The Weblog

This page contains news, event information, and other items added by myself, the intrepid farmer-in-process at Old 99. I send out a message every week, but most are set with a delete date about two weeks later. I archive some of the posts if they have content other than weekly availability of produce and meat.

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2018 Climate Report from ECO issued Sept 25


I hope you could spare a minute to read my post about this on the Ontario Environmental Commissioner (Dianne Saxe) website.

I am writing in support of urgent action from government for the climate emergency. Cancelling the Cap-and-Trade bill is foolish short-term opportunism by the government in power. Stewart says they are only doing what they said they would do, but that is very selective. Finding the government accounts are in worse shape than reported is also grounds for revising even retracting campaign promises.
While it is true that 44 of 45 cap-and-trade plans world wide have not worked, it is because of political pressures to issue too many allowances at start up, downgrading the rules of engagement and manipulating the credit auctions to keep the price low.
But a rigorous plan is better than no plan at all. See analysis here.
There is no easy fix to the climate emergency. Even the 2018 Greenhouse Gas Progress Report, Climate Action in Ontario: What’s Next? lowballs the cost and impact of CO2e pollution. More on that later.
This could be the end of the ECO office, given current government priorities and ideology. I think it is therefore incumbent on Dianne Saxe to point out all the consequences of her politically nuanced report. Just a few examples:
- new nuclear plants but no cost for waste and decommissioning included,
- saying electricity generation has been decarbonized already (off coal but still on nat gas),
- major increase in bioenergy from wood considered decarbonized (it’s not, mainly due to timelag for replacement forest storage),
- industry emissions reduced by still-uninvented Carbon Capture Use and Storage technologies,
- makes least current cost the criteria for proposals (which discounts the future – they use 4%/pa) so lowballs cost by delaying outlays, and
- no recognition of drawdown potential for immediate net reductions from agriculture.

Ontario targets (per Paris) of 30% below 2005 and 70-90% by 2050 (COP22) are inadequate to stabilize below 2dC warming in any humanly relevant timeframe. For reference: Actual Ontario emissions 1990: 179Mt, 2005 205 Mt, 2016 161 Mt, targets 2030 143Mt, 2050 36Mt, all per year. (Ontario’s own target for 2030 in the 2016 Act was actually 113Mt/yr, about 20% steeper than Paris.)

You can comment too and it is important that many of us do. The Ontario govt has introduced Bill 4 to cancel Cap and Trade legislation, at great expense to the public Treasury and the Climate. We have till Oct 11 to comment.
The full report is here.
Webinar (1 hr) with Dianne Saxe Oct 1 signup is here.

Thanks for listening.