James Glave

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I work with Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada to help accelerate Canada’s transition to an energy-efficient, ecologically responsible, and prosperous low-carbon economy.

Canadian Taxpayer Federation on Warming: "Nothing to See Here, Move Along."

Maureen Bader, B.C. Director of the Canadian Taxpayer's Federation

If you’re one of the 65,000-odd supporters of The Canadian Taxpayer Federation, your dollars are fighting government waste and improving public accountability. Good for you!

But you’re also underwriting climate denial.

DeSmogBlog obtained a recent letter sent by Maureen Bader, the group’s B.C. director (shown here), to a former member who was concerned about the Federation’s position on climate change.  In the letter, she characterizes the so-far limited government efforts to address global warming as a “tax grab.” She also calls the U.S. effort to develop a cap-and-trade system “a blatant effort to erect non-tariff barriers to trade.”

Governments, both provincially and federally use conventional wisdom, so-called consensus and even stoop to fear as an excuse to raise taxes.  They are using people’s legitimate concern about the environment as an excuse for a tax grab.

Ottawa Think-Tank Calls B.C.'s Carbon Tax Canada's "Most Effective"

British Columbia has the best carbon pricing scheme in Canada. That’s the conclusion of a national survey and analysis of climate policies compiled by Sustainable Prosperity, a progressive think tank based at the Univeristy of Ottawa.

According to a Globe and Mail report, the authors of the study invested a year speaking with top economic, business and environment leaders across the country before identifying eight key principles of a carbon pricing plan—think tranparency, reach, simplicity, and so on. The group then applied those principals to score Canada’s existing carbon laws and proposals. B.C.’s carbon tax, introduced a year ago, scored an 87. It fell short in the areas of national reach and long-term impact.

The group also informally examined the limited cap-and-trade policy that B.C.’s New Democratic Party is presently campaigning on. Sustainable Prosperity’s carbon-pricing director told the Globe that her group’s “score card would rate [it] as the weakest policy in Canada.” With few details of that plan yet available, the group was only able to conduct a back-of-the-envelope analysis. It was enough, though, to suggest that New Democrat’s plan would introduce “huge instability and doubt” to the market.

Could Falling Oil Prices Stall Oil Sands?

Finally, some good news: The global economic slowdown might curb runaway carbon emissions in Northern Alberta’s oil sands—at least temporarily.

Oil dipped below $50 a barrel this week for the first time since May 2005, and according to a report in Thursday’s New York Times,

“some analysts predict oil could fall to $30 to 40 a barrel as the world economy worsens.”

That $30 is a magic number for many energy economists, who for years have argued that Alberta’s oil sands projects are only viable when petroleum is trading above it.

Taken together, the mining and processing megaprojects represent Canada’s leading source of the heat-trapping carbon emissions that cause global warming. According to Pembina Institute estimates, by year end the operations will have released around 46 million metric tonnes of equivalent carbon-dioxide into the atmosphere.

But there are already signs that the machinery may be slowing.

The Vancouver Sun notes that the ongoing market slide has placed a de facto “moratorium” on development in the oil sands.

Canuck MegaBattery "Cleans Up" Wind Power

Wind is a bit like Adam Sandler's career. Sometimes it blows, and sometimes it doesn't.

That's just fine if all you want to do is fly a kite, but if you're an electrical utility seeking a steady supply of carbon-free juice for millions of homes and businesses, the resource needs a Plan B.

For one Canadian company, that plan B is “battery.” And it's gearing up to install a big 'un over in Ireland.

Gwynne Dyer: Dab Those Bali Tears

As we now all know, COP-13 did not set the hard emissions-reductions targets that humankind so desperately needs. But there was a silver lining in the South Pacific, argues the legendary journalist who is perhaps best known for his 1980s TV miniseries War.

Dyer's new column pulls back the scope, and places COP-13's non-outcome in the wider context of human evolution. We're getting there, folks, he says, and everything's going to be alright.

Research: The New Economics of Global Warming

Economists no longer debate the realities of anthropomorphic climate change–that's so 1993!

Instead, they squabble over how much we should be spending today to lessen the sting of the much bigger invoices that will inevitably come due tomorrow, should we insist on carrying on with all this fossil-fuel nonsense.

Note: see our welcome to DeSmog's latest writer James Glave - this is his first post so be gentle!