Archive | Climate Change, Carbon Taxes and ENGOs

Greenpeace is a menace to the world – by Margaret Wente (Globe and Mail – June 24, 2017)

The little town of Saint-Félicien, in Quebec’s lovely Saguenay region, is under siege. The softwood lumber wars have broken out again, and that’s bad news. … Then there’s Greenpeace. “Greenpeace wants our total death!” mayor Gilles Potvin complained back in 2013. “If we listen to them, we can’t cut wood any more.”

Greenpeace has been waging a relentless campaign against Resolute Forest Products, the largest forest company in the region and in Canada. (It is the successor company to Abitibi and Bowater.)

Greenpeace has branded Resolute as a “forest destroyer” that is risking a “caribou herd death spiral” and harming the region’s First Nations. It has vigorously lobbied Resolute’s customers – including the world’s biggest book publishers – to boycott its paper and print products. Continue Reading →

Junk Science Week: Wherever there’s a flood, someone will be there to wrongly blame it all on global warming – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – June 22, 2017)

As flood waters recede from the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, Canadians have been left with the impression that man-made carbon-driven climate change was the cause. A few environmental scientists drew a direct link, including Paul Beckwith, the University of Ottawa climate scientist well-known for wrongly predicting in March, 2013, that all ice would “vanish” from the Arctic by the end of that year.

Now he sees the floods-climate cause-and-effect as being “very clear.” Prime Minister Trudeau blamed the floods on climate change. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna delivered a categorical statement: “This is something that is real. … We are seeing the impacts of climate change.”

The insurance industry also self-servingly promotes the climate change angle. “As a result of the warming climate, floods are becoming more prevalent worldwide. Flooding is the most frequently occurring natural hazard in Canada,” says the Insurance Institute. An insurance executive warned recently that “As climate change unfolds, expect to see extreme weather-related damage continue to trend upward.” Continue Reading →

And then there was one: Final CEO who made climate deal with Notley left to defend it – by Claudia Cattaneo (Financial Post – June 21, 2017)

With Brian Ferguson leaving as CEO of Cenovus Energy Inc. following a disastrous oilsands acquisition, only one of the four top oilsands leaders who made a secret deal with Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley to support her climate change agenda — including a hard cap on oilsands emissions of 100 megatonnes a year — is still around to defend it.

Of the four executives on the stage with Notley during the announcement 18 months ago, Lorraine Mitchelmore left as president of Shell Canada and was replaced by Michael Crothers, who sold Shell’s oilsands business to Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. Murray Edwards, the billionaire oil investor and top shareholder of Canadian Natural, moved to the U.K. and has become disengaged from the Canadian oilpatch, though he remains the company’s chairman.

Cenovus announced Tuesday that Ferguson will retire Oct. 31 and that it will search for a new leader. With its stock price shattered by the US$13.3-billion acquisition of ConocoPhillips’ oilsands assets, Cenovus is now vulnerable to being taken over at a bargain-basement price — if there’s still appetite for oilsands companies given Notley’s punishing carbon reduction regime. Continue Reading →

Electric-car subsidies take greenwashing to a new level – by Konrad Yakabuski (Globe and Mail – June 19, 2017)

Next month, Montreal will host a Formula E championship – an electric car race for which the city’s taxpayers will cough up $24-million in addition to guaranteeing a $10-million line of credit for the group organizing the event. All for the distinction of hosting a race no one’s heard of.

That’s even more than the $18.7-million that Ottawa, Quebec and Montreal pay Formula One owners each year to host the Canadian Grand Prix, the fossil-fuel-powered car race that draws thousands of tourists to the city each June. That makes the Formula E one pricey carbon offset.

It seems there is no length to which some politicians won’t go to in their drive to look greener than thou. His support for the carbon-spitting Grand Prix notwithstanding, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre fancies himself an environmental trailblazer, never missing a photo op that involves hugging an electric-vehicle (EV) charging station. He makes going green look so easy. Continue Reading →

World Coal Production Just Had Its Biggest Drop on Record – by Rakteem Katakey (Bloomberg News – June 13, 2017)

It’s the end of an era for coal. Production of the fossil fuel dropped by a record amount in 2016, according to BP Plc’s annual review of global energy trends. China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, burned the least coal in six years and use dropped in the U.S to a level last seen in the 1970s, the company’s data show.

Coal, the most polluting fuel that was once the world’s fastest growing energy source, has been a target of countries and companies alike as the world begins to work toward the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

Consumption is falling as the world’s biggest energy companies promote cleaner-burning natural gas, China’s economy evolves to focus more on services than heavy manufacturing and renewable energy like wind and solar becomes cheaper. Continue Reading →

NDP-Green alliance seems not to care about any Canadians living east of the Rockies – by Kelly McParland (National Post – June 6, 2017)

Hostage-takers rarely endear themselves to their targets. During its reign as a danger to Confederation, Quebec won many concessions by regularly brandishing the threat of separation, but succeeded also in isolating itself while earning the enmity and resentment of much of the country.

Fortunately, those ugly years are fading with the decline of the Parti Québécois and its aging adherents. In its place we have British Columbia’s new hardline Green-NDP alliance with its intense focus on its narrow agenda, and dismissive approach to the interests of its neighbours and fellow Canadians.

The recent B.C. election left the Greens and New Democrats able to cobble together a wobbly alliance with a single-seat advantage over the Liberal government. NDP leader John Horgan and Green leader Andrew Weaver — the latter boasting just three of the 87 seats in the legislature — quickly reached a deal predicated on a radical reworking of the economy, with particular emphasis on opposition to energy projects of national importance. Continue Reading →

Greens are out to damage Australia – by Warren Mundine (The Daily Telegraph – June 8, 2017)

Green activism isn’t really about conservation. It’s about stopping all development….
It’s not just mining. Scratch the surface of green ideology and you’ll find
opposition to farming, infrastructure, processing, manufacturing and other
development….Fundamentally, green groups believe Australia shouldn’t be
touched beyond its current level of development.

MARCIA Langton was spot-on in her recent speech when she said green groups are hijacking and undermining the interests of Aboriginal people.

She’s correct that “cashed-up green groups, some funded by wealthy overseas interests, oppose mining projects with often-flimsy evidence and misrepresent the evidence to the public” and that they “deliberately thwart the aspirations and native title achievements of the majority of indigenous people by deception”.

On the same day as her speech, Greens senator Larissa Waters illustrated the point, authorising a Greens political advertisement opposing the Adani mine. It said “No Finance. No Consent from Traditional Owners. No Way.” Continue Reading →

Canadians trust professors most and politicians least on energy issues and pipelines: survey – by Geoffrey Morgan (Financial Post – June 8, 2017)

CALGARY – As Canadians debate the merits of controversial west- and east-bound pipelines, a new study from Canada’s largest oil and gas industry group shows people trust university professors, their neighbours and environmental activists more than journalists and leaders of energy companies with information about oil and gas.

“Clearly there is a bias to the white lab coat, the person who is the thoughtful, independent researcher,” Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers’ vice-president, communications Jeff Gaulin said.

CAPP released the results of a wide-ranging survey Wednesday, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, that showed respondents’ attitudes toward various forms of energy, countries that produce energy, and the trustworthiness of energy information sources. Continue Reading →

A Revitalized Pittsburgh Says the President Used a Rusty Metaphor – by Kim Lyons, Emily Badger and Alan Blinder (New York Times – June 2, 2017)

PITTSBURGH — President Trump picked the wrong city as a counterpoint in announcing his plans on Thursday to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord. “I was elected,” the president said, “to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”

But the president was hardly speaking about a place of domestic political strength: Although Mr. Trump carried Pennsylvania last fall, 75 percent of voters in Pittsburgh voted for Hillary Clinton.

In defiance of the president, city leaders vowed again on Thursday to pursue their own climate action. Pittsburgh, they point out, is the wrong metaphor anyway: The former steel hub has spent the last 30 years trying to remake its economy in precisely the mold that climate advocates envision. Continue Reading →

UN climate conference 2018 heads to heartland of Polish coal – by Karl Mathiesen (Climate Change News – June 1, 2017)

The pivotal 2018 UN climate conference will be held in the heart of Poland’s coal mining industry, in a move that has angered some campaigners but offered others hope that it symbolises transition away from fossil fuels. The town of Katowice – founded on coal mining – is in the heart of the Upper Silesian coal basin and plays host to one of the European mining industry’s biggest trade fairs.

The choice of town was announced by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on the day US president Donald Trump was expected to leave the Paris climate agreement.Poland has long been a reluctant participant in the UN process, dragged into an ambitious EU negotiating bloc but influenced by the powerful domestic coal industry.

Climate Home revealed this week that the country is now part of a concerted effort by eastern European countries to water down the EU laws that would help keep the promises made under the accord. Continue Reading →

Trump calls out the global-control agenda of the Paris deal, but Canada remains oblivious – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – June 2, 2017)

Remember the United Nations’ Kyoto Protocol? It landed in 1997 — amid alarming forecasts of rampant eco-disasters, rising sea levels, desertification, hell on earth — with commitments from leading nations to control their carbon emissions. And it crashed in 2012 — expired, they said.

Canada embraced Kyoto Protocol targets, deemed essential to help save the planet from environmental crises. During the first commitment period ending in 2012, Canada had signed on to carbon-emissions reductions of six-per-cent below 1990 levels. In 2012, Canada reported an emissions increase of 18-per-cent above 1990 levels. Canada got out of Kyoto in 2011.

Now let us remember the United Nations’ Paris agreement. It landed in 2015 — amid similar warnings of rampant environmental crises that surrounded Kyoto — with leading nations, including Canada, committed to tough emissions targets. On Thursday, the Paris agreement crashed as U.S. President Donald Trump, in his best policy speech so far as president, announced: “We are getting out.” Continue Reading →

The Paris Accord Withdrawal Is a Win For the Coal Industry. But It Probably Won’t Bring Back Jobs – by Alana Abramson (Fortune Magazine – June 1, 2017)

In May of 2016, Donald Trump stood before a cheering crowd in Charleston, West Virginia, and “I am thinking about the miners all over this country,” he said at the time. He had just effectively clinched the Republican nomination, and signs of “Trump digs coal” were peppered throughout the crowd. “We’re going to put the miners back to work. We are going to get those mines open.”

Trump’s message clearly resonated; he won nine of the ten states with the highest coal production in the United States last November, easily sweeping Wyoming, West Virginia and Kentucky, the top three spots on the list.

President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change, which he will announce at the White House Rose Garden Thursday, is being billed as a way to turn those words into action. Continue Reading →

Trump Will Withdraw U.S. From Paris Climate Agreement – by Michael D. Shear (New York Times – June 1, 2017)

WASHINGTON — President Trump announced Thursday that he will withdraw the United States from participation in the Paris climate accord, weakening global efforts to combat climate change and siding with conservatives who argued that the landmark 2015 agreement was harming the economy.

But he will stick to the withdrawal process laid out in the Paris agreement, which President Barack Obama joined and most of the world has already ratified. That could take nearly four years to complete, meaning a final decision would be up to the American voters in the next presidential election.

Still, Mr. Trump’s decision is a remarkable rebuke to fellow heads-of-state, climate activists, corporate executives and members of the president’s own staff, all of whom failed this week to change Mr. Trump’s mind with an intense, last-minute lobbying blitz. Continue Reading →

Rex Murphy: Notley learns a hard truth about social licence — it’s not meant to be granted, ever. That’s the point – by Rex Murphy (National Post – May 20, 2017)

Social licence is one of those phrases, like cultural appropriation, or — a while back — civil society, that just seem to pop into lexical existence, almost out of nowhere, and instantly take on the authority of unchallenged and long-accepted concepts. They are mouthed in every parliamentary speech, are munched over by the solons of the afternoon panel shows, and crowd the editorial and opinion pieces of all the finest newspapers.

Yesterday they were unheard and unseen. Today they are presumed to be the boundary stones of argument and discussion. It is all so fast. One other note on usage: these terms and their semantic kin usually emerge from the fertile lexicography of the social justice camp, which is only appropriate since “social justice” is itself a term from the same fertile semantic factory.

Today, I turn to social licence (I’m saving “cultural appropriation” and its many novelties and self-contradictions for another day). Justin Trudeau is a fan of social licence. Speaking before the high council of the Sanhedrin at the Calgary Petroleum Club, before he was prime minister, Trudeau (as is his way with nebulous but high sounding concepts) gave the vague, trendy formulation full authority: Continue Reading →

Climate of Complete Certainty – by Bret Stephens (New York Times – April 28, 2017)

When someone is honestly 55 percent right, that’s very good and there’s no use wrangling. And if someone is 60 percent right, it’s wonderful, it’s great luck, and let him thank God.

But what’s to be said about 75 percent right? Wise people say this is suspicious. Well, and what about 100 percent right? Whoever says he’s 100 percent right is a fanatic, a thug, and the worst kind of rascal.

— An old Jew of Galicia

In the final stretch of last year’s presidential race, Hillary Clinton and her team thought they were, if not 100 percent right, then very close. Right on the merits. Confident in their methods. Sure of their chances. When Bill Clinton suggested to his wife’s advisers that, considering Brexit, they might be underestimating the strength of the populist tide, the campaign manager, Robby Mook, had a bulletproof answer: The data run counter to your anecdotes.

That detail comes from “Shattered,” Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes’s compulsively readable account of Clinton’s 2016 train wreck. Continue Reading →