Actually, I post a lot of information related to climate change almost daily elsewhere.
But, as time permits, I'm going to put the esoterica I encounter related to climate change
here rather than trying to update the various pages. So this will be reverse in chronological rather
than logically organized within the structure of the rest of this website. Please don't
rely on this as a consistent and current source for climate change information updates.
Sadly, we cannot rely on our corporate-controlled mass media for good information on this.
I update this site on my own time, and making a living has to take priority, which is more
challenging in the recession caused by the current oil-industry price-gouging (Dec. 2022).
Past blog pages: May 2019 June 2019
July 2019 August 2019
September 2019 October 2019
November 2019 December 2019
January 2020 February 2020
March 2020 April 2020
May 2020 June 2020
July 2020 [COVID gap] Oct-Dec 2021
2023.03.11 EV Naysayers take note: more EV batteries NOT going to landfill
EV battery recycler hits 95% recovery rate in world-first collection program (The Driven)
Lithium-ion Battery Recycler ABTC Expands Operations with Purchase of Move-In Ready, Commercial-Scale Facility (Yahoo Finance)
2023.03.08 Buying another gasoline or diesel vehicle now is likely going to be a stranded asset
EV Battery Innovation Spells The End For Fossil Fuel And Fuel Cells (CleanEnergyRevolution)
2023.03.02 Canada joins Russia as climate criminals on oil, gas, and now boreal forest carbon releases
Northern forests released a record amount of carbon dioxide in 2021 (NewScientist)
2023.02.28 Once again, the Alberta War Room (oil propaganda central, is delivering
all the disinformation Alberta taxpayers can afford to spume.
The question is, why the personal attacks? Because they have no facts on their side?
Alberta’s War Room accuses Catherine McKenna
of misleading Canadians (National Observer)
2023.02.28 A vanishing world
Winter sea ice is melting away from Labrador. For the Inuit way of life, it’s a death knell. (CBC)
2023.02.28 Spoiler: it's Canadian taxpayers paying for oil and gas industry greenwashing.
Canada’s carbon capture craze and who might be paying for it (National Observer)
2023.02.27 It takes energy to make new commodity minerals, and generally less to recycle them.
Still, it is astonishing how much of the metals we use are just tossed to landfill after a single use.
Have a look at the graphic in this article, and note we throw away more steel, iron, copper and aluminu
than we recycle (U.S. data). It isn't until we get to lead that we see more recycling than binning.
That's because lead-acid batteries get recycled, massively. We can expect the same for EV batteries.
Visualizing the Opportunity Cost of Unrecycled Metals in the U.S. (Visual Capitalist)
2023.02.23 This finding agrees with data collected for a
(see Discussion, 4th paragraph) in which I was a co-author.
Health impact of tyre particles causing ‘increasing concern’, say scientists (The Gurardian)
2023.02.23 Another lithium battery recycler pops up. The batteries are not going to landfill, they're too valuable.
Lithium-ion battery recycling company Li-Cycle scores $375 million conditional loan from Energy Department for Rochester plant (CNBC)
2023.02.23 Petrobras brags about their new CCUS record, as though it wasn't just EOR to produce more oil.
Petrobras beats its annual record for CO2 Capture, Utilization and Storage (Petrobras)
CCUS is generally used by the oil and gas industry to help them produce more oil and gas and create more
GHG emissions. But by pretending they are sequestering carbon dioxide, they can qualify for tax credits
for climate change mitigation, while in reality creating even moro GHG emissions and making more profits.
2023.02.23 2021 data. Despite working from home going mainstream, 2021 emissions were higher than 2020.
Canada's carbon emissions rose in 2021 but were still below pre-pandemic highs: report (CBC)
2023.02.23 At best, this is about a leaky form of 'net-zero' capture of carbon dioxide to make a
volatile hydrocarbon. Methanol is a product of value, but it is not indicated what the energy or
financial costs are to implement this energy cycle. As direct air capture (DAC) of carbon dioxide
is still not living up to its billing, odds are this will have to be implemented in the exhaust stream
of a facility that is burning fossil fuels and creating carbon dioxide (flue gas) as a consequence. That sounds
like perpetuating fossil fuels as the base case, not shifting away from them. Best case, Carbon Capture
Utilization and Storage - with leaks, not Carbon Capture and Sequestration.
The Least Costly Yet: Scientists Unveil a New Carbon Capture System (SciTechDaily)
2023.02.21 Other than a steady diet of social media and mainstream media disinformation, how can anyone
still be surprised that fossil fuel vehicles are driving climate change, and EVs are part of the near-term solution.
"Electric Vehicles: Part of Canada's Climate Change Solution" for Electric Mobility Canada 15 years ago,
but somehow this is still news for the Canadian public? (By the way, the Canadian electric grid,
and especially Ontario, is cleaner now than in 2008, while oil production has become more carbon intensive.)
Gasoline versus electric cars? Here’s how their life cycle emissions compare in Canada (National Observer)
2023.02.21 How about that? People and countries can kick the fossil fuels addition if the motiviation is right.
EU Gas Demand Fell More Than Target (OilPrice.com)
2023.02.21 Another lithium battery recycling plant is opening - in Arizona.
(The dead batteries are too valuable to go to landfill, just like lead-acid batteries have been for decades.
It's time to stop looking for disinformation to justify your unwillingness to move to environmentally-friendly vehicles.)
The world’s largest battery recycler is opening its first US li-ion recycling factoryg (electrek)
2023.02.21 Could it be that the airlines - who don't even pay taxes on fuel for aircraft - are also
tired of being price-gouged by the oil industry? Because they were never very interested in biofuels
before the 2nd half of 2022.
A Sudden Rush to Make Sustainable Aviation Fuel Mainstream New York Times)
2023.02.21 Disinformation, misinformation and spin all prevent good decision-making and taking appropriate action.
The thin green line — where disinformation meets greenwashing (National Observer)
2023.02.16 I could not make this stuff up. But this is what passes for reality in the Alberta UCP's world.
The big problem here is that they are the government. And they believe the foreign-owned oil industry in
Alberta needs another $20 billion bailout, in a year the four main beneficiaries will make that much in profits.
Danielle Smith's no good, very bad, $20-billion idea (National Observer)
2023.02.16 Even Barclay's Bank, which will continue funding other oil and gas projects, recognizes that
oil sands projects carry too high a financial risk to continue funding those, probably because they can see
that it is impossible for oil sands extraction to reduce their GHG emissions to meet anyone's targets.
Looks like the Pathway Alliance is going to be even more dependent on Canadian taxpayers to keep their
carbon capture charade going.
World’s seventh largest fossil-fuel-funding bank dumps oilsands financing in Canada (National Observer)
2023.02.16 Avoiding a doom loop required a more honest acceptance by politicians of the great risks posed by the climate crisis
World risks descending into a climate ‘doom loop’, warn thinktanks (The Guardian)
2023.02.15 Hunh, after decades of actively suppressing electric vehicles in Canada, now the federal
government is surprised that there is a lack of them to support the sudden about-face to embrace them.
Imagine that. Odd that places like Sweden and China don't seem to have a supply shortage. Maybe
Canada should have another look at electric microcars and microtrucks,
an industry it killed (pptx PowerPoint deck), which would need
smaller batteries, less materials, take up less space, use less energy to operate and would fit
well in the short-mission urban environment which is still car-centric, where most of our driving is actually done.
2023.02.15 Stand by for seal level rise.
‘Extreme situation’: Antarctic sea ice hits record low (The Guardian)
2023.02.14 U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Tuesday that sea levels will rise significantly
even if global warming is “miraculously” limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius
Rising seas risk ‘death sentence’ for some nations, says UN secretary-general (Globe & Mail)
2023.02.08 Current EVs need lithium for their batteries. You may have heard a LOT of lithium.
However, the numbers in the studies assume essentially no recycling, do not allow for solid-state batteries
using less lithium or the potential for new battery formulations (e.g. sodium-based batteries). Still, we should
be realistic about the potential impacts of obtaining a lot of lithium within the next 30 years.
On the other hand, we should also consider the impacts of the status quo on climate change, air quality,
water quality, soil and food quality and health. So, for that, read this article.
Weighing the harm of gasoline against lithium (National Observer)
You might also be worried about all those batteries going to landfill. It might not be the problem
the oil industry is leading you to believe. For starters, the best proxy today is the automotive and
industrial equipment lead-acid battery disposal market. Yes, market. Because of the value of the materials
in a lead-acid battery, they are the most recycled consumer product in the world. But, lithium batteries
have an even better story. Second-life. Here are the real 'landfills' for old lithium EV batteries today.
EV batteries getting second life on California power grid (Reuters)
Eventually, these batteries will have capacity reduced below even viable stationary duty, when they will head
Redwood Materials scores a new $2 billion loan to build out battery recycling facility in Nevada
And other lithium battery recyclers are coming.
2023.02.06 Climate change escapism fantasies for those that can't afford to travel to another planet.
Clue to rising sea levels lies in DNA of 4m-year-old octopus, scientists say (The Guardian)
2023.02.05 To be clear, the comparison is NEW-BUILD renewables vs. EXISTING coal-fired electric generating stations.
Almost all coal plants in the US are more expensive than new renewables (ZME Science)
2023.02.04 The West Antarctic Ice Shelf has disappeared before, and we're on track to doing it again,
triggering a relatively sudden, multi-metre sea level rise world-wide. Not the time to buy that beachfront property.
Huge dust cloud launched from Earth's moon could ease global warming (New Scientist)
2023.02.03 Geo-engineering fantasies go to the moon - but where's the off-switch?
Huge dust cloud launched from Earth's moon could ease global warming (New Scientist)
2023.02.03 Carbon capture is not a viable path to climate change mitigation, it's another oil & gas subsidy from taxpayers
Why Carbon Capture and Storage Is Not a Net-Zero Solution for Canada’s Oil and Gas Sector
(International Institute for Sustainable Development)
2023.02.03 We need real plans and strategic execution over hype and prayers.
Canada can plan for a net-zero future or bet on tech and ‘hope for the best’: Wilkinson (National Observer)
2023.02.01 Over a 10-year period from release into the atmosphere, a molecure of methane is more than
100 times as potent a GHG as carbon dioxide, and we know where a lot of it comes from.
It's not easy to measure methane, say energy companies told to reduce emissions (National Observer)
2023.02.01 Finally, somebody else has realized that CCUS is not Sequestration, it's enhanced oil recovery.
Originally, the term was CCS for Carbon Capture and Sequestration. Sequestration means permanently removed
and made inaccessible for periods measured in geological time. This got climate change attention and funding.
But, over time, the oil industry changed this so that the 'S' became Storage instead of Sequestration, and then
the 'U' appeared, for Utilization. CCUS = Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage. Which meeans, industry wants
to use the captured carbon dioxide GHG. What they use it for mostly is making more fossil fuels, more GHGs and
a lot of the CO2 pumped into depleted oil and gas wells comes back out with produced water, oil and gas. This is
called Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). In other words, CCUS as the front end for EOR, actually puts more GHGs into
the atmosphere than it allegedly removes. And the oil industry has taxpayers paying to build the CCUS facilities
as climate change mitigation technology greenwashing. Welcome to upside-down world.
What the heck is carbon capture? The pollution-cutting technology that’s got Canada investing billions (National Observer)
2023.01.31 Why do corporations use gaslighting against science? Because the science of climate
change threatens their business, says Gerald Kutney.
Climate science is a victim of gaslighting (National Observer)
2023.01.31 Coastal GasLink: unaffordable environmentally, socially and financially - more cost overruns.
Estimated cost of Coastal GasLink pipeline surges to $14.5-billion (Globe & Mail)
2023.01.30 Remember, Toyota won the PNGV wars with the Prius, and it was a long time before they recovered those costs.
Why Toyota spent years behaving like electric cars were the enemy (National Observer)
2023.01.30 Good news! (not) We have another 10-12 years before climaate change oblivion!
So, our governments still won't take it seriously. Sigh.
World likely to hit key warming threshold in 10 to 12 years. That’s what new AI modelling sees (National Observer)
2023.01.30 Cryptocurrency isn't just a hot-bed for corruption, unregulated shadow exchanges and enabling criminal enterprises. It's also an energy-suck.
Cryptocurrency’s Energy Consumption Problem (Rocky Mountain Institute)
2023.01.29 Two important things to know: a) CCUS - Carbon Capture, Utilization and STORAGE is not sequestration; it's a
path to enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and rejuvenating old gas wells; b) methane is at least as potent a GHG now as carbon dioxide.
Carbon Sequestration (For Dummies) (Clean Technica)
2023.01.28 How a 'blizzard of false information' undermines the threat of climate change
Why don't we talk about acid rain and the ozone hole anymore? Scientists debunk misinformation (CBC)
2023.01.27 Developing a discerning eye and taking time to research can help you get a better
idea of what’s true — and what’s not — in the fashion world.
‘Vegan,’ ‘sustainable’: How to spot misleading fashion claims (Washington Post)
2023.01.27 One key thing most of us can do to reduce climate change is use less fossil energy in our living spaces,
or even survivable in the event of a severe weather event. Of course, that's going to take some pioneering spirit and
courage, because building codes, insurers and government programs are not doing their part to help.
Why your home isn’t built to last against extreme weather (The Globe & Mail)
2023.01.26 You could see Covid-19 as an empathy test.
Who was prepared to suffer disruption and inconvenience for the sake of others, and who was not?
We are all playing Covid roulette. Without clean air, the next infection could permanently disable you (The Guardian)
2023.01.24 Greenhushing can now be linked to businesses that are trying to falsely appear more sustainable,
but are unable or unwilling to share the data and proof to fully back these claims
What is ‘greenhushing’ and why is it a risk for sustainability professionals? (edie)
2023.01.23 Somehow, pumping a carcinogenic GHG into our homes seems like a bad idea - unless you get paid to do it.
Gas Stove Dangers 'Well Known' Since 1839, Industry Acknowledged in 1907 (Daily KOS)
2023.01.21 How is piping natural gas into our homes a culture war?
The burning truth behind gas stoves — and how it fanned the flames of a culture war (Toronto Star)
2023.01.20 Provincial governments should not be permitted to undermine nationwide greenhouse gas reduction regulations
The latest dangerous instalment in Scott Moe’s crusade against Ottawa (National Observer)
2023.01.18 Sure, gas stoves are bad for your family's health, but you should keep them so natural gas revenues are maintained.
Why gas stoves matter to the climate – and the gas industry: Keeping them means homes will use gas for heating too (The Conversation)
2023.01.16 "Fossil fuels are relatively inefficient, requiring 10% of their energy to extract and process them,
and up to two thirds of the available energy is lost in thermodynamic losses. Renewable technologies offer greater
efficiencies. An electric vehicle uses about one quarter of the amount of energy as an internal combustion engine,
solar is 2.5 times more efficient than coal, and a heat pump uses three times less energy than a gas generator."
But this does not stop Canada's big banks from continuing to make massive dead-end loans to the fossil
fuels industry, or the Canadian government from guaranteeing those loans. But somehow, we're supposed to
believe the Canadian government is serious about reducing GHG emissions and eliminating subsidies to this
massively profitable sector.
Fossil fuels already peaked, growth in renewables exponential (pv magazine)
2023.01.14 To answer the question in the headline for this article: NO!
'We're still on the bunny slopes': As 2023 kicks off, is Canada's climate change plan aggressive enough? (CTV)
Ironically, the bunny slopes are usually the first ones to lose their snow due to warmer winters.
2023.01.13 This won't come as news to long time readers at this site.
Exxon accurately predicted climate change in the 70s: Which other fossil fuel giants knew the risks? (euronews.green)
2023.01.13 CBC's coverage on the same story (above).
Exxon Mobil accurately predicted global warming since 1970s, study finds (CBC)
2023.01.13 This should provide the proof you need that the annual schmooze-fests for the Confernce of
the Parties (COP) to the Paris Agreement and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) has been
an oil industry sponsored farce for years.
‘Horror at the whole situation’ after UAE oil magnate tapped to lead next UN climate conference (National Observer)
2023.01.13 This was a voice of climate change denial, and it did real damage by enabling others
George Pell saw climate science as a dangerous religious dogma – in the end his hardline stance held the church back (The Guardian)
2023.01.08 Not even counting traumatic injuries from storm events or impacts from disrupted supply lines ...
Dr. Kevin Liang calls climate change the biggest threat to everyone’s healthn (National Observer)
2023.01.09 Despite years of price-gouging, getting free passes on decommissioning old wells and
massive, growing subsidies from the Canadian government, this industry still can't clean up an oil spill.,
let alone figure out how to prevent them.
Investigation: Oil giants who ‘make more money than God’ lobbied the federal government and got
$2.6 billion in taxpayer dollars (National Observer)
CCUS, where the 'S' is for storage, not sequestration, is actually another subsidy, as the captured
gases - including carbon dioxide - are then used (the 'U' in CCUS is utilization) to increase pressure in
old oil and gas wells, to get more hydrocarbons out. Not only does this result in more GHGs being
released into the atmosphere, but a significant amount of the carbon dioxide injected into the fields
is also brought back out with the oil, gas and produced water.
2023.01.08 Explore the mission to answer oceanography questions in a new Atlantic Voice documentary
Meet the scientists and their underwater drones tackling the 'weirdly complicated' world of ocean carbon (The Guardian)
2023.01.07 Wheat supplies one-fifth of the calories humans consume on Earth, and it is threatened by climate change
‘Holy grail’ wheat gene discovery could feed our overheated world (CBC)
2023.01.06 You may know carbon contamination of the snowpack by another name - 'dark snow'. It increases
the rate of snowpack and glacier melt, accelerating cliimate change. That's why the Alberta government
won't release this data.
Alberta government refuses to release data on snowpack contamination from coal mines (National Observer)
2022.12.29 Pumped storage (water) is essentially gravity storage.
You lift water when energy is abundant
or cheap, and drop it again taking kinetic energy from the potential energy. However, conventional water energy
storage takes up a lot of space. Why not use materials heavier than water (e.g. scrap lead) which take up less
space, don't have evaporation, freeze-up or potential flooding issues? These could be fitted to abandoned mines, either
shaft type or open pit. All you need is the vertical elevation. Even some ski resorts might qualify.
The ‘Sleeping Giant Of Energy Storage’ Is Waking Up (Forbes)
2022.12.29 It's past time for agrivoltaics. New revenue for farmers, better energy supply for everyone.
Also past time for the Ontario government to get out the way and get with the program.
Doubting farmers, here is proof solar panels and sheep get along just fine (National Observer)
2022.12.29 Canadian banks and government like to talk about fixing climate change, but when their money
talks, it's the opposite message. We know which story actually matters.
2022 connected the dots between fossil fuel finance and climate chaos (National Observer)
2022.12.24 Return of the geo-engineering rogue cowboys
A startup says it’s begun releasing particles into the atmosphere, in an effort to tweak the climate (MIT Technology Review)
The amount released was trivial, but the fact that the launch was done without appropriate instrumentation
or any oversight by actual experts is concerning. What are the impacts of releasing unrecoverably helium
into the atmosphere and balloon (likely mylar plastic), compared to the supposed reflective benefit of the
sulphur dioxide dispersed? The problem of massive injections of CO2 into the atmosphere is largely a
function of profit-driven companies spawned from rogue operators of wildcat wells. It's hard to believe
that a parallel genesis will solve this tragedy of the commons problem.
2022.12.23 When it comes to sustainability, it seems we can't even get the simple definitions right.
Canada’s biggest certifier of sustainable forests faces greenwashing accusations (National Observer)
2022.12.22 Just remember, as the citizens of the developed and developing nations, through our
consumer habits and repeatedly voting for the fairy tale that catastropphic climate change is a hoax,
we chose this path. We had the data; we chose the disinformation. Now we will reap the whirlwind,
in some cases, literally.
Climate and the holiday storms of 2022: ‘I don’t think people realize just how much trouble we’re in’
2022.12.21 Unfortunately the wood pellet industry has proved not to be that picky about what wood
it uses for its pellets - virgin old growth has been used.
Australia rejects forest biomass in first blow to wood pellet industry (Mongabay)
2022.12.20 Puerto Rico invokes the RICO Act to go after climate change fraudsters
Big oil is behind conspiracy to deceive public, first climate racketeering lawsuit says (The Guardian)
Government jawboning never affected oil industry behaviour, but the industry does care about money,
so this frontal assault on its wallet will get its attention.
2022.12.20 Yet, somehow the social vibe in Canada is that the 'carbon tax' is too high.
Overheated — Canada’s gasoline emissions are surging out of control (National Observer)
(Mandatory fact: Canada does not have a 'carbon tax'. It has a feebate system, where the nominal
amount Canadians pay on fossil fuels is returned to them quarterly by the federal government.)
2022.12.18 A decommissioned nuclear power plant from the 1980s is repurposed for agrivoltaics and prairie restoration.
Agrivoltaics Goes Nuclear On California Prairie (CleanTechnica)
2022.12.15 Fuel for thought as you fill up at the pumps next time.
Coal is extremely CO2-intensive. Gasoline is far worse (National Observer)
2022.12.15 Don't panic over this headline; this is what renewables maturity looks like.
California pulls the plug on rooftop solar (PV Magazine)
Rooftop solar was an easy, early market, and now it produces enough power in California that
local storage is preferred to over-supplying the grid. So, it's time for PV to find new fields
to harvest, like agrivoltaics. (see Dec. 18th entry)
The Public Utilities Commission approved Net Energy Metering 3.0, slashing payments for sending rooftop solar
production to the grid. New rooftop solar projects are now considered uneconomical without an attached battery.
2022.12.15 Sea level rise could me moving a lot faster than we thought
Greenland's glaciers might be melting 100 times as fast as previously thought (Phys.Org)
2022.12.14 You can unknot your knickers now. The fusion announcement is actually a nothing-burger.
US scientists just announced a major nuclear fusion breakthrough that could be ‘one of the most impressive
scientific feats of the 21st century’ (Yahoo finance)
What they got right: for microseconds, in a military nuclear weapons test facility, they managed to
get more energy out of the reaction than they put in.
But it's irrelevant to civilian energy or climate change in the time we have left. (OK, it could
be exciting if your objective is building bigger fusion weapons.) It's irrelevant for a few reasons.
a) The kinds of energy used and produced matter. The input energy started from very high quality,
expensive electricity, transformed into even higher quality and more expensive focused, synchronized,
multi-point laser light beam sourcds. The energy produced was very hot (as in hard to contain hot),
very short duration heat, which is typically the end point for entropy, or the lowest quality form of energy.
So it doesn't get captured (stored) or available to do useful work. Something we don't need on this
planet now is more heat, especially really expensive heat.
b) If it can be scaled up successuully in the next 2-5 decades, it will be highly centralized, while
our forward direction should be to more distibuted energy sources which minimize waste heat and GHG
emissions. If the electricity that powered the lasers was generated from coal or natural gas, then
this not a GHG-free energy source.
c) No matter how much money the US DOE funnels to this from their weapons budget, it won't be even
near ready within a decade, which is the maximum time we have left to turn the corner on GHG emissions
to avert catastrophic climate change. (Very expensive and harmful climate change is already baked in,
we're not going to avoid that, no matter what we do next.)
d) If you think that getting more energy out of a device than you put in is exciting, you need to
buy a heat pump. It can can also convert high quality electricity into low quality heat, but it
can be bought off the shelf today, does not cost billions of dollars, and can operate continously
for years. Also, very distributed (decentralized), and can be run from locally-sourced electricity
(like an in-house battery charged from solar panels).
2022.12.12 The world's permafrost is rapidly thawing and that's a big climate change problem
The world's permafrost is rapidly thawing and that's a big climate change problem (CBC)
They buried the word 'methane' so hard in this article I missed it on my first read. But they
finally let this sentecne make it to print:
"Olefedt says those emissions can be carbon dioxide or, if the area is near water, methane, a more potent greenhouse gas."
Pity they didn't expand on why methane is the bigger problem than CO2 as the permafrost melts.
2022.12.11 We seem to have signed a global suicid pact on catastrophic climate change through inaction
World Unlikely to Avert Climate Catastrophe, New Zealand Minister Says (Yahoo News)
2022.12.11 Curb your enthusiasm when reading the headline. Note 'international' and 'exceptions'.
Canada to end international fossil fuel financing, with few exceptions (National Observer)
However, the exceptions are big enough to sail a fleet of oil tankers through. Canada's bankers can
rest easy that their world-leading lending for climate destruction can continue 'unabated', just like
the fossil fuel industry's drive to maximize profits and externalizing costs will also continue 'unabated'.
As before, if you want a survivable planet, you can't rely on the captured Canadian governments to do the job,
we'll have to do it ourselves.
2022.12.09 The news here isn't that anything will come of this; it's that the moribund U.S. Senate
is even writing letters on the topics of fossil fuel greenwashing on climate change and windfall profits
(i.e. gouging consumers).
Democratic lawmakers accuse big oil companies of ‘greenwashing’ (CNBC)
2022.12.06 Before you dismiss this as another greenie rant, note the article appears in one of the
top automotive performance magazines in the U.S.: MotorTrend. Now, go read the article.
Greenwashing Debunked in 11 FortisBC Gas Claims (The Tyee)
The article appropriately rejects the 100-year impact horizon for fossil gas, using the
20-year GWP number instead. However, even this is not sufficient. The typical lifetime of
methane in the atmosphere is about 10 years. We have less than 10 years left - per the IPCC -
to drastically reduce our fossil fuel use to avoid completely catastrophic climate change.
[The GWP number for the 10 year horizon for methane is 104, again per the IPCC. (page 39 of the PDF file,
Table 8.SM.17, the second row - CH4 is methane or fossil gas - and the first data column is the GWP10 number: 104.2.]
That is, for each molecule of methane we release into the atmosphere, it will produce 104 times the
warming impact of a molecule of carbon dioxide for the time it remains in the atmosphere. 104 times!
2022.10.19 This is where you hit fossil-fuel extraction for impact - in their wallet.
Next, stop buying their products.
Insurers withdraw from high-risk oil, gas, coal projects (National Observer)
2022.10.19 A restaurant chain in the United Arab Emirates - an oil exporter - have been running
their trucks on 100% biodiesel from used cooking oil (zero net GHGs) since 2011.
But, in North America, we still haven't read the memo. This is true 'waste-to-energy' in action.
McDonald’s UAE vehicles hit biodiesel landmark (biofuels international)
2022.10.18 The rate of ocean warming in the top 2km has doubled from levels in the 1960s, review finds
Amount of ocean heat found to be accelerating and fuelling extreme weather events (The Guardian)
2022.10.16 Despite record profits this year, and even after the $7.1 billion tax credit announced in the last federal budget,
so they can chase their pie in the sky carbon capture dream.
Oilsands Alliance Demands Federal Backing for $24.1B CCS Project (The Energy Mix)
2022.10.16 As climate change is accelerating and producing larger consequences, we need more
good data and information and guidance, not less.
CSIRO abruptly scraps globally recognised climate forecast program (The Guardian)
2022.10.15 If rainfall and drainage patterns are changing (rapidly), and this has negative
consequences for hydro dams, nuclear plants and fossil fuel generating stations that need a lot of
cooling water, we should be shifting away from such centralized large plants as a resilience measure.
Climate graphic of the week: World weather agency sounds alarm on dams, power and nuclear plants (Big Indy News)
Fortunately, solar and wind lend themselves to small installations, and continue to improve.
Rooftop wind energy innovation claims 50% more energy than solar at same cost
2022.10.11 The only way that increased use of fossil methane (natural gas) and paying for the supporting
infrastructure (not a short-term investment), is if the migration path includes a massive
shift to bio-methane.
Sadly and predictably, that is not the Ontario Ford government's plan, but
rather to make taxpayers pay for the big spend for a short-term problem and then toss it away when they eventually
shift to battery storage, 'emissions-free generation' (because the Ontaro Conservatives can't
say 'renewables' out loud after wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on scrapping the climate
change plan they inherited and was working). For less money up-front and greater long-term value,
Ontario could just agree to buy hydro electricity from Quebec and be prepared to reduce
exports, which would give the Ontario grid plenty of headroom.
Ontario doubles down on gas-fired electricity generation, admits emissions will rise (National Observer)
2022.10.10 Greece installed renewables during forced austerity times to reduce electricity costs.
And they're not finished yet.
Greece runs entirely on renewables for the first time in its history (PV Tech)
2022.10.09 Thirty-three of these wind turbines could replace a Pickering class nuclear reactor.
Probably at a lower construction cost, no fuel cost, no spent fuel problem, no
radioactivity problem and likely with better uptime. If we put them in Lake Ontario, close to
the existing generating station, they could 'plug-in' to the exsiting transmission infrastructure.
Intermittent wind could be managed with a large power-conditioning battery (e.g. Tesla Megapack).
Record energy haul: Offshore prototype operates over capacity for 24 hrs (Business Insider)
2022.10.09 Some years ago I said: "EVs are the killer app for the Smart Grid."
I know a fair bit about
EVs (made my first in 1978-79, and have had a succession ever since). I know a bit about the electrical
generation, transmission and storage system. So, just 15 years or so later, it's nice to see some media
are also figuring this out. EVs are not a threat to the grid, they are a golden opportunity. They are a
threat to the fossil fuel industry, and an opportunity to massively reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
EVs won't overload the power grid — and they could even help modernize our aging infrastructure (Business Insider)
2022.10.08 'The climate is not just changing. It is destabilising. It is breaking down.'
Greta Thunberg on the climate delusion: ‘We’ve been greenwashed out of our senses. It’s time to stand our ground’ (The Guardian)
2022.10.02 Reducing landfilling and embedded energy used in replacements helps slow climate change.
The fix is in: how Repair Café and other organizations are changing the way we reuse things (Toronto Star)
2022.10.02 One way to mitigate climate change is to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Every reduction helps.
Giant supertanker uses 9.8% less fuel thanks to 130-foot sails (New Atlas)
2022.10.01 There is no idea so beneficial or benign that it can't be screwed up.
Contractors devastated by N.B. program offering free heat pumps (Global News)
2022.09.28 There are a couple of problems with Enbridge's story on the 'hydrogen hub' reducing GHG emissions
1) The project doesn't actually use green hydrogen.
2) The hydrogen hub in Markham appears to use grid electricity to produce hydrogen, so it's only as clean as
Ontario's increasingly dirty generation mix (as more and more natural gas capacity is being added).
3) Enbridge thinks that steam reforming natural gas to make blue hydrogen (lots of GHG emissions) somehow magically becomes green if
there is carbon capture and STORAGE (CCS) capacity attached. Saskatachewan has proved that carbon dioxide
STORAGE (not sequestration) means the pressurized gas will just be used to produce more fossil fuels.
The euphemism of choice is Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), but it can also be used for natural gas production. (Enbridge)
2022.09.27 "One thing Garcia often suggests to clients is not banking with institutions that still invest in the
fossil fuel industry. It's something she says individuals rarely consider in the broader journey to net zero emissions.
This hairdresser gives lessons on how to discuss climate change with clients (CBC)
2022.09.27 Another way climate change can impact our food chain. If you want to harvest the sea,
the sea needs stability, too.
Hurricane Fiona changed ocean temperatures, tore up marine life habitats (CBC)
2022.09.27 "The paper gives the appearance of being specifically written to make the case that there is no climate crisis,
rather than presenting an objective, comprehensive, up-to-date assessment," said Richard Betts,
Head of Climate Impacts Research at Britain's Met Office.
Scientists urge top publisher to withdraw faulty climate study (Phys.org)
2022.09.24 Biofuels aren't a complete solution, but done well, they could help mitigate climate
change a bit in the short term because they are drop-in; they work with existing engines.
Odd to see Mercedes F1 team as a champion for biofuels. If they get it ...
Mercedes' F1 team used biofuel to cut freight carbon emissions by 89 percent
Trucks used fuel derived from vegetable oils, waste oils and fats to move F1 cars
2022.09.22 No worries, this government is always looking to build a new redundant highway (cough, 413, cough)
Climate change will cost Ontario billions for transportation infrastructure by 2030, watchdog says (CBC)
In case you glazed over in the long headline, that's in the next 8 years.
2022.09.21 The best indicator of future performance is past perfornmance. Hello Coastal GasLink.
Coastal GasLink warned more than 50 times over environmental violations during pipeline construction (CBC)
2022.09.19 The 'Canadian' oil and gas industry is mostly foreign-owned and funded, but they
drive the Canadian political agenda in spite of the wishes of most Canadians.
A ‘grassroots’ group ran Facebook ads against the oil and gas emissions cap. Canada’s most powerful oil lobby paid for them (CBC)
2022.09.17 More disaster weather records - this time in Alaska
'Never this severe': Alaska residents flee from flooding as powerful storm slams state (CBC)
2022.09.16 For the oil industry, profits trump human survival - greenwashing doesn't change this
Criticism intensifies after big oil admits ‘gaslighting’ public over green aims (The Guardian)
2022.09.16 Shifting homes from oil heat to heat pumps - I hope deep conservation retrofits come first
Ottawa announces $250M for home heating program, with focus on Atlantic provinces (CBC)
2022.09.12 “What is still missing with the federal government is a lack of a sense of the need to act with urgency.”
Climate adaptation coalition says Canada needs hard targets on disaster resilience (Globe and Mail)
2022.09.11 2 of the tipping points at highest risk are in Canada
Climate adaptation coalition says Canada needs hard targets on disaster resilience (CBC)
2022.09.07 Oil industry executives must snicker incessantly, or is it guffaw, at Stephen Harper's
2009 pledge at the G8 and G20 to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, especcially as they count their
bonuses from windfall profits in 2022.
Fossil fuel subsidies almost doubled worldwide in 2021, analysis finds (National Observer)
Canadian taxpayers and fossil fuel purchasers, you have been played. Again. And they don't care if
you get angry, so long as you keep paying for gasoline, diesel, heating oil, natural gas ...
So keep on whining and buying, but just don't do anything concrete to get off your oil addiction.
2022.09.06 Imagine, burning more fossil fuels isn't the best path to reducing GHG emissions. Hunh?
Carbon capture is not the key to net-zero emissions plans, report says (National Observer)
2022.09.02 Let me repeat: methane is THE greenhouse gas of concern now with a GWP10 number of 104, and
a life of roughly 10 years in the atmosphere.
Yes, you read that right, methane (aka natural gas) is over 100 times more potent as
a climate-changing, global warming gas than carbon dioxide on a molecule for molecule basis. So, items like
this one should give you the shivers.
Exclusive: Scientists detect second 'vast' methane leak at Pemex oil field in Mexico (Reuters)
If we captured and burned these fugitive emissions, that would reduce the climate change impact by 99%!!
Even better if we used the captured methane for beneficial purposes like electricity generation (until
we get to full renewables) and space heating (while making more energy efficient buildings ahd shifting
to heat pumps).
But just letting it vent into the atmosphere is accelerating catastrophic climate change.
2022.07.26 Shifting to renewables is smart and cost-effective; the dumb grid is a barrier to using them well
Wasted energies – why we’re getting renewables wrong and how to fix it
2022.06.15 Subsidized fossil natural gas was never justification enough for the methane and CO2 emissions
Cheap Gas Fired Power Begins to Unravel
2022.06.15 Most Canadian homes are not built to deal with extreme heat (which is coming)
Building code changes could take decades to 'future-proof' homes for extreme heat that's here now
2022.06.09 No lack of contenders for the lamest 'zero-emisisons' energy system these days.
But the common denominators appear to be hydrogen is part of some multi-step process that involves
massive, multiple conversion losses, and some mention that 'green energy' can be the primary
energy source, if we just spend millions on this new 'greatest idea ever' to make it real.
(Pro tip: the minimum threshold is set by off-the-shelf battery storage technology and electric
drive where the system losses starting from green energy (like wind or solar) can be less than 15%.)
Another recent contestent is ammonia as a hydrogen carrier. Ignoring the health hazard of being
around a lot of ammonia, the energy efficiency is a horror. Here's a piece that examines the numbers.
Immaculate Combustion (Doomberg)
2022.06.08 More LNG means more NG production, more NG use and more fugitive methane emissions.
Bad Plan. This is about long-term infrastructure, not about being a 'bridge fuel'. But the great part about this
for the fossil fuels industry is that Canadian taxpayers will pay the bills, shoulder the liabilities,
suffer the climate change impacts and give all the profits to foreign multi-nationals.
Climate Action Tracker issues warning over global ‘gold rush’ for LNG (National Observer)
2022.06.07 No Geo-engineering (or Atmosphere-engineering) without an OFF switch. Period.
Besides, the big issue for the next decade is reducing methane emissions dramatically. CO2 is a
modest GHG by comparison, with a much longer pay-off (because it lasts a long time in the atmosphere).
By contrast, the impact of a methane molecule is over 100 times that of a CO2 molecule, but it's life
in the atmosphere is only a decade. Dropping methane emissions in the near-term gives a chance.
Continuing to focus on CO2 today guarantees we'll cook before the solution takes effect.
The ethics of tinkering with the Earth's atmosphere to tackle climate change (National Observer)
2022.06.02 Despite industry intransigence and government inertia, habitat can be retored
Campbell River estuary is a restoration showcase to save salmon habitat from climate change (National Observer)
2022.06.02 If wetlands are submerged by sea level rise, that's a methane bomb.
Our wetlands are drowning (National Observer)
2022.05.31 Actually, it's Canadian taxpayers taking the risk here, because the banks have a 100%
federal government guarantee they will be compensated if TMX fails to repay the financing.
Canada’s biggest banks quietly prop up TMX (National Observer)
2022.05.29 Oil companies will need to release emissions data because of new U.S. regulation
The officially disclosed carbon footprints of Canada’s largest oil companies could balloon in size
if tough new climate rules proposed earlier this year by a U.S. regulator come into effect. (Verve)
2022.05.28 Will climate change start new resource wars for lands cool enough for us to survive on?
Scientists warn future temperatures will test humans' ability to survive (CBC)
Remember, climate change is only a problem if you want to survive.
2022.05.19 BC Cancelling Major Fossil Fuel Subsidy, to Collect Royalties
B.C. overhauls oil and gas royalty system by changing 'broken system' of subsidies (CBC)
2022.05.19 Ford government's climate policies cost taxpayers more than $10 billion: report
Putting off addressing climate change is costing taxpayers now, as well as much more later. (National Observer)
The "Hot Hot Air" report referenced in the article
2022.05.17 Shut down fossil fuel production sites early to avoid climate chaos, says study
Exclusive: Nearly half existing facilities will need to close prematurely to limit heating to 1.5C, scientists
say (The Guardian)
2022.05.16 Climate change is now on the menu at seafood restaurants
Restaurant menus across the West Coast of Canada will soon see an influx of squid and sardine dishes,
while the popular sockeye salmon makes a slow exit. As it turns out, climate change may have something
to do with this. (The Conversation)
2022.05.09 Note that RBC is one the world's largest financers of fossil fuel production
EV batteries already deliver long range and quick charging times, and new silicon-lithium
technology will bump those performance markers up to the next level. (Cleam Technica)
2022.04.26 Note that RBC is one the world's largest financers of fossil fuel production
Oil and gas will be around a lot longer than some think, despite climate change goals: RBC (CBC)
2022.04.25 Hunh? Making hydro power to make hydrogen to make electricity for the grid?
I had to read this bit three times to make sure I was understanding their fundamental plan.
"The proposed project would include an offsite wind farm that would pump water to an upper reservoir
on Tent Mountain with the hydro-electric power that is generated used to create green hydrogen in
the lower reservoir. Any excess power would be sold to the electricity grid."
I have done the math on making green hydrogen from electricity. To oversimplify, the round-trip
conversion losses (from green electricity from hydro to hydrogen; from hydrogen back to electricity)
end up throwing away over 75% of the original high-quality energy to the conversion losses, and
having less than 25% returned back as high-quality electric energy. In today's world, it makes
no economic sense to turn 75% of quality energy into low-grade waste heat.
Montem Resources exploration of renewable energy project in southwestern Alberta raises questions (CBC)
2022.04.25 China plans to boost coal production by 300 million tonnes this year
“Insurance companies actually are recognizing that fossil fuel infrastructure is much riskier and either becoming
uninsurable or much more expensive … and that is the reality of our world today,” said Kung. (National Observer)
2022.04.25 Trans Mountain pipeline insurers dropping like flies
Not the happy times like
2014 when the U.S.-China agreement on climate change mitigation was a ray of
sunlight where many industrial nations were in stall and deny mode. (CNN)
2022.04.21 Some light in all the climate change darkness, Katharine Hayhoe is solid
Opinion: I Helped Pen the UN Climate Report. Here’s Why It Gives Me Hope. (Undark)
2022.04.18 Punching another hole in the green hydrogen economy mirage
This headline comes from a pro-hydrogen publication:
Japan - its Hydrogen Economy Runs The Risk of Being Powered by Coal (Fuel Cell Works)
So, Japan's emissions reduction plan seems to hinge burning coal to produce electricity to run
electrolysis to make hydrogen. That's not green hydrogen, or even blue hydrogen. That's black hydrogen,
even if Japan can invent and industrialize an effective flue gas carbon dioxide capture and SEQUESTRATION
(not mentioned in the technology plan) system.
From the article:
"By doing so, Japan's hydrogen technique is basically simply protecting coal energy alive and,
and if pursued at the price of shifting to renewable power, Japan will probably be locked into the long-term
use of fossil fueels and CO2 emissions."
Looks like Japan is going to join Canada, Russia, China, Brazil and India in the club of climate change
mitigation rogue states.
2022.04.18 Small Modular Reactors - Still not a right answer to climate change
Part of what I do here is call out the false idol 'solutions' being foisted on us by the
vested interests in fossil fuels and their government lackeys. The top three being 'new nuclear',
hydrogen as fuel and carbon capture from fossil fuel combustion. Today, a couple of items on
'new nuclear'. (It is my personal opinion, based on years of research, that we should not be
doing big nuclear new-builds, because they can't be constructed in time to make a positive
difference, on top of their legacy of baggage.)
We should not be funding 'new nuclear' (effectively synonymous with small modular reactors - SMR)
because we still don't have the fundamental technology working, and haven't had since the 1989
failure, radiation release and attempted government cover-up saying the release was not from this
plant but from Chernobyl. The facility had been plagued by 'incidents' sufficiently serious they
had to be reported to the regulatory authority.
Fast forward to 2022, and while Canadian provincial governments and the feds keep tossing taxpayer
money at SMRs, the reality check keeps showing it's a boondoggle in the making.
NuScale: Not new, not needed
And even if you can stomach all that and still think SMRs have a contribution to make by 2030,
consider this current complication. SMRs may not be able to get fuel.
The Nuclear Reactors of the Future Have a Russia Problem
Next-generation nuclear plants could be safer and more efficient, but first the US has to figure
out how to fuel them up—without relying on Russia.
2022.04.17 shhh! Doug Ford bails on climate change, again. But it's a secret.
Province 'coasting' on federal initiatives to cut carbon emissions, says Greenpeace
Ontario quietly revises its plan for hitting climate change targets (CBC)
Information release on the Ontario government website Government of Ontario
2022.04.17 Story from U.S., but same oil industry double-dipping likely happens in Canada, too.
Process to tap inaccessible deposits employs captured carbon and was therefore eligible to generate offsets
Firms used carbon credits created in oil extraction initiativess (WSS News UK)
2022.04.16 Did an 'independent' Ontario Crown agency fudge the numbers to fit a government political agenda?
Clearly, Canada - being the biggest producer of the world's dirtiest 'oil' - bitumen, just can't
bring itself to walk the talk. Oil money shouts; other voices are muted.
Documents raise questions about costs to retire Ontario’s natural gas power plants (Globe & Mail)
2022.04.14 Canada is a rogue super-emitter
Canadians emit 20 tCO2 per person. That's twice as much as the Germans and three times as much as the British. (National Observer)
2022.04.14 Are Canadians smart enough to reduce GHG emissions without a pandemic?
Canada's greenhouse gas emissions declined for the second year in a row in 2020.
Canada saw a drop in greenhouse gas emissions during the first year of the pandemic: report (CBC)
2022.04.13 Is CNOOC pulling out of Canada really a bad thing?
Or is this another piece of evidence that the world really doesn't want the garbage 'oil' called bitumen.
Fearful over sanctions amid Ukraine war, Chinese energy giant CNOOC may pull out of Canada (CBC)
Remember, CNOOC's 2015 leak from their 3-year-old, 'state-of-the-art' pipeline was not even
detected by pipeline operations team (Nexen).
World Oil article
AER says 60,000 litres,
and the operator did not provide a number because Nexen couldn't measure the spill from pipeline operations data.
Nexen charged in 2015 pipeline spill at Long Lake facility near Fort McMurray
"In July 2016, one year after the spill, Nexen reported that its own investigation had found the pipeline buckled
and ruptured because its design was incompatible with the muskeg ground conditions."
2022.04.08 Methane is climate change enemy number 1. If only there was a solution to this problem.
Funny story, there is a solution to this problem, which will also restore the quality of the water
in our rivers, lakes and oceans. But, I'm not ready to tell you about it yet. You'll have to wait.
Methane in Earth’s atmosphere rose by record amount last year, US government data shows (The Guardian)
2022.04.07 For the second year in a row, NOAA scientists observed a record annual increase in atmospheric levels of methane
Increase in atmospheric methane set another record during 2021 (NOAA)
2022.04.07 The headline is the story: Oil industry calls Bay du Nord approval triumph, climate advocates condemn it
The Canadian federal government chose climate chaos. The oil industry got everything they wanted.
It dosesn't matter what climate change mitigation this government claims it will support, the amount
of money will pale in comparison to the property damage and lives ruined caused by climate change
arising from this and other support for the oil and gas industry in Canada, financial and non-financial.
Oil industry calls Bay du Nord approval triumph, climate advocates condemn it (CBC)
2022.04.07 Burning natural gas generates high levels of nitrogen oxides, linked to asthma in children
And that doesn't include the climate change impacts of fugitive emssions associated with the
fracking and drilling and distribution leaks of using natural gas. For the good of your health,
get off gas in your homes.
After seeing how gas stoves pollute homes, these researchers are ditching theirs (CBC)
2022.04.06 Trudeau-Singh first test on climate change is a fail; Bay du Nord approved.
Federal government approves controversial Bay du Nord oil project (CBC)
Well, the test came quickly for the Trudeau-Singh alliance. Which is more important? Profits for
foreign-owned oil companies or survival of species? Unsurprisingly, Trudeau and Singh chose oil
industry profits and more taxpayer subsidies. We'll worry about climate change in 2030 or later,
it's a political strategy that has worked so far, and leaves the oil-loving Conservatives with
no policy space further to the right - all they can attack is platitdues for 8 years from now.
2022.04.06 Putin's looting, pillaging and war crimes in Ukraine have unleashed a long string
of unintended consquences. Europeans may even be prepared to put up with some discomfort and
really embrace non-fossil fuel solutions for their energy needs.
Russian gas exodus will lower European carbon emissions, analysis suggests (IET)
"The research from DNV Energy estimates that 34 per cent of the energy mix in Europe will come
from non-fossil fuel sources in 2024, two percentage points more than the pre-war forecast."
That's a big shift given the direction in 2023 was increased fossil fuel use.
2022.04.05 Canada SHOULD be facing a tough fossil fuel choice, but in reality it is punting the
ball down the field of time with a climate change 'plan' which gives the Canadian fossil fuel sector
a pass and ignores the contribution of Canada's big banks profiteering off taxpayer funded bitumen boondoggles.
Caught between climate warnings and economic realities, Canada and the world face tough fossil fuel choices (CBC)
Canada ponders oil project off Newfoundland as latest IPCC report warns climate goals slipping away
2022.04.04 Be careful what you believe in the headline.
This is not 'green hydrogen', it comes from cracking natural gas, so it's not a climate solution at all.
The 'renewable fuels' is greenwashing taxpayer-funded carbon capture and use, with some work on recovering
energy from solid waste. For climate change mitigation, this is a step backwards and is doubling down on
climate destruction by Suncor.
Suncor to ditch solar and wind assets, focus on hydrogen and renewable fuels (Globe & Mail)
2022.03.28 One of the big problems in stopping climate change is that tax dollars are used to accelerate it
B.C.’s largest fossil fuel subsidy cost the province over $1B last year (National Observer)
That's over $1 Billion from a single loophole in a single province which essentially produces no oil.
2022.03.28 Canada's 'new' GHG emissions plan doesn't just miss the mark, it's going in the wrong direction.
Why Canada's oilpatch can't solve the energy crisis (CBC)
2022.03.30 In case you still think experts are not sounding alarms about catastrophic climate change happening now
More oil and gas production, carbon capture tax credits raise questions about climate plan’s credibility (National Observer)
2022.03.20 In case you still think experts are not sounding alarms about catastrophic climate change happening now
Stonewalled: Alberta ignored warnings about oil and gas cleanup, ex-government scientist says (The Narwhal)
2022.03.20 95 per cent of Alberta oil and gas sites certified as reclaimed have never been inspected by provincial officials
Heat waves at both of the Earth’s poles alarm climate scientists (The Guardian)
2022.03.15 Disaster Capitalism - using Ukraine to justify the unsustainable, which will arrive too late anyway
Sadly, but unsurprisingly, the oil industry and head bitumen cheerleader Jason Kenney - the accidental
Premier of Alberta - have spumed that the solution to Europe's short-term fossil fuel inconvenience
should be solved by ramping up the production of Alberta's bitumen, natural gas and coal production and
delivery infrastructure, dubbing it 'ethical oil'. This is the wrong answer, for a few reasons.
Russia’s war on Ukraine renewed talk about Canada’s ‘ethical oil.’ Here’s what experts say about that push (Toronto Star)
a) Until Alberta and Canada get their house in order on truth and reconciliation with Canada's indigenous
nations and cultures, they have no business using the word 'ethical'.
b) Europe will only need more fossil fuels for a short period, likely less than 2 years, as they source
replacement energy from renewables first, and reduced fossil fuel demand from closer and more reliable
sources, like oil and gas producers in the middle east.
c) Canadian oil is expensive by world standards, and heavy oil requiring more refining energy than light
and medium crudes available closer to Europe today. Canadian oil can't compete on price without massive
subsidies from Canadian taxpayers (already part of 'business as usual').
d) Alberta can't deliver in time. Alberta is landlocked. It doesn't have the refining capacity required
to make the gasoline, oil, and diesel fuel customers want. It will take 10-20 years to build more
refining capacity, and the past 3 decades show Alberta has no interest in that. So they have to ship to
refineries, mostly in the U.S. which can actually refine the heavy bitumen crude mixed with diluents.
They don't have the delivery capacity. Alberta and Canada's previous Prime Minister have soured relations
with the U.S., which has slowed the approvals and building of Keystone XL. They have similarly pissed
off Quebec, which along with shaky financials, forced proponents to withdraw their Energy East proposed
pipeline. Trans Mountain XL is such a financial fiasco that even the Canadian government - the world oil
industry's subsidizer-in-chief - wants to wash
their hands of it - if $21 billion dollars too late. No private sector investor has appeared to pick up
the project and carry on. Even if any of those actually moves forward, it is certainly five years before
any of them could deliver any fossil fuel to Europe from increased production, and probably more than a
e) There is a way Canada could deliver more fossil fuel to Europe within a few months. By dramatically
reducing demand for those fuels in Canada and sending the saved fuel to Europe. Somehow, that doesn't
appear as part of the Alberta plan. Which tells me that the Canadian oil industry isn't really concerned
about Ukraine and applying pressure to Russia, but only in increasing overall demand for their product
on a global scale. Exactly what humans can't afford if we hope to survive as a species beyond the end
of this century.
We have the solutions we need at hand, we just can't bring ourselves to use them. In Europe, wind turbines and
photovoltaic projects could be built and delivering electricity within a year. That additional electricity
could be used to power heat pumps for heating and cooling buildings, mass transit and electric cars and
trucks, displacing fossil fuels and their emissions.
What we really have a shortage of is rational thinking by elected leaders and a lack of resolve to
actually solve the problem at hand, even though it would reduce costs and improve the environment
and our health, and bring climate change acceleration to a halt.
2022.03.28 One of the big problems in stopping climate change is that our tax dollars are used to accelerate it
B.C.’s largest fossil fuel subsidy cost the province over $1B last year (National Observer)
That's over $1 Billion from a single loophole in a single province which essentially produces no oil.
2022.03.17 Ottawa pours more money into next-gen nuclear tech
The most optimistic forecasts for SMRs is that they COULD be ready for construction in the
early 2030s. (National Observer) They won't be. Even if they were, it's too late for
significant actions on climate change - we need to have implemented the changes by 2030 per
the IPCC's latest reports, not just be hoping to start them. I have been following SMRs since - ready for it? - 1980 - when the
SLOWPOKE was already a real thing. I wrote about them in 2005-6 in my award-winning book,
The Emperor's New Hydrogen Economy. They're a distraction, and they don't solve any
of the existing problems of nuclear energy (dealing with spent fuel, high costs for construction,
fuel production, operations, possible ionizing radiation releases,creation of feedstock for
nuclear weapons ...)
If the objective is to provide remote communities with reliable, zero-emissions energy
sources, PV panels, wind turbines and batteries are available off-the-shelf today and will
cost a lot less per community than SMRs. SMRs are a distraction and delaying tactic intended
to delay action on moving away from fossil fuels in the short term.
2022.03.05 The fossil fuel sector is always quick to point out the cost of combatting climate change
but since the UK's Stern Report, very few get the spotlight to point out the costs of not combatting climate change.
What the new IPCC report says climate change could — and is — costing Canadians (CBC)
(the report - again)
2022.03.04 Toyota subsidiary Hino admits use of fraudulent emissions data
The use of fraudulent data has been ongoing since at least 2016, with the company having sold at
least 115,526 vehicles with engines certified by the government based on rigged data (Market Screener)
2022.03.03 Before we get excited about shipping CNG to Europe, how about some reality?
Yes, Canadian Conservative politicians and their puppet masters in the international oil and gas
industry will hate this. Thinking is hard for them; wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on new
oil and gas infrastructure and more subsidies is easy. There is a current war in Ukraine, started
by the oil-enriched kleptocrats in Russia, led by Vladimir Putin. Putin wants to use gas supplies
at the end of winter as leverage to force Europe to let him have Ukraine. The democracies in
Europe, to their credit and my surprise, appear to be willing to undergo some possible hardship to
assist Ukraine in a war imposed on them and where they are outnumbered and outgunned.
The fossil fuel sector has an easy answer, just get more gas from another source. Bring it in
using CNG ships which are filled at loading terminals in the U.S. and Canada, and off-load it at
receiving terminals in Europe, starting next week. Easy-peasy - problem solved.
There might be a couple of small issues to be addressed before we open the valves on this 'solution'.
Those ships don't exist, or at least not enough of them. The loading terminals don't exist in quantity,
and those on the drawing board are mostly on the west coast of North America, that is, on the wrong ocean.
The receiving terminals don't exist in the right places. The existing pipelines are backwards to what will
be required. Currently, the fat end of the pipe is in Russia and branches into smaller and smaller pipes
as they move west. The CNG tankers will arrive at the west end, at the small pipes, and need to pump east.
Building that infrastructure (ships, pipelines on the producer side, compression and loading terminals,
unloading terminals, rebuild of the pipelines on the consumer side) will not happen next week; possibly
next decade. Europe needs a solution long before that.
There are solutions that can be implemented in a much shorter time scale for producing heat and
electricity. Renewables, conservation, energy efficiency, battery storage and in the short term,
ramping up old coal and nuclear which was being ramped down and mothballed.
Here's the International Energy Agency's (IEA) take. Europe doesn't need a longer supply line or
to simply switch puppet-masters. They need to establish energy independence to protect their
And there's still that pesky issue of climate change which demands that we move away from fossil
fuels within this decade if we're planning to survive the looming crisis of catastrophic climate change.
2022.03.02 Fossil fuels are killing the planet. So why don’t we stop using them?
Because our taxes are used to massively subsidize oil in Canada, so alternatives can't compete in a fair market. (National Observer)
Past blog pages: May 2019 June 2019
July 2019 August 2019
September 2019 October 2019
November 2019 December 2019
January 2020 February 2020
March 2020 April 2020
May 2020 June 2020
July 2020 [COVID gap] Oct-Dec 2021
You can find many earlier postings (going back to year 2000) related to climate change at:
Keith's List Archive and
the Sustainable Biofuel List Mail Archive.
I present a lot of information in this blog and on this website. If you need some help sorting through the
noise level and getting a forward-looking, proactive approach to climate change for your business, I can do
that work for you via my consulting business. Contact