Climate change: Where we are in seven charts and what you can do to help

Polar bear

1. The world has been getting hotter

The world is now nearly one degree warmer than it was before widespread industrialisation, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The global average temperature for the first 10 months of 2018 was 0.98C above the levels of 1850-1900, according to five independently maintained global data sets.

How years compare with the 20th Century average Click HERE

If this trend continues, temperatures may rise by 3-5C by 2100.

One degree may not sound like much, but, according to the IPCC, if countries fail to act, the world will face catastrophic change – sea levels will rise, ocean temperatures and acidity will increase and our ability to grow crops, such as rice, maize and wheat, would be in danger. MORE

B.C. Strengthens Protections for Heritage Sites, Introduces Mandatory Reporting Requirements

New Heritage Protection Act part of government’s commitment to Indigenous rights.

Image result for british columbia heritage protection

 A Skeetchestn First Nation archeological crew assesses a site near Battle Creek, east of Cache Creek, B.C. New legislation introduced by the provincial government would require people to report the discovery of sites or objects of potential heritage value to the government’s archeology branch. (Joanne Hammond)

The British Columbia government recently introduced amendments to the Heritage Conservation Act (Act) to strengthen protections for heritage and archeological sites and objects in the province.

Proposed amendments include a duty to report the discovery of a site or object that may have heritage value, which may impact both existing and planned property development and infrastructure projects.

Failing to report such a discovery would constitute an offence under the Act. Other amendments include enhanced powers to amend, suspend or cancel permits issued under the Act, as well as expanded enforcement and compliance powers for authorized officials. MORE



On February 26, 2017, a Saskatchewan Parks officer issued a warning to Idle No More co-founder Sylvia McAdam (Saysewahum) and her brother Kurtis McAdam (Saysewahum). The warning advised them to vacate their ancestral homelands, land that their family has lived on since before European encroachment and land that was promised to their relations during Treaty 6 negotiations.

Sylvia and Kurtis did not comply with the order and now must stand trial for contravening Section 25(1) of the Parks Act. Both Sylvia and Kurtis face fines and the possibility of imprisonment if convicted.

Idle No More and Defenders of the Lands stand in solidarity with Sylvia McAdam (Saysewahum) and Kurtis McAdam (Saysewahum). We insist that Canada, including the province of Saskatchewan, adopt Call to Action 45 (i) of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Report—that is “to repudiate concepts used to justify European sovereignty over Indigenous lands and peoples such as the Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius.”

At the heart of this legal battle is the Doctrine of Discovery. The Canadian government, including the provinces and territories, have, since the creation of Canada and the 1867 Canadian Constitution Act, assumed control over Indigenous lands. MORE

Alberta commits $100M to 16 green transportation projects; Governments provide $90 million for Canadian Natural clean tech projects

Environment Minister Shannon Phillips announces $100 million to kick-start new green transportation projects. Edmonton Tuesday, March 12, 2019.
Environment Minister Shannon Phillips announces $100 million to kick-start new green transportation projects. Edmonton Tuesday, March 12, 2019.

Alberta is ponying up $100 million to kick-start new green transportation projects, including a truck that can drive long distances while delivering net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The truck project is being developed by the Alberta Motor Transport Association.

The province is funding 16 such projects that it says will create 114 new jobs while, in terms of GHG reductions, taking the equivalent of more than 530,000 cars off the road.

Another project will see the City of Edmonton test market a more cost-effective charging system to transition buses from diesel to electric.   SOURCE

Governments provide $90 million for Canadian Natural clean tech projects

CALGARY – The federal and Alberta governments are pledging almost $90 million to fund clean technology developments at major oilsands producer Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.

The commitments are expected to result in a total investment of $415 million in three projects.

Ottawa and Alberta are pledging almost $90 million to fund clean technology developments at Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Canada's largest producer of heavy oil. Murray Edwards, left, Executive Chairman, and Steve Laut, centre, President of Canadian Natural Resources, prepare to address the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Thursday, May 4, 2017.
Ottawa and Alberta are pledging almost $90 million to fund clean technology developments at Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Canada’s largest producer of heavy oil. Murray Edwards, left, Executive Chairman, and Steve Laut, centre, President of Canadian Natural Resources, prepare to address the company’s annual meeting in Calgary, Thursday, May 4, 2017.  (JEFF MCINTOSH / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

More than half of the federal commitment of $72.3 million, about $45 million, will go to Titanium Corp., a company working with Canadian Natural on a technology to recover valuable minerals and residual bitumen while remediating tailings at the Horizon oilsands mine in northern Alberta.

An additional $10 million has been committed by Emissions Reduction Alberta, the provincial body in charge of reinvesting carbon tax proceeds.

Canadian Natural is also to receive $5 million in federal funds and $5.6 million from the province for its in-pit extraction process which aims to separate bitumen from oilsands ore in the mine before transporting it to the processing centre, thus reducing transportation costs and emissions. MORE

There’s more than lack of pipelines and Bill C-69 that ails the oilpatch. Let me count the ways

Peter Tertzakian: American investors used to provide well over half of new funds into Canada. Now they are reluctant to stray far from home

Debt and equity investment into Canada’s upstream oil and gas industry shrivelled to $5 billion in 2018.Charlie Riedel/AP Photo

We hear it often. Investment in Canada’s oil and gas industry has dried up over the past couple of years.

It’s true. And the contraction is steep. It’s been like losing some of Canada’s largest infrastructure projects overnight. For example, the multi-year Muskrat Falls hydro project in Newfoundland and Labrador is ticketed at $13 billion. That amount of investor capital—$15 to $20 billion—has been the norm for Western Canada, every year since 2004. Since last year, it’s evaporated.

In 2018, debt and equity investment into Canada’s upstream oil and gas industry shrivelled to $5 billion according to Sayer Energy Advisors, the lowest level since 1999 (see Figure 1). This year the till may not even ring.

What’s going on? Is it Bill C-69? Lack of pipelines? Commodity price differentials? Regulatory overload? To be sure these are megaphone issues with adverse consequence. And domestic geopolitics, social divisiveness, policy angst and electoral uncertainty scare away investors faster than Freddie Krueger.

But that’s not all. Other factors are contributing to a dearth of financings and capital market liquidity. Slaying Freddie in the oil and gas business is a challenge that transcends Canada.

Here are the issues: MORE

The Tesla Model Y, Model 3, & Green New Deal Together Point The Way To A Sustainable Future

Are the Tesla Model Y and Model 3 Complements to the Green New Deal?

Tesla Model Y
Tesla Model Y

Tesla announced this week the launch of another SUV model to add to its all-electric car catalog: the Model Y. The upcoming Model Y has a purported sticker price of just under $40,000, about 10% more than the mass appeal Tesla Model 3. Like another new kid on the block, the Green New Deal (GND), the Model Y faces the challenge of achieving multiple goals.

At its most basic, the Model Y needs to satisfy consumer demand for various features while also bearing a price tag that is comparable to existing internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, and the GND needs to placate naysayers that its clean energy vision is practical in the marketplace. Do the Tesla Model Y (and Model 3) and the GND each provide enough environmental and “economic mobilization” to be breakthrough sustainability leaders?

Tesla Model Y

Tesla Model Y

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) brought crucially needed US focus to climate change with the GND and its emphasis on a national low-carbon economy. The GND has goals to repair the climate, make the clean energy marketplace more competitive, and create a green workforce. An article in the Washington Post, however, argues that the GND “encapsulates the liberal delusion on climate change: that technology and spending can spare us the hard work of reform.”

Electrifying Everything, Especially Transport

A frequent mantra to achieve a zero-carbon future is to electrify everything, and the GND, with objectives to achieve “100% zero emission passenger vehicles by 2030” and “100% fossil-free transportation by 2050,” would seem consistent with full electrification (although the resolution does not state this explicitly). Many people declare that aggressive electrification of the ways we drive, power up our personal energy devices, and regulate the temperatures in our homes can make the difference we need to decarbonize our world. MORE

POLL: Canadians see electric vehicles becoming mainstream, soon

Why Scientists Should Support the Youth Climate Strike

Climate Spring for future's photo.

Their generation will be greatly impacted by the effects of climate change, so it is critical that their voices are heard

Why Scientists Should Support the Youth Climate Strike
Credit: Guy Smallman Getty Images

Over the past few months, young people around the world have been protesting inaction on climate change by leaving their classrooms and marching in the streets. On Friday, March 15, [was] the largest day of protest yet, with marches in over 1600 locations around the world.

We, the March for Science, an international community of scientists, science advocates, teachers, and parents, emphatically support the Global Youth Climate Strike.

We commit to doing whatever we can to lift up the voices of young people and encourage their leadership. Their generation will be greatly impacted by the effects of climate change. It is critical that their voices are heard.

They are striking because our world leaders have yet to acknowledge, prioritize, or properly address the climate crisis. They are striking because marginalized communities across the world—especially communities of color, disabled communities, and low-income communities— are already disproportionately impacted by climate change. They are striking because their futures are at stake.

Their actions are backed by the best available science which shows that we need to rapidly decarbonize our economy and deeply transform society in order to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change. They are treating the issue of climate change with the urgency that science and justice demand. MORE

Cuthand: Indigenous people have different relationship with party politics

Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party made two fateful mistakes in the appointment of Jody Wilson-Raybould.

Jodie Wilson-Raybould’s rise to become Canada’s first Indigenous justice minister was swift and full of eventful legislation. Her demotion, and subsequent decision to sit on the backbenches, is set to open new challenges for the Liberal government. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party made two fateful mistakes in the appointment of Jody Wilson-Raybould.

First, they underestimated her commitment to the law and her ethical framework that put the law before political expedience. Second, they didn’t realize that she came to government with an Indigenous agenda that superseded party politics.

Indigenous people have an interesting relationship with party politics; we see it as a means to an end and not an end in itself. We don’t regard political parties as our institutions but as non-Indigenous vehicles that can be used to meet our needs. This drives party hacks up the wall — they regard our party affiliation as shallow and superficial, and you know what? They’re right.

The loyalties of First Nations people extend from family to community and nation. By nation I am not referring to Canada but to our nations — Cree, Anishinaabe, Saksika, Nakota and so on. Anything else follows.

To Wilson-Raybould the legal relations between Canada and the First Nations include the constitution, the Crown, the treaties and so on. These are the bedrock legal instruments that define our relationship and don’t need to be policy.

When our people enter the ring of partisan politics, it is usually because they have an agenda and want to make change. This might mean changing parties to accomplish it. MORE


Wilson-Raybould tells constituents she’s sticking with Liberals for 2019 vote



Image result for two-row wampumIn our canoe we have all our laws, culture, and beliefs and in your vessel you shall have all your laws, culture, and beliefs, traveling side by side through life as equals never enforcing or interfering in each others affairs as long as the sun shall shine the grass shall grow and the rivers shall flow this will be everlasting.

…It is beyond dispute that at the time of contact Indigenous Nations were politically independent and governing themselves under there own laws. When sovereignty’s synonyms are considered, words such as jurisdiction, power, authority and control are found. I would argue that, since the Supreme Court of Canada has required a First Nation claiming Title to show ‘exclusive possession” which is jurisdiction and control, then that First Nation would also prove their Sovereignty.

Finally, International Law requires that Nation States must not interfere with the internal affairs of other Nation States. To do so would be a violation of recognized sovereignty.

The concept of sovereign non-interference is not exclusive to modern International Law. This concept has been foundational to the initial relationship between European newcomers and Indigenous Nations. Treaties were forged on this concept, most notably the Two-Row Wampum covenant that makes clear the principle of non-interference and mutual respect are the foundation of every Treaty. The principle of ‘non-interference’ is a necessary component of the International legal understanding of Sovereignty.

Why Exert Sovereignty?

The need to exert sovereignty by Indigenous Nations flows from the Colonizer’s assertion that the Crown became sovereign over all the lands and peoples living upon Turtle Island at “Discovery”. The Doctrine of Discovery and the concept of terra nullius meaning – ’empty land’ are the legal foundations upon which European Crowns made pompous claims of sovereignty over Indigenous lands and populations. The Courts have used these doctrines and principles and upheld them to find in favour of the Settler State. MORE

How This B.C. Activist Became The Oil Industry’s Number One Enemy

Tzeporah Berman has been instrumental in delaying or stopping 21 oil projects. Her next target: the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Tzeporah Berman Ms Chatelaine sits on a log by the ocean, looking out across the beach
Photo, Johann Wall.

Last December, environmental activist Tzeporah Berman joined thousands of activists, scientists, policy makers and industry reps in Katowice, Poland, for COP24, the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference. She was scheduled to present a comprehensive analysis of the increase in Canada’s oil and gas emissions. Berman has been to many such gatherings, but Katowice, located in the heart of Poland’s coal country, provided a particularly bitter lesson in the contradictory nature of climate change talks. “I would leave my hotel and walk through coal-choked streets, coughing, to get to the climate negotiations,” she says.

Once there, the irony only deepened: While Berman listened to the world’s experts on renewables talk breathlessly about price drops and leaps in technology, in the room next door, Canadian government representatives cozied up to execs from Suncor. The next day, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change presented its grim Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 C. “I’d never seen scientists like that before,” she says, “near tears, frantic and scared, saying it’s worse than we thought.”

Since she was 23, when she first helped coordinate logging protests in B.C.’s Clayoquot Sound, Berman’s mission has been to bring together political enemies (those experts and Suncor execs). In 1993, during what was dubbed “The War in the Woods,” she famously organized blockades that got her arrested and charged with 857 counts of criminal aiding and abetting (the charges were ultimately stayed). Her determination, along with testy negotiations between environmental groups, logging companies and First Nations, ultimately protected the majority of the Sound’s remaining rainforest.

In the decades that followed, Berman became known as one of the country’s most formidable environmentalists, with a reputation as a passionate but pragmatic deal maker who could nimbly balance the needs of industry, the desires of politicians and the health of the planet. MORE