COP 27 wrapped up this week with another sad compromise on fossil fuels. But there were some good results too. For an over view we chat with Aly Hyder Ali from Environmental Defence in Ottawa.
The BC Environmental Film Festival is going on all this month and there are some great flix to watch, like Rematriation, a wonderful doc about Fairy Creek and protecting BC forests. So much more. I talked to Jen Jackson one of the Festival Founders about the online chance to see films you’ll never find anywhere else.
The Kootenay Carshare Coop has taken delivery of its first Low Speed Electric vehicle, a battery powered very small car that seats four and can get us around town. Carshare Coop Member Josh Wapp and I took it for a spin and had a laugh. You can listen in.
The Road Past COP27: Spirit & Change
Tues. Nov. 22, 8 p.m. ET
Speakers include Angele Alook, assistant professor at York University and member of Bigstone Cree First Nation returning from participation at COP 27, and advocates for the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, all address what changes need to happen to address the climate emergency. Hosted by For the Love of Creation.
Pushing for Ambitious Climate Action at the Municipal Level
Thur. Nov. 24, 4 p.m. ET
This webinar will provide you with guidance, tips and resources to effectively work with your local government to push for ambitious climate action.
Posing as Canadian: In conversation with Gordon Laxer
Thur. Nov. 24, 9 – 10 pm ET
In this webinar, Gordon will review his findings on the power and influence of foreign oil giants in blocking meaningful climate action in Canada and will highlight the current political climate in Alberta. Just as importantly, the webinar will walk us through what we can do to curb that power.
Tuesday December 6
Online 3:30 to 5 pm.
Creating a liveable climate future: an interactive workshop
Join us for an interactive workshop to explore strategies to address climate change using grounded conversations and the cutting-edge climate simulator En-ROADS. The resulting experience is hopeful, scientifically-grounded, action-oriented, and eye-opening.
ENVIRONMENT NEWS NOVEMBER 22 2022
A landmark victory on loss and damage funding was overshadowed a bit when COP 27 delegates realized they final declaration allowed for continuing fossil gas production as low emission energy.
The deal reached early Sunday promises billions of dollars from wealthy countries to help developing nations cope with major environmental climate damage.
The reference “was slipped into the final version of the deal at the very last minute,” the news report adds. “Moments before delegates accepted the text, several negotiators POLITICO spoke to had not noticed the change.”
But the impact and the intent were clear, even in the nuanced language of a UN climate conference.
Science is clear that extracting and burning coal, oil, and gas will exacerbate deadly planetary warming. But the United Nations COP27 climate conference failed yet again to directly confront the fossil fuel industry and its very well financed push to keep fossil fuel reductions off the table.
Oil Change International executive director Elizabeth Bast said Sunday in a statement. “In a critical year, this COP made no progress towards the just and equitable phase-out of fossil fuels needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change,”
“Despite important progress on the establishment of a loss and damage fund, the final outcome reiterated unambitious language on fossil fuels that will lead to catastrophic consequences.”
Monday, Naomi Klein urged civil society organizations to boycott the 2023 COP climate summit in the United Arab Emirates—one of the world’s largest oil producers—after this year’s summit ended with no clear agreement on the phase-out fossil fuels, despite the strong push be campaigners from around the world.
Klein argued in a series of tweets that “now is the time to decide not to do this all over again next year, when the summit will be in the UAE. Of all places.” She said COP 27’s final result was a “weak climate agreement that protects polluters”
The Glade Watershed Protection Society and the Laird Creek Water Users Association, commissioned a scientific study that includes a series of maps of their watersheds showing the factors that would have to be considered if forest planning were done with water protection in mind
The 170-page study, entitled Preliminary Nature-directed Stewardship Plans for Glade and Laird Watersheds, can be found at https://bit.ly/3GpJ41B.
Al Walters of the Laird Creek association says the two rural communities’ vision for the future of their forests is broader and longer-term than that of the Ministry of Forests or the timber companies.
He says the focus of the companies and the ministry is timber extraction, and this is reflected in the language of B.C.’s Forest Planning and Practices Regulation, which states that water, soils, biodiversity and wildlife should be conserved by timber companies but only if this does not have the effect of, in the words of the regulation, “unduly restricting the supply of timber.”
The authors of the nature-based stewardship report are local scientists Herb Hammond, Martin Carver, Greg Utzig, Evan McKenzie, Ryan Durand and Arlo Bryn-Thorne.
The report was produced in collaboration with Neighbours United (formerly known as the West Kootenay EcoSociety) and Ramona Faust, the former director for Regional District of Central Kootenay Area E in which both watersheds are located.
Nelson Star Website.
One of Canada’s most iconic glaciers and a place of historical and cultural significance to the Kootenays, is rapidly melting.
Ben Pelto, a glaciologist at the University of British Columbia, has studied the province’s glaciers since 2014 and makes annual trips to Kokanee, which he says has lost approximately 16 per cent of its mass over seven years.
Extreme temperature changes have quickened its demise — the glacier shrunk by six per cent, or the equivalent of almost 2.5 metres, during the 2021 heat dome.
At its current rate of melt, Pelto estimates the glacier will be gone within 30-to-50 years. If global warming can be kept below the Paris Climate Agreement goal of 1.5 C compared to pre-industrial temperatures, Pelto thinks some snow may still gather at the glacier’s current location.
Nelson Star Website.
Building green energy facilities does produce substantial carbon emissions, but a new study shows that moving quickly with renewable construction can offset the emissions.
The construction of wind turbines, solar panels and other infrastructure is largely done with fossil fuel energy.
But a rapid scale-up of these technologies could help emissions dramatically decrease, according to the research, published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
With more renewable energy powering the grid early on, fewer fossil fuels would be powering the clean energy changeover, the scientists found.
A new study finds Greenland’s ice sheet thinning much further into the ice sheet core than previously thought, 100 miles inland. (Source: S. Khan, et al, Extensive Inland Thinning and Speed-Up of North-East Greenland Stream, Nature, November 9, 2022)
The implications are extremely concerning and far-reaching especially for sea level rise. It is a significant development that will prompt climate scientists to recalculate global warming’s impact.
During the 1990s Greenland and Antarctica combined lost 81 billion tons of ice mass per year on average. A decade later, during the decade of the 2010s, the ice mass loss increased 6-fold to 475 billion tons per year on average. (Source: Greenland, Antarctica Melting Six Times Faster Than in the 1990s, NASA, March 16, 2020)
It should be noted that it takes billions upon billions of tons of melted ice to move sea levels appreciably up.
According to John Englander, the sea level expert par excellence: “If we only melt 5% of global glacial ice, it’s 10 feet of sea level rise.”
A new study by University of Maryland entomologists shows that the lifespan for individual honey bees kept in a controlled, laboratory environment is 50% shorter than it was in the 1970s. When scientists modeled the effect of today’s shorter lifespans, the results corresponded with the increased colony loss and reduced honey production trends seen by U.S. beekeepers in recent decades.
Over the past decade, U.S. beekeepers have reported high colony loss rates, which has meant having to replace more colonies to keep operations viable. Researchers have focused on environmental stressors, diseases, parasites, pesticide exposure and nutrition.
This is the first study to show an overall decline in honey bee lifespan potentially independent of environmental stressors, hinting that genetics may be influencing the broader trends seen in the beekeeping industry. The study was published November 14, 2022, in the journal Scientific Reports.
Major spending increases and policy changes by the federal government to protect and rebuild wild fish stocks in Canada have resulted in little improvement, according to the 2022 Fishery Audit released this week by environmental group Oceana Canada.
In its sixth annual audit, Oceana says fewer than one third of wild marine fish stocks in Canada are considered healthy and most critically depleted stocks lack plans to rebuild them.
“We’re seeing a disturbing lack of change in our marine fish populations despite the investments in rebuilding. We haven’t seen the needle move at all and that’s really concerning,” Oceana science director Robert Rangeley told CBC News.
The audit assessed 194 fish stocks in Canada.
Energy savings for low-income households still need a lot more attention, Efficiency Canada concludes in the latest edition of its annual Provincial Energy Efficiency Scorecard.
Policy Research Director Brendan Haley said in an interview that they found bright spots in provincial energy efficiency effort. Several jurisdictions are coming came up with “nation-leading policies” that could and should be adopted across the country. The scorecard points to the federal government’s 2020 model building codes and energy efficiency measures in the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan as two of the year’s most notable developments.
Overall energy savings increased 30.5% from 2020 to 2021, to a total of 18.7 petajoules (the equivalent of nearly 5,200 gigawatt-hours), with electricity savings leading the improvement at 48%.
The reports authors are calling for measures in the next federal budget to remove financial barriers for low-income Canadians who want to make their homes more energy-efficient.