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By: Dr. James Hansen
Today (May 9, 2013) 36 Norwegian organizations sent an open letter to Prime Minister Stoltenberg expressing opposition to development of Canadian tar sands by Statoil (the Norwegian state is majority shareholder of Statoil).
Signatories include not only environmental organizations, but a broad public spectrum, including, appropriately, many youth organizations. It is encouraging that Norwegian youth press their government to stop supporting tar sands development, given the fact that Norway saves much of its oil earnings for future generations and given the fact that Norway is not likely among the nations that will suffer most from climate change.
WASHINGTON – May 16 – The Big Apple proved to be an unfriendly landing spot today for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose sales job for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline was interrupted by scores of climate activists who want President Obama to reject the pipeline and for Harper to re-commit Canada to confronting climate change.
An estimated 100 activists greeted Harper before his visit to the Council on Foreign Relations with a large banner that read “Harper: Tell the truth on climate change. Tar Sands = Climate Disaster.” On Tuesday, over 500 people met President Obama here to ask him to reject the Keystone.
“Harper is here to sell tar sands oil and his country’s record on dealing with the climate crisis but Americans are skeptical of both and for good reason,” said 350.org spokesperson Daniel Kessler. “The US is cutting its emissions while Canada’s are rising. Tar sands expansion will stall progress in both of our countries and concerned citizens are speaking out.”
On cloudy days, heavy smoke fills the air of Ponca City, Okla., with grey smog that camouflages itself into the sky. The ConocoPhillips oil refinery that makes its home there uses overcast days as a disguise to release more toxins into the air. These toxins are brimming with benzene — a chemical that, according to the Centers for Disease Control, can cause leukemia, anemia and even decrease the size of women’s ovaries. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2008 the ConocoPhillips refinery released over 2,000 pounds of this chemical into the air in Ponca City.
“Of the maybe 800 of us that live locally, we have averaged over the last five to seven years maybe one funeral a week,” explained Casey Camp-Horinek, a Ponca woman and longtime activist. “Where we used to have dances every week, now most people are in mourning.”
The powerful U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seems to be taking its mandate seriously. At least as far as the State Department’s recent evaluation of TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is concerned.
In an official letter issued last Monday, the EPA trashed the State Department’s draft report, the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), released in March. It expressed grave concern that the report gave an overly-positive environmental assessment of the $7 billion project. That it bizarrely concluded that the 875 mile long pipeline was environmentally sound.
As you’ll recall, the State Department’s conclusions upset a lot of environmentalists. For many good reasons.
Rules “a consequence of weakened federal environmental laws under Bill C-38”
TORONTO, ON, Apr 5, 2013 – New undemocratic rules are creating a barrier to public participation in upcoming National Energy Board (NEB) hearings into the proposal for Enbridge’s Line 9 oil pipeline. For the first time, members of the public who want to send a letter with comments to the NEB about a pipeline project must first apply for permission to participate – by filling out a 10-page form that includes a request for a resume and references.
OTTAWA – Canada’s economy is experiencing a “carbon bubble” that could have significant consequences for Canada’s financial markets and pension funds, according to a new study released March 26 by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
Between two-thirds and four-fifths of known fossil fuel reserves have been deemed to be “unburnable carbon” that cannot safely be combusted without leading to catastrophic climate change.
“Business-as-usual for the fossil fuel industry is incompatible with the need to keep the global temperature increase to 2°C or less,” says CCPA Senior Economist Marc Lee. “The recent experience of high-tech and housing bubbles should serve as a stern warning to investors and policy makers.”
10 KXL amendment co-sponsors took $8 million from fossil fuel industry
By: Jacob Chamberlain and Jon Queally | Common Dreams
In a 62-37 vote late Friday, the US Senate passed a non-binding amendment calling for the approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.
Environmental groups and climate activists were quick to condemn the vote, but said the “symbolic vote” was valuable because it revealed which members of the Senate have received the message on the seriousness posed by climate change and which continue to bend to the demands of industry lobbyists.