Multi-billionaires and their Mind-blowing Hypocrisy

It is somewhat amusing and disheartening to realize the super-rich such as; Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Larry Fink frequently preach to us earthlings about “climate change” and the path to net-zero.  They do this as they fly off in private jets to Davros to attend the WEF (World Economic Forum) annual event or to Glasgow for COP26 thereby creating tons of emissions.

Both Gates and Bezos however, tell those who ask, that they buy “carbon offsets” to eliminate their carbon footprint.  Gates reported he spends US$5 million annually on those offsets.  To put that in perspective Gates is reputedly worth $137 billion so $5 million represents 0.000036% of his net worth or to us in the real world, the purchasing of a “timmies” coffee for a friend!

Bezos (until very recently the richest man in the world) reputedly also buys those carbon offsets but hasn’t disclosed how much he spends annually.  Bezos did announce in February 2020 he would launch a US $10 billion fund (slightly less than 5% of his reported net worth) titled the “Bezos Earth Fund“ to fight “climate change”.  Pretty sure Bezos is totally delighted with the lock-downs imposed on much of the developed world due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Amazon; which he founded, has benefited tremendously as they import goods from developing countries like China, India, etc. and deliver them to your front door by truck.  Now try, as hard as you possibly can to determine how Amazon can become “carbon neutral” by 2040.  Oh, yes, Bezos has pledgedto get the company carbon-neutral by 2040, 100% renewable energy by 2030, and 100,000 electric delivery vehicles by 2030.“ 

Now if you want to watch how Larry Fink and Bill Gates speak with each other on the “Path to Net Zero” they jointly participated in a short YouTube video posted April 23, 2021.  Fink opens by saying “this will not be an easy task” and goes on to state “every hydro-carbon company in the United States is now focused on this” and suggests “it’s because of Bill and other people”!  Fink’s reputed net worth is somewhere around US$1 billion so it pales when compared to Gates or Bezos. As the CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management company with almost US $9.5 trillion (approximately 11% of Global GDP) of assets, however, Fink is a huge influence on that “Path”!  Fink annually sends a letter to the world’s 200 largest company’s CEOs and his last one (issued in early 2021) had much to say about “climate change” including this unambiguous sentence: “No issue ranks higher than climate change on our clients’ lists of priorities.“  His letter goes on saying;  “From January through November 2020, investors in mutual funds and ETFs invested $288 billion globally in sustainable assets, a 96% increase over the whole of 2019.“  This years letter will be interesting to see how those assets performed in light of the energy crisis in European and Asian countries which affected share prices of renewable energy companies in a negative fashion as the wind stopped blowing and Russia was unable to deliver fossil fuels during their absence. 

Based on more recent news it appears Fink may have had an awakening as an article from just over a month ago quoted him saying: it’s a “bad answerfor investors to abandon oil and gas, and it won’t help solve climate change.“ As if to support the latter view from Fink and to contradict his above noted chat with Gates and the “path to net-zero” it’s interesting to discover a BlackRock-led group recently won a $15.5 billion bid for a Saudi gas pipeline.  One should assume a gas pipeline will indeed by used to transport “fossil fuels” which intimates BlackRock and Fink understand the importance of fossil fuels to many of the companies they have investments in!

Could Fink’s somewhat mild “about-face” trigger politicians to also understand the importance of fossil fuels in a world dependent on them for 80% of our energy needs.  Let’s all hope so in an effort to end the hypocrisy that seems intent on driving people around the world into energy poverty except for those who can afford to purchase those “carbon offsets”.

More Carbon Taxes in the New Year Brought to us by the Justinflation Government

The monthly natural gas bill arrived and intrigued by the upcoming (April 1, 2022) increase in the carbon tax jumping to $50/tonne I thought it would be interesting to compare the taxes levied to the cost of the gas supply.  A quick evaluation indicated that the “Federal Carbon Charge” coupled with the “HST” was 80.3% of the “Gas Supply Charge”. The increase arriving April 1, 2022 will increase that tax from 7.83 cents per cubic meter (m3) to 9.79 cents/m3 (+1.96 cents or 25%).  Assuming the price of natural gas is the same; as of that date it would mean taxes (note that the HST is charged on it also) will then represent 93.2% of fuel costs.

As if to keep that “Justinflation” target moving the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) just announced natural gas rates would increase effective January 1, 2022.  The OEB doesn’t bother to tell us the percentage increase and instead only tell us the price will increase by 1.2333 cents/m3.  A “penny and a bit” doesn’t sound like much but it amounts to a 9.3% increase in the fuel price meaning your monthly gas bill will be about $5.00 higher. If one couples that $5.00 with the upcoming increase in the “Federal Carbon Charge” ($6/7.00 per month) the combined monthly additional cost will be $11/12.00. That increased cost will suck another $130/$140,00 annually from your after-tax income should you wish to stay warm, cook your meals and have a shower. The percentage of households using natural gas for heating purposes is just over 67% in Ontario so those increased taxes and gas costs will affect most families.

If you are a household dependent on natural gas and one of the 53% of Canadian households just $200 away from being able to pay your bills and debt payments the monthly increase could be the breaking point!  It may come down to the decision to; “heat or eat” for many.

It doesn’t seem right, during this period of high inflation, our Federal Government should be imposing tax increases having already impacted the price of natural gas by both blocking pipelines and scaring away capital that would have invested in finding and delivering increased supplies!

If this is the concept described by Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister of Finance Freeland in their “Building Back Better Plan” as “inclusive, sustainable and creates good jobs”, I and most of my fellow Canadians don’t believe it will produce those results!  

We are quickly seeing the foregoing plan, preceded by The Great Reset, coming out of the WEF (World Economic Forum) where Canada’s Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland sits as a trustee can be seen as nothing more than a socialist agenda.  The resulting activities displayed by her as Finance Minister with PM Justin Trudeau’s support have gone a long way in creating “Justinflation” as Pierre Poilievre was able to get him to admit in parliament!

At a time when Canadian households are suffering from increased prices on everything is not the time to increase taxes to bring us even more of that “Justinflation”!

ESG appears to be the acronym for Economic Spurious Gibberish

The term “environmental social and governance” (ESG) appears to be a concept developed by Ivo Knoepfel of the University of Zurich via his paper “Who Cares Wins”. The paper led those who claim mankind is responsible for “climate change” to advocate the use of ESG terminology to further their “net-zero” by 2050 target! Interestingly, a recent referendum held in Switzerland related to the plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 was rejected by Swiss voters so their politicians will have to back away from their signature to the “Paris Agreement”.

The hypocrisy of those recognized as the “super rich” or the “elites” of the world pushing the “net-zero” emissions by 2050 and the need to audit ESG commitment(s) by all corporations is mind-blowing!

The foregoing was recently highlighted by the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock and one of Canada’s largest, namely Brookfield

An article in the FP highlighted their hypocrisy, with the headline: “Brookfield, BlackRock bids for Saudi Aramco pipeline underscore an ESG dilemma”. Both of these institutions have pushed the “climate change” agenda and the focus to reach net-zero, so one wonders; why are they competitively bidding to acquire a gas pipeline and how would it allow them to achieve their purported end goal?

To reiterate the latter point it is noteworthy to be aware that Larry Fink, founder of BlackRock in his annual letter to CEO’s in 2021 stated:  “we believe all companies – including BlackRock – must begin to address the transition to net zero today. We are taking a number of steps to help investors prepare their portfolios for a net zero world, including capturing opportunities created by the net zero transition.

Likewise if one looks at the claim made by Mark Carney (Vice Chair of Brookfield), after his appointment, he went on to say publicly: “The reason we’re net zero is that we have this enormous renewables business,” he said, and thus “all the avoided emissions that come with that offset existing investments in entities that emit carbon.“  The media pushback on his remark forced him to admit it was a false claim.

Both Larry Fink and Mark Carney are members of the Board of Trustees of the WEF (World Economic Forum) and Klaus Schaub, WEF’s founder, states you won’t be allowed to join the WEF unless the company or organization you represent have committed to achieve net-zero by 2050 or sooner!

Past and Present Brookfield Actions

Brookfield’s history goes back to 1899 but we will look at only a few of their activities in the past decade. Let’s start with their purchase in October 2012 of Enwave Energy for C$480 million owned jointly by the City of Toronto and OMERS (Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System) at that time.  Enwave was, and still is, a district energy system provider, meaning they don’t generate greenhouse gases as the energy is geothermal (includes lake water) to heat and cool buildings.

Fast forward by almost 9 years to February 2021 and Brookfield announced they sold Enwave for US$4.1 billion (C$5.1 billion) to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Australian firm IFM Investors (each owning 50%) and presumably celebrated a very nice return on their original investment.  What is sadly amusing about this buying and selling occurrence is that one Government of Ontario pension plan (OMERS) sold their position back in 2012 for a fraction of what another Government of Ontario pension plan (OTPP) purchased it for in 2021. 

To make taxpayers more upset, back in 2019 former Minister of the Environment, Catherine McKenna handed Enwave $10 million of our tax dollars saying this partnership will help create jobs and help tackle climate change in asmarter way.“   

Just days ago, the (CIB) Canada Infrastructure Bank, (created in June 2017 to provide up to $35 billion to support infrastructure projects) issued a press release stating:  “The CIB is committing $600 million to the project which allows Enwave to accelerate and scale the build-out of its district energy systems.” The press release is vague in that it doesn’t indicate if it is an investment or a loan agreement. Either event will simply see tax dollars flying out the door while the Government increases our deficit and borrows the money they claim is for the good of the planet. The CIB now falls under the purview of Minister Dominic LeBlanc who in the past was singled out by Canada’s ethics commissioner when he “broke conflict of interest rules when he awarded a lucrative Arctic surf clam license to a company linked to his wife’s cousin.“

So, one should wonder, what did Brookfield do with that US$4.1 billion to assist them in their push to get to net-zero their Vice Chair Mark Carney, surely emphasized?  We don’t really know, but:

Brookfield wound up competing with Pembina Pipeline Co. for the purchase of Inter Pipeline and they won with a hostile takeover offer by outbidding Pembina with an accepted offer of C$8.6 billion.  One should surely wonder how that will assist Brookfield in getting to the “net-zero” target and how it fits with their 63 page ESG report for 2020?

The CEO’s letter within Brookfield’s ESG report contained the following:

Within our ESG initiatives, we are directing our efforts to the transition to a net zero carbon economy. This transition will affect virtually every business in every country, and we are fully committed to doing our part to decarbonize. In March 2021, we took an important step as part of our commitment to achieving net zero throughout our business: becoming a signatory to the Net Zero Asset Managers (NZAM) initiative.”

One should wonder with the foregoing ESG initiative why would Brookfield purchase a pipeline and pursue another one in the middle east in competition with BlackRock (another NZAM member)?

From all appearances ESG, ie: “Economic Spurious Gibberish“ is the acronym for the heading in this article and has nothing to do with “environmental social and governance” they pretend it does!

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!

Why should China’s Emissions GO UP while PM Trudeau Insists Canada’s will GO DOWN

An article in TIME dated August 21, 2021 stated “China is planning to build 43 new coal-fired power plants and 18 new blast furnaces — equivalent to adding about 1.5% to its current annual emissions“.  To put that in context, China’s emissions in 2020 are estimated at 14,400 million metric tons which is about triple what the US emits annually and 20 times what Canada emits. The 1.5% China’s emissions will increase; is 216 million metric tons and equivalent to about 29% of Canada’s 2005 emissions. Trudeau has committed to reduce Canada’s emissions by 40-45% by 2030; (299/336 million metric tons) or about 138% of what China’s emissions will increase from the point when those power plants and blast furnaces are operating and increase employment in China while the developed world continues its self-flagellation!

Even the foregoing commitment by Trudeau et al wasn’t enough in the eyes of some of the environmental groups such as Greenpeace (a Strathmere Group member) who suggested it should be at least a 60% reduction (448 million metric tons).  Greenpeace’s article goes on to state: “We must start with eliminating fossil fuel subsidies immediately” and criticizes Trudeau claiming; “After more than five years in office, the Trudeau government is still incapable of proposing a target as ambitious as that of Joe Biden who took office just three months ago.”  What Greenpeace fails to mention is Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline from its neighbour, Canada, and his ironic recent call-out to OPEC countries and its allies to pump out more oil to help reduce “prices to consumers”! 

The Trudeau Government has apparently listened to the cry from the eco-warriors such as Greenpeace however as one example is they recently banned future thermal coal mines because of their reputed contribution to climate change!

Apparently as U.S. President Biden noted, a shortage of fossil fuels causes inflation which is clearly what Canada is now experiencing.  Canada’s inflation rate hit 3.7% recently principally due to the myriad of taxes and regulations associated with our generation of fossil fuels. To top things off our GDP (gross domestic product) fell in the latest quarter by 1.1% despite most economists forecasting a growth of 2.5%, expecting a bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic!         

It certainly appears Trudeau’s admiration of Communist China uttered by him in 2013 is still top of mind but working in reverse.  What he said at that time was: “There’s a level of admiration I actually have for China. Their basic dictatorship is actually allowing them to turn their economy around on a dime.

What he fails to see is his inane leadership punishes all Canadians while supporting China by increasing our inflation rates and reducing our GDP!

Our dime is now worth a nickel!

Pushing electoral climate policies on voters who don’t care

Marc Patrone of SAUGA 960 AM had me as a guest on his moring talk show once again today, August 19, 2021. We covered a fair amount of ground related to the recently called election and it’s partial focus on “climate change”. It came on the heels on the latest UNIPCC report released last week which was intentionally scary. It also is interesting our voting day will occur on the last day of summer and before we start to feel the full effects of colder weather. When that colder weather arrives we will experince rising heating costs should you heat your home with a natural gas or propane furnace as market prices for both have shot up along with that of gasoline.

You can listen to our conversation starting at 1:16:47 of the podcast here:

It you are a subscriber to NEWSTALK CANADA you can listen here:

https://newstalkcanada.com/?page_id=2527

Strathmere Group Part 5 (A) the Final Chapter and Declarations 1,2,3,4,5 and 6

Collaboration Amongst the US and Canadian Eco-Warrior Charities

The time has come to have a hard look at the joint “Declaration” and the seven (7) objectives of the 12 Canadian and 21 U.S. “Environmental and Conservation Leadersto determine their success in meeting their objectives when they signed it back on June 2, 2009.  We will examine each of the goals in order of their appearance in the original letter.   Those will be done one at a time and added to this article every few days in order to keep each review down to a two- or three-minute read.

Before reviewing the goals, here is a quick look at the lead-in of the letter.

Eco-Warriors pontificating on North American Ingenuity:

North American ingenuity can protect our deteriorating atmosphere, grow manufacturing jobs in harnessing wind and solar energy, improve our security by reducing our dependence on oil, minimize climate change’s drastic impact on human and natural communities, and protect our fragile natural areas such as the Arctic and the Boreal Forest.”

Ontarians were told by Premier McGuinty and his Energy Minister, the GEA (Green Energy Act) would focus on “harnessing wind and solar energy” and would create 50,000 jobs while only increasing electricity rates 1%.  Coincidently the GEA was introduced in the Legislature February 23, 2009 and received third reading later that year.  We know how that turned out as electricity rates climbed by over 100%!  As the Fraser Institute pointed out: “Alas, those benefits also proved illusory: the government now admits the 50,000 jobs claim was not based on any formal analysis; that most of these green jobs would be temporary, and the estimate didn’t account for the jobs that would be killed by escalating electricity costs under the GEA.”

Now on the issue of reducing our dependence on oil it is worth noting that since the signing of the “Declaration”, Canadian domestic sale of petroleum was 1.66 million barrels per day in 2009 and in 2019 was 1.8 million barrels per day for an increase of 8.4%. 

The two objectives to “grow manufacturing jobs” and “reducing our dependence on oil” fell flat so how did they do on their 7 objectives as posted in: Strathmere Group Part 5 of this series?

Declaration target # 1:

Show bold leadership on the world stage, especially leading up to the Copenhagen climate meeting, and within each country through addressing climate change head-on.

Well recent history disclosed the Copenhagen Summit failed to produce a binding agreement when it occurred in 2009. The conference produced the Copenhagen Accord agreed to by a few of the big players; China, the US, India, Brazil and South Africa but the accord was not binding, didn’t set emissions reduction targets so in effect was a failure although the 21 U.S. ENGO no doubt saw it as a win. 

Now if one fast forwards to the Paris Accord occurring shortly after the Trudeau led Liberal Party received their majority in Parliament in late 2015, Canada sent 383 people to the conference.  That was more than the U.S., Australia and the UK together sent! PM Trudeau was amongst the 383 and at the Accord declared: “Canada is back, my good friends”. One should suspect some of those travelling to Paris on the taxpayer’s dime (Gerald Butts was one) were associated with the 12 Canadian ENGO who signed the declaration. No doubt they had spent time since 2009 lobbying various government bureaucrats and politicians since the Harper led government had backed off of any commitments at the Copenhagen Summit. 

Needless to say, the 12 ENGO achieved their first “Declaration” albeit, later than planned!

Declaration target # 2:

Incorporate climate science into policy and permitting decisions affecting natural resource management in order to best ensure that wildlife and natural systems can survive in a warming world.

It is fundamental to ENGO they allude to; a desire to, “Incorporate climate science” in the never-ending diatribe they push in the “reports” and “studies” they churn out to spur politicians to adopt their beliefs. Examining the authors of the reports to seek their credentials on “climate science” is often a futile time-consumer and most reports fail to actually identify “authors”. Two reports caught my eye! The first is titled “Green Stimulus” by unknown authors at the Pembina Institute (founder of the Strathmere Group) dated March 30, 2020 at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. It pushes a “Green Transformation Program” to “decarbonize” the oil and gas sector and hand out money to retrain the workers. The report pushes “renewables” as the answer to our electricity needs and suggests we improve our transmission system to the U.S. as they will reputedly want to buy that renewable energy.  Had the author(s) bothered to research Ontario they would have discovered the generation of electricity from renewables is most often surplus to demand and exported at a cost to Ontarians of almost $2 billion annually. 

The second report was prepared by six ENGO and five are Strathmere Group members including: Ecojustice, CAN/RAC, Equiterre, Environmental Defence and Pembina.  It was issued May 2020 and titled, “A New Canadian Climate Accountability Act”.  As its title implies; a new “Act” should be created to deal with GHG ie; emissions!  The bulk of the contributors to the “report” were “expert” lawyers and nowhere in the report are hints of the costs. They want the legislation to set targets for 2030 and 2050 with five-year reviews aligned with the Paris Accord.  The report mentions “carbon budget” 200 times but provides no estimate of costs.  The only mention of “jobs” in the report suggests they will be created by “adaptation”!  

The proposed “Act” has happened with the introduction and passage of the “Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act”  in the House of Commons by Johnathon Wilkinson, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.  From all appearances the Act presented is almost a carbon copy (pun intended) of the one suggested by those ENGO in the aforementioned “report”! Interestingly a quote from the report stated: “The alternate path — which limits the global average temperature rise to “well below 2°C” – would transform the health of a child born today for the better, all the way through its life.” Wilkinson’s related quote on his ACT starts with how “science” says we must achieve “net-zero emissions” and goes on to say: “This achievement is necessary to ensure our kids and grandkids can live in a world with cleaner air and water and to ensure our businesses maintain and gain a competitive edge by producing the low-carbon products the world wants to buy, well into the future.”

Based on the foregoing it is apparent the Strathmere Group have been successful in the creation of the proposed Act.  The Trudeau governments time in office running the country also saw them pass other acts such as Bill C-69 and Bill C-48.  Those Acts are also aimed at containing and reducing Canada’s oil and gas sector along with the extraction of minerals in mining operations.

Once again, we should recognize the 12 Strathmere Group ENGO delivered on their second declaration!

Declaration target # 3:

Declare a moratorium on expansion of tar sands development and halt further approval of infrastructure that would lock us into using dirty liquid fuels from sources such as tar sands, oil shale and liquid coal.

As pointed out in “Declaration target # 2”, the Liberal government under Justin Trudeau didn’t pass a full moratorium on expansion of the oil sands (a deviation of “tar” per the Strathmere Group) development, however, what the Liberal Party did was pass two Acts to create a tsunami of difficulties for any company attempting an expansion!  The “Acts” and their outcomes are defined as follows:

Bill C-69 is an Act: “to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.”

Critics of Bill C-69 argued; it would create more red tape in efforts to bring Canadian oil to market and Alberta’s Premier dubbed it the “No More Pipelines Bill.” Several Conservative premiers, provincial energy ministers, senators and MPs warned the legislation would repel energy investors and rob oil-rich regions like Alberta of the ability to benefit from their resources. The results emanating from Bill C-69 as noted by EnergyNow, had the effect of seeing capital expenditures in the oil and gas extraction sector in Canada fall from $76.1 billion in 2014 to $33.3 billion (a drop of 56.2%) in 2019.  StatCan also reported in December 2020 noting: “Following a 52% drop in the second quarter, capital expenditures in the oil and gas extraction industries increased 11% to $4.5 billion in the third quarter. Year-to-date spending totaled $17.1 billion, a 34% decline over the first three quarters of 2019.” Bill C-69 was passed in June 2019. “

The second Act, Bill C-48 received Royal Assent June 21, 2019 and is defined as; “An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia’s north coast”. 

The Bill C-48 Act appears responsible for a couple of major events including Kinder Morgan’s abrupt exit from Canada at the taxpayer’s expense as they faced many illegal blockades (seemingly allowed by the RCMP, who are federally controlled) and were forced to cease construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline on numerous occasions. The Trudeau Liberals wound up purchasing Kinder Morgan’s Canadian assets for $4.5 billion.  The cost to complete the pipeline expansion has (as of February 2020) increased from $7.4 billion to $12.6 billion meaning taxpayers are stuck with added taxpayer debt of $17.1 billion.

The second event that occurred was related to Enbridge’s plan for the Northern Gateway pipeline which the Trudeau led Liberals halted, prior to passage of Bill C-48!  The Northern Gateway pipeline was on the radar screen of ENGO as they pushed the plan to ban tanker traffic on the northwest Pacific coast. The mandate letter dated November 12, 2015 from Trudeau to the Minister of Transport stated: “Formalize a moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic on British Columbia’s North Coast, working in collaboration with the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to develop an approach.” 

Needless to say, the WWF, a Strathmere Group member where Gerald Butts previously resided as President and CEO were delighted!  David Miller (former Mayor of Toronto), who succeeded Butts as President, published an article on November 23, 2015 shouting out: “The moratorium is something to celebrate, and puts a major hurdle in front of Enbridge’s plans for the region.”  Miller also went on to state: “It’s now crucial that we push towards the next stage: a legislated ban on all oil tanker traffic in the region.

Bill C-48 followed and even though the Senate’s transport committee voted in May 2019 to recommend the bill not move forward and presented a report to the Senate as a whole that asked them to endorse the recommendation that the bill be defeated”, it passed.

One should surmise the passage of Bill C-69 and Bill C-48 were successful at the goal of halting any significant expansion of the “tar sands” so, the Strathmere Group once again can brag about their success in meeting their third “declaration”!

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 viewed as 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”!

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.

NB:  The final Declaration # 7 and the associated appraisal of it will be posted in the next few days.

Political Promises, High Electricity Costs, Climate Change, EV and Line 5

I was invited on the Marc Patrone Show on Sauga 960 AM today and the above title suggests some of the topics we covered. You can listen to our discussion on Sauga 960’s Marc Patrone Show starting at 1:03:25 of the podcast of his July 6, 2021 show by going here:

Ecojustice Lost in Court

Ecojustice challenged the Alberta, Allen Inquiry, into the “Tarsands Campaign” and recently lost in court. The organizations and individuals behind the campaign were many of those I have connected in a recent article. At the same time, I noted how they obtained tax dollars in their efforts to push their “climate change” concept and to shut down Canada’s oil and gas industry. The article’s long title is “Canadian Institute for Climate Choices, Smart Prosperity Institute, Ecojustice, The Natural Step, and the University of Ottawa interdisciplinary Environment Institute all connect to Stewart Elgie and several other Eco-Warriors” and was posted June 7, 2021.

Friends of Science has utilized some of the material from the aforementioned article in their recent YouTube post.  Watch the video to get a view on how the eco-warriors were and are continuing to shut down the inquiry perhaps because they will be exposed?

Hey, Premier Ford, did Michigan Governor Whitmer at least say “Thanks” for the Free Electricity we gave her April 30th?

Several days ago, a friendly contact alerted me to some facts about electricity generation on April 30th, 2021.  He noted wind exceeded hydro in 5 of the hours and as much as 81% of wind generation was curtailed in a single hour. He also pointed out the HOEP (hourly Ontario electricity price) market price was zero or less for 22 out of 24 hours and the two hours it was positive it climbed all the way up to 41 cents per MWh* (megawatt hour)!  The foregoing is a frequent occurrence in the Spring and Fall as Ontario demand is generally low and when the wind is blowing it must be both curtailed and exported.

With curiosity piqued it led to a review of IESO data for actual wind generation, its curtailment and exports for the day.  As it turned out wind generation accepted into the grid by IESO was just shy of 56,000 MWh and curtailed wind was very close to 34,000 MWh. What that meant is owners of the approximately 4,800 MW of grid connected wind capacity will be paid $7.560 million ($135.00** per MWh) for the accepted wind generation and $4.080 million ($120.00 per MWh) for the curtailed wind.  That implies the cost per MW of grid accepted wind generation was almost $208/per MWh versus about $56/MWh for hydro and $80/MWh for nuclear.  It also appears nuclear was steamed off by Bruce Nuclear and we should suspect hydro was also spilled.  Both of those are paid for so their costs would clearly be caused by wind’s propensity to generate power when it’s not needed.

To make matters worse IESO were forced to offer surplus generation via the market and needless to say our neighbours were happy to get it for free.  We exported almost 68,000 MWh to our neighbours in New York, Quebec and Michigan presumably to avoid possible grid failure. The state of Michigan received 24,000 MWh for free.  We basically supplied about 800,000 average Michigan households (approximately 20% of Michigan households) with free electricity for the day!

Ontario has been selling Michigan our cheap electricity exports for years and since we added intermittent and unreliable wind and solar to our grid the amount, we sell to them for pennies of its cost (what Ontario’s ratepayers pay for it) has increased. 

Michigan should recognize what nice neighbours we are! Instead, Governor Whitmer wants to shut down the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline which supplies them, several neighbouring states, as well as Quebec and Ontario with oil for refineries, propane for winter heat, aircraft fuel, etc. etc.

Perhaps the time has come for Premier Ford to give Governor Whitmer a call and tell her if she shuts down Line 5, she will need to fire up more of those (current) 9,300 MW (approximate capacity) of coal plants Michigan has; versus Ontario’s zero coal plant capacity.  

The time has come for Governor Whitmer to recognize and admit Michigan ranked # 8 in 2018 by the US EIA (Energy Information Administration) in respect to CO2 emissions from coal generation and 10th overall for total CO2 emissions.  Once she solves that problem, she can consider shutting down Line 5!

*One MWh is equivalent to 1,000 kWh (kilowatt hours) or what an average Ontario household would consume in a month and a half.

**The contracts signed with those industrial wind generation companies also included a maximum COL (cost of living) allowance of 20% so were presumably paid more than the $135/MWh.