Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Axis of Carbon

As the snow disappears and the temperatures rise to record temperatures for December,  these excerpts bear relevance.  A Christmas wish might be that our government leaders tackle these problems with the seriousness they deserve.

Canada-Australia 'Axis of Carbon' an Obstacle to Climate Pact

Sep 23, 2014
The flags of all its member states flutter outside the United Nations as world leaders gather for a summit meeting on September 23 to help shape a global treaty confronting the climate crisis. But not all of those nations have caught the same wind.
Neither the prime ministers of Canada nor Australia will speak at the summit, and the subordinates they have sent will not be offering the kind of “bold” new steps that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is seeking on the way to a treaty in Paris late next year.
Instead, these two governments, with their energy-rich domains sprawling across opposite ends of the earth, will present strikingly similar defences against what much of the rest of the world is offering. And their stance is earning them opprobrium among advocates of strong and immediate action.
While a consensus is forming around setting a price on carbon and urgently converting to a carbon-free economy, Canada and Australia have turned themselves into an axis of carbon. If they attract others, this axis could become a potent force standing in the way of progress toward a universally binding pact.

Harper Rules out Crackdown on Greenhouse Gas Emissions
'We're clearly not going to do it,' PM tells Commons.
By Jeremy J. Nuttall, Yesterday,
Falling oil prices have made the possibility of placing restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions for the oil and gas sector a "crazy" endeavour according to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Harper said Canada would not unilaterally impose restrictions on the industry.

'A new excuse'
But Greenpeace researcher Keith Stewart said the U.S. is already working on emission restrictions for the oil and gas sector, so all Canada needs to do is follow along, despite Harper's insistence it's not a good time.
"They've always had a new excuse as to why they're not doing it," Stewart said.

The New Climate Economy
Climate risk, meanwhile, is an increasing concern. The strong growth performance before the financial crisis was accompanied by a surge in energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 7 This development model, if carried forward, would generate spiralling emissions and, ultimately, severe climate damage that would undo the very gains in well-being that we seek. 8
Major recent natural disasters have inflicted significant economic and human costs, including Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, Hurricane Sandy in the United States, major droughts in China, Brazil and the Horn of Africa, and floods in Europe. Such extreme events are likely to increase in both frequency and magnitude with unchecked climate change. Nor are extreme events the only concern. Existing climate variability is already a major source of poverty and insecurity among the rural poor. For them even small increments to risk in the form of delayed rain, higher temperatures, slightly more intense or protracted drought can mean disaster.
Tackling the challenge of strong, equitable and sustainable growth will require huge new investments and shifts in resource use. Actions today and in the next 15 years will be critical to stabilising and then reducing emissions to try to meet the international target of keeping the average global temperature increase below 2°C. 9 They will either lock in a future with inefficient infrastructure and systems, growing pollution and worsening climate change, or help move the world onto a more sustainable, low-carbon development path that strengthens resilience and begins to slow and reverse the accumulation of climate risk.

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