You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Climate Change’ tag.

  It would be strangely terrible if the beginning of humanities decline was prefaced with something known as the “Big Burp”.  The methane in the arctic is a super green house gas, and if the facts are correct, it is going to over salt our soup sooner than later.

 

“Wadhams puts to rest the common criticism by many in the scientific community that say not to worry about ESAS starting a bout of dangerous runaway global warming (RGW) because subsea methane deposits oxidize and dissolve in the seawater as released and never make it into the upper atmosphere, to wit: “The East Siberian Arctic Shelf is exceptionally shallow — more than 75 per cent of its entire area of 2.1 million square kilometres is shallower than 40 metres — so most of the methane gas avoids oxidation in the water column and is released into the atmosphere.” (Wadhams, pg. 123)

With ESAS getting more and more active as of recent, it is important to evaluate the risks of further breakout. For example, Wadhams says that Natalia Shakova, the leading expert on ESAS, believes it contains up to 700 GT of CH4. The risk is rapid release, a big burp of 8% of the deposit or 50GT, which, in turn, would crank up worldwide temperatures by 0.6°C over two years. This would have an extremely negative impact on the overall global climate system with unknown but likely horrific results as temps crank up to, or beyond, the IPCC danger zone of 2°C much sooner than anybody expects. Wadhams believes this is society’s biggest climate threat because at 2°C above pre-industrial crop yields start going down, very rapidly. An ESAS big burp would do the job.

The risk of an ESAS methane big burp alone should be enough of a threat to motivate global governments to call an emergency meeting at the UN to do whatever it takes to halt excessive greenhouse gas emissions on a worldwide basis as soon as possible.”

 

What a time to be alive!

 

 

We will need to fight against market fundamentalism and help our politicians remember that they exist to serve not only the economy, but the people of a country as well.

 

“As we have seen, cutting carbon with carbon pricing or regulation is not politically painless, so the main efforts from citizens should be directed at the political process by encouraging what Jaccard calls “climate-sincere” politicians. Since making real economic changes is politically difficult, politicians prefer ineffective window-dressing that does little except making voters think they are taking action.

“These might include funding for electric vehicle rechargers, a tax-break for wind power, training for electric car technicians, grants for biofuel producers, climate research, adaptation planning, an educational kit for schools … subsidies for home insulation … funding for urban transit feasibility studies…” writes Jaccard in a much longer list.

He calls such spending political sleight-of-hand to avoid real action and that merely demonstrates the politicians are not sincere at all. While Jaccard himself drives an electric car and heats his home with an electric heat pump, he says the most important place for concerned citizen to invest in stopping climate change is political action.

The trouble is changing your own personal behaviour by say, selling your car or refusing to fly, may make you feel like you are doing something useful, but the effect is tiny when all your neighbours drive SUVs and air travel continues to soar.  

In fact, rather than trying to assuage your guilt at flying or driving by buying carbon offsets as many are now doing, Jaccard recommends taking the money and donating it to a pro-climate group that can identify and support climate-sincere politicians and point a finger at the majority of those who are “faking it.”

Because in the long run, getting carbon out of world’s atmosphere cannot be completed by a few individuals doing good, it must instead be a project of people using politics to transform regional and national rules about carbon. Jaccard says those regions and countries will then combine to put carbon tariffs on the world’s free riders, not a project for 2020.”

Let’s hope we can get most politicians on board before it is too late.

 

 

So today Jason Kenney officially scrapped the Alberta Carbon Levy (which has been successful in reducing emissions and transition us to clear energy sources) while Edmonton is covered in smoke.

wrf2lyxoff131

A move so garish that even Kenney couldn’t go through with the planned celebrations and instead pretended to care about the wildfires for a minute. So ya, way to go UCP voters. You elected a government that promised to accelerate climate change and subsequently make these wildfires worse. I hope you choke on this smoke. I know your children and grandchildren will (while there is still trees at least).

Source: Edmonton Journal

We will soon be having a provincial election and I for one, do not want to return to the dark conservative backwater Alberta languished in for some 40 odd years.  We have a New Democratic Party Government that, when situated on the political spectrum, comes up centrist or slightly left of centre.  In Alberta this is pretty heady stuff.  The UCP (United Conservative Party) is the cobbled up zombie corpse of the old Progressive Conservative party and the rural wack-a-loon Wild Rose Party (*shudder*).  It has been stitched together by a greasy re-baked federal conservative pol named Jason Kenny.

The defining feature of the zombie UCP party platform is that it’s *NOT* the NDP and its debt inflating, male emasculating, poor people centring democratic socialism (not the “s” word…*faints*).   In other words, these gormless fucks have sweet FA with regards to policy and what they would actually do if (’til now) they were elected to govern Alberta.  Not much other than “not what the NDP is doing”.   Sorry folks, the lame restatement of an antithesis is political weaksauce at best – but it might be enough to sway our lemming centric conservative voting populace, considering the rightward political leanings in this province.  Apparently many Albertans have been longing for a return to the 40 year the conservative seppuku our province has recently emerged from.  Social programs?  Protections for workers?  Government for the people?  Climate responsibility?

Fuck that pinko communist noise.

I digress.  The platform of the UCP is oozing out into the public’s knowledge and it isn’t pretty (see Ontario’s false populist doppelganger, Doug Ford for Kenney’s inspiration) .  Most of the platform portends a merry jaunt to back to lining the pockets of the rich while proclaiming austerity for the lucky ones and a relentless shitcanning for everyone else.

“Kenney said the UCP will hire people to draft orders in council for cabinet to adopt the week it’s sworn in if the UCP wins. One of the key elements of structural reform, Kenney said, “is to move quickly.”

“Speed creates its own momentum. It also makes it harder for the opponents of reform to obstruct it,” he said.

Kenney said he doesn’t want to get “bogged down” with public consultation, so his party is doing as much as it can now “on the big issues.”

You know all that legislation to protect the working class and benefit the poor.  It has to go.  Stat.  But more importantly we have to fuck the NDP’s social progress up with no debate, no consultation, and none of that fucking filthy democracy we fucking harp on when it comes to protecting business class interests and the rich.

“Kenney said the UCP would freeze minimum wage increases (the NDP recently increased it to $15 per hour). He would also consider restructuring the minimum wage to something that resembles the age-graduated system used in Australia, in which youth get paid less than adults.”

Because why pay young people reasonably?  Who thought up that shit?  Was it Stalin?  Because the young most certainly don’t need money to live or save toward pursing post-secondary education (which will most certainly be gutted during a UCP regime – we need more beer guzzling dullards not egg-heads for christ’s sake).  Screw the young people they vote for commies anyways, plus we can ratchet up poor peoples class antagonism so while they scrabble for the shiny pebbles we deem to throw their way, then we can continue the plunder-party for the corporate and business interests, as it rightfully should be.  Added benefit:  the poor will need to focus on mere survival instead of organizing for a just and equitable society…  so much winning for everyone.

“The UCP would appoint a minister tasked solely with decreasing regulations by one-third as part of an “aggressive process of … lightening the regulatory burden on the Alberta economy,” Kenney said. That minister’s work would be guided by a similar setup under former B.C. Liberal premier Gordon Campbell.

“We’ll be constrained in how far we can go in terms of fiscal stimulus because of the $8-billion deficit and pending $60-billion debt, so we will need to over-compensate on the regulatory side,” he said.”

You know that idea about the government representing the best interests of the people of Alberta?  That is about as red as Lenin’s underpants.  Oversight and regulations are for weak kneed socialist chumps who don’t know the true power of the dark side reckless capitalist exploitation.

Climate change?  Unions?  Checks on corporate power?  That malarkey needs to go, so much so that we’ll set up a supercharged “Fuck You I’ve got Mine” government ministry to expedite the whole fucking process.

Awesome!

“Kenney doubled down on his commitment to a well-resourced government “war room” to defend Alberta’s energy industry here and abroad, setting up satellite offices if need be.

He also pledged to “stop the statutory shutdown of coal.” Federal regulations passed under Kenney’s former government in 2012 would shutter most of Alberta’s 18 coal-fired plants. The remaining six have to close by 2030 under a deadline set by Alberta’s NDP government.”

You know that economic diversification program the NDP has been going on about?  Trying to (after 40 years of conservative dithering) wean Alberta off fossil fuel extraction dependence?  Let’s tear that initiative down.  No..  let’s burn it to the ground with…*thinking*…  COAL!  Because no UCP government policy says ‘we understand the implications of climate science‘ more than’ lets ROLL COAL ALL DAY EVERY FUCKING DAY.

Awesome!

“Kenney said he would consider appointing a fiscal commission to make recommendations on how to get back to balance without raising taxes. A UCP platform would include a “positive vision” for artists and the cultural industries, he said, but “there will have to be a period of fiscal restraint.”

Arts?  Culture?  If its not drinking buck-a-beer while watching the idiot box then you’ve come to the wrong place effete liberal beatniks.  Your highfalutin cultural activities have no place in at UCP province.   We have no need to talk critically about our culture and converse about our place in the world, that kind of thinking promotes democratic ideals and free thought and that shit is bad for business.

Seriously folks, the UCP is ahead in fundraising and in the polls.  It feels like Alberta is about to head back into the insipid MAGA zone.  I don’t want that to happen.  We’ve had a taste of what governing for the people is like, and should continue to support a government that isn’t solely on exploiting everything for the sake of the rich and business classes.

So how about it Alberta, can we not head back into the political dark ages, just this once?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

globalizationWell you know it is important when Al Gore is in the house:

“Al Gore says there’s a “powerful voice” speaking out about climate change: Mother Nature.

Gore, citing “striking” examples of extreme climate-related conditions, said while scientists have long agreed climate change is real, the real environmental challenges facing people will drive change.”

What you don’t see is the changes being made to our global system of economics and trade that will actually do something to move the planet away from the lovely CO2 oven outcome that we’re building for ourselves.   One of the key aspects of the problems surrounding controlling global warm is the compartmentalization of the climate talks and the trade talks.

“Not that there was any question about which side would win should any of the competing pledges to cut emissions and knock down commercial barriers ever come into direct conflict: the commitments made in the climate negotiations all effectively functioned on the honour system, with a weak and unthreatening mechanism to penalize countries that failed to keep their promises.  The commitments made under trade agreements, however, were enforced by a dispute settlement system with real teeth, and failure to comply wold land governments in trade court, often facing harsh penalties. 

   In fact, the hierarchy was so clear that the climate negotiators formally declared their subservience to the trading system from the start.  When the U.N. climate agreement was signed at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, it made clear that “measures taken to combat climate change, including unilateral ones, should not constitute… a disguised restriction on international trade.” (Similar language appears in the Kyoto Protocol.)”

-Naomi Klein.  This Changes Everything p. 76 – 77.

So even back in the day we were being screwed over by capitalism (shocked).  The notion that we can’t restrict trade in order to preserve our biosphere has underwritten almost every climate agreement the world has put forward.  And that is the problem – moving goods all over the globe is carbon intensive and for the necessary work to start in tackling climate change the fundamental economic principles of neo-liberal capitalism and trade need to be rewritten.

So until you see a climate conference that includes the WTO, IMF, and World Bank be prepared for nothing more than important words and no real change in the system.

I think I need to get this book.

People are so terribly ignorant when it comes to climate change, in the face of this seemingly unconquerable monolith of stupidity Jon Stewart finds a way to get his point across.

We’re in trouble if the people in charge of Science and Technology are this ignorant.  (wilfully or otherwise)

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