Archive | Climate Change, Carbon Taxes and ENGOs

DIAMONDS: CPAWS very wrong about Victor mine – by Marilyn Scales (Canadian Mining Journal – December 22, 2015)

http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

Remember hearing that “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”? Here is a contemporary corollary: “Especially when you cherry-pick your facts to make another look bad.”

The case in point is the report circulated by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s (CPAWS) Wildlands League. In it the organization accuses De Beers

Canada and its Victor diamond mine in northern Ontario of environmental offenses. CPAWS calls the situation a failure of self-monitoring and urges independent monitoring and reporting.

“The report is greatly misleading,” De Beers Canada’s senior external and corporate affairs manager Tom Ormsby said when contacted by CMJ. Continue Reading →

U of T advised to sell coal, oil assets in its funds – by Tyler Hamilton (Toronto Star – December 17, 2015)

http://www.thestar.com/

An advisory committee created last year by University of Toronto president Meric Gertler is recommending that the institution start divesting coal and oil assets from its massive $5.9 billion (U.S.) endowment and pension fund.

The 10-member committee, made up mostly of representatives from several university faculties, singled out fossil fuel companies that “blatantly disregard” the 1.5-degree C global warming threshold recognized in the Paris climate agreement and which engage in “socially injurious behaviour.”

“The university should, in a targeted and principled manner, divest from its direct holdings in such firms,” the committee recommended. Gertler received the report late Tuesday and called it a “timely” document he hopes will spark broader debate within the university community. Continue Reading →

Investors put pressure on miners to respond to climate change (Reuters U.S. – December 16, 2015)

http://www.reuters.com/

An alliance of around 100 investors is calling on mining companies Anglo American Glencore and Rio Tinto to show that they are working to lessen the impact of climate change on their businesses.

The group of European fund managers and pension funds including Aviva, Amundi and Schroders, which together manage over $4 trillion in assets, will file shareholder resolutions to the firms this month, investor coalition “Aiming for A” said on Wednesday.

Shareholders will vote on the resolutions at company meetings to be held in the first months of 2016. Miners are already grappling with an industry crisis caused by plunging commodity prices. Continue Reading →

The Paris summit: A colossal waste of time – by Margaret Wente (Globe and Mail – December 15, 2015)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

What a cliffhanger. As delegates from 195 countries pulled all-nighters in search of a climate deal, the world held its breath. At last, success! Perhaps we’ll save the planet after all. In fact, a deal in Paris was always in the works and everybody knew it.

After the Copenhagen debacle of 2009, the mighty UN climate juggernaut desperately needed a victory. And here it is – an agreement that’s unenforceable and toothless, but makes everyone feel good. Especially Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, our fearless and photogenic leader, took a delegation of 300 politicians, functionaries and hangers-on with him just to prove it. “Canada is back, my good friends,” he announced in Paris. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Climate deal may be terminal for coal, but death will be lingering – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.K. – December 14, 2015)

http://uk.reuters.com/

Dec 14 It’s tempting to take the champagne-fuelled view that the historic global climate agreement reached in Paris signals the death of coal, but even if the dirty fuel is terminal, it will be a long, lingering demise before the final hacking cough.

This is simply because coal is, and will remain for decades, the main fuel in the world’s top and third-biggest emitters, China and India.

While China has changed direction on coal fairly dramatically in the past two years, its pledge at the climate summit that ended last weekend in the French capital is only that its emissions will peak by 2030. Continue Reading →

The ‘climatecrats’ and their credibility gap – by Konrad Yakabuski (Globe and Mail – December 14, 2015)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

The global climate negotiations in Paris, like the schemes some Canadian provinces have adopted to meet their self-imposed targets, have all been predicated on the fib that greenhouse-gas emissions are easily measurable and verifiable. The opposite is true, a fact politicians and climatecrats continue to gloss over as they jet to summits pretending to save the planet.

The climatecrats’ most obvious disconnect concerns China. No one knows how much carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases the world’s biggest polluter really emits.

The Chinese government’s own estimates are simply not credible, a fact underscored by its recent admission that the country had been burning 17 per cent more coal a year than it had previously disclosed. Continue Reading →

The perfectly respectable environmental movement has been hijacked by climate radicals – by Conrad Black (National Post – December 12, 2015)

http://news.nationalpost.com/

My views of the Paris conference on the environment were published here last week and need not be revisited. But I think the phenomenon of climate change rigidity is so unusual and widespread, it is worthy of more analysis.

We start from the fact that absolutely everyone is an environmentalist in the sense that the term enjoyed for many years. This was in having a concern, even if belated, for clean air and water, reforestation, preservation of species, and of all mankind being responsible stewards of the physical planet.

No one today claims that lakes belong to industry, and no one, at least in the Western world, accepts the industrial smog that used to prevail in almost all industrial cities, or the untreated sewage that made most of the world’s urban waterways from early in the Industrial Revolution until the last 40 or 50 years a fecal ooze. Continue Reading →

End of an Era: England Closes its Last Deep-Pit Coal Mine – by Scott Patterson (Wall Street Journal – December 11, 2015)

http://www.wsj.com/

KNOTTINGLEY, England—The last deep-pit coal mine in the U.K. plans to shut its doors here next week, heralding the end of a centuries-old industry that helped fuel the industrial revolution and build the British Empire.

The shutdown, targeted for next Friday, represents a victory for advocates of reducing carbon emissions after world leaders gathered in Paris to discuss how to combat global warming, with coal in the cross hairs. It also reflects a glut of energy on world markets, from crude oil to natural gas and coal itself.

Coal mines have been closing around the world in the past year, from the U.S. to South Africa to the U.K. as prices plunged. But in no country has the industry witnessed such a dramatic fall from grace as in the U.K., where coal production was once seen as the backbone of the nation’s industrial economy, the fuel for everything from steamboats to power plants. Continue Reading →

Twilight of the Skeptic: Climate Critics Fume as Talks Near Deal – by Alex Nussbaum and Reed Landberg (Bloomberg News – December 10, 2015)

http://www.bloomberg.com/

Coal mining CEO Robert Murray looks at the Paris climate talks and sees nothing but a farce.

A two-week parade of world leaders, scientists and corporate executives attesting to the dangers of global warming has failed to persuade the head of one of America’s biggest coal companies, who dismisses the idea as a hoax.

Now, with envoys in Paris inching toward a final agreement, Murray sees nothing but disaster for the world’s poor and for his already beleaguered industry.

“To me, it is a tragedy,” said Murray, chief executive officer of Murray Energy Corp., the biggest closely-held U.S. coal producer, during an interview from his offices in Ohio’s mining region. Continue Reading →

Realism, not rhetoric, must drive the climate discussion – by Jeffrey Simpson (Globe and Mail – December 2, 2015)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

About 80 per cent of global energy consumption is based on fossil fuels, according to the International Energy Agency. This consumption is the major reason for global warming that produces climate change. Reducing the share will take a long time; eliminating fossil fuels completely is a pipe dream.

Fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas – will be with the world for a very, very long time because they are abundant, cheap and reliable. Alternatives such as solar and wind and tidal power are more expensive and produce energy only intermittently.

The idea that renewables will any time soon replace fossil fuels is greenwash, to turn the meaning of a common environmental word on its head. Renewables are growing in importance in some parts of the world, but they are far, far from replacing fossil fuels. Continue Reading →

Ragtag Activists Push Banks to Dump Coal – by Zeke Faux (Bloomberg News – December 3, 2015)

http://www.bloomberg.com/

The anti-coal protest outside Morgan Stanley’s 42-story tower in New York attracted only three people—four if you count the infant one of them happened to be baby-sitting.

The few bankers who walked outside to meet restaurant deliverymen appeared to barely notice as the activists sang, “Go tell it on the mountain. Your bank poisons us.” It was all over in 15 minutes.

The Nov. 19 demonstration hardly seemed like the kind of thing that would lead an investment banking behemoth to stop putting money into fossil fuels. But the movement that sponsored it is getting results. Continue Reading →

BATTLE FOR THE BOREAL – by Peter Kuitenbrouwer (National Post – December 4, 2015)

http://news.nationalpost.com/

The workday is over at the Hotel Matagami. Guests in steel-toe boots eat club sandwiches with poutine, drink five-dollar bottles of Labatt 50 and cheer the TV as the Montreal Canadiens thrash the New York Rangers.

At one table, Nicolas Mainville, 37, a biologist with Greenpeace, opens a ThinkPad with a sticker on its lid. It reads: “May the forest be with you.”

The screen glows with 33,000 kilometres of red tentacles: these are the logging roads on Crown land in the boreal forest, the same forest that doubles as hunting grounds for the Cree Nation of Waswanipi.

Those two activities are clashing, with the Cree and the loggers both blaming the other for unfairly damaging their way of life. Continue Reading →

Realism, not rhetoric, must drive the climate discussion – by Jeffrey Simpson (Globe and Mail – December 2, 2015)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

bout 80 per cent of global energy consumption is based on fossil fuels, according to the International Energy Agency. This consumption is the major reason for global warming that produces climate change. Reducing the share will take a long time; eliminating fossil fuels completely is a pipe dream.

Fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas – will be with the world for a very, very long time because they are abundant, cheap and reliable. Alternatives such as solar and wind and tidal power are more expensive and produce energy only intermittently.

The idea that renewables will any time soon replace fossil fuels is greenwash, to turn the meaning of a common environmental word on its head. Continue Reading →

Europe’s Coal Curtain Is Complicating the Climate Fight – by Ladka Mortkowitz Bauerova (Bloomberg News – November 30, 2015)

http://www.bloomberg.com/

At the Bilina mine 50 miles north of Prague, excavators the size of 10-story buildings claw at the earth and scoop out 2,700 tons of brown coal a day to feed the smoke-belching power station on the horizon. After the Czech government relaxed environmental regulations this fall, they’ll be able to keep going for another 40 years.

Some 130 miles away, in eastern Germany, Vattenfall AB’s Jaenschwalde coal pit is preparing to scale back production as the country shifts away from coal and the oldest units of the adjacent power station are scheduled to shut down by 2019.

The two mines highlight Europe’s growing divide on cutting greenhouse gases as global leaders descend on Paris for the biggest climate conference in history. Continue Reading →

Your Complete Guide to the Climate Debate – by Matt Ridley and Benny Peiser (Wall Street Journal – November 27, 2015)

http://www.wsj.com/

In February President Obama said, a little carelessly, that climate change is a greater threat than terrorism. Next week he will be in Paris, a city terrorized yet again by mass murderers, for a summit with other world leaders on climate change, not terrorism.

What precisely makes these world leaders so convinced that climate change is a more urgent and massive threat than the incessant rampages of Islamist violence?

It cannot be what is happening to world temperatures, because they have gone up only very slowly, less than half as fast as the scientific consensus predicted in 1990 when the global-warming scare began in earnest. Continue Reading →