Mathieu Belanger / Reuters
Corporations can't vote, but by putting enormous amounts of money into campaigns and lobbying, they can hijack the political agenda.
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Climate change policies and growth in green technologies means fossil fuels are about to start declining in Canada.
Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
Climate change is already costing Canadians money, and it will cost us more.
From absurd claims that the voluntary agreement will impose "draconian financial and economic burdens" on the U.S. to petty, irrational fears that it confers advantages to other countries to the misguided notion that it can and should be renegotiated, Trump is either misinformed or lying.
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There's no denying that oil, coal and gas are tremendously useful. The problems aren't the resources but our profligate use of them. Using them more wisely is a start. In many cases, we also have alternatives. Most plastics are also made from oil -- which presents another set of problems.
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Most people understand that human-caused climate change is a real and serious threat. True, some still reject the mountains of evidence amassed by scientists from around the world over many decades, and accepted by every legitimate scientific academy and institution. But as the physical evidence builds daily, it takes an incredible amount of denial to claim we have no reason to worry.
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Canada, and not just Mexico, may be in for a rough ride when it renegotiates NAFTA with the United States. When it comes to fighting climate change, however, the ride will be rougher. Trade provisions will likely continue to be a stumbling block in any efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
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How do you fare on our scale of green? From the AOL Partner Studio
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Despite their efficiency and cost, fossil fuels aren't better energy sources than solar, wind and tide, even though renewables require separate storage for large-scale deployment. Fossil fuels pollute the environment, cause illness and death, accelerate global warming and damage or destroy ecosystems. They'll also eventually run out.
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Found in a wealthy, heavy emitting country, the tar sands are a carbon bomb that needs to be defused. Extracting Canada's 173 billion barrels will drive ever-greater numbers of the planet's most vulnerable over the edge.
Ozone depletion, air pollution and climate change are not just buzzwords ̶ they’re real-life issues that we often don’t take action on because we think they’re more expensive and less convenient. The good news is that even the smallest changes can make a considerable difference.
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Carbon, number six on the periodic table of the elements, is at the very heart of climate change. Here's all you need to know to understand why. Basis of life Carbon is the basis of all life on this p...
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I have now realized that most economists operate under a very different concept of the nature of atmospheric carbon then ecologists like myself. Their paradigm turns any and all carbon into a market commodity to be manipulated by price and economic tools. They don't share the ecologist's concern that such a simplistic model can lead to truly dangerous and perverse public policy.
Despite international initiatives like the 2015 Paris Agreement, based on decades of research and evidence from around the world about human-caused global warming, those who would risk human health and survival for short-term profits from a destructive sunset industry appear to have the upper hand -- for now.
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I contend that divestment activities are not effective enough, particularly because it is likely to take many years for the campaigns to have meaningful impact - in the meantime, the climate will be damaged beyond repair.
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Mr. Trudeau must choose between the anti-pipeline provinces like Quebec and British Columbia, and the interests of Alberta; between the oil industry magnates and the citizen opposition; between the oil economy with its short term goals and our international commitments for the reduction of greenhouse gases.
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The longer we delay addressing environmental problems, the more difficult it will be to resolve them. Although we've known about climate change and its potential impacts for a long time, and we're seeing those impacts worsen daily, our political representatives are still approving and promoting fossil fuel infrastructure as if we had all the time in the world to slow global warming.
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There's a common trope among the pro-pipeline crowd that opposing new fossil fuel projects somehow should deny you access to anything fossil fuel related. It's a ridiculous notion, but with it so widespread, I'm willing to accept it, with one caveat. If I have to give up anything fossil fuel related in my life, pipeline pushers have accept their own version.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
As Justin Trudeau prepares to meet with the premiers in early December to finalize a pan-Canadian climate plan, a key contradiction remains in the Liberal's framework for a low-carbon economy. Namely, that the government's steadfast commitment to expanding fossil fuel exports is fundamentally antithetical to real action on climate change.
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According to Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna, phasing out coal will reduce emissions in Canada by five megatonnes. That's great news, but it's soured when you remember that the government just approved the Pacific Northwest LNG project, which is expected to add 11.5 to 14.0 megatonnes worth of emissions each year.
Rick Wilking / Reuters
Spills and disasters illustrate the immediate negative impacts of our over reliance on fossil fuels. Climate change shows we can't continue to burn coal, oil and gas, that we have to leave much of it in the ground. If we get on with it, we may still have time to manage the transition without catastrophic consequences. But the longer we delay, the more difficult it will become.
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In three debates, how many questions have moderators asked about climate? How much time have candidates devoted to discussing it? The answer to the first question is zero. They've been asked about email usage, abortion, Muslims and taxes, but not about an issue that overwhelms all the others.
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So how did this red-sweatered troll, posing as an undecided voter, get selected to appear on stage at such an event to ask, "the question"? Typical, it turns out. For starters, he made no prior mention of his deep ties to the fossil fuel industry. Just a concerned, undecided voter.
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Maybe the lifestyle we've come to know as "normal" really isn't normal -- or sustainable -- after all. It may feel normal because it's all we've known, but, examined rationally in a larger context, it seems more like the fast lane to resource depletion and environmental ruin.
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Most national governments have committed to the 2015 Paris Agreement's goal of limiting global warming to 2 C above pre-industrial levels, with an aspirational goal of 1.5 C. We're already nearing the latter, with growing consequences, including increasing extreme weather events, water and food shortages, migration crises and extinctions. We must conserve energy, quickly phase out coal power and continue to develop renewable resources.
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Life evolved to live within limits. It's a delicate balance. Humans need oxygen, but too much can kill us. Plants need nitrogen, but excess nitrogen harms them, and pollutes rivers, lakes and oceans. Ecosystems are complex. Our health and survival depend on intricate interactions that ensure we get the right amounts of clean air, water, food from productive soils and energy from the sun.
Chris Wattie / Reuters
As promising as solar and electric planes may be, these technologies still have a way to go and won't likely usher in a new era of airline travel soon. That's unfortunate, because aircraft are major sources of pollution and climate-altering greenhouse gases, contributing the same amount of emissions as Germany, about two per cent of the global total. As air transport becomes increasingly popular, experts project aircraft emissions could triple by 2050.
Justin Trudeau has become less the pipeline pusher that Stephen Harper was, and more of the fossil fuel industry appeaser. Championing Alberta's climate plan, Canada has offered the fossil fuel industry it's own Sudetenland, a 30MT expansion of the tar sands and at least one pipeline.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Instead of asking how to move more and more crude oil, let's start asking how we can have a cleaner, greener economy that keeps people safe, the environment pristine, and delivers good green jobs. Once you start asking that question two big things become clear.
To prevent the destruction of their hunting grounds, the remote hamlet of Clyde River in Nunavut and the Nammautaq Hunters and Trappers Organization appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, which agreed to hear the case later this year. This case is in an isolated region. But the threat of massive development in yet another traditional territory is not an isolated case.
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Biofuels offer several advantages over fossil fuels. Most are less toxic. Crops used to produce them can be grown quickly, so unlike coal, oil and gas that take millions of years to form, they're considered renewable. They can also be grown almost anywhere, reducing the need for infrastructure like pipelines and oil tankers and, in many areas, conflicts around scarcity and political upheaval.
Put the sun at the glowing heart of progress! This is the message of Solar Impulse. For two centuries technological civilization has revolved around the energy of fossil fuels, but now humankind has the capability and knowledge to make the energy of the sun the centre of its development.