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Green Myths Canada’s LNG Sales Force Tells the World

Green Myths Canada’s LNG Sales Force Tells the World

No, methane’s no fix for global coal-fired energy. Here’s why.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and B.C. Premier John Horgan shake hands as LNG Canada CEO Andy Calitz, back right, watches during a news conference in October 2018. Photo by Darryl Dyck, the Canadian Press. 

Representatives of the British Columbia, Alberta and federal governments are making the global rounds these days to sell the notion that liquefied natural gas exports can help the climate crisis.

Dave Nikolejsin, deputy minister of the B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, for example, flew to Japan last September along with members of the Canadian Society for Unconventional Resources.

There they tried to impress upon the Japanese attendees “the role of Canadian LNG in meeting global climate policy objectives and reducing emissions of carbon dioxide.” 

The pitch goes like this: According to LNG Canada, the big Shell project now under construction in northern B.C., could replace 20 to 40 coal-fired plants in countries like China and India with Canadian methane, and reduce their emissions by 60 to 90 million tonnes.

That’s impressive, says LNG Canada, because 90 million tons equals about 80 per cent of Canada’s car pollution. Or all of B.C.’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. The Tyee is supported by readers like you Join us and grow independent media in Canada

In fact, Darren Gee, president and CEO of Peyto Exploration, which fracks for gas in B.C., believes Canada has a “moral obligation to provide the rest of the world with the country’s clean, responsibly-developed energy to improve lives and preserve the environment.”

And so, while the blockaders of northern B.C.’s LNG Canada pipeline await police eviction while claiming to stand up for Indigenous sovereignty and climate protection, backers of the project lay claim to their own moral high ground.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trudeau and His North Van Climate Minister Are ‘Wrestling’ with a Massive Oilsands Decision

Trudeau and His North Van Climate Minister Are ‘Wrestling’ with a Massive Oilsands Decision

Teck’s Frontier mine would kill emissions targets, say analysts.

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Where will Minister for Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson, MP for North Vancouver, land on Frontier, possibly the biggest oilsands project ever? Photo by Mike Sudoma, the Canadian Press.

The Trudeau government is under intense scrutiny for a looming decision — one that will powerfully signal whether it favours oil patch growth over fighting the climate emergency. 

Will the Liberals approve a new bitumen mine twice the size of Vancouver that alone is expected to add 20 per cent of additional oilsands emissions over the next three decades? 

Or will Justin Trudeau’s government make good on its promise to set Canada on the path to having “net-zero” emissions by 2050 by rejecting the Frontier mine being proposed by Vancouver-based Teck Resources?

Federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, who represents the riding of North Vancouver, is reportedly “wrestling” with the decision, which is expected sometime next month. The Prime Minister’s Office didn’t respond to The Tyee’s interview request.

Wilkinson has said that achieving Canada’s aggressive net-zero target, which would result in the country effectively ceasing to contribute to global temperature rise within three decades, is not open to negotiation: “That is a target that is not informed by politics. It’s informed by science.” 

If that’s the case, then the Liberals need to forcefully reject what is one of the biggest oilsands mining projects ever proposed, says Eriel Deranger, executive director of the Edmonton-based group Indigenous Climate Action. “We cannot afford more destabilization of critical ecosystems and the creation of massive amounts of carbon emissions,” she told The Tyee.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

One Year after RCMP Raid, Tensions Rise as Wet’suwet’en Evict Pipeline Company

One Year after RCMP Raid, Tensions Rise as Wet’suwet’en Evict Pipeline Company

‘It’s unnerving that might be our reality again.’

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The Gidimt’en camp is located south of Smithers in northern British Columbia. Photo by Michael Toledano.

One year after a police raid in northern British Columbia attracted international attention, tensions between Wet’suwet’en land defenders and Coastal GasLink are rising once again.

The company’s recent victory in winning a court decision granting it a permanent injunction against Indigenous protest camps was short-lived.

On Saturday, Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs evicted the company from their territory.

“Coastal GasLink [CGL] has violated the Wet’suwet’en law of trespass, and has bulldozed through our territories, destroyed our archaeological sites, and occupied our land with industrial man-camps,” a statementfrom the chiefs said. “Private security firms and RCMP have continually interfered with the constitutionally protected rights of Wet’suwet’en people to access our lands for hunting, trapping, and ceremony.”

The company confirmed Sunday that it had received the eviction notice.

“We have reached out to better understand their reasons and are hopeful we can find a mutually agreeable path forward,” it said in a statement. 

The company said trees had been felled across a road, making it impassable. “While it is unclear who felled these trees, this action is a clear violation of the Interlocutory Injunction as it prevents our crews from accessing work areas.”

Molly Wickham (Sledyo’), one of the land defenders, said last month she feared the then-impending court decision would bring more conflict.

As Wickham stirred a simmering moose stew on a wood stove in the cook tent at Gidimt’en camp, she worried the judgement might bring a repeat of last year’s RCMP raid.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

At the TMX Pipeline Hearing, the Sham of ‘Consultation’ Laid Bare

At the TMX Pipeline Hearing, the Sham of ‘Consultation’ Laid Bare

Canada ‘barged ahead’ with what ‘cannot be in the public interest,’ argue First Nations.

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Rueben George of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation at rally against the Trans Mountain pipeline project in Vancouver in 2018. This week his nation’s lawyers accused the Trudeau government of taking ‘positions contrary to those of its own scientists.’

Those nations oppose the approval of TMX, as do several others, including the Coldwater Indian Band, located inland just south of the town of Merritt. The Coldwater’s opposition stems from a threat to an aquifer which is the main source of its members’ drinking water. (The band’s complaints were documented extensively by The Tyee in October.)

In Courtroom 601 of Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal in downtown Vancouver this week, three judges presided over a judicial review of the decision by the Trudeau government in June to approve the pipeline. 

Before them were 27 black-robed lawyers (and a few more in civilian clothing) who outnumbered the peasantry in the packed courtroom (an overflow crowd watched a patchy video stream in a room two floors above).

The lawyers lined up on either side of a chasm that continues to exist between a national government that is impossibly conflicted by its position as both owner and regulator of the pipeline, and Indigenous peoples for whom that same government has fiduciary and constitutional obligations.

It is a chasm made wider by the fact that many First Nations simply don’t agree with Canada’s interpretation of what constitutes the “national interest” — TMX being Exhibit A.

Put simply, Canada chose in June to give regulatory approvals to a project it owns, having satisfied itself that its consultation with First Nations was good enough — even though several of them claim the government flat out ignored their issues, again, and even tampered with peer-reviewed science that supported their concerns about the environmental risks posed by TMX.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Canada’s “Enron-style” Economics: Most Wealth Redistribution Occurs Off the Books

Canada’s “Enron-style” Economics: Most Wealth Redistribution Occurs Off the Books

Canada’s “Enron-style” Economics: Most Wealth Redistribution Occurs Off the Books - Peter Diekmeyer (25/11/2019)

The Trudeau Administration’s reappointment of Bill Morneau as the country’s Finance Minister last week was by far its most important. 

During his first term, Morneau managed to hold together a shaky Canadian economy, which for the past three decades has relied on driving borrowing and spending increases at a pace faster than economic growth just to keep the system afloat. 

It’s a Ponzi scheme, and insiders know it.

The question is whether Morneau—whose education, financial background, and previous work at the C.D. Howe Institute position him as one of the brightest lights in a weak Trudeau cabinet—can keep the game going. 

Morneau’s biggest challenge will be operating in an environment in which estimated off-the-books annual wealth transfers* caused by the federal government’s suppressed interest rate policies are twice the size of his official budgets. 

“Taxes on idiots” 

The challenge is that it is hard to manage off-book wealth distribution, because so few people know that it exists. 

That’s no accident. Economists figured out long ago that voters would never pay for bloated public spending if they knew its true cost. 

Over the years, governments have thus developed a variety of revenue sources that voters can’t see. Corporate and payroll taxes are one example. Lotteries and casinos, which have been described as “taxes on idiots”, are another.

Supressed interest rates, which rob pensioners and retirees of the benefits of a lifetime of thrift, act much the same way. 

Yet while economists distinguish between fiscal (overt) and monetary (off the books) policy, few have ever tried to quantify the difference. 

In truth, as we noted last week , the process is complicated.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Sidewalk Labs’ Smart Cities Will Create A For-Profit Social Credit System That Controls Judges And Police

Sidewalk Labs’ Smart Cities Will Create A For-Profit Social Credit System That Controls Judges And Police

Smart city surveillance, is much worse than anyone could have imagined.

Two years ago, I revealed how a CIA “signature school” was installing thousands of CCTV cameras and microphones in smart cities, but Sidewalk Labs wants to take public surveillance to a whole new level.

The Globe And Mailrevealed that Sidewalk Labs “Yellow Book,” a guidebook designed to help Google employees build a smart city from the ground up, would give their employees control of public services.

Yellow Book describes how Google plans to turn at least four major cities in North America into Sidewalk Labs smart cities.   

“The book proposed a community that could house 100,000 people on a site of up to 1,000 acres, and contains case studies for three potential sites in the United States: Detroit, Denver, and Alameda, Calif. It also includes a map with dots detailing many other potential sites for Sidewalk’s first project, including a dot placed on the shores of Lake Athabasca in northern Saskatchewan.”

The fourth area, Toronto’s waterfront, has received lots of criticism from privacy experts. With some going so far as to call it “surveillance capitalism.” 

“The smart city project on the Toronto waterfront is the most highly evolved version to date of … surveillance capitalism” US venture capitalist Roger McNamee wrote to the city council, suggesting Google will use “algorithms to nudge human behavior” in ways to “favor its business.” (To join the campaign against Sidewalk Toronto click here.)  

The Yellow Book allegedly reveals how Google wants to control city services like Disney World does in Florida.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Politicians Offered a Choice between Climate Fantasies as Our Future Grows Bleaker

Politicians Offered a Choice between Climate Fantasies as Our Future Grows Bleaker

Greta Thunberg is right — across Canada we are acting like ‘spoiled irresponsible children.’

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Greta Thunberg took her climate campaign to Edmonton this week, and is in Vancouver today. Our politicians should listen. CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley.

Now that we can open the windows again and clear the air of political flatulence, perhaps we can acknowledge the realities that remain like ghosts in our troubled house.

Once again we have been reminded that Canada’s political parties behave like organizations “publicly and officially designed for the purpose of killing in all souls the sense of truth and of justice,” as Simone Weil characterized parties seven decades ago. 

What they have left us are political divisions that have now painted the face of Canada red or blue.

And just as in the excited United States, the conservative blue largely spreads across oil-producing regions suffering from low prices, while the red occupies oil-importing provinces.  

We are now living the storm before the storm and don’t even know it.

The energy divisions in both countries tell a story of appalling leadership, the strength of propaganda and political inertia.

One-third of the blue nation not only doesn’t believe that climate change is an emergency, but remains in denial about the increasing volatility of oil and gas prices.

Low prices and overproduction of high cost bitumen and fracked oil and gas have eroded the economics of the fossil fuel industry, throwing some people in Alberta and Saskatchewan into cauldrons of resentment, stoked by the propaganda manufactured by “wildcat Christians” and the oil industry. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Ghost Election Issue We Need to Get Real about: Personal Debt

The Ghost Election Issue We Need to Get Real about: Personal Debt

Canadians are so deep in the red it colours how we see vital issues.

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‘Owing vast amounts of money seems now a defining Canadian characteristic and is increasingly enabled by indulgent political leaders.’ Photo via Shutterstock.

Today we manufacture armored vehicles for the brutal regime in Saudi Arabia while fretting about domestic job losses if we don’t. 

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer pledges to slash Canada’s already paltry foreign aid budget by 25 per cent in favour of consumer tax cuts. 

Climate change is the defining issue of this century, yet Canada has the highest per capita carbon emissions in the G20 and is far from a global leader in fighting fossil fuels. 

What happened to the storied Canadian character?

The reason Canada cannot act in a more moral manner might lie in ballooning amounts of household debt. Canadians now owe an eye-watering $2.2 trillion or 178 per cent of disposable income — a measure that has doubled in the last 20 years. Personal bills now amount to more than our entire GDP, making us the most indebted citizenry in the G20 and fourth highest in the world. 

Over half of Canadians report they are only $200 per month away from insolvency. 

How can you care about climate change or global stability when your credit cards are maxed out or you are dodging debt collectors? Owing vast amounts of money seems now a defining Canadian characteristic and is increasingly enabled by indulgent political leaders. Andrew Scheer and Canada’s conservatives are unapologetic in pandering to those who gorged on cheap credit. 

The belated Conservative campaign platform pledges to cut infrastructure investment by $18 billion in favour of reduced taxes. Scheer’s simple message is parsed for those most myopically interested in their pocketbook: “If you pay income tax, you will pay less under my government.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Frost-Apocalypse Set To Sweep Across US, Could Mark End Of Growing Season

Frost-Apocalypse Set To Sweep Across US, Could Mark End Of Growing Season

We are tracking frost and freeze potential US temperature weather maps this weekend that indicate a strong possibility frost-apocalypse is headed for the Pacific, Rocky Mountains, and Midwest regions over the next ten days. This could mean the end of the growing season for many agriculture producing states.

As shown in the EC Operational maps below, a 32°F contour line in the 5-10 day forecast indicates US frost risks could shift from the Northwest too much of the North Central states, which would officially mark the end of the growing season in those areas if confirmed by mid-month.

* * * 

Andrei Evbuoma, a meteorologist for NOAA National Weather Service, provides further insight into the frost situation in the US, and what he thinks this could mean for grain prices. 

Frost and freeze watches/warnings hoisted for portions of the north-central and Northeast U.S.; weather outlook turns colder across the northern and central U.S. raising risks for frost/freeze and thus upside potential of prices.

On the weather front, frost and freeze watches/warnings are in effect for much of North Dakota, eastern South Dakota, northeastern Nebraska, western Minnesota, northwestern Iowa, a large portion of Upstate New York and Vermont, extreme western Massachusetts, and extreme northern Pennsylvania. The frost and freeze warnings are in effect tonight through Friday morning. The freeze watch is in effect for late Friday night through early Saturday morning. The freeze and frost warnings over North Dakota and Minnesota cover a good portion of spring wheat. However, with much of the crop harvested, the impacts should be minimum. The northwestern portions of the corn and soybean belt will be impacted by the frost and freeze Thursday night/Friday morning.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why Trudeau’s Trans Mountain Dreams May Trickle Out in Coldwater

Why Trudeau’s Trans Mountain Dreams May Trickle Out in Coldwater

IN DEPTH: A tiny Indigenous band’s epic pipeline fight takes its biggest turn.

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‘Nobody respects us,’ says Coldwater Chief Lee Spahan, his band having filed a new challenge to the TMX project he says has long trespassed his people’s territory. Photo by Mychaylo Prystupa.

On the Friday evening of June 7, Chief Lee Spahan of the Coldwater Indian Band received an email from Mitchell Taylor, Q.C., head of a federal consultation team acting under the auspices of Canada’s Department of Justice.

The email contained an offer, and an assertion.

The offer was that the government would take a new approach to deciding where the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMX) pipeline would be routed in relation to the Coldwater reserve, whose people are determined to protect the freshwater aquifer upon which they depend.

That issue had remained wholly unresolved after four years of negotiations, court judgments in favour of the Coldwater’s position, countless hours of consultations, and many hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on futile wrangling.

The stakes were high for the Coldwater, for the TMX, and for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who had placed a heavy political bet on using taxpayer’s money to buy the pipeline and guaranteeing its expansion would happen. Last year, the Federal Court of Appeal threw out TMX’s permit to proceed, demanding more rounds of consultation with the Coldwater and other Indigenous nations in the path of the pipeline.

Now, with the new offer came this assertion: “Canada believes this commitment satisfies what we understand to be your key concerns.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Canada Catches America’s Cold – PMI Plunges To 4 Year Lows

Canada Catches America’s Cold – PMI Plunges To 4 Year Lows

As goes America, so goes Canada it seems. Following the collapse in both Manufacturing and Services survey data in the US, Canada’s PMI just collapsed most since Feb 2016, back into contraction for the first time since March 2015.

From a 12-month high of 60.6in August, Ivey PMI collapsed to a 4-year lows of 48.7…

Source: Bloomberg

Under the hood things are mixed (but hurting in the most important areas)

  • Ivey employment index decreased to 49.6 in September from 52.7 in prior month
  • Ivey inventory index decreased to 50.5 in September from 54.8 in prior month
  • Ivey supplier index increased to 50.2 in September from 49.9 in prior month
  • Ivey prices index increased to 56.9 in September from 51.3 in prior month

Time to restart rate-cuts.

Quit Chastising Brazil, Canada. You’re a Climate Killer, Too

Quit Chastising Brazil, Canada. You’re a Climate Killer, Too

Some want global intervention against ‘rogue’ climate states. That may not end so well for us.

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‘Is it acceptable that a single government can unilaterally adopt environmental policies that put millions at risk?’ a recent Globe op-ed asked of Brazil. Uhhh… Photo of Amazon forest fires taken Aug. 26, 2019, by Leo Correa, AP Photo.

The two both ask and answer their own question in the Globe and Mail piece.

“Is it acceptable that a single government can unilaterally adopt environmental policies that put millions at risk?” they write. “It is urgent that the international community find ways to influence rogue states whose irresponsible policies accelerate global warming and undermine the collective effort to address the existential threat posed by climate change.”

It’s a comfortably sanctimonious argument, especially from inside the glass house of Canadian climate policy. 

Admittedly Bolsonaro is an ogre whose popularity among Brazilians has plummeted since he was elected last year. 

But Axworthy and Rock should be careful what they wish for — if the world really was empowered to intervene when rogue states ignore the climate crisis, would we get off easily?

Canada was recently ranked last of the G7 economies in terms of meaningful climate action — tied with the U.S. under Donald Trump. Of all the G20 countries, Canadians produce the most greenhouse gases per capita. 

While the Justin Trudeau government touted its pledge of $15 million to fight Amazon wildfires on behalf of the planet, this represents only 0.5 per cent of the $3.3 billion in taxpayer subsidies that Canada shovels at the fossil fuel sector each year.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

As Election Nears, Canada’s Biggest Oil Firm Is Noticeably Quiet

As Election Nears, Canada’s Biggest Oil Firm Is Noticeably Quiet

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says he’s Canada’s energy ‘champion.’ Yet he opposes climate policy Suncor supports.

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Mark Little is the CEO of Suncor, the biggest oilsands firm in Canada which, awkwardly for some federal political parties, supports strong government policy on climate change. Photo by Jeff McIntosh, the Canadian Press.

As we race towards a federal election that will determine if and how Canada responds to the climate emergency, one central player is noticeably absent.

Suncor is without a doubt the biggest and most influential oilsands company in the country. Contrary to what you might think, however, it has a more aggressive position on climate action than federal Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer. While Scheer promises to scrap Canada’s national carbon price as soon he gets into office, Suncor argues the Liberal policy should stay.

“We have and continue to support the Pan-Canadian Framework as a path forward to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Nathan Maycher, Suncor’s director of climate change and sustainability integration, told The Tyee in an email.

In 2017, the company employed 12,381 people, brought in over $32 billion in revenue and produced roughly 1.2 million barrels of bitumen per day, which is over one-third of the industry’s total output, according to research from the Corporate Mapping Project.

Yet when three major oilsands producers — Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Cenovus Energy and MEG Energy Corp. — ran an “open letter to Canadians” in 30 newspapers this July arguing that “shutting down Canada’s oil industry will have little impact on global [emissions] targets,” Suncor stayed silent. And the company’s CEO Mark Little doesn’t appear to be involved with an effort by small and mid-level Calgary oil and gas executives to get Scheer elected prime minister this October.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Killing Free Speech in Canada

Killing Free Speech in Canada

  • As has become standard in such cases, the charter contains no definition of what constitutes “hate”, making it a catchall for whatever the Canadian government deems politically inopportune. This is all exhaustingly familiar by now: Germany already has legislation that requires social media platforms to censor their users. France is working on it.
  • The Conservative members of the committee… recommended instead that sanctions regarding hate crimes online or elsewhere should be dealt with under the appropriate sections of the Criminal Code. They also recommended that “The definition of ‘hate’ under the Criminal Code be limited to where a threat of violence, or incitement to violence, is directed against an identifiable group” and that “rather than attempting to control speech and ideas, the Government explore appropriate security measures to address all three elements of a threat: intent, capability and opportunity”.
  • “Sickening ideologies which encourage individuals to take the lives of their fellow human beings have faced a concerning proliferation both at home and around the world. Yet sadly, Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Members of this Committee have tried to use these troubling events as a way to bolster their political fortunes. They have tried to paint anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their narrow value set as an extremist.” – Conservative Party dissenting opinion in “Taking Action to End Online Hate”.

In May, Canada launched a so-called Digital Charter, meant to promote “trust in a digital world”. The charter contains ten principles, three of which deal with “hate speech and disinformation”.

The charter, said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will target fake news and hate speech online. “The platforms are failing their users, and they’re failing our citizens,” he said. “They have to step up in a major way to counter disinformation. And if they don’t, we will hold them to account and there will be meaningful financial consequences.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Changing Climate, Vanishing Old Growth Bring Increase Fire Risk for Coastal Forests

Changing Climate, Vanishing Old Growth Bring Increase Fire Risk for Coastal Forests

‘It’s getting worse,’ expert warns. ‘As the climate is shifting, these factors are becoming more extreme.’

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The 2015 wildfire in Upper Elaho Valley, about 100 kilometres northwest of Squamish, killed several old growth trees. Experts say BC’s wettest coastal forests are no longer immune to such fires. Photo via the BC Wildfire Service.

It rains in Zeballos. A lot. The village, perched at the end of a long inlet on the west coast of Vancouver Island, is surrounded by mountains and rainforest.

But despite the region’s average annual precipitation of 163 inches — more than three times that of Vancouver — the community of about 100 people was threatened when lightning sparked a wildfire last August. About 168 hectares burned over two weeks, as flames loomed over houses, and burning trees and debris tumbled down the slopes toward the village. 

Within a month, evacuation orders were placed on 27 properties. Ten months later, the order still hadn’t been fully lifted because of fears the burned slopes might slide onto the community.

The fact that some of the wettest forests in North America are now considered candidates for wildfires signals the severe shifts being caused by climate change. It means that old growth trees, critical for forest resiliency and traditionally quite fire resistant, are increasingly under threat.

“We’re seeing impacts in places in coastal B.C. that are very unique, [which] speaks to the multi-year drought we’ve been experiencing,” said Lori Daniels, a professor of forestry and conservation science at the University of British Columbia.

Last week the BC Wildfire Service released a seasonal report predicting the B.C. coast — along with Vancouver Island — will experience “above normal fire conditions” this summer.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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