Archive | Climate Change, Carbon Taxes and ENGOs

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 →

In Ontario, the taxpayers sustain Wynne’s green energy perpetual motion disaster – by Rex Murphy (National Post – February 25, 2017)

There’s more than a touch of Oprah in our Prime Minister. Substitute town halls for studio audiences and you get a little of the flavour of his recent hopscotch to various venues across the country.

He loves – and why should he not? – being on stage in front of people who (mainly) like or idolize him, and he’s quick, like the great Eminence Herself, on his emotional feet. By far the most affecting moment of his grand tour, interestingly on “the catastrophe and heel” of his (originally) covert stay on the yacht of his buddy the Aga Khan, came in Peterborough, Ont.

There, somewhat in the manner of the Biblical Ruth, a woman “stood in tears” as she recounted to the Prime Minister, whom she both liked and supported, how her hydro bill was now competing with her mortgage payment. “Something is wrong now, Mr. Trudeau,” she told him and the assembled crowd. Continue Reading →

They keep saying shutting down coal will make us healthier, so how come there’s no evidence of it? – by Warren Kindzierski (Financial Post – February 24, 2017)

Over the past few years, we in Alberta have been barraged by claims of the supposed need to phase-out coal-burning facilities to address harmful impacts, with the demands led by the Pembina Institute and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment.

The provincial government is trying to convince us, too, stating on its website that “an accelerated Alberta coal phase out will prevent 600 premature deaths, 500 emergency room visits, and will avoid nearly $3 billion in negative health outcomes.” Three-billion dollars in health savings seems like a pretty tall tale to me. If you are skeptical of these claims, welcome to the club.

There are recent published studies that can be used to fact check some of these claims. These studies looked at sources of air pollution in Alberta cities that happen to have coal-burning facilities nearby. One study looked at sources of supposedly harmful submicron particle (PM1) pollution in Edmonton. Continue Reading →

Finally it’s safe for the whistleblowers of corrupted climate science to speak out – by Lawrence Solomon (Financial Post – February 17, 2017)

Whistleblowers at the U.S. government’s official keeper of the global warming stats, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), claim their agency doctored temperature data to hide the fact that global temperatures plateaued almost 20 years ago.

Can the whistleblowers be believed in this claim, originally made in 2015? And in the further claim that NOAA then rushed this doctored data into print in time for the UN’s Paris global warming summit of world leaders, to dupe any doubters that the planet was in fact overheated?

Of course the whistleblowers can be believed, and not just because NOAA repeatedly stonewalled inquiries, even failing to comply with a congressional subpoena. No one paying attention can have any doubt that the governmental global warming enterprise has been a fraud. It’s been lies from the start, starting with the very mandate of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which astonishingly ruled out factors like the sun as being worthy of investigation. Continue Reading →

The public backlash rises as the credibility of high-cost low-carbon policies collapses – by Jack M. Mintz (Financial Post – February 15, 2017)

“Offering up unrealistic targets, heavier tax burdens on families
and businesses, and distortionary energy policies that favour
higher-cost but unreliable solar and wind power will undermine
Canada’s economic performance with little impact on
global GHG emissions.”

Despite what you might hear from certain Canadian politicians, governments everywhere are starting to back away from anti-carbon policies as the backlash from voters continues to mount.

We see it in Germany where they’ve begun returning to coal power. We see it in the cancellation of green subsidies in the U.K., Portugal and Spain. And there are even signs of it in Ontario, which suspended plans for $3.8 billion in new renewable contracts.

Something largely lost in the media flurry over President Trump’s executive orders was the Republican Congress’s unravelling of notable fossil fuel regulations. The House passed two resolutions last week: one rescinding “war-on-coal” water-quality standards, and another rescinding a rule requiring energy companies to report payments made to governments to extract oil, gas and minerals. Continue Reading →

Wynne’s carbon schemes won’t reduce emissions – by Lorrie Goldstein (Toronto Sun – February 13, 2017)

Of all the expensive and inefficient ways to reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change, government subsidies to electric vehicle buyers are among the worst.

So of course Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government is doubling down on them, by restoring a public subsidy of up to $14,000 for Ontarians who can afford to pay up to $150,000 for, say, a Tesla.

This shows that all the Wynne government is interested in when it comes to carbon pricing is to take more money out of the pockets of average Ontarians through its $1.9 billion a year cap and trade scheme, and blow it on vote-buying subsidies like this one. Continue Reading →

Why Trudeau’s economic policies are disastrous in the era of Trump – by Gwyn Morgan (Globe and Mail – February 13, 2017)

Gwyn Morgan is the retired founder and CEO of Encana Corp. He has been a director of five global corporations.

“But the reality is that virtually all of Mr. Trudeau’s policies
are economically suicidal in the face of Mr. Trump’s avowed actions.
Clinging to those policies in the face of Trump-quake could prove
to be the biggest mistake made by any prime minister in Canadian

Donald Trump’s election victory set off a political earthquake that has deeply shaken Americans. Earthquakes are often followed by devastating tsunamis generating huge waves travelling far beyond the quake’s epicentre. Yet, even as those “Trump-quake” waves threaten to sink our economic ship, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems determined to maintain his pre-quake course.

Here are some of the dangerous shoals that lurk along that perilous route:

Mr. Trump is anti-free trade. His advisers have said that Canada isn’t their target. Even if that’s true, the recent decision by General Motors to move 600 jobs to Mexico demonstrates that Mr. Trump’s protectionist bullets can ricochet across our border. Given his bombastic threats, there’s no way auto makers will move jobs from the United States to Mexico, so their only option is to move those jobs from Canada. Continue Reading →

Canada’s green electricity bailouts make the Bombardier giveaway look like peanuts – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – February 10, 2017)

While the punditocracy whipped itself into a justifiable if ritual lather over another Ottawa bailout of Bombardier, the $372-million loan is small change compared with the multi-billion-dollar green electric power fiascos across the country.

A rough tally of the ballooning financial plight of the electricity sectors in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Newfoundland quickly runs to more than $50 billion in new debt and imbedded costs for investments that threaten to be money-losing drags on growth and consumers — and the federal government —for years to come.

The looming disasters have two things in common. They are the work of government-controlled and politically manipulated Crown corporations. They are also the product of a deliberate push to produce clean, green and renewable carbon-free electricity. No fossil fuels allowed. Money is no object. Continue Reading →

Anxiety builds in Alberta on fears oilsands carbon cap policy set to pick favourites – by Claudia Cattaneo (Financial Post – February 3, 2017)

As the Alberta government prepares to deliver the last big piece of its climate leadership plan, a cap on emissions in the oilsands industry, anxiety is building that it will pit company against company, project against project, and could even be based on political favour, according to industry observers.

With the remaining carbon budget expected to be used up in a decade, and more projects vying for a piece of it than will be available, there is concern that companies that supported Rachel Notley’s NDP plan will get preferential treatment, at the expense of those that didn’t.

“People are very concerned that (the changes are) not being designed for the industry as a whole, but the interests of a few,” said Glen Schmidt, president and CEO of oilsands startup Laricina Energy Ltd., said in an interview. “If you are in the cartel and part of the group that has a favoured hearing, you are pushing design elements that favour your interests.” Continue Reading →

EDITORIAL: Liberal hot air on coal plants shutdown (Toronto Sun – January 21, 2017)

It’s obvious why Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government was anxious to discredit a report by the Fraser Institute last week that Ontario’s closure of its five coal-fired electricity plants did not significantly improve provincial air quality.

That decision cost Ontario taxpayers billions of dollars and helped to send electricity rates skyrocketing, because coal is a cheap form of energy.

The problem for the Liberals is that if the report by economists Ross McKitrick and Elmira Aliakbari is accurate, it discredits the Liberals’ claim their closure of the coal plants saved taxpayers $3 billion a year in health costs, $4.4 billion when environmental costs are added in.

The Liberals have always claimed closing Ontario’s coal plants has saved thousands of lives and prevented thousands of hospitalizations due to pollution. Continue Reading →

Republicans take first steps to kill Obama-era regulations – by Lisa Lambert(Reuters U.S. – January 30, 2017)

WASHINGTON – Republicans on Monday continued their drive to loosen U.S. regulation, taking the first step to kill five Obama-era rules on corruption, the environment, labor and guns under the virtually untested Congressional Review Act.

The House Rules Committee sent to the full chamber three regulations enacted under former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, to ax. They were the Stream Protection Rule, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s “resource extraction rule,” and one on gun buying.

Republicans put as much urgency on limiting what they consider over-regulation that stifles economic growth as they do on overhauling the tax code and dismantling the Affordable Care Act, according to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Continue Reading →

Why is Alberta’s economy the only one the Trudeau Liberals are plotting to ‘phase out’? – by Kevin Libin (Financial Post – January 31, 2017)

Which Canadian leader will finally lay out a national plan to phase out Ontario’s auto industry? Obviously, with the auto sector accounting for half-a-million jobs in Canada, at least 1,200 Ontario parts and equipment suppliers, and about 20 per cent of Ontario’s GDP and 12 per cent of Canada’s, it’s not something we can phase out tomorrow, naturally.

But the more than two-million vehicles produced in Ontario annually burn billions of litres of carbon-heavy gasoline every year, emitting tens of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide. This cannot go on.

Even if we could make the entire sector switch, against sensible economics, to hybrids and electric vehicles (Ontario’s factories currently only produce one of each of those), the sheer volume of carbon emissions connected to mining the metals and producing the steel, rubber and plastics for these alternate vehicles would often equal the CO2 levels spewed by the gasoline vehicles over their lifetime. Continue Reading →