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We've all seen a chart like it: logos of corporations connected by thin lines to other logos, linking dozens of subsidiaries to spin-offs of even larger companies. But such diagrams rarely involve Canada or the fossil fuel companies that dominate lobbying and other political efforts.
With the 42nd federal election in the books here in Canada, now the clock starts ticking down the 42 days until the Paris climate talks begin. The good news is that Stephen Harper is no longer the Prime Minister of Canada. After nearly a decade in power, Harper has left a sea of devastation in his wake when it comes to climate change. Here's the bad news: while Stephen Harper's government may have been a supporter of the fossil fuel industry, Justin Trudeau has failed to distinguish himself as a much better option.
Whenever I meet a Hummer, tension rises in my chest, unkind thoughts develop in my head and my hands tighten and tremble, as if they want to signal something. I've long wondered why that happens, and I think I've finally figured it out. It has something to do with a song, economics and the courteous way to walk your dog.
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When former federal cabinet minister David Dingwall was questioned about a generous buyout package he received in 2006, his oft-quoted reply was, "I am entitled to my entitlements." It caused much outrage. But as the biblical expression goes, let whoever is without sin cast the first stone, because perhaps we're all a bit guilty of entitlement.
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Perhaps you've heard of the notion of a global carbon quota. I first learned of it a few years ago, and got a refresher on the subject last month. It jolted me then, but even more so this time. Here's an overview, with some basic math.
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This week, the fossil fuel divestment movement has crossed a new milestone beck landing in the crosshairs of the fossil fuel industry's propaganda machine. From fossil fuel industry commissioned reports to, frankly, hilarious attack animations, it seems that the divestment movement has hit the big time.
If humanity does not want to suffer catastrophic climate change, it must limit the global rise in temperature to a maximum of two degrees Celsius. Quebec, Canada and the world must head towards a post-carbon economy without delay. Amongst other things, the Energy Board believes that the TransCanada Energy East pipeline is desirable. Instead of holding on to the past, why not immediately invest in the green technologies of the future?
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Clearly there's a difference between trying to read the tea leaves on where the government could be going with climate action in the province, and government actually laying those directions out for British Columbians. And for all of the potential directions policy could go, their impact on carbon pollution will depend on how they are designed.
If the choice is between keeping nuclear power facilities running or shutting them down and replacing them with coal-fired power plants, the nuclear option is best for the climate. But, for now, investing in renewable energy and smart-grid technologies is a faster, more cost-effective and safer option than building new nuclear facilities, regardless of type.
Oil, coal and gas companies that lobby against carbon regulation for their own benefit, buy politicians, spread misleading information, and invest their capital in expanding their reserves rather than developing carbon capture or alternative energy need to be named and shamed -- and their efforts resisted by the rest of society.
The world has a trillion dollars to spare and with that money there isn't much we couldn't do to build a more just and sustainable future. Unfortunately, right now governments around the globe are giving this trillion dollars to some of the wealthiest corporations on the planet.
We need an energy revolution, we need climate action, and we need to put people ahead of polluters. This trillion dollars is how we pay for it.
A confidential memo proposing a massive fossil-fuel corporation funded campaign to build opposition against wind power was uncovered this week. As our transition to using windmills, solar panels and electric vehicles gains momentum, it's easy to see how peddlers of oil and coal might be freaked out. What if we don't want to buy what they are selling anymore?