Saturday, January 31, 2009

One Blue Marble Blog -- Our winter of discontent: Harper and Ignatieff

One Blue Marble blog has an excellent, detailed post on where Iggy went wrong in supporting Harper -- especially on the environment and climate change. It's definitely worth reading.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Iggy's Budget Amendment Ignores Climate Change

What a downer! All of Dion's idealism and coalition-building, all of Ignatieff's bluster, and it has come down to this: support for the Harper's budget, conditional on mere progress reports. The topics of the progress reports (see sidebar at the link above) would not even include the impact of the budget on the environment in general, or on Greenhouse Gas emissions in particular. In any event, this reporting "condition" was so easy that Harper & Co. agreed to accept Iggy's budget amendment within hours.

The whole thing was clearly just a face-saving move by a Liberal leader who wanted to avoid bringing down the Conservative government -- while appearing to be tough with empty talk of "Conservatives on probation". Instead of real progress toward a sustainable economy, we will have four more wasted years of Harpernomics HarperIggiocy.

Now that the Liberal-NDP coalition is sadly R.I.P., it is time to take the pro-coalition badge off the sidebar of this blog. The only federalist opposition in Parliament to the new Conservative-Liberal Coalition Alliance Mish-Mash is the NDP. The Greens have been busy keeping their eye on the ball at post-Kyoto negotiations and promoting a green economic recovery. But they are still being kept out of Parliament due to our antiquated voting system, despite getting the votes of almost 1 million Canadians.

For more on the missed environmental opportunities in this budget, see this Toronto Star article. (The CBC story on this topic has clearly missed the point.)

Alas for our children and their children.

Can't Afford a Hybrid?: Reduce Your Carbon Emissions with these Cheaper, Better Investments

A great article for those who wish they could afford a Prius: there are many things you can do that cost less, but have as much or more impact on reducing your Greenhouse Gas emissions, including eating Vegetarian and local food and buying green energy. Having implemented many of these actions, I can tell you that they work.

h/t to LNeumann for spotting this article.

Message to Ignatieff - Please Reject Harper Budget - Need Green Economic Recovery

Here is a copy of the message that I sent to Michael Ignatieff via his web site at :
"Please reject this budget because it does not meet the planet's -- and Canada's -- need for a Green Economic Recovery. Any stimulus package must focus on making our economy sustainable and reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions. Obama gets this -- Harper does not. Global climate talks on a post-Kyoto accord are under way. Four years from now may be too late for Canada to show leadership -- we need it today! Thanks for considering my views. (These are my personal opinions as an individual citizen.)"
(The web form on the above page does not allow for longer messages, so I had no room for more details. But then, I doubt that anybody would have the time to read long messages in the next few hours :-)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Financial Crisis Distracting Leaders from Dealing with Climate Crisis

There are headlines about weather extremes in Canada and around the world. There are signs of climate change happening faster than predicted, most dramatically in the Arctic. Additional warming is predicted for 2009 and even more for subsequent years, probably leading to a larger number of severe storms. Now is the time to start acting, before it's too late. But politicians may be too busy worrying about a recession that could last a few years to act on a bigger problem like climate change whose effects may last for millenia. Here's a recent example of political pessimism:
"The global financial crisis has made efforts to agree on a new global treaty on climate change more challenging, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said in an interview published Sunday. 'A lot of the political energy that existed a few years ago has disappeared,' Reinfeldt told the Stockholm daily Svenska Dagbladet.

"The financial crisis means that 'there are fewer shoulders to push the process. Many use estimates that aim to make their own country do less,' Reinfeldt said."
And the departing Bush administration in the U.S. is still actively sabotaging positive change. This time, it is trying to tie the hands of the incoming Obama administration to prevent regulation of carbon emissions from power plants.


(Edited to enhance text and add more links.)

Friday, January 02, 2009

More Severe Storms in 2009 and Beyond?

What if we think about these two items together?

  • NASA Study Links Severe Storm Increases and Global Warming
  • UK Met Office Forecasts 2009 to be One of Top 5 Warmest Years on Record Despite Cool Pacific
  • "The 2009 forecast includes an updated decadal forecast using a Met Office climate model. This indicates a rapid return of global temperature to the long-term warming trend, with an increasing probability of record temperatures after 2009" [bolding added].
    Worried yet?

    h/t Green Car Congress

    (Edited to improve text and correct link issues.)

    2008 Natural Catastrophes Show That Climate Change Has Already Started - Munich Re

    "Munich Re, one of the world’s largest re-insurers, has released its annual figures on worldwide losses from natural catastrophes, and has termed 2008 'one of the most devastating years on record,' partly due to the large number of tropical cyclones..."
    More: Green Car Congress: Munich Re: 2008 Natural Catastrophes Show That Climate Change Has Already Started