Archive | Climate Change, Carbon Taxes and ENGOs

Russians have weaponized social media — but our governments and businesses remain oblivious to the threat – by Diane Francis (Financial Post – March 13, 2018)

The weaponizing of social media by Russians and others has afflicted the U.S., France, Germany, Britain and others. But there is no controversy about this concerning Canada — and it should be.

Consider the fact that the anti-development forces in B.C. won its election by a hair, and have disrupted the oil and liquefied natural gas industry in Canada, the country’s only engine of economic growth.

The Russians and others who have meddled to prevent resource development here for years should be drinking champagne and eating caviar as casualties pile up. Stoppage of Malaysia’s LNG project in B.C.; the Alberta-B.C. trade fight; blockage of Kinder Morgan Inc.’s Trans Mountain pipeline, a legally permitted pipeline; and cancellation of TransCanada Corp.’s Energy East east-west pipeline. Continue Reading →

[Australia Coal Mining] Against Adani? You’re against lifting the world’s poorest out of poverty – by Danny Price (Australian Financial Review – February 27, 2018)

Danny Price is managing director of Frontier Economics. Disclosure: Frontier has advised Adani on Australian regulatory matters.

For several years Adani Group has been progressing with plans to invest in a large coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee basin.

Once mined, coal will be sent by a railway, constructed as part of the project, to the Adani-owned Abbot Point port, from where it will be shipped to the Indian province of Gujarat, to fuel among others, the Adani Mundra power plant.

This power plant generates electricity for some of the poorest people in the world so they can have lighting to study at night and power for clean water. Reliable power is also crucial to attract industry so that people can have jobs to lift themselves out of poverty. Continue Reading →

Polar bear battle in Toronto! It’s good science vs. climate do-gooders – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – February 22, 2018)

Two events next week juxtapose two conflicting conclusions on the current health and future for polar bears. Behind the science, there’s also a juicy personal clash

Coming next Tuesday to Toronto’s swanky Yorkville district, it’s the 2018 Polar Bear Showdown, an international display of conflicting views on the state of polar-bear science. Are the great, charismatic creatures, all white, cuddly-looking and dangerous, caught in the death grip of climate change?

At one corner in Yorkville, in the ballroom of the upmarket Four Seasons Hotel, Polar Bears International (PBI) will stage a grand, $15,000-a-table gala to raise funds to protect the allegedly threatened Arctic species from the ravages of our addiction to fossil fuels.

Sponsored by a klatch of corporate goody-two-shoes — a couple of Canadian banks, a major accounting outfit, The Globe and Mail — and filled with razzle-dazzle entertainment and good food, the purpose of the event is to mark International Polar Bear Day and draw attention to PBI’s science-based effort to sound a global polar-bear alarm. Continue Reading →

The ugly pipeline war is no accident. It was the plan – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – February 9, 2018)

Wake up, Canada. The Trans Mountain constitutional meltdown is the product of an aggressive radical campaign by green extremists to rip up the economy

“The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that fossil
fuels will hold at 80 per cent of U.S. energy consumption through
to 2050. While the U.S.-based green militants and their Canadian
cohorts have successfully promoted the shutdown of Canada’s pipeline
development, American oil production hit record levels in January.”

The Canadian pipeline crisis is developing along the usual constitutional divide and within the tired context of party politics punditry. Will Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government use its federal powers to overrule the unconstitutional moves by B.C.’s NDP government? Will B.C.’s attempt to block the $7.4-billion expansion of the Trans Mountain oilsands pipeline to the West Coast lead to a trade war with Alberta’s NDP?

And what will the Liberals’ new plans, announced Thursday, to gut the National Energy Board’s power and responsibilities, and new environmental rules released this week to protect the lives of fish against human encroachment by pipeline do to the state of the federation?

Wake up, Canada. This is not another political game show about the powers and rights of different levels of government. Nor is it about ritual inter-party rivalries among Liberals, New Democrats and Conservatives. The Trans Mountain constitutional meltdown is the product of an aggressive radical campaign by green extremists to rip up the Canadian economy. Continue Reading →

The Tar Sands Campaign Against the Overseas Export of Canadian Oil: Activism or Economic Sabotage? – by Vivian Krause (January 12, 2018)


On the basis of the evidence presented in this report, it is clear that The Northern Gateway pipeline and other proposed pipelines for the overseas export of oil from western Canada have been deliberately sabotaged as part of a multi-million dollar, U.S.-funded effort referred to as “The Tar Sands Campaign.”

This effort aims to stop the export of oil from western Canada by pipeline, tanker and by rail. The absence of a successful response to anti-pipeline activism and other factors have also contributed to pipeline project cancellations.

When the American funding behind The Tar Sands Campaign first came to light in 2010, the strategy of the U.S. funders was not entirely clear. But now it is. In the words of the original director of The Tar Sands Campaign, from the very beginning the strategy was to “land-lock” oil from western Canada within North America so that it could not reach overseas markets where it could attain a higher price per barrel.1 Continue Reading →

Why A Cold Week In January Shows Renewable Energy Cannot Do It All – by Matt Rooney (Huffington Post U.K. – January 25, 2018)

Building a 100% renewable – and affordable – energy system is challenging for any country

Building a 100% renewable – and affordable – energy system is challenging for any country, but for the UK it is particularly difficult. Solar power is likely to be the biggest contributor to low carbon energy worldwide in the coming decades, but it is most suited to hot countries that require most energy in the summer months to power air-conditioning. The UK, where our energy demand is highest in winter, is just not that suited to solar power.

So what about wind? Britain is a windy island with a long coastline that makes it a prime location for fleets of wind turbines dotted around the country. Recent cost reductions achieved in the wind industry have made this an even more attractive proposition – but the wind does not always blow.

An energy system highly reliant on a weather-dependent technology will always be vulnerable to extreme weather events or even just a cold snap in winter. Continue Reading →

The carbon-tax system isn’t a tax grab. It’s an economic bulldozer – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – January 24, 2018)

We all know the great eco-fiscal rationale for Canada’s national carbon tax. By putting a tax on carbon emissions, Ottawa is said to be deploying the most effective driver of human behaviour known to economic science: the price system.

High price equals lower demand for gasoline and other fossil fuels, and therefore lower carbon emissions that cause global warming. As the self-appointed Ottawa-based NGO known as the EcoFiscal Commission says, imposing a carbon price/tax is way more practical, simple and cost-effective than, say, heavy-handed, complicated and cost-ineffective regulation.

It is with these grand economic concepts in mind that we turn now to the federal government’s recently released Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (GGPPA), a core piece of legislation that would mandate a national carbon price along the lines advocated by ecofiscalists. Continue Reading →

The population bombers keep on bombing — and 50 years on they keep getting it wrong – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – January 3, 2018)

Half a century after publication of The Population Bomb, the world is healthier, better fed, less poor, better entertained and generally living fuller lives

It’s 2018, and the end is near — again. From the new Matt Damon movie Downsizing to the latest alarmist petitions from bands of scientists, the world is said to be careening toward destruction.

“We’re screwed,” says Oscar-winning director Alexander Payne, whose Downsizing explores the science-fiction idea that the world could maybe be saved if the technology existed to shrink individual humans down to the size of Ken and Barbie dolls, at which point consumption of dwindling earthly resources would be reduced to a fraction of current levels.

If you’re not keen on taking science lessons from Hollywood directors who admit they have no idea of how to avoid the alleged looming catastrophe, there’s the latest doomsterism from the Alliance of World Scientists. It has lots of ideas, all bad. Continue Reading →

British coal still burning abroad despite push for global ban – by Susanna Twidale and Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – December 18, 207)

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain led calls for an end to coal-fired power generation at United Nations climate talks in Bonn last month but at the same time British companies are active in coal projects around the world, often with government help.

In Britain, the use of coal in electricity generation has declined sharply since the introduction of a carbon tax in 2013, although the country remains a center of coal-mining expertise.

Many in the mining industry see no contradiction. They say coal remains the best option in some countries and it would be hypocritical for the developed world to deny emerging economies the power they need. Continue Reading →

Another ‘green’ power boondoggle sinks taxpayers and consumers in the red – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – December 13, 2017)

They promised green and clean. What they deliver to Canadians instead is expensive and in the red

From Bonavista to Vancouver Island, from the Arctic Circle to the Great Lake waters, this land really belongs to electric-power monopolies and politicians who routinely bulldoze property rights, ratepayers, taxpayers and the regulators that have become puppets of governing political string-pullers.

They promised green and clean. What they deliver to Canadians instead is expensive and in the red. From coast to coast, provincial governments continue to plow ahead with power-generating mega-projects and green-power schemes whose only certain output is massive debts and soaring costs to deliver electricity that may never be needed.

Out Bonavista way, Newfoundlanders are saddled with Muskrat Falls, a giant dam project under construction in Labrador. Nalcor Energy, the provincial power monopoly in cahoots with provincial and federal politicians, started with a cost estimate of $7.4 billion to ship electricity from Labrador to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. The latest estimated cost is $12.7 billion. Continue Reading →

Why investing in coal is risky business – by Catherine McKenna (Globe and Mail – December 15, 2017)

Catherine McKenna is Minister for the Environment and Climate Change

This week, we marked the two-year anniversary of the Paris climate accord with big news. The Powering Past Coal Alliance, which was recently launched by Britain and Canada as a global effort to phase out coal-fired electricity, grew to more than 50 members, including 33 countries and 24 businesses.

But while momentum is clearly building to end pollution from burning coal, a change of that magnitude takes time. As environmental organizations reported this week, some Canadian companies are among those investing to expand coal power overseas.

While companies are responsible for their own decisions, this news does not represent the growing trend worldwide. Many other companies and investors are moving in the opposite direction. They see opportunities not in the expansion of coal burning – which is a hazard to our health and a driver of climate change – but in the economic opportunity of clean growth. Continue Reading →

Holler promises: Subsidising coal production is a really bad idea (The Economist – December 14, 2017)

WELCH AND WILLIAMSON, WEST VIRGINIA – ON A brisk early-autumn morning in Welch, seat of the poorest county in America’s third-poorest state, four young men methodically demolish an old car-parts factory. The men wielding sledgehammers are not vandals, but construction trainees hired by Coalfield Development, a local non-profit, and they are working hard.

The low, solid building has good bones, but has fallen into disrepair from extended disuse. The same is true of Welch itself. The beautiful stone and brick buildings, complete with carved mullions, stone flares along rooflines and other architectural flourishes, show that once upon a time this town had confidence and money. Discount shops and boarded-up shopfronts testify to a harder present.

McDowell County is the heart of Appalachia, a once-Democratic region that voted overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump. Mr Trump won four of America’s top five coal-producing states (Illinois, with much of its population concentrated in and around liberal Chicago, was the exception). Continue Reading →

National Australia Bank stops all lending for new thermal coal projects – by Gabrielle Jackson (The Guardian – December 14, 2017)

National Australia Bank says it will halt all lending for new thermal coal mining projects, becoming the first major Australian bank to phase out support of thermal coal mining.

While the bank will continue providing finance for coal projects already on its books, NAB said an orderly transition to a low-carbon Australia was critical for the economy and for continued access to secure and affordable energy.

“While we will continue to support our existing customers across the mining and energy sectors, including those with existing coal assets, NAB will no longer finance new thermal coal mining projects,” the bank said in a statement on Thursday. Continue Reading →

In Germany, miners and others prepare for a soft exit from hard coal – by Valerie Hamilton (U.S.A. Today – December 13, 2017)

For most people, the top of the mine shaft at the Prosper-Haniel coal mine in Bottrop, Germany, just looks like a big black hole. But Andre Niemann looked into that hole and saw the future.

Part 1: No regrets from this soon-to-be-ex-miner

Niemann leads the hydraulic engineering and water resources department at the University of Duisberg-Essen, in the heart of German coal country, western Germany’s Ruhr Valley. For more than 150 years, Germany mined millions of tons of anthracite, or hard coal, from coal mines here that at their peak employed half a million miners. But that’s history now — Germany’s government decided a decade ago to end subsidies that made German hard coal competitive with imports.

Now, the last of these mines are set to close at the end of 2018, ending an industry, a tradition and a culture. “Prosper-Haniel is really special,” Niemann says. “It’s the last mine in this region, and everyone is looking, ‘OK, what’s happening now?’” Continue Reading →

Canadian financial companies investing in coal overseas as feds push phase-out – by Mia Rabson (Globe and Mail – December 12, 2017)

THE CANADIAN PRESS: Canada’s national pension fund manager is among a group of Canadian companies that are undermining the federal government’s international anti-coal alliance by investing in new coal power plants overseas, an environmental organization says.

Friends of the Earth Canada joined with Germany’s Urgewald to release a report today looking at the top 100 private investors putting money down to expand coal-fired electricity – sometimes in places where there isn’t any coal-generated power at the moment.

The report lists six Canadian financial companies among the top 100 investors in new coal plants in the world. Together, Sun Life, Power Corporation, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, Royal Bank of Canada, Manulife Financial and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board have pledged $2.9-billion towards building new coal plants overseas. Continue Reading →