• Happy day! Finally it looks like Canada and New Brunswick are taking climate change seriously. Really seriously. And they are ready to listen! Members of Parliament are holding town hall meetings to hear from their constituents about climate change. The provincial government has launched a Select Committee on Climate Change which will be hearing from expert witnesses and holding meetings around the province to hear from ordinary people. And the federal-provincial working groups have an online portal to garner opinions from one and all.

    So, what’s the hold up? Why aren’t environmentalists falling all over themselves on this? Why hasn’t someone launched a big public campaign? It’s almost like it is too big! It seems like even long-time environmental activists feel like they don’t know enough. After all, climate change is not most people’s expertise. That being said, everyone knows its potential impacts on the area that they do work on – water, forests, air, endangered species, health.

    Climate change is the backdrop issue lurking in every environmentalist’s mind. Whatever issue is your passion climate change plays a role. If you work to improve the environment by direct action such as restoring a river or protecting precious habitat, that good work could fall from the climate wrecking ball. If advocating for protecting human health from chemical exposure or changing forestry practices is your thing, climate change scenarios make the doom and gloom situations much gloomier. Plus, if you start to think about your grandchildren, it is hard to maintain any sense of optimism whatsoever.

    Right now we are all invited to raise our voices. Let’s raise them together and show that dealing with climate change is as important as it gets!

      For more information…
  • Tuesday, 20 June, 2017

    Conservation Council reacts to Auditor General’s report on climate action in N.B.

    The Auditor General of New Brunswick, Kim MacPherson, has delivered a substantive review of the province’s climate change plan and what is needed to turn policy intentions into on-the-ground work to protect homes and communities from what she says “may be one of the greatest challenges for communities, governments and corporations in the coming decades.”

    “New Brunswick’s Auditor General’s report should put wind in the sails of the government’s plans to reduce carbon pollution and make our communities healthy and strong in the face of climate change,” says Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

    “She points out, and rightly so, that while the 2016 Climate Change Action Plan lays out a series of 118 actions, we lack an aggressive time table or details on implementation.

    She recommends that the government introduce legislation to set its pollution targets into law, similar to that found in British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario, and Nova Scotia.

    We couldn't agree more and might go even a bit further — let’s see the legislation introduced the next time the Legislative Assembly meets, and let’s hope all parties vote for its speedy adoption.

    “If we want to catch this boat, the time for the government and NB Power to move is now. Not in 2018. Not ten years from now," says Corbett.
     -30-

    The Conservation Council of New Brunswick
    Established in 1969, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick has remained the province’s leading public advocate for environmental protection. A member of the UN’s Global 500 Roll of Honour, we work to find practical solutions to help families and citizens, educators, governments and businesses protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, the precious marine ecosystem and the land, including the forest, that support us.

    Recommended links

    To arrange an interview, contact:
    Jon MacNeill, Communications Director | 458-8747 | jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca
  • Ditching fossil fuels is like a ‘monkey trap’

    The Daily Gleaner, Tuesday, January 28, 2020

    A recent Brunswick News Commentary wondered how bad must things get before the concept of ‘climate emergency’ gets traction.

    One depressing answer may be found in the title of a widely circulated NYTimes editorial: “Australia Is Committing Climate Suicide.”

    The continuing unimaginable conflagration of Australian bushfires has already burned an area much larger than New Brunswick, destroyed thousands of homes, and killed over a billion animals.

    Decades will pass before knowing how many human lives will be lost or shortened by exposure to the world’s worst air pollution. An air quality index (AQI) above 200 is defined as hazardous. The AQI in Canberra has hit 4,650.

    Climate scientists have long predicted such events, as the conditions that created them are well-studied climate topics.

    While droughts and heat waves are normal, climate warming increases the odds of their occurrence, their duration, and their intensity. A continually warming Australia experienced its hottest and driest year in 2019. Average temperatures in the 40’s have baked the entire continent for weeks. Altered weather patterns push normal rains out to the ocean.

    Yet, despite scientists’ warnings, years of increasingly destructive weather, and the current catastrophe, Australia plans to expand its world-leading exports of coal and liquid natural gas (LNG).

    Perhaps, the country does have a psychotic death wish. Maybe it’s contagious.

    In the USA, 100, 500 and 1000-year floods are meaningless, as they occur regularly. While the southwest faces water shortages, the central breadbasket remained flooded for months. California’s fire season is now year-round. Coasts are threatened by tropical depressions that turn into monster hurricanes within a day.

    America’s response? Promote coal and frack as much gas and oil as possible.

    Canada watches record fires burn BC, Ft. McMurray, and boreal forests. Extreme temperatures and precipitation and record flooding are the norm. Canada is warming at twice the global rate, and three times as fast in our north, where melting ice and permafrost lead to abandoned settlements and climate refugees.

    Yet, several provinces stake their futures on huge new tarsands and LNG projects. The federal government, while shouting climate emergency warnings, inexplicably abets these expansions.

    Maybe a mass psychosis has seized these countries. But, perhaps, there is a better explanation - the classic ’monkey trap’.

    A monkey trap is an immovable trap, with a hole just large enough for a monkey's open hand. It is baited with a banana. A monkey grabs the banana, but the hole is not large enough to allow the monkey to withdraw its clenched fist (now clutching a banana).

    Because the monkey can’t conceive of letting the banana go, it remains trapped, awaiting its fate.

    It is the perfect analogy for humanity’s current situation. We cannot escape our trap (climate emergency), because we can’t conceive of giving up the banana (fossil fuels), even though doing so is our only means of escape.

    There is absolutely no doubt about the climate trap. All the recent climate disasters resulted from less than 1.5-degrees warming - considered the ‘safe’ limit.

    Our current fossil fuel usage puts us on track for 3 to 5 degree warming. At 3 degrees, Australian-like catastrophes become normal.

    2019 ended the hottest decade on both land and in the ocean. No one born after 1985 has experienced a month cooler than the 20th century average.

    Coal, and the energy intensive processes of fracking, LNG and tarsands produce more greenhouse gases than conventional oil and gas, and make the USA, Australia and Canada the word’s largest per capita contributors to climate change.

    Despite knowing this, they still can’t conceive of letting them go.

    Supposedly, a monkey isn’t intelligent enough to understand how its trap works. Is it conceivable that we, likewise, lack the intellect or imagination to envision a life without fossil fuels?

    Or is it something more distinctly human? Are we so tied to greed, convenient habits, or misbegotten ideology that we cannot act to save ourselves?

    We have a simple choice. Let go of the banana, or remain trapped. Nothing else will save us.

    New Brunswick’s record floods, tropical storms, hurricanes, ice storms, and windstorms are becoming the norm. Each costs millions and affects our health, lives and livelihoods.

    Our government has finally begun taking small steps to address the climate crisis. Hydro-electricity from Quebec to replace coal-fired Belledune is a good idea, as is regional cooperation. The Ministers of Environment and Energy tout their climate awareness in plans to use carbon-pricing revenue for climate action programs.

    Yet, immediately upon hearing that a complicated investment deal might restart a local shale gas industry - an industry that supercharges climate warming - the Minister of Energy boasted how his Department had made it possible.

    Congratulations! Have a banana! They’re irresistible.

    The fossil fuels we have all profited from now threaten our existence. If you believe that we can gradually let them go, because we are superior to monkeys, let your leaders know. Act for our children instead of quietly awaiting fate.

    Jim Emberger is spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance

  • New Post from New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance

    Let’s close the door on shale gas development once and for all

    Commentary by Jim Emberger (Fredericton Gleaner, Nov 23, 2016) We applaud the Gallant government’s decision to amend the Clean Environment Act to ban the disposal of fracking wastewater in municipal and provincial sewage treatment systems.    The scientific studies behind the decision have long noted that municipal wastewater systems were not…

    Read more …

 © 2018 NBEN / RENB