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.


Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel laureate economist calls Paris Climate Conference “A Charade”

Cap and Trade won’t work without enforceable caps.

Voluntary commitments won’t work if there is no way of compelling the countries to adhere to those commitments.

Then there is Plan C, “Stiglitz’s plan is to set a single, global price for carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas. The idea is to make it so expensive to use carbon that consumers and businesses voluntarily use less of it. Countries could raise the price of carbon either with a tax or with a domestic cap-and-trade system, Stiglitz says. In his vision, if a country didn’t set its carbon price high enough, hoping to gain a pricing advantage, other countries would be allowed to charge tariffs on its exports. He would throw in a green fund to compensate hard-hit poor countries.”

For the full article in Bloomberg Business go here


Paris 2015 – Cop 21 and “BC Climate Leadership”

Premier Clark is off to Paris to tout B.C.’s “climate leadership”, while acknowledging that the province will miss it’s legislated greenhouse emissions targets for 2020.

When Premier Clark announced the B.C. LNG Emissions Law in 2014, as a smokescreen to cover the potentially atmospheric rise in BC carbon emissions from new LNG plants. Our 2020 targets would be challenged but not beyond our reach. Environment Minister Polak said increased LNG production will test carbon emission targets, which have legislated at one-third below 2007 levels by 2020, and the province will also consider cutting emissions in sectors such as transportation and construction.

“It is going to be a challenge, no question,” she said. “Sure, it’s going to be really difficult but it means we’re going to have to be drilling down more and more on the everyday things that we can do to reduce GHG emissions.”

Last week with the release of the Climate Leadership Report and acknowledging the news that BC will miss it’s 2020 target Minister Polak confirmed that, “We always knew it was going to be tough to meet”.  Merran Smith, Climate Leadership Team member and Executive Director of Clean Energy Canada, suggested that the targets will be missed because, “we stopped putting in place any new climate action for the past few years.” So while we were supposed to be “drilling down”, Polak just backed off any new climate action.

Today as the Premier heads to Paris, even without any LNG deals producing increased carbon, we are missing our 2020 target. To come: “the Pembina Institute estimates that even the lower end of that (LNG) development scenario would produce a staggering 73 million tonnes of carbon pollution per year by 2020.” Yikes! That’s more than double our current level of carbon in the province.

Christy Clark Selling LNG

One can only wonder if British Columbia’s interests in slowing climate change are best served by Clarks trip to Paris or staying home and implementing the recomendations of her Climate Leadership Team.

Premier Clark has said since day one that by providing liquid natural gas to the world we can clean up the worlds air. “We’re going to have a really clean product and we are going to help China wean itself off coal.” Trouble is in the long term that will only mean replacing one demon carbon with another.

The U.S. Department of Energy talks about research from the science journal Nature investigating the long term effects of natural gas potentially displacing coal and low-emitting energy sources over the long term.

Because natural gas emits half the carbon dioxide of coal, many people hoped the recent natural gas boom could help slow climate change — and according to government analyses, natural gas did contribute partially to a decline in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions between 2007 and 2012. But in the long run, according to this study, a global abundance of inexpensive natural gas would compete with all energy sources — not just higher-emitting coal, but also lower-emitting nuclear and renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar. Inexpensive natural gas would also accelerate economic growth and expand overall energy use.

  • Natural gas replacing coal would reduce carbon emissions. But due to its lower cost, natural gas would also replace some low-carbon energy, such as renewable or nuclear energy. Overall changes result in a smaller reduction than expected due to natural gas replacing these other, low-carbon sources. In a sense, natural gas would become a larger slice of the energy pie.
  • Abundant, less expensive natural gas would lower energy prices across the board, leading people to use more energy overall. In addition, inexpensive energy stimulates the economy, which also increases overall energy use. Consequently, the entire energy pie gets bigger.
  • The main component of natural gas, methane, is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. During production and distribution, some methane inevitably escapes into the atmosphere. The researchers considered both high and low estimates for this so-called fugitive methane. Even at the lower end, fugitive methane adds to climate change.

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: