With students across the world taking to the streets to draw awareness to the climate crisis, UK universities are...
The UK Conservative party has a climate sceptic problem warns Tory MP Tim Yeo, current chair of the Commons’ Energy and Climate Change (ECC) committee.
There is a strong minority of open climate sceptics in the Conservative party, Yeo told Leo Hickman, editor of Carbon Brief. This is mainly due to the party’s age profile, he said, as it has a higher proportion of older MPs compared to the Lib Dems and Labour.
“There’s a very strong representation of older people, of, I have to say it, of older, white males, actually,” Yeo said. “That’s the group who seem to have the most difficulty in understanding the science and accepting the urgency of the case. So it’s just that that group is a bit more strongly represented.
“But I think, I mean you know, to be brutal, they’re going to die off. Very few people under the age of 40 now, I think, seriously question the science, and that group is gradually taking over.”
It seems that the start of the Harper Government's $16.5 million advertising campaign to push the US to turn to Canadian energy, specifically by supporting the Keystone XL pipeline and tar sands oil production, isn't quite having the impact that the Conservatives were hoping for.
Lee-Anne Goodman writes for the Canadian Press, that “efforts by the Conservative government to sell Americans on the virtues of Canadian natural resources failed to impress those south of the border, according to a new report, and even left them puzzled over assertions that Canada is America's best friend.”
The $58,000 government commissioned Harris-Decima report found that the advertising push by Natural Resources Canada left focus groups in Washington D.C. “befuddled” by the campaign's tagline, “America's best friend is America's best energy solution.”
Enbridge recently launched a renewed attack on Canadian environmental organizations, demanding the panel overseeing the Northern Gateway Pipeline hearing squeeze funding information from the project's critics.
In early 2012, a campaign - coordinated by the conservative government, the oil industry and the astroturf Ethical Oil Institute - sought to undermine the credibility of groups opposing the pipeline by suggesting they are “foreign interest groups” that “threaten to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda” as Natural Resource Minister Joe Oliver so forcefully put it.
Now Enbridge is renewing that egregious attack by requesting the panel investigate funding granted to Canadian environmental groups from a number of prominent American foundations renowned for their work in social and environmental equity, including poverty reduction, aboriginal issues, conservation, resource management, international development, and children and peace initiatives.
But Enbridge's ploy to redirect public attention away from tar sands, pipeline and oil spill issues toward the meddling of foreign interests in Canadian affairs is misguided, to say the least. The lion's share of foreign funding that guides the Canadian resource economy does not come in the form of conservation or environmental efforts: it comes through foreign investment in the resource sector.
And in the instance of the tar sands and related pipelines, foreign investments can be a politically, environmentally and socially dangerous affair.
In a move that has generated serious uproar in the Canadian government, the Conservative dominated Senate has defeated a climate change bill that was passed in the House of Commons by holding a snap vote while several Senators were away.
The move is shocking on several fronts. Firstly, the vote took place while 15 Liberal Senators were away from the capital. The vote to defeat the Climate Change Accountability Act passed by a margin of 43-32. Even more shocking is the fact that the unelected body of officials known as the Canadian Senate overturned a bill that was passed by the House of Commons – government officials elected by the Canadian people.
Jack Layton, the leader of Canada’s third party, the New Democratic Party, called the vote, “One of the most undemocratic acts that we have ever seen in the Parliament of Canada.”
A government-appointed advisory panel says in a 38-page report the Harper administration has gone too far in estimating the potential results of its global warming strategy. The group also said the government's plan is vague and uses questionable accounting methods. The report comes as the Conservative government is being sued by green groups for its foor-dragging.
A Conservative policy committee has proposed broad domestic tax rebates for those who improve energy efficiency on homes they purchase. The group also called for caps on the energy use of major appliances and a ban on goods that exceed restrictions. Britain’s ruling Labour Party, not surprisingly, has questioned the Tories’ calculations.