Showing posts with label Climate denial. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Climate denial. Show all posts

Friday, July 3, 2020

Does your place of residence make you immune from climate calamity? I think not! (Opinion)

by Larry Powell

UPDATE...The Rivers dam mentioned in this story has now been declared by government engineers to be safe.

I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard one of my fellow "prairie dogs" remark, how "lucky" or how "blessed" we are to be spared the kind of brutal weather that may be pummelling another part of the country or the world at the time.

Occasionally, I'll try to remind them, we've already experienced disastrous conditions in our own "neck of the woods" (the eastern prairies) in recent years. They seem either unaware of what I say, or believe they're nothing worse than we've ever had. 

So are they or aren't they? 

The examples I list below (starting last fall up to the present) are extreme weather events which have broken records or are unprecedented in the human record.  They'e not born of this writer's imagination, but from Environment Canada, the body of record on such matters. (Emphases mine.)

Disastrous conditions in recent years have left about a million tonnes of prairie crops
like this one in Manitoba in the fields, unharvested over winter. A PinP photo.

"Last Thanksgiving Day weekend (2019), Manitobans were still drying out from record September rains, nearly three times the norm. Farmers were especially concerned but, after a relatively dry first week of October, they once again started up their combines and resumed round-the-clock harvesting. They were keeping an eye on a pending well-announced weather system. The storm sat over the region for days. Heavy, sticky snows draped Manitoba from Brandon to Winnipeg from October 10 to 12 and through the Thanksgiving weekend. 

"Historic snowfall totals included 34 cm at Winnipeg over two days, making it the biggest October snowstorm in the city since records began in 1872. States of emergency were declared across the province and in eleven communities, including Winnipeg. More than 6,000 people had to evacuate from a dozen or more First Nations communities. Lengthy and widespread power outages created hardship. Powerful winds exceeding 80 km/h drove the wet snow, creating blinding blizzards and two-metre drifts. In some cases, transmission towers toppled, downing total electrical grids. 

"According to Manitoba Hydro, at the peak of the storm, a quarter of a million people were without power, making it the largest outage in the utility’s history. Ten days later, about 5,000 were still without power. By the end of November, there were still some citizens who could not yet return to their homes." 

(Hydro has estimated damage at some $100 million.)

"The storm’s early arrival in October meant tree branches, still loaded with leaves, were bending. Many of Winnipeg’s trees saw damage and loss under the weight of the snow. Over 30,000 trees on public land were affected, with estimates of thousands more on private land. The Manitoba escarpment in Morden, Winkler, and Carberry also saw between 50 and 75 cm of snow."

Fast forward to this week. 

The spillway at the Rivers dam in SW MB. A Govt. of MB photo.

Severe thunderstorms, torrential rain, winds of over 100kmh and at least one tornado, tore through wide areas of the province, including the City of Brandon. Torrents of water cascaded over the dam on the Little Saskatchewan River near the southwestern Town of Rivers. 

Fearing structural failure, the provincial government called for the evacuation of livestock and several residents below it. "The Manitoba government does not have confidence in the Rivers Dam," it declared in its official news release.

Here are more direct quotes from the government news release, issued just two days ago.

"The recommended evacuation comes as a weather system has brought significant precipitation in the past 72 hours in southwest and western Manitoba. Some areas have received record-high precipitation of more than 200 millimetres during this period. It has caused water levels to rise in rivers and creeks in these areas."

I can only long for the day when I hear my friends and neighbours - while talking about the weather - begin saying things like this:

"You know, it looks like those climate scientists were right! If we don't do something about the greenhouse gas emissions we are producing in our everyday lives - and find different ways of doing things - things will only get worse. Matter of fact - it looks like they already are!"

I'm still waiting.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney tours Fort MacMurray, site of major spring flooding - fails to see his own handiwork amid the damage. (Opinion)

by Larry Powell
Kenney was out inspecting the town of Fort MacMurray and region (above) this morning, where major flooding has resulted in a mandatory evacuation order going out for the entire downtown area. Big trucks and low-lying buildings are reportedly submerged. 

This is the same Premier who "dissed" a reporter recently for daring to ask if this might be the time to transition away from fossil fuels to renewable, sustainable energy. Kenney was especially shocked that the journalist was a member of the Calgary press core, who are apparently all supposed to be cozy little members of the same club, parroting Kenny's anti-science lies about the consequences of continuing to exploit the tar sands. 
Fort Mac - 2016. A Creative Commons photo.

This is also the same Premier who is spending millions of tax dollars from his own citizens, including desperate, unemployed oil workers, to fund a "war room," spreading mis-information about the consequences of a changing climate (more floods, wildfires, rains and droughts) and slandering environmental groups in the process. 

Until this man joins the 21st century, realizes that fossil fuels are "oh-so-20th-century" and begins helping people to re-train for work in alternative, renewables energy projects, he'll get zero sympathy from me. Barely four years ago, catastrophic and historic wildfires decimated the same region, consuming many homes and businesses and raining havoc and misery down on hundreds of local citizens. 

Until we start to hold politicians like this accountable and call them out for the dangerous policies they advocate, these tragedies will only deepen.

In the age of Covid-19, these events are surely the last things we need right now!

Thursday, February 6, 2020

This is the age of the megafire – and it’s being fuelled by our leaders

Tim Flannery for the Guardian
Bushfires spire from Yuraygir National Park,
Australia. Photo by European Space Agency.

In the face of the climate disaster it helped create, the Australian government has given us only lies and denial. Story here.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Don't let the forces of "anti-science" win Canada over. Please help!


It’s on. Jason Kenney launched his anti-environmentalist “War Room” this week because he thinks 2020 is going to be the year Alberta starts doubling its oilsands emissions. He’s going to spend $30 million in taxpayer dollars this year to fill the airwaves with ads to promote the oil industry.

We got a taste of what his spin doctors have prescribed with a two-minute video launched on YouTube. It’s ugly — within 20 seconds, it implies babies depend on bitumen sales to live happy lives.

You can count on Dogwood to be a strong voice standing up against Kenney’s propaganda machine, but we need every penny to fight back. Donate $5, $50, or even $500 today — your gift will make a difference.

Jason Kenney is putting the full weight of his government behind this smear campaign. His War Room team wants to erode the work we’ve done together building organized opposition to oil tankers for a decade now — and they have $30 million to do it.

Don’t let Jason Kenney fool you into thinking this is a debate over jobs and families in Alberta. If it was, he’d use his $30 million budget to start transitioning oil patch workers into new careers, opening the door to future opportunities. Instead, he’s using his campaign to protect Big Oil’s bottom line.

Meanwhile, the federal government just spent $4.5 billion on a rusty pipeline, and plans to shell out at least $10 billion more to expand it — think of the schools and hospitals we could build with that money.

With a $30 million budget, the War Room plans to steamroll grassroots opposition and try to bamboozle Canadians into changing the debate. Don’t let that happen.

A generous donor has pledged to match every gift to Dogwood. That means until December 31, your $100 becomes $200 — instantly. We need every last penny to launch a strong opposition to the War Room. Double your money with a gift of $5, $50, or even $500 right now.


Adam Bailey, Dogwood

P.S. Jason Kenney just launched his $30 million War Room to spread pro-oil propaganda across our country’s airwaves. They have deep pockets and a clear goal: to derail the hard work of people like you who have been defending our coast against Big Oil. You can be a strong voice standing up against them with a donation of $5, $50 or even $500. And if you give now, a generous donor will make sure your donation is doubled.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Denying solutions is the new climate change denial

Clean Energy Canada
A new form of denial has risen from the ashes of the old: denying the solutions that empower us to minimize climate change. Details here.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Another hurricane is about to batter our coast. Trump is complicit.

The Washington Post
Hurricane Florence. A NASA photo.
With depressingly ironic timing, the Trump administration has recently announced a plan to roll back federal rules on methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is the main component in natural gas. When it comes to extreme weather, Mr. Trump is complicit. More here.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Julie Payette dares to be interesting with comments on climate, astrology, and divine intervention


The governor general speaks up for science over certain beliefs. Story here.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

As Planet Rages With Fires and Storms, Ire Aimed at Murderous Climate Denialism


"It is past time to call out Trump and all climate deniers for this crime against humanity. No more treating climate denial like an honest difference of opinion." Story here.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Human attitudes toward climate change. Smart? Or just plain dumb! (Editorial)

by Larry Powell
Despite historic weather calamities descending upon Earth with breathtaking frequency and ferocity, the root-causes of our planetary crisis continue to be avoided like sacred cows. An analyst interviewed on TV yesterday did make some good (albeit now-familiar) points. 
He pointed out how ordinary people have "stepped up" by helping their neighbours, after the fact. These are true heroes, he pointed out, correctly. 
Then he went on to say, (altho they are rarely recognized as such.), so are policy-makers who come up with practical ways of lessening impacts, like smarter development which uses less concrete, further away from flood plains. He even mentioned "climate change," words rarely uttered in polite society. 
So far, so good. 
But he gave not a word of recognition to the most important part of all - the need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels and make a very rapid transition to a low-carbon society! 
The world's climatologists who've been toiling in labs and in often hostile places, are heroes, too. They've been warning for decades, based on copious evidence they've gathered, we simply cannot carry on with "business-as-usual," burning coal, oil and natural gas without regard to the consequences. 
Yet, even as another climate catastrophe looms - a Category Five hurricane bearing down on Florida, these heroes and their advice (which offers the best hope for future generations), are virtually ignored or are, themselves brushed off as crackpots. 
This flirtation with stupidity rather than wisdom is dooming future (and present) generations to a greatly degraded planet. 
Smarten up, Sheeple!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Houston, We Have a Climate Problem


The best response to a disaster is to learn lessons to prevent the next one. Story here.

Monday, June 19, 2017

We can’t fight climate change if we keep lying to ourselves

Nation of Change - Chris Hedges
The inability to see what is in front of our eyes replicates the blindness of all past civilizations that celebrated their eternal glory at moments of precipitous decline. Details here.
Recent wildfires in Portugal have incinerated more than 60 people in their homes and cars. Nsandre photo.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Trumping Canada’s Environment

A/J Alternatives Journal by Bob Paehlke
The election of Donald Trump is unlike any change in American history. It will transform America’s role in world politics. It is my view that Canadians should not pretend otherwise (however polite our government might choose to be in the diplomatic realm). Story here.

Air pollutants from Texas used to be found in the Canadian Arctic. Will history now repeat itself?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Scientists Call Out Pruitt's False View of Climate Change

inside climate news

Countering the new EPA head's contention that carbon dioxide does not drive global warming, scientists' letter says, 'Human beings are changing the Earth's climate.' Details here.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Scott Pruitt Went on TV to Deny Climate Change

Friends of the Earth.
Dear Larry,
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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Climate Change Denial Has Taken On A New, More Insidious Form

Huffington Post

Leaders are now acknowledging climate change. But you’d never know it by their actions! Story here.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Wheat Growers Seek Carbon Signatures

Carbon taxes are not popular with many producers, and the Western Canadian Wheat Growers group is setting out to capture those signatures. Story here.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

U.S. Coal Giant Owed Money to Canadian Climate Change Deniers


A Canadian climate change denial group has popped up in a U.S. coal giant's bankruptcy proceedings that have lifted the curtain on the funding of a sophisticated continent-wide marketing campaign designed to fool the public about how human activity is contributing to global warming. Story here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Is Manitoba's New Government Already Failing the Environment? (Editorial)

by Larry Powell
Well, another Manitoba election has come and gone. And we got the change we wanted. 

Or did we?

To me, it still seems like the goal of “evidence-based” policy-making, often promised by politicians of every stripe, remains as elusive as ever.

Take climate change, for example. 

Massive B.C. coal mines are about to get a new owner. Why some are worried about Glencore’s record

THE NARWHAL Coal mine at Tumbler Ridge, B.C.  Jeffrey Wynne ,      If the sale goes through, the company will inherit a contamination proble...