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

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.

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

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.

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Coal Miners Feel the Burn – by Rhiannon Hoyle (Wall Street Journal – November 26, 2015)

SYDNEY—Coal-mining companies whose stock prices have tumbled could use some friends. Instead, they have become the target of campaigners hoping to cast the sector as the new Big Tobacco.

With a meeting of global leaders to discuss climate change beginning Monday in Paris, the campaign has been building support.

This week, German insurer Allianz SE, which manages roughly $2.1 trillion in assets, said it would no longer invest in mining companies or utilities that generate more than 30% of their sales or energy output from coal.

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[British Columnbia] Clark needs to step up on environment – by Stephen Hume (Vancouver Sun – November 25, 2015)

Wednesday’s agreement between Premier Christy Clark and Alaska Gov. Bill Walker promising protection for shared environments from new mining developments on trans-boundary salmon rivers won’t quell the grassroots opposition swelling in the Northern U.S. state.

In fact, it might even make things more difficult for B.C.’s ambitious northwest development plans. Alaskan First Nations, fishing and environmental groups are already signalling a desire to trigger U.S. federal intervention through the International Joint Commission under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty.

What happened to the Northern Gateway and Keystone XL pipelines — once promoted as a sure thing to carry Alberta’s oilsands crude to tidewater — might serve as a cautionary examples.

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David Suzuki compares oilsands defenders to slave traders: ‘It’s a moral issue’ – by Douglas Quan (National Post – November 25, 2015)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

David Suzuki says he wasn’t necessarily taking aim at all people working in the energy sector when he compared the oilsands industry to the American slave trade.

In a radio interview on Monday, the environmental activist suggested that those who argue efforts to reduce greenhouse gases must consider economic impacts do not sound all that different from slave owners from the 19th century.

Several times, host Evan Solomon gave Suzuki an opportunity to clarify his statement — at one point asking him if he wanted to “put some nuance on that one,” especially given how many Canadians work in the industry.

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Posturing toward Paris with good hair – by Peter Foster (National Post – November 25, 2015)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

On Tuesday, Premier Kathleen Wynne declared that Ontario’s plans to combat climate change were “optimistic and entirely realistic.” Optimistic for sure. Realistic certainly not. The Green Energy Act has been a bummer, and closing down the entire province wouldn’t register as a blip on global climate.

Wynne confirmed the now almost universal objective of reducing emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, when Ontario pork will be flying direct to our plates.

Details of a five-year “action plan,” including Ontario’s cap and trade scheme, won’t be released until the new year, confirming that the vast Canadian delegation is going to Paris with nothing but good hair and a crazy quilt of dumb policies.

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