January 3, 2023. Linn Murray on Guatemala, planes, trains, buses and catastrophes… little planning for transit in Canada



Linn Murray our former co-host here on the show is back from six months working in in Guatemala.  Public transportation is going to be a big deal in 2023, after being on the back burner for generations. How’s it going to work? \ Dr. Anthony Perl, a Canadian expert in trains and transportation and head of Urban Studies at Simon Fraser University to find out more. He says more trains and fewer planes are coming soon.  The sooner the better.


Canada’s ambassador to the European Union has voiced concern with proposed EU rules to curb deforestation.

A November letter from Ailish Campbell said the rules add “burdensome” requirements and will hurt trade between Canada and the EU.

The EU regulation aims to limit the trade of products linked to deforestation worldwide.

Climate campaigners have called Canada’s resistance to the rules “shocking”.

In the 17 November letter obtained by the BBC, Ms Campbell says Canada supports the objectives of the proposed deforestation regulation, but is “greatly concerned” that some elements will cause trade barriers for Canadian exporters.

She asks for several revisions to the regulation, including providing a delay and a clearer definition for what falls under forest “degradation” – a practice that climate advocates say is widely seen in Canada.



Polar bears in Canada’s Western Hudson Bay — on the southern edge of the Arctic — are continuing to die in high numbers, a new government survey of the land carnivore has found. Females and bear cubs are having an especially hard time.

Researchers surveyed Western Hudson Bay — home to Churchill, Man., known as the “Polar Bear Capital of the World” — by air in 2021 and estimated there were 618 bears, compared to the 842 in 2016, when they were last surveyed.

“The actual decline is a lot larger than I would have expected,” said Andrew Derocher, a biology professor at the University of Alberta who has studied Hudson Bay polar bears for nearly four decades. Derocher was not involved in the study.

Since the 1980s, the number of bears in the region has fallen by nearly 50 per cent, the authors found. The ice essential to their survival is disappearing.



There is quite a bit of promised environmental action coming up in 2023 in Canada.

Firstly, the federal government has promised a cap on oil and gas sector emissions by the end of 2024. The promise, is being kept very slowly and stalled a great deal It could be almost meaningless, if the cap isn’t low enough.

Action will have to start on the wild land conservation promises of 30% of land and water area protected by 2030.  We can expect announcements this year, especially if governments attempt to meet the interim target of 25% in just the next two years.

BC Premier David Eby has said we can’t continue expanding fossil fuel infrastructure and hit our climate goals. He’s got that right, but the test will come immediately as up to five new LNG export projects are looking for approval to go ahead. Fortis’ Tilbury LNG plant on the Fraser Delta is up for approval first.  None of the projects can go ahead if BC is to meet any emission reduction targets. We are already missing the 2025 target as overall BC emissions have not actually stopped rising.

The government is also promising to cut fracked gas/LNG fugitive methane emissions by 75% by 2030, which would be a signifiant reduction in the climate impact of gas fracking.

The BC government is also promising to prepare better for climate extreme events with a new BC Flood Strategy, a provincial Ocean Acidification and Hypoxi Plan and the Watershed Security Strategy.

Lots of promises to keep in 2023, we’ll be watching closely.



BAck on December 21, the federal government announced a mandate for 100 per cent Zero Emission Vehicles light-duty vehicles sales by 2035.  Natural Resources Canada’s most recent report on forecasted electric vehicle charging stations demand indicates a need for at least 442,000 public ports by 2035 to charge all these electric vehicles, there are only just over in place across the country today.



But the world’s automakers don’t have firm plans in place to switch to electric production this quickly according to a report from Carbon Tracker called Slipped Gear. Teh report looked at the plans of the top 20 passenger vehicle manufacturers which produce about 85% of global auto production

The Carbon Tracker analysis found that “the overall quality of automotive OEM emissions goals is [only] weakly aligned to meeting the Paris Agreement.” It appears that either these manufacturers do not have highly visible plans for the necessary transition or do not have plans at all.

A new wind-powered ferry service plans to offer carbon-free crossings of the English Channel. Regulations  require Saillink’s 12 metre long ferry to have a back up diesel motor but the plan is to sail diesel-free from Easter to Autumn.  It will be a pleasant crossing for foot and bicycle passengers, Saillink promises.


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