COP 21: Setting The Stage for What’s Next

Posted 14 December 2015 by isjustian
Categories: Environment, Politics

Tags: ,

Impressions from a quick look at COP 21’s Paris Agreement.

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Ok. So I’ve begun to dig into this Paris deal finally. Yes, it is historic and to be cheered given the level where it plays. Just as the Alberta Climate Plan was historic and to be applauded, given its context.

It is notable, given concerns around these subjects late in the negotiations, that the text contains;

“Acknowledging that climate change is a common concern of humankind, Parties should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and intergenerational equity”

Thank you Canada for standing for the right side of that piece.

However, for you and I who live on the ground in the real world and who have infants who look at us with trust; there can be no pause.

– Intended nationally determined contributions do not fall within 2C scenarios, despite all the talk of a 1.5C target, which btw is not a target but a commitment to ‘pursue efforts’. Nearer to actual target is “well below 2C”, which is nice but not quite the same as memes you may have seen singing about a 1.5C commitment.

– Actual national targets are not legally binding so provide all the room necessary for political expediency to take the place of necessary responsible action.

– Carbon neutrality is left to the second half of the century, kicking the can down the road again.

– Longer term goals require carbon extraction from the atmosphere, which means we’re not going to reduce emissions enough, but are going to count on our children to invent something.

– “In order to achieve the long-term temperature goal set out in Article 2, Parties aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, recognizing that peaking will take longer for developing country Parties, and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with best available science, so as to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century, on the basis of equity, and in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.”

“as soon as possible” Define “possible”. Possible as in ‘nothing else we can do’, or possible as in ‘best that can be done while keeping party donors happy’?

“best available science” in a context of funding and supporting science to come up with solutions as though this were a war-time effort? Or science like under a Harper or US Republican government?

Lots more to read, and lots good in this agreement, but so far imo it looks like aspirational text that can be easily ignored.

Much of the big money is going to go where it thinks it can make more money. It still falls to the grassroots to ensure that the necessary “reputational reasons” are in place for political players (note the deliberate choice not to use the word “leaders”. Those are too rare) and financial bigshots to do what is needed to at least not make a sham of this deal.

In summary, imho, this is huge, historic, stupendous, earthshattering! And on the ground, for you and I, makes not a damn bit of difference. We on the ground still have to stop the pipelines, stop the coal, stop the fracking, stop Site C, stop deforestation, unbridled industrialization, and all the abuses of global capitalism, and as it stands here in Canada do it in a context that still includes C-51.

To borrow a line from the 4th Healing Walk, we still have to Stop the Destruction, Start the Healing.

So, tomorrow is another day, just like the other one.

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Some thoughts from others;

The Paris Agreement: Paper Heroes Widen the Climate Justice Gap – John Foran

COP21 Final Blog – Day 13 – Elizabeth May and NZ Green MP Kennedy Graham

Raise your Mac from the Dead!

Posted 9 May 2015 by isjustian
Categories: Hardware

Mac folks need to know!
etsy image
If your Mac is completely dead; no response at all to anything, no lights, not a flicker when the power button is pressed, absolutely dead; it may just be playing possum. An SMC bypass may boot it.

As it was described where I found it;
– unplug the power cord;
– press and hold the power button;
– while holding the power button, plug in the power cord;
– continue to hold the power button for 10 seconds;
– release the power button for 2 seconds;
– press and release the power button.

Worked for our mid-2010 Macbook Pro that we thought was truly dead after spilling tea in it. The procedure doesn’t fix anything but it did boot the machine. It boots into a state where a lot of low level functions aren’t working so the fan runs full speed constantly, but at least it’s running and we’re able to copy all the files to an external drive.

Climate Change: Not just a Lefty/Greeny Crisis

Posted 4 March 2014 by isjustian
Categories: Environment, Politics

earth_from_spaceAnyone can find content from environmental organizations about climate change. Somehow, crazy as it seems, it can sometimes get framed as a “Lefty” issue too. Like Conservative voters don’t need things like food or water so climate change impacts won’t touch them.

So I’ve had a bit of a list of sources of information that don’t fall into categories of the ‘usual suspects’. And too many times I’ve found myself searching all over the place for that list.

So here, now, is that list on this blog. Hopefully I’ll be able to find it quicker next time.

PricewaterhouseCoopers
http://www.pwc.co.uk/sustainability-climate-change/publications/low-carbon-economy-index.jhtml

Exxonmobil
http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/energy/energy-outlook

Shell
http://www.shell.com/global/future-energy/scenarios.html

Munich Re
http://www.munichre.com/en/group/focus/climate_change/default.aspx

Society of Actuaries
http://www.soa.org/Research/Research-Projects/Risk-Management/research-2012-climate-change-reports.aspx#sthash.Y3Z3ULSY.dpuf

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society a good 20 question primer.
http://royalsociety.org/policy/projects/climate-evidence-causes/

National Research Council
http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=14682

World Bank
http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/climatechange
http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2012/11/18/Climate-change-report-warns-dramatically-warmer-world-this-century

Climate Change FAQ

Posted 28 February 2014 by isjustian
Categories: Environment

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society (the national scientific academy of the United Kingdom) have released a plain language report on climate change that addressed 20 issues in a question-and-answer format.

Check it out.

http://royalsociety.org/policy/projects/climate-evidence-causes/

climate_change_faq

Oil sands emissions must be tamed

Posted 22 January 2014 by isjustian
Categories: Environment, Politics

So, a young person by the name of Salina Mathur wrote to the Sudbury Star about Neil Young’s tour and oil sands emissions. Naturally the climate change deniers came out in droves.

http://www.thesudburystar.com/2014/01/22/oil-sands-emissions-must-be-tamed

I got one post on there, but subsequent replies to people have disappeared so I can only assume they’re not getting past the moderator for whatever reason.

I’m trying to respond to a question from there, here.

“craig” asked “How are we not honouring treaties? And be specific”

Well, Craig…

Your question is almost overwhelming. The problems in Canada are systemic and have been since Canada became a country.

One example is the Manitoba Act, negotiated between the Red River Metis and the government of Canada to bring Manitoba (such as it was at the time) into Canada. Canada failed quite intentionally to fulfil its side of the bargain, the facts of which came out in the Supreme Court case won by the Manitoba Metis Federation earlier this year.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/manitoba-metis-win-historic-ruling/5326532

There are many other examples if you care to look. I can’t possibly detail them all for you here.

From CBC news;

“Since 1974, the federal government has paid compensation totalling over $2.6 billion to settle 343 specific claims. Hundreds of other claims are still outstanding.”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/when-the-government-fails-to-honour-its-commitments-1.1018271

343 cases where people had the wherewithal to sue Canada to make it live up to its agreements.  $2.6-billion in settlements.  Aside from the settlements, what are the costs to engage in those cases and the hundreds of cases still outstanding?  And aside from the costs, is this how we want the government that represents us as Canadians to deal with people?  It certainly isn’t how I deal with people, either personally or professionally.

I am from BC, mostly not treaty territory. But to choose just one shameful example from here as a demonstration of the sort of thing that goes on, consider the Cheslatta Carrier Nation.  They were given 2 weeks notice (some sources say 10 days) before their homes were bulldozed and burned to make way for construction of the Murray Dam in 1952.  You can read about it here. (PDF) http://caid.ca/RRCAP1.11.pdf

So that was from the 1950s.  How about now?  Again I’ll use local examples because it’s easy for me, I’m familiar with them so don’t have to look up stuff.

BC just went through a public engagement process for new water laws.  The First Nations submissions to that process unanimously decried the process as failing to meet the standard of consultation.  Clearly something is broken.

My home town, Chilliwack BC, recently approved rezoning of a piece of land for construction of a hazardous waste facility on flood-plain next to the Fraser River.  Having just found out about the proposal on the day of the rezoning decision, a Sto:lo fisheries advisor and Band Councillor asked the city to delay the decision to allow First Nations time to look at it.  The City refused saying that the Municipalities Act does not require them to consult First Nations on rezoning, only on OCP changes.  A few days later an OCP change was before the City and the City decided it did not need to consult First Nations because in the City’s opinion the proposed change would not impact them.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I think that if I step on someone’s toe I do not tell them “That didn’t hurt.”  They will tell me whether or not it hurt.  A slightly silly analogy, but I’m sure you get my point.

If you really want specific examples of failures to live up to treaties there are plenty (at least 343 based on that CBC article).  You may find the situation, if you dig into it, distressing.

Emission Reductions; if not now, when?

Posted 19 January 2014 by isjustian
Categories: Uncategorized

From a draft report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body that summarizes current science and is often criticized for being too conservative:

“Nations have so dragged their feet in battling climate change that the situation has grown critical and the risk of severe economic disruption is rising, according to a draft United Nations report. Another 15 years of failure to limit carbon emissions could make the problem virtually impossible to solve with current technologies, experts found.”

So they’re telling us that before today’s babies graduate from high school the problem of climate change may be unsolvable.

Know any babies? Doing something about it today?

#nopipelines #notankers no #fracking

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/17/science/earth/un-says-lag-in-confronting-climate-woes-will-be-costly.html?ref=science&_r=1

WaterWealth Project

Posted 9 December 2013 by isjustian
Categories: Environment, Politics

I haven’t posted anything here since July! Crazy. The funny thing about that is that I haven’t posted because I’ve been insanely busy. Had I nothing to say, I’d have had all kinds of time to say it!

A key thing I’ve been busy with has been the WaterWealth Project. A project working for local control of the waters that sustain our lives, our quality of life, our economies and our futures. Rooted in inclusive, democratic principles; community action; plain hard work; and some fun, the WaterWealth Project has been making a splash in the communities we’re working in and the province that asserts authority over these waters.

Check out our new video on our Indiegogo page, and if you agree with what we’re doing and where we’re headed please share it around!

WaterWealth Project

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