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Rise For Climate – Build Our Future Not a Pipeline! Event

RISE FOR CLIMATE – International Day of Action

Vancouver March & Rally
4pm
Vancouver Art Gallery
Georgia & Howe

BUILD OUR FUTURE – NOT A PIPELINE!

The forests are on fire and the air is thick with smoke. The water is polluted and the planet is being destroyed. Yet Prime Minister Trudeau continues to be hell-bent on wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on buying one ageing Tar Sands pipeline and trying to build another.

Join hundreds of thousands mobilizing around the world on September 8. We are putting forward a vision for a sustainable future We are working together to show the alternatives, and we are growing!

Bring your friends, family and co-workers as we gather to demonstrate and reaffirm our commitment to fighting for climate justice and a better world. We are working to build our future, not a pipeline. We demand the government of Canada do the same.

Fund Housing, Healthcare, Education & Green Energy – NOT PIPELINES!

Sponsors: Climate Convergence Metro Vancouver, UBC 350, Vancouver 350

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
This event takes place on the traditional, unceded, occupied territories of the səlil̓wətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.

More information on “Rise for Climate” International Day of Action: https://riseforclimate.org/

“On 8 September we will rise together in our neighbourhoods to take action, telling the story of the communities we want, and showing governments how to follow our lead. We’ll connect all our local efforts globally to help make an unstoppable wave of people’s climate leadership – from our town halls, to our schools, and places of worship.”

For more information: climateconvergence604@gmail.com / 778-889-7664

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Rise for Climate!!! International Day of Action Event

https://www.facebook.com/events/328347781240170/

RISE FOR CLIMATE – International Day of Action

Vancouver March & Rally
September 8th @ 4:00 pm
Vancouver Art Gallery
Georgia & Howe

BUILD OUR FUTURE – NOT A PIPELINE!

The forests are on fire and the air is thick with smoke. The water is polluted and the planet is being destroyed. Yet Prime Minister Trudeau continues to be hell-bent on wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on buying one ageing Tar Sands pipeline and trying to build another.

Join hundreds of thousands mobilizing around the world on September 8. We are putting forward a vision for a sustainable future We are working together to show the alternatives, and we are growing!

Bring your friends, family and co-workers as we gather to demonstrate and reaffirm our commitment to fighting for climate justice and a better world. We are working to build our future, not a pipeline. We demand the government of Canada do the same.

Fund Housing, Healthcare, Education & Green Energy – NOT PIPELINES!

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
This event takes place on the traditional, unceded, occupied territories of the səlil̓wətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.

More information on “Rise for Climate” International Day of Action: https://riseforclimate.org/

“On 8 September we will rise together in our neighbourhoods to take action, telling the story of the communities we want, and showing governments how to follow our lead. We’ll connect all our local efforts globally to help make an unstoppable wave of people’s climate leadership – from our town halls, to our schools, and places of worship.”

For more information: climateconvergence604@gmail.com / 778-889-7664


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Important Event – Shut Down Federal Liberal Fundraiser: Stop the Pipeline Buyout

https://www.facebook.com/events/1796954137079075/

 

Fundraising while 600 wildfires burn and climate chaos intensifies while pushing a climate-busting pipeline — the priorities of Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberals are clear.

Thursday August 23 in downtown Vancouver, Liberal MP Hedy Fry is hosting Finance Minister Bill Morneau for a $500 a plate fundraising dinner at a fancy hotel in downtown Vancouver. Nanaimo will host an unwelcome party for Justin Trudeau and his cabinet on August 22, and there’s a decent chance Trudeau will make the trip to raise cash for the 2019 election.

Let’s shut them down.

Date: Thursday August 23
Time: 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Location: Outside Century Century Plaza Hotel Downtown Vancouver
Address: 1015 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC
Map link: https://goo.gl/maps/sGqhwofXPPK2

RSVP: http://eepurl.com/dDenpz

Join us to remind MP Fry that the people of the West Coast do not accept the stubborn federal Liberal push to build a pipeline while wildfires burn and climate change chaos intensifies.

RSVP: http://eepurl.com/dDenpz


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The transformative power of climate truth

Dear Reader:
We are not living in a post-truth era. We are living in a pre-truth era.

Yes, Trump and his administration are liars and criminals.

But did President Obama tell the whole truth about the urgency of climate crisis and the scale of the necessary response? Did Hillary Clinton? Does anyone in national politics? Does the climate movement? Do you?

Only policies based in reality can get us out of this crisis.

I recently updated my essay The Transformative Power of Climate Truth, one of The Climate  Mobilization’s foundational documents. The new subtitle, “Ecological Awakening in the Trump Age” reflects how the political situation and TCM’s strategy have changed since I first wrote it.

Transformative argues that positive change, both societal and personal, depends on our embracing the truth.  It also explores why climate truth is so rare, and how we as citizens can use it to ignite transformative — not incremental — change.

It’s been a horrifying year, but I haven’t lost hope. And it’s because people across the country have stopped waiting for politicians and pundits to wake up.

From Hoboken to Los Angeles, people like you are standing up and inaugurating a new politics of climate truth.

The pre-truth era is coming to a close. Together, we can make sure climate truth transforms this country for the better.

If any of our writing has had an impact on your life, please consider sharing your story and helping us fundraise or joining us asorganizers.

Onward!

Margaret Klein Salamon, PhD
Founder and Director, The Climate Mobilization

Ecological awakening in the age of Trump

by Margaret Klein Salamon, PhD, Founder and Director of The Climate Mobilization

 

See essay here……..

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx0AhW2o5XAcSGZ6QUNsckNHZTg/view

 


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What the National Energy Board won’t tell you about pipelines

iPolitics Insights by Ross Belot / November 2, 2017

The 2017 UN climate change conference in Bonn — otherwise known as COP23 — starts Monday. A year ago I said Environment Minister Catherine McKenna would be going there with nothing to brag about. This year, she can at least make small talk about her plans to teach children about climate change.

Meanwhile, Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr is pleading with industry to reduce its energy consumption. Those firms that succeed in cutting energy use by 10 per cent or more will be formally recognized as Energy Star Achievers — demonstrating that, between Carr and McKenna, the Trudeau government’s approach to fighting climate change is the same one a middle school teacher would take.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: This government has no strategy to meet Canada’s emissions reduction commitments under the Paris accord, let alone Stephen Harper’s target of a 30 per cent reduction in emissions between 2005 and 2030.

Who says so? Our own National Energy Board. It just released Canada’s Energy Future 2017, a report that shows fossil fuel use peaking by 2019 and then flatlining through 2040. So our plan to transition to a low-carbon economy basically amounts to doing what we’re doing now, based on what the NEB thinks our fuel use will be in future.

The NEB presents some scenarios that Peter Watson, the NEB’s CEO, says show fossil fuel use declining in “a meaningful way.” One scenario involves higher carbon pricing. Let’s take a closer look at that one.

It has to be said that Watson has a pretty peculiar idea of what’s ‘meaningful’ in the face of global warming catastrophe. The NEB’s base case shows a 5 per cent decline in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 over 2005 — not because we’ll be using less energy (we’re going to be using 9 per cent more energy overall from fossil fuels, the NEB forecasts) but because we’ll have switched from ‘dirty’ coal to ‘cleaner’ natural gas by then.

No, his so-called ‘meaningful’ reduction in the NEB’s “high carbon pricing scenario” amounts to a paltry 4 per cent reduction — not terribly useful to a government that has pledged a 30 per cent reduction, to be achieved largely through the use of carbon taxes.

This tells us two things. First, the NEB makes no effort to tell us what we’d have to do to meet our Paris targets, and seems to have no interest in that. Second, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon pricing plan isn’t going to do the job.

open quote 761b1bMaybe — if the NEB started giving people all the facts — governments, industry and the public could have an informed conversation about the future of Canada’s energy sector. Instead, all we get is yelling and finger-pointing.”

That’s disappointing. Also disappointing is the disappearance from this report of the low price scenario which doesn’t support the NEB’s push for more pipelines. The NEB now produces just one price scenario through the 2020s, one that’s high enough to justify significant growth in the oilsands. The evidence they provided previously that did not support pipelines — that has mysteriously vanished from their forecast.

The use of multiple price scenarios as a requirement for assessing pipelines came up in the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s very critical review of Enbridge’s giant Line 3 expansion application. Ironically, the price data that just disappeared from the NEB’s report is exactly what Minnesota expected in an application — and its consultant cited last year’s NEB energy outlook as an example of what should be considered.

Now, it’s possible that the NEB and Watson think it’s far more important to show that marginal reductions in carbon emissions out in the 2030-and-beyond timeframe don’t affect our oilsands production than it is to present scenarios showing no growth in oilsands production due to low prices. But given its ongoing push for pipelines — and Watson’s own biased testimony to a Senate committee a while ago — one might wonder if the low-price scenario disappeared because its data conflicted with the pro-pipeline story. (After all, people like me use those numbers against the NEB — and they really don’t like it.)

Here’s something else we learned from Minnesota’s review of that pipeline application. The same consultants Enbridge used produced the economic basis for the Trans Mountain expansion application — consultants whose approach the Minnesota Department of Commerce described as ”simplistic — and in the case of pipeline capacity, unrealistic.”

The analysis Minnesota has done calls into question our regulator’s approach to pipeline approvals, since logic similar to the content in the Enbridge application has been applied by the NEB for Trans Mountain, resulting in approval.

I don’t know what’s going on with the NEB. The agency has capable people who do excellent work. But somehow, the data are getting misused. A low-price scenario — the one which looks like what we’re most likely to see over the next ten years at least — clearly suggests that oilsands production isn’t going to grow much. That scenario undermines the case for Energy East and knocks down the conspiracy theories about its cancellation: the market outlook — not the Trudeau government’s policies — killed that project. Same goes for Keystone XL’s prospects. Maybe — if the NEB started giving people all the facts — governments, industry and the public could have an informed conversation about the future of Canada’s energy sector. Instead, all we get is yelling and finger-pointing.

Do we need Trans Mountain? What benefits does it offer Canada? Who knows? As long as the NEB keeps spinning a supportive story instead of giving us real information, we can’t evaluate the costs and benefits of pipeline projects. The NEB’s approach appears to be to withhold data that call into question their CEO’s Senate testimony, instead of addressing the real questions.

Is the NEB in the business of professionally assessing pipeline applications? Or is it just another industry cheerleader?

See article here……

 


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A brief history of the Earth’s CO2

Coal fired power plantImage copyright GETTY IMAGES

Climate change has been described as one of the biggest problems faced by humankind. Carbon dioxide is is the primary driver of global warming. Prof Joanna Haigh from Imperial College London explains why this gas has played a crucial role in shaping the Earth’s climate.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) has been present in the atmosphere since the Earth condensed from a ball of hot gases following its formation from the explosion of a huge star about five billion years ago.

At that time the atmosphere was mainly composed of nitrogen, CO2 and water vapour, which seeped through cracks in the solid surface. A very similar composition emerges from volcanic eruptions today.

As the planet cooled further some of the water vapour condensed out to form oceans and they dissolved a portion of the CO2 but it was still present in the atmosphere in large amounts.

What is climate change?

The first life forms to evolve on Earth were microbes which could survive in this primordial atmosphere but about 2.5 billion years ago, plants developed the ability to photosynthesise, creating glucose and oxygen from CO2 and water in the presence of light from the Sun.

This had a transformative impact on the atmosphere: as life developed, CO2 was consumed so that by around 20 million years ago its concentration was down to below 300 molecules in every one million molecules of air (or 300 parts per million – ppm).

Early EarthImage copyrightSPLImage caption Artwork: As life developed on Earth, carbon dioxide levels plummeted

Life on Earth has evolved under these conditions – note that humans did not appear until about 200,000 years ago – and atmospheric CO2 has not exceed that concentration until the industrial revolution brought with it massive emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels: coal and oil.

CO2 plays an important role in climate because it is one of the atmospheric “greenhouse” gases (GHGs) which keep the Earth’s surface about 33 degrees warmer than the -18C temperature it would be at were they not present.

They do this by being fairly transparent to the Sun’s rays, allowing them through to warm the surface, but then absorbing the radiant heat that the surface emits, so trapping it and enhancing the warming. In the present climate the most effective GHGs are water vapour, which is responsible for about two-thirds of the total warming, and CO2 which accounts for about one quarter.

Other gases, including methane, make up the remainder. The atmospheric concentration of water vapour is less than 1% and, with CO2 making up only a few molecules in every ten thousand of air, it may be surprising that they can have such a significant impact on the surface temperature.

They are able to do this, however, because the structure of their molecules makes them especially effective at absorbing heat radiation while the major atmospheric gases, nitrogen and oxygen, are essentially transparent to it.

air sampling stationImage copyrightNOAAImage captionThis air sampling station at Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii recorded CO2 levels going past 400ppm

The greenhouse effect means that as the atmospheric loading of GHGs increases the surface temperature of the Earth warms. The overall increase in global temperature of about 1C over the past 150 years is almost entirely due to the human activities that have increasing amounts of atmospheric GHGs.

Most significantly, the concentration of CO2 has been rising exponentially (at a rate of about 0.17% per year) since the industrial revolution, due mainly to the combustion of fossil fuels but also to large-scale tropical deforestation which depletes the climate system’s capacity for photosynthesis.

In 2015, it passed 400ppm, more than 40% higher than its pre-industrial value of 280ppm and a level that has not existed on Earth for several million years.

While the basic science of how GHGs warm the Earth is very well understood, there are complications. The climate system responds in various ways which both enhance and ameliorate the effects of these gases.

For example, a warmer atmosphere can hold more water vapour (before it condenses out in clouds or rain) and because water vapour is a GHG, this increases the temperature rise. Another example: as the oceans warm they are less able to hold CO2 so release it, again with the result the initial warming is enhanced.

VolcanoImage copyrightGETTY IMAGESImage captionVolcanoes can eject small particles into the upper part of the atmosphere

The global temperature record over the past century does not show the same smooth increase presented by CO2 measurements because the climate is influenced by other factors than GHGs, arising from both natural and human sources. Some particles released into the atmosphere by industrial activities reflect sunshine back to space, tending to cool the planet.

Similarly, large volcanic eruptions can eject small particles into the higher atmosphere, where they remain for up to about two years reducing the sunlight reaching the surface, and temporary dips in global temperature have indeed been measured following major volcanic events.

Changes in the energy emitted by the Sun also affect surface temperature, though measurements of the solar output show this effect to be small on human timescales.

Another important consideration in interpreting global temperatures is that the climate is inherently complex. Energy moves between the atmosphere and oceans in natural fluctuations – an example being El Niño events. This means that we cannot expect an immediate direct relationship between any influencing factor and surface temperature.

All these factors complicate the picture. Nevertheless, it is indisputable that the global temperature rise over the past century is a result of human-produced GHGs, mainly CO2.

While, until the industrial revolution, the CO2 concentration has not exceeded the 280ppm value that last occurred several million years ago, it has gone through periods when it was considerably lower.

Notably, during the ice ages which have occurred roughly every 100,000 years over at least the past half million, drops in global temperature of perhaps 5C have been accompanied by reductions in CO2 concentration to less than 200ppm.

The ice ages, and associated warmer interglacial periods, are brought about by changes in the Earth’s orbit around the Sun which take place on these long timescales. The cooling in response to a decline in solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface results in a greater uptake of CO2 by the oceans and so further cooling due to a weakened greenhouse effect.

This is an entirely natural phenomenon and it is worth noting that such amplification of temperature fluctuations will occur in response to any initiating factor regardless of its source and including human-produced greenhouse gases.

The effects of increasing CO2 are not limited to an increase in air temperature. As the oceans warm they are expanding so producing a rise in sea level, this being exacerbated by the melting of some of the ice present on land near the poles and in glaciers. The warmer atmosphere holds more water vapour resulting in increased occurrences of heavy rainfall and flooding while changes in weather patterns are intensifying droughts in other regions.

If human emissions of GHGs into the atmosphere continue unabated then the global temperature will continue to rise and the associated weather impacts become ever more severe. The UN climate conference in Paris in December 2015, at which 195 nations unanimously agreed on an aim to restrict the temperature rise to less than 2C, or preferably 1.5C, above the pre-industrial “baseline” was an extraordinary political achievement.

To achieve this, however, will require a complete cessation of global CO2 emissions by the second half of this century and, while the world considers how this might be achieved, the crossing of the 400ppm mark in CO2 concentration has been matched by a global warming of 1C.

See article here…..


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A giant insect ecosystem is collapsing due to humans. It’s a catastrophe

Insects have triumphed for hundreds of millions of years in every habitat but the ocean. Their success is unparalleled, which makes their disappearance all the more alarming.

Thirty-five years ago an American biologist Terry Erwin conducted an experiment to count insect species. Using an insecticide “fog”, he managed to extract all the small living things in the canopies of 19 individuals of one species of tropical tree, Luehea seemannii, in the rainforest of Panama. He recorded about 1,200 separate species, nearly all of them coleoptera (beetles) and many new to science; and he estimated that 163 of these would be found on Luehea seemannii only.

He calculated that as there are about 50,000 species of tropical tree, if that figure of 163 was typical for all the other trees, there would be more than eight million species, just of beetles, in the tropical rainforest canopy; and as beetles make up about 40% of all the arthropods, the grouping that contains the insects and the other creepy-crawlies from spiders to millipedes, the total number of such species in the canopy might be 20 million; and as he estimated the canopy fauna to be separate from, and twice as rich as, the forest floor, for the tropical forest as a whole the number of species might be 30 million.

Yes, 30 million. It was one of those extraordinary calculations, like Edwin Hubble’s of the true size of the universe, which sometimes stop us in our tracks.

Erwin reported that he was shocked by his conclusions and entomologists have argued over them ever since. But about insects, his findings make two things indisputably clear. One is that there are many, many more types than the million or so hitherto described by science, and probably many more than the 10m species sometimes postulated as an uppermost figure; and the second is that this is far and away the most successful group of creatures the Earth has ever seen.

Terry Erwin’s beetle collection from rainforest canopies in the Amazon, on display in Washington, DC.
 Terry Erwin’s beetle collection from rainforest canopies in the Amazon, on display in Washington, DC. Photograph: Frans Lanting/Alamy

They are multitudinous almost beyond our imagining. They thrive in soil, water, and air; they have triumphed for hundreds of millions of years in every continent bar Antarctica, in every habitat but the ocean. And it is their success – staggering, unparalleled and seemingly endless – which makes all the more alarming the great truth now dawning upon us: insects as a group are in terrible trouble and the remorselessly expanding human enterprise has become too much, even for them.

The astonishing report highlighted in the Guardian, that the biomass of flying insects in Germany has dropped by three quarters since 1989, threatening an “ecological Armageddon”, is the starkest warning yet; but it is only the latest in a series of studies which in the last five years have finally brought to public attention the real scale of the problem.

Does it matter? Even if bugs make you shudder? Oh yes. Insects are vital plant-pollinators and although most of our grain crops are pollinated by the wind, most of our fruit crops are insect-pollinated, as are the vast majority of our wild plants, from daisies to our most splendid wild flower, the rare and beautiful lady’s slipper orchid.

https://interactive.guim.co.uk/charts/embed/oct/2017-10-18T08:07:49/embed.html

Furthermore, insects form the base of thousands upon thousands of food chains, and their disappearance is a principal reason why Britain’s farmland birds have more than halved in number since 1970. Some declines have been catastrophic: the grey partridge, whose chicks fed on the insects once abundant in cornfields, and the charming spotted flycatcher, a specialist predator of aerial insects, have both declined by more than 95%, while the red-backed shrike, which feeds on big beetles, became extinct in Britain in the 1990s.

Ecologically, catastrophe is the word for it.

It has taken us a lot of time to understand this for two reasons: one cultural, one scientific. Firstly, we generally do not care for insects (bees and butterflies excepted). Even wildlife lovers are fixed on vertebrates, on creatures of fur and feather and especially the “charismatic megafauna”, and in the population as a whole there is even less sympathy for the fate of the chitin-skeletoned little things that creep and crawl; our default reaction is a shudder. Fewer bugs in the world? Many would cheer.

Secondly, for the overwhelming majority of insect species, there is no monitoring or measurement of numbers taking place. It is a practical impossibility: in the UK alone there are about 24,500 insect species – about 1,800 species of bugs, 4,000 species of beetles, 7,000 species of flies and another 7,000 species of bees, wasps and ants – and most are unknown to all but a few specialists. So their vast and catastrophic decline, at last perceptible, has crept up on us; and when first we began to perceive it, it was not through statistics, but through anecdote.

The earliest anecdotal impression of decline was through what is sometimes termed the windscreen phenomenon (or windshield if you live in the US): time was, especially in the summer, when any long automobile journey would result in a car windscreen that was insect-spattered. But then, not so much. Two years ago I wrote a book focusing on this curious happening, but I gave it a different name: I called it the moth snowstorm, referring to the moths which on summer nights in my childhood might cluster in such numbers that they would pack a speeding car’s headlight beams like snowflakes in a blizzard.

But the point about the moth snowstorm was this: it had gone. I personally realized it had disappeared, and began writing about it as a journalist, in the year 2000; but it became obvious from talking to people who had also observed it that its disappearance dated further back, probably to about the 1970s and 1980s. And the fact that an entire large-scale phenomenon such as this had simply ceased to exist pointed inescapably to one grim conclusion: though unnoticed by the world at large, a whole giant ecosystem was collapsing. The insect world was falling apart.

Moths are also in steep decline.
 Moths are in steep decline. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Today we know beyond doubt, and with scientific statistics rather than just anecdote, that this is true, and the question immediately arises: what caused it?

It seems indisputable: it is us. It is human activity – more specifically, three generations of industrialised farming with a vast tide of poisons pouring over the land year after year after year, since the end of the second world war. This is the true price of pesticide-based agriculture, which society has for so long blithely accepted.

So what is the future for 21st-century insects? It will be worse still, as we struggle to feed the nine billion people expected to be inhabiting the world by 2050, and the possible 12 billion by 2100, and agriculture intensifies even further to let us do so. You think there will be fewer insecticides sprayed on farmlands around the globe in the years to come? Think again. It is the most uncomfortable of truths, but one which stares us in the face: that even the most successful organisms that have ever existed on earth are now being overwhelmed by the titanic scale of the human enterprise, as indeed, is the whole natural world.

 Michael McCarthy is a writer, naturalist, and author of The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy