Joe Oliver takes flight to fight for Canadian tar sands
In the continuing effort to weaken climate policies abroad Natural Resources Minister, Joe Oliver, is spending the week in Europe to lobby against European legislation that would require a 6% reduction in greenhouse gas intensity of vehicle fuels by 2020. He claims that the Fuel Quality Directive discriminates against oil from the tar sands and could damage the reputation of Canadian energy products around the world.The policy, which ranks fuels based on the the carbon intensity of the full life-cycle of the fuel (including emissions from extraction, production and distribution) is intended to incentivizethe cleanest fuels over the dirtier ones.
It’s no surprise that Canada’s tar sands oil is amongst the dirtiest – their carbon footprint is about 22% higher than conventional crude oil, but Minister Oliver claims that this figure is “arbitary and unscientific”, arguing that Canada is being unfairly singled out. However, the Directive ranks fuels from the same sources equally across the Globe, thus tar sands oil from countries like Venezuela would get the same default value asfrom Canada.
While Minister Oliver meets with senior executives of multinational oil corporations, a group of 12 prominent Canadian climate scientists and energy experts wrote him a letter to voice their concerns about his advocacy in support of new pipelines and expanded fossil fuel production, rather than addressing the threat of climate change. Read the letter here.
Daily rate of Arctic ice melt 50% higher than last year – How these profound changes are impacting the rest of the world
Arctic Ocean Acidifying Rapidly
It is well known that CO2 warms the planet, but less well-known that it also makes the alkaline seas more acidic when it is absorbed from the air.
Absorption is particularly fast in cold water so the Arctic is especially susceptible, and the recent decreases in summer sea ice have exposed more sea surface to atmospheric CO2.Read more…
White House Warned on Imminent Arctic Ice Death Spiral
“The loss of Arctic summer sea ice and the rapid warming of the Far North are altering the jet stream over North America, Europe, and Russia. Scientists are now just beginning to understand how these profound shifts may be increasing the likelihood of more persistent and extreme weather.” “World food produciton can be expected to decline, with mass starvation inevitable. The price of food will rise inexorably, producing global unrest and making food security even more of an issue.” Read more…
Along with the Arctic Ice, the Rich World’s Smuggness Will Melt
What we are seeing, here and now, is the transformation of the atmospheric physics of this planet. Three weeks before the likely minimum, the melting of Arctic sea ice has already broken the record set in 2007. The daily rate of loss is now 50% higher than it was that year. The daily sense of loss – of the world we loved and knew – cannot be quantified so easily. Read more…