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Fri, 2014-02-28 13:40Kevin Grandia
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New Global Study Finds Canada Lagging Behind China on Climate Change Legislation

pollution from syncrude plant in the Alberta oilsands

A frequently used talking point from Prime Minister Stephen Harper is that Canada will only tackle the issue of climate change if countries like China agree to take action as well. 

Looks like that time has come.

A new study released this week that examines nearly 500 pieces of legislation in 66 countries finds Canada lags behind many countries, including China, when it comes to advancing a plan to reduce climate change pollution and fossil fuel usage. 

According to Globe International, the organization behind the study, Canada currently “has no comprehensive federal climate change legislation.”

In China on the other hand, “it was announced in 2010 at the GLOBE International legislators’ forum in Tianjin that China would begin work on [climate] legislation. A first formal draft of the law is expected to be produced in early 2014, after which a comprehensive formal consultation will begin with government ministries, industry and other stakeholders, with passage likely by 2015.”

Tue, 2014-02-18 10:03Kevin Grandia
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So Who Does Rex Murphy Work For?

Rex Murphy

There is a brewing controversy swirling around longtime CBC commentator Rex Murphy and his relationship with Canada's oil industry.

As long time readers of DeSmog know, Murphy has been a vocal supporter of the oilsands industry and a booster of those who attack the scientific realities of climate change. (Here's a compilation of some of the articles we have written on Rex Murphy over the years).

Now questions are going unanswered by the CBC, and avoided altogether by Murphy himself, about a conflict between Murphy potentially being paid to speak at oilsands industry events and his role as a commentator at the CBC.

First to report on the potential conflict was Press Progress, after analysing 25 of Murphy's public speaking engagements.* The outlet found sponsors for Murphy's pro-oil public appearances included the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Enbridge, TransCanada and Suncor among others. Longtime investigative journalist Andrew Mitrovica wrote on iPolitics that he was taken on a “disturbing odyssey into the CBC’s Byzantine world of subterfuge, duplicity and plain lunacy,” as he tried to unravel Murphy's relationship with the CBC and the oilsands industry in Canada. 

Wed, 2014-01-15 09:41Kevin Grandia
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We Can Disagree, Mr. Harper and That's Okay

Prime Minister Stephen Harper needs to figure out that not everyone is going to agree with him and his government's policies and that's okay.

Rock legend Neil Young is making his way across Canada this week on a high-profile concert series in support of First Nations who oppose further expansion of oilsands within their lands. Prime Minister Harper, through his spokesperson, responded to Young's concerns with empty talking points, reiterating that the natural resource sector remains a “fundamental part of our country's economy.”

Okay. Thanks Captain Obvious.

How exactly is that responding to the legitimate concerns around treaty violations and the undeniable damage by tar sands extraction to the land, air and water that has Neil Young and First Nations' communities speaking up?

Tue, 2013-12-10 14:54Kevin Grandia
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New Survey Finds Canadian Financial Giants Not Adequately Addressing Climate Change Risks

Is your pension fund or insurance company a leader or laggard when it comes to avoiding risky bets on the future impacts of climate change?

A new survey finds that major Canadian institutional investors — such as the Ontario Teacher's Pension Fund, AGF and Manulife Insurance — are not adequately taking into account the long-term financial risks of climate impacts. 

Fri, 2013-11-22 12:14Kevin Grandia
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Canadian Government at Warsaw Climate Talks a Waste of Taxpayers Dollars

All week people have been coming by the press center here at the COP-19 UN climate negotiations asking, “Hey Kevin, why are you just sitting there playing with that pencil?” I sigh and reply, “Just waiting for Canada to do something… anything.” 

Finally, Canada's Environment Minister showed up Wednesday to make a statement. But, not surprisingly, the Minister's words were a far cry from reality. 

It used to be easy to write about Canada from UN climate negotiations. There was always some outrageous story to cover about how Canada was blocking progress or making life miserable for countries trying to actually make headway. But it has become a lot harder here at the negotiations underway right now in Warsaw, Poland.

At this round of climate negotiations Canadian negotiators are doing nothing. Literally.

Sat, 2013-11-16 13:00Kevin Grandia
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What Does Canada's Carbon Complacency have to do with Typhoon Haiyan?

typhoon haiyan

The human tragedy playing out in the Philippines deserves a serious moment of pause. No one aware of the devastating toll Typhoon Haiyan has taken in the region can avoid reflecting on what it must be like to be in the shoes of a mother or a son who has lost everything.

Experts are saying Typhoon Haiyan is the strongest ever recorded due to the atmospheric disruption and rising sea levels resulting from our changing climate.

Scientists at esteemed organization like NASA and the Royal Society have been warning us for years that warmer oceans will lead to stronger weather events, like typhoons and hurricanes, and rising sea levels will lead to larger and more devastating storm surges.

Something is definitely up with the weather. 

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