A few Canadian climate news items


in Canada, Politics, Rants, Science, The environment

The last couple of days have been an active period in Canadian climate science and policy:

  • An expedition led by David Barber concluded that the Arctic is likely to be ice-free in the summer, as of 2015.
  • Environment Canada scientist Don MacIver resigned from the group organizing the next World Climate Congress after the federal government revoked his permission to attend and speak at the ongoing United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Poznan, Poland.
  • Gordon McBean, a prominent Canadian climate scientist, speculated that Environment Canada is not “functioning in a way that is conducive to providing the kind of leadership that we need.”
  • Chief Phil Fontaine told Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl that: “The actions of Canada in Poland are designed to undermine the rights of indigenous people here and elsewhere.”

Certainly, Canada’s negotiating position has been a problematic one. Many people have pointed out the disjunction between demanding binding emissions reductions from ‘all major emitters’ (including India and China) and stating that Canada has no intention of meeting the target it chose for itself under the Kyoto Protocol.

It is very hard to say that any Canadian government has played a constructive role in the development of international climate policy. Hopefully, that will begin to change as we are dragged reluctantly into the mainstream.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

. December 13, 2008 at 7:23 pm

Poznan: Canada replaces U.S. as “single worst” country

By Richard Littlemore on US

After eight years during which the United States was consistently derided as the most obstructive force in international climate negotiations, Canada moved into worst place today, receiving the “Colossal Fossil” award for having done more than any other country to drag down talks at the UN climate negotiations in Poznan.

Magictofu December 13, 2008 at 9:56 pm

Large reserve of asbestos – we pretend that asbestos if safe as long as possible and then we block attempts at controlling the substance.

Large reserve of dirty oil – we pretend we can find a technological fix and block attempts intended to reduce GHG emissions.

I am glad we do not have large reserves of murderous radioactive zombies.

Milan December 13, 2008 at 10:03 pm
. December 13, 2008 at 11:55 pm

‘Embarrassing’ to be a Canadian at climate talks: Green party leader
Last Updated: Saturday, December 13, 2008 | 1:32 PM ET
CBC News

The UN climate conference in Poznan, Poland, was a “mark of shame” for Canada, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said on Saturday.

Delegates from poorer nations were angry at Canada for not meeting its commitments under the Kyoto protocol, as well as all industrialized countries for stalling on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, May told CBC News.

Tom Moriarty December 14, 2008 at 10:36 pm

I publicly challenge David Barber to $1000 bet that the Arctic basin will not be ice free on any date before December 31st, 2015.

See details here.

Best regards,

. February 23, 2011 at 10:30 pm

On Sunday, for the first time in four months, the sun rose over Eureka on Ellesmere Island, 10 degrees from the North Pole. The sun’s return brings rays that break up ozone, and the Arctic climate and atmosphere are changing every year. But we are about to lose our main source of knowledge about these intricate, and life-altering, processes, because our northernmost environmental research laboratory, known as PEARL, is in jeopardy. If Canada is serious about scientific discovery, and its status as an Arctic nation, the lab must be saved.

No one questions the laboratory’s merit. Its instruments have collected Arctic surface and atmospheric data used by the world’s major research organizations, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the World Meteorological Office.

The lab houses Canada’s northernmost high-speed Internet connection, allowing for rapid dissemination of results. Research done at the lab has already found, for instance, that water evaporation in the Arctic is far more complicated than had been thought. The lab is the only one of its kind in the high Arctic, and has produced 37 refereed publications and trained more than 50 young scientists in 10 years.

The Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory is in trouble because one of its main sources of funding, the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences, has lost federal support and is slated to wind down this year.

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