Idle No More!
“Stephen Harper has awoken a sleeping giant”
Idle No More!
“Stephen Harper has awoken a sleeping giant”
It’s real, it’s happening, and it’s coming soon to an Arctic melt near you!
Forecast temperatures are so extreme that the Bureau of Meteorology has had to add a new colour to its scale. It is a sign of things to come
Global warming is turning the volume of extreme weather up, Spinal-Tap-style, to 11. The temperature forecast for next Monday by Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology is so unprecedented – over 52C – that it has had to add a new colour to the top of its scale, a suitably incandescent purple.
Australia’s highest recorded temperature is 50.7C, set in January 1960 in South Australia. The record for the hottest average day across the nation was set on Monday, at 40.3C, exceeding a 40-year-old record. “What makes this event quite exceptional is how widespread and intense it’s been,” said Aaron Coutts-Smith, the weather bureau’s climate services manager. “We have been breaking records across all states and territories in Australia over the course of the event so far.” Wildfires are raging across New South Wales and Tasmania.
Australia’s prime minister Julia Gillard said: “Whilst you would not put any one event down to climate change, weather doesn’t work like that, we do know over time that as a result of climate change we are going to see more extreme weather events and conditions.”
A fire danger rating sign set to catastrophic sends out a clear message on the situation on the outskirts of Wandandian south of Nowra, near Sydney, New South Wales. Four new ares in NSW have been given a ‘catastrophic ‘fire danger rating meaning that if fires break out they will be uncontrollable and fast moving, so residents should leave Photograph: Dean Lewins/EPAShe is right of course to be cautious about attributing individual events to global warming, but it is equally clear that new colours will need to be added to scales across the world for heatwaves and other extreme weather events.
We already know that climate change is loading the weather dice. Scientists have shown that the European heatwave of 2003, that caused over 40,000 premature deaths, was made at least twice as likely by climate change. The Russian heatwave of 2010, that killed 50,000 and wiped out $15bn of crops, was made three times as likely by global warming and led to the warmest European summer for 500 years.
The extreme weather forecast is even worse. Mega-heatwaves like these will become five to 10 times more likely over the next 40 years, occurring at least once a decade, scientists predict.
Work by the most authoritative group of scientists, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, found that it is 90% certain that heatwaves will increase further in length and severity, as will extreme high tides. It is 66% likely that hurricanes and typhoon winds will get faster and that intense rain will increase, as well as landslides. It is more likely than not that droughts will intensify in Europe, North and Central America and, most dangerously given the poverty there, Southern Africa. There are uncertainties of course, but the basic physics is that heat-trapping carbon emissions mean more energy is being pumped into the system, increasing climate chaos.
The two nations in which the fringe opinions of so-called climate sceptics have been trumpeted most loudly – the US and Australia – have now been hit by record heatwaves and, in the US, superstorm Sandy. The scientists are turning up the volume of their warnings, but whether this leads to loud and clear political action to curb emissions or more shouting from sceptics and the vested fossil fuel interests that support them remains to be seen.
It has to be done.
It’s no secret that the largest oil and gas corporations yield more power and influence than most governments, but quietly lurking in the shadows are their investors/shareholders. My theory is that a good chunk of the people who vote for Harper have their rrsps/mutual funds tied up in oil and gas. It’s one of few things that adequately explains why they would support a federal government that treats Canadians like enemies to revenge upon rather than serving them with even a thin regard for the public interest. Birds of a feather flock together, whether it is just plain greed or cognitive dissonance and/or obsession/ addiction, so voting for anyone else could lead to personal loss and Harper may guarantee that before he is done.
It has to start somewhere and Seattle appears to have started on the right track.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn wants the city to get its money out of fossil fuels. He has called on the city’s two main retirement funds to divest millions of dollars invested in oil and gas companies.
Climate change activists have been urging colleges and institutional investors nationwide to abandon the fossil fuel sector. McGinn is the first elected official to heed their call.
On Dec. 21, McGinn ordered the city’s finance director not to invest in any coal, oil or gas companies. As mayor, Mike McGinn has control over $1.4 billion of the city’s cash balances. None of those short-term balances are currently invested in fossil fuel stocks.
But the city’s two main retirement funds, worth another $2.6 billion, have major investments in the energy sector. McGinn doesn’t control the retirement funds. But he asked the boards that manage those funds to divest from fossil fuels and to offer city employees climate-friendly investment choices.
Burning of fossil fuels is the main driver of global warming.
The city hasn’t tallied its investments in the fossil fuel sector yet. But they include at least $17 million in ExxonMobil and Chevron stock, according to McGinn.
“We should make a statement by the use of our investments about the importance of not continuing to pump global warming pollution into the air,” McGinn said. (more…)
If Harper was truly fearless, if he really believed God was on his side, if climate change was not real, he would have nothing to hide, right?
Canada is becoming a global joke as our world-class experts are prohibited from speaking.
By Mitchell Anderson, 25 Mar 2010, TheTyee.ca
The scandal is growing at Environment Canada of how Canadian climate researchers are being “muzzled” by draconian policies of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
This week the Montreal Gazette reported on a leaked document showing that the information restrictions brought in by the Harper government have severely restricted the media’s access to government researchers.
“Scientists have noticed a major reduction in the number of requests, particularly from high-profile media, who often have same-day deadlines,” said the Environment Canada document. “Media coverage of climate change science, our most high-profile issue, has been reduced by over 80 per cent.” (more…)
Government sees this as a good thing because it will open up shipping lanes and make looking for oil and gold and diamonds and very sunken treasure much, much easier to find. The white round thing on the top of the earth that you can see from outer space is melting and instead of trying to save us from ourselves we are just looking for more ways to make a buck.
Published on Thursday, November 24, 2011 by CBC News
The recent loss of sea ice in the Arctic is greater than any natural variation in the past 1½ millennia, a Canadian study shows.
According to the leading science journal Nature, Arctic sea ice is disappearing on a pace and magnitude unlike anything the Earth has experienced in the past 1,450 years. (Photograph by: HO, Reuters) “The recent sea ice decline … appears to be unprecedented,” said Christian Zdanowicz, a glaciologist at Natural Resources Canada, who co-led the study and is a co-author of the paper published Wednesday online in Nature.
“We kind of have to conclude that there’s a strong chance that there’s a human influence embedded in that signal.”
What makes recent sea ice declines unique is that they have been driven by multiple factors that never all coincided in historical periods of major sea ice loss, said Christophe Kinnard, lead author of the new report.
“Everything is trending up – surface temperature, the atmosphere is warming, and it seems also that the ocean is warming and there is more warm and saline water that makes it into the Arctic,” Kinnard said, “and so the sea ice is eroded from below and melting from the top.” (more…)
“What can change in a day? Everything. On September 14, the world will focus its attention on the truth about the climate crisis. For 24 hours, we will all live in reality. Pick a faraway place or a city near you. Make it yours for one day. We’re hitting every time zone — but only once. 7 p.m. in your time zone. Choose a location and get involved.”
Moving Planet is a worldwide rally to demand solutions to the climate crisis. Come on bike, on skates, on a board, or just on foot. September 24.
Good friend, Factotum, has some pictures of the first phase of this absurd degradation of one of Montreal’s most fascinating neighborhoods. If anything distinguishes Montreal from other North American cities, it is our older architecture and unique off the grid layout of some districts. We used to be the “Paris of North America”, but it looks like City Hall and it’s developer buddies would prefer we become the “Atlanta of Canada”. This is no way to handle heritage or enhance a great city, it’s the way you become mediocre. And Time will bear this out indeed.
“In accordance with both municipal zoning regulations and the Programme particulier d’urbanisme, Phase 1 of District Griffin will feature 1,375 residential units, including affordable social and family housing, as well as a 150‐room hotel, 200,000 square feet of office space and 130,000 square feet of business space.
Phase 1 of District Griffin will be made up of four blocks, bordered by Wellington Street to the north, Shannon Street to the east, the Lachine Canal to the west and Smith Street to the south, along the railway viaduct. Its development will require no expropriations.
The work will begin in the block formed by Wellington, Young, Peel and Smith Streets, where a 19‐storey residential tower and the hotel will be built. The two first floors of the two buildings will house local businesses, a daycare centre, restaurants, a spa and a physical fitness centre. The hotel tower will also include five floors of offices and twelve floors of hotel rooms. The residential building will offer 166 condominiums, including affordable housing, shared over 17 floors, with a rooftop recreation area that includes a swimming pool.
“Our residential project will be of interest to young people and families who will appreciate living close to the Lachine Canal, the prestigious future entrance to the Quartier Bonaventure, downtown and Old Montreal. We will offer 31⁄2, 41⁄2 and 51⁄2 units at prices varying between $250,000 to $750,000,” said Mr. Cholette.”
“Irony - Formerly the offices of Atwill Morin, experts in masonry restoration”
Sad. But the truth is Gerald Tremblay is simply our version of Rob Ford. Weird times.
Excellent article in the Gazette talks about recommendations from a couple of ecologically concerned groups. Also completely lost on the politicians of the day is the fact that giving climate change the fight of our lives would create more permanent, and useful, jobs than the status quo could ever hope to produce. But, hell, this is a nation where Stephen Harper just got a majority because people believe he will do good things for the economy, NOT! Here are some recommendations from the article.
— stop increasing road and highway capacity
— invest massively in public transit capacity over the next 20 years ($1 billion on average per year)
— invest $5 to $10 million more per year in cycling infrastructure over the next 20 years.
— introduce a Bixi-style bike sharing system in every municipality with more than 20,000 residents
— double hydrocarbon royalties and invest this additional revenue of $200 million per year into public transit
— allow municipalities to increase gas taxes according to public transit needs
— build more subsidized housing units in central neighbourhoods and the inner ring of suburbs
-densify and revitalize downtown areas
— slap stiff surcharges on gas-guzzling vehicles (for example, $3000 on vehicles that burn more than 10 litres per 100 km) to fund rebates on energy efficient vehicles and public transit.
Full article here.
I have been saying for over 5 years that what we choose to do at Turcot is going to pretty much decide what kind of world we are going to live in when the climate change going gets tough. Currently we just have our heads in the sand.
Gazette article discusses a bylaw that would make white roofs mandatory in Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie. Seems to me what this article really highlights is that we are so far behind in the fight against climate change – hell most people on the planet don’t even believe there needs to be a fight – that little adjustments such as this in one borough in Montreal all add up to creating, embellishing, and maintaining the illusion that we are tackling climate change in a positive manner by publicizing drops in the ocean here and there.
The Polar Caps, Earth’s metaphorical white roofs, are melting. This is an observable fact. Those huge white things on top and bottom of the planet actually reflect sunlight, and play a major role in keeping the planet’s atmosphere suitable for human life. As they melt the dark sea will start absorbing sunlight raising ocean temperatures and the air on the land. I am not a scientist, rocket or otherwise, but I get this.
It has been a hot summer, everywhere. But people refuse to make the connection – the Polar Caps are melting and the planet is getting warmer!
Instead the world is ruled by government and business leaders who see the Polar Caps melting as an opportunity to exploit the natural resources that may lay in great abundance beneath the poles. They would prefer that we continually believe that all our priorities be about The Economy, Stupid! And The Economy is the out of control beast that needs to be constantly fed, using up resources quicker than they can be replaced, while the population of the planet grows creating ever greater demand.
Do you think we might be screwed?
Interesting article over at Treehugger. I’ve been saying for a few years now that the Turcot Interchange should not be demolished if a new interchange is built and that it should be kept as a part of the world’s greatest bike system, or be an integral part of a biking “Iron Man” competition that would attract athletes from across the globe. Lot’s of potential there and without automotive traffic the thing would last forever!
And a bonus quote from Spacing Montreal’s Jacob Larson
“I do believe the separate facility is the best,” says Jacob Larson, a researcher at McGill University who recently completed a study of Montreal’s bicycle infrastructure. “Not only in terms of actual safety performance but in terms of encouraging people who are less likely to ride their bikes. These people shouldn’t have to be some kind of breakneck radicals that are really diehards–it should be a clear and safe option, and I think separate facilities give the perception that it is, and often do provide a truly safer alternative.”