Coastal GasLink environmental assessment report rejected, construction could be delayed

Pipeline in Wet’suwet’en territory could be delayed by several months

Coastal GasLink’s final Technical Data Report for a pipeline the company plans to build through unceded Wet’suwet’en territory has been rejected by the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office. As a result, work on the pipeline in the area of the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre may be delayed.

“Political leaders nationally and provincially have argued that the rule of law must be respected,” said Dr. Karla Tait, Unist’ot’en house member, in a press release, “yet the RCMP used their discretionary power to arrest and remove us from our territory despite the fact that the report had not been accepted.”

Tait added that the report failed to address significant economic, environmental, social and health impacts.

The Narwhal reported on Jan. 30 that Coastal GasLink was missing a key approval from the EAO that could lead to delays for the project.

Those delays could be measured in months, not weeks. The company can resubmit the report in 30 days, after which it will be reevaluated by the EAO to determine if the identified issues have been resolved.

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EAO not approving report at this time

In a Feb. 19 letter addressed to Freda Huson, spokesperson for Unist’ot’en (Dark House), EAO executive project director Bernard Achampong writes, “After considering all of the information received during the review of COR2 [the company’s final environmental impact report], the EAO will not be approving the COR2 at this time and has identified specific aspects of the COR2 that will need to be updated or addressed in order to fulfil the requirements of Condition 1.”

Achampong explains that “the EAO agrees that it would be beneficial for CGL to better understand and appropriately address the potential project impacts on the Healing Centre. To that end, the EAO has requested CGL to further engage with Dark House on these issues. The EAO strongly encourages open and constructive dialogue between CGL and Dark House.”

In a letter to Coastal GasLink parent company TC Energy’s Joel Forrest, also dated Feb. 19, Achampong explains that “the EAO has identified specific aspects of COR2 that will need to be updated or addressed in order to fulfil the requirements of Condition 1.”

The company as well as Unist’ot’en and the Office of the Wet’suwet’en, which represents the hereditary chiefs, will now have 30 days to respond to the shortcomings in the report and additional information submitted by both parties. The letters indicate that following this 30-day period, Coastal GasLink may “update and resubmit” the report for approval. It will then be reviewed again by the EAO, a process that could take several weeks or even months.

What is unclear is exactly what work can proceed during this period. The company was working without this report’s approval before, clearing trees and doing preparatory work.

In an email to Ricochet, the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy said that “the EAO has not rejected CGL’s report” and is asking the company for more information, including “how the feedback from Indigenous nations has been responded to and addressed.”

“CGL is authorized to conduct pre-construction activities and this may continued during this 30 day period.”

The B.C. government sent another email following publication of this article, again stating that “the EAO has not rejected the report. It has yet to accept the report.”

Coastal GasLink told CBC in a statement that the company hopes to engage Unist’ot’en shortly to address concerns.

‘Very distressing’ to be told to work with Coastal GasLink

“We identified the gaps in CGL’s report months ago, by letters and in person,” said Tait in the press release.

“Had the province intervened to confirm the reports’ shortcomings, they could have prevented the injunction enforcement, sparing us the violent removal from our lands and sparing the country the subsequent economic pressures of solidarity actions. The continued presence of the CGL and the RCMP on our territory is unlawful and this decision by EAO gives the province grounds to call for their immediate evacuation.”

“It is very distressing,” added Tait, “after we’ve faced assault rifles and endured arrests at the beckoning of CGL, to now be advised by EAO to work collaboratively with them to address these gaps. We urge the province to take this opportunity to respect the rule of law and follow the processes laid out to protect both our rights and the environment.”

The revelation of the EAO’s rejection of Coastal GasLink’s report comes on a day in which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hardened his tone against solidarity actions with the Wet’suwet’en taking place across the country.

“The barricades must now come down. The injunctions must be obeyed and the law must be upheld,” Trudeau stated at a press conference in Ottawa Friday afternoon. “Let me be clear, our resolve to pursue the reconciliation agenda remains as strong as ever.… Canadians want this. But hurting Canadian families from coast to coast to coast does nothing to advance the cause of reconciliation.”

The RCMP is not pulling out

Yesterday Public Safety Minister Bill Blair told reporters that the RCMP had agreed to withdraw from Wet’suwet’en territory, and in doing so had “met the condition” for the solidarity barricades to come down.

In a press conference later Thursday, Molly Wickham, spokesperson for the Gidimt’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en, described Blair’s words as a “media strategy,” and noted no one had actually spoken to the hereditary chiefs before making the announcement.

Instead, the RCMP sent a letter to the Wet’suwet’en offering to patrol the area from the nearby town of Houston, rather than the mobile command post on the logging road at the centre of the dispute, but only if the Wet’suwet’en agreed not to interfere with Coastal GasLink’s access to the area. For their part, the company said they would continue to operate in the area while they sought a “negotiated resolution.”

Media reports today indicate that the RCMP have not withdrawn from the mobile command post and continue to maintain a heavy presence on the road.

Hereditary chiefs meet with the Mohawk people of Tyendinaga

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs were in Ontario today for a meeting with their Mohawk allies from Tyendinaga, whose rail blockade has forced significant rail closures.

In a press release, they noted that far from withdrawing from their territory, the RCMP has increased “harassment” and “surveillance” and “made illegal arrests” in recent days.

The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs reiterated their demand that the RCMP and Coastal GasLink withdraw fully from their territory, in order for discussions to take place “freely” and “without duress,” and committed to enter into nation-to-nation discussions with the governments of Canada and B.C. on their territory once the RCMP and Coastal GasLink have left.

The Mohawk of Tyendinaga noted their willingness to take down their rail blockade, but only once they have confirmed that the RCMP has fully withdrawn from Wet’suwet’en territory. At that time they will negotiate a peaceful exit plan, “as agreed upon by the Mohawks and the Minister of Indigenous Services Canada, Marc Miller.”

“When you ask for the rule of law, then you have to follow it yourself,” added Mohawk spokesperson Kanenhariyo Seth LaFort.

“You cannot remove people from their own lands at the end of a gun. A crime has been committed, and the RCMP are the criminals.” SOURCE

 

Warmest January Ever Puts 2020 on Track to Be One of Top 10 Hottest Years

Credit…Steven Senne/Associated Press

It may only be February, but 2020 is already “virtually certain” to be among the 10 warmest years on record, and has nearly a 50 percent chance of being the warmest ever, scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday.

The predictions follow a January that was the warmest ever in 141 years of record keeping, Karin Gleason, a climatologist with the National Centers for Environmental Information, said in a conference call. Global average temperatures last month were 2.05 degrees Fahrenheit (1.14 degrees Celsius) above average, slightly higher than in January 2016, the previous record-holder.

In comparing this year with previous years, Ms. Gleason said, one way to look at it is “we completed the first lap in a 12-lap race, and we are in the lead.”

“According to our probability statistics, it’s virtually certain that 2020 will rank among the top 10 years on record,” she said. Their analysis also showed a 49 percent chance of this year being the warmest ever, and a greater than 98 percent likelihood it will rank in the top five.

The forecasts are in keeping with a long-term trend of global warming that is occurring as a result of human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. All of the 10 current warmest years on record have occurred since 2004, and the past five years have been the hottest five. Last year was only slightly cooler than 2016, the hottest year ever.

The record warmth in January was all the more remarkable because it occurred when the world was no longer in the midst of an El Niño event.

An El Niño, which is linked to warmer than average sea-surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, can affect weather patterns worldwide and also lead to generally warmer temperatures. A strong El Niño during the first half of 2016, for example, contributed to the record temperatures that year.

But the latest El Niño ended last year, and ocean temperatures in the Pacific have returned to much closer to normal. “We’re in sort of new territory here with a record in a non-El Niño month,” Ms. Gleason said.

January temperatures were much warmer than average across most regions of the world, with Eastern Europe and Russia having the greatest departures from normal. Australia and Eastern China were also much warmer than usual. Central India was one of the few regions with cooler than average temperatures.

Temperatures last month were also warmer than average across the contiguous United States and much of Canada. Alaska was cooler than average, but NOAA forecasts for the next few months call for a return to the above-average warmth that has been the norm in Alaska in recent years and that has led to a large decline in sea ice, particularly off the state’s west coast.
NOAA is forecasting warmer-than-average temperatures into May across most of the country, from the West through the Southwest, Southeast, Midwest and into the Northeast. There is also a likelihood of a wet spring across most of the eastern half of the country.
California and the Southwest are expected to be dry, likely leading to the return of drought to California and intensification of drought in the Four Corners of the Southwest, NOAA said. SOURCE

Coastal GasLink sent back to the table with Indigenous leaders

Provincial officials give company 30 days to address Wet’suwet’en concerns

B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Office says Coastal GasLink must provide more details about its pipeline, such as how construction might affect the nearby Unist’ot’en Healing Centre. (Chantelle Bellrichard/CBC)

Coastal GasLink must consult further with Indigenous communities along a stretch of its pipeline route at the heart of the Wet’suwet’en conflict, say B.C. officials.

Until then, construction cannot take place along the key, 18-kilometre portion.

The company has been given 30 days by the province’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) to hold those talks before resubmitting its final report for approval.

Protests in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who oppose the pipeline on their traditional territory have disrupted cargo and passenger rail traffic across the country.

In a letter, obtained by CBC News, to both sides, the EAO says it received feedback from some Indigenous groups, and this week determined there are particular issues that still need to be addressed in order for the project to go forward.

The project was previously approved by the province, pending certain conditions.

The letter, dated Wednesday, asks the company to provide more details about the pipeline, such as how construction might affect the nearby Unist’ot’en Healing Centre.

Protests in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who oppose the pipeline have disrupted cargo and passenger rail traffic across the country. (Chantelle Bellrichard/CBC)

 

“[Coastal GasLink] should make efforts to gather and consider additional information in relation to these activities, including from [Unist’ot’en] Dark House and the Office of the Wet’suwet’en,” the letter reads, adding that information should be gathered respectfully.

It goes on to suggest the Dark House — one of the hereditary groups central to the dispute — discuss its concerns or meet directly with Coastal GasLink within the next 30 days.

“[Coastal GasLink] must track all engagement efforts, any feedback received and how it was addressed, incorporated, or otherwise considered.”

The EAO will then review the report once its resubmitted and ultimately decide whether to approve it and allow construction to proceed.

The company says it will respond to the issues raised in the letter and again attempt to engage with the community.

“Coastal GasLink hopes that engagement commences shortly to ensure Dark House concerns are addressed in the 30-day process,” the company said in a statement.

It also pointed out the area near the healing centre was behind a blockade until January, and therefore has not seen any construction.

This decision by EAO gives the province grounds to call for their immediate evacuation.– Karla Tait, Unist’ot’en Member

Coastal GasLink said if the EAO approves its updated report after these additional consultations, the “short delay” will not affect the pipeline’s overall spring construction schedule.

B.C.’s ministry of environment says the 30-day period allows both sides to engage in open and constructive dialogue.

“This is an example of B.C.’s regulatory system working as it should,” George Heyman said in a statement to CBC News.

But members of the Unist’ot’en say they identified gaps in Coastal GasLink’s report on how it’s meeting those conditions months ago.

“Had the province intervened to confirm the reports’ shortcomings, they could have prevented the [RCMP’s] injunction enforcement, sparing us the violent removal from our lands and sparing the country the subsequent economic pressures of solidarity actions,” said Karla Tait, spokesperson for the healing centre.

She said the continued presence of the company and the RCMP on their territory is unlawful.

“This decision by EAO gives the province grounds to call for their immediate evacuation,” Tait said in a statement.  SOURCE

 

‘Together we can make it better:’ Mohawk faithkeeper explains the spiritual importance of Tyendinaga

Ka’nahsohon from Kahnawake attended Saturday’s meeting between minister and Mohawk representatives

Supporters stand with protesters during a rail blockade in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, Ont., on Monday.(Lars Hagberg/The Canadian Press)

In Tyendinaga, Ont., on May 6, 1990, two Haudenosaunee Confederacy chiefs gathered with others on the shores of the Bay of Quinte to hold a ceremony in the midst of a smouldering crisis in a sister Mohawk community.

Ka’nahsohon, who also goes by Kevin Deer, was at that ceremony and believes that now, 30 years later, there is a reason Canada’s focus is on Tyendinaga.

“It is not coincidental that this May, three months from now will be the 30th anniversary of that sacred intervention we evoked. We are back there now,” said Ka’nahsohon.

“This is sacred land, that is where the Peacemaker was born.”

A few days before the May 1990 ceremony, two men had been killed in the Mohawk community of Akwesasne, about 250 km east of Tyendinaga, as a result of a political conflict over gaming.

And on the horizon, the beginnings of what would become the Oka Crisis of 1990 was stirring in Kanesatake, Que., about 300 km east of Tyendinaga.

The ceremony was held near Eagle Hill where the Peacemaker, who brought unity to the five original Haudenosaunee nations long before Europeans arrived on the continent, was born centuries earlier during an eclipse when the corn stalks were high. The ceremony called for the return of the Peacemaker, said Ka’nahsohon.

Ka’nahsohon, who also goes by Kevin Deer, is a Longhouse faithkeeper and says Tyendinaga, as the birthplace of the Peacemaker, is ‘sacred space.’ (Kevin Deer/Facebook)

 

Ka’nahsohon, from the Mohawk community of Kahnawake, Que., attended a meeting on Saturday between federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller and Mohawk representatives in Tyendinaga.

An ongoing demonstration by Mohawks from Tyendinaga who have set up two camps along CN rail lines has shut down  passenger and freight train traffic.

The demonstrations were launched Feb. 6 in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and camps built to stop construction of the $6 billion Coastal GasLink pipeline. Earlier this month, B.C. RCMP enforced an injunction against those preventing contractors from accessing the area for construction.

The Mohawks of Tyendinaga have said they would remain by the railway until the RCMP withdrew from Wet’suwet’en territory.

Ka’nahsohon was appointed to be the runner for a condoled Haudenosaunee Confederacy chief who could not attend so he asked Deer to be his “eyes and ears” at the meeting Saturday. A condoled chief sits on the Grand Council that forms the leadership of the Confederacy.

The Confederacy is the traditional government of the Haudenosaunee and operates separately from band councils that run First Nations. The Confederacy was originally five nations— Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. A sixth nation, the Tuscarora, joined the Confederacy in 1722.

Ka’nahsohon said he spoke in the meeting from a spiritual perspective and mentioned the May 6, 1990, ceremony and how the spiritual manifestation that arose then is still at work now.

“The only thing that I talked about was when we called for the return of the Peacemaker, what happened when we did and why we are on this sacred land,” he said.

“I was talking about the history.”

‘Holding the peace’

Tyendinaga Elder Katsitsiase Maracle often visits the camps by the railway lines to “make sure they are holding on to the peace” in these times.

“That is why I am going … just to check to see how they are doing because I love them and I don’t want anything to happen to them,” said Katsitsiase, who was also there at the May 1990 ceremony.

Tyendinaga Elder Katsitsiase Maracle. (Olivia Stefanovich/CBC)

 

Katsitsiase said she has grown worried about the chill she is starting to feel when she goes to Tim Hortons or other shops outside the reserve.

“I went to a couple of Timmies in different places,” said Katsitsiase.

“If you use your band card now they just look at you. Just the look on their faces tells you. And some of the clerks are very sharp with you, they are very upset with what’s going on… I don’t blame them personally, it’s the leadership outside our territories.”

However, Katsitsiase said there is something bigger happening around them and it is connected to the threat of climate change facing the planet.

“I think what is happening right now is putting it out there in a way of saying, ‘Wake up people. Look, open your eyes to what is happening in the world,'” she said.

“It just isn’t about here. If you want a future for your children, then we better take some responsibility for what is happening today. We can’t keep fracking and keep doing all the terrible things to the Earth, she is living.”

Ka’nahsohon said this is the time for peace.

“As people’s lives get inconvenienced, patience begins to wear thin and then emotions start to boil over. We have to appeal to each and every Canadian that there is something bigger that is unfolding here,” he said.

“We need to come from the place of love, we need to come from the place of peace. We need to come from the place of forgiveness and together we can make it better.”

‘The bigger picture’

Ka’nahsohon, who was involved in peacemaking attempts during the 1990 Oka Crisis, is a Longhouse faithkeeper, meaning he ensures sacred ceremonies, speeches, songs and dances are performed correctly at their appropriate times in the annual cycle.

Ka’nahsohon said he believes the events that are unfolding in Tyendinaga are part of a bigger shift felt across the globe.

“Now we have to act from a different set of values that talks about mutual love respect and understanding,” he said.

“If we are going to be mindful of those future generations coming, we have to put our best thinking forward, because the status quo is not working. What are we going to ask ourselves? What can we do together to make it better? And we cannot come from having an ulterior motive and not being completely honest and truthful with each other.”

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller, second from left, leaves following a meeting with Mohawks from Tyendinaga on the CN tracks. (Lars Hagberg/The Canadian Press)

Looking back at that day in May in 1990, Ka’nahsohon said the ceremony was the beginning of a spiritual awakening that is cresting today.

“And this is the bigger picture that is unfolding here right now. The Indigenous spiritual resurrection is here. We are who we have been waiting for. This movement, it has nothing to do with an individual, it is the empowerment of the people who rise up to the occasion who have been infused with the power of the Great Spirit,” he said.

“And as a result of this infusion of this sacred energy within the seed of their souls, it is helping them to understand the interconnectedness and sacredness of all life. We cannot destroy each other as human beings or the natural environment that we refer to as Mother Earth.”

Katsitsiase said there is an environmental tumult facing the Earth but it’s not to late to change the present for the future.

“We still have a chance. Some people say it’s too late, but it’s not too late. The rivers still flow and move and our mother is still supporting us,” said Katsitsiase.

“We still have a chance in spite of what some of these scientists are saying. We still have a chance to give our children, our grandchildren and those future generations, hope.”

The B.C. RCMP informed the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs on Wednesday via letter that the force is prepared to withdraw a mobile detachment from their territory along a forestry road and then police the area from the nearby Houston, B.C., detachment.

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs are expected to meet with Tyendinaga community members on Friday. SOURCE

 

Allison Hanes: Canada must address historical grievances of Indigenous Peoples

There are most certainly no quick fixes to a complex situation that is a byproduct of centuries of shameful treatment

Pipeline opposition blockades speak to broader need for reconciliation Chiefs ..

As rail blockades in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en of British Columbia enter a third week, there is no shortage of consternation about how, exactly, to end the paralysis that has choked off the movement of people and goods in Montreal, as in the rest of Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has done little more than urge patience in pursuit of a peaceful outcome, while the opposition, provincial premiers, business leaders and the public alike ratchet up pressure for a speedy solution.

There are most certainly no quick fixes to a complex situation that is a byproduct of centuries of shameful treatment of Indigenous Peoples — even in the face of serious economic consequences. Yet the way out of this impasse should be no great mystery.

“The only way to solve this is with dialogue and negotiation,” said Geoffrey Kelley, a retired Quebec Liberal MNA and a respected former Aboriginal affairs minister. “The first priority has to be creating some line of communication, some line of dialogue, which is missing… Without that, this whole thing just goes on and on and is allowed to fester.”

Even as the RCMP offered Thursday to withdraw from the site of the planned Coastal Gas Link pipeline — the flashpoint of a conflict that has spread across Canada — the Wet’suwet’en leaders who oppose the project are in Eastern Canada, visiting supporters in Tyendinaga, near Belleville, Ont., and Kahnawake, near Montreal. Federal ministers appear to be waiting to hear from them — perhaps as the hereditary chiefs were made to wait for Trudeau as he completed a tour of Africa.

Even as CN sought an injunction to clear the tracks of protesters in St-Lambert and Quebec Premier François Legault mused about sending in the Sûreté du Québec in the South Shore suburb (though not Kahnawake, thankfully), Kelley urged extreme caution.

“All these calls for police intervention, the risks are enormous that you’ll just make a bad situation worse,” Kelley said. “If it degenerates, there is a great risk that instead of one blockade today you’ll have three tomorrow. And then you won’t have solved anything.”

Kelley noted the enduring bitterness that results when Indigenous Peoples clash with police. The spectre of the Oka Crisis of 1990 looms large, especially in Quebec.

“These confrontations leave deep scars,” he said. “So I think we have to try to do everything in our power to find a peaceful solution.”

Thirty years after attempts to build a golf course on traditional Mohawk lands, the fundamental issues that sparked the Oka Crisis remain unresolved, noted Russell Diabo, who works as a policy adviser for the Algonquin Nation Secretariat.

Diabo is blunt about what needs to happen now to end the standoff in Wet’suwet’en — though not optimistic.

“Trudeau could settle this tomorrow if he went out there and met them face to face, in a plane,” Diabo said. “He could drag (B.C. Premier John) Horgan along and he could go over there and announce they’re going to replace those (federal) policies with recognition and affirmation policies. He could commit to doing that, starting with them… and he could say we’re going to reroute that pipeline.”

What Diabo is referring to is the process for outstanding land claims and concerns about the legitimacy of leadership — two thorny issues that affect many Indigenous communities, given the uneven patchwork of treaties, federal statutes, negotiated agreements and court decisions at play across Canada. In many communities, including Wet’suwet’en, the band councils instituted by the Indian Act are not accepted as the true representatives of the people.

The fact the band council signed off on the pipeline that crosses disputed lands, even though past court decisions say the hereditary chiefs are supposed to have jurisdiction, is the crux of the Wet’suwet’en dispute. This situation has not only created much confusion, it has led to members’ communities being pitted against each other.

But as Diabo pointed out, this is an issue that resonates with Mohawks as well, explaining their readiness to barricade the railway tracks in solidarity. It was also a factor that complicated the resolution of the Oka Crisis.

The federal government’s foot-dragging and inaction has come back to haunt it in a big way as it struggles now to reach out to and negotiate with Wet’suwet’en leaders who were previously sidelined.

Repeated failures to settle land claims, acknowledge traditional leadership and address countless other injustices results in simmering resentments that periodically boil over, said Gavin Taylor, a history professor at Concordia University. The only difference this time is the pan-Canadian scale of the protests.

“Those are the kinds of actions people take when they feel they’re not being listened to, when they feel they’re not able to communicate their interests through normal political channels, and out of frustration they feel like they have to do things to disrupt the political system, or disrupt the economic system, just to be heard,” he said.

Although there have certainly been steps toward reconciliation, Canada essentially lurches from crisis to crisis, only paying attention to Indigenous Peoples’ long-standing complaints when they block a highway or a rail line or a pipeline. But once the immediate inconvenience is brought to conclusion, we go back to business as usual and forget about the root causes until the next flare-up.

Even as patience understandably runs out among laid-off rail workers, stranded commuters and farmers running low on propane, historic wrongs must be righted — otherwise the cycle of protest and paralysis will repeat itself.  SOURCE

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Portland Installs Turbines in City Water Pipes To Create Free Electricity

Leave it to Portlandia to figure out how to create hydro-power without building a dam! Portlandians are now generating free electricity every time they turn on the tap!

If you live in Portland, Oregon, your lights are now powered in part by the water flowing through your pipes.

The city recently installed new municipal water pipes equipped with four 42-inch turbines that create electricity from the water passing through them.

Historyically, hydropower has been created by damming rivers and installing turbines inside the dams, which can be damaging to fish and the river itself.

Tap-water hydropower creates virtually no effect on wildlife, as it is simply harnessing the energy of water that’s already flowing through the pipes.

“It’s pretty rare to find a new source of energy where there’s no environmental impact,” says Gregg Semler, CEO of Lucid Energy, the Portland-based startup that designed the new system.

“But this is inside a pipe, so no fish or endangered species are impacted. That’s what’s exciting.”

Another bonus about hydro-power is, unlike wind and solar, it’s always working as long as water is flowing.

The turbines can only be installed in places where municipal water pipes flow downhill, as using electricity to pump water through them would defeat the purpose.

The four turbines are expected to produce at least $2 million worth of free electricity over the next 20 years. More turbines would produce more.

A larger tap-water hydro-power system could have a major impact in places like California where 20% of total energy consumption goes toward treating and pumping water to farms, residents and businesses, Fast Company notes.

Lucid Energy already has a pilot program in place in Riverside, California, where they city’s water utility is using the turbines to offset operating costs during the day and power streetlights at night. SOURCE

JP Morgan economists warn of ‘catastrophic’ climate change

JP Morgan

Human life “as we know it” could be threatened by climate change, economists at JP Morgan have warned. Getty Images

In a hard-hitting report to clients, the economists said that without action being taken there could be “catastrophic outcomes”.

The bank said the research came from a team that was “wholly independent from the company as a whole”.

Climate campaigners have previously criticised JP Morgan for its investments in fossil fuels.

The firm’s stark report was sent to clients and seen by BBC News.

While JP Morgan economists have warned about unpredictability in climate change before, the language used in the new report was very forceful.

“We cannot rule out catastrophic outcomes where human life as we know it is threatened,” JP Morgan economists David Mackie and Jessica Murray said.

Carbon emissions in the coming decades “will continue to affect the climate for centuries to come in a way that is likely to be irreversible,” they said, adding that climate change action should be motivated “by the likelihood of extreme events”.

Climate change could affect economic growth, shares, health, and how long people live, they said.

It could put stresses on water, cause famine, and cause people to be displaced or migrate. Climate change could also cause political stress, conflict, and it could hit biodiversity and species survival, the report warned.

To mitigate climate change net carbon emissions need to be cut to zero by 2050. To do this, there needed to be a global tax on carbon, the report authors said.

But they said that “this is not going to happen anytime soon”.

Developed countries were worried that cutting emissions would affect competitiveness and jobs, while less developed countries “see carbon intensive activity as a way of raising living standards.”

“It is a global problem but no global solution is in sight,” the report added.

ProtestorsImage captionIn November climate protestors gathered inside the bank’s New York headquarters  Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

The bank has warned about climate change before, although not in such strong and sweeping terms as its economists.

In March 2019 Bloomberg reported that an executive had warned that the US needed to significantly cut its carbon footprint, and in May of that year iJP Morgan called climate change a “global challenge” that presents risks for business.

Large organisations such as JP Morgan face a challenge in that inaction on climate change could have a huge hit on revenues – but so could taking action.

JP Morgan itself has been strongly criticised in the past for heavy investment in fossil fuels.

The Rainforest Action Network released a 2019 report claiming that the US banking giant provided the most fossil fuel firm financing of any bank in from 2016 to 2018.

Rupert Read, an associate professor of philosophy at the University of East Anglia, and a spokesperson for campaign group Extinction Rebellion, said that the bank is “taken by some to be the largest fossil fuel funder in the world.”

He said if the bank’s own researchers were “saying the very future of the human race is at stake” then the bank itself should change its direction.

“It’s good they [the researchers] are telling the truth more – it’s not good they [the bank] remain a strong funder of fossil fuels,” he said.

“Everyone has to have responsibility for change, whether they are asset managers, or institutional investors, or chief executives, or shareholders,” he added.

A JP Morgan spokesperson said the research team was “wholly independent from the company as a whole, and not a commentary on it” and declined to comment further.

Mark Cutifani, chief executive of mining giant Anglo American, told the BBC how the firm wants to reduce its carbon footprint, and ”can see a pathway to creating carbon neutral mines”.

Talking about a timeframe he added: “We are a bit concerned about putting a date on it as yet because some of the technologies are still evolving. We will get there, the only question is how quickly we can get there.” SOURCE

 

Wet’suwet’en leaders reject Trudeau’s demand to remove the barricades, setting the stage for clashes

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a news conference to discuss the current rail blockades in Ottawa on Feb. 21, 2020 in Ottawa. “Every attempt at dialogue has been made, but discussions have not been productive. We can’t have dialogue when only one party is coming to the table,” Trudeau said.

Grand Chief Stuart Phillip: “Trudeau is a serial liar.” 2019

OTTAWA—The stage was set late Friday for a dramatic clash when Wet’suwet’en leaders and their Mohawk sympathizers refused an impassioned demand by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take down barricades blocking rail traffic and damaging the Canadian economy.

Under increasing pressure from Quebec Premier François Legault who warned Quebec had only a two-day propane supply left and was losing a $100-million a day, Trudeau had signalled his patience had run low and, according to Legault, promised progress within “hours.”

Trudeau met senior cabinet ministers Friday morning then went before cameras to say his government’s efforts to negotiate a breakthrough in the crisis — brought on by nationwide demonstrations in support of Wet’suwet’en chiefs opposing the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern British Columbia — had failed.

He said it was now on Indigenous leaders to persuade protesters to dismantle barricades because court injunctions in Ontario and Quebec “must be enforced.”

“We can’t have dialogue when only one party is coming to the table,” Trudeau said at the National Press Theatre on Parliament Hill. “Everyone involved is worried. Canadians have been patient. Our government has been patient. But it has been two weeks and the barricades need to come down now.”

As Trudeau spoke, police in Saint-Lambert moved toward the site of a rail blockade south of Montreal, ready to enforce an injunction the province had obtained the night before to stop protesters from blocking commuter traffic in and out of Montreal and to the provincial capital.

Within an hour, Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs reacted with defiance.

Four B.C. hereditary chiefs who had travelled to Quebec and Ontario held a news conference along with their Mohawk hosts on Tyendinaga nation near the Belleville protest that halted CN freight and Via Rail trains for 16 days.

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief Woos, also known as Frank Alec, rejected Trudeau’s reference to Canadians impacted by the blockades, arguing that mere inconvenience cannot be compared to the devastation of colonialism and the “invasion” of his nation’s territory by RCMP officers earlier this month. Police arrested 28 demonstrators to clear a logging road to give TC Energy access to a work site for the Coastal GasLink pipeline, which is already under construction in some areas.

Woos insisted leaders of his nation are ready to meet with federal and provincial ministers but only if their demands — which Trudeau characterized as a “series” of shifting requests — are met.

Woos said the RCMP’s offer to pull back a detachment on a logging road where activists were arrested this month is not enough; they need to stop patrolling in the area.

“Out means out,” Woos said.

The chief said the hereditary leadership also wants the company to suspend all pipeline activities so that “nation-to-nation” talks about Wet’suwet’en land rights can go forward.

As of Friday evening, there was no indication from the Tyendinaga activists blocking the rail line near Belleville that they are ready to stand down.

Trudeau said police in Ontario — where the OPP has jurisdiction over Belleville protests — and in B.C. and Quebec will make their own operational decisions about how to enforce court orders. He insisted he was not directing police to act but knew the RCMP had been monitoring the government’s efforts at a negotiated resolution.


Key moments in the Coastal GasLink and Wet’suwet’en conflict

Coastal GasLink is building a 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to the coast, which will supply the $40-billion LNG Canada export facility in Kitimat. Hereditary clan chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en nation say the project has no authority without their consent and are attempting to block its progress.

April 5, 2010

Indigenous group led by Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs set up a cabin on the planned route for the Coastal GasLink pipeline. The spot becomes a fixture of the group’s opposition to the pipeline being built through their territory. A bunkhouse was added a few years later.

November 23, 2018

Coastal GasLink files for an injunction against the blockade, and Wet’suwet’en people camped at the location are served notice about the filing.

December 14, 2018

Coastal GasLink is granted a temporary injunction against the blockade. Wet’suwet’en members and their allies camped at the blockade are given 72 hours to clear the area. Indigenous leaders and allies set up a second checkpoint further down the road to prevent the company coming into the area.

January 7, 2019

RCMP officers move into Wet’suwet’en territory to enforce the injunction. Nation members and allies positioned at the checkpoint retreat to the more permanent blockade camp as 14 were arrested by heavily armed police.

January 8, 2019

Rallies take place in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and other Canadian and American cities.

December 31, 2019

B.C. Supreme Court grants an injunction against Wet’suwet’en blockades.

January 5, 2020

Talks between Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and the B.C. government do not result in an agreement over the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

January 6, 2020

Coastal GasLink says it will start work on the pipeline as Wet’suwet’en territory hereditary leaders assert the company is trespassing on their land.

January 8, 2020

Organizers at the Wet’suwet’en blockade send out a call for solidarity protests across the country. Protests at railways across Canada, ferry terminals, major roads, and government offices ensue.

January 9, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refers to arrest of Wet’suwet’en protesters as “not an ideal situation” in interview with CBC.

February 2020

RCMP begins to enforce the injunction against the blockades. Up to 28 people have been arrested as of Feb. 10.

Feb 20, 2020

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says the B.C. RCMP have agreed to move away from Wet’suwet’en territory to a nearby location.

Feb. 21, 2020

TORONTO STAR VANCOUVER BUREAU


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calls for the Wet’suwet’en solidarity blockades to come down, calling the situation “unacceptable and untenable.”

Trudeau said the Mounties “independently” agreed to meet a key demand of the Wet’suwet’en opponents to a natural gas pipeline and decided to move a command post away from a logging road at the centre of Wet’suwet’en efforts to block the $6 billion Coastal GasLink project.

But Trudeau said even that “had not unlocked the end to the barricades.”

Trudeau told reporters he hoped any further police action would not end in tragedy as the 1990 Oka and 1995 Ipperwash crises had but acknowledged violence was a possibility he’d feared. He said that is why his government waited more than two weeks before giving up on talks.

His government remains “open” if the Wet’suwet’en or Mohawks request to meet, Trudeau said, but he appealed to Indigenous leaders to take responsibility for dismantling the barricades within 24 hours.

“I am hopeful that Indigenous leadership over the coming hours and day will see that in order to continue on this peaceful and important path, those barricades need to come down.”

 

Inaction by Indigenous leaders, said Trudeau, risks a backlash among the broader Canadian public and growing opposition to any government effort at reconciliation.

“We have exhausted our capacity to engage in a positive, substantive, active way at our initiative to resolve this. The onus has now shifted onto Indigenous leadership to look to continue this path of reconciliation in this … situation,” Trudeau said.

Mohawk activist Kanenhariyo – also known as Seth LeFort – said the two Indigenous groups, Wet’suwet’en and Mohawk, have agreed that blockades on Mohawk territory won’t come down until the RCMP withdraws from Wet’suwet’en territory to the satisfaction of the B.C. hereditary chiefs.

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