Leaders must say how they’ll combat climate change

Commentary by Jim Emberger, Fredericton Gleaner, 31 August 2020

The immediacy of COVID-19 and its economic aftermath make it only natural for the media’s attention to be focused on the here and now.  But we cannot lose track of where we were prior to the virus, nor lose sight of the future.  If fact, the pandemic illustrates just how unprepared we are for crises, even those we knew were coming.

In 2019, overwhelming climate science and climate-related disasters brought millions of people into the streets to demand immediate action on the climate emergency.

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Alberta must diversify, not return to the past

Commentary by Sam Arnold, Times & Transcript, 14 April 2020

In the April 6th Daily Gleaner (A6) Mr. Srebrnik asked why Alberta seems to stagger from one disaster to another. He included COVID-19 to the list of thieves who are out to destroy the oil and gas industry and the province.

Mr. Srebrnik’s arguments fail to evoke the sympathy he is seeking for Alberta’s current economic plight for a number of reasons. Among them, Canada’s transfer payment system has been very successful in distributing Canada’s wealth to all provinces, as intended. As well, it must be noted, Alberta did not continue to build up its rainy-day fund that former Premier Lougheed started, and that subsequent premiers have dipped into when they shouldn’t have. How was it that Alberta’s Heritage Savings Trust Fund amassed $17-Billion in assets by 2014, but now has replaced it with a $15-Billion deficit? Is not the provincial government responsible for the decisions that it makes?

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Doctors release new report calling for moratorium on fracking in Canada

Report by Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment highlights serious health and environmental dangers associated with fracked natural gas, including links to birth defects, cancer, air pollution, and global warming

The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) recently released a new report calling for a moratorium on all new fracking development across Canada, along with the phase-out of existing fracking operations.

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Ditching fossil fuels is like a ‘monkey trap’

By Jim Emberger – 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.

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On Declaring a Climate Emergency

By Margo Sheppard – The Daily Gleaner, January 24,2020

Fredericton is under pressure to join the many hundreds of Canadian municipalities and federal government that have declared a climate emergency. A Climate Emergency declaration is “a piece of legislation or directive putting a government or organization on record in support of emergency action to restore a safe climate.” (Climate Mobilization 2020)

With few indications of leadership at the provincial level in this province, local governments are being pushed to take the strongest possible action towards mobilization. So far Bathurst, Saint John, Moncton and Edmundston have done this. Are the declarations of climate emergency symbolic, without teeth? That depends on how much people hold Council members to account to living up to their words.

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NBASGA Intervenes in Alberta Court of Appeals – Pollution Pricing Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Fredericton (Dec. 16, 2019) — Over the next three days the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance (NBASGA) will be acting as an intervener in the Alberta Court of Appeals reference case on carbon pricing (under the umbrella name of Climate Justice). It will be supporting the position that the federal government has the right to address climate change by setting national minimum standards, including a price on carbon.

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Beware NB’s next big energy gamble

By Sam Arnold, Telegraph Journal, Monday, November 18, 2019

We recently learned that the $13 million investment by NB Power and the Regional Development Corporation in Joi Scientific for the production of hydrogen from seawater may be a gamble that is unlikely to pay off.

New Brunswick residents should also be aware that the NB government and NB Power have committed to take taxpayers and ratepayers on another multi-million dollar energy gamble attempting to revive nuclear power. This has all the markings of another fiasco. As well, the Government of Canada has designated billions of dollars for a similar attempt to save the nuclear industry. We are wondering – as you may be – why this did not go public prior to, or during, the federal election.

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More Jobs in Renewable Energy

Letter to the Editor by Samuel Arnold, 15 Oct 2019 (Telegraph Journal)

Regarding your article, “Climate change, pipelines and your ballot,” (which appeared in the Telegraph Journal on October 10, 2019) this analysis served mostly to confuse readers on this critical subject. The author appears to have missed the fundamental reasons why students were conducting a ‘climate strike’ in Fredericton and many other municipalities.

First, climate experts warn for Earth to remain habitable for humans the global temperature must not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. But that has almost been reached now, and the planet is on track to reach between 2 to 4 degrees this century. This would be catastrophic for humanity in less than 12 years.

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The most important vote

Your vote in this election may be the most influential one you will ever cast.

There are many important issues in every election, but the decisions that the next government will make on facing the climate crisis will determine the future for you, your family, the nation, and the planet for decades to come.

Please find out where your candidates stand on the climate crisis.  Then vote only for a party that you feel accepts and understands the seriousness of the issue, and will go beyond campaign slogans to create solid plans that will actually address it.

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