US E-Day, Countdown on climate, New Zealand and BC elections parallel, but different

Fry Creek, on Kootenay Lake, in the rain.

Election Day in the USA…. the good, the bad, the very very bad… and the ugly.  After that, Laura Sacks tells us about COUNTDOWN… a global climate initiative, with a local activity, the next two Sundays… and of course its online. New Zealand and BC on a parallel election track, but some major differences. Local Fair Vote Canada volunteer Ann Remnant helps compare the two election outcomes and cultures.

LINKS: The Countdown on Climate event can be accessed here:

You can join in discussing moving to clean local energy here:

LISTEN or DOWNLOAD the Nov. 3 ’20 show MP3 41MB here:

Environment News for Nov. 3, 2020

China’s leading climate think tanks are pushing for cuts to carbon emissions and coal use over the next five years, according to a major report China’s top experts on climate change and emissions issued on Monday.

The report summarises 18 government think tank studies, and was published by the Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development, to mark the start of a climate seminar in Beijing.

In attendance were some of China’s  leading climate experts, and top politicians including Zhao Yingmin, vice-minister of the MEE who is expected to help frame China’s main climate goals for 2021-2025.

The country, which is responsible for about 29% of global carbon dioxide emissions, is expected to endorse ambitious climate-related goals and possibly lower economic growth targets at the upcoming Communist Party conclave, which will determine development blueprints for 2021-2025.


A climate poll on Twitter posted by Shell has backfired spectacularly, with the oil company accused of gaslighting the public.

The survey, posted on Tuesday morning, asked: “What are you willing to change to help reduce emissions?”

Alexandra Ocasio Cortez said: I’m willing to hold you accountable for lying about climate change for 30 years when you secretly knew the entire time that fossil fuels emissions would destroy our planet.

Greta Thunberg said: I’m willing to hold you accountable for lying about climate change for 30 years when you secretly knew the entire time that fossil fuels emissions would destroy our planet

Climate scientist Prof Katharine Hayhoe pointed out Shell’s huge contribution to the atmospheric carbon dioxide that is heating the planet. Shell then hid her reply, she said.


Husky Energy re;ported another pipeline spill this week…. fully 900,000 litres of produced water spilled from one of its pipelines in northwestern Alberta.

Produced water is a byproduct of oil and gas extraction and sometimes contains residual petroleum and chemicals.

The Calgary company says the leak was discovered on Monday in the Rainbow Lake area and some of the water spilled into nearby muskeg. Rainbow Lake is a town located about 135 kilometres west of High Level.    

Spokesperson Dawn Delaney says the spill is contained and the company is continuing to clean it up with pumps and vacuum trucks.


A Vancouver Island highway was being blocked recdently by the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation, because of a dispute over logging traffic. 

Highway 28 runs from Campbell River to Gold River, passing through Ahaminaquus Indian Reserve.

Band officials say they will no longer allow logging traffic to continue to “illegally trespass” on their land.

The First Nation’s council of chiefs said in a statement that they’re tired of watching their natural resources get trucked illegally across their reserve.

“[Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation] has seen no benefit and has received no compensation from [Western Forest Products] for this unauthorized use of the reserve lands at any time, and the road has been in trespass since the late 1960s,” the statement says.


Teck Resources Ltd. says it has been ordered by Environment and Climate Change Canada to improve the quality of water affected by two of its coal mining operations in B.C.’s Elk Valley.

The company said in a statement the direction to Teck Coal Ltd. from the federal government is under the Fisheries Act and doesn’t resolve potential charges it had previously been notified about.

It says the government direction will require spending of $350 million to $400 million over 10 years, which is beyond its water quality plan.


The day after the election the controversial Woodfibre LNG project got a major boost as it had its environmental assessment certificate extended for an additional five years by the BC government.

Woodfibre’s certificate was set to expire by Oct. 26 this year, but has been renewed by the provincial Environmental Assessment Office, or EAO.

“We are furious,” said Tracey Saxby of My Sea to Sky, a citizens group that opposes the development.

“This is incredibly irresponsible of the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office to approve this project without any conditions related to climate change.”

She noted that local governments have demanded that Woodfibre abides by carbon reduction goals outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC.


A public inquiry into funding environmental opposition to Alberta’s oil and gas industry has been granted a second extension to deliver its report. How postponed until the end of January.

Alberta’s United Conservative government says foreign interests have long been bankrolling campaigns against fossil fuel development and in 2019 asked accountant Steve Allan to lead a $2.5-million inquiry.

The report was due in July, but was granted an extension until Oct. 30 and a $1-million budget increase.

They now have been given another 90-day extension to Jan. 31, but it comes with no additional funding.

A lawsuit filed by environmental law firm Ecojustice argues the inquiry is politically motivated, biased and outside provincial jurisdiction.


Blowing up old wartime bombs left on the seafloor around the UK has to stop to save whales and dolphins, campaigners say.

The offshore wind industry is expanding rapidly and more the seafloor is cleared before construction. A quieter “burning” technique is already available, say the campaigners.

The ocean near the UK coast is estimated to contain 100,000 tonnes of mines and bombs. left over from the second world war. They are routinely disposed of with an explosive device and there are an estimated 50 detonations a year.

Marine mammals are sensitive to loud noises as they use their hearing to navigate and communicate. A 2015 study found that each explosion in Dutch waters deafened 15 porpoises, and possibly as many as 60.

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