Bill Miller's blog

Poll: 72% believe life on earth to end as we know it

Nearly three quarters of B.C. residents believe life on earth as we know it will end in two to three generations unless severe and immediate action is taken against global warming, results of a Vancouver Sun poll suggest.

Prodded by criticism at home and abroad, Canada warms to Kyoto protocol

The Canadian government appears to be warming to the Kyoto protocol after a week of heavy fire both at home and abroad for its refusal to meet binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions between 2008 and 2012.

Europe attacks Canada's record on the environment; poll suggests Tories losing ground at home

While the planet is in a riptide of rising sea levels, savage weather patterns and out-of-control pollution, recent events suggest the world is waking up about climate change and the Canadian government better take action fast if it’s going to survive.

Disaster deadline shortened for emission-cutbacks in new study

The world must slash greenhouse-gas emissions in ten years or face “significant risks of appalling global harm,” says the UK-based Institute of Public Policy Research. The report says the landmark Stern report, which warned of an economic collapse equal to the 1930s depression unless emissions were curbed, is “too conservative” and governments need to move further and faster, with carbon emissions reaching their peak by 2010 to 2013.

Extreme weather study hammers another nail into the coffin of climate-change skepticism

Severe weather is increasing in frequency and intensity, and that spells trouble with storm drains, roads and hillside developments designed without giving due consideration to climate change, says a report cited in the Vancouver Sun today.

The report is based on research – dubbed “controversial” by the Sun – contained in a 2001 University of British Columbia master’s thesis published last summer in the Journal of the American Water Resources Association. The thesis says there are going to be even more massive mudslides and floods of the kind seen across southern B.C. “If we are experiencing climate change,” said Robert Millar, UBC civil engineering professor, “then engineers are using old data to design for future conditions that may not be valid.” The UBC study jolted skeptics at the Greater Vancouver Regional District into a mad scramble of damage control. Not surprisingly, the GVRD’s findings were “at odds” with those at UBC. With the back of its hand, the GVRD dismissed the UBC research as merely “short-term changes.” The records used for UBC’s analysis, moreover “are simply too short to be meaningful.” It also warned that “A long-term rise in the magnitude of high intensity rainfall events could … necessitate the replacement of the storm water and sewerage drainage, which would be associated with very high costs.”

Study says Oil-sands firms could eliminate greenhouse gases for a mere pittance

Oil-sands companies could tackle climate change head-on by eliminating greenhouse-gas pollution, says a Pembina Institute report.

Released just days after the Conservative government announced a disappointing plan to restrict smog levels by 2010 and cut greenhouse gases in half by 2050, the Pembina study said companies already spend US$1.75 a barrel to remove lead from gasoline.

For just US $2.50 a barrel, according to the study, they could eliminate 100 per cent of greenhouse-gas pollution from tar sands, which are projected to contribute up to 47 per cent of the growth in Canada’s total emissions between 2003 and 2010 – making them the single-largest contributor to growth in greenhouse-gas pollution.

Failure to take action could render the oil-sands industry the main culprit in undermining Canada’s international climate-change obligations.


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