As Keystone XL Dominoes Fall, Time to Arrest Tar Sands Industry

We’ve got this.

Thanks to the courageous and indefatigable efforts of pipeline fighters everywhere, the tide has finally turned on Keystone XL. As it becomes increasingly clear that Keystone XL‘s northern leg is not going through, it is time to set our sights on ending all tar sands exploitation.

The Obama administration’s latest election year delay on Keystone North is not a victory, but the dominoes continue to fall.… [Read more]

Southern Leg of Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Flunks Climate Test Too

I had a chance to read FAIL: How the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Flunks the Climate Test, a recent report issued by the Sierra Club and Oil Change International and endorsed by a dozen other environmental organizations. The 17-page report makes a rock solid case that “constructing Keystone XL will lead to tar sands industry expansion, and tar sands industry expansion will significantly exacerbate climate pollution.… [Read more]

President Obama’s Climate Action Plan: Not Even Close

In June, after more than four years as president, President Obama finally proposed a climate action plan for America. True to form, the president gave an eloquent speech, with strong words for those still in denial about the severity of the crisis we face: “We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society.”

Unfortunately for all of us, the blueprint he presented is more PR than plan, and has zero chance of stabilizing the climate.… [Read more]

Climate Change Address

Forty three years ago Congress unanimously passed the Clean Air Act which was subsequently signed into law by a Republican president. Six years ago the Supreme Court declared that greenhouse gases are a pollutant. Fast-forward to the present day.

How fitting that on such a hot day, repeatedly wiping his brow in the summer sun, President Obama delivered a speech on climate change policy.… [Read more]

Keystone XL Pipeline—Boom or Bust?

I have to confess that the first time I heard about the Keystone XL pipeline I didn’t know a thing about it. All I heard was a quick blurb on the evening news mentioning that the president might not approve it. (However, I believe this was before the election and I think he conveniently changed his mind after he was re-elected.) All the newsperson reported was that the president might not approve it.… [Read more]

Al Gore….Deus Ex Machina

In the long ago late 1970s, when global warming was a gleam in some radical climatologist / doomsayer’s eye, when a jacked-up, tricked out 1973 Monte Carlo was high automotive art amongst my suburban Ontario pals, I read Bored of the Rings. Hilarious stuff, to a lover of the Tolkien trilogy…Dildo and Frito Bugger, high and mighty satire.… [Read more]

April 22: Earth Day 2013

It’s Earth Day; today is the anniversary of a green environmental movement that began in 1970. The movement has grown from 20 million participants to over 1 billion people who are committed to the planet we all call home. Prior to December 1970, there was no legal way to thwart environmental polluters until Congress authorised the creation of the U.S.… [Read more]

The (Oily) Road to Damascus

A few weeks ago, I offered a principled case for the Keystone XL pipeline project and its eventual approval by President Obama. I stand by those opinions – and as I explain here, recent Alberta political pronouncements elevate my views from so much environmentalist digital compost to pure gold. Realpolitik is rarely pretty. My bottom line suggestion that ‘hey, until America evolves beyond its fossil fuels fixation, oil’s gotta come from somewhere, so why not your friends?’ may at first seem an affront to any ‘principled case’ claims.… [Read more]

Thanks, Environmental Protection Agency!

Today, the Environmental Defense Fund relayed some information that should make all of us breathe a little easier:

The EPA has just announced historic new standards to reduce soot, smog and other dangerous pollution that spews from the tailpipes of our cars and trucks.

With every breath, these standards will deliver cleaner, healthier air to the lungs of millions of Americans, producing billions of dollars of public health benefits every year.[Read more]

Counterpoint: The (Principled) Case for Taking a Stand Against the Keystone XL

Over the past few months, the question of whether or not to build the Keystone XL pipeline (KXL) has become as divisive as the line its blueprints draw through the heartland of America. One side claims that the pipeline will be ‘game over for the climate,’ while the other asserts it will create jobs and give a much-needed boost to the American economy.… [Read more]

The (Principled) Case for Keystone

My digital pulpit north of Lake Ontario is no guarantee that brains or intellectual nuance drive every BNV offering forward, but there are elements of the ongoing Keystone XL debate that deserve fuller scrutiny, a discussion that ought to be advanced beyond shallow ‘dirty oil’ polemics.

Only the clean oil from now on

Keystone is not divinely inspired environmentalism.… [Read more]

Chesa-‘Piqued’ Energy: A Fracking Nightmare Waiting to Happen

Though not personally invested in this stock, Chesapeake Energy has always been intriguing to me nonetheless. The more one reads about this company, the more interesting this company becomes. Headed by Aubrey McClendon, Chesapeake Energy is a publicly traded company based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and its financial interests lie mostly in the midwestern United States.… [Read more]

Who Are the Climate Deniers?

I came across an interesting article yesterday in the Telegraph titled, “Climate change deniers ‘are either extreme free marketeers or conspiracy theorists.” Well, I read that headline with a fair degree of skepticism because it was exactly what I wanted to hear: that climate change deniers, like conspiracy theorists, aren’t quite in touch with reality.

The article was about a scientific paper titled, “NASA faked the moon landing — Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science,” which is due to be published in a psychology journal. … [Read more]

Part Two: Canada’s New BFF –China!

It will get worse

Part Two: Canada’s New BFF –China!

The last time out, I explained to America why China is such a swell new Canadian ‘Best Forever Friend’. The former Mao men have no compunctions about buying up other countries national resources, whether farm land in Africa or scoring an ever-greater stake in the gift that keeps in giving, the Alberta Oil Sands.… [Read more]

Canada’s New BFF? Hello, China!

The Ballad of Canada’s Oil Patch (with apologies to the sainted Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, and all fans of an old ’60s fave, ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’)

  • Tell ya little story ‘bout a man named Steve
  • Canada’s Prime Minister, the best you can believe!
  • He lived the dream of a true North strong and free,
  • Selling crude to the Yanks for a whopping royalty!
[Read more]

Is the Truth About Tar Sands Emerging?

“Oil sticks to everything. It collects in eddies and sheltered areas away from the rushing current, and swirls metallic, glinting in the sun. It collects in clumps of dry roots and grasses, like slick, matted hair. Along the river, wild strawberries, clovers, and a cluster of wild roses—Alberta’s official flower— were all painted delicately in oil.[Read more]

East vs. West in the Great North

It seems bizarre that one industry, centered exclusively in one region, could drive national policy – economic, environmental, and social – in a country as large and regionally diverse as Canada. But that is exactly what is happening. If there is one unifying theme to the Harper Government’s ‘Omnibus Budget Bill’ C-38, it is the expansion of the Alberta tar sands (please don’t be fooled by their misleading re-branding as oil sands – the resource is thick, dirty bitumen, not like crude oil from conventional oil wells).… [Read more]

Fossil Fueled Problems: The (biased) Keystone XL Coverage

My involvement with the Keystone XL pipeline began around the same time the media started to cover the issue. I was arrested in front of the White House for protesting against the pipeline on August 26, 2011. Until the week before my arrest, I didn’t know much about what was going on. An oil pipeline? Aren’t those built, like, every day?… [Read more]