robust as it’s ever been, thanks to barrels that are priced 60 per cent lower than they were three years ago; the linkage of petroleum to the world economy is actually strengthening not weakening. Continue Reading →

Electric cars pose headaches for the oil industry – by Gillian Steward (Toronto Star – July 11, 2017)

Electric cars are having a moment. There are only a few on the road compared to gas guzzlers but recent predictions by reliable sources see battery powered vehicles becoming the rage much sooner than had been expected.

Since these sedans, SUVs, and possibly pickup trucks will be powered by electricity instead of gasoline what will that mean for the regions in Canada that produce oil from which gasoline is made? Less demand for oil means prices stay flat or go down, investment dries up, employment sags, provincial treasuries accrue fewer taxes and royalties.

New technology that people can afford and is useful to them can become common place in a relatively short time. The iPhone is so ubiquitous now we can hardly remember what life was like before we spent most of our time looking at little screens. Continue Reading →