Feb. 1, 2022. Can a basic income be part of a just transition off a fossil economy? Building West Kootenay bike routes.

COULD A UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME MAKE IT EASIER TO TRANSFORM OUR ECONOMY?

The Green Resiliency Project is calling for a basic income plan as part of the just transition. Poverty reduction expert Sheila Regehr talks about the new initiative.

Nelson is planning the next leg of it ‘active transportation corridor’ and Nelson isn’t the only West Kootenay community planning more routes right now. We get an update from Glen Byle the president of the West Kootenay Cycling Coalition.

Listen or download here:

The Green Resilience Project on how a basic income could pave the way for a just transition from a fossil fuel economy.

The West Kootenay Cycling Coalition. https://westkootenaycycling.ca/

The Thought Exchange on Nelson’s Active Transportation Corridor next leg

BecauseIPCC The new graphic novel, and video, on the important work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC.

Environment News

The Nelson Star is reporting that residents in Regional District of Central Kootenay Areas H and F will be voting this year on whether to join an environmental program funded through a special $15 levy on each property.

Voters in Kaslo and Nelson may also be asked this year to join the Kootenay Conservation Program’s Local Conservation Fund (LCF).

The Local Conservation Fund uses the $15 tax on each parcel in the participating areas to support local environmental conservation and community sustainability projects. Right now it operates in the northern and southern Kootenay Lake basins, but has plans to expand to the central part of the lake and the Slocan Valley. 

According to the Kootenay Conservation Program, every dollar collected for the LCF leverages $3 from other funders.  Many local conservation projects have already benefitted from the fund, and it is considered highly successful.

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America’s poor pay the most to light their homes—both at the store and on their electricity bills. Lower-end retailers like corner stores, continue to sell the inefficient incandescent bulbs that have been replaced by energy-saving LEDs in stores serving more affluent neighbourhoods.

A Michigan study has shown that ot only are LED bulbs less available in poorer areas, they also cost on average $2.50 more per bulb than in wealthier communities.

Light bulb manufacturers pushed to stall energy efficiency standards during the Trump presidency. These same manufacturers agreed to eliminate incandescents in the European Union. But in the United States, the Trump administration lost ground in 2019, blocking a rule meant to phase out the older bulb.

Citing calculations by the Natural Resources Defense Council show that an LED bulb can produce savings ranging from $50 to more than $150 per bulb.

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The B.C. government has extended its controversial wolf cull program for another five years, despite opposition from many scientists and the public.

The extension of the aerial wolf reduction program is supposed to help threatened caribou populations recover across the province.

A Forest, Lands and Natural Resources ministry spokesperson said ”The science indicates that reducing wolf densities in caribou areas is one of few short-term options that will effectively reduce declining caribou populations to prevent their extirpation,” 

“Having already lost multiple herds in the Southern Group, these measures allow us to prevent further losses.”

The extension of the wolf cull, which had been up for renewal in 2020, was delayed for two years at the province’s request.

According to the Ministry of Forests, nearly 1,500 wolves have been killed since the start of 2015, when the program aimed to save B.C.’s woodland caribou began.

A 2019 report from the province found the culls “will have to take place until habitat restoration and protection overcome the legacy of habitat loss.”

Environmental groups were quick to condemn the renewed wolf kill. Laurie McConnell, a wolf campaigner with the environmental advocacy group Pacific Wild said

“If we’re still taking habitat, no amount of killing wolves will save the caribou,”

 According to Pacific Wild, the province spent $2 million in 2019 and 2020 on the program, an average cost of $4,300 per wolf.

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Port Moody-Coquitlam MP Bonita Zarrillo has called for the TMX bitumen pipeline expansion to be shut down because it threatens salmono in the Fraser River system.

In a recent open letter she accused Trans Mountain of taking a “trial and error” approach to drilling under the Fraser River.

A series of sinkholes around the Mary Hill Bypass, during pipeline drilling concerns Zarrillo.

“More troubling is that the federal government-owned Trans Mountain is alleged to have ignored the advice of its expert consultants who recommended more test drilling as well as highlighted concerns about its choice of standard horizontal direct drilling on soft and untested soils,” she said.

https://www.tricitynews.com/local-news/risk-of-sinkholes-on-busy-port-coquitlam-stretch-were-known-trans-mountain-says-4972359

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A number of new proposals to expand open-net pen salmon farms on the B.C. coast, raises concerns about the the federal Liberal government’s pledge to remove open-net pen salmon farms by 2025.

Three of the 12 expansion proposals are in the Broughton Archipelago, where the B.C. government plans to phase out farms by 2023, and five proposals are in Clayoquot Sound.

Salmon conservation activists are concerned that companies will find ways, such as partnerships with First Nations, to circumvent the wind down.

They are questioning why the applications were not immediately turned down.

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Harvard researchers have released a study showing that living near fracking sites is linked to a higher risk of early death. As one environmental advocate has said, “fracking is inherently hazardous to the health and safety of people and communities in proximity to it.”

A paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Energy says that Airborne contaminants from more than 2.5 million oil and gas wells across the U.S. are contributing to increased mortality among people 65 and older residing in neighborhoods. People at risk are living close to or downwind from unconventional oil and gas development (UOGD)—extraction methods that include directional (non-vertical) drilling and hydraulic fracturing, fracking.

Similar concerns have been repeatedly raised by doctors in BC who observe health problems associated with the fracking gas fields in the Peace country.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/01/28/living-near-fracking-sites-linked-higher-risk-early-death-study

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Renewable energy development hit a record US$755 billion last year, according to analysis released by BloombergNEF.  But that huge boost is still much less than what it will take to bring the world’s greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050,

The 27% increase in investment between 2020 and 2021 showed “how strong investor appetite is for the technologies that are key to preventing the worst effects of global warming,” Bloomberg News reported. 

To reach net-zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century. BNEF estimates that $2.1 trillion of investment is needed in the energy transition from 2022 to 2025, nearly three times last year’s level.\

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The federal government is looking at millions in new subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, suppporting new carbon capture plans to reduce emissions from oil and gas processing. 

But recently released research into Shell’s Quest plant in Alberta is in fact emitting more than it is capturing. The sequestration scheme has reportedly captured 5 million tonnes of carbon and pumped it under ground over a five-year period.  But the plan also produced 7.5 million tonnes of climate polluting gases during the same time. Each year, Shell’s plant has the same carbon footprint as 1.2 million petrol cars.

This research delivers a serious blow to proponents of fossil hydrogen who are pushing for more public funds to support its use, with $654 million of the $1 billion cost of Quest having come from Canadian government subsidies.

https://www.globalwitness.org/en/campaigns/fossil-gas/shell-hydrogen-true-emissions/

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