SIDS and the rising seas

Small island developing states should be well advanced by now in planning for climate change. A crucial decision is to move disaster response agencies and key ministeries inland and away from the coast. Schools need to be retrofitted as community protection centres powered by photovoltaic solar energy. Communication systems need to be storm-proof.

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Knee-capping Ontario

Ontario’s new provincial government has acted recklessly and irresponsibly in shutting down the cap-and-trade emissions trading scheme the province set up with Quebec and California. Cap and trade has substantially reduced Ontario’s emissions of greenhouse gases, and carbon revenues have financed strong growth in energy efficiency and state-of-the-art low-carbon technologies. This progress has now ground to a halt.

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Stormwatch–they’re getting stronger

The 2017 catalog of global natural disasters has been finalised. Although storms kill fewer people, they are causing much more damage. Windspeed, size, and flooding potential are all factors that play a role. Particularly flooding. Storms are moving more slowly and dumping more rain. The Saffir-Simpson hurricane windscale is inadequate and dangerously misleading.

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A Tale of Two CA’s

Canada would benefit by paying more attention to the way that one of the world’s largest economies–California– is reducing its emissions of greenhouse gases. Its cap-and-trade emission reduction program is only a part of a comprehensive portfolio of regulatory policies that have been hugely successful. Canada’s federal government should drop its carbon tax and copy a couple of pages from California’s playbook.

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Carbon price wars–BC, Ontario or Quebec?

Recently published government data show that British Columbia’s revenue-neutral carbon tax scheme–once celebrated as world class–has performed dismally. Ontario and Quebec are the star performers, and it’s not hard to see why. Investing carbon revenues in complementary policies that promote energy efficiency and renewable energy are the keys to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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Greenhouse Hothouse Firehouse

A recent scientific paper uses systems analysis to project future pathways of the Earth System in the context of continuing emissions of greenhouse gases. As global temperatures rise, feedback mechanisms intensify and tipping point thresholds are crossed–leading to a cascade of effects that lead to a state characterized as Hothouse Earth. A different path is possible. But not without urgent action on a global scale.

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