Archive | Climate Change, Carbon Taxes and ENGOs

Bill Gates, defying the Climate Barons, tells the ugly truth about renewables – by Peter Foster (Financial Post – February 22, 2019)

Forcing the adoption of expensive and unreliable energy destroys jobs (see Alberta) and exacerbates poverty in poor countries

Market advocates have always claimed that policy advice from business should be treated with suspicion. The road to economic and political hell is paved with corporate welfare and national champions (SNC-Lavalin anyone?).

Communists and the “progressive” left were much more harsh, claiming that since big business sought only monopoly and plutocracy, the state at least required “countervailing” power, if not absolute power.

Since command of economic resources was deemed synonymous with political power, some of the greatest businessmen and philanthropists all time — such as John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and Cornelius Vanderbilt — were reflexively dubbed “Robber Barons.” Continue Reading →

Whether Earth’s population booms or busts, the future still looks promising – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – February 13, 2019)

Two vital new books from Canadian writers on the alleged population crisis suggest we can all relax

For centuries, assorted obsessive doomsters — from Thomas Malthus to Al Gore to the Club of Rome — have issued dire warnings that the world is careening into an overpopulated nightmare. U.S. biologist Paul Ehrlich published The Population Bomb in 1968, the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth publication warned in 1972 of a population crisis within a century, and Al Gore in 2014 called for “voluntary measures to lower birth rates around the globe.”

Two vital new books from Canadian writers on the alleged population crisis suggest we can all relax.

The latest, released this month, is Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline, by pollster Darrell Bricker and newspaper columnist John Ibbitson. They argue that global fertility rates are declining in all regions and that the world’s population could peak around nine billion in 2040. Continue Reading →

Social-justice Democrats’ ‘Green New Deal’ will turn America into Venezuela – by Rex Murphy (National Post – February 12, 2019)

The Green New Deal uses environmentalism as a lever to pursue a far-larger, more sinister, agenda, a mad leap to a socialist nightworld

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is out to prove she is the Thomas Jefferson of the infantile social-justice progressive Left. And she is doing one (non-carbon emitting) hell of a job. She is a marvel. In her mere 35 days as a freshperson in Congress she’s made her mark.

She’s the Cardi B (I like to fake hipitude) of the Democratic party (the very seal of death to the Hillary era – it’s done); she takes to Twitter like a (Donald) duck to water, provokes whole rivers of drool over at CNN and MSNBC, and is the very embodiment and avatar of every social-justice warrior and barista malcontent’s idea of the perfect politician.

Ocasio-Cortez, like the Bishop of Ussher before her, knows when the world will end: 2030. She has said so — “We only have 12 years left.” And on that rock she has built her church. Her policies are determined from her predetermined date of apocalypse in 2030, unless … unless we heed her urgent call. Continue Reading →

Opinion: Miners must appeal anti-coal landmark court decision – by Matthew Stevens (Australian Financial Review – February 10, 2019)

You have to admire the collective against coal mining. It sure does know when and how to pick its fights. On Friday, the NSW Land and Environment Court rejected an application by Gloucester Resources to build a three-pit coking coal mine near the central NSW town that named the company.

Left to stand, the decision by Judge Brian Preston would seem to establish precedent because it moves all three categories of carbon emissions to the front and centre of the state’s planning approval process.

This has not so far been the case in NSW or anywhere else in Australia, for that matter, a fact made plain by the victory celebrations that Judge Preston’s odd decision triggered among his fans, old and new, in the climate change lobby. Continue Reading →

The unspoken danger of CO2: It makes people go absolutely nutty – by Lawrence Solomon (Financial Post – February 8, 2019)

When the inmates run the asylum, whispers of ‘climate’ explain everything

Carbon dioxide, a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas, represents the most serious threat today to the citizenry of the developed world. No other substance known to man more often makes us go crazy.

“The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change” and combat CO2, Democrat firebrand Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stated two weeks ago, explaining her views and those of “millennials and Gen Z and all these folks that come after us.”

A few days later the Doomsday Clock — the countdown to total nuclear annihilation established by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists during the Cold War — got wound up tighter than ever by adding CO2 to nuclear weaponry as an existential threat. “Today sets the Doomsday Clock at two minutes to midnight — the closest it has ever been to apocalypse,” the organization announced in a press release. Continue Reading →

At Davos, the world is aflame. Everywhere else, things are awesome – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – January 25, 2019)

Nothing is off the list of threats that are circling the planet. But what about all our progress?

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, interviewed broadcaster Sir David Attenborough at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos this week.

Reaching deep for the hard question, Prince William asked: “David, recently you were in Poland and you spoke out very powerfully at the UN climate change conference there. How urgent is that crisis now?” Sir David did not fail to take up challenge: “It’s difficult to overstate it.”

But let me try, he might have added. “We are now so numerous, so powerful, so all pervasive, the mechanisms that we have for destruction are so wholesale and so frightening, that we can actually exterminate whole ecosystems without even noticing it.” Continue Reading →

Canada could impact emissions were Ottawa not so obsessed with carbon taxes – by Brad Wall (Financial Post – January 18, 2019)

Brad Wall is the former premier of Saskatchewan. He is currently an adviser for Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt in Calgary.

Canadian technology could clean up hundreds of coal plants around the world

Three years ago, there we were at the COP21 Paris Climate Conference: 383 Canadians strong. Our delegation was larger than almost any other country’s, rivalling even the host country’s delegation. Canada was back.

Saskatchewan was there, too, with our three-person contribution to the overall Canadian throng, though we may have been a little out of step.

Just two weeks before Paris, the Alberta government had announced its own carbon tax. The explicit and implied promise was that this indulgence paid by Albertans would purchase the absolution required to secure pipeline approvals. Saskatchewan then was alone in its opposition to a nationally imposed carbon tax. So, in Paris we were — without intention — a few prairie skunks at this low-carbon garden party. Continue Reading →

Is Edward Burtynsky’s Anthropocene proof of ecological disaster — or power politics? – by Terence Corcoran (National Post – January 5, 2019)

With the arrival of Burtynsky as a high-profile advocate, the science campaign to define and identify the Anthropocene gets a fresh publicity boost

To sell Canadians on the merits of his carbon tax plan, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau staged a media event in late October before a group of high school students at the National Gallery in Ottawa. His backdrop was a wall-size image of Cathedral Grove #1, a beautiful but dark-hued interior view of a boreal forest on Vancouver Island taken in 2017 by famed Canadian landscape photographer Edward Burtynsky.

The link between the peaceful majesty of Cathedral Grove #1 and the crass politics of a $20 carbon tax might not be obvious. But the high school students were at the National Gallery to take in Anthropocene, a major multimedia exhibit based on new Burtynsky photographs that depicts assorted human incursions on the geography of the planet — coal mining, garbage production, logging, oil refining, expressways, marble quarries, underground tunnels.

Trudeau’s simplistic message to the students — and all Canadians — was that a carbon tax will help curtail this ongoing ruination of the Earth. Behind the simple message, however, is a complex tangle of motives, objectives and political wrangling that animate the key players behind the exhibit. Continue Reading →

Covering Climate Talks in the Heart of Poland’s Coal Country – by Brad Plumer (New York Times – December 19, 2018)

Times Insider delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how news, features and opinion come together at The New York Times.

The backdrop for this year’s big United Nations climate talks seemed, at first, a bizarre choice. Diplomats from across the globe converged on Katowice, a city in the heart of Poland’s southwestern coal-mining region, to discuss how the world’s nations could accelerate their efforts to shift away from fossil fuels.

But when I traveled to Poland last week to cover those climate talks, I discovered that the setting was fairly apt. Lately, climate policymakers around the world have been grappling with the fact that even the best-laid plans to tackle global warming will falter if they don’t take into account people who might lose out from a shift to cleaner energy. And Poland offered a sharp illustration of just how difficult that can be in practice. Continue Reading →

The fossil fuel era is coming to an end, but the lawsuits are just beginning – by Kyla Tienhaara (The Conversation – December 18, 2018)

Kyla Tienhaara is the Canada Research Chair in Economy and Environment, Queen’s University, Ontario.

“Coal is dead.” These are not the words of a Greenpeace activist or left-wing politician, but of Jim Barry, the global head of the infrastructure investment group at Blackrock — the world’s largest asset manager. Barry made this statement in 2017, but the writing has been on the wall for longer than that.

Banks know it, which is why they are increasingly unwilling to underwrite new coal mines and power plants. Unions and coal workers know it, which is why they are demanding a just transition and new employment opportunities in the clean economy. Even large diversified mining companies are getting out of the business of coal.

The only ones who seem to have remained in denial are President Donald Trump and non-diversified mining companies like Westmoreland Coal. The Denver-based firm made a bad bet in 2013 when it purchased five coal mines in Alberta. Now it wants Canadian taxpayers to pay for its mistake. Continue Reading →

Nations agree on global climate pact rules, but they are seen as weak – by Nina Chestney, Bate Felix, Agnieszka Barteczko (Reuters Canada – December 15, 2018)

KATOWICE, Poland (Reuters) – Nearly 200 countries overcame political divisions late on Saturday to agree on rules for implementing a landmark global climate deal, but critics say it is not ambitious enough to prevent the dangerous effects of global warming.

After two weeks of talks in the Polish city of Katowice, nations finally reached consensus on a more detailed framework for the 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to limit a rise in average world temperatures to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

“It is not easy to find agreement on a deal so specific and technical. Through this package you have made a thousand little steps forward together. You can feel proud,” Polish president of the talks Michal Kurtyka told delegates. After he struck the gavel to signal agreement had been reached, ministers joined him on the stage, hugging and laughing in signs of relief after the marathon talks. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Corporate welfare is costly, even when it’s green – by Mark Milke (Globe and Mail – December 14, 2018)

Multiple headlines in the past several weeks have highlighted how government subsidies to major corporations did nothing to stem factory closings and job losses. They include Bombardier Inc.’s announcement of 5,000 layoffs despite at least $5-billion in federal and Quebec subsidies.

Then General Motors Co. announced it was laying off 14,700 people across North America. That came despite tax dollars going to the automotive sector: $3.7-billion in Canada and US$16.6-billion in the United States, stemming from the 2008-09 government bailouts.

Now switch gears and look at favourable headlines for another industry – green energy. The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that wind, solar and biomass will capture two-thirds of the new investment dollars in new power plants by 2040. But what exactly is meant by “investment dollars” when renewables receive massive taxpayer aid? Continue Reading →

Touting Coal But Negotiating Emissions Cuts – What Is Trump Up To In Poland? – by Dave Keating (Forbes Magazine – December 11, 2018)

Yesterday, when the U.S. delegation at UN climate talks in Katowice, Poland organised an event promoting fossil fuels, the reaction was fierce – and predictable.

It was the second year in a row the U.S. has staged such an event at the annual climate gathering setting the rules of the Paris Climate Agreement, staying true to the headline message coming from the White House that climate change is a hoax and the agreement will hinder economic growth.

But behind the scenes, delegates from the U.S. government are sounding a different tone. Speaking at a “innovation in coal and natural gas” event on the sidelines of the summit, Preston Wells Griffith, the deputy assistant secretary for international affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy, told the audience that “alarmism should not silence realism.” Continue Reading →

Adani: thousands protest across Australia against Carmichael mine – by Staff (The Guardian – December 8, 2018)

Thousands of protestors campaigning against Indian mining giant Adani’s controversial Queensland coalmine have taken to the streets in major cities across Australia to call on the government to stop it going ahead.

Protesters marched in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns on Saturday, just a week after 15,000 school students demonstrated against government inaction on climate change. It follows the announcement last month by Adani it would self-finance the controversial project after scaling back its size and scope.

The coal project is being downsized from a 60-million-tonnes a year, $16.5 billion mega-mine to a more manageable 10-to-15 million tonnes a year costing around $2 billion. In Brisbane, hundreds of protestors gathered outside Adani’s headquarters to voice their opposition to the project. Continue Reading →

Canada co-hosts ‘coal-free day’ at UN climate meeting in Poland – by Mia Rabson (The Canadian Press/Global News – December 8, 2018)

OTTAWA — Canada and the United Kingdom are hosting a “coal-free day” at the United Nations climate talks in Katowice, Poland, a city built on coal mining.

Poland relies on coal for almost 80 per cent of its electricity, more than double the global average, and Katowice is the heart of its industry. The city of about 300,000 people grew up around workshops and mills fuelled by the coal deposits abundant in the ground.

At the International Congress Centre in Katowice, where thousands of environment leaders and representatives from almost every country in the world are meeting for at least two weeks, you can see the smoke stacks and plumes of coal exhaust from nearby power plants. Continue Reading →