Interesting Observations here at Home and Elsewhere Before COP 26

The past few days have again shown the world the negative effects of trying to control “climate change” associated with stemming the oft cited UNIPCC scary forecast of a 1.5 degree of warming.

Ontario Comes First in Subsidizing Energy Costs

On October 19,2021, Ontario’s FAO (Financial Accountability Office) released a report titled “Home Energy Spending in Ontario: Income and Regional Distribution”. It is an interesting report and tells us how the Provincial government; ie: taxpayers, subsidized residential electricity and heating costs over the 2019 year. The report breaks down the cost of residential electricity and heating costs in five sectors by both geography and income and tells us the costs of those subsidies.  We should suspect the taxpayer cost has increased significantly since the end of 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and on and off again lock-downs. We should also recognize those costs were brought to us by the well-over 100% increase in electricity costs ratepayers experienced as the McGuinty/Wynne government brought us the GEA (Green Energy Act).  The FAO’s estimate for the subsidies in 2019 for the electricity sector was a cost to taxpayers of $3.5 billion. The report as noted highlights spending on those necessities of life in five regions and one of them is “Eastern Ontario”.  One sentence in the report stood out as it was about the Eastern Ontario region where they experience the highest “income per household” and the highest “average home energy spending”!  The sentence referencing a portion of that region stated: “High household incomes and large dwelling sizes, particularly in the Ottawa-Gatineau area, drive high energy use in the Eastern region.” That should come as no surprise as the area is loaded with highly paid bureaucrats and politicians.  It is also the region where local politicians want to spend $57.4 billion to achieve “net-zero” emissions by 2050 for Ottawa only.  Hopefully they are not looking for any contributions to their plans from the rest of Ontario’s ratepayers or taxpayers.

How will UK PM Boris Johnson Dance for the Eco-Warriors at COP 26

A short article from “Oil Price” titled “UK Grid Relies For 62 Percent On Fossil Fuels For Its Energy” should be a shocker to PM Johnson with COP 26 mere days away and energy prices skyrocketing in the UK and Europe. Natural gas prices, in particular, have reportedly risen by over 400%. The captioned article noted electricity generated by natural gas represented the bulk (60%) of the 62% with coal generation representing the other 2%!  Another recent article in CNBC stated; “Rising gas prices aren’t a problem unique to Britain. In recent weeks, governments in Spain, Italy, Greece, and France have taken drastic actions to minimize its impact on consumers.” One should wonder how those representing the various governments will react to the thousands of Eco-warriors attending COP 26 in Glasgow who will insist on firm commitments to achieve the “net-zero” target to reputedly save the world from the dreaded “climate change” event. The developing world countries attending COP 26 will also be looking for handouts to help them get to net-zero.  The developed world countries, from whom they seek the trillions of dollars will be hamstrung as any funds they may have been prepared to commit are disappearing into the abyss to support their own citizens due to the climb in fossil fuel energy.

Just more bad news that Johnson will have to deal with!

Pledges by Banks to Cut Funding for Drilling of Oil and Gas in the Arctic and elsewhere Contain Loopholes

Less than a week ago Mark Carney, former Governor of the Bank of England convinced the “Big Six” Canadian banks to join his NZBA (Net-Zero Banking Alliance) mere days before the launch of COP 26 in Glasgow, Scotland.  The six Canadian banks brought the total number in the “alliance” to 81 representing 36 countries and US$58 trillion in assets. This would suggest many banks in many countries have not kowtowed to Carney or the UN despite the forecasted climate catastrophe. The signatory banks of the “alliance” reputedly agree to align their lending and investment activities to achieve net-zero targets by 2050 as well as set intermediate target reductions by 2030.

Needless to say, the eco-warriors such as Greenpeace weren’t satisfied!  Keith Stewart, senior energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada, said Canadian banks have to do more than join the alliance. “The world is accelerating toward a zero-carbon economy and Canadian banks are still playing catch up. Until they commit to a near-term phasing out of all financial support for fossil fuels and to fully respect Indigenous rights, they will still be part of the problem.”

The foregoing pitch by Greenpeace was also the subject of another article about “alliance” member banks lending to corporations involved in Artic oil and gas drilling as environmentalists and some asset managers (115 investment firms with assets under management of US$4.2 trillion) noted they want more action.  Apparently, banks are not specifically lending to Artic projects but do lend directly to corporations who then may use some or all of the funds for Artic related oil and gas exploration and extraction.

Somehow, I doubt the politicians in those two Artic countries of Russia (12.4 million b/d) and Norway (2 million b/d) who produce oil and gas have any intention of instructing their banks to stop providing the cash required to either fund new developments or provide the working capital needed to continue their generation.

We should believe the Mark Carney(val) and its push to get more members of NZBA will become harder as his support of UN efforts to reach net-zero by 2050 will cripple their economies much as it has in many of the European countries along with Canada.

LMDC Pushback and China’s Power Crises Impacts Global Economy

Well, as the expression goes; “the shxt has hit the fan” as India’s environment minister “said the delayed climate action and lack of leadership from developed countries have increased the cost of mitigation and adaptation in developing countries, and jointly flagged how “calling all countries to adopt ‘net-zero’ target by 2050 is inequitable.” What he was emitting (writer’s interpretation) at a meeting of the LMDC (like-minded developing countries) including China, Pakistan, etc. in Bolivia was: they won’t be bullied into any commitments at COP 26 to reduce emissions without the developed world handing them billions or trillions of dollars more.  With many of the developed economies suffering from declines in their GDP and climbing inflation it also seems unlikely they will commit to increase the promised $100 billion for developing countries.

As if to make matters worse in both developing and developed countries the global spikes in the cost of fossil fuel energy and its current limited supply has caused blackouts.  Interestingly those blackout events have affected developed countries who outsourced much of their manufacturing base and now are faced with shortages in obtaining supplies they are dependent on.  That has resulted in higher inflation, unemployment, reduced GDP, economic support for their workers and increased taxpayer debt.

The foregoing spells more bad news for the upcoming COP 26 conference in Glasgow, and reinvigorates additional screaming from the eco-warriors. 

One has to wonder will this cause the demise of the premise that CO 2 emissions will cause the world to collapse and force the eco-warriors to find a real job?   Only time will tell!

Jack Gibbons, Chair & CEO of OCAARI, a Registered Charity, Advocates to Create More Energy Poverty

United Way on December 16, 2020, posted an article about energy poverty and what causes it.  The article stated: “Canada’s most populace province, Ontario, has the highest numbers of households struggling with energy poverty (1.1 M households).”

To put some context on the foregoing; those 1.1 million households would represent 22.9% of all residential electricity customers and 29.4% of all natural gas residential customers according to the OEB’s (Ontario Energy Board) 2020 yearbook of each customer group.

For some unknown reason the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) who have three (3) employees, and five (5) directors one of whom is Jack Gibbons in each category, have been making presentations to numerous and gullible municipal politicians across the province. Those presentations were meant to convince the municipalities they should push the Provincial Government to close all of Ontario’s gas plants. At last count 32 municipalities have bought into the OCAA’s diatribe. The IESO reported closing those gas plants would drive up average residential electricity bills by $1,200 per annum and also cause blackouts.

It is interesting to note; Gibbons, back in May 2006, was a big fan of gas plants speaking out in support of the Portlands Energy Centre (PEC) a proposed 550 MW gas plant and was quoted as follows:  “Some people are opposed to a power plant (of any kind) in Toronto — period,” said Jack Gibbons, chair of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance. However, “some people are not fully aware how clean the Portlands Energy Centre will be.”

Should one go seeking for Gibbons biography you find little about him but what yours truly found was a list of speaker biographies in a website called “cleanairhamilton.ca” and what it stated was: “The Ontario Clean Air Alliance is a coalition of 80 organizations including the City of Hamilton, the Regions of Peel and Waterloo and the City of Toronto. Our member organizations represent over 6 million Ontarians.” These days the OCAA don’t make the foregoing claim but that doesn’t seem to have diminished Gibbon’s ability to dazzle the elected politicians in those municipalities.

The OCAA and the registered charity OCAA Research Institute (OCAARI) report they generated gross revenue (combined) of only $92,133.89 for the year ended September 30, 2020.  The OCAARI filing with the CRA indicates, for 2020, their gross revenue was $92,136.00.  Not sure where the difference of $2.11 went but perhaps Gibbons purchased a coffee! Curiosity piqued, a look back at the oldest (posted) CRA results for the year ended September 30, 2016 indicates total revenue of $63,042.00. That year the OCAARI reported charitable expenditures of $107,245 whereas in the 2020 report to the CRA those charitable expenditures were shown as $79,690.

 Recognizing the limited revenue being generated by this seemingly powerful organization, I reached out to Gibbons with the following question related to their 2020 CRA filing which indicated $6,645 as the amount spent on “management and administration”: 

I was looking at the OCAA’s September 30, 2020 filing with the CRA and found the following info kind of shocking so was wondering how you and Angela manage to survive on so little compensation?

 Can you explain please as you can’t possibly survive on so little, particularly all three of you listed on your website? Curious if you are being paid by others like Hydro Quebec or TAF or perhaps the IVEY Foundation?  Wondering and would sure appreciate an explanation.” 

What I got back in response was:

Hi Parker, We have two organizations: a) Ontario Clean Air Alliance Research Inc (OCAARI) which is a registered charity; and b) Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA) which is a non-profit.

As of September 30, 2021, OCAARI has never had any employees.  But on October 1, 2021 Angela became an employee of OCAARI.

OCAA has had employees in the past. I have been a volunteer for many years. We have not received funding from TAF or Ivey for many years. We have never received funding from Hydro Quebec.

Jack

As noted above the posting on their website indicates “combined revenue” for both organizations for their 2020 yearend, was $92,133.89 and charitable donations were $79,690 which doesn’t leave much available to pay his two staff members particularly if they continue to spend money on “political activities”.  

For the 2020 year they reported expenses of $43,698 on political activities meaning they blew past their gross revenues for the year.

From all appearances the CRA with in excess of 45,000 employees as of March 30, 2020 has no problems with the OCAARI operating as a charity and can presumably find nothing wrong with their activities or filings with them.

The above demonstrates a sad state of affairs for those of us who pay taxes to supplement the activities of this particular organization (and presumably many others) whose aim under their CEO and Chair, Jack Gibbons, seems dedicated to driving more households in Ontario into energy poverty.

We need the bureaucrats to do their job!

ECO-Warriors in Shock as Last Week’s Events Unfolded

A few news stories over the past week caught my eye due to their rational views overturning claims from ENGO pushing for success at COP 26 to achieve the “net-zero” target. Here are three of the best.

Shutting Ontario’s Gas Plants Would lead to Blackouts and Cost Households $1,200 More Annually

On October 7, 2021 Ontario’s IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) issued a press release announcing they had reviewed requests from thirty (30) Ontario municipalities associated with their demand gas plants should be shut down.  The press release highlighted the findings of the report titled: “Decarbonization and Ontario’s Electricity Systemwhich were:

Completely phasing out natural gas generation by 2030 would lead to blackouts and the system changes that would be required would increase residential electricity bills by 60 per cent.

Ontario’s electricity grid is only responsible for roughly three per cent of the province’s total GHG emissions and is well positioned to support the electrification of other sectors.

Ontario’s electricity system is constantly evolving and the IESO is actively integrating emerging technologies that have the potential to meet Ontario’s long-term needs.”

The 60% increase in the first highlight noted above would increase residential bills by $100/month along with generating blackouts. The second highlight notes Ontario’s electric grid is one of the cleanest in the world yet eco-warriors such as the CRA registered charity; the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) want to make it 100% emissions free but are seemingly OK if we experience “blackouts!

Followers of my blog will no doubt recall a prior article about the OCAA and their Chair, Jack Gibbons who wowed those 30 municipal councils convincing them to push the Ford led government to close the gas plants. It is interesting to look at the IESO data on the day of their press release as it easily demonstrates the inability of wind and solar generation to provide a reliable supply of energy.  Hour 17 (5PM) ended with those two generating sources providing a miserly 0.93% (157 MW) of that hour’s demand which was approximately 16,860 MW.  On the other hand, flexible and reliable gas generation provided 22.6% (3,807 MW) for that hour ensuring supply was sufficient for ratepayer needs.

Ontario ratepayers should be thankful IESO provided a report with facts to dispel the lies of the eco-warriors such as those spewed by Jack Gibbons!

You’re kidding when you say: UK’s Biggest Source of Greenhouse Gas is an ‘Eco’ Power Station

A very recent article in the UK’s Daily Mail cited the European Academies Science Advisory Council and stated; “using woody biomass for power is not effective in mitigating climate change and may even increase the risk of dangerous climate change”.  It is always gratifying to have others confirm what you, as an individual, noted in the past and this was one such occasion. An article I wrote and posted on Energy Probe basically reached the same conclusion as the EASAC over seven years ago in March 2014. The article noted wood pellets produced in North and South America for DRAX were shipped to England for transportation by rail to Yorkshire where DRAX’s generation station is located.

The Daily Mail’s article went on to note: “Drax in Yorkshire burns wood pellets, which are treated as a ‘renewable’ fuel and the site has attracted more than £800million of taxpayer subsidies. But analysis shows that the burning of wood for power – known as biomass – has been the cause of more carbon dioxide emissions than coal since 2019.” The article goes on to state: “Drax is Europe’s third largest CO2 emitter, exceeded only by Belchatow in Poland and Neurath in Germany. In the UK, Drax leads CO2 emissions, with RWE’s Pembroke gas power station coming in second with 4.3Mt of CO2.“ It does seem rather strange the  accounting rules allow Drax to be treated as “carbon neutral”!

Nice to see the truth for a change when it comes to the push to decarbonize the world by the eco-warriors but one should wonder why it took EASAC and the MSM so long to recognize those lies?

Greenpeace Loses Supreme Court Case Against BP

BP (British Petroleum) had been granted a permit by the UK government to drill for oil in the Vorlich Field in the North Sea but before they could activate the permit Greenpeace decided to challenge them in the courts.  The article, in the Rigzone Energy Network October 8, 2021 stated  “Environmentalist group Greenpeace has lost its court case which challenged the UK government’s decision to grant a permit to BP to drill the Vorlich Field”. Greenpeace’s principal claim was “the government gave no consideration to the climate impact of burning the fossil fuels extracted”.

The written ruling stated: “Although the appellants’ aspiration is for such extraction to cease, it does not appear to be contended that the UK economy is not still reliant in a number of different ways on the consumption of oil and gas. At present, a shortage of oil and gas supplies is a matter of public concern,” the Lord President, Carloway, added, referencing recent political developments around the gas price crisis. The ruling went on to state: “It would not be practicable, in an assessment of the environmental effects of a project for the extraction of fossil fuels, for the decision maker to conduct a wide-ranging examination into the effects, local or global, of the use of that fuel by the final consumer,”

The court however did push the decision up the line to elected politicians noting: “The Secretary of State’s submission that these are matters for decision at a relatively high level of Government, rather than either by the court or in relation to one oilfield project, is correct. The issue is essentially a political and not a legal one,” Lord Carloway concluded.

What the ruling suggests is Greenpeace and other ENGO should confine their activities to lobbying politicians and their bureaucrats as the legal system will only deal with laws passed by parliament.

The article also made mention that back in 2019 Greenpeace tried “to stop BP from drilling on the Vorlich field by intercepting its chartered drilling rig Paul B. Loyd, Jr. some 80 miles off Scotland, forcing the rig to turn back. Several arrests were made as a result.”

The three events noted above give us hope there are people still left on the planet with rational thought processes.  Perhaps some of them will infiltrate the MSM and the political parties!  We can only hope!  

As an aside the “net-zero” concept and electrification of everything in our lives was pushed via TV ads back in 1961 and the ads are still available on YouTube!  “Live Better Electrically”  No mention of either climate change or emissions back then however!

Canada Missed the Boat Thanks to Our Prime Minister and “The Sky is Falling” Environmentalists

Someone needs to tell Canadian taxpayers:

 1.Why we taxpayers paid for over 300 politicians and bureaucrats to attend the Paris COP21 Conference

 and

2.Why we committed at that time to reduce our GHG emissions by 30% by 2030 below 2005 levels (since revised to 40/45% by 2030) without a cost/benefit analysis or a little foresight?

Had the politicians and bureaucrats done either (without just listening to the “climate change” eco-warriors) they may have possibly seen future events we are now experiencing around the world! 

To wit:

European Energy Prices are Breaking Records

A colder and longer winter depleted gas supplies which have not recovered so prices have climbed as availability from Europe’s gas fields have fallen and Russia’s Gazprom is focused on restoring their own gas storage as winter approaches.  Other events such as much less generation from industrial wind turbines have affected demand to the point that even coal plants had to be fired up.  Both of those commodities are either at record highs or closing in on them.  As a recent article in Aljazeera noted; “Europe has the world’s most ambitious climate plan, but political will is being tested by soaring energy costs. As countries take steps to ease the blow on consumers, Spain warned the European Union that measures to reduce emissions “may not stand a sustained period of abusive electricity prices,”. To make matters worse, Norway, famous for its hydro power said they are “pressed” due to low water inflows so interconnections with the UK, Germany and Denmark means those countries cannot count on any supply from them during the high demand winter.

India sees Petrol, Diesel and Coal Prices at Record Highs

A article on October 2, 2021 stated both diesel and petrol prices in India reached record levels.  It should be noted India is dependent on imports to meet 85% of its oil needs so the effects on the economy will be significant. India is also dependent on coal for electricity generation with about 70% of it’s generation provided from that source and a Reuters article from October 1, 2021 noted “Over half of India’s 135 coal-fired power plants have fuel stocks of less than three days, government data shows, far short of federal guidelines recommending supplies of at least two weeks.“ Interestingly enough India competes with China for coal imports and they are the world’s largest coal consumer. The Reuters article goes on to note: “Coal prices from major exporters have scaled all-time highs recently, with Australia’s Newcastle prices rising roughly 50% and Indonesian export prices up 30% in the last three months.

China Experiences a Myriad of Blackouts

Recently a very observant contact sent me a seventeen-minute video dated September 30, 2021 and it was fascinating to watch as it contained numerous blackout scenes from Chinese homes and businesses mainly in North-East China where many of the larger manufacturers are located. Those companies have been told to either reduce energy usage during peak demand periods or cut the number of days they operate. One of the reasons for the blackouts is that approximately 57% of electricity in China is generated from coal which has increased in price. Those coal-fired plants are unable to increase prices due to government price controls of electricity so they have reduced their output in an effort to reduce losses. The shutdown of factories will affect the global supply chain and as one example, that has been noted in the press as both Apple and TESLA have been affected.  The latter is interesting as the push is on in Canada and around the world to limit sales of ICE vehicles and eventually banish them in order to reduce emissions. China has been a major supplier of batteries and other materials for EV manufacturers and additionally about 50% (4.7 million) of all EV in the world are owned by Chinese citizens.  Needless to say EV charging stations have been shut down by the blackouts so the enthusiasm to purchase EV by China’s citizens will surely diminish as they will in other parts of the world!

Energy Lawsuits may make COP 26 to be a Breakup of the Paris Accord

What looms ahead for Boris Johnson, the UK’s Prime Minister as host of COP 26 in Glasgow later this month is unknown but he should be concerned.  Beyond the recent events affecting so many countries around the world including the UK, in respect to fuel shortages and their negative effects on inflation and the global supply chain there is yet another one looming! A Reuters article published just a couple of days ago may cause the Paris agreement on climate change to be (appropriately) tossed in the garbage.  Specifically, what the article references is: “The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) was originally drawn up to protect energy firms as the Soviet Union crumbled, but new analysis suggests it could allow coal plants in 54 signatory states to keep belching carbon dioxide for more than a decade.“ The article went on to say: “What they never thought about is that the treaty could be used against the EU countries themselves,” added Saheb who is now working as the lead author of a U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on climate mitigation.“  Saheb went on to suggest the suits could reach 1.3 trillion euros.  There are apparently a number of lawsuits that have already started totaling $18 billion with the largest being TC Energy’s $15 billion suit against the US under NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) for cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline. Canada is also being sued under NAFTA by oil and gas company Lone Pine over a fracking moratorium by Quebec.

We are Not Back

Terry Glavin in an article in the National Post on March 15, 2017 noted PM Justin Trudeau went to the Paris Climate Summit in 2015 weeks after winning a majority and said: “Canada is back, my friends”. Trudeau and the other 299 plus politicians and bureaucrats he took with him simply gave away Canada’s prosperity which the Liberal Party inherited. He committed to reduce emissions and to basically shut down the fossil fuel sector.  His commitments are now biting us negatively.  If he had not been totally swayed by his buddy and puppet master, Gerald Butts, Canada might now be the best performing developed county in the world but instead we are scraping the bottom of the G7 and G20 barrels in terms of our GDP and our employment and inflation rates.

Had he reduced regulations, allowed pipelines to be built, mines (coal and others) to expand, etc. Canada would be prospering instead of contracting.  Our natural resources would be in demand around the world and Canadians would be reaping the financial benefits of foresight but alas the unelected eco-warriors won and now we are paying for the consequences! Should Trudeau decide to attend COP 26 let’s suggest he travel alone and when speaking in public he declares: 

Canada is at the back of the pack!

Mark Carney Got One Thing Right But Seems Wrong About His Other Preaching’s

Recently I received Steven E. Koonin’s book “Unsettled” in which he eloquently analysis the 2018 UNIPCC report that served the eco-warriors with some scary scenarios they amplified in their push to stop the world from consuming fossil fuels.  Fossil fuels have served the world in a meaningful way by reducing poverty and climate induced deaths and those issues are highlighted in Koonin’s book with facts.  He is not overly critical of the actual results reported by the scientists who produced the report but castigates the media and politicians for their apparent overzealous approach inferring mankind will perish should we continue to emit CO 2.

Amusingly he does cast aspersions on Mark Carney highlighting him as “the single most influential figure in driving investors and financial institutions around the world to focus on changes in climate and human influences on it.”  Koonin first paints Carney as an outstanding central banker but than clearly highlights one of his faulty claims about the future as it applies to climate change with the verbiage; “it’s surprising that someone with a PhD in economics and experience with the unpredictability of financial markets and economies as a whole doesn’t show a greater respect for the perils of prediction-and more caution in depending upon models.”  

The take from yours truly in respect to Carney was much more critical in a recent article I penned but, having no concerns about offending fellow humans pushing to destroy our economy allows yours truly to point out their fallacies in a less gentle way!

Below is the full text of Koonin’s criticism of Mark Carney as it appeared in my hard copy.  I recommend you take a couple of minutes to read what he had to say and note; it is a reflection on all the other “climate change” issues he opines on.  He calls everyone out with facts, and I would encourage all to acquire and read this excellent book to dispel any false beliefs you may have.                                    

Unsettled by Steven E. Koonin

The following was selected from pages 145 to 147

Mark Carney, former head of Canada’s central bank and later head of the Bank of England, is probably the single most influential figure in driving investors and financial institutions around the world to focus on changes in climate and human influences on it. A learned man, with a PhD in economics from Oxford University, he has been an outstanding central banker. Carney is now the United Nations’ Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance. He is also a UK advisor for the 26th annual UN Conference of Parties (COP26), a follow-on to the 2015 Paris climate conference that’s due to take place in Glasgow, Scotland, during November 2021.  So it’s important to pay close attention to what he says.

                In a 2015 speech just before the Paris conference, speaking as governor of the Bank of England, Carney laid out many aspects of “the insurance response to climate change.” Extreme weather costs insurance companies a lot of money, so perhaps it is no wonder that his appeal included a warning about flooding:

Despite winter 2014 being England’s wettest since the time of King George; III; forecasts suggest we can expect at least a further 10% increase in rainfall during future winters.

To support that assertion, he cited Britain’s Met Office “research into climate observations, projections, and impacts,” These were model forecasts for the next five years, so you might expect they’d be more accurate than those attempting to project climate fifty years out. Let’s turn to the data and see.

                Figure 7.13 shows the observed winter precipitation (December through February) in England and Wales up through 2020; it’s one of the longest instrumental weather series available, beginning in 1766.  The average rainfall looks pretty constant over decades from 1780 to 1870 and again from 1920 to the present.  A shift occurred somewhere over the fifty years in between, when human influences on the global climate were quite negligible.

                Carney was correct that 2014 was a record wet winter (455.5 mm or 17.9 inches), and it was indeed the “wettest since the time of King George,” since George III’s reign lasted until 1820. But the Met Office models Carney cited back in 2014 all turned out to be dead wrong. Rainfall during the six winters after 2014 was well in context with the previous century, and it averaged 278 mm, 39 percent less than the 2014 record and nowhere near the “at least” 500 mm implied by the predicted increase. And a Met Office analysis published in 2018 found that the largest source of variability in UK extreme rainfalls during the winter months was the North Atlantic Oscillation mode of natural variability not a changing climate.

                Of course Carney could take refuge in his speech’s subjunctive “forecasts suggest” and the indeterminate hedging of “future winters.” Nevertheless, it’s surprising that someone with a PhD in economics and experience with the unpredictability of financial markets and economies as a whole doesn’t show a greater respect for the perils of prediction-and more caution in depending upon models.”

Strathmere Group Declarations # 5 and # 6

Declaration target # 5 

Declare a moratorium on industrial fishing and development in the Arctic Ocean until there is a comprehensive scientific analysis incorporating the newest information on climate change impacts and until there is a system for integrated, precautionary ecosystem-based management of industrial activities.

AND

Declaration target # 6

Work cooperatively with all Arctic countries and Peoples to curb all sources of pollution of the Arctic, including from land-based sources

Both of those “Declarations” committed to by the “Strathmere Group” and their 21 US cousins back in June 2009 were focused on the Arctic; ocean and  lands so, we will look at them together.

Back in June 2019 when Jonathon Wilkinson was Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard he tabled Bill C-68 declared as the “modernized Fisheries Act and it passed Parliament June 20, 2019.  Needless to say, he was pleased and made the statement: “Our government is working hard to protect fish and fish habitat from coast-to-coast-to-coast, and the modernized Fisheries Act will do just that.” Wilkinson was also quoted stating: “It raises the bar in making sure that decision-making is based on science and evidence.”

Co-incidentally Bill C-48 sponsored by Marc Garneau, MP for Westmount Quebec and, Minister of Transport, also received 3rd reading the following day on June 21, 2019. The latter Bill was an Act regulating vessels transporting crude oil from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia’s north coast. The Bill killed any hopes of either the Northern Gateway Pipeline or the “Eagle Spirit Energy Corridor, which would run from the oil sands across Indigenous lands to BC’s northern coast, along with Indigenous peoples’ hopes for a better economic future” from proceeding!

It seems odd while these two Liberal Ministers are so concerned about the fossil fuel sector and its potential damage to the eco-system, they basically ignored the continued dumping of raw sewage by cities along the St. Lawrence River like LongueuilMontreal and Quebec City!  Collectively those three cities reported dumping about 8 billion litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River! 

Apparently marine life in the St. Lawrence River is not important but “potential” oil spills off of BC’s north coast will protect marine life as will no commercial fishing in part of the Arctic Ocean!

Many of us recall the happenstance related to the Newfoundland cod stock collapse and it is interesting to know one of the causes was “foreign overfishing”!  An extensive report from 2002 noted: “Canadian media and government public relations people often cite foreign overfishing as the primary cause of the “fishing out” of the north Atlantic cod stocks. Many nations took fish off the coast of Newfoundland, including Spain, Portugal, other countries of the European Community (EC), the former Soviet Union, Japan, and Korea.”  The report also noted: “There can be little doubt that foreign overfishing was a contributing factor in the cod stock collapse, and that the capitalist dynamics that were at work in Canada were all too similar for the foreign vessels and companies. But all of the blame cannot be put there, no matter how easy it is to do.”  Bad management by the Ministry is also cited as a cause in the report reflecting the moratorium placed on them on July 2, 1992 by the Honourable John Crosbie that has never been lifted since being imposed!

From all appearances commercial fishing to any great extent has never occurred in the Arctic Ocean and Bill C-68 will presumably preserve that observation for Canada’s commercial fishing fleet.

Along with the passing of Bill C-68 back on October 3, 2018 a legally binding international agreement was signed by Canada, Norway, Russia, the United States, China, Iceland, Japan, Korea, the European Union and Denmark.  The agreement will reputedly protect the Central Arctic Ocean from “unregulated fishing”. The agreement was reported as becoming law on June 18, 2021 so that particular section of the Arctic Ocean (three million square kilometres) will presumably be regulated.

Should one wonder why China was included it’s not because they fish, commercially, in the Arctic Ocean but perhaps because according to an article penned in August 2020 noted: “Estimates of the total size of China’s global fishing fleet vary widely. By some calculations, China has anywhere from 200,000 to 800,000 fishing boats, accounting for nearly half of the world’s fishing activity.“  The article went on to state: “China is not only the world’s biggest seafood exporter, the country’s population also accounts for more than a third of all fish consumption worldwide.

One should wonder, why would China agree to sign the agreement? 

In response to the foregoing question, one should note Canada has been extremely slow in building infrastructure to support our northern territories so without roads, railways or ports any developments of new mines, etc. are extremely costly so little development has taken place.  Suddenly back on August 13, 2019 Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport announced a project: “$21.5 million to complete preparatory work necessary for the first phase of construction of the Grays Bay Road and Port Project. The proposed 230 kilometre all-season road would be the first road to connect Nunavut to the rest of Canada.“  That particular project, co-incidentally, was seen as the means to cash in on opening of the Arctic which was something China had attempted to accomplish back in 2011 via a Chinese company (MMG Limited) whose principal shareholder was the Chinese government.  At that time MMG backed away as the cost of the roads and port made it too costly! As noted in an article in the Walrus on January 4, 2021, “The vast mineral deposits of zinc and copper near Izok Lake, in the Northwest Territories, lay glittering but ultimately untouchable“ until Garneau’s pledge. Shortly after than pledge by Garneau, Mr. G. Gao, CEO of MMG in a press release said;  “On behalf of MMG, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Canadian government for their support and funding,”.

The Walrus article goes on to note “CHINA’S GROWING INTEREST in the Canadian Arctic, one of the least defended regions on earth, has been a calculated move. In 2013, de­spite not being one of the eight Arctic nations, China gained official observer status at the Arctic Council, an intergov­ernmental forum, and later declared it­self a “near­-Arctic state”—a phrase that seems to ignore the 5,000 kilometres between its northern­most point and the Arc­tic Circle.

It seems ironic Garneau’s Bill C-48 designed to halt Canadian fossil fuel exports was passed just two months earlier before he turned around and catered to Chinese interests. 

It seems apparent the Strathmere Group partially attained their aim for Declaration # 5 but not in its entirety so it is only a “passing grade”.

Based on the foregoing happenings (so well reported by the Walrus), the current Liberal government, by catering to the whims of the CCP looks likely to allow the creation of mining projects for those minerals desired by China. That being the case one should expect, at the least, a modicum of pollution to occur in the Arctic meaning Declaration # 6 will be destined to fall into the Strathmere Groups first fail category.

Minnesota Court Case, Electric Vehicles in the UK, China’s Emissions and COP-26 etc.

Marc Patrone, host of his show each weekday morning on NEWSTALK SAUGA 960 AM had me on as a guest this morning (September 15, 2021) and the captioned covers only a few of the subject we discussed.

You can listen to our 15 minute chat on the podcast for September 15, 2021 starting at 1:21:50 here:

Podcasts

COP-26 Out Could be a Cop-Out                                                                                                                               

These past few days Boris Johnson, the UK’s PM and host of the upcoming COP-26 Climate Conference must be wringing his hands as the COP-26 Climate Conference being held in Glasgow from October 31st until November 12, 2021 is showing signs of major problems. 

On his home turf, the UK recently had to fire up a coal plant to avoid a blackout as their 24,100 MW capacity of onshore and offshore IWT (industrial wind turbines) went on holidays while natural gas prices soared.  The BBC article noted: “Over the coming months, those sky-high gas prices are expected to remain volatile. So, as well as forcing National Grid to make some tough choices about where we get our electricity from, it could also have a big knock-on on what we pay.”

As if to top things off for Johnson, new regulations associated with the electricity system and coming into force next year were recently announced and they state; “Electric car charging points in people’s homes will be preset to switch off for nine hours each weekday at times of peak demand because ministers fear blackouts on the National Grid. Under regulations that will come into force in May, new chargers in the home and workplace will be automatically set not to function from 8am to 11am and 4pm to 10pm.”

To put the foregoing in context the number of EV registered in the UK are approximately 300,000 out of 38 million vehicles which equates to less than 1%!  Prime Minister Johnson must surely have his fingers crossed that some of those recent events will not impact COP-26 and bring to mind, the realization reliable electricity cannot be supplied by those intermittent sources such as wind and solar usually referenced as “renewable” rather than “unreliable”!

The foregoing may be a strong signal to Prime Minister Johnson that his plan to end sales of all non-electric cars by 2035 is a non-starter unless they will forego being charged except perhaps once a year!

On top of the UK’s problems, the Spanish government has stepped into the fray as they recently moved to halt the record rise in power prices by; both reducing their taxes on energy and by curtailing what they referenced as “exceptional benefits”.  The article outlining the Spanish Government’s actions went on to state; “The government says the hikes in electricity bills are driven by spiraling prices of so-called carbon certificates, which give companies the right to release carbon dioxide; gas imports that Spain needs to complete its energy mix; and surging power demand in recent months.”

The amusing feature about the Spanish government’s actions is that back in December of 2020 “Renewables Now” were bragging Spain generated 43.6% of its power from renewables and had closed 3,486 MW of polluting power plants which were mainly coal-burning units during the year.

As is to make the COP-26 Conference outcome even more worrisome for PM Johnson, China advised Britain “it will not yield to international pressure for bigger improvements to its climate change commitments at the Cop26 conference in Glasgow.”  They will not be bullied into going green despite the visit from Alok Sharma, the UK senior climate change representative, who visited Beijing for pre-summit talks hoping to persuade China to “enhance” its carbon emissions reduction targets. It is worth noting China’s emissions stand at 28% of all global emissions and continue to climb. Without an “enhanced” commitment from them one should suspect COP-26 will fail to provide Johnson with the ability to claim it was a success!

Canada’s commitments at the Conference are presently unknown until the results of our election come to light.  What is known however, is one Canadian is playing a prominent role at COP-26 and that individual is Mark Carney whom I expounded on in prior articles.

PM Johnson back in January 2020 appointed Mark Carney (former Governor of the Bank of Canada and former Bank of England Governor) as his “advisor” for the conference. In addition, Carney is the UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance. I personally suspect Carney is not at all concerned about the outcome of the COP-26 Conference despite his lofty positions for the UN and PM Johnson.

Should COP-26 turn out to be a failure and Canadian voters couple that with the boot for Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party we should expect Carney’s fallback position will be to run for leadership of the Federal Liberal Party. 

Stay tuned!

The Circular Economy will Take “Peoplekind”* Down the Drain

Robert Hornung, CEO of CanREA (Canadian Renewable Energy Association) on July 26, 2021 posted an article on their website titled “Taking Charge” and one of the early claims made in the article was:

A growing number of corporations are prioritizing the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions within their environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies and taking steps to ensure the electricity they use is generated by non-emitting sources, like wind and solar energy.”

The article doesn’t explain the reasons why those corporations are taking those steps but anyone following politics is aware; numerous “developed world” governments are passing acts or regulating emissions that put a price on them.  Those actions raise the cost of what corporations produce and suddenly the products they manufacture are no longer competitive with products produced in countries not imposing costs. Those countries like, Brazil, Russia China, India, South Africa, (BRICS country members) etc. will either produce similar products with lower prices or will attract those corporations. That means corporations will move to those locations and shut their manufacturing plants in countries like Canada who have imposed both a “carbon tax” rising to $170/ton by 2030 and another tax referenced as the “clean fuel standard”.  We should be confident those imposed costs will mean less jobs in Canada and other developed countries.

The CanREA article pushing wind, solar and battery storage, appeared before Ontario experienced a number of hot days in August which could have resulted in rolling blackouts or brownouts had we not had sufficient gas plants at the ready. The 5,500 MW (approximately) of wind capacity in Ontario went for a holiday.  Likewise the UK also recently experienced the failure of their 24.1 GW capacity of industrial wind turbines and were even forced to fire up one of their coal plants to avoid blackouts joining up with gas plants that provided 46.5% of their energy needs.

 Looking at the World Bank’s “Carbon Price Dashboard” Canada stands out as a country that has implemented emissions pricing well beyond other countries around the world. One should wonder “why” when our emissions are a miniscule 1.6% of global emissions and less than our percentage of global GDP (gross domestic product) of 1.9%.

Also worth mentioning is that China, a BRICS member, has basically stated they “won’t be bullied into going green” at the upcoming COP 26 conference in Glasgow. In 2018 the five BRICS countries accounted for 42% of global greenhouse gas emissions, with China the number one emitter globally at 28% but they produced only 17.4% of global GDP in 2020.  Based on the foregoing Canada is almost twice as emissions efficient as China but apparently the eco-warriors, politicians and those multi-billionaires like Bloomberg, Fink, Gates and the former Governor of the Bank of England and Bank of Canada, Mark Carney, in conjunction with the WEF (World Economic Forum) want more! The latter fully support the concept of mankind causing global warming and the reputed upcoming “climate pandemic” in the hopes of becoming wealthier!  The rest of us, based on what the WEF tell us will succumb to their forecast of; “by 2030 You’ll own nothing And you’ll be happy”! One should assume the Board of Trustees of the WEF including luminaries like Al Gore, Mark Carney, Laurence Fink and our current Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland and others including Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, etc. will be the ones owning everything.

The WEF supports the “circular economy” which they claim; “promotes the elimination of waste and the continual safe use of natural resources, offers an alternative that can yield up to $4.5 trillion in economic benefits to 2030.”

Hmm, one should surmise, based on their short video telling us all how we will own nothing but be happy, whose pockets will be lined with the $4.5 trillion they claim will come from the forecasted “economic benefits.”

The other question is where will that $4,5 trillion come from?  We should suspect much of it will be created by the cost of purported “low-carbon energy”.

The International Energy Agency estimates that global investment in low-carbon energy will have to increase 2½ times by 2030 from its current level of about $620 billion a year to meet targets in the Paris climate agreement.”  If one does the quick math on the IEA’s estimate it amounts to about $13 trillion for the next 9 years. One should suspect the $13 trillion will come from the pockets of those who “will own nothing”!

Those investments In low-carbon energy are happening and gaining speed as large pension funds like the CPPI, asset management firms such as  BlackRock, Brookfield, etc. etc. invest our money in renewable energy in increasing ways as the Washington Post reported earlier this year.  

What the foregoing seems to magnify is the elites of the world coupled with the eco-warriors are sold on the “circular economy” and are intent on seeing the rest of us “peoplekind” head “down the drain”!

*A word created by Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Strathmere Group Declaration target # 4:

Strengthen investments in renewable energy and in energy efficiency and conservation through creating new clean energy jobs and increasing prosperity through new technologies.

This “declaration” went on to state: “energy security is best achieved through investment in the cleanest available energy and through ending our dependence on fossil fuels.”

Needless to say, Ontario ratepayers are well aware this particular “declaration” had already started to unfold prior to the signing of the joint letter in Washington on June 2, 2009.  Gerald Butts, one of the signatures on the joint declaration as the CEO of the WWF-Canada (World Wildlife Fund) was instrumental in the creation of the GEGEA (Green Energy and Green Economy Act) in Ontario.  The Act received third reading and royal ascent on May 14, 2009 almost a month before the “joint declaration” was signed. An excellent article by Terence Corcoran of the Financial Post from five years ago noted: “Prior to the 2007 election, Butts was a McGuinty insider. After the election, he became McGuinty’s principal adviser. As one of his biographical notes describes it, Butts “was intimately involved in all of the government’s significant environmental initiatives, from the Greenbelt and Boreal Conservation plan to the coal phase-out and toxic reduction strategy.”

What followed was spelled out in the Ontario Auditor General’s press release of December 2015 disclosing the cost of renewable contracts under the GEGEA was $37 billion to the end of 2014 and would cost another $133 billion up to the end of the contracts. To add fuel to the fire Ontario’s Liberal Party, under Kathleen Wynne, on January 1, 2017 launched their “cap & trade” program joining Quebec and BC.  The foregoing may have occurred because PM Justin Trudeau had announced in early October 2016, he would impose a price on carbon beginning in 2018 if any provinces didn’t have one.  At that time Gerald Butts was his Principal Secretary and his puppet master.  Again, as we in Ontario know, when the Ford government was elected, he cancelled Wynne’s “cap & trade” program! 

In early 2017 the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change was issued and recommended a carbon tax starting at $10/ton on January 1, 2018 increasing by $10 each year to a maximum of $50 per ton. The Framework only loosely focused on achieving “net-zero” targeting only “new buildings”.  Suddenly on December 11, 2020 with the country in a Covid-19 lockdown Trudeau and his new Environment Minister, Jonathon Wilkinson announced the carbon tax would be expanded to $170 ton to wean us all off of “fossil fuels”. The pretext was it was being done so Canada could meet its Paris Agreement targets.

The impact of raising the tax to that level was spelled out in a Fraser Institute report which noted: “In this study, we present an analysis using a large empirical model of the Canadian economy that indicates that the tax will have substantial negative impacts, including a 1.8% decline in Gross Domestic Product and the net loss of about 184,000 jobs, even after taking account of jobs created by new government spending and household rebates of the carbon charges. The drop in GDP works out to about $1,540 in current dollars per employed person.” The report forecasted the carbon tax of $170/ton would create additional debt of $22 billion and noted almost 50% of the job losses (78.000) would be in Ontario.

To top things off when Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland tabled her budget on April 19, 2021 it was full of spending plans aimed at supporting renewable energy and ending fossil fuel use. The budget contained $17 billion in spending plans and tax relief measures including $5 billion for the “Net Zero Accelerator” additional to the $3 billion previously committed! The $8 billion seems aimed at large emitting companies like those in the steel and cement business.  Another $4.4 billion was earmarked to “retrofit” residential buildings.  Also included were generous tax breaks (50% for 10 years) for companies manufacturing electric vehicles, (NB: They and the Ontario government handed Ford $590 million of our tax dollars a year ago for EV manufacturing at their Oakville plant), solar panels and presumably the world’s largest wind turbine blades at 107 metres long to a Quebec company who just received $25 million! 

The Trudeau led government also on June 29, 2021 announced they were speeding up the goal to have every light duty vehicle sold by 2035 to be “zero emissions” vehicles rather than 2040.  The Minister of Transport, Alghabra has already handed out $600 million of our tax dollars as rebates to those purchasing EV and now wants more!

It seems pretty clear the Strathmere Group, with the leadership of Gerald Butts in respect to this particular declaration, will brag they have been successful at achieving it. It was done with great pain to taxpayers, ratepayers, Canadian families and our business community with an emphasis on small and medium sized companies who due to the financial effects of escalating costs lost their competitiveness or moved to a more welcoming community.  

What they actually accomplished was neither the creation of “clean energy jobs” or increased “prosperity”!