1. 10 mins Donald Trump Climate Disaster? (Nov. 9, 2016)
With the election of President elect Trump last week, the great unravelling of the environmental gains during the Obama years begins. Canadians are familiar with this circumstance. When the Harper Conservatives finally got a majority they commenced a similar dismantling of environmental and social programs, regulation, policy and legislation. Despite this, many of the provinces, territories and cities carried on doing innovative environmental work. So to will the States and cities continue to do good environmental work, in spite of the regressive policies being put forward by the President-Elect. This is the choice of sub-national governments everywhere…whether they will choose to continue the work needed to reduce environmental harms, protect lands and waters, reduce emissions, etc. It will be difficult and frustrating, but it is critically important over the next 1460 days until the next election. The world is counting on the American sub-national governments not shrinking from that task even if the national government, for example, pulls out of the Paris Accord.
2. 3 mins Gas from CO2 (Nov.9, 2016)
Transportation accounts for about 30% of overall carbon emissions. The rapid advancement of technology to make gasoline from atmospheric CO2, is a development that has the potential to allow that 30% to be reduced. To their credit Europe continues to play a strong leadership role in the development of such innovative technologies. This particular technology is moving fast, in the right direction, making this article worth the read.
3. 2 mins Eradicating Invasives with Drastic Measures (Nov. 8, 2016)
This article is reminiscent of an event that happened in Wood Buffalo National Park in the 1990’s or so. There, the bison herd is infected with TB and brucellosis. Parks Canada decided to eradicate the entire herd, sick and healthy, and repopulate it with healthy bison. The plan triggered a huge, national outcry that caused Parks Canada to quickly shelve the plan, never to be raised again. It is interesting that the plan has surfaced, years later, with fish this time. While not as iconic as bison, proposing to eradicate a whole lake of fish to combat disease, may trigger a similar response, as all fish, diseased and healthy will be killed, with no certainty that the disease will be halted. The need to stop the ever-increasing threat of invasive species is a very difficult one – increasingly so with climate change – with no easy choices once preventative measures have failed. It will be interesting to see how the public consultation goes on this issue.
4. 1 min The Five Hottest Years (Nov 8, 2016)
It is hard to pass up this article – which includes a link to the recently released report of the World Meteorological Organization which says that the last five years were the hottest five years on record – in light of the US election and the stated anti-environmental bias of President-elect Trump and many Republicans. The whole world will suffer the results if this unfortunate attitude persists. However, the planet is not well and her climatic illness is getting increasingly deadly and widespread. Saying something is not so does not make it true…remember the hubris of King Canute standing on the sea shore commanding the tide not to come in.