Climate Change: The blame falls squarely on the heads of the fossil fuel sector and our complicit governments

Rosalind Adams, among others, successfully convinced Prince Edward  Council to declare a climate emergency. In  part of her presentation, she pointed to Canada’s per capita energy consumption; but, as Lionel Enright notes, “per capita energy consumption is not expended equally.”

Our government and International oil companies are irresponsibly ripping up the tar sands 

Image result for ripping up tar sandsAlberta’s tar sands ecocide and Canada’s shame

We will never solve a problem if we do not define the problem accurately . This statement has a few glaring misuse of statistics . Let us not assume that per capita energy consumption is expended equally per capita . This speaker did not explain the source or construction of the per capita statistic . She leaves us to assume that we Canadians personally are doing something to produce  8 times more co2  than persons of other countries.

Image result for leave it in the ground

She does not explain that we – OUR GOVERNMENT and the international OIL COMPANIES  are ripping up the TAR SANDS irresponsibly ( which is part of that statistic ) and not only polluting our air but also polluting the river systems that drain into the Arctic Ocean.

This should NOT be blamed upon each Canadian .

Those of us who are aware of it have been complaining of this wreckage for years but our irresponsible government not only allows it to go on but says it must go on to supply JOBS.

 The whole oil industry in Alberta is run by the oil cartels for their own benefit at the expense of Canada AND  the people of Alberta.
Under Peter Lougheed Alberta made a 40 % and had saved 11 billion for the Heritage Fund. Klein gave it all away . ( Do you think he did this on his own without the help of the oil companies ??? )  There was also savings to cap abandoned wells . Now there is no money collected from the oil companies to do the cleanup and we THE PEOPLE are stuck with $ billions in old wells abounded by the oil companies because the gov. did not require them to pay up front.
Even if we each cut our emissions personally we would not meet the climate  goals unless the industrial wasteful practises of which the oil sands is only one , were to be curtailed .
Conclusion  : If there is an environmental statement to be made please know your facts and understand how the statistics you use are composed .
The environment is an important issue but we must understand that the corporate processes are doing the greatest harm . This is a topic which needs some careful explanation . Largely it is not the people’s fault . Many of the bad habits of the people are made necessary by the decisions of the corporate sector .  Example, most of us drive cars that run on fossil fuels. We do this because the corporate crooks want to sell us the carbon . We could have had  E V ’s years ago but they prevented it from happening . We also could have had much better public transportation but the car producers took action to prevent that also from happening so that they could sell more cars. And lastly the plastics industry still wants to make as much plastic as they can even though the world is drowning in the excess .

We have biodegradable material . We could have been using it years ago but we thought we were recycling it – We weren’t . Now we see the  mess we are in when plastics some companies shipped abroad mislabelled are being returned 10 to 15 years later as the garbage it is and was  –  AND who is paying for it ? –  THE PUBLIC PURSE –  THE PEOPLE .


Corbyn launches bid to declare a national climate emergency

“It is a great first step because it sends a clear signal that we are in a crisis and that the ongoing climate and ecological crises must be our first priority. We can not solve an emergency without treating it like an emergency. I hope the other UK political parties join in and together pass this motion in parliament – and that political parties in other countries will follow their example.” -Greta Thunberg

Labour will attempt to force Commons vote as it is revealed that the government has failed to spend anti-pollution cash


Jeremy Corbyn campaigning with Labour activists for the local elections in Peterborough on 27 April. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA

Labour will this week force a vote in parliament to declare a national environmental and climate change emergency as confidential documents show the government has spent only a fraction of a £100m fund allocated in 2015 to support clean air projects.

Jeremy Corbyn’s party will demand on Wednesday that the country wakes up to the threat and acts with urgency to avoid more than 1.5°C of warming, which will require global emissions to fall by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching “net zero” before 2050.

The move will place Conservative MPs under pressure to back the plan, or explain why they refuse to do so, now fears over the combined problems of air pollution and climate change have risen to the top of the political agenda.

On Saturday night Corbyn said the recent wave of protests were “a massive and necessary wake-up call” that demanded “rapid and dramatic action, which only concerted government action and a green industrial revolution can deliver.” He said that if parliament backed the move and became the first national legislature to declare a climate emergency it would “trigger a wave of action from governments around the world”.

The motion was welcomed by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who has criticised the inaction of the world’s politicians. “It is a great first step because it sends a clear signal that we are in a crisis and that the ongoing climate and ecological crises must be our first priority,” she said. “We can not solve an emergency without treating it like an emergency. “I hope the other UK political parties join in and together pass this motion in parliament – and that political parties in other countries will follow their example.” MORE

 

The Hidden Air Pollution in Our Homes

Outdoor air has been regulated for decades, but emissions from daily domestic activities may be more dangerous than anyone imagined.

We spend most of our lives inside, where air quality has received little scrutiny. Illustration by Daniel Savage

ood magazines typically celebrate Thanksgiving in mid-July, bronzing turkeys and crimping piecrust four months in advance. By that time last year, Marina Vance, an environmental engineer at the University of Colorado Boulder, had already prepared two full Thanksgiving dinners for more than a dozen people. Vance studies air quality, and, last June, she was one of two scientists in charge of homechem, a four-week orgy of cooking, cleaning, and emissions measurement, which brought sixty scientists and four and a half million dollars’ worth of high-tech instrumentation to a ranch house on the engineering campus of the University of Texas at Austin. The two Thanksgiving dinners were the climax of the project and represented what Vance called a “worst-case scenario.” She suspected that the Pilgrims’ harvest celebration, as it is observed in twenty-first-century America, qualified as an airborne toxic event.

The morning of the second simulated Thanksgiving began simply enough, with the researchers making themselves breakfast. Vance and three helpers arrived at the house at half past eight. The kitchen was open plan and modest, with peeling laminate surfaces and flimsy cabinets, but its countertops were crammed with instruments for monitoring airborne particles: a condensation-nucleus counter, a differential-mobility analyzer, and so on. Wires threaded all around the room, and stainless-steel hoses led to four trailers outside, which contained equipment too big to fit in the kitchen.

Andrew Abeleira, a postdoctoral researcher, cracked eight eggs on the edge of the countertop and whisked them; Vance chopped tomatoes while heating oil to fry sausage patties. The banality of the activities was belied by the precision with which the team carried them out: a rigid protocol dictated when each gas burner could be lit, how hot the frying pan should be, and at what setting to toast the bread. The aim was to turn Thanksgiving into a reproducible, scientifically valid experiment.

Unlike outdoor air, the air inside our homes is largely unregulated and has been all but ignored by researchers. We know barely the first thing about the atmospheres in which we spend the vast majority of our time. homechem—House Observations of Microbial and Environmental Chemistry—was the world’s first large-scale collaborative investigation into the chemistry of indoor air. Thoroughly dissecting the data accumulated will take a couple of years, at least, and, even when the findings are published, no one will be able to state their public-health implications with certainty; homechem was designed to explore what the chemistry of indoor air is, not what it’s doing to us. But the experiment’s early results are just now emerging, and they seem to show that the combined emissions of humans and their daily activities—cooking, cleaning, metabolizing—are more interesting, and potentially more lethal, than anyone had imagined. MORE

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Climate emergency demands less traffic, more walkable cities


Wikimedia Commons photo of Paris street

The climate emergency exploded onto the headlines in 2018, with a relentless series of disasters leading up to the UN COP 24 climate conference in December. But the people cutting climate pollution by creating delightful urban spaces on an unprecedented scale should be headline news in 2019.

I experienced some of this climate action in October, joining throngs of Paris residents enjoying warm fall days on the new linear park along the River Seine. At the time the national government of France was in court attempting to get this well-loved park turned back into the noisy, congested national highway it was previously (except during summer festivals). The court ruled in favor of year-round access and climate action while I was in Spain.

Photo of busy riverside park in Paris, which was formerly a highway, by Eric Doherty

 

Anne Hidalgo is the Mayor of Paris and Chair of C40 Cities, a group of large city governments committed to the most ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement. “Cities have been the loudest voices calling for bold and urgent climate action, because we are conscious of the threat it poses to our citizens […] Cities are ready to lead on the transformations necessary to secure the future that we want” said Hildago in a C40 media release.

Hildago is aiming to rapidly cut automobile traffic by 50 per cent, and has already cut traffic volumes significantly. Paris’s successes have largely been achieved by re-allocating space to transit lanes, protected bicycle lanes, pedestrianized streets and plazas, and most famously by creating linear parks along the River Seine. These actions are popular, and not just because they create nicer urban spaces and reduce local air pollution. MORE

Ontario PCs Want To Stop Tracking Toxins. Experts Say It’ll Cost Us Our Health.

The government plans to repeal the Toxics Reduction Act, which makes companies report on their use of toxic chemicals and pollutants.

Emissions are seen coming from an Ontario cement plant in this 2015 file photo. Experts say the provincial government's plan to repeal a toxic substance regulation with affect human health and the environment.
Emissions are seen coming from an Ontario cement plant in this 2015 file photo. Experts say the provincial government’s plan to repeal a toxic substance regulation with affect human health and the environment. RANDY RISLING/TORONTO STAR VIA GETTY IMAGES

TORONTO — Environmentalists say Ontarians can expect more pollution if the Progressive Conservatives go through with their plan to repeal a toxic substances regulation.

“Exposure to toxic chemicals such as hormone disruptors and air pollutants adds billions of dollars in health care costs and significantly increases the burden of chronic diseases such as cancer and asthma,” Tim Gray, the executive director of advocacy organization Environmental Defence said in a statement.

“The Ontario government is not only undermining its own commitment to tackle pollution … it is also sending the wrong signal to industry and will encourage them to dump more toxics into our air, water and consumer goods.”

Schedule 5 of the government’s proposed Bill 66 repeals the Toxics Reduction Act (TRA). The 2009 act requires companies that use toxic substances, including those that can cause cancer, to create a plan to reduce that use. Whether or not they actually implement the plan, though, is voluntary. About 40 per cent of facilities have done so.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Economic Development Todd Smith make an announcement in February...
Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Economic Development Todd Smith make an announcement in February 2019. Smith introduced Bill 66 on Dec. 6, 2018. TODD SMITH/FACEBOOK

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Fossil fuels are bad for your health and harmful in many ways besides climate change

Fossil fuels are bad for your health and harmful in many ways besides climate change

Pumpjacks dot the Kern River oil field outside Bakersfield, Calif. Credit: James William Smith/Shutterstock.com

Many Democratic lawmakers aim to pass a Green New Deal, a package of policies that would mobilize vast amounts of money to create new jobs and address inequality while fighting climate change.

Led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, they are calling for massive investments in  and other measures over a decade that would greatly reduce or even end the nation’s overwhelming reliance on fossil fuels.

As experts in environmental geographysociology, and sustainability science and policy, we wholeheartedly support this effort. And, as we explained in a recently published study,  is not the only reason to ditch fossil fuels.

While conducting our research, we constantly encounter new evidence that depending on fossil fuels for energy harms people and communities at every point along fossil fuel supply chains, especially where coal, oil and natural gas are extracted.

The , oil and  industries are also major contributors to human rights violationspublic health disasters and environmental devastation. MORE

What happened when Oslo decided to make its downtown basically car-free?

It was a huge success: Parking spots are now bike lanes, transit is fast and easy, and the streets (and local businesses) are full of people.


[Photo: Åsmund Holien Mo/Urban Sharing]

If you decide to drive in downtown Oslo, be forewarned: You won’t be able to park on the street. By the beginning of this year, the city finished removing more than 700 parking spots–replacing them with bike lanes, plants, tiny parks, and benches–as a major step toward a vision of a car-free city center.

Without those parking spots, and with cars banned completely on some streets, few people are driving in the area. “There are basically no cars,” says Axel Bentsen, CEO of Urban Sharing, the company that runs Oslo City Bike, the local bike-share system. The city’s changes are designed, in part, to help improve air quality and fight climate change, but the difference in the quality of life is more immediate. “The city feels different faster than you can feel the difference in [cleaner air],” he says. “You can see that you’re actually reclaiming the space and can use it for other purposes than parking cars.”

But while business owners initially worried about the city creating a ghost town that no one would visit, the opposite seems to be true; as in other cities that have converted some streets to pedestrian-only areas, the areas in Oslo that have been pedestrianized are some of the most popular parts of the city.  MORE

 

These posters designed by Utah teens demand action on clean air

A simple poster contest for high schoolers is waking teens–and in turn, their parents–up to air quality issues.

Every year since 2015, two professors at Utah State University (USU) have hosted a poster-design competition for high school students to address a critical issue for the state: air quality.


[Image: courtesy Utah High School Clean Air Poster Contest]

In the competition, they asked students to design posters calling for an end to vehicle idling, or encouraging people to carpool or “trip chain” (complete all errands in one go to diminish driving). Over the years, the number of students participating has grown to over 550 in four school districts, Stafford says, and he eventually wants the competition to expand its reach even further. MORE