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8 hours ago, Moon The Loon said:

Sad entitled youth.

I used to feel that way too but the more I read the more I came to believe she's being used by those around her.  She has Asperger's and several, hinted at, co-existing conditions; depression, obsession, anxiety, an eating disorder and more.  The real target for anger should be her parents and those around her who seek to leverage her youth and visibility for their own gain.

https://conservativeandfree.com/2019/09/25/psychologist-warns-about-political-prop-greta-thunbergs-mental-health/

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10 minutes ago, deicer said:

Nice, but what about this?

https://www.manhattan-institute.org/mines-minerals-and-green-energy-reality-check

Green energy advocates are doubling down on pressure to continue, or even increase, the use of wind, solar power, and electric cars. Left out of the discussion is any serious consideration of the broad environmental and supply-chain implications of renewable energy.

Compared with hydrocarbons, green machines entail, on average, a 10-fold increase in the quantities of materials extracted and processed to produce the same amount of energy.

This means that any significant expansion of today’s modest level of green energy—currently less than 4% of the country’s total consumption (versus 56% from oil and gas)—will create an unprecedented increase in global mining for needed minerals, radically exacerbate existing environmental and labor challenges in emerging markets (where many mines are located), and dramatically increase U.S. imports and the vulnerability of America’s energy supply chain.

For example, a single electric car battery weighing 1,000 pounds requires extracting and processing some 500,000 pounds of materials. Averaged over a battery’s life, each mile of driving an electric car “consumes” five pounds of earth. Using an internal combustion engine consumes about 0.2 pounds of liquids per mile.

Oil, natural gas, and coal are needed to produce the concrete, steel, plastics, and purified minerals used to build green machines. The energy equivalent of 100 barrels of oil is used in the processes to fabricate a single battery that can store the equivalent of one barrel of oil.

 

Those are just some exerpts from the article - I urge you to read it directly as there are some astounding facts about the mining and extraction that will be needed to support wide scale green energy.

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While solar is labeled as a clean and alternative energy source, there are still negative environmental implications that are not commonly discussed. Photovoltaic panel production is linked to carbon emissions, toxic waste, unsustainable mining practices, and habitat loss.Sep. 3, 2020

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3 hours ago, seeker said:

Nice, but what about this?

https://www.manhattan-institute.org/mines-minerals-and-green-energy-reality-check

Green energy advocates are doubling down on pressure to continue, or even increase, the use of wind, solar power, and electric cars. Left out of the discussion is any serious consideration of the broad environmental and supply-chain implications of renewable energy.

Compared with hydrocarbons, green machines entail, on average, a 10-fold increase in the quantities of materials extracted and processed to produce the same amount of energy.

This means that any significant expansion of today’s modest level of green energy—currently less than 4% of the country’s total consumption (versus 56% from oil and gas)—will create an unprecedented increase in global mining for needed minerals, radically exacerbate existing environmental and labor challenges in emerging markets (where many mines are located), and dramatically increase U.S. imports and the vulnerability of America’s energy supply chain.

For example, a single electric car battery weighing 1,000 pounds requires extracting and processing some 500,000 pounds of materials. Averaged over a battery’s life, each mile of driving an electric car “consumes” five pounds of earth. Using an internal combustion engine consumes about 0.2 pounds of liquids per mile.

Oil, natural gas, and coal are needed to produce the concrete, steel, plastics, and purified minerals used to build green machines. The energy equivalent of 100 barrels of oil is used in the processes to fabricate a single battery that can store the equivalent of one barrel of oil.

 

Those are just some exerpts from the article - I urge you to read it directly as there are some astounding facts about the mining and extraction that will be needed to support wide scale green energy.

If you build it, they will come.

Just as the cost per watt is dropping with solar as the technology matures, same with battery manufacturing and eventually the recycling.

https://www.tvo.org/article/can-ontario-boost-ev-battery-recycling-before-its-too-late

 

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different strokes....

Ontario increasing reliance on natural gas as others move away from fossil fuels

Sat Jun 12, 2021 - The Globe and Mail
by Adam Radwanski

Quote

'It’s easy to guess why Mr. Ford’s Progressive Conservatives have been so gas-friendly. They came to office three years ago amid frustration with high energy bills, caused partly by the previous Liberal government’s ill-fated decision to pay exorbitant prices for renewables.' 

As other jurisdictions work to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels, Ontario is going in the other direction.

This week, Doug Ford’s government announced a plan to spend $234-million on the latest stage of its Natural Gas Expansion Program, to provide new gas connections offering heat to 43 rural, remote and Indigenous communities.

The province is also planning to significantly increase the role of natural gas in electricity generation, as nuclear reactors come offline for refurbishment this decade.

Taken on their own, there is some rationale for both plans. The new connections will improve affordability and fairness for far-flung areas that have long had higher energy bills than elsewhere in the province; existing generation capacity makes natural gas the readiest available replacement for the lost nuclear power.

But combined with Mr. Ford’s apparent allergy to renewable electricity or most other forms of green-energy investment, it adds up to actively skating in the opposite direction from where the puck is going. In the long run, it threatens both to impede national emissions-reductions goals, and to lock in fuel sources that will eventually make much less sense financially.

When it comes to the latest announcement, the financial case actually seems fairly tenuous even at the outset.

Per the government’s math, the new gas hook-ups will allow for approximately 8,750 homes and businesses to switch to gas furnaces (which they will have to pay for themselves) from baseboard electrical heating or other current sources. That’s an average, based on the total price, of nearly $27,000 for each one.

With projected annual savings of between $250 and $1,500 per household, it would take somewhere between 18 and 107 years to earn back the investment.

It’s improbable that the cost-benefit equation will get any more favourable with time, since the savings could be compromised by rising domestic carbon prices and the increasing cheapness of other energy options amid a global shift toward a cleaner economy. It’s debatable for how long natural gas will even remain a viable option, as the International Energy Agency calls for an end to gas-furnace sales by 2025 and an almost complete elimination of the fuel source by mid-century to achieve net-zero emissions.

The instinct to provide help to remote communities, with their heating costs, is the right one. A majority of Ontarians already use gas to heat their homes, and have benefited from its relative cheapness to date. It helps with the fairness argument that existing users are to pay for the new connections, through their gas bills, rather than it coming out of the tax base.

But for the price, the province could instead be subsidizing top-of-the-line heat pumps that increasingly enable cheap, low-emissions electrical heating even in very cold weather, plus renovations to improve buildings’ energy efficiency.

That’s a direction many current users of natural gas are likely to go in the years ahead, aided by federal retrofit subsidies. Remote communities in urgent need of cheaper energy could be at the forefront of that shift; instead the province may be locking them into gas in a way that ultimately leaves them behind again.

As for the plan to increase natural gas’s share of the provincial electricity mix, it’s probably an unavoidable way of dealing with the loss of some nuclear power (by far the biggest part of Ontario’s supply mix) starting around the middle of this decade. While gas currently accounts for less than 10 per cent of generation, it has about 30 per cent of the province’s installed capacity, meaning it can be ramped up far more easily than anything else.

What’s disconcerting, though, is that Mr. Ford’s government seems to consider it the only way of dealing with the coming shortfall. It has been actively hostile toward wind and solar power, cancelling contracts it inherited and eschewing new investments despite renewables now being relatively cheap. Likewise emergent energy storage technology that could make those sources more efficient. It has done little to encourage the building of smart grids that could better manage demand, and shown minimal interest in conservation programs. It seemingly wants no part of discussions with Quebec about taking advantage of that province’s hydro and storage capacity through greater interprovincial transmission.

That’s worrying not just because, between now and the 2030s, the increased gas reliance will negate some of the emissions reductions from getting off coal power earlier this century – likely making Ontario the only province going in the wrong direction on grid pollution.

It also points toward the province leaning on gas to deal with electricity demand that is projected to at least double by mid-century, as vehicles and buildings and industry are electrified. The provincial utility Ontario Power Generation’s $2.8-billion purchase from TC Energy of three existing gas plants, during Mr. Ford’s time in office, adds to that impression. That raises the prospect of the environmental benefits of electrification being somewhat diminished, and Ontario’s industry having a harder time competing as companies and investors prioritize access to clean power.

It’s easy to guess why Mr. Ford’s Progressive Conservatives have been so gas-friendly. They came to office three years ago amid frustration with high energy bills, caused partly by the previous Liberal government’s ill-fated decision to pay exorbitant prices for renewables. And like many governments, when it comes to energy policy, they appear more concerned with short-term cost containment than long-term planning.

But there is a risk for a government facing re-election next year to be indifferent to energy emissions.

Ontario is not about to abruptly abandon natural gas, whoever is in power. That doesn’t mean treating it like the fuel of the future, while the rest of the world aims to move on.

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uh-oh, somebody's having commitment issues....

G-7 drops aim to shift new car sales away from oil by 2030

Group of Seven nations pledging only to speed up efforts to move away from combustion engines

Mon Jun 14, 2021 - Bloomberg News

Group of Seven nations backed away from plans to set a target for making sure most new cars sold are greener vehicles, instead pledging only speed up efforts to move away from combustion engines.

In the final communique Sunday, the bloc include an autos section that was far more modest than earlier versions being discussed. It pledged to do more to electrify the transport sector but did not set firm target dates.

“We recognize that this will require dramatically increasing the pace of the global decarbonization of the road transport sector throughout the 2020s, and beyond,” the leaders wrote. “We commit to accelerate the transition away from new sales of diesel and petrol cars to promote the uptake of zero emission vehicles.”

The language is an apparent compromise between the nations, several of whom are major automakers. Earlier drafts of the communique suggested that the G-7 “strive” to ensure that the majority of all new passenger car sales are not powered by gasoline or diesel “by 2030 or sooner.”

The communique reiterated the promise for rich countries to release $100 billion annually in support for developing world efforts to cope with climate change transitions. It said the G-7 members will all increase their contributions but did not disclose by how much.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said getting to $100 billion a year would not be “easy” but he was confident the target would be met. Johnson will host the COP26 UN climate summit in November in Glasgow, Scotland.

“Whilst G-7 leaders reaffirmed their overdue promise of $100 billion a year in climate support to poorer countries, those same countries will be disappointed that they leave Cornwall with no new money apparently on the table,” said Gareth Redmond-King from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit.

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Michael Taube: Trudeau's feel-good retrofit program will cost lots of money and do little for the environment

 

While this type of window dressing may suit our prime minister’s vapid leadership style just fine, it’s a pet project we could really do without

Author of the article:Michael Taube, Special to National Post

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When there is a problem, science works to find the solution.

https://www.freethink.com/articles/lithium-mining

Lithium Mining Just Became A Water Sport

Lithium mining is damaging to the environment, yet we need it for car batteries. Now, scientists claim to have found a way to extract lithium from seawater.

By TERESA CAREY 16 Jun, 2021 05:30 PM

Lithium is an essential component of most rechargeable batteries, powering everything from iPhones to Teslas. However, increased lithium mining due to rising demand will deplete known land-based supplies by 2080.

A team of scientists at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, in Saudi Arabia, says they already have a solution in the works: before land-based lithium runs out, shift lithium mining to the ocean. The team claims they've created an affordable method for extracting lithium from the seawater, potentially unlocking a practically infinite supply of lithium.

The challenge: Land-based lithium mining is incredibly damaging to the environment, and it wastes huge amounts of water — up to 500,000 gallons of water per ton of lithium extracted.

You can think of it as a simple mesh that filters out lithium.

Seawater contains 5,000 times the amount of lithium found on land, but only in very low concentrations, which has made previous attempts to extract lithium from the ocean ineffective.

What they did: The team, led by Zhiping Lai, took a unique approach to lithium mining, explained in a paper in the journal Energy & Environmental Science. They created an electrochemical cell, containing a ceramic membrane made from lithium lanthanum titanium oxide (LLTO). It sounds like a mouthful, but you can think of it as a simple mesh that filters out lithium.

The cell's crystal structure has tiny pores. As a result, lithium ions can travel through gaps in the membrane, while bigger metal ions are blocked.

Inside the cell are three chambers. First, the seawater flows into a central feed chamber, where the positive and negative ions are separated. Then, positive ions move through the LLTO membrane into a side chamber, while negative ions exit into a separate third chamberThen, the lithium-concentrated water is fed through the system again.

With each processing cycle, the lithium concentration gets higher and higher, the team explained in a statement.

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The final touch was a slight adjustment to the solutions' pH, ensuring the final lithium solution barely had any traces of other metals. This made sure the final product was pure enough to fulfill the specifications of battery makers, reports Mining Dot Com.

Is it economical? The system can't replace lithium mining yet. The process has only seen early tests and has to prove it can scale, but the team says it could eventually become cost-effective.

They conducted an economic study and concluded that if power costs $65 per MWh (close to the average for businesses in Saudi Arabia), the process would only require $5 of electricity to extract 1 kilogram of lithium from saltwater.

The process may not be ready for prime time yet, but if the price of lithium spikes, expect battery makers to look to the sea.

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  • The risk of the energy transition is that it only benefits a few, CEO says
PUBLISHED WED, JUN 23 20215:47 AM EDTUPDATED 5 HOURS AGO
KEY POINTS
  • In a wide-ranging interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe”, Enel CEO Francesco Starace was asked about the “energy transformation”.
  • He was keen to hammer home the point that any shift would not be without its challenges. 

In this articleThe risk of the energy transition is that it only benefits a few, Enel CEO says

 

The coronavirus pandemic has sped up a transition in the energy industry, according to the CEO of Italian energy firm Enel, but a number of issues need to be addressed to ensure change takes place in a measured manner.  

In a wide-ranging interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” Tuesday, Francesco Starace was asked about the “energy transformation” and how the pandemic had changed the landscape. 

 

“The way in which, for example, the EU has decided to take the exit route out of the crisis is to accelerate this renewable energy and this energy transformation,” he explained.

“I would say it’s a transition rather than transformation,” he added. “It’s a big change that affects not only the energy industry, but … industry at large. So I can say yes, the pandemic has accelerated this trend in a major way.”

Change does seem to be on the cards and in many cases it’s closely linked with major economies’ attempts to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

The European Commission, for instance, has described the European Green Deal — a plan for the EU to be climate neutral by the year 2050 — as “our lifeline out of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Green Deal is backed by initiatives such as the Just Transition Mechanism. This aims to mobilize billions of euros between 2021 and 2027 and focus on “regions that are the most carbon-intensive or with the most people working in fossil fuels.”

While governments around the world are signaling their intent to move away from fossil fuels and pursue net zero targets, bringing about any meaningful change is a colossal task.

 

Energy companies are still discovering new oil fields, for example, while in countries such as the U.S., fossil fuels continue to play a significant role in electricity production.

For his part, Starace was keen to hammer home the point that any shift would not be without its challenges. 

“The transformation is inevitable, that’s something that will happen anyway,” he said. “The risk is whether it happens in a disorderly fashion or in … an orderly way.”

“I think the risk is that we are not really taking into account all the consequences for the whole industry and economic activity of the world,” he went on to add.

“That means that we try and push it in a way that creates problems for people or is … [u]njust, accumulates inequality in some parts of the world, rather than being more just.”

Re-skilling the workforce

With governments around the world signaling their intention to ramp up renewable energy capacity in the coming years, the need for jobs in the sector looks set to grow.

According to the Global Wind Energy Council, expansion of the wind energy industry could create 3.3 million jobs in the next five years.

Over in the U.S., the Solar Energy Industries Association says the solar sector will need over 900,000 workers if the country is to meet its goal of “100% clean electricity” by the year 2035.

 

More than 231,000 workers were employed by America’s solar industry last year, a 6.7% decline compared to the year before, according to a recent report published by the SEIA, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, The Solar Foundation, and BW Research.

In his interview with CNBC, Enel’s Starace noted skilled people within the energy industry were “becoming a scarce … commodity.” Among other things, he went on to emphasize the importance of training people in large numbers.

Clean air, less noise

Over the last few years, governments around the world have signaled their intent to increase the number of electric vehicles on their roads. This move away from the internal combustion engine is already underway.

At the end of April, the International Energy Agency said roughly 3 million new electric cars were registered last year, a record amount and a 41% rise compared to 2019.

According to the Paris-based organization, this jump pushed the total number of electric cars on the road to over 10 million, a figure supplemented by approximately 1 million electric buses, vans and heavy trucks.

One of the potential benefits of electrifying transport is improved air quality, as Starace noted. “As we electrify — that means push[ing] fossil fuels out of the picture — the particulates, the polluting elements that are part of our daily life will disappear ... and the quality of our life in cities will definitely improve.”

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'Solar trash tsunami': How solar power is driving a looming environmental crisis

Remember when flatscreens yielded mountains of trashed CRT monitors? This could be worse.

Author of the article:
Tristin Hopper
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That didn’t take long….listening to CP 24 interview a “retired structural engineer”, he had a couple of possibilities for the collapse of the condo in Miami….one of them being .. wait for it……CLIMATE CHANGE …. rising sea levels affecting the foundation!

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PM'S climate plan a bust

PBO report highlights negative economic impacts, expense

  • Calgary Sun
  • 27 Jun 2021
  • LORRIE GOLDSTEIN lgoldstein@postmedia.com @sunlorrie
img?regionKey=LNWvRFZrp1SsO6EOzuj5YQ%3d%3d YVES GIROUX JUSTIN TRUDEAU

With Canadian governments never having hit a single greenhouse gas reduction target they've set since 1988, a new report by Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux explains why the Trudeau government won't hit its latest target for 2030.

Technically, Giroux's report — Beyond Paris: Reducing Canada's GHG emissions by 2030 — outlines the “prohibitive costs” Canadians will have to pay and the “extraordinary measures” required by government and the private sector.

But given the dismal record of reducing emissions by Conservative and Liberal governments, it's inevitable — my words, not Giroux's — that Canada's unbroken 33-year record of failing to meet a single target, will be 42 years in 2030.

Giroux's report explains the negative economic impacts of attempting to achieve Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's targets, including huge government subsidies and private sector expenditures, the costs of which will be paid by Canadians as taxpayers, consumers and workers.

As one example, Giroux says, sales of electric vehicles, currently 3.5% of the market, would have to increase to 50% starting next year, requiring “prohibitively high” government subsidies to boost sales and “large fixed capital costs” to build the necessary electricity infrastructure.

The price of gasoline and home heating fuels will soar, economic growth will be reduced and the incomes of workers cut — particularly those with lower education levels and especially in the oil and gas and transportation sectors.

(The government says its carbon tax rebates cover more than the cost of carbon taxes for most households, but this only applies in Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and individual households have little way to independently assess this.)

The PBO estimates by 2030 under Trudeau's policies, Canada's effective, all-in carbon price will be $261 per tonne of emissions. (Think 62-cents more per litre of gasoline and

52-cents more per cubic metre of natural gas, compared to no carbon tax.)

A $261 per tonne carbon price will break the Trudeau government's promise before the 2019 election it wouldn't go above $50 per tonne in 2030, and after the election, that it wouldn't go above $170 per tonne in 2030.

Giroux predicts if everything the government plans to do works — a long shot — it will reduce Canada's annual emissions from 730 million tonnes in

2019 (the last year for which government figures are available) to 468 million tonnes in 2030.

But that will be short of Trudeau's latest target of 40% to 45% below 2005 levels by 2030, meaning cutting an additional 30 million to 66 million tonnes of emissions. (For perspective, Canada's total emissions from the electricity sector in 2019 were 61.1 million tonnes).

Basically, Trudeau's goal is to reduce Canada's emissions between 292 million and 328 million tonnes by 2030.

Contrast that with Canada's record in reducing emissions since Conservative and Liberal governments started making promises to do so in 1988, when our annual emissions were 588 million tonnes.

From 1988 to 2019, emissions went up 142 million tonnes, with Trudeau now promising to reduce them by between 292 million and 328 million tonnes by 2030 and to net zero emissions by 2050.

Giroux estimates Trudeau's current climate change policies will reduce Canada's economic growth by 1.4% in 2030, cut labour incomes by 1.2%, hitting lower-educated workers hardest, with the biggest income cuts in the oil and gas (10.5% to 10.7%) and transportation sectors (3.2% to 4.6%).

Giroux notes his estimates don't include the cost of not addressing climate change and the possibility green technologies will contribute to economic growth.

But he also cautions he's operating on the “inherently optimistic” assumption the Trudeau government will choose the lowest cost measures to reduce emissions.

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1 hour ago, Kargokings said:

Giroux's report....

It took 80 pages but finally we have some propositions that acknowledge reality and don't rely on magic lightbulbs or dancing bears.  

I say do it until the job is done or until liberals (the ones currently doing the name calling) cry uncle and apologize. I'm in, let's get started.... I don't want to miss this.  

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22 hours ago, Wolfhunter said:

It took 80 pages but finally we have some propositions that acknowledge reality and don't rely on magic lightbulbs or dancing bears.  

I say do it until the job is done or until liberals (the ones currently doing the name calling) cry uncle and apologize. I'm in, let's get started.... I don't want to miss this.  

First to show good faith, PM Trudeau ordered the Air Conditioning to be turned off at his residence and lake lake house... 

 WhoopsI guess I should have posted this under "Fake News".  ?

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Opinion: Reducing beef consumption might not be environmental solution some think

Anne Wasko  4 hrs ago

Like37 Comments|30

 

© Provided by Leader Post In Canada, 35 million acres of native temperate grasslands are cared for by beef farmers and ranchers. (RICHARD MARJAN/STARPHOENIX)

Video player from: YouTube (Privacy Policy, Terms)

You have heard it on the news, seen it in the headlines and clicked it on social media: We should reduce meat consumption to decrease our individual carbon footprint and protect the environment.

Recently, restaurants and food websites have removed beef from their menus and recipes in claims of doing their part to become more climate-conscious.

Could it be possible that in some parts of the world, raising beef cattle actually preserves endangered ecosystems, provides valuable wildlife habitat and promotes carbon sequestration? In Canada, these are the environmental benefits from the land cared for by beef farmers and ranchers and their livestock.

With less than two per cent of Canadians directly involved in agriculture, it is not surprising that these immense benefits are not well known by the average consumer.

Recently it has been suggested that reducing beef consumption by 25 per cent would result in a 10 per cent reduction of livestock-related emissions. A narrow definition of sustainability, based on greenhouse gases alone, could lead us to believe that a reduction in emissions is good at any cost. But greenhouse gases are just one sustainability metric: only one way of looking at the carbon footprint of our diet.

A full Life Cycle Assessment encompassing environmental, social and economic perspectives for the Canadian beef industry was completed by the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) in 2016. It calculated that the beef industry contributes 2.4 per cent of our total national emissions.

So, if we were to reduce our beef consumption by 25 per cent and thereby livestock related emissions by 10 per cent, the resulting total national emissions reduction would be only around 0.2 per cent. Not negligible, but certainly not the silver bullet that has been suggested — especially if we consider the unintended consequences that would follow from reducing the Canadian beef herd.

In Canada, 35 million acres of native temperate grasslands are cared for by beef farmers and ranchers. This ecosystem is one of the most endangered in the world, with less than 26 per cent remaining. To survive and thrive, grasslands need (yes, need) a large grazing herbivore, as they were shaped by the massive herds of bison that historically roamed the prairies. Suggestions to reduce beef consumption by 25 per cent could potentially mean nearly 9 million acres of native temperate grassland being converted to other uses.

Lands where beef cattle are raised also provide the majority of wildlife habitat on all food-producing lands in Canada — close to 70 per cent. When grasslands are lost, species that depend on them for survival suffer. Reducing the beef herd by 25 per cent would lead to around 18 per cent less wildlife habitat on food-producing land across this country, affecting some of the most at-risk species including the swift fox, burrowing owl and greater sage grouse.

Finally, back to carbon — the central point in the climate change conversation. Grasslands with beef cattle currently store 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon in the soil. Cultivating or developing these lands could lead to upwards of 50 per cent of that stored carbon being released.

In the scenario of losing 25 per cent of these lands, the result would be 190 million tonnes of carbon emitted — more than one-third of Canada’s total annual emissions.

A recent study led by Nature United suggests that “avoiding grassland conversion and the resulting preservation of soil carbon stocks represented the single largest opportunity in Canada” for natural climate solutions. In other words, a decrease in the national cattle herd would release much more soil carbon into the atmosphere than we would ever save from the reduced cattle emissions.

A food system’s sustainability is more complex than a single metric can convey. Looking at greenhouse gases alone overlooks the ecosystem services provided by having cattle on the land — not any land, this land. Canada’s grasslands and vast pastures, which benefit from a keystone grazer, make beef an environmentally sound, sustainable source of protein.

Undoubtedly, there are large regional differences and impacts associated with raising cattle in certain less well-suited parts of the world. For Canada, preserving grasslands and wildlife habitat should be our priority. When we look at the whole complex story, reducing beef consumption could cause more harm than good.

Anne Wasko is Chair of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB), a market analyst and raises CRSB-certified beef in Saskatchewan.

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'to dream the impossible dream'

The government’s 2035 electric vehicle mandate is delusional

Sat Jul 03, 2021 - The Globe and Mail
by Eric Reguly

Whether or not you want one, can afford one or think they will do essentially nothing to stop global warming, electric vehicles are coming to Canada en masse. This week, the Canadian government set 2035 as the “mandatory target” for the sale of zero-emission SUVs and light-duty trucks.

That means the sale of gasoline and diesel cars has to stop by then. Transport Minister Omar Alghabra called the target “a must.” The previous target was 2040.

It is a highly aspirational plan that verges on the delusional, even if it earns Canada – a perennial laggard on the emission-reduction front – a few points at climate conferences. Herewith, a few reasons why the plan may be unworkable, unfair or less green than advertised.

Sticker shock:
There is a reason why EVs remain niche products in almost every market in the world (the notable exception is in wealthy Norway): They are bloody expensive. Unless EV prices drop dramatically in the next decade, Ottawa’s announcement will price the poor out of the car market. Transportation costs are a big issue with the unrich. The 2018 gilets jaunes mass protests in France were triggered by rising fuel costs.

While some EVs are getting cheaper, even the least expensive ones are about double the price of a comparable product with an internal combustion engine. Most EVs are luxury items. The market leader in Canada and the United States is Tesla. In Canada the cheapest Tesla, the Model 3 (“standard range plus” version), costs $49,000 before adding options and subtracting any government purchase incentives. A high-end Model S can set you back $170,000.

To be sure, prices will come down as production volumes increase. But the price decline might be slow for the simple reason that the cost of all the materials needed to make an EV – copper, cobalt, lithium, nickel among them – is climbing sharply and may keep climbing as production increases, straining supply lines.

Lithium prices have doubled since November. Copper has almost doubled in the past year. An EV contains five times more copper than a regular car. Glencore, one of the biggest mining companies, estimated that copper production needs to increase by a million tonnes a year until 2050 to meet the rising demand for EVs and wind turbines, a daunting task given the dearth of new mining projects.

Will EVs be as cheap as gas cars in a decade or so? Impossible to say, but given the recent price trends for raw materials, probably not.

Not so green:
There is no such thing as a zero-emission vehicle, even if that’s the label used by governments to describe battery-powered cars. So think twice if you are buying an EV purely to paint yourself green.

In regions in Canada and elsewhere in the world that produce a lot of electricity from fossil-fuel plants, driving an EV merely shifts the output of greenhouse gases and pollutants from the vehicle itself to the generating plant (according to the government, more than 19 per cent of Canada’s electricity comes from coal, natural gas and oil; in the United States, 60 per cent).

An EV might make sense in Quebec, where almost all the electricity comes from renewable sources. An EV makes little sense in Saskatchewan, where only 17 per cent comes from renewables – the rest from fossil fuels. In Alberta, only 8 per cent comes from renewables.

The EV supply chain is also energy-intensive. And speaking of the environment, recycling or disposing of millions of toxic car batteries is bound to be a grubby process.

Where’s the juice?:
Since the roofs of most homes in Canada and other parts of the world are not covered in solar panels, plugging in an EV to recharge the battery means plugging into the electrical grid. What if millions of cars get plugged in at once on a hot day, when everyone is running air conditioners?

The next few decades could emerge as an epic energy battle between power-hungry air conditioners, whose demand is rising as summer temperatures rise, and EVs. The strain of millions of AC units running at once in the summer of 2020 during California’s run of record-high temperatures pushed the state into rolling blackouts. A few days ago, Alberta’s electricity system operator asked Albertans not to plug in their EVs because air conditioner use was straining the electricity supply.

According to the MIT Technology Review, rising incomes, populations and temperatures will triple the number of air conditioners used worldwide, to six billion, by mid-century. How will any warm country have enough power to recharge EVs and run air conditioners at the same time? The Canadian government didn’t say in its news release on the 2035 EV mandate. Will it fund the construction of new fleets of power stations?

The wrong government policy:
The government’s announcement made it clear that widespread EV use – more cars – is central to its climate policy. Why not fewer cars and more public transportation? Cities don’t need more cars, no matter the propulsion system. They need electrified buses, subways and trains powered by renewable energy. But the idea of making cities more livable while reducing emissions is apparently an alien concept to this government.

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