Wind Energy Supporters Tell Todd Smith to Start Listening

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How on Earth is the cancellation of the White Pines Energy Project  in Prince Edward County’s best Interest? Or Ontario’s?

Protesting the cancellation of the White Pines Energy Project, residents were there to greet Todd Smith along with the OSSTF

How does the retroactive, arbitrary  cancellation of the White Pines Energy Project encourage investment in Ontario?

How does it address the need for clean renewable energy to  replace our reliance on costly nuclear generation and stop the billions being wasted refurbishing Pickering’s aging nuclear reactors?

How does it address our climate EMERGENCY?

Oh, yes, I forgot, Doug Ford doesn’t believe in climate change. Through some perverse magical thinking, this high school dropout seems to dismiss out of hand the scientific evidence presented by thousands of the world’s leading climate scientists (who actually did graduate from high school).

And right there with him is  Quinte MPP Todd Smith. The braying jackasses in the picture above says it all.

Investors now understand that if they try any development in Ontario, and particularly any business connected to green energy, they are likely to have their business yanked from under their feet at a moment’s notice by the whims of this disasterous leader and his flat-earth-cabal and face outrageous fines to boot.

To its credit, Prince Edward Council does recognize that we are faced with a climate crises. Now, it should inform our provincial ‘leaders’ that PEC is no longer an “unwilling host”.


 

Will Impossible Burgers be the norm for Gen Z?


The Impossible Burger, a vegan burger with heme harvested from soybean roots to look, feel, and taste like beef, as prepared by Hell’s Kitchen in Downtown Minneapolis, MN. Photo via Tony Webster under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

In one of those interchangeable American office parks, where oceans of blacktop pool around lowrise grey-on-grey buildings, a gaggle of kids in white lab coats gathered to apply temporary burger tattoos, conduct mini science experiments, and await the arrival of a radically transformed food system.

The backs of those lab coats were decorated with the initials IF standing for “Impossible Foods,” the eight-year-old startup working to replace all animal meat with its plant-based alternatives.

The kids went from table to table under big white tents in the parking lot behind company headquarters. There was a station where they could try and guess the flavor of jelly beans while wearing nose plugs (it’s almost impossible), and another where they could make little wind turbines out of paper. The vibe was more grade-school science fair than Silicon Valley bacchanal, despite the fact that the company is flush with cash.

Investors are clawing and shoving for the opportunity to throw money at young alternative-meat companies. Impossible just raised $300 million in its fifth time going back to the money well. Another veggie-burger maker, Beyond Meat, saw its stock price increase more than 600 percent since it first went on sale in MayDel Taco, Carl’s Jr., and T.G.I. Friday’s are selling Beyond Meat products, while White Castle, Burger King, and Qdoba are offering Impossible burgers — and the company can’t make enough to keep up with demand. Things seem a little frothy: Is this a faux-meat bubble?

Impossible Foods’ kid-centric event was perfectly crafted to quash fears that America’s enthusiasm for its burgers is just a flash in the pan. The company organized the party to herald a set of survey findings showing that young people are more likely than past generations to seek out meat alternatives. The report attempts to dispel any bubble fears in the very first line: “Plant-based meat is the hottest trend of 2019 — but it isn’t a passing fad.” MORE

Best way to fight climate change? Plant a trillion trees

This is by far — by thousands of times — the cheapest climate change solution, study co-author says


Young Macedonians plant seedling on the Vodno mountain near the capitol Skopje, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. A new study estimates that planting a trillion new trees could suck up nearly 750 billion tonnes of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. (Georgi Licovski/EPA)

The most effective way to fight global warming is to plant lots of trees, a trillion of them, maybe more, according to a new study.

Swiss scientists also say that even with existing cities and farmland, there’s enough space for new trees to cover nine million square kilometres, roughly the size of the United States.

Their report is in Thursday’s edition of the journal Science.

The study calculated that over the decades, those new trees could suck up nearly 750 billion tonnes of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere — about as much carbon pollution as humans have spewed in the past 25 years.


A female adult jaguar sits atop a tree at the Mamiraua Sustainable Development Reserve in Uarini, Amazonas state, Brazil. Planting more trees could also preserve biodiversity, scientists say. (Bruno Kelly/Reuters)

Much of that benefit will come quickly because trees remove more carbon from the air when they are younger, the study authors said. The potential for removing the most carbon is in the tropics.

Canada has lots of room for trees

“This is by far — by thousands of times — the cheapest climate change solution” and the most effective, said study co-author Thomas Crowther, a climate change ecologist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

Russia, the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil and China have the most room for new trees, the report said.  MORE

RELATED:

Tree planting ‘has mind-blowing potential’ to tackle climate crisis
Paper straws won’t save the planet – we need a four-day week

LETTER: Don’t let big money call the shots in upcoming election

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As a fellow traveller on this planet called Earth, what are your concerns? Do you worry about climate change, jobs, pollution and affordable health care and education? Do these concerns seem insurmountable? What can be done?

I attended a rally in Toronto on June 20 where these concerns and many more were discussed. The gathering was under the auspices of a grass-roots organization called A Green New Deal For All. Among the presenters were well-known environmentalists David Suzuki, Naomi Klein and Pam Palmater. Best known to me was David Suzuki, who at age 83 is still actively fighting to save our beloved planet. His passionate speech explained how, by making the right choices, we could make changes that would benefit us all.

Presently, our governments are not true democracies. Big money and rich corporations too often call the shots. Added to this injustice, the rich do not pay their fair share of taxes. If they did, so many of our society’s and the Earth’s needs could be looked after. Many programs could be financed to the benefit of us all and cuts to education and health care would be eliminated. Funds for developing clean energy would become available, creating many jobs and eliminating the need for fossil fuels.

Learn more about A Green New Deal online at theleap.org.

Arm yourself with knowledge when preparing to vote in the fall elections. Choose strong candidates that stand up for green policies that will benefit us all, not those who support greedy corporations that have profits as their bottom line.

Lynn Tomlinson
Oshawa


 

Green New Deal for All Tour Update

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What a whirlwind couple of weeks it’s been! From Vancouver to Halifax, The Leap traveled coast to coast for 6 SOLD OUT STOPS of our Green New Deal for All Tour.

To those of you who could join us in person, thank you for showing that thousands of people are ready to fight for a Green New Deal rooted in justice and Indigenous sovereignty.

And to everyone we heard from, who wants to be part of this growing movement but couldn’t make it out to an event in person, we have something for you!

Watch a recording of the Vancouver event here, including speeches from Kanahus Manuel, Harsha Walia, David Suzuki, and Avi Lewis, and an exhilarating performance by Kimmortal.

This is the movement we’ve been waiting for, and working towards, for years. Like the Leap Manifesto, the Green New Deal is a jobs and justice program that offers solutions to the climate crisis that are actually as big and bold as we need. But this time around, the Green New Deal is being pushed by a massive, multi-generational movement.

As Naomi Klein said when she kicked off our tour in Toronto, “When the future of life is at stake, there is nothing we cannot achieve. We will win a Green New Deal. We will win it because we have to.”

Watch Naomi’s full speech from our very first tour stop in Toronto: five reasons why the Green New Deal is workable, winnable, and an idea whose time has come.

The tour may have ended, but our work is far from over. Thank you again for making our last two weeks so powerful — we’re excited and determined to keep fighting for a Green New Deal for All with you.


 

OPEC head: Climate activists are the ‘greatest threat’ to oil industry


OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo. AFP / Getty Images

CARTEL IT LIKE IT IS

What’s one of the world’s most powerful cartel’s afraid of? A bunch of meddling kids.

Climate activists and their “unscientific” claims are “perhaps the greatest threat to our industry going forward,” said Mohammed Barkindo, the secretary general of OPEC (the cartel representing 14 countries with 80 percent of the world’s oil reserves) earlier this week.

He might have been talking about protesters more broadly, but the rest of his statement suggests that young people are being particularly irksome. Barkindo said some of his colleague’s children are asking them about the future because “they see their peers on the streets campaigning against this industry.” (I guess the birds and the bees isn’t the most uncomfortable conversation parents are having with their kids in OPEC households.)

This is, of course, heartening news for climate activists. Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swede famous for starting a movement of youth strikes calling for climate action, thanked OPEC for the compliment.

Greta Thunberg

@GretaThunberg

“There is a growing mass mobilisation of world opinion… against oil” and this is “perhaps the greatest threat to our industry”.
OPEC calls the school strike movement and climate campaigners their “greatest threat”.

Thank you! Our biggest compliment yet!https://www.afp.com/en/news/826/climate-campaigners-greatest-threat-oil-sector-opec-doc-1i79w11 

Climate campaigners ‘greatest threat’ to oil sector: OPEC

afp.com

Barkindo is right that climate advocates are winning over the hearts and minds of the people. Surveys show that 57 percent of Americans now think fossil fuel companies are at least partially responsible for climate change. Meanwhile, support for policies that would cut into fossil fuel companies’ bottom lines, like transitioning to renewable energy infrastructure, is increasing as approval for expanding fossil fuel infrastructure and offshore drilling declines.

As for climate activists’ “unscientific claims,” it’s unclear if Barkindo had a particular statement in mind, but the science pretty unequivocally supports demands for urgent change. Global emissions need to be drastically cut by 2050 to avoid more than 1.5 degrees C of warming, and to do that we need to use way less fossil fuels.

It’s not just public opinion that’s turning against the fossil fuel industry — insurance companies and investors are increasingly opting to put their money elsewhere. But that’s not the fault of some upstart kids: It’s because science and common sense are showing fossil fuels are a bad investment, especially in the long run. Recent figures estimate that climate change could cost the world economy as much as $69 trillion by 2100. MORE

How ‘serious’ is a climate plan that relies on pipelines?


File photo of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa by Alex Tétreault

Sandy Garossino’s recent column, “The Serious $70 Billion Climate Plan You’ve Heard Nothing About,” purports to summarize the “extraordinarily compelling case” in favour of the federal government’s recent approval of the Trans Mountain expansion project, based on the pipeline’s contribution to climate action.

I’m not buying it. Let’s take Garossino’s main arguments one at a time:

Trans Mountain is ‘a wash’ in terms of greenhouse gases.

Garossino claims that in the pipeline’s absence, “the global supply chain would simply reshuffle and move ahead as if nothing happened.” There are both domestic and international aspects to this claim.

Garossino simply ignores the domestic emissions associated with production of the oil that will flow through the pipeline, The federal government’s own estimate is that the pipeline’s annual upstream emissions — i.e., emissions resulting from extraction, processing and transportation of crude within Canada — will be 13 to 15 million tonnes, equivalent to two million cars.

That’s a big deal because Canada’s current climate plan is not sufficient to get us to our 2030 Paris Agreement target. Indeed, the gap has been growing rather than shrinking. Adding another 15 million tonnes of emissions makes it a lot harder to meet our international obligation.

The tarsands have accounted for three quarters of Canada’s emissions growth since 1990. It’s also the sector that accounts for almost all projected growth going forward. Even the celebrated 100-megatonne cap on emissions from the tarsands — which was never legally binding and from which Alberta has withdrawn support — would allow a tripling of tarsands emissions from 2005 to 2030, thus demanding deeper compensatory cuts from other sectors and other provinces.

The longer-term challenge looms even larger. A pipeline is an investment in long-lasting infrastructure. Yet Canada’s 2030 target is just the first step. It will be ever-harder to make the deeper cuts needed after 2030 (if not before!) if we chain ourselves to new pipeline infrastructure and associated heavy oil production expected to operate for decades to come.

Now let’s consider the global context. Garossino’s assertion about the global supply chain recalls Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement — notably made in Alberta, not Paris — that “no country would find 173 billions barrels of oil in the ground and leave them there.”

But that is exactly what we must do.

As with fossil-fuel consumption, we face a collective-action problem in fossil-fuel production. Oil-exporting countries say they support the Paris Agreement, but hold out hope that their oil will be the last drop consumers buy. This is especially unrealistic for Canada: our oil is relatively costly to produce and carbon-intensive to refine, and thus likely to be the first to go.

Oil exporters, including Canada, may just be making a financial bet against the success of the Paris Agreement. Whether oil producers are unduly optimistic or hedging their bets, they have collectively created a growing glut of supply relative to the demand trajectory needed to mitigate climate change.

At best, Canadians will be saddled with stranded assets and economically ill-prepared when global customers shun our exports. At worst, excess supply will continue to depress global fossil-fuel prices, undermining the transition to cleaner energy, to the detriment of future generations.

Parliament recently voted to declare climate change a “real and urgent crisis.” Surely, that crisis calls for leadership, rather than the excuse that everyone else is doing it, too. MORE

 

The Koch Brothers and the Tar-Sands

I encourage you to read the entire article by John McMurtry. This is the BIG STORY never investigated by Canada’s media — one that should definitely influence how you vote.

Big Lies and Ecocide in Canada

As we know, big lies can run free across borders with few people joining the dots. For example, no media has been reporting that China’s growing dispute with Canada is based on Canada’s enforcement of the Trump administration’s unilateral embargo against Iran. This is what politicians called ‘the rule of law’. In fact, it is assisting the US takedown of China’s superior IT competition – Huawei – for not obeying the illegal US embargo.

One lie builds on another. Repetition institutionalizes it. Then that becomes the truth that sells. As explained long ago by Edward Bernayes, the founder of public relations, democracy is “the manufacture of consent.” What he did not say is that only system-supporting lies may be on offer.

So, the imprisonment of Huawei’s vice-chairwoman and CFO Meng Wanzhou, continues as justified by ‘the rule of law’ and China is at fault for not recognizing it. Official Canada again reverts to type. It attacks the designated US Enemy, in junior partnership with its global corporate command.

Yet this time there is a new twist. Canada is attacking itself on all levels without knowing it. China has imprisoned two Canadian citizens and blocked long-standing major agriculture imports to our increasing public humiliation. The US, the actual cause of the problem, has done nothing to resolve it, and all the while, a deeper self-destruction of Canada unfolds to serve US Big-Oil demands.

The usual leaders of Canada’s branch-plant culture in politics, media news and ‘expert’ commentary just continue their barking.

Great Canada

A US Big-Oil backed juggernaut of Conservative provincial governments and the federal Opposition have been advancing for months in a campaign to reverse longstanding parliamentary decisions, environmental laws, climate action initiatives, Supreme Court directions, and First-Nations negotiations, with the goal of bringing down the current government of Canada. Yet no-one in public or media circles has joined the dots.

Canada’s vast tar-sands deposits are world famous as surpassing Saudi Arabia oil-field capacities in total barrels of potential yield. Great Canada! Yet few notice that over two-thirds of the entire tar-sands operations are owned by foreign entities sending their profits out of Canada, and that almost all its raw product is controlled for US refining and sale from which Canada is cut out.

What is particularly kept out of the daily news is the incendiary fact that the infamous, election-interfering and oft-EPA-convicted Koch brothers – who are behind Trump’s destruction of the US Environmental Protection Agency – have a dominant stake in the Alberta tar-sands as well as the massive BC-pipeline with its toxic sludge heading to tidewater while new colossal tankers plough through and pollute the BC coast.

Koch-owned industries have already extracted countless billions of their now $100-billion fortune from the Alberta tar-sands and have deployed their well-known voter-manipulations to change the balance of power in Canada as they have done in the US.

The objective is the same in both cases – ever more tax-free, publicly subsidized and state-enforced control by US Big Oil of Alberta’s massive oil resources with no public or government regulations or interferences in the way. This is called the ‘free market’. MORE