In general terms the issue is that with low oil prices, oil companies see better places in the world to put their money than Canada. Oil & Gas “activists” will initially claim a victory here because they have had some impact on making it difficult to get Canadian Oil and Gas to both international and domestic markets.
Below is an 11 minute interview with Dr. David Maenz about his new book The Price of Carbon. Unlike all climate change books we have reviewed in the past, The Price Of Carbon is the first one to pull together the serious science of Global Warming from Earths formation until today, explain the three likely outcomes of Global Warming, and then detail the PRACTICAL solutions to the issue.
This book is definitely not a casual read but for the educated person that is still open to thinking about this critical issue, it will be an eye opener:
At the heart of the Canadian Federal Governments announcement today about fixing the process that determines if a large scale project is in the best interest of Canada or not, is a desire to limit ability Provincial, Municipal and interest groups (like ‘First Nations’) to stall approved projects. The idea is to:
increase consultation so everyone’s voice is heard
set firm and visible rules for industry so that “goal posts” are not being moved after the fact
determine what is in Canada’s best interest, when that interest is at odds with local interest
These are clearly admirable goals. To achieve those goals there are now going to be three structures that industry must pass through to get Federal Government support:
A new ‘Impact Assessment Agency of Canada‘ will do the preliminary investigation to determine the environmental effects of a project
The existing ‘National Energy Board’ is demoted and renamed ‘Canadian Energy Regulator‘ but still be responsible for determining the technicalities of a project
The ‘Federal Minister of the Environment‘ will have the final say if a project is viable and in Canada’s interest
So now the questions are, will these changes allow:
Industry to decide that spending many millions of dollars to go through an elongated approval process that will have a definitive outcome be worth while?
Provincial, Municipal and interest groups (like ‘First Nations’) to be heard and listened to?
There has been much debate over the process and all agree something big had to change:
When industry works on large scale projects deemed to be in the Canadian national interest after years of consultation and vetting that are still blocked by local and regional interests, there is a big problem.
When interest groups (i.e. some ‘First Nations’, Municipal governments (i.e. Vancouver) local and Provincial governments (i.e. BC) feel empowered to block large scale projects that adversely affect the rest of the country, there is an even bigger problem.
Dennis McConaghy, a former senior executive at Trans Canada Pipelines thinks these changes will not achieve the desired goals:
On Monday January 22, 2018, the Trump administration brought in a 30% tax on imported solar panels. This new solar tax will last four years and decrease over time to 15% in its last year.
“Over the last 5 years, nearly 30 American solar manufacturers collapsed; today the President is sending a message that American innovation and manufacturing will not be bullied out of existence without a fight… This is a step forward for this high-tech solar manufacturing industry we pioneered right here in America.” pressreleasepoint.com/trump-imposes-tariffs-solar-panels
Of the few that have heard of this new tariff, the common misconception is that it is an attempt to punish China from dumping (selling below cost, to kill competitors) panels but the US only imports 10% of its solar panels from China (see the last 30 seconds of the video below). As you can see in the video below, the US solar industry did not ask for and does not want this tariff.
Autonomous cars and trucks are steaming at us at a surprisingly rapid pace. Fully autonomous vehicles are not the stuff of 2025, they are the stuff of late 2018. Seven US States already allow GM, Tesla, Uber and other autonomous car makers to drive limited numbers of vehicles with no driver. In Canada, Ontario allows autonomous vehicles in approved cities and towns.
GM executives told investors in 2016 that by 2025, autonomous vehicle cost reductions and increased consumer adoption would combine to drive the price down to less than $1 per mile, or about a third of current ride-hailing prices.
In 2017 GM had more autonomous vehicles on the road that any other company in the world. In California 20 of the autonomous cars were involved in accidents but not a single one of them was found to have the autonomous car at fault.
On January 15 2018, the Canadian Federal Government laid out the details of it plan to implement a $50/tonne carbon tax in proposed legislation named the “Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act”. The highlights are:
The Federal Tax will only apply in Provinces and Territories that do not have a comparable carbon tax already in place
That means, as of today, it will apply only to 20% of the Canadian population
Specifically those in Saskatchewan, most Atlantic provinces, NWT, Nunavut, Yukon will be subject to the Canadian Federal carbon levy
Newfoundland & Labrador and others are expected to announce their own carbon tax systems in the spring of 2018
The tax will start at $10/tonne in 2018 and will be at $50/tonne by the end of 2022
There are two parts to the system, a consumer gas tax and and industrial emissions tax
The tax is an “output based system” which means it will be charged where the carbon is released (think burning gasoline in your car vs producing gasoline)
Only those companies that produce more carbon than the average today will pay the carbon tax
Before the end of 2018 the Canadian Government will evaluate each industrial sector (think Oil & Gas, Mining, Transportation…) and determine the current average energy used per unit of output in each of those sectors
Companies that produce more carbon than industry average will have to buy carbon credits
Companies that produce less carbon than the industry average will be able to sell the difference in carbon credits
While governments around the world grapple with Genetically Modified Products (GMO’s) like wheat and canola, there is a new issue they will have to address shortly: man made meat.
This video explains that Israels “Super Meat” just raised millions of dollars to COMPLETE their lab produced chicken product. Man made chicken will be available for sale in two or three years to specialty markets and will almost certainly be in your grocery store within a decade.
Governments around the world are going to be forced to bring legislation for these products, even if it is no more than that formally rule that man made meat is not classed differently than animal grown meat.
Many issues of 2018 and beyond are ones that need more exploration, discussion and debate. This site will explore difficult or misunderstood political issues of our time. It will attempt to be politically neutral and prove for light than heat.