Archive | Climate Change, Carbon Taxes and ENGOs

Greens Celebrate, As Nets Ignore Bloomberg’s $500M Assault on Coal – by Julia A. Seymour ( – June 14, 2019)

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg reannounced a $500-million effort to eradicate coal and natural gas use in the U.S. on June 6. ABC, CBS and NBC news didn’t even flinch.

That night the three broadcast evening shows made no time for the billionaire media mogul’s massive spending to shut down the rest of the nation’s coal plants by 2030 and start targeting natural gas plants. They also haven’t reported it since, much less scrutinized it even though he’s a high-profile liberal donor, media owner and maybe former politician.

“We’re in a race against time with climate change, and yet there is virtually no hope of bold federal action on this issue for at least another two years. Mother Nature is not waiting on our political calendar, and neither can we,” Bloomberg said of his Beyond Carbon initiative. Continue Reading →

Norway fund may have to offload $1 billion stake in Glencore in shift away from coal – by Gwladys Fouche (Reuters U.S. – June 12, 2019)

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund may have to sell a $1 billion stake in commodities firm Glencore and other investments to meet tighter ethical investing rules adopted by its parliament.

Norway’s parliament agreed on Wednesday to the center-right government’s plan that the world’s largest fund would no longer invest in companies that mine more than 20 million tonnes of coal annually or generate more than 10 gigawatts (GW) of power from coal.

Environmental campaigners Greenpeace and Urgewald said the new rules mean the fund would have to divest its 2.03% stake in Glencore, worth $1 billion at the end of 2018 according to fund data. Continue Reading →

Estevan mayor criticizes NDP outreach on coal jobs – by Arthur White-Crummey (Regina Leader-Post – May 15, 2019)

“It is time to move away from coal, but you don’t move away from the people,” NDP leader Ryan Meili said while pushing the province to support miners during the transition

With Saskatchewan miners facing the economic hammer blow of a looming coal phase-out, NDP Leader Ryan Meili is pushing the province to do more to blunt the damage. But he earned the ire of Estevan’s mayor by supporting the very policy that’s threatening the industry.

“I actually think it’s a good decision. It is time to move away from coal, but you don’t move away from the people,” Meili said. “And that’s what I think Saskatchewan is really missing here. They’re saying it’s someone else’s fault, so we won’t help.”

Mayor Roy Ludwig agreed that the province is dragging its heels, but he had a simple message for Meili: “We would rather keep our jobs, thank you very much.” Continue Reading →

[Ontario/Ring of Fire/First Nations/North/Peat Lands/Climate Change] Open For Business – by Kenyon Wallace (Toronto Star – May 27, 2019)

ON NEW YEAR’S EVE IN 2015, Sam Hunter set out to go camping near his home on Weenusk First Nation, about 35 kilometres south of Hudson Bay in Ontario’s Far North.

After spending a night in the bush, Hunter, who has lived on this land for most of his 53 years, went to look for dry wood. As he drove across what appeared to be a frozen river, the surface suddenly gave way and his Yamaha Bravo snowmobile plunged through the ice. Hunter was thrown through the windshield and barely avoided falling into the rushing water below. A sleigh attached to the back of the snowmobile was the only thing that prevented it from fully sinking into the water.

As he tried to wrench his machine free, Hunter found that he was standing on ice suspended several feet above the fast-rushing river. Hunter says it was as if the ice was “hanging on air.” Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Australia’s shock election shows killing coal mining is no sure thing – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – May 19, 2019)

LAUNCESTON, Australia, May 19 (Reuters) – While Australia’s opposition Labor Party is the obvious loser from the weekend election, the anti-coal environmental lobby suffered probably a bigger blow and will need to re-think its strategy to end mining of the polluting fuel.

The conservative Liberal Party-led coalition is likely to have pulled off one of the great political escapes by returning to office for a third term, confounding polls and pundits who thought Labor was a near certainty to win the May 18 election.

While Prime Minister Scott Morrison may not secure an outright majority in the 151-seat lower house of parliament, results indicated that Labor, led by former unionist Bill Shorten, would have no chance of victory. Continue Reading →

A principled Conservative policy would challenge Trudeau’s climate propaganda with truth – by Gwyn Morgan (Financial Post – May 10, 2019)

“Last year, global greenhouse gas emissions grew by an estimated
2.7 per cent. So if Canada’s economy had simply ceased to exist,
our 1.6 per cent of global emissions would have been replaced in
just seven months. These are irrefutable facts.”

In choosing to mislead Canadians on climate change, the Liberals are basing their election campaign on a known lie

As the federal election approaches, the Trudeau Liberal government’s record has become increasingly more difficult to defend. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise in the last election that he would run only “modest” deficits has burgeoned into a national debt increase that is bigger per person than that racked up by any government in Canadian history, outside of a major war or a recession.

Trudeau promised to reduce taxes for “middle-class” families, but a Fraser Institute analysis calculated that 80 per cent of middle-class families are paying taxes at least $840 higher per year.

Then there’s Indigenous reconciliation. After a bungled inquiry into missing and murdered women left Aboriginal families angry and disappointed, what was left of the Trudeau government’s reconciliation agenda was then demolished by their sanctimonious attacks on and the firing of Jody Wilson-Raybould, a widely respected and Indigenous former attorney general. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Don’t panic over mass extinction – by Margaret Wente (Globe and Mail – May 11, 2019)

Watch out. There’s another apocalypse looming. This time it’s the plants and animals. Our destructive habits, along with global warming, are laying waste to the Earth. According to the experts, we are on the brink of a mass extinction – one that could wipe out a million species.

Is there any silver lining to this story? Maybe. Human beings might be wiped out‚ too, and that, in many people’s view, would be a good thing. One of the top-rated comments for The New York Times’ mass-extinction story was: “… [T]he earth is shaking off the parasite that is man.”

The extinction story was one of the top news stories of the week. That’s because predictions about species in decline and the fragility of nature are extremely popular these days. In fact, a lot of people think we are in the midst of the Sixth Great Extinction. Only this one won’t be caused by an asteroid, but by man. Continue Reading →

Pro-oil vs. anti-oil forces clash as Canada’s two new solitudes – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – May 1, 2019)

It’s Big Oil and the miracle of hydrocarbons versus Big Finance and the great carbon scare

Two Solitudes: That’s how Hugh McLennan’s 1945 novel portrayed Canada — a nation of clashing English and French Canadians living in the same country under different languages, worldviews, experiences. In other words, a nation divided.

Welcome to the new Canadian solitudes, a nation divided over carbon and climate. Two recent events highlight the great carbon divide, one held in Alberta in early April, another in Montreal last week. The gap is wide and multifaceted, but in this case it’s Big Oil versus Big Insurance.

We begin in Alberta, where Conservative leader Andrew Scheer was reported by The Globe and Mail last week to have attended a “secret” and “private” meeting on April 11th with oil executives “to map out a strategy to oust the federal Liberals.” Continue Reading →

Around the World, Buyer’s Remorse Sets in for Costly Clean Power – by David R Baker and Brian Eckhouse (Bloomberg News – April 25, 2019)

Two decades ago, governments and utilities around the world began offering above-market rates and contracts to fuel the rise of clean energy, helping wind and solar become some of the cheapest power sources. Now, these pacts are under attack.

In Canada, Ontario Premier Doug Ford killed hundreds of contracts for planned wind and solar farms. Spain pulled back subsidies, yanking the rug from projects already up and running. And in the U.S., bankrupt California power giant PG&E Corp. could soon move to renegotiate costly power deals signed when prices were three times as expensive as they are now.

The rollback has divided both policy makers and the energy industry, with some calling it a natural evolution and others warning that it will undermine clean energy growth just as wind and solar have finally become mainstream sources of power. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Carbon taxes are great in theory. If only they worked – by Margaret Wente (Globe and Mail – April 20, 2019)

Thanks to politicians, carbon taxes are now a moral cause. If you want to save the planet you’ll sign on. Otherwise, catastrophe will ensue, warns our radiant Environment Minister, Catherine McKenna.

Ridiculous, argues Ontario’s portly, populist Premier, Doug Ford. Carbon taxes will create a “carbon tax recession” inflicted on us by our evil central government. Both are blasting their message at the electorate to persuade us that their side is right.

Neither statement is remotely true, of course. At 4.4 cents more per litre of gas, the new federal carbon tax is big enough to notice, but much too small to pry people from their cars. Even so, a lot of people like it. It shows that Canada is serious about climate policy. They figure that even if a carbon tax doesn’t buy us the solution to climate change, it seems like a good first step. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Australia’s pro-coal lobby should heed South Korea warning – by Clyde Russell (Reuters India – April 24, 2019)

LAUNCESTON, Australia, April 24 (Reuters) – A change in South Korea’s energy policy should have absolutely no bearing on the current Australian election campaign, but it should, as it’s a stark warning to politicians who still see a rosy future for coal mines and exports.

Australia is the world’s largest exporter of coal and South Korea has been a reliable customer for decades, taking 43.4 million tonnes of the polluting fuel from Australia in 2018, according to vessel-tracking data compiled by Refinitiv.

However, South Korea is now shifting its energy policy to effectively punish coal and promote both renewable energies and the use of cleaner-burning liquefied natural gas (LNG). Continue Reading →

Federal carbon tax favours coal-fired plants, could “diminish” renewables investment, new report says – by Jesse Snyder (National Post – April 24, 2019)

OTTAWA — The federal carbon tax could favour coal-fired power plants over clean sources like wind and solar in its approach to industrial emissions, a new report says, potentially undermining a central aim of the Liberal government’s policy.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna released a regulatory proposal in December 2018 that provided details on the heavy emitters portion of the carbon tax, including how levies would be applied to electricity generators.

Independent think-tank The C.D. Howe Institute reviewed the proposal and found it would actually give a leg up to higher-intensity emissions like coal and “diminish” investment in renewables, due to a decision to raise a critical threshold on certain producers. Continue Reading →

Netflix is lying about those falling walruses. It’s another ‘tragedy porn’ climate hoax – by Susan J. Crockford (Financial Post – April 24, 2019)

Opinion: Netflix and the WWF are misleading the public in the name of climate change — just as National Geographic did with the emaciated polar bear

Now that polar bears have failed to die off in response to a sea-ice decline as promised, climate alarmists are looking hard for a new icon. They think they’ve found it in the walrus. And for their purpose, walruses are more useful dead than alive, and best of all splattered against sharp rocks from a great height.

For instance, a now-famous episode of Netflix’s “Our Planet” documentary series, released this month and narrated by veteran BBC broadcaster David Attenborough, features walruses falling from atop a high cliff and bouncing helplessly over rocks to their deaths.

The incident occurs after what’s called a “land haulout,” which is when large herds of walrus females and calves emerge from the water to gather and rest on a beach. The show blames the land haulouts — and the deaths caused by falling from cliffs — squarely on lack of sea ice due to human-caused climate change. Continue Reading →

How Bill C-69 could escalate regulatory costs until projects become unworkable – by Jack Mintz (Financial Post – April 18, 2019)

As the Senate continues its hearings on Bill C-69, it might be useful to focus on what is claimed to be the objective of the new environmental and regulatory approval act: A fairer, faster regulatory system.

Calgary’s National Energy Board will become a less-powerful Canadian Energy Regulator while an Ottawa-based body, the Impact Assessment Agency, will provide final advice to the government to determine whether a project is in the “public interest.”

The new legislation is ostensibly intended to reduce delays for federal approval of resource projects while providing greater political acceptability. It is hard to see how that will be case. Continue Reading →

Column: Rio Tinto warning may rupture mining industry into green and dirty – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.K. – April 16, 2019)

The mining industry is starting to come under more intense pressure
from investors who are demanding sustainable and ethical mining.

LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – It’s not quite yet pistols at dawn but Rio Tinto’s polite warning to mining lobby groups that they have to acknowledge the threat of climate change is likely a sign that the industry will inevitably fracture into two camps.

These factions could be described as the “green” miners, who produce the minerals essential for the transition from the age of oil to the age of electricity, and the “dirty” miners who remain trapped in coal and other minerals deemed unnecessary for a carbon constrained future.

Rio Tinto’s carefully worded statement on industry associations, released last week, said that it would only work with groups aligned with its own climate principles. Continue Reading →