Daily Archives: August 2, 2015

The Carbon Bubble: What Happens to Us When It Bursts: Jeff Rubin

For the first time at book length, bestselling author and economist Jeff Rubin addresses Canada’s national economic future–and the financial security of all Canadians.

Since 2006 and the election of the 1st Harper government, the vision of Canada’s future as an energy superpower has driven the political agenda, as well as the fast-paced development of Alberta’s oil sands and the push for more pipelines across the country to bring that bitumen to market.  Anyone who objects is labeled a dreamer, or worse–an environmentalist: someone who puts the health of the planet ahead of the economic survival of their neighbours.

In The Carbon Bubble, Jeff Rubin compellingly shows how Harper’s economic vision for the country is dead wrong.

Changes in energy markets in the US–where domestic production is booming while demand for oil is shrinking–are quickly turning Harper’s dream into an economic nightmare. The same trade and investment ties to oil that pushed the Canadian dollar to record highs are now pulling it down, and the Toronto Stock Exchange, one of the most carbon-intensive stock indexes in the world–with over 25 percent market capitalization in oil and gas alone–will be increasingly exposed to the rest of the world’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Rubin argues that there is a lifeline to a better future. The very climate change that will leave much of the country’s carbon unburnable could at the same time make some of Canada’s other resource assets more valuable: our water and our land. In tomorrow’s economy, he argues, Canada won’t be an energy superpower, but it has the makings of one of the world’s great breadbaskets. And in the global climate that the world’s carbon emissions are inexorably creating, food will soon be a lot more valuable than oil.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Raw: French Riot Police Disperse Migrants


Associated Press

Published on Aug 2, 2015

French riot police sprayed migrants with a chemical irritant as they tried to storm the Channel Tunnel after the group broke down several security fences late Saturday. (August 2)

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Obama to Unveil Tougher Climate Plan With His Legacy in Mind

If rules survive legal challenges, they could help shut down coal-fired plants like the Ghent Generating Station in Kentucky. Credit Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

By CORAL DAVENPORT and GARDINER HARRISAUG. 2, 2015

WASHINGTON — In the strongest action ever taken in the United States to combat climate change, President Obama will unveil on Monday a set of environmental regulations devised to sharply cut planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s power plants and ultimately transform America’s electricity industry.

The rules are the final, tougher versions of proposed regulations that the Environmental Protection Agency announced in 2012 and 2014. If they withstand the expected legal challenges, the regulations will set in motion sweeping policy changes that could shut down hundreds of coal-fired power plants, freeze construction of new coal plants and create a boom in the production of wind and solar power and other renewable energy sources.

The most aggressive of the regulations requires the nation’s existing power plants to cut emissions 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, an increase from the 30 percent target proposed in the draft regulation.

That new rule also demands that power plants use more renewable sources of energy like wind and solar power. While the proposed rule would have allowed states to lower emissions by transitioning from plants fired by coal to plants fired by natural gas, which produces about half the carbon pollution of coal, the final rule is intended to push electric utilities to invest more quickly in renewable sources, raising to 28 percent from 22 percent the share of generating capacity that would come from such sources.

In its final version, the rule retains the same basic structure as the draft proposal: It assigns each state a target for reducing its carbon pollution from power plants, but allows states to create their own custom plans for doing so. States have to submit an initial version of their plans by 2016 and final versions by 2018.

But over all, the final rule is even stronger than earlier drafts and can be seen as an effort by Mr. Obama to stake out an uncompromising position on the issue during his final months in office.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice