Mercury rising

Recent studies confirm once again 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. Read More

US climate assessment is grim

The National Climate Assessment just released by the US Global Change Research Program sets out in grim detail the projected negative impacts of global warming on the US environment, economy, and regions. The report contains strong warnings for Canada, especially its northern regions. Read More

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. Read More

SIDS and the carbon budget

The IPCC report on global warming has a grim warning for small islands--where the hammer of climate change will fall the hardest. At the same time, the Earth's carbon budget is depleting fast as emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise. Read More

What’s in the carbon toolbox?

What's the best way to bring down emissions of greenhouse gases? Economists assert that a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade mechanism is the best way to achieve substantial emission reductions. But there is solid evidence that regulatory measures and legislating standards work faster and achieve deeper cuts. Read More

Global warming heats up

The IPCC's report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 degrees sets out the disastrous consequences of government inaction. Pathways to limiting global warming are possible--with a massive transition to renewable energy and the phasing out of coal. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More