Mercury rising

Recent studies confirm that Arctic region populations have dangerous levels of mercury in their blood. Coal-fired power plants are the main source of this potent neurotoxin. Canada and the US are switching from coal to natural gas, but then are exporting their coal to countries that are much less concerned about mercury emissions from power generation. Airborne mercury travels the globe. It will come back to haunt Canadians who think it’s no longer their problem.

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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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