Climate Action Muskoka

‘We’re not doomed yet’: five reasons for climate hope, by a climatologist

November 13, 2023 – Positive.News

Professor Michael Mann is the climatologist whose famous hockey stick chart finally put climate denialism in the bin. He’s written a new book, Our Fragile Moment, about surviving the climate crisis. Here he explains why he remains hopeful about our future. – Read the article

The book – Our Fragile Moment 
Read an excerpt – Rolling Stone subscribers

Finding optimism in the fight against climate change: CBC’s The Current Podcast

CBC's Matt Galloway with authors Rebecca Solnit, John Vaillant and Chris Turner at the Vancouver Writers Festival.

October 24, 2023
Optimism can feel in short supply in the face of climate change and worsening fires, floods and extreme weather across Canada. CBC’s Matt Galloway talks about where to find that hope — and how to turn it into action — with authors Rebecca Solnit, John Vaillant and Chris Turner in a panel discussion recorded at the Vancouver Writers Festival. 38m:06s. 


New Report: Clean Energy Cuts Costs — A lot!

Diagram with houses showing relative costs of fossil fuel vs clean energy.

Sept 27, 2023 – “A family living in a house in a Toronto suburb that adopts a few common clean energy solutions—including EVs and heat pumps—could knock $800 off their monthly energy bills compared to one that is largely reliant on fossil fuels, according to a new report, A Clean Bill. A condo owner who is able to make similar changes could save $450 a month.” Clean Energy Review. Learn more.

The numbers are coming in for October and they’re not good.

< Here’s how October 2023 compares to the last 80 Octobers.

Not quite as “gobsmackingly bananas” as September but this year’s radical temperatures are continuing. September was about 1.8 C above pre-industrial temperatures, October was about 1.7 C.

< Here’s an update on the radical departure of 2023 from previous years

It’s “virtually guaranteed” to be the hottest year on record, and for at least 125,000 years.

“The amount that we’re smashing records by is shocking,” said Samantha Burgess, deputy director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service.
Credit: the Copernicus Climate Change Service.

“Natural” gas or methane: which would you choose?
Actor Rick Roberts of Artists for Real Climate Action asked some passers by what type of stove they prefer to cook with: natural gas or methane? It’s a trick question – but the reason why may surprise you. – watch the video

FYIFossil gas, aka natural gas is primarily methane. In addition, various amounts of higher alkanes and low levels of trace gases like carbon dioxide,  nitrogenhydrogen sulfide, and helium are present.

Read more about Gas Expansion projects in Ontario

Warning: This is not the good news department

Good news can be found – here

Banking on Climate Chaos Report: RBC is #1

Illustration of stormy ocean with bank and oil rig, text reads; Banking on Climate Chaos Fossil Fuel Finance Report 2023.

The 14th annual Banking on Climate Chaos fossil fuel finance report is out, and unfortunately, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) ramped up its game to become the #1 funder of fossil fuels in the world.

Last year RBC showered fossil fuel projects to the tune of $41 billion dollars, including $4.8 billion for tar sands and $7.4 billion into fracking. Canadian banks are among the world’s largest investors in the growth of the oil and gas industry and are becoming the banks of last resort for fossil fuels, providing $862 billion to fossil fuel companies since the Paris Agreement.

Canada must regulate banks at home, stop fossil fuel investments, and mandate investment in local, green projects. RBCs is poisoning all of our futures. We need to be out on the streets delivering this message.

Banking on Climate Chaos: Rainforest Action Network

Planet Wreckers: How 20 Countries’ Oil and Gas Extraction Plans Risk Locking in Climate Chaos

SEPTEMBER 12, 2023 – Published by Oil Change International

Only 20 countries, led overwhelmingly by the United States, are responsible for nearly 90 percent of the carbon-dioxide (CO2) pollution threatened by new oil and gas fields and fracking wells planned between 2023 and 2050. If this oil and gas expansion is allowed to proceed, it would lock in climate chaos and an unlivable future.

Five global north countries with the greatest economic means to rapidly phase out production are responsible for a majority (51 percent) of planned expansion from new oil and gas fields through 2050: the United States, Canada, Australia, Norway, and the United Kingdom. 

Download the report
Download country specific factsheets: USCanadaAustraliaNorwayUK

Read the press release

Media reaction: Extreme weather hits world’s seven continents in July 2023

July 16, 2023 – Carbon Brief’s journalists analyze media coverage.

Ontario town offered $4.8M to accept new gas plant
November 16th 2023 – Napanee is already home to Ontario’s largest gas-fired electricity plant and the province wants it expanded. A series of other municipalities have rejected new gas generation recently. Now the Crown corporation, Ontario Power Generation, is dangling a $4.8-million “community benefit agreement” to persuade Napanee’s council to break the trend.
“It is totally inappropriate for OPG to be offering this payment. Offering payment in exchange for a licence to pollute is unacceptable,” said Keith Brooks, programs director at Environmental Defence.

Gas Carries the Same Climate Clout as Coal, Study Shows, as Ontario Plans New Gas Plants – July 18, 2023 – Energy Mix – Even if a natural gas system leaks as little as 0.2% of the product into the atmosphere, “it’s as bad as coal,” Deborah Brown, lead author of the new study 

For the third time this week, Earth sets an unofficial heat record. – July 7, 2023 – AP.
– July 3:  17.01 Celsius Earth’s highest ever average global temperature.
– July 4:  17.18 Celsius,
– July 5:  17.18 Celsius, .
– July 6:  17.23 Celsius, Global temperatures reached a new high. Scientists say the daily drumbeat of records — official or not — is a symptom of a larger problem where the precise digits aren’t as important as what’s causing them.

Temperatures soared 10°C to 16°C above average in the Northwest Territories and the northern Prairies provinces. – May 15, 2023 – Western and northern Canada witnessed record-breaking temperatures over the weekend, as dozens of records were shattered. 

Governments Spent Record $1 Trillion Last Year Subsidizing Fossil Fuels
Feb 16, 2023 – Bloomberg –
Even as global governments raise their ambitions to cut fossil fuels in the future, they spent a record $1 trillion last year subsidizing energy

Exxon scientists in the 1970s accurately predicted climate change – Jan 12 2023 – NewScientist – Exxon scientists accurately predicted the pace and scale of climate change more than 40 years ago, according to a study that its authors say adds weight to claims the oil firm knew about and sought to downplay the risks posed by continued fossil fuel use.

This is the good news department

Electrification is efficiency: The world will need less energy after the transition

Oct 23, 2023 – Hannah Ritchie
When we electrify our energy systems, a magical thing happens: large inefficiencies vanish. As the International Energy Agency puts it: “Electrification is efficiency”.

In a decarbonised world, our final energy demand is much lower than it is today. A study by the Oxford Professor Nick Eyre suggests it’s about 40% lower.

Doug Ford reverses Greenbelt decision

Premier Doug Ford announced Thursday that the province is reversing the Greenbelt land swap. (Mike Crawley/CBC)

 Sept 21, 2023 – Emma McIntosh and Fatima Syed – the Narwharl

“I made a promise to you that I wouldn’t touch the Greenbelt. I broke that promise. And for that I am very, very sorry,” Ford said with his caucus standing behind him — many of them the same ministers who voted to approve the plan last year.

“It was a wrong decision,” Ford added. “We’re putting this land back in the Greenbelt.”

Lion Electric buses to power P.E.I. relief centres in emergencies

May 9, 2023

School buses in Prince Edward Island have an additional use beyond transporting students.

The government of P.E.I. is collaborating with Lion Electric on a pilot project to use the province’s 82 LionC electric school buses to provide electricity to emergency community disaster relief centres in the event of a power outage. – more

It takes a village to build a nation’s energy efficiency and electrification program – Nov 15, 2023 – Switchedon -Ireland is developing one of the most sophisticated residential energy efficiency ecosystems in the world built on a foundation of pilots, trials, grants, mandatory efficiency standards, financing and one-stop-shops.

Powerful Example’: California Now Largest Economy to Back Fossil Fuel Nonproliferation Treaty – Sept 1, 2023 – Common Dreams – “We hope this move locks in real action on ending the era of fossil fuels in California, and spurs other regions, states, and countries to join forces in tackling the root cause of the climate crisis”

Hamilton Plant to Supply Recycled Steel for GM Cars – Aug 27, 2023 – the Energy Mix Through the agreement, steel produced for GM will include a minimum 70% recycled material

Amazon Deforestation Drops 34% in Lula’s First Six Months – July 18, 2023 – the Energy Mix
Full Story: The Associated Press – After four years of rising destruction in Brazil’s Amazon, deforestation dropped by 33.6% during the first six months of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s administration, according to government satellite data released earlier this month.

Young Climate Activists Take Montana to Court for Its Role in Global Warming – June 12, 2023 – Youth plaintiffs say warming temperatures are harming their health and threatening their futures as a closely-watched climate trial kicks in Montana.

Repsol Abandons Plan to Ship Canadian LNG to Europe
Mar 17, 2023 – Spanish oil and gas giant Repsol SA has dropped its plan to ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe from a terminal in New Brunswick,

Purolator Pledges $1B to Electrify Last-Mile Delivery – Mar 14, 2023 – …with the purchase of more than 3,500 electric last-mile delivery vehicles and electrification of more than 60 terminals.

Forests flourish under community control, and NASA has the satellite imagery to show it.
Feb 10, 2023 – The Verge
NASA published a set of maps yesterday showing the incredible recovery Nepal’s forests