Nov. 17 ’20: Youth strike, fugitive methane, blockades protect old growth

Oscar Hunter from Fridays for Future Nelson West Kootenay calls for 16-year-old voting at climate strike at Lakeside Park Saturday, Nov 14, 2020.

Listen or download here:

Fugitive methane, the leaks of natural gas from wells, pipelines and all parts of the LNG and natural gas production system.  It’s a big issue in Canadian emissions and has been in the news recently. Jan Gorski from the Pembina Institute talks about reducing methane emissions.

Fridays for Future youth group held another rally at Lakeside Park and on the Big Orange Bridge. High school activist Oscar Hunter tells us about the special (and voting( concerns they are raising.

And also last week, Stop the SprayBC held a rally in Prince George to show their concern about glyphosate spraying in BC forests.  We hear from James Steidle who pins the blames squarely on the BC Forestry ministry.

Environment News for Nov 17, 2020

The Trail and District Chamber of Commerce has announced that the West Kootenay EcoSociety is the recipient of one of its Non-Profit of the Year in its 2020 Business Excellence Awards.

The EcoSociety says “This award belongs to the amazing team of EcoSociety volunteers, who have been working hard all year and adapting our work to COVID health and safety measures. EcoSociety’s team of dedicated volunteers in Trail, Warfield and Rossland made a big difference in the region this year.”

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Canada averaged US$14.3 billion per year in fossil fuel subsidies between 2017 and 2019, right up there with Saudi Arabia as the two G20 countries with the highest subsidies for oil and gas.

That’s according to a report released by Carbon Tracker and two other research groups.

Canada was also one of seven G20 countries where fossil subsidies increased between 2017 and 2019 compared to the previous three-year period, the three organizations found. Across the G20, fossil subsidies fell 9%, but still averaged US$584 billion per year.

A separate study found that Canada produces more greenhouse gas emissions per capita than 27 of the 54 Commonwealth countries combined.

Nairobi-based think tank Power Shift Africa asks whether Canada is “the world’s biggest climate hypocrite”. That’s based on a series of pandemic response measures that include tax relief for the Alberta fossil sector, extensive credit support through Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank, economic assistance to airlines and marine shippers with no climate strings attached, and more.

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More genetically modified (GM or genetically engineered) Atlantic salmon will soon be on the market in Canada. This is because the first ever Canadian-produced GM salmon will be ready for harvest in early January 2021, and the first US-produced GM salmon is being harvested right about now. The GM salmon will be sold unlabelled in Canada.

Small shipments of GM salmon have been sold into Canada periodically since the summer of 2017, but all of this salmon was produced at a small pilot plant on-land in Panama. It could not be tracked in the marketplace but was eaten, invisible to the Canadian public.

The Panama plant is now closed and replaced with two new on-land commercial-scale fish farms, one in Prince Edward Island and one in Indiana, US. This is the start of what the GM salmon company AquaBounty hopes is their global expansion of GM fish factories, and their promotion of GM salmon as local, sustainable fish.

https://watershedsentinel.ca/articles/no-label-canadas-invisible-genetically-modified-salmon/?fbclid=IwAR1ivPr9-8rwou8GSLHKIWL-OK707czk8i0YEjaS020nJi0ouxQaDNsmW1g

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The Canada Energy Regulator has levied a $40,000 fine  on the Enbridge  pipeline giant for failing to properly maintain a Prince George, B.C., pipeline before the huge explosion and fireball in October 2018.

The blast was near Lheidli T’enneh First Nation reserve land northeast of Prince George. The huge fireball forced more than 100 people from their homes. The damage to the pipeline disrupted natural gas supply across the province and into the U.S. for months and Fortis BC was calling on consumers to ration gas use.

The Transportation Safety Board found the company had delayed a scheduled hazard management inspection of the pipeline that could have detected stress cracks in the pipeline and prevented the fiery blast.

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The European commission has a plan to more than double the capacity of the EU’s offshore windfarms in the North Sea, the Baltic, the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced their intention to generate enough electricity to power every home in the UK within a decade from the country’s offshore sites.

Both the UK and the EU are trying to make progress toward carbon emission neutrality by 2050 They are also implementing an industrial strategy to pioneer with new innovations in the fast growing sector of renewable energy.

The total energy generating capacity in Europe’s seas is 23 gigawatts (GW) a year. It comes from 5,047 grid-connected wind turbines across 12 countries, including the UK.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/nov/16/eu-plans-increase-offshore-windfarm-capacity

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The Quebec government released a climate change plan this week that says the goal is to reduce carbon emissions by 29 million tonnes by 2030. But the details of the government plan only covered how it will cut less than half that in emissions.  There is no plan for how to get all the way there.

This is consistent with the federal and BC governments’ approach of announcing targets without a full plan to meet them.  The Clean BC plan also doesn’t detail how to reach its targets. Canada has yet to meet or even come close to being on track for any of its emission reduction targets.

The $6.7-billion climate change plan will make buildings more efficient and move to electric cars by 2035 but it that will not force many significant changes in the economy or lifestyle for Quebecois.  Most of the C$6.7-billion in the province’s five-year climate plan is going to subsize the purchase of electric vehicles and buses.

Quebec environmentalists are saying the government needs a full plan that specifies how the province will meet its 2030 targets.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-climate-change-plan-urban-sprawl-1.5804351

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 The tyee.ca has a new investigative report on RCMP surveillance of Canadians.  The research is based on a host of documents they have received through a freedom of information request. 

“You have zero privacy anyway, get over it.” is just one quote from the RCMP internal communications that was uncovered in the 3,000 pages of information.

thetyee.ca was looking for infomration on how the RCMP uses the internet to monitor Canadians.

Most of the information was about the RCMP’s Tactical Internet Operation Support unit at the national headquarters in Ottawa. They have an advanced web monitoring program they call Project Wide Awake.

A slide from an internal RCMP presentation labels the program’s activities “Social Media Surveillance.” The RCMP has previously denied using social media surveillance.

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The documents also revealed that a high-level officer was highly critical of the project and left the RCMP to work for Chinese tech firm Huawei.

https://thetyee.ca/News/2020/11/16/You-Have-Zero-Privacy-RCMP-Web-Spying/

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