South Okanagan Solar Energy Symposium March 12 Okanagan College Penticton

This free, public, all day event will Include:

  • Keynote presentation by Josha MacNab of the Pembina Institute.
  • Presentations on how communities can get involved
    • The City of Nelson Solar Garden
    • Penticton Indian Band EcoSage Project
  • Presentation of the “Tiny Solar House”
  • Tours of the Pattison Center Of Excellence In Sustainable Building Technologies
  • Solar energy seminars by local architects, and installation experts.
  • Updates on the B.C. Climate Leadership Program and Power B.C.
  • Testimonials from individuals and companies who have installed solar systems
  • A Panel discussion on how you can decrease your carbon footprint through the use of solar energy
  • Doors open at 8:30 and Opening Ceremonies start at 9:00 am at Okanagan College, 583 Duncan Ave West, Penticton

Australia exporting coal and… solar technology!

Solar pools

Australian-owned and operated Infratech Industries has sold and will export its ground-breaking floating solar system to Holtville City in California. Similar floating solar system currently in place in Jamestown South Australia Photograph: Infratech

“In the last fiscal year, Australia earned $172bn from international sales of its natural resources. But earnings are decreasing. The office of the chief economist estimates that energy commodities earnings declined by 6% to $67bn last year because of a decline in revenue from coal exports, and that exports of refined petroleum products have declined by an average of 11% a year over the last decade.

There are hopes however, that Australia could bolster its position by developing its exports of renewable energy – especially those generated through solar technology.”

For the full article go to the

Fossil Of The Day Award

It seems the environmentalists won’t let Canada to come away from a Climate Change Conference without it. So far the Trudeau Government is doing better the previous Conservative Government. Canada was once a recipient of not one, but two special editions of the award: the Lifetime Underachievement Award, and the Colossal Fossil Award, for getting in the way of a climate deal. In any case I wonder who decides just who will receive these awards as Canada, a mighty small participant in global carbon emissions remains dwarfed by other countries who deserve a more prominent exposure.


Criteria For Successful Climate Action By British Columbia



Open letter to B.C. Premier outlines elements of effective policies ahead of first ministers’ meeting with Trudeau VANCOUVER

More than 25 prominent academics and policy experts sent an open letter today to B.C. Premier Christy Clark, setting a high bar for the Province’s forthcoming draft climate leadership plan. The letter states that “the Premier’s goals of reducing carbon pollution and growing the economy are compatible.” To be credible, however, B.C.’s climate plan must set interim targets aligned with B.C.’s legislated 2050 emissions reduction target. The plan must also include a variety of measures that collectively are projected to meet the province’s emissions targets, including:

• Increasing the level and scope of the carbon tax

• Increasing the stringency of the low-carbon fuel standard

• Strengthening building standards to reduce carbon pollution

• Implementing a zero-emission vehicle standard for motor vehicles with sales targets

• Regulating LNG and natural gas production to reduce carbon pollution

Among the letter’s signatories are prominent experts from a range of disciplines and academic institutions, including: Mark Jaccard, a renowned energy economist at SFU; George Hoberg, a specialist in environmental and resource management policies at UBC; Kathryn Harrison, a celebrated expert on environmental policy; Jonn Axsen, a specialist in sustainable energy system transition at SFU; and Kirsten Zickfeld, an expert in atmospheric climate science. The letter and a full list of signatories follows.

QUOTES “For the Premier’s climate plan to be credible, it must have one or a combination of a rising carbon tax, a falling emissions cap, or increasingly stringent regulations that independent experts agree will meet her promised reductions. With these policies in place, B.C. can drive down its carbon pollution while growing its economy.” ~ Mark Jaccard 2 “Research shows that roughly a third of BC drivers already want electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles. A zero-emissions vehicle mandate would require auto makers to give British Columbians cleaner options for their next vehicle purchase—just as we already see in California and eight other American states. It is win-win policy for consumers and the climate.”

~ Jonn Axsen “In 2007, British Columbia enacted a world-leading framework for climate policy. That was an impressive start. But to make real change, these policies need to be updated and strengthened—BC needs to plug the final gaps so we can sustain this momentum and confidently transition to a clean, green, vibrant economy and society.”

~ Jonn Axsen “To credibly present itself as a climate leader in Paris, BC must ramp up its efforts to reduce carbon pollution. It must set ambitious targets for 2020 and 2030 and present a portfolio of effective policies to achieve those targets”.

~ Kirsten Zickfeld “A credible climate action plan must include regulation of the LNG industry. New LNG projects should only be allowed to go forward if compatible with BC’s targets”.

100% Possible – Join The March For Climate Solutions

March For Climate Solutions November 29 Ottawa

March For Climate Solutions November 29 Ottawa

There is a growing consensus that we must get to a 100% clean energy economy by 2050 in order to stop the worst impacts of climate change. But what does this mean for Canada and how do we get there?

Clean, renewable energy creates electricity using natural systems such as the wind, sun, and water – harnessing that energy to power cars, heat homes, and sustain communities without harmful GHGs.

Canada has been caught between a rock and hard place when it comes to transitioning off fossil fuels. Not only have we built communities that are dependant on these fuels for energy – part of our economy and many jobs rely on the industry.

But there is more then just hope that we can change – there is proof. Cities, states, companies, and countries all over the world are increasing their supply of clean energy and phasing out coal and oil, faster than you can imagine. They are building clean energy infrastructure, creating jobs, and reducing their dependency on fossil fuels.

It is no longer technology that stands in our way. That’s why we call on Canada’s federal government to take the following actions to get us to a 100% clean economy by 2050.


1:00 PM / Ottawa / City Hall

2015 Paris Climate Conference – COP21 vs. Coal

“Coal will remain a safe bet for investors for decades to come as Asia drives future demand, says head of World Coal Association, Benjamin Sporton.”

The Asia Asthma Development Board said China has the world’s highest mortality rate from asthma.

The Hidustan Times reports that 13 of the worlds top 20 polluted cities are in India.

While Obama is reducing the amounts of coal exported from the U.S., Australian exports are increasing. Reuters reports that more than $3 billion has been invested in Australian coal projects  in the 18 months prior to August 2015.

As the latest round of who’s who in the World of climate change arrive in Paris, eyes will be on China and the US.  But maybe this time the deadline needs greater imminence and the target needs more focus – on coal.  With black-eyes on China, India, Malaysia and Australia.

Let me share with you just how bad coal is vs other fuels…

Pounds of CO2 emitted per million British thermal units (Btu) of energy for various fuels:Carbon loadsNow for the first of our Black Eye Awards lets take a look at the top exporters of Coal in the world

Coal Exports

Wow look at these bad boys! We are all anxious to see what Prime Minister Trudeau will come up with at Paris and of course the worlds media will cover Obama, but what about Joko Widodo and Malcolm Turnbull?

Where does all the coal go?

“I said ‘mama I come to the valley of the rich
Myself to sell’
She said ‘son this is the road to hell” – Chris Rea

Ian Barnes of the IEA Clean Coal Centre talks about how HELE technology will reduce emissions from coal fired power plants in the future. HELE means high- efficiency, low-emissions…China HELE Emissions

India HELE emissions

The point Ian is trying to make here is that by providing “clean coal” to countries shackled by “energy poverty” we are helping them advance economically. Really? Even with the introduction of the new technology, the most probable scenario is growth of coal fired plants in China and India and continued growth of carbon emissions until at least 2035. Notice how Ian has both countries carbon emissions peaking at 2035.

We Canadians have high hopes for Catherine McKenna to deliver for us at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, but unless the world is prepared to do a lot more about reducing coal as a source of electricity, Indonesia, Australia and Russia all come to the valley of the rich, coal to sell. Yup, you can bet this is the road to hell.

Sources for information:

Upgrading the Efficiency of the World’s Coal Fleet to Reduce CO2 Emissions

US Energy Information Administration/International Energy Statistics

Leapmanifesto – Naomi Klein, Neil Young, David Suzuki, Leonard Cohen

A Call For Canada based on caring for the Earth and One Another.

We could live in a country powered entirely by renewable energy, woven together by accessible public transit, in which the opportunities of this transition are designed to eliminate racial and gender inequality. Caring for one another and caring for the planet could be the economy’s fastest growing sectors. Many more people could have higher-wage jobs with fewer work hours, leaving us ample time to enjoy our loved ones and flourish in our communities.

Canada is not this place today – but it can be.

To read more and become a signatory go to:

“First Things First Okanagan” Inaugural Annual General Meeting, September 15

Date: September 15
Time: 7:00 pm
Place: Shatford Centre, Penticton (on Main across from the Museum)

If there are any individuals who wish to put their names or the name of another forward for a position on the Board we ask that you contact Brita Park by phone at 250-498-8899 or by e-mail at

Nominations will also be received from the floor on the night of the AGM.

Please note that only members will be eligible to vote or run for a position on the Board.  Memberships will be accepted before the meeting commences.  Current member renewals are also required.  The Board has set the membership at $20.
Non-member observers are welcome.

The Environment – Does Your Candidate Get It?

This document contains questions prepared by “First Things First” for use in the current Federal Election.  It provides the outline of credible answers to the suggested questions as well as links to sites for your further investigation.  You may find opportunity to use these questions when speaking to your local candidates, when creating letters to the Editor or to generate discussion with friends, family and others.  We can move forward if we make climate change and the reduction of green house gases an issue in this election.

The Questions