climate change

NBASGA Reaction to the Higgs’ Government Throne Speech

(Press Statement 21 November 2018)
(le français suit)

FREDERICTON — After reviewing Premier Higgs’ throne speech, Jim Emberger, Spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance (NBASGA), stated that the organization is “cautiously optimistic about the willingness and ability of the minority government to act sensibly in its approach to our mandates of preventing unconventional oil and gas in the province and slowing climate change by developing a green economy.”

The speech made a strong statement against ‘inter-generational theft’, or stealing the future from our children.

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Window is closing to avert climate disaster

JIM EMBERGER COMMENTARY   Telegraph Journal, 2018-11-05

Amidst the excitement over New Brunswick’s political situation and the hubbub surrounding cannabis, Brunswick News columnist Chris Morris provided a sober shot of reality in a commentary advising our new MLAs to pay attention to the latest, vitally important report from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Her column,“New Brunswick position unclear as clock ticks down on carbon plan” (Oct. 20, A17), says, in no uncertain terms, that we have roughly 12 years to make sweeping changes to the way we live, or we and our children will face a world with climate conditions never experienced by our species.

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New Brunswick position unclear as clock ticks down on carbon plan

CHRIS MORRIS   Telegraph Journal,  Daily Gleaner,  Oct.20, 2018.

The clock is ticking towards the Jan. 1, 2019, deadline for Ottawa to impose carbon taxes on provinces without their own plans, and it remains unclear what will happen in New Brunswick.

It’s an important issue and probably played a bigger role in the outcome of the Sept. 24 election than most realize. The Liberals studiously avoid calling the price on pollution a tax, but that is how many view the extra costs it is expected to add to already-stretched household budgets.

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Tories are incoherent on ‘regional social license’

Commentary by Jim Emberger, Telegraph Journal, 13 Sept 2018

The freshly released Progressive Conservatives platform contains only a single sentence on shale gas, and leaves “regional social license” – mooted by leader Blaine Higgs in April – entirely unexplained.

Even without adequate detail in the platform, the very concept is a clear case of putting the cart before the horse.

The shale gas moratorium’s first condition sensibly dictates that, before social license can be granted, citizens must receive “clear and credible information about the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on public health, the environment and water.”

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Keep fracking ban to slow climate change

Commentary by Jim Emberger, Telegraph Journal, 24 July 2018

It was gratifying to see a recent article acknowledging that climate change has already changed our weather, and that weather-related problems will become ever more frequent and severe (“Not .. our grandparents’ weather, July 14, A2).

In the piece, a senior climatologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada, David Phillips, laid out in no-nonsense terms that New Brunswickers will be challenged to adapt to our increasingly confused climate.

Warnings and good advice about adapting are a necessary discussion, but the real conversation we need to be having on climate change is about ‘preventing’ the growing threats from a changed climate.

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PC’s need clear energy and climate policy

Commentary by Jim Emberger, Telegraph Journal, June 14, 2018

Last winter the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance asked the provincial party leaders for their views on energy, climate change, and the fracking moratorium. Everyone but the Progressive Conservatives responded. Additional requests to PC Leader Higgs for evidence to justify his plans to lift the moratorium, and to explain the process for lifting it, went unanswered.

Fortunately, Mr. Higgs was the first speaker in the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce’s series featuring party leaders, so last week I went there seeking answers.

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PM must stop push on Trans Mountain

Commentary by JIM EMBERGER – Telegraph Journal April 26, 2018

In Canada, there is consensus that climate change is a threat, and certainly many of us have experienced its first effects – bizarre weather, flooding, wildfires, heat waves, droughts and displacement in the case of the Inuit. The World Health Organization tells us that climate change is the greatest threat to public health in this century.

Our federal government tells us we must severely limit the rise in the earth’s temperature. The Trudeau government even persuaded the international climate gathering in Paris that its proposed warming limit of 2°C was too risky. Canada asked to limit warming to 1.5°C.

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Respond to climate change, while we can

Commentary by Jim Emberger
Telegraph Journal January 12, 2018
(en français, Huffington Post, January 21, 2018)

During the recent frigid weather in North America, the University of Maine Climate Change Institute wrote that the average temperature for the entire earth was 0.5°C warmer than normal. The Arctic was 3.4ºC warmer.

Likewise sobering is that the first assessments of 2017 show it to be the second-hottest year on record (after 2016), and the hottest year that wasn’t enhanced by an El Niño event. Reports of disastrous floods, droughts, heat waves, melting polar ice, wildfires and high temperatures that reach the limits of human tolerance became commonplace.

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Risks of reorganizing Public Health

by JIM EMBERGER COMMENTARY  (Telegraph Journal/Miramichi Leadre, 29 Sept 2017)

On Aug. 31, the New Brunswick Minister of Health announced the transfer of many of the public health functions of the Office of Chief Medical Officer of Health to other government departments.

The government’s stated reasons are to streamline operations, increase efficiency, save taxpayer money and increase uniformity with other Atlantic provinces. This issue is now back in the news with a national group of doctors, affiliated with the Canadian Journal of Public Health, opposing this reorganization plan for New Brunswick.

However, then-minister Victor Boudreau did not furnish examples or explanations as to how these goals would be accomplished. The new minister, Benoît Bourque, must do so, because common sense and experience suggest that this move will have exactly the opposite effects.

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Latest News & Studies on Fracking

Fracking and Water Contamination

Many of you may remember Dr. John Cherry, the internationally recognized expert on groundwater contamination, whom NBASGA brought to New Brunswick to testify at the Commission on Hydrofracturing. His testimony was very influential, as he pointed out that no place in the world was actually monitoring what happened to methane (and other substances) that leaked from shale gas wells. Thus, regulations were meaningless, as no one knew where methane was going or what effects it was causing.

Now, Dr. Cherry and colleagues have released the first study to track methane’s voyage through an aquifer, and they conclude that:

“methane gas leaking from energy industry wells can travel great distances in groundwater and pose safety risks, contaminate water and contribute to climate change.”

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