Annual Global Wind Day utilized to bring attention to idle White Pines project


BLOWING IN THE WIND- Wind Energy proponent Jen Ackerman was giving tours of yet-to-be-assembled wind turbines in the Milford area on Saturday as part of Wind Energy Day. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

The wind blew the public to Milford this weekend as proponents of the White Pines wind turbine installation offered a chance to convey their message the cancelled green energy project could still generate energy for Ontario’s power grid.

Global Wind Day was celebrated Saturday at Jen Ackerman’s bakery/variety store, Live Laugh Eat in Milford with turbine ‘tours’ down the street.
A worldwide event that occurs annually on June 15, Global Wind Energy is organized by WindEurope and Global Wind Energy Council.
It’s a day to celebrate wind energy and exchange information about wind energy, its power and the possibilities it holds to change the world.
Upwards of 20 people took time to check out one of the non-functioning turbines in the Milford area.
“I have turbine nine on my property but it’s just that much further to have to go,” Ackerman told the Gazette. “ Here (Kevin Wanamaker’s turbine) is better for showing people because you have the stages, you have the finished one but you also have the partially finished one and all the blades are laying down, when people actually see them and put their hands on them it’s a whole different experience.”
Ackerman told the Gazette has spent thousands of dollars committed hundreds of hours and a lot of energy on drawing attention to the devastating implications that will result in the dismantling of this near finished wind farm.
“A small but loud group  were able to convince Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith to cancel this project through his new boss, Premier Doug Ford,” Ackerman declared. “We the quiet majority regret now the mistake we made by being too quiet. We are not quiet now and have not been for almost a year.”
Ackerman said the plan now is to approach County Council in a specially requested meeting where she plans on cramming a hundred or more participants into Shire Hall.
“This County has become a place the locals don’t even recognize anymore with our shore lines being taken over with cottage resorts and million dollar homes,” Ackerman expressed. “The wetlands and treed areas are being clear cut  to accommodate the rich newcomers homes/swimming pools/tennis courts showing no respect for the environment, the wild life that live there or the life style of the locals.”
Ackerman gathered signatures for a petition and has over 19, 000 on one and 350 on a separate, only locals petition, all supporting White Pines Wind Farm.
“I will continue to try to educate people on the power of wind and it’s benefits,” Ackerman stated. “The County is an embarrassment to Ontario and Canada and I’m ashamed to be a part of this place. When I move East I will be looking for a wind farm to live by, so I can be around people who care.”
If you would like to watch a documentary on the Wind Farm please visit upintheairfilm.com

Decentralized Microgridding Can Provide 90% of a Neighborhood’s Energy Needs, Study Finds

“The new approach could even pave the way for 100 percent self-sufficiency in power, heat, and water.”


Image: Metabolic

A new report funded by the Dutch government finds that microgrid technologies could make a local “techno-economy” 90 percent self-sufficient, through the decentralised sharing of energy at the local level between multiple households.

The new approach could even pave the way for “100 percent self-sufficiency in power, heat, and water, and 50 percent self-sufficiency in food production”, according to the report’s author, energy systems engineer Florijn de Graaf.

If optimized properly, microgrids could play a pivotal role in supporting efforts to transition to renewable energy systems and meet climate targets, finds the report published by Netherlands-based energy systems company Metabolic. The report was funded by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.

Under the Paris Agreement, the Dutch government has pledged to drop its carbon dioxide emissions by 80-95 percent by 2050.

Reaching that goal will require an extraordinary level of effort by any standard. But the use of microgrids—decentralised energy grids that intelligently balance the local supply and demand of distributed clean energy resources—could avoid the need for massive spending on infrastructure upgrades.

FROM DUMB TO SMART

According to the new report, titled New Strategies For Smart Integrated Decentralised Energy Systems, by 2050 almost half of all EU households will produce renewable energy. Of these, more than a third will participate in a local energy community. In this context, the microgrid opportunity could be a game changer.

The report describes microgrids as the end result the combination of several technological trends, namely, rooftop solar, electric vehicles, heat pumps and batteries for storage. The key is that these technologies are decentralized—they can easily be owned by consumers and cooperatives in local systems.

“As time progresses, costs go down and climate awareness goes up, more and more people will start owning one or more of these technologies,” de Graaf told me. MORE

Fedeli, MacLeod, Thompson all demoted in major Ontario cabinet shuffle by Ford

Vic Fedeli is out at finance after overseeing release of just one provincial budget

Some of Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s most high-profile cabinet ministers have been moved out of their posts as part of a major shuffle that comes amid slumping poll numbers for the premier and controversies on several important files.

Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli is no longer finance minister. He was demoted to minister of economic development, job creation and trade. Fedeli’s departure from the top cabinet position comes after he oversaw the release of just one provincial budget.

Ford’s government faced weeks of intense criticism and protests at Queen’s Park after near-daily stories emerged of cuts that came in the aftermath of the April budget.

Rod Phillips, who served as environment minister for the first year of the PCs’ mandate and played a key role in the cancellation of Ontario’s cap-and-trade program, will take over the finance portfolio. Jeff Yurek will move from transportation to the environment portfolio.

Meanwhile, Lisa Thompson, who had been education minister, and Lisa MacLeod, who was minister of children, community and social services, were both demoted. The two files have seen considerable strife recently as the province cut funding to school boards and revamped Ontario’s autism program.

Thompson will now be responsible for government and consumer services, while MacLeod takes over the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

All but seven ministers saw their roles changed. Details of the shuffle were revealed at a Thursday morning swearing-in ceremony at Queen’s Park attended by Ontario Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell.

With the shuffle, the size of Ford’s cabinet grows from 21 to a total of 28 ministers and associate ministers. After the PCs formed a majority government last year, Ford said he intended to keep his cabinet small to save taxpayers’ money.

Christine Elliott will remain deputy premier and minister of health, though the portfolio now has two additional cabinet positions. Merrilee Fullerton becomes minister of long-term care and Michael Tibollo becomes associate minister of mental health and addictions.

In addition to Elliott, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones and Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy will also stay in their current cabinet positions.

Caroline Mulroney will no longer be the attorney general and instead will head up the province’s Ministry of Transportation and continue to oversee francophone affairs.

The shuffle also brought significant promotions for a number of backbenchers — Stephen Lecce will serve as minister of education, while Doug Downey is Ontario’s new attorney general.

Ford has recently been slipping in public opinion polls, and some suggest he could hurt Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s chances of winning in Ontario in the October federal election. SOURCE

Climate change: UK MPs announce citizens’ assembly

“Fair Vote Canada’s top priority in the 2019 federal election is to elect MPs who will champion proportional representation and parties who will promise to implement proportional representation or make it a top priority in a minority government. …Experience has taught us that politicians are in a conflict of interest when it comes to designing a new electoral system.  That’s where a National Citizens’ Assembly comes in.”

Fiddlers Ferry coal fired power station near Liverpool
Six parliamentary committees have announced plans for a citizens’ assembly to discuss how the UK should tackle climate change

It comes after the government committed earlier this month to cut greenhouse gas emissions to almost zero by 2050.

The assembly is likely to be set up in the autumn and will meet over several weekends before producing a report.

Energy Secretary Greg Clark welcomed the move, saying public engagement was “vitally important”.

The UK is the first major nation to propose the 2050 emissions target – and it has been widely praised by green groups.

But some say the phase-out is too late to protect the climate, whilst others fear that the task is impossible.

Labour MP Rachel Reeves, who chairs the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee, said achieving the target would require “buy-in from the public”.

“This isn’t a challenge for just one Parliament, one political party, or one generation; to achieve net-zero by 2050 we need to build cross-party and cross-generational support,” she said. MORE

Andrew Scheer’s climate plan leaves a lot to voters’ imaginations

Is it a target without a plan, or a plan without a target?


Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer delivers a speech on the environment in Chelsea, Que. Wednesday, June 19, 2019. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Presenting the Conservative Party’s climate platform on Wednesday, Andrew Scheer exulted over the document’s length and weight.

“Sixty pages,” he said, holding the document aloft. “Eleven thousand words.”

It is, without question, a handsome document — in full colour and featuring many large photos. There are many words in it. Some of them are in large fonts. Others are in italics.

But unfortunately, none of them explain at any point how much the federal Conservatives hope to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through this plan.

At page 6 of their climate platform, the Conservatives seem to embrace the international target Canada committed to in signing the Paris Accord.

At page 7, the Conservatives lament that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s current plan won’t reduce emissions enough to meet Canada’s international target for 2030 — a complaint that the Conservatives have loudly voiced in recent days.

But on none of the other 58 pages do the Conservatives account for how they would do better, or how they would even maintain Canada’s current path. Much is left to the imagination. MORE

RELATED:

Conservatives unveil climate plan, claiming it offers ‘best chance’ to meet Paris targets but providing few details
Andrew Scheer delivers climate plan with no targets

 

Manitoba’s new ‘utility scale’ solar farm aims to spark First Nations interest in green energy

This story is part of a CBC News series entitled In Our Backyard, which looks at the effects climate change is having in Canada, from extreme weather events to how it’s reshaping our economy.

First Nation’s sun-powered project to generate electricity, revenue, expertise for the community


Fisher River chief David Crate hopes to have most of the community using its own generated energy within 20 years. (Angela Johnston/CBC)

Fisher River Cree Nation will soon be home to the biggest solar farm in Manitoba — a one megawatt facility that will be hooked up to the province’s power grid — and its backers are hoping that the project will pique the interest of other First Nations.

“The focus of this particular project is revenue generation for the community,” says David Crate, the chief of Fisher River.

“The long-term planning is to … try and have as much of our community powered up on solar, and possibly other green energy initiatives.”

Fisher River’s solar farm, located about 200 kilometres north of Winnipeg, has almost 3,000 panels. It’s what Manitoba Hydro calls “the first utility-scale solar project” in the province, and it spans seven acres and was built entirely by Indigenous employees.

The solar array is a partnership with W Dusk Energy Group Inc., an Indigenous-owned firm that specializes in solar, wind and renewable energy systems. The company helped design and manage the project.

According to Crate, the solar farm got the green light after an agreement was finalized a couple of years ago with Manitoba Hydro to have Fisher River sell the energy generated by the array to the Crown corporation’s grid.

Check out drone footage of Fisher River Cree Nation’s solar array, which will generate a megawatt of electricity when it’s operational in July. 0:40

Renewable sources of energy are something that the owner of W Dusk Energy, David Isaac, believes more First Nations should be working toward.

“The future is upon us,” Isaac says. “I think we all have to collectively embrace it.” MORE

How Indigenous leadership is protecting communities from climate disasters

Image result for the conversation: How Indigenous leadership is protecting communities from climate disasters
A wildfire burns on a logging road in central British Columbia in August 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

“The fires were never a threat to us. It was the state that was the threat.”

In two short sentences Chief Joe Alphonse, Tribal Chair of the Tsilhqot’in National Government, conveyed to a House of Commons committee a central insight of disaster studies. The environment does not create disasters — people do.

In 2017, British Columbia experienced the first of two successive years of record-breaking wildfires. On July 7, following 130 lightning strikes, fires (amplified by climate change) tore through the B.C. interior, consumed 760,000 hectares of Tsilhqot’in territory and engulfed three of six Tsilhqot’in communities.

The provincial wildfire response that followed revealed how people — through policies, practices and laws — leave some communities more vulnerable to disasters. It was a striking example of law’s role in disaster, which I mapped in relation to the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire. After the 2017 wildfires, I worked with the Tsilhqot’in Nation to document its communities’ experiences with wildfire.

Unequal vulnerability

Decades of research has documented that social factors such as race, gender, ability and poverty contribute to the harms suffered during disasters. Laws and policies that continually marginalize people and communities during ordinary times make these same people vulnerable to disaster.

Wildfire map for the Tsilhqot’in territory during the summer of 2017. Tsilhqot’in National GovernmentAuthor provided

This theory was tested the summer of 2017 when fires raged through Tsilhqot’in territory. The wildfires revealed the inadequacy of existing laws and the ongoing legacy of colonial policies as key culprits in the vulnerability of the Tsilhqot’in during the wildfire response. Confusion and conflict over legal jurisdiction were central and enduring themes of the wildfire response.

Read more: How will Canada manage its wildfires in the future?


Jurisdiction is fundamental to self-determining Indigenous peoples. It is also fundamental to understanding how multiple levels of government and agencies involved in emergency management work together to keep people safe during a crisis. Jurisdiction answers the question: Who gets to decide? MORE

Pacific Islands States Commit to Advancing International Criminal Justice

 

Laying the groundwork to make ecocide a crime against humanity under the authority of the International Criminal Court

Group Photo

On 31 May 2019, more than 40 members of parliament, government representatives, and senior diplomats convened at a strategic high-level event in Port Vila, Vanuatu, to promote the advancement of international criminal justice in the Pacific Islands region. The Roundtable was hosted by the Government of Vanuatu and organised by Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), a worldwide network of legislators committed to promoting justice and the rule of law, with the invaluable cooperation of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Republic of Korea, and the European Union.

The Pacific Islands Roundtable on the ratification and implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court brought together representatives of the executive and legislative branches of the governments of Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu; senior ICC officials; representatives of the diplomatic community; academic experts and members of civil society, united in their objective to promote international justice, including through the universality of the Rome Statute system.

Universality of the ICC: Moving Closer

“Now, more than ever, it is the time for our great region to join this universal system of international justice and take a decisive stand in the world fora. We are very hopeful that the example of my country will inspire all the remaining States that have still not taken this step.” — Hon. Ralph Regenvanu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade of Vanuatu

The universality of the Rome Statute and effectiveness of the ICC system are essential prerequisites for accountability and lasting global deterrence for the most serious crimes of international concern; namely, genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression, which shall not be left unpunished. Of the 16 independent and self-governing States that comprise the Pacific Islands Forum, only eight are States parties to the Rome Statute and only three have effectively implemented the provisions of the Statute of the ICC on complementarity and cooperation with the Court. MORE

Eight Hard Questions for the PM of Pipelines and Climate Emergency

He says Canadians can have it both ways. The facts say otherwise.

COVER.Trudeau-Two.jpg
What Trudeau’s Liberals have done cannot be reconciled. Photo via Justin Trudeau Flickr.

As the planet slowly stews in its increasingly sultry juices, sled dogs are walking on water, but Justin Trudeau no longer is.

Polar bears are starving, the Arctic permafrost is melting, and glaciers are retreating faster than the PM on electoral reform and government transparency. And oh yes, as of yesterday, Canada is expanding the Trans Mountain Pipeline. That is called renovating the outhouse when indoor plumbing is the answer.

I picture Sheriff Jason Kenney’s posse, spurs ajingle and six guns flapping on their chaps, saddling up and galloping off to their war room at my imagery.

They do that now when they hear any “radical environmentalist” rearing his pesky head as opposed to those petrol Pollyannas of the energy sector who, as everyone knows, are full of philanthropy, mercenary science, and boffo marketing. The guys who make profits and tailings ponds.

But even those with their heads buried in bitumen have to resolve the latest development in what’s left of their social conscience. The Liberals and the rest of parliament have declared that Canada is experiencing a climate emergency. (There was one notable dissenter — those permanent campers in Jurassic Park on all matters touching the environment, the Conservative Party of Canada. Emergency, what emergency?)

Yet on the same day the “emergency” is declared by everybody but the fossil heads, the government says yes to the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. As Shakespeare observed in Macbeth “Such welcome and unwelcome things at once. ’Tis hard to reconcile.”

Eight questions for Justin Trudeau

So a few blunt questions for the PM, who continues to publicly peddle the dubious line that Canadians can have it both ways, while privately linking arms with the CEOs.

1. Since Canada is already on track to miss its emission targets set in Paris by 79 megatonnes (only Gambia and Morocco are on target), how do you justify greenlighting a project that will add 20 per cent to carbon emissions from the Alberta tar sands?

2. You once said that only communities could issue the social license for mega projects like this. So what do you say to the Squamish Nation, and the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby who have not granted that social license?

3. If expanding Trans Mountain is such an economic winner, why did Kinder Morgan happily unload this project on the Canadian people? Where were the rugged captains of private industry when this “jewel” went up for sale? MORE