Canada and Global Warming: A State of Denial

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Martin N.

Well, jerry, You cant solve the problem by text-bombing the reader with virtue signalling either. If every individual made a slight sacrifice or installed a home solar system etc, you will not have to save the planet by boring it to death.

jerrym

When the facts are presented to you that the fossil fuel industry has engaged in forty years of denying the existence of climate change and that the countries that have been most successful in reducing carbon dioxide emissions are the European nations that have used government regulation, rather than providing evidence that this is not the case, you attempt to distract readers from this with personal attacks. 

 

Martin N.

Jerry, what you call evidence, I call empty posturing designed to hector, lecture and indoctrinate anyone who dares to stray away from orthodox climate change dogma.

You simply play a blame game that has no useful purpose. The inclination you have to assume the high moral ground and claim moral superiority is not useful or helpful. I don't care what happened forty years ago. I don't care about the scientific fabrications or disingenuous extrapolations of scanty data or the resulting recriminations.

what I care about is finding simple solutions to complex problems in a manner that will effect the societal change required without leaving the vulnerable behind. Reforestation, grid-tied home renewables, carbon sequestration, rapid transit, urban density with livable public spaces.

In other words, solutions, not an attempt to use climate change as a vehicle to push a globalist political agenda. Perhaps you should reflect upon the unintended irony of your choice of title.

JKR

Martin N. wrote:

what I care about is finding simple solutions to complex problems in a manner that will effect the societal change required without leaving the vulnerable behind. Reforestation, grid-tied home renewables, carbon sequestration, rapid transit, urban density with livable public spaces.


These kinds of solutions sound good to me. I wish our governments were supporting these kinds of policies much more than they are currently. Also, I think putting a fee on carbon would support some of these policies. A carbon fee and dividend would also return much of the money raised from a carbon fee to vulnerable Canadians. Here's a web page explaining a "carbon fee and dividend":

https://canada.citizensclimatelobby.org/carbon-fee-and-dividend/

jerrym

Martin N. wrote:

Jerry, what you call evidence, I call empty posturing designed to hector, lecture and indoctrinate anyone who dares to stray away from orthodox climate change dogma. ...

 I don't care what happened forty years ago. I don't care about the scientific fabrications or disingenuous extrapolations of scanty data or the resulting recriminations.

In other words, solutions, not an attempt to use climate change as a vehicle to push a globalist political agenda. Perhaps you should reflect upon the unintended irony of your choice of title.

The state of denial title was intentional because the Liberal and Conservative federal governments, like those of the US, have either ignored the problem or denied it existed for forty years, allowing Canada's carbon dioxide emissions to grow while governments in Europe have made major reductions in their emissions. 

Climate change denial by the fossil fuel industry did not end forty years ago. " the Heartland Institute, which actually puts on climate “conferences” and publishes materials that appear at first glance to be scientifically sound ... – their veneer of scientific credibility is very thin. ... The (2016) report was entitled “Why Scientists Disagree about Global Warming” ... The central theme of this manuscript is an attack against the expert consensus on human-caused global warming.(https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/20...")

ExxonMobil contines to fund global warming denial. Trump's Secretary of State until recently and former ExxonMobil CEO, Rex Tillerson, and Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, led the way in bringing the fossil fuel industry denial approach into government. 

ExxonMobil and the climate science denial machinery that it has helped to build over the years are now under more scrutiny than ever before. ... But the latest disclosures on donations by ExxonMobil, reported publicly here for the first time, show it continues to support organisations that claim greenhouse gases are not causing climate change, or that cuts to emissions are a waste of time and money.

Organisations including the American Enterprise Institute, the American Legislative Exchange Council and the National Black Chamber of Commerce — all organisations with a record of misinformation on climate science — all received grants in 2015 from ExxonMobil. The 2015 tally brings the total amount of known Exxon funding to denial groups north of $33 million since 1998. (https://www.desmogblog.com/2016/07/08/exxonmobil-new-disclosures-show-oi...)

The Koch brothers have spent at least $100,343,292 directly to 84 groups on denying climate change science between 1997 and now. (https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/global-warming/climate-deniers/koch-indus...)

In Canada, Friends of Science, based in Calgary, "takes a position that humans are largely not responsible for the currently observed global warming, contrary to the established scientific position on the subject. Rather, they propose that 'the Sun is the main direct and indirect driver of climate change,' not human activity. They are largely funded by the fossil fuel industry." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friends_of_Science)

jerrym

Here's a fact that is not "dogma", Martin. Canada has the longest coastline by far - 202,080 km. The next longest is Indonesia - 54,720 km. (https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/countries-with-the-most-coastline.html)

As sea levels rise due to melting of glaciers and water expansion caused by global warming, Canada is already having major problems dealing with its effects - effects that will only get worse. 

Martin, the First Nation people of Lennox Island, Prince Edward Island, do not sea level rise as what you call "scientific fabrications or disingenuous extrapolations". Lennox Island is disappearing right now due to sea level rise. 

Lennox Island is a small Mi'kmaq community of 450 people off the coast of P.E.I. It's also a kind of canary in the coal mine when it comes to climate change.

Rising sea levels, storm surges and coastal erosion threaten its very existence; an estimated 300 football fields of land have already fallen into the sea.

In Canada, Lennox Island is a place where you can see the effects of climate change happening right now — and it's a community preparing for a changing world. 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/multimedia/it-s-a-little-scary-on-lennox-island-n...

The CBC National url below contains a 11 minute video on the loss of land on Lennox island and the First Nations community that lives there.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-climate-change-le...

 

 

jerrym

 The Vuntut Gwitchin, People of the Lakes First Nation, in the community of Old Crow and the surrounding area in northern Yukon are already also suffering the consequences of climate change.

Martin, they do not see it as a scientific fabrication or think the topic of global warming is boring.

Temperatures have increased 2 degrees Celsius over the past 50 years — twice the rate they've increased in southern Canada. And in northern Yukon, winters are warming even faster: on average, winter temperatures have jumped by 4 C in the last half century. That's making it difficult for the community to safely build the winter roads they rely on for access to their traditional hunting and fishing grounds. ...

Some animal populations, like birds and salmon, seem to be shrinking, Josie says. And he's observed changes in caribou migration patterns this year, which he suspects could also be linked to climate change.

Permafrost thaw, combined with heavier rainfalls, are causing soil erosion and landslides around Old Crow. In some cases, the erosion has caused entire lakes to dry out. In 2007, the six-kilometre-long Zelma Lake, one of the largest in the Old Crow Flats, lost 60 per cent of its water in a month. 

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/day6/facing-the-change-5-canadian-communities-th...

The following website has several videos showing the damage being done to the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation ofOld Crow.

https://www.aicbr.ca/climate-change-adaptation/

 

jerrym

However, this problem is not confined to Canada's North. 

Nova Scotia is facing a major problem as sea levels rise due to global warming bringing high risk of flooding along its coasts. Since 70% of Nova Scotians live at or near a coast, many of them are likely to face flooding problems if global warming continues and the government does not spend enormous sums on sea dikes. 

Quote:

The province of Nova Scotia has 13,300 km of jagged coastline that includes some 3,800 coastal islands, bays and estuaries. Development in Nova Scotia tends to be clustered with a high intensity of residences along the coast. It is estimated 70% of the province's population lives on or near the coastline.

Much of Nova Scotia is considered highly sensitive to SLR (sea level rise) and has been experiencing extensive construction and creation of parcels in scenic coastal locations – many of which will be in hazard zones in a few decades. The south coast and eastern shores of Nova Scotia have been shown to have significant sensitivity to SLR and associated storm impacts.  

https://novascotia.ca/coast/documents/state-of-the-coast/WEB_SummaryRepo...

jerrym

Martin, you accused BCers of NIMBYism. Besides the costs associated with increased forest fires, flooding from increased torrential downpours and rapid snow melts, destruction of forests and the forest industry caused by pine beetle infestations, reduced salmon spawning and fishing brought about by fossil fuel emissions, its coastal regions also face major costs associated with sea level rise from global warming. The costs far outweigh the meager benefits of pipelines to BC.

And the costs of combatting climate change are substantial. According to a report prepared for the BC Liberal government in 2012, the province will need to spend an estimated $9.5 billion to prevent flooding in the Metro Vancouver communities of Richmond, Delta, Surrey and Vancouver. 

However, the BC Liberals were willing to let the fossil fuel industry continue increasing emissions through adding pipelines and its trillion dollar LNG fantasy while the fossil fuel industry wants to continue exponentially increasing its carbon dioxide emissions but avoid paying the enormous costs associated with them. 

Combating rising sea levels due to global warming could cost $9.5 billion in flood-protection improvements in Metro Vancouver — including sea gates at False Creek and Steveston — by 2100, according to a report released Tuesday by the B.C. government.

The report, Cost of Adaptation - Sea Dikes and Alternative Strategies, covers the Metro Vancouver coastal shoreline and the Fraser River downstream of Port Mann Bridge — an area with more than 250 kilometres of shoreline.

The $9.5-billion cost estimate includes design, project management, land acquisition, environmental mitigation, impacts on utilities and pump stations and earthquake-resistant construction methods.

The Delcan report singled out three areas in the region for potential special protective measures:

- False Creek: A $25-million sea gate would allow the movement of water and boats through during normal water levels but would be closed during storm conditions to limit sea levels and reduce the height of shoreline defences needed around the perimeter of False Creek.

- Steveston: Use Shady Island as part of a breakwater/barrier with a sea gate to protect a densely developed waterfront with historic buildings at an estimated cost $10 million.

- Mud Bay, Surrey: Sea gates at the mouths of the Nicomekl and Serpentine rivers at a cost of $10 million each, along with a "managed retreat" or gradual decommission of development in the area.

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Metro+Vancouver+dike+improvements...

 

jerrym

Of course, when it comes to NIMBYism, fossil fuel executives and their political allies not only do not want to pay the costs of the damage produced by global warming, they do not want their projects in their own backyard. 

In 2012, (ExxonMobil CEO Rex) Tillerson, his wife and their neighbors in Bartonville, Texas, sued to block the construction of a 160-foot water tower in their luxury community. The tower would, in part, supply water for hydraulic fracturing — which injects pressurized water as well as sand and chemicals under shale rock formations to extract natural gas. The lawsuit contended the project violates the town’s zoning ordinance and will also be an "unbearable nuisance." ...

In addition to joining the lawsuit, Tillerson sat for a three-hour deposition in May 2013 and protested the project at a town council meeting that November, according to the Journal’s report in February 2014. But the newspaper noted that Tillerson wasn’t "the most vocal or well-known opponent of the tower." That distinction belonged to the lead plaintiffs, former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey and his wife.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/dec/14/watch-foo...

Rev Pesky

It isn't the 'fossil fuel industry' that is using fossil fuels. It is individual consumers. Convince people to stop using fossil fuels and the problem is solved. When people stop buying fossil fuels, the fossil fuel industry comes to an end.

But that's the problem, isn't it? People like the convenience of being able to drive where they want to drive, when they want to drive. They like being able to go to the store and buy oranges in the middle of winter. They like being able to buy a cheaper home out in the suburbs and commute to work. They love all the doo-dahs and gadgets that industries - made possible by fossil fuels - have created for them.

Take a look around the world. The relationship between fossil fuel consumption and living standard is direct. The wealthiest countries create the most CO2 emissions, and the poorest almost none. That is the real problem you have to confront. The wealthy don't want to live like the poor, and the poor want to live like the wealthy. 

Find some way to detach living standard from fossil fuels, and you've solved the problem.

jerrym

Rev Pesky wrote:

It isn't the 'fossil fuel industry' that is using fossil fuels. It is individual consumers. Convince people to stop using fossil fuels and the problem is solved. When people stop buying fossil fuels, the fossil fuel industry comes to an end.

As I said in earlier posts on this thread, individuals, governments and the fossil fuel industry all need to play a role in stopping carbon dioxide emissions. The fossil fuel industry does not get a free pass because it has followed the same path as the cigarette industry of denying their is a problem, raising doubts about solutions when denial no longer worked, manufacturing confusion about the issue by throwing anything and everything it can into the air much like Guiliani is about the Trump investigation, deliberately not following regulations meant to reduce environmental harm, and successfully lobbying to slow down and/or halt the regulatory/legislative process and the shift to renewable energy. The fossil fuel industry could also have been proactive by redefining itself as an energy industry and led the way in the change process.

Kodak invented the digital camera but decided it would interfere with its film business and never went forward with the product. Kodak went bankrupt in 2012. (https://petapixel.com/2017/09/21/kodak-said-digital-photography-1975/)

The fossil fuel industry in its own scientific research showed global warming was occurring in the 1970s, long before most people knew, but instead of warning the public and dealing with the problem it engaged in denial. The tragedy of this is that the costs associated with these decisions will not end with the possible bankruptcy of the industry, but with an astronomical cost to life on this planet. 

Just like Big Tobacco. Leading fossil fuel companies—like Big Tobacco companies before them—are noteworthy for their use of active, intentional disinformation and deception to support their political aims. Major fossil fuel producers like ExxonMobil have employed the same strategies pioneered by the tobacco industry to deceive the public and policymakers. There are important lessons from the campaigns to hold Big Tobacco accountable, which feature many key similarities—and important differences—from the effort to hold major fossil fuel producers accountable. 

https://www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/fossil-fuel-companies-knew-about-g...

 

Rev Pesky

jerrym wrote:

The fossil fuel industry does not get a free pass because it has followed the same path as the cigarette industry of denying their is a problem, raising doubts about solutions when denial no longer worked, manufacturing confusion about the issue by throwing anything and everything it can into the air...

But you're not confused about the issue. Do you imagine the fossil fuel industry has been any more successful with others than they have been with you?

jerrym

Kathy Mulvey discusses some of the ways in which ExxonMobil and the rest of the fossil fuel industry have led the attack on climate science below, leading many people to question its findings:

I’ve recently completed an in-depth analysis of the climate-related positions and actions of ExxonMobil and seven other leading fossil fuel companies. Our study focused on the period from January 2015 through May 2016, so let’s fact-check ExxonMobil’s claim that it now acknowledges climate risks. ...

ExxonMobil stands out for actively disparaging climate science in its public statements. While the company makes a clear statement acknowledging climate science and the risks of climate change on its website, CEO Rex Tillerson has repeatedly misrepresented basic climate science in public statements by casting doubt on the accuracy and competency of climate models.

At the company’s 2015 annual meeting, Tillerson argued that the world should wait to improve its understanding of climate science before taking action. At its 2016 annual meeting, Tillerson repeated his assertion that climate models are not accurate. Tillerson’s argument—that uncertainties over specific model projections should serve as a rationale for inaction in reducing emissions—belies ExxonMobil’s claim that it accepts the scientific evidence on climate change.  ...

ALEC is a lobbying group that brings together state lawmakers and companies to draft sample legislation that can be introduced in state legislatures across the country. Many of these bills have been aimed at dismantling effective state policies that reduce carbon pollution and accelerate the transition to clean energy, and at obstructing state compliance with EPA limits on carbon emissions. ...

API (American Petroleum Institute) is the largest oil trade association in the United States and has a long history of communicating climate science disinformation, as exemplified by the notorious internal strategy memo written by an API task force in 1998—a roadmap of the fossil fuel industry’s plan to deliberately cast doubt on the public’s understanding of climate science. The API’s  online briefing on climate and energy emphasizes uncertainties in climate science. ...

The US Chamber of Commerce is an umbrella business association that claims to represent the interests of the business community. Few companies publicly agree, however, with the group’s controversial positions on climate change, including its refusal as recently as 2015 to acknowledge that global warming is human-caused. The US Chamber’s priorities include opposing the EPA’s efforts to regulate heat-trapping emissions under the Clean Air Act and challenging the science-based finding that global warming pollution endangers public health, on which the legislation rests. ExxonMobil reported contributing $1,000,000 to the US Chamber in both 2014 and 2015, and has not taken any steps to distance itself from climate disinformation spread by the group. ...

WSPA (Western States Petroleum Association) is the top lobbyist for the oil industry in the western United States and the oldest petroleum trade association in the country. WSPA serves as a key organizer of opposition to California’s groundbreaking climate policies, including the state’s low-carbon fuel standard and its AB32 plan that requires a sharp reduction in carbon emissions by 2020. ... WSPA  made headlines in summer 2015 for spreading blatantly false statements about California’s proposed limits on carbon emissions from cars and trucks. The association employed deceptive ads on more than one occasion to block the “half the oil” provisions of a major clean-energy bill enacted by California lawmakers.

http://blog.ucsusa.org/kathy-mulvey/how-does-exxonmobil-attack-climate-s...

 

jerrym

The fossil fuel industry also often does not follow the regulations meant to reduce its emissions and other forms of damage to the environment.

The lead article on the front page of Monday's May 28th 2018 Vancouver Sun discusses how the fossil fuel industry, BC Liberal government and its regulatory agency, the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission kept secret a 2014 audit of the environmental effects of oil and gas drilling in the Fort Nelson region that was never released publicly but was obtained by an advocacy group in a brown envelope. This is the third time in less than a year that the advocacy group has obtained publicly withheld information on environmental problems caused by the fossil fuel industry. The other two withheld documents involved the fracking industry failing to follow safe water practices and the numerous leaks of methane gas, which produces at least thirty times the warming effect per molecule as carbon dioxide, from natural gas wells.

How many more such reports are hidden away here and elsewhere thanks to the collusion of the fossil fuel industry, a government and its regulatory agency?

The B.C. Oil and Gas Commission knew in 2014 that gas drillers weren’t consistently following rules to protect threatened boreal caribou herds, but has held the audit report showing those results under wraps, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives alleges. ...

“It’s no surprise, given the circumstances of the audit’s ‘release,’ that the suppressed document shows that, over and over again, companies broke the very modest rules to protect the caribou,” Parfitt wrote in a briefing document.

The region around Fort Nelson was heavily drilled earlier in the decade using techniques of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to establish gas reserves in anticipation of a potential, liquefied-natural-gas export industry. ...

And Parfitt said the leaked report marks the third time in less than a year that the CCPA has gleaned information about concerns with industry operations through Freedom of Information requests or other means that the commission has withheld or delayed releasing.

In the first case, Parfitt, through an FOI request, unearthed documents showing that drilling companies were building unauthorized dams to store water for fracking, including inspection reports and enforcement orders. Parfitt said the documents were posted to the commission’s website “belatedly,” subsequent to his FOI request.

In the second case, the commission, in late 2017, posted the results from a 2013 investigation into the prevalence of methane leaks from natural-gas wells.

Commission spokesman Phil Rygg, in an emailed statement to Postmedia News last fall, said its officials had tightened up regulations as a result of the probe.

Parfitt, at the time, said the multiyear delay in making its results public also withheld potentially damaging information about the industry at a time that the government was promoting the potential for an LNG export sector. And in his paper, Parfitt argues that the incidents help make the case that responsibility for enforcing rules of the oil and gas industry should be separated from the commission.

https://www.pressreader.com/canada/vancouver-sun/20180528/281535111663043

 

jerrym

Trudeau's decision to buy Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.4 billion will not be the end of subsidization of the fossil fuel industry, as building the pipline is estimated to cost at least another $7.5 billion. 

The Straight outlines the numerous individuals, indigenous and environmental groups are already protesting this decision including Protect the Inlet, an Indigenous initiative of Tsleil-Waututh members and their allies, Greenpeace, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, the Wilderness Committee, the David Suzuki Foundation, Stand.Earth, and the Rainforest Action Network.

Stand.Earth highlighted the role the deal will give Canada's government in harming the environment.

“Today we found out that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lied when he declared to the world he was a leader on climate change and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples," said deputy director Tzeporah Berman. "Instead, he wants to spend billions of taxpayer dollars to bail out a declining industry—ignoring the thousands who have pledged to block the pipeline and sidestepping more than a dozen outstanding legal challenges.

https://www.straight.com/news/1081881/environmentalists-call-trudeaus-de...

 

jerrym

Besides the environmental damage the Trans Mountain pipeline will cause, there is growing evidence it does not make economic sense. In February 2018, the first supertanker able to hold 2,000,0000,000 barrels of oil sailed from the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) to China. The following article suggests that Kinder Morgan wanted out of the pipeline because it knew it would be a major financial loss for them and now the Trudeau government owns it. 

The LOOP bi-directional pipeline can pump oil at a mind-bending 100,000 barrels per hour, supertankers can arrive with one load for refining and take off with another, by barely dropping anchor. That will likely prove fatal to Alberta’s plans to expand unrefined bitumen exports either by the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline to the British Columbia coast, or the proposed Keystone XL pipeline because:

• Potential foreign refiners and customers will demand that future oil price, quality, shipping costs, and delivery speeds match those that LOOP can offer.

• For marine safety reasons, the maximum oil tanker cargo allowed through B.C.’s Burrard Inlet is an Aframax class ship at 80 per cent capacity carrying 550,000 barrels, only about one-quarter the load of a Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC). That means a refiner in Asia would need to book and pay for four tankers to ship the same amount as from the LOOP terminal, then wait longer for the full order to arrive.

• The diluted bitumen Alberta wants to export has chemical and combustion properties that make it far inferior to the higher-quality oil LOOP has access to from U.S. formations in the Dakotas and Texas, or OPEC countries, or North Sea producers. Tar sands/oil sands bitumen can be upgraded and refined, but that adds significant costs and requires dedicated facilities.

• The terminus of the Keystone XL will be refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast near Houston which are not connected to the LOOP. Even if future Alberta bitumen were to be refined there, it would take three fully-loaded Aframax tankers leaving Texas for ship-to-ship transfers to each VLCC.

These important changes in tanker and terminal technology and scale are no secret in the oil industry outside Canada. Nor is the dirty chemical composition of tar sands/oil sands bitumen. Nor is the cutthroat competition among global oil producers, refiners, shippers, and speculators, in which nickels per barrel of oil delivered are fought over fiercely.

In fact, the bad news for Alberta’s oilpatch has been building for a decade. That’s when shipbuilders in South Korea, China and Japan began constructing what has become a global fleet of about 750 VLCCs (with 50 more ordered for 2018), and the scrapping of smaller Aframax class tankers began accelerating. This in turn drove down the benchmark price for ocean oil shipping, triggered the LOOP terminal upgrade, effectively consigned oil terminals like those in Burnaby, B.C. to minor league status, and left oil deposits far from deep port tidewater at a significant cost disadvantage.

When the undeniably dirty content of Alberta’s bitumen deposits is added into these negative cost equations, global oil players know when to cut and run. Compared to conventional heavy crude, bitumen contains 102 times more copper, 21 times more vanadium, 11 times more sulphur, 11 times more nickel, six times more nitrogen, and five times more lead, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It also has a much lower ratio of hydrogen to carbon, which degrades combustion efficiency.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/03/07/opinion/fatal-flaw-albertas-...

 

jerrym

Unifor, Canada's largest private sector union with 310,000 members, and the Alberta Federation of Labour, which represent the two largest labour organizations in Northern Alberta where the tar sands are located, oppose the Trans Mountain pipeline for economic, environmental, employment, sustainability and security reasons, as the following Unifor press release indicates. 

Unifor is disappointed with the National Energy Board's (NEB) short-sighted decision to support the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, one that poses risks for the economy, Canadian jobs, and food security. 

"The Kinder Morgan expansion project is all risk and no gain for the public or our environment," said Joie Warnock, Unifor's Western Director. "Despite applying conditions for approval, in the absence of any realistic, enforceable regulations, the NEB failed to consider the very serious risks a project of this magnitude has for residents and our economy." ...

The National Energy Board (NEB) should have put our community, and the environment first, instead this is a helter skelter approach to expansion and with only exacerbate problems that have already been created that risk the kind of sustainable future, jobs and type of economy we want and need in Canada," said Warnock.

https://www.unifor.org/en/whats-new/press-room/unifor-says-pipeline-expa...

 

jerrym

ETA: In addition to opposition from Unifor and the Alberta Federation of Labour, Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain claim that it will create 15,000 jobs has been called a scam by BC economist Robyn Allan, more examples of the fossil fuel industry denying reality in Canada when it comes to global warming.

In the NEB Kinder Morgan hearings, the largest union in the oilsands, Unifor, intervened. You might be forgiven for assuming that a union, interested in jobs, intervened to ensure Kinder Morgan got built. You would be wrong.

Unifor attempted to enter evidence that building Kinder Morgan would cost jobs. The Alberta Federation of Labour represents 170,000 workers in Alberta. The AFL is also against Trans Mountain’s expansion because of the jobs and economic wealth lost down the pipeline. ...

The claim that the Kinder Morgan expansion would create 15,000 jobs is thrown around in the cloud of confetti. Kinder Morgan’s submission to the NEB said it would employ an average of 2,500 construction workers a year for two years (Volume 5B of its application). ...

B.C. economist Robyn Allan went on a quest for the source of the claim. (“15,000 Trans Mountain jobs an illusion,” Aug. 31, 2017.) She concluded: “Trans Mountain’s 15,000 construction workforce jobs are a scam. The more realistic figure is less than 20 per cent that size. It is a betrayal of the public trust that [Justin] Trudeau, [Jim] Carr and [Rachel] Notley so eagerly got behind Kinder Morgan’s manipulated jobs figure without checking to make sure it made any sense.”

http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/op-ed/elizabeth-may-is-the-pipeline...

jerrym

Trudeau's decision to buy Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline is highly likely to cost the Liberals seats in the Lower Mainland, where they hold 16 of their 17 seats in BC and where BCer opposition to the pipeline is greatest, and cost them support in Quebec. 

In a new poll set to be released Thursday, 75 per cent of B.C. respondents said they would be “uncomfortable” with the idea of the federal government using taxpayer dollars to “subsidize a foreign company.” Forty-nine per cent of respondents said they would be less likely to vote for the Liberals in the next federal election. The online poll was conducted by Research Co. between May 25 and May 28, ahead of the government’s announcement Tuesday but after the government said it would compensate Trans Mountain for delays. 

The results are based on an online poll of 1,255 adults in B.C. and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. “This is definitely hurting them,” said Mario Canseco, the president of Research Co. It will be “tough” for Trudeau to hold onto the support he garnered in B.C. after campaigning “so mightily on environmental issues.”

In 2015, there was a concerted effort to shift the vote by people who didn’t want to see Stephen Harper’s Conservatives win another term, Canseco added, but those ridings could be back in play. After winning just two B.C. seats in 2011, the Liberals won 17 ridings in the province in 2015, nabbing another in a 2017 byelection. The NDP came second in five of those ridings, while the Conservatives were second in 13.

Every party has something on the Liberals now, he said.  The Greens and NDP will say Trudeau isn’t environmentally friendly, while the Conservatives will say his government used taxpayer dollars to buffer a project that came out of Texas.

“There will be a political price to pay for the Trudeau government in 2019, but I think the real big question is how much of a price,” agreed Shachi Kurl, executive director of the Angus Reid Institute.

https://www.thestar.com/vancouver/2018/05/30/trans-mountain-deal-sets-li...

jerrym

The purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline by Trudeau in order to try to ensure it gets built has raised widespread concerns in Quebec. 

Joel Denis Bellevance of La Presse said on CTV's Power Play that after he wrote an article in French on Trudeau's purchase of the pipeline, he heard back from a very large number of readers via email, with the overwhelming majority against Trudeau's decision. Those against the pipeline opposed to the decision divided into two large camps: the hard core and soft nationalists who oppose any interference into provincial affairs and those who oppose the pipeline environmentally and feel betrayed by Trudeau following his enviromental promises in the 2015 election.

Even Liberal Premier Couillard, the most federalist provincial premier in over fifty years, has expressed concerns over the precedent this sets for federal intervention in areas of provincial jurisdiction. 

In April, Couillard cautioned Justin Trudeau that overriding concerns in B.C. over the project's environmental impact was "not a good sign for federalism."

Earlier today, the premier said the pipeline debate shows that "even in projects that are federally regulated in terms of final authorization, there should be room for the expression of provincial jurisdictions."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/ottawa-s-plan-to-buy-trans-mounta...

 

jerrym

Here's more evidence that the Liberals purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline from Kinder Morgan is likely to cost the Liberals votes, especially in BC and Quebec. 

Angus Reid Institute executive director Shachi Kurl and Nanos Research chair Nik Nanos both said they had polling figures that showed a government investment in the pipeline would be divisive, at best, among Canadian voters.  Ms. Kurl’s firm asked Canadians in April how they would feel about the federal and Alberta governments investing in Trans Mountain, and 56 per cent agreed it would be a “bad idea” and “poor use of taxpayer funds,” while 44 per cent agreed it was a good idea and good use of tax dollars. In B.C., 70 per cent agreed it was a bad idea, as did 70 per cent in Manitoba, 53 per cent in Ontario, and 56 per cent in Quebec. The positive outlook was more popular only in Alberta, at 52 per cent, and Saskatchewan, at 51 per cent. The online survey of 2,125 Canadian adults was equivalent to a poll with a margin for error of 3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

 ...

Ms. Kurl said the Liberals will likely lose seats in Vancouver or Burnaby because of the decision, and the serious concerns for many voters there about an increased risk of an oil spill off the B.C. coast because of the pipeline.  “It will definitely lose them some seats in British Columbia,” she said, later adding, “it seems doubtful that the Trudeau Liberals will be thanked for their troubles on the file in Alberta.”

The Liberals currently hold 18 seats in B.C. The move will also be unpopular in Quebec, said Mr. Nanos, a bastion for environmentally-conscious voters, where the party has 40 seats.  “There’s a difference between approving a pipeline and investing in a pipeline, and I think they’ve crossed a line that it will be difficult for them to reconcile, for those voters where the environment is very important,” he said.  

https://www.hilltimes.com/2018/06/04/trans-mountain-purchase-expose-libe...

 

Policywonk

Rev Pesky wrote:

Well, kropotkin1951, we know you're hiding your head in the sand, but that's not providing an answer.

Just to give a bit of context, Canada creates 1.54% of the total world CO2. So if we stopped producing CO2 completely, the total CO2 production of the world would drop by 1.54%. Unfortunately, as noted by Martin N. the rest of the world is producing CO2 at a faster and faster rate, so within a couple of years, that 1.54% would have been surpassed, and then some, by other CO2 producers. Which would make the net effect of Canada halting CO2 production pretty much zero.

Running around shouting, 'the sky is falling!, the sky is falling!' is kinda fun, and it does attract a certain amount of attention.  It does nothing to solve the problem of how to prevent the sky from falling. I think we're past the stage of recognizing the problem, and are now at the stage of finding a solution. Hiding your head in the sand isn't going to help.

The 1.54% does not include land-use, changes to land-use and forestry. That is related more to the geographical size of Canada than it's popuplation. Nor does it include emissions from burning end-use products of fossil fuel production in other countries.

Policywonk

Rev Pesky wrote:

Canada's apparent target agreed to in the Paris Climate Accord is to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030. To give a little context, emissions were about 10% higher in 2007 - at a peak of economic activity - than they were in 2010, the lowest point after the crash of '08.

What that means is we will have to constrain the economy by at least three times the amount of shrinkage between '07 and '10. No one knows how that might be done without serious consequences for the poorest in our society. 

 

That assumes no changes to the carbon intensity of the economy. Your apparent ignorance of proposals to decrease income and wealth inequality at the same time is also clear. And no-one knows how adaptation (if we as a species can adapt) will be done without serious consequences for the poorest in society. That is not a longer term problem, as the impacts of climate change (and ocean acidification) are occurring now.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Canada talks green while financing climate disaster

There were fireworks and fury, no doubt. There were tweets, memes and photos too of course, some surely quite historic. But as the G6’s hair-pulling and the world’s temporary rank-closing around Justin Trudeau fades into history, what will be left for us to tell today’s and tomorrow’s children?

We could say that the world’s richest countries, minus the United States, issued a great communiqué.

In it, they “reaffirm their strong commitment to implement the Paris Agreement,” which means “ensuring a just transition, including increasing efforts to mobilize climate finance from a wide variety of sources.”

And they reaffirm the Paris Agreement’s crucial goal of reaching “a global carbon-neutral economy over the course of the second half of the century.”

How wonderful. And how curious, our progeny might remark, that according to research released a week before the Charlevoix summit, the G7 countries continued to pour at least $100 billion of taxpayer-funded subsidies into fossil fuels annually.

How curious, to say the least. And how plainly unconscionable.

quote:

The true scale of Canada’s fossil fuel support

Even amid so sorry a field, it requires a special kind of cynicism not to blink at the latest display of cognitive dissonance from the Canadian government.

Few distracted by the high-flying rhetoric of the Trudeau Liberals on climate change would guess that even prior to the $4.5-billion government bailout of the Trans Mountain pipeline, Canada’s $6 billion in annual subsidies to oil and gas companies in 2015 and 2016 placed us first in the G7 for public support of fossil fuels once adjusted to the size of our economy.

Fewer still would imagine that the Canadian state, through the financial colossus that is Export Development Canada, continues to finance oil and gas projects around the globe to the tune of $10 billion on average each year. EDC is a notoriously opaque Crown corporation with a trail of unsavoury clients blotching its resume, many of whom have been tied to serious human (often Indigenous) rights violations. It is the second- or third-largest export development bank in the world, boasting more than $100 billion in global investments in 2017, much of them in mining, oil and gas.

Even in absolute numbers, Canada ranked sixth in the G20 for annual public finance of fossil fuels from 2013 to 2015, according to a separate report released in 2017. And EDC’s own figures show that its ironclad support for oil and gas has not faltered a bit since the Liberals rose to office. On the contrary, the Trudeau government has conscripted the EDC to help finance the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which independent analysts have estimated could cost another $10 billion or more.....

 

Martin N.

In any event, Hansen’s predictions have all bombed and he has not recanted. His polyglot and multi-motivated echo chamber, including Dr. Michael Mann and his infamous “hockey stick” of sharply rising temperatures, have had their noses rubbed in the fiction of increasing world temperatures throughout this new millennium. Every sane person is opposed to the pollution of the environment and there is a practically universal consensus to reduce automobile exhaust emissions, ensure industrial smoke goes through scrubbers, and that all contaminated water is thoroughly treated before being returned to nature. Every serious person agrees that we must, as a species, show extreme vigilance in exercising man’s unique ability to tamper with and alter the environment. We are the stewards of the world and its environment and there are few who would dispute that until comparatively recently, we have not taken that responsibility very seriously. The Industrial Revolution had been thundering in Europe and North America for nearly a century, and in Japan for half a century, before even basic conservation, such as national parks, got its green foot in the public policy door.

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/conrad-black-thirty-years-of-climate-hy...

Martin N.

But there is no justification whatever for the self-punitive nonsense of the Paris climate accord, where the administration of president Barack Obama committed to garrote American industry with costs of tens of billions of dollars to reduce carbon emissions, even as the world’s principal offenders, China and India, and most other countries, solemnly declined to moderate their darkening of the skies and their putrefaction of the waters until their economic revolution, involving billions of people, had been completed. The lessons of all this are clear, but most of our political and academic leaders are so far over-invested in defending against something that is not happening, they continue to call for the sacrifice of others, the deindustrialization of the West, the self-imposition of a holy economic torpor so, in the post-industrial silence we can all contemplate the pristine serenity of self-impoverishment (and the joys of Chinese world domination).

 

Same article

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Martin N., do you know where Galt, Ontario is?

Martin N.

No

jerrym

Martin N. wrote:

But there is no justification whatever for the self-punitive nonsense of the Paris climate accord ... 

The lessons of all this are clear, but most of our political and academic leaders are so far over-invested in defending against something that is not happening,

You sound like King Canute commanding the waves to stop. 

Unfortunately, the waves of sea level rise due to global warming are already having drastic effects. And this is just one effect of global warming. 

Climate change may seem to be a distant, far-off-in-time phenomenon to those in the developed world, but for millions it is already a bitter reality, especially for small island countries whose very culture and even existence is threatened by the sea level rise brought about by global warming. 

Island nations are well aware that global warming is already hitting them hard. They had alredy formed the 44 member Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) in 1990. It includes low-lying coastal nations, such as Bangladesh, as well as small island nations in the South Pacific, Indian Ocean and Carribbean, such as Micronesia, Tonga, the Marshall Islands, Palau, Kiribati, Seychelles, the Maldives, Barbados, Bahamas, Jamaica, Trinidad, and Haiti.   (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alliance_of_Small_Island_States).  

AOSIS focuses on dealing with member countries "concerns about the environment, especially their vulnerability to the adverse effects of global climate change" because of the threat to the very existence of their countries that global warming brings. (http://aosis.org/about/)

On CBC's Sunday Edition this week, the threat to these island states was discussed. A MP for the Legislative Assembly of Tonga discussed the exponential increase in cyclones in the South Pacific that has produced many homeless people and the movement of inhabitants from some of the outer islands of Tonga because they are no longer inhabitable due to sea level rise to the main islands and the movement inland on the main islands as the coasts erode away. As the years pass they fully expect that the population will become climate change refugees. (https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thesundayedition/the-sunday-edition-july-22-201...)

 

jerrym

The Tongan MP mentioned in the last post also discussed how the island nation of Kiribati is dealing with the threat of climate change. 

Kiribati has already seen three of its uninhabited atolls disappear under the waves by 1999 and is negotiating the purchase of 5,000 acres in Fiji to resettle its entire population of 102,000 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17295862).

 

Here are some other examples of island nations and low lying coastal nations that have been severely impacted by sea level rise due to climate change. 

The Marshall Islands are currently trying to figure out if they will remain a country when their island nation disappears underwater. They may be forced to flee even before their land is lost, due to predictions of dangerous tropical storms and rising salt levels in their drinking water. 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/22/environmental-refugees-50_n_826...

 

Bangladesh has a population of more than 140 million with 20 million the facing becoming flood refugees due to global warming if sea levels rise one metre - http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/04/14/us-bangladesh-climate-islands-... .

Already half a million people on Bhola island in Bangladesh have been flooded out of there homes and more than one million  face bleak future as climate refugees as level of water wipes out villages. The Al Jazeera website below describes their plight.

http://www.aljazeera.com/video/asia/2014/03/rising-waters-swamp-banglade...

A 2013 Aljazeera reported that more than 1,000 schools in Bangladesh have been closed due to rising sea levels and their students forced to go school on boats because of sea level rise from global warming.

 

The Maldives are another example of an island nation whose existence is threatened. 

The small island nation may be the first country in the world to be entirely swallowed up by rising sea levels caused by climate change. Those rising sea levels are already endangering the nation's cherished beaches, and will before too long render many parts of the country inhospitable. 

The country has established a sovereign wealth fund, drawn from its tourist revenue, to be used to buy land overseas and finance the relocation of the country's population of 350,000.

http://www.treehugger.com/climate-change/sea-levels-rise-maldives-presid...

 

Nothing focuses one's mind on what is important in life more than the prospect of death, whether it be of the individual, the culture or the nation. 

jerrym

Global warming is also increasing both the number of hurricanes cyclones and typhoons, that are bringing more devastation to island nations and coastal regions. It's even bringing about the creation of a new term - supertyphoon. In 2013, supertyphoon Haiyan reached a global wind speed record of 315 km/hr (since surpassed) when it hit the Philippines and killed 6,300 people. These superstorms also have a drastic effect on the economy. 

The chief Philippine negotiator, Nadero Sano, at the climate change conference points out that

 Each destructive typhoon season costs us 2% of our GDP, and the reconstruction costs a further 2%, which means we lose nearly 5% of our economy every year to storms. We have received no climate finance to adapt or to prepare ourselves for typhoons and other extreme weather we are now experiencing. We have not seen any money from the rich countries to help us to adapt.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/08/typhoon-haiyan-ric...

 

More than a decade after the 2005 Hurricane Katrina, more than 100,000 residents have not been able to return to New Orleans, showing how long a climate change intensified hurricane can impact a community in a devastating way.

On Aug. 29, 2005, it all seemed lost. Four-fifths of the city lay submerged as residents frantically signaled for help from their rooftops and thousands were stranded at the Superdome, a congregation of the desperate and poor.

Ten years later, it is not exactly right to say that New Orleans is back. The city did not return, not as it was.

It is, first of all, without the more than 1,400 people who died here, and the thousands who are now making their lives someplace else. As of 2013, there were nearly 100,000 fewer black residents than in 2000, their absences falling equally across income levels. The white population decreased by about 11,000, but it is wealthier.( http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/08/26/us/ten-years-after-katrina.html?_r=0 )

 

The World Resources Institute has concluded that

Evidence is mounting that human-induced warming is contributing to increased frequency and intensity of several types of extreme weather events, including heat waves, torrential downpours, and coastal flooding. These trends are expected to continue – with associated damages worsening – in an increasingly warmer world. (http://www.wri.org/publication/impacts-hurricane-sandy-and-climate-change-connection)

 

 Global reinsurance firm Aon Benfield determined that the largest global disasters of 2012 in monetary terms occurred in the United States. They were

Hurricane Sandy (with cost of $65 billion) and the year-long Midwest/Plains drought ($35 billion), according to the company's Annual Global Climate and Catastrophe Report, which was prepared by Aon Benfield's Impact Forecasting division. (http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2013/01/24/global-disaster-report-sandy-drought/1862201/ )

 

While wealthy countries have some capacity to deal with such catastrophes, poor ones cannot afford to spend these kinds of sums on global warming induced disasters. However, even wealthy countries will not be able to fund the rebuilding costs of a long string of catastrophes occurring over relatively short periods as temperatures rise higher and higher. 

jerrym

Hurricanes in the United States and Carribean during the last year have shown how global warming fed superstorms are causing more and more damage. Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are still far from fully recovered from these superstorms. 

Summer and fall 2017 saw an unusual string of record-breaking hurricanes pummel the U.S. Gulf Coast, eastern seaboard, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.

Hurricane Harvey brought unbelievable floods to Houston. Irma, one of the two strongest hurricanes ever recorded in the northern Atlantic,wreaked havoc on Florida and many Caribbean islands. Maria devastated Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The destruction begs the question: Has climate change influenced these extreme events? Hurricanes can be difficult to decipher, but experts are gaining a sense of what our warming world might mean for monster storms in the U.S. and worldwide.

Many experts are confident that a warmer world will create stronger storms—and already is doing so. Since 1981 the maximum wind speed of the most powerful hurricanes has risen, according to research (pdf) by Jim Elsner, a climatologist at The Florida State University. That’s because higher ocean heat provides more energy for storms, fueling their intensity. Hurricane Patricia, in 2015, set the record at the time for top wind speed—215 miles per hour—in the north Atlantic. The next year Winston shattered records as the most intense cyclone in the Southern Hemisphere. ...

How climate change will influence the frequency of hurricanes is less well understood. ...

Scientists do agree climate change means higher storm surges are hitting coastlines. This would happen even if hurricanes do not become stronger. “Once you have a higher baseline sea level,” Knutson says, “that's going to add to the water level experienced during storm surges.” If sea level is a half-meter higher, for example, then a storm surge will be a half-meter higher than it would have been otherwise.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/was-the-extreme-2017-hurrican...

 

jerrym

As noted in the last post, sea level rise increases storm surges. Global warming leads to sea level rise in two ways:  the rise in water temperature causes glaciers to melt increasing the amount of water in the oceans and also causes the water to expand in volume.

The rate at which glaciers are melting is growing exponentially with the temperature rise. 

On average, Greenland loses 200 to 250 billion tons of ice a year. That's a sharp rise from the 1990s when it lost roughly 50 billion tons a year. It is responsible for contributing 0.6 to 0.7 millimetres of sea level rise of a total 3.5 millimetres annually.

Scientists are concerned that continued large-scale ice loss like this — as well as increased melting on Greenland and Antarctica — will cause a dramatic rise in sea levels. 

Since 1970, Earth's temperature has risen by about 0.17 C a decade, with two-thirds of the warming since 1880 occurring since 1975, which is attributed to an increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/antarctic-ice-sheet-1.4703952

This rapid rise in glacier melting is due not only to rising temperatures but also to the albedo effect, which involves the increase in solar heat absorption when white snow and ice change to the darker colour of liquid water, further accelerating the rise in temperature of the water. This is resulting in the Arctic and Antarctic having the largest gains in average temperature. 

A similar process is occurring in the Antarctic:

A comprehensive study suggests the Antarctic ice sheet lost roughly three trillion tons of ice between 1992 and 2017. The study, published today in Nature, found that annual ice loss in West Antarctica — the most vulnerable to warming temperatures — was almost three times higher than an earlier estimate in 2012, from 59 billion tons a year to 159 billion tons a year.

"This is a big increase in ice loss that needs to be understood and needs to be taken into consideration when we look to the future," Andrew Shepherd, lead author and a professor of Earth Observation University of Leeds in the United Kingdom said.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/antarctic-ice-sheet-1.4703952

Canada itself is a major contributor to glacier melt. In places like Vancouver that depend on glacial and snow melt for part of their water supply in summers where precipitation is lower, water rationing has already started to occur. 

Canada’s Arctic glaciers have become a major contributor to sea level change, according to glaciologists at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). ...

Greenland holds most of the ice in the Arctic, and its melting glaciers have been the focus of much scientific research in recent years. But Canada holds the second-most ice in the region, with 25 per cent of the volume there.

Up until 2005, two factors were nearly equal contributors to Arctic ice loss. Icebergs breaking off into the ocean from glacier fronts accounted for 52 per cent of the loss, while surface melting on glaciers (ice that was exposed to sun and air) was responsible for 48 per cent. Things have changed since then. Surface melt came to account for 90 per cent of ice loss by 2015. And that trend came at a time in which atmospheric temperatures “steadily climbed,” according to UCI.

https://globalnews.ca/news/3252577/canada-glaciers-sea-level-rise/

 

lagatta4

We always here about the tiny Pacific islands, but there are members of the group far closer to us, at least to us Eastern bastards (and even the Pacific ones are very far from BC). Barbados, Bahamas, Jamaica, Trinidad, and Haiti.  

Conrad Black is full of it, but does that surprise anyone?

NDPP

The Burning Hot Planet

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/07/27/the-burning-planet/

"When is too late too late? But then again, thinking more about it: DO SOMETHING!"

 

Humanity is Deciding if it Will Evolve or Die

https://twitter.com/caitoz/status/1022700977176989696

So we're at a pretty significant juncture here. Our present situation could accurately be described as a question that we are collectively being asked as a species: do we want to (A) live on and find out what the future holds for us, or do we want to (B) go the way of the dinosaur?"

jerrym

lagatta4 wrote:

We always here about the tiny Pacific islands, but there are members of the group far closer to us, at least to us Eastern bastards (and even the Pacific ones are very far from BC). Barbados, Bahamas, Jamaica, Trinidad, and Haiti.  

You are right that in discussing sea level rise, I mostly focused on the South Pacific Islands and Bangladesh. That's because these are the place in most imminent danger of vast flooding and in some cases the existence of their island nations. 

However, Caribbean islands will suffer catastrophic damage from sea level rise but because they are not in general as low-lying as places like the Maldives, whose highest point above sea level is only 4 metres above sea level, this will be over a longer time period.

However, we have seen that in terms of hurricanes, the Caribbean Islands are just as much at risk as much of Asia and also suffer from racism as we can see from the difference in response to hurricanes in 2017 in Texas and Florida compared to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. This is often seen in the response to disasters in developing countries by developed countries whether or not climate change is involved. However, many of the problems associated with climate change will impact poorer nations even more because they neither have the means or are likely to get the same level of response to climate change problems as occurs with wealthy regions. 

Nearly a month after the hurricane, Puerto Rico still is still struggling with a near-total information blackout. Some 85 percent of the island lacks electricity, and several remote mountain communities have yet to be visited by relief workers. ...

The island is so crippled in part thanks to the federal government’s underwhelming early hurricane response. The historic storm played its role, of course, destroying homes, triggering mudslides and rendering roadways impassable. But the Trump administration delayed dispatching military personnel and material relief until after the hurricane made landfall, and let the Jones Act waiver lapse, reducing the number of ships that can bring aid to the island. These actions have slowed recovery considerably. ...

Numerous commentators – including Ret. Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, who ran the U.S. military’s 2005 Hurricane Katrina relief operation – have criticized the Trump administration’s Puerto Rico storm response. Others have contrasted it with the all-hands-on-deck support seen by Harvey and Irma victims in Texas and Florida. 

Based on my experience researching equity and inclusion in U.S. policy, racial bias may explain these disparate relief efforts, at least in part. Environmental disasters lay bare existing inequalities like prejudice and poverty. So in a place like Puerto Rico, where nearly 99 percent of the population is Latino, discriminatory decision-making can hurt the community’s capacity to recover.

In Texas and Florida, the president responded swiftly, visiting these southern states in a matter of days. In Puerto Rico, on the other hand, President Trump arrived to survey the wreckage two weeks after Maria struck. Likewise, while the president vowed to stand with Texas and Florida “every single day” to help them “restore, recover and rebuild,” he seemed to mock Puerto Ricans’ plight at an Oct. 6 Hispanic Heritage Month event.

There is empirical evidence that skin color impacts federal assistance. A 2007 studyperformed by researchers at Stanford and UCLA found that Americans are less willing to support extensive taxpayer-funded disaster relief when the victim population is not white. 

Signs of racial bias in the current federal relief efforts go beyond Puerto Rico. The U.S. Virgin Islands, where 98 percent of the population identifies as black or of African ancestry, were also battered by both Hurricanes Irma and Maria, leaving residents “in survival mode.” The Trump administration has also largely ignored their suffering.

https://theconversation.com/is-racial-bias-driving-trumps-neglect-of-pue...

 

jerrym

However, the overall risk of sea level rise is global as 37% of the world's population lives within 100 km of a coast (https://www.pdx.edu/sites/www.pdx.edu.econ/files/coastal_pop.pdf)

The estimated costs of sea level rise are staggering: 

  • By 2050, over 570 low-lying coastal cities will face projected sea level rise by at least 0,5 meters.
  • This puts over 800 million people at risk from the impacts of rising seas and storm surges.
  • The global economic costs to cities, from rising seas and flooding, could amount to $1 trillion by mid-century.
  • Local factors mean that cities will experience sea level rise at different paces. Cities on the east coast of the United States, along with major cities in Asia, are particularly vulnerable.
  • Sea level rise and flooding can impact essential services such as energy, transport, and health. When Hurricane Sandy struck New York in 2012, coastal floods impacted an estimated 90,000 buildings, 2 million people lost power, which caused extensive damage and disrupted commercial activity to a cost of over $19 billion.

https://www.c40.org/other/the-future-we-don-t-want-staying-afloat-the-ur...

In 2013, Robert Nicholls, a coastal engineering professor at the University of Southampton in England, published a paper in the journal Nature Climate Change about the cities around the world most vulnerable to rising sea levels. Here is his list of the top 20 most vulnerable cities and their populations:

Rank Cities Population

1 Guangzhou, China 16.8M

2 Mumbai, India 16.9M

3 Kolkata, India 14.4M

4 Guayaquil, Ecuador 2.3M

5 Shenzhen, China 11.9M

6 Miami, Fla. 5.6M

7 Tianjin, China 8.9M

8 New York/Newark, N.J. 20.8M

9 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 8.3M

10 New Orleans, La. 369,000

11 Jakarta, Indonesia 26M

12 Abidjan, Ivory Coast 4.4M

13 Chennai, India 8.9M

14 Surat, India 4.7M

15 Zhanjiang, China 7.1M

16 Tampa, Fla. 348,000

16 S t. Petersburg, Fla. 250,000

17 Boston, Mass. 4.4M

18 Bangkok, Thailand 7.1M

19 Xiamen, China 1.8M

20 Nagoya, Japan 10M

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Unstoppable+sheet+collapse+sounds+alarm...

 

Of course, with the longest coastline in the world, Canada can expect to suffer in a major way from sea level rise. Just a few of these problems have been outlined in the following posts: #57 Lennox Island off Prince Edward Island is already in the process of disappearing; #58 Old Crow in the Yukon is suffering both from sea level rise and melting permafrost; #59 Nova Scotia's 13,300 km coast which 70% of the population lives near is expected to face extensive flooding; and #60 Metro Vancouver requires $9.5 billion in dyke and levee raising to protect it from flooding by 2100 and Vancouver is not even on the top 20 cities in terms of such costs. 

jerrym

Depsite Trump's empty promises to the contrary, the United States itself will pay a extremely high price for climate change with five of its cities ranked among the 20 most at risk globally in terms of sea level rise costs: #6 Miami; #8 New York; #10 New Orleans; #16 Tampa-St. Petersburg; and #17 Boston.

To get a sense of how much it will cost the nation to save itself from rising seas over the next 50 years, consider Norfolk, Virginia.

In November, the Army Corps released a proposal for protecting the cityfrom coastal flooding that would cost $1.8 billion. Some experts consider the estimate low. And it doesn't include the Navy's largest base, which lies within city limits and likely needs at least another $1 billion in construction.

Then consider the costs to protect Boston, New York, Baltimore, Miami, Tampa, New Orleans, Houston and the more than 3,000 miles of coastline in between.

Rising seas driven by climate change are flooding the nation's coasts now. The problem will get worse over the next 50 years, but the United States has barely begun to consider what's needed and hasn't grappled with the costs or who will pay. Many decisions are left to state and local governments, particularly now that the federal government under President Donald Trump has halted action to mitigate climate change and reversed nascent federal efforts to adapt to its effects.

  • Globally, seas have risen about 7 to 8 inches on average since 1900, with about 3 inches of that coming since 1993. They're very likely to rise at least 0.5-1.2 feet by 2050 and 1-4.3 feet by 2100, and a rise of more than 8 feet by century's end is possible, according to a U.S. climate science report released this year. Because of currents and geology, relative sea level rise is likely to be higher than average in the U.S. Northeast and western Gulf Coast.

  • By the time the waters rise 14 inches, what's now a once-in-five-years coastal flood will come five times a year, a recent government study determined. By 2060, the number of coastal communities facing chronic flooding from rising seas could double to about 180, even if we rapidly cut emissions, according to a study by the Union of Concerned Scientists. If we don't slash emissions, that number could be 360.

  • The costs from this inundation will be tremendous. One study,published in the journal Science in June, found that rising seas and more powerful tropical storms will cost the nation an additional 0.5 percent of GDP annually by 2100. Another, by the real estate firm Zillow, estimated that a rise of 6 feet by 2100 would inundate nearly 1.9 million homes worth a combined $882 billion. ...

  • The Trump administration, however, has revoked or withdrawn at least six federal programs or orders intended to help make the nation's infrastructure more resilient to rising seas and climate change. That includes an executive order signed by President Barack Obama in 2015 that expanded the federal floodplain to account for climate change projections and limited or controlled any federal infrastructure spending within that zone. Trump revoked the order in August. Trump also disbanded a panel that was trying to help cities adapt to climate change.

    https://insideclimatenews.org/news/28122017/sea-level-rise-coastal-citie...

 

jerrym

Whatever you think of the US military it is clear-eyed when it comes to the staggering costs it will face due to climate change. 

The United States Navy operates on the front lines of climate change. It manages tens of billions of dollars of assets on every continent and on every ocean. Those assets—ships, submarines, aircraft, naval bases, and the technology that links everything together—take many years to design and build and then have decades of useful life. This means that the navy needs to understand now what sorts of missions it may be required to perform in 10, 20, or 30 years and what assets and infrastructure it will need to carry out those missions. Put another way, it needs to plan for the world that will exist at that time.

The Department of Defense is clear-eyed about the challenges climate change poses. “The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world,” the most recent Quadrennial Defense Review, issued in 2014, states. “These effects are threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions—conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence.” ...

First, climate change is expected to increase the demand for the navy’s military and humanitarian services. Its effects not only will expand the geographic scope of the navy’s mission—from drought-prone regions experiencing heightened disputes over water rights, to coastal areas facing mass migration, to the Arctic, where melting sea ice clears the way for new shipping lanes, increased mineral extraction, and new opportunities for conflict. They also will alter the mix and frequency of demand for the navy’s various services.

Second, climate change may impair the capacity of the navy to deliver its services. As sea levels rise and weather patterns become more severe, the risk of damage to the domestic and global network of bases and ports on which it depends to maintain fleet readiness will also increase. Thus, the navy must boost the resilience of its infrastructure—and of the supply chains that provide critical energy and material support to its bases and fleet.

Climate change is not a onetime bump from one equilibrium to a warmer one but, rather, a continuous, accelerating process. This creates the need to plan not for a new static world but for an increasingly dynamic one. The navy’s leaders have been working to address this reality head-on, despite resistance from some politicians who continue to debate the very fact of climate change. ...

Let’s start with the likelihood that climate change will increasingly trigger international conflict, state failure, or both. The navy predicts that climate change will lead to more—and more-prolonged—droughts, which in turn will raise the potential for more military interventions. ...

Climate change is also expected to increase the demand for humanitarian assistance and disaster response. Almost every year the navy distributes food and medicine in the aftermath of a catastrophe, whether domestically, as after Hurricane Katrina, or abroad, as in Haiti in 2016, after Hurricane Matthew. ...

An independent report by the Union of Concerned Scientists showed that a three-foot rise in sea levels would significantly threaten 55 naval installations in the United States valued at $100 billion. ...

The navy predicts that damages caused by climate change around the world would cost $220 billion to replace. 

https://hbr.org/2017/07/managing-climate-change

 

jerrym

Despite the ever growing evidence that the damage caused by climate change is already occurring and exponentially increasing, the Canadian Liberal government has lowered the proposed carbon taxes on large emitters. Environmentalists have unanimously condemned the Liberal government. But what else would one expect from a party that campaigned heavily on dealing with climate change in the 2015 election and then announced it was adopting Harper's weak climate targets (https://torontosun.com/2016/09/18/trudeau-adopts-harpers-climate-targets...)?

It is already impossible for the Liberals to meet the 2020 Canadian carbon dioxide emission targets and this means they won't be able to meet the 2030 targets that they agreed to in Canada's Climate Action Plan   (the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change) and our internationally binding Paris Agreement commitment.

The Liberal government is curtailing its plan to price carbon pollution after hearing concerns from Canadian industry officials about how the tax would affect their ability to compete. As the Globe and Mail first reported Wednesday morning, Environment and Climate Change Canada plans to release new guidelines that lower the percentage of emissions on which some polluters will have to pay the carbon tax. ...

They should see their tax bill decline substantially, and some of the most efficient could find themselves paying no carbon tax at all. The worst polluters, whose emissions far exceed the average in their industries, will see their carbon tax liability shrink too, but their tax savings will be proportionately much smaller. ...

The move was not welcomed by environmentalists. The David Suzuki Foundation issued a statement saying it undermines carbon pricing and "put(s) industry and citizen progress on climate action at risk." ...

"It's a disappointment not just for groups like Greenpeace, but I think it should be a disappointment for every Canadian," said Keith Stewart, head of Greenpeace Canada's climate and energy campaign.  "If we are slowing down our climate plan, if we are not going to reach the commitments that we promised we would take to change our economy, then we all pay that price."

NDP MP Peter Julian said the decision means that Canada won't be able to meet its climate commitments under the 2015 Paris accord. "The capitulation to Doug Ford this week means, essentially, that Canada will not be playing the role it needs to play in climate change leadership so that we can mitigate the impacts of climate change," he said.

The move was welcomed by conservative politicians in Canada, including Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe. Speaking on CBC News Network's Power & Politics Wednesday, Moe said he wants to see the policy repealed entirely because "watered down poison is still poison."

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/liberals-carbon-price-lower-1.4769530

 

jerrym

Miami and Miami Beach are already facing the consequences of sea level rise due to climate change even when there is no rain, due to high tides.  The ground under the cities of South Florida is largely porous limestone, which means water will eventually rise up through it. The cities are taking flood-control measures like installing pumps, raising roads, and restoring wetlands. Coastal cities around the world face similar problems. Ironically, at least six Trump properties are at risk. If Miami Beach, one of the richest cities per capita in the world, is not successful in fighting sea level rise, who will be?

Florida State Road A1A runs the entire length of Florida along the ocean

Florida State Road A1A runs the entire length of Florida along the ocean, making it vulnerable to flooding – as shown here in Fort Lauderdale in 2013 (Credit: Alamy)

Sunny Isles Beach is home to $10 billion in property

Sunny Isles Beach is home to $10 billion in property, including six Trump-branded buildings (Credit: Alamy)

[In Miami Beach attempts there are extremely expensive attempts to counter climate change.] It’s the wastewater treatment plant constructing new buildings five feet higher than the old ones. The 105 miles (169km) of roads being raised in Miami Beach. The new shopping mall built with flood gates. The 116 tidal valves installed in Fort Lauderdale. The seawalls being raised and repaired.

 

Signs like these have become ubiquitous in Miami Beach

Signs like these have become ubiquitous in Miami Beach, where officials are determined to fight flooding and have launched a multi-pronged plan (Credit: Amanda Ruggeri)

It’s a challenge that many officials and experts are determined to meet. Getting there, though, requires a shift in how everyone from mayors to taxpayers, insurers to engineers, property developers to urban planners thinks about their communities – and the everyday decisions that shape them.  ...

Another issue is beach erosion. Florida’s sand may be one of its biggest draws for tourist dollars, but it, too, is vulnerable: though sand never stays put, rising sea levels and worsening storms mean the need to replenish is intensifying. A massive town-by-town project is currently underway; Miami Beach (which, famously, was manmade from the startjust wrapped up its 3,000ft (914m) section, to the tune of $11.9 million.

 

Fort Lauderdale’s canals make some of its neighbourhoods especially vulnerable

 Fort Lauderdale’s canals make some of its neighbourhoods especially vulnerable (Credit: Alamy)

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170403-miamis-fight-against-sea-level-...

 

jerrym

 

In 2017, Hurricanes Harvey hit Texas, Irma hit Florida, and Maria hit Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands causing catastrophic damage. These three hurricanes of the most recent hurricane season rank among the most expensive in US history even when inflation is taken into account, raising the question of what will future hurricane seasons bring?

The three big hurricanes of 2017 — Harvey, Irma and Maria — are now three of the five costliest hurricanes in U.S. history, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced this week.

The storms brought widespread death and destruction to Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

While 2005's Katrina remains the costliest hurricane on record at $160 billion, last year's Hurricane Harvey ranks second, with damage costs of $125 billion.

Hurricane Maria ranks third at $90 billion, and Irma ranks fifth at $50 billion. With damages of $70 billion, 2012's Sandy has been pushed down to fourth place. Sandy was popularly labeled a "superstorm" as it neared landfall despite being a hurricane for nearly its entire life cycle. (On this list, the damage costs of both Katrina and Sandy are adjusted for inflation.)

NOAA said the dollar amounts are "the estimated total costs of these events — that is, the costs in terms of dollars that would not have been incurred had the event not taken place. Insured and uninsured losses are included in damage estimates."

https://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2018/01/30/2017-s-three-monster-h...

This week the Republican Puerto Rican government estimated the additional number of deaths brought about by 2017's Hurricane Maria as 1,427 during the last year, an astronomical rise from the official toll of 64. This is due to the failure of the Trump government to deal promptly with the extensive damage caused by the hurricane. The Puerto Rican government is asking Congress for $139 billion (increased from the $90 billion estimate of 2017 mentioned above) in a reconstruction plan for the island. Remember, as we are on the eve of another hurricane season, that this is the estimated rebuilding costs from one hurricane.

Puerto Rico is estimating in a report to Congress that Hurricane Maria killed more than 1,400 people, though an island official said Thursday that the confirmed toll remains frozen at 64 pending a scientific review due out soon.

The government, relying on updated statistics it first reported in June, said in a report to Congress detailing a $139 billion reconstruction plan that there were 1,427 more deaths from September to December 2017 than the average for the same time period over the previous four years.

The territory's government said that the additional deaths resulted from the effects of a storm that led to a "cascading failures" in infrastructure across the island of 3.3 million people. The administration of Gov. Ricardo Rossello stopped updating its official death toll months ago and ordered an investigation amid reports that the number was substantially undercounted. ...

The figure of more than 1,400, Pesquera said, "is simple math" based on the number of excess deaths. "This is not the official number of deaths attributable to Hurricane Maria," he said.

https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2018/08/09/world/americas/ap-cb-puerto-...

The swift and extensive response of the Trump government to the Florida and Texas hurricanes compared to the slow and small-scale response to the Puerto Rican hurricane raises the question of how race and poverty will affect climate change disasters not only in the US but around the world. 

With more frequent and more intense hurricanes predicted due to climate change, can the staggering costs associated with climate change continue to be ignored?

 

jerrym

 

In California, three of the largest fires in the state's history are burning right now and 15 of the 20 largest in its history have occurred since 2000. The largest Calfornia fire ever, the Mendocino Complex fire, is almost the size of metro Los Angeles and has broken the record set by the Thomas fire, set only last year. This scenario is exactly what climate change scientists and models predicted was coming because higher temperatures generated by increased carbon dixoide in the atmosphere would tend to increase temperatues, lower humidity and increase drought in already dry regions like California, despite all th pooh-poohing by climate change deniers.

California is in the middle of yet another record-breaking fire season with 820,000 acres across the state already burned — more than twice the area that burned by this point last year.

In the northern part of the state, the Mendocino Complex Fire has grown to more than 300,000 acres, becoming the largest fire ever recorded in California. In fact, three of the largest California fires since 2000 are burning right now.

In addition to the Mendocino Fire, firefighters are battling two more massive blazes in other rural parts of the state. The Carr Fire, near Mount Shasta, has burned more than a thousand homes and caused eight deaths, according to CalFire. And the Ferguson Fire, near Yosemite National Park, is the largest fire in Sierra National Forest history.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/08/10/us/california-fires.html

The extreme temperatures has generated fire tornadoes and the hottest rain ever recorded. 

This summer, much of the world has endured record-breaking heat — the type of which science tells us is what we can expect from climate change. In fact, scientists have already calculated July’s heatwave in Europe was made twice as likely by climate change.

“What we’re seeing right now across the Northern Hemisphere is extreme weather in the form of unprecedented heat waves, droughts, floods, wildfires,” climate scientist Michael Mann told the radio show Here & Now. “In isolation, it might seem like any one of these things could be dismissed as an anomaly, but it’s the interconnectedness of all these events and their extreme nature that tells us that we are now seeing the face of climate change. The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle.” ...

And last week at the end of July, we saw the hottest temperature ever measured while rain was falling. Temperatures reached 119°F in southern California near the U.S-Mexico border on July 24. ...

Meanwhile, the Carr Fire near Redding California continues to expand. ...  On July 26 another extraordinary thing happened. That evening there was a sudden extreme, upwards expansion in the fire. This rapid vertical growth created an updraft, a so-called vortex of wind, which eventually created what looked like a tornado. According to estimates by the National Weather Service, this fire-tornado had winds exceeding 143 miles per hour — equivalent to an EF3 tornado, which is on the more intense side of the 0-5 scale.

https://thinkprogress.org/climate-change-extreme-weather-heat-wildfire-r...

 

US-FIRESGetty ImagesJOSH EDELSON

 

jerrym

The summer of 2018 is setting temperature records around the world. 

The summer of temperature extremes just keeps going, with record heat waves this month on all four continents that occupy the non-tropical Northern Hemisphere where it is now summer.

On Monday, Japan recorded a temperature never before reached on the island nation since reliable records began in the 1800s.  Kumagaya, a city only 40 miles from Tokyo, hit 41.1 degrees Celsius (106 degrees Fahrenheit) in the midst of a multiweek heat wave that has killed at least 44 people.

The extreme temperatures are also affecting other countries in East Asia: South and North Korea have set heat records with temperatures climbing near 40 C (104 F).

It is these types of heat waves that scientists have been warning would be a consequence of warming the planet through greenhouse gas emissions. ...

Much of Europe has been baking under a massive high-pressure ridge that is allowing tropical heat to climb all the way to the Arctic and blocking cooling rainfalls from ending the stretch of hot weather. 

Temperatures above 32 C extended to the northern reaches of Scandinavia, setting records in Sweden, Finland and Norway for stations above the Arctic Circle. 

The result has been a string of unprecedented wildfires in Sweden that have prompted the country to request assistance from other nations such as Italy, with more resources to fight wildfires. 

The United Kingdom is off to its driest start to a summer, according to the Met Office, and it has been one of the hottest on record, coming in just 0.1 C behind the average temperature during the hottest summer on record in the UK, which averaged 21 C in 1976.  The heat wave is ongoing, with a "level three heat-health watch" issued for much of south and east England through this week as temperatures will climb in to the 30s Celsius through Friday. ...

In Northern Africa's Sahara Desert, certainly no stranger to sweltering temperatures, a record high was recorded July 5 in Ouargla, Algeria. The mark of 51.3 C (124 F) is the highest temperature ever reliably recorded on the African continent, according to the World Meteorological Organization. ...

In the United States, July heat waves have stretched from the highly populated Northeast to the desert Southwest. ...

An exceptional stretch of heat in Dallas-Fort Worth has brought four consecutive days with record highs, hitting 108 or 109 F each day (42 to 43 C). 

July has seen 41 heat records set across the United States -- but zero record minimums.  This lopsided tally has become the norm, as climate change has tipped the scales so far in the direction of warmer temperatures.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/23/world/global-heatwaves-climate-change-wxc...

jerrym

Climate change induced high temperatures also killed more than 90 people in Quebec in the first week of July. 

More than 90 people are now suspected to have died as a result of a July heat wave in Quebec, with new figures showing that 53 deaths in the city of Montreal alone may be linked to elevated temperatures.

The latest statistics indicate that at least 93 people across the province likely died when temperatures spiked as high as 35.3 C during the week of July 1 to July 8.

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/07/18/89-deaths-now-linked-to-h...

 

We can expect more deadly heat waves as climate change further raises temperatures. 

The increasing frequency and intensity of heat waves is among the most obvious and well-documented effects of climate change.

As reported by Canada's National Observer:

Bouts of extreme heat are expected to become more frequent, notes a 2018 report from Canada's federal and provincial auditors general, with their evaluation concluding that governments had under-delivered on commitments to deal with climate change.

The report states that "by 2100, the number of days above 30 degrees Celsius in Canadian cities is expected to double and a one-in-20-year hottest day may become a one-in-two-year event."

https://www.ecowatch.com/quebec-extreme-heat-deaths-2585762004.html

jerrym

British Columbia is facing another intense wildfire year. So far in 2018 the province has had 1500 wildfires compared to a ten year average of 1,100.

Last year, B.C. erupted in what was, for the province, an unprecedented wildfire season. An area twice the size of Prince Edward Island burned, leaving at least one neighbourhood in ashes. But it wasn’t a fluke, just like it wasn’t when flames ripped through Slave Lake, Alta., seven years ago.

Back then wildfire expert Mike Flannigan predicted it would happen again, and it did. In 2016, fire tore through Fort McMurray leaving destruction in its wake. A year later it was B.C.

It will keep happening, said Flannigan, a professor of wildland fire at the University of Alberta.

On average, a total of 2.5 million hectares burns every year in Canada. That’s an area half the size of Nova Scotia. And, some models suggest that could double or even quadruple by the end of the century, he said. “But who knows, they could be all wrong. Things could be much worse than what we think.”

Last year “will be remembered as one of the worst wildfire seasons that British Columbia has ever seen,” Turcot said. The fires forced more than 65,000 people to evacuate, he said. Fire suppression itself cost more than $568 million. ...

The average area burned in Canada each year almost doubled since the ’70s and human-caused climate change is a major factor. The jet stream, which drives the day-to-day weather, is changing with the climate. It’s becoming more like a “lazy river” meaning extreme weather — including extreme fire conditions — is lasting longer, Flannigan said.

The jet stream gets its energy from the temperature difference between the equator and the Arctic. With Arctic areas warming more quickly than the equator, the jet stream is losing energy. It matters for fires because the atmospheric air current determines high- and low-pressure zones. The lows cause air to rise, cool and condense into rain. In high pressure zones the air warms and dries as it sinks. For wildfires, it’s the highs, or ridges, that are a problem.

https://www.thestar.com/vancouver/2018/06/19/for-bc-fire-and-flood-disas...

 

jerrym

Climate change has also greatly increased the number and intensity of forest fires in Ontario. 

“The science is very clear,” Merritt Turetsky, an ecologist at the University of Guelph, told CTV’s Your Morning. “Fires are now burning larger than they ever have before. They’re getting more intense than they have been in the past. This is only projected to get worse.”

There had been 888 forest fires reported year-to-date in Ontario as of Monday night – an increase of more than 70 per cent over the province’s 10 year average. ...

Turetsky said conditions existed for severe, devastating fires in many areas around the world due to prolonged dry spells and heat waves. She described the increase in wildfire activity as a “direct outcome of climate change” and said the world’s governments need to take firm action to bring down emission levels.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/forest-fires-will-become-more-widespread-a...

 

jerrym

Image result for Toronto downpour August 2018 picture

While the Ford government introduces the Cap and Trade Cancelation Act in order to pull Ontario out of the cap and trade market and cancels 758 renewable energy contracts, the number and intensity of forest fires around the province reflect just one of the problems high carbon-dioxide-levels bring about in the form of climate change.

Another such problem is reflected in the flooding create by the massive downpour in Toronto this week. This is because "Warmer air can contain more water vapor than cooler air. Global analyses show that the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere has in fact increased over both land and oceans. ... Climate change also alters dynamical characteristics of the atmosphere that in turn affect weather patterns and storms." (https://nca2014.globalchange.gov/report/our-changing-climate/heavy-downp...)

ETA: Unfortunately, much of the MSM reports climate change problems, such as this, in Ontario and around the globe as disaster porn with compelling and even tragic pictures and video but little or no mention of global warming. 

"This government has completely stopped climate action ... if it wanted to bring in another climate plan, it could have continued with the previous until it had a new one in place. Irresponsibly they decided to stop all action," said NDP energy, environment and climate change critic Peter Tabuns. "What I've seen so far is a complete dereliction of duty." ...

Climate change experts say the Ontario government's move to pull out of cap-and-trade and the carbon tax, and cancel green energy contracts will have long-term effects on the environment beyond their tenure in power.

"It's more than a drop in the bucket. It's quite threatening," said York University professor Dr. ​Carla Lipsig-Mumme. "It undermines the whole country. The causes of climate change don't stop at the borders of provinces or countries." 

Lipsig-Mumme said Tuesday's storm is a "wake-up call" that provinces need to be more proactive on slowing the creation of greenhouse gases.  "What is happening to us now was caused a while ago, but we do have real things we can do now," said Lipsig-Mumme.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/floods-toronto-climate-change-1.4...

 

NDPP

Peter Wadhams, Professor Emeritus, Ocean Physics

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/08/10/peter-wadhams-professor-emeritus...

"My first question: What is the single most serious threat to the planet? Without hesitation, Dr Wadhams explained: A sudden and huge pulse of methane out of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. My follow up question: What will be the impact of a 50G pulse? Answer: It would wipe out civilization in five years. End of interview..."

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