Earthgauge Radio – Sept. 17, 2019

September 22, 2019 Leave a comment

Environmental news podcast featuring stories from across Canada and around the world. Broadcast every other Tuesday at 12:00 noon EST on CKCU radio 93.1 FM in Ottawa or online at www.ckcufm.com. Or download the podcast here.

  • CLIMATE, PIPELINE PROTESTS GREET TRUDEAU’S KICK-OFF RALLY AS ELECTION 2019 GETS UNDER WAY
  • First Crowdfunded Park in BC Saves 2K Acres From Loggers
  • Climate change a top federal election priority for First Nations, says Bellegarde
  • REPORT SHOWS CONSTRUCTION DELAYS, SAFETY ISSUES DELAYING TRANS MOUNTAIN, MAKING PIPELINE A FINANCIAL LOSER
  • Feds to study using electricity to ‘reduce or eliminate’ fossil fuels
  • Trump Moves to Open 1.5 Million Acres of Alaskan Refuge for Oil Drilling By End of the Year
  • Alarming Level of Plastic in Children’s Bodies, German Study Shows
  • Japan May Dump Radioactive Fukushima Water Into the Pacific in ‘Only Option’ of Disposal

Newfoundland preps for more offshore oil as climate crisis deepens

September 18, 2019 Leave a comment

An advance leak from the forthcoming United Nations (U.N.) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on Oceans and Cryosphere confirms that the climate crisis is deepening. According to the leak, the U.N. report concludes that changes to global oceans, glaciers, and melting permafrost will unleash disaster upon the world including drought, floods, hunger and destruction unless dramatic action is taken to reduce global carbon emissions immediately.

It is against this backdrop that the province of Newfoundland and Labrador has announced plans to drill 100 new offshore exploration wells and dramatically increase its oil production by 2030, thereby roughly tripling the oil and gas sector’s carbon emissions. The province is currently carrying out a Regional Strategic Environmental Assessment (RSEA) of its offshore exploration drilling plans, which included a climate change session.

As a participant in this process, I made the simple mathematical point during one of the sessions that the province cannot possibly meet its 2030 greenhouse gas emissions target if it proceeds with its drilling plans in the offshore. What’s more, carbon emissions from the full production of currently operating oil and gas fields and coal mines across the world will already lead to a global temperature rise above the 2 degrees Celsius limit set in Paris in 2017 by the U.N., much less the aspirational 1.5C target.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s emissions target for 2030 is 6.9 million tonnes (megatonnes) of carbon dioxide. If the province triples oil production as it intends to do, this would mean that emissions from this sector alone in 2030 would account for an estimated 4.9 Mt of this target, or 71%, making it virtually impossible for the province to reach its emissions reduction goals.

Representatives of oil companies attending the RSEA session responded by saying that, while this analysis is true, Newfoundland and Labrador’s contribution to Canada’s and the planet’s carbon emissions is small and therefore inconsequential. Moreover, the world will need oil for the foreseeable future so if oil and gas is not produced in the province, it will simply be produced elsewhere. This response is commonly heard in defense of the oil and gas industry in Canada in an effort to stymie efforts to reign in emissions and question the long-term viability of the industry.

Here’s the thing. Either we are serious about our Paris commitments or we are not. We cannot pretend we will meet our global emissions reduction targets while continuing to expand fossil fuel production at the same time. This is what is commonly known as cognitive dissonance, the act of holding two contradictory ideas in one’s head at the same time and believing them both to be true.

It is simply not true that that the world will continue to use oil and gas long at increasing rates into the future *IF* we are serious about our carbon reduction commitments. Asserting the future inevitability of oil and gas is a bet against Canada and the world meeting its Paris targets. If on the other hand, we are serious about meeting the Paris targets, then the demise of oil and gas becomes a mathematical inevitability. We cannot both expand fossil fuel production AND reduce emissions at the same time.

While it is true that some energy projections assert that the world will continue to need fossil fuels for decades to come, this is not the case if the world is to stay within 2C of warming, let alone 1.5 degrees. The International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook in 2012 stated that “No more than one-third of proven reserves of fossil fuels can be burned, leaving up to 80% of assets technically unburnable.” In 2015, the Bank of England warned that policies designed to limit carbon emissions could mean some fossil fuels become “stranded assets”, with the Bank’s governor adding that “the vast majority of reserves are unburnable if global temperature rises are to be limited to below 2 degrees C.” Even the oil giant Shell conceded in 2013 “in a world where the 2C limit is imposed and achieved, most of the future value generation of the companies involved will never be realized.”

The province of Newfoundland and Labrador, as well of the rest of Canada, has come to a moment of reckoning. Why even bother setting targets in the first place if we are not serious about meeting them?

Earthgauge Radio – Sept. 3, 2019

September 4, 2019 Leave a comment


On the show this week, an interview with the journalist and author Tatiana Schlossberg (begins at 27:50).

Tatiana is a journalist and former NY Times Science writer who also happens to be the granddaughter of former US President John F. Kennedy. She’s just written a book called ‘Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impacts You Don’t Know You Have’.

As students return to school this week and many are buying things to stock up for the new year, Tatiana’s book takes a fascinating and entertaining look at the way climate change and environmental pollution are intimately involved in our everyday life – in everything we use, buy, eat, wear, and how we get around – and have consequences that extend far beyond our lives. Earthgauge spoke with Tatiana about the startling information she uncovered in her book, and how we can reduce the environmental and climate impact of the everyday things we purchase.

Tatiana Schlossberg is a journalist and author. She was a climate reporter for the NY Times and has written for the Atlantic, Bloomberg View and The Record.

Download the podcast here.

Also on the show this week, Earthgauge News (starts at 8:30):

  • 5 Dead as Hurricane Dorian Pummels Bahamas
  • NEW FEDERAL ASSESSMENT RULES EXEMPT CEMENT PLANTS, FRACKING, IN-SITU TAR SANDS/OIL SANDS
  • NEWFOUNDLAND REGULATOR TAKES NOTICE AS LATEST OFFSHORE OIL SPILL POINTS TO CONTINUING RISK
  • Australia Downgrades Great Barrier Reef Outlook to ‘Very Poor’
  • KFC Is Going ‘Beyond Meat’ — but Is It Healthy?
  • Leaked Documents Show Brazil’s Bolsonaro Has Grave Plans for Amazon Rainforest
  • Paris rooftop to host world’s largest urban farm

 

Earthgauge News – August 19, 2019

September 3, 2019 Leave a comment

Environmental news podcast featuring stories from across Canada and around the world. Broadcast every other Tuesday at 12:00 noon EST on CKCU radio 93.1 FM in Ottawa or online at www.ckcufm.com. Or download the podcast here.

On the show this week:

  • Climate Change Threatens the World’s Food Supply, United Nations Warn
  • Norway Freezes $33.2M Transfer to Brazil’s Amazon Fund Amid Deforestation ‘Surge’
  • Royal Bank of Scotland Phases Out Funding for Tar Sands/Oil Sands, Arctic and Antarctic Refuge Drilling
  • Koch Brothers Abandon Alberta Tar Sands/Oil Sands
  • Alberta Loses 14,300 Jobs in July Despite Corporate Tax Cut, Profitable Fossils
  • Climate Deniers Step Up Attacks as Thunberg Sails for North America
  • World’s Forest Animal Population Drops 53% Since 1970: WWF Report
  • ‘Alarming’ Report Uses NASA Satellite Data to Reveal World’s Toxic Air Pollution Hotspots

Earthgauge News – July 23, 2019

July 23, 2019 Leave a comment

Environmental news podcast featuring stories from across Canada and around the world. Broadcast every other Tuesday at 12:00 noon EST on CKCU radio 93.1 FM in Ottawa or online at www.ckcufm.com. Or download the podcast here.

On the show this week:

  • The aviation industry hears clamour for electric planes
  • Best way to fight climate change? Plant a trillion trees
  • Internal Exxon Documents Show Climate Awareness in 1982, Denial by 1988
  • United Nations Says 80 Countries May Ramp Up Climate Pledges
  • Big Pharma Emits More Greenhouse Gases Than the Automotive Industry
  • Nearly 30,000 Species Face Extinction Because of Human Activity
  • ‘Social Breakdown and Outright Chaos’: Civilization Headed for Collapse by 2050, New Climate Report Warns
  • The Philippines has put forward a bill that requires all students from elementary school to college to plant trees as a prerequisite to graduate.

Earthgauge News – May 28, 2019

May 29, 2019 Leave a comment

Environmental news podcast featuring stories from across Canada and around the world. Broadcast every other Tuesday at 12:00 noon EST on CKCU radio 93.1 FM in Ottawa or online at www.ckcufm.com. Or download the podcast here.

On the show this week:

  • Trump Administration Hardens Its Attack on Climate Science
  • India Set to Exceed Paris Target, Install 80 GW of New Renewables in Five Years
  • More Countries Put Up Barriers as Migrants Flee Climate Chaos
  • Clean Energy Jobs Growing 60% Faster than National Average, Study Shows
  • Sea levels could rise by up to 2 metres by 2100, new study finds
  • Postmedia hires former Kenney staffer to lobby Alberta government on involvement in ‘energy war room’
  • 16 year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg Becomes Target for German Far Right
  • Canada tops the charts for worst vehicle fuel economy
  • Big oil is set to spend $5 trillion on fossil fuels we can’t afford to burn
Categories: News & Politics, Podcasts

Earthgauge News – May 14, 2019

May 14, 2019 Leave a comment

Environmental news podcast featuring stories from across Canada and around the world. Broadcast every other Tuesday at 12:00 noon EST on CKCU radio 93.1 FM in Ottawa or on demand at www.ckcufm.com. Or download the podcast here.

On the show this week:

  • Biodiversity crisis is about to put humanity at risk, UN scientists to warn
  • Humans Are Speeding Extinction and Altering the Natural World at an ‘Unprecedented’ Pace
  • Green candidate Paul Manly wins Nanaimo-Ladysmith by-election
  • CO2 Levels Top 415 PPM for First Time in Human History
  • Ireland Becomes Second Country to Declare Climate Emergency
  • Just One-Third of the World’s Longest Rivers Remain Free-Flowing
  • TROVE OF DOCUMENTS SHOWS FOSSIL MANIPULATION OF UN CLIMATE PROCESS FROM 1989 TO 2002
  • Global plastic waste pact garners international support
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