Heresy – on an Action Plan allegedly about an environment

Rick Conroy’s latest column could be worse, and still be spectacularly good.

Heresay and Toronto Centre MPP’s Glen Murray’s Climate Action Plan

…none of this is about sympathy for the planet. If it was, we wouldn’t use the legal might of the Ontario government to exterminate endangered turtles and bats that get in the way. We wouldn’t actively work to minimize the importance of their loss. We wouldn’t sanction the swatting of 300,000 of birds out of the sky each year. We wouldn’t industrialize raw and rugged land for useless, intermittent and expensive energy generation. And we wouldn’t work to bankrupt conservancy and nature groups and their donors seeking only to do what governments have failed to do.

If it was about the planet we would care about such things. We would care about nature.

Instead Ontario’s climate change policies are exclusively about appealing to the faithful. They are about exploiting the vulnerable. Those who have been psychologically badgered and beaten over the past decades with the catechism that they are the cause of the end of days—and only through repentance and rejection of self-indulgent lifestyles can they fix the Earth’s weather. Only through sacrifice can they achieve salvation. It is a seductive, effective and proven message.

There is a generation coming of age that knows only this religion. It is all that is taught in Ontario schools. Countering views are held only by deniers, oil companies and other bad people. Blasphemers.

Don’t cheat yourself, read the entire column at the Wellington Times (the best independent paper I know of).

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Greenwashing benefits Environmental Defence

Following is a post written by Parker Gallant.
I have not researched the topic personally and can’t be certain the green “belt” is referencing a geographic location and not the other “belt” possibilities, including; a mental location, a serving of an intoxicant, or a clothing accessory utilized as a disciplinary tool

Greenwashing1 benefits Environmental Defence

When the Ontario Liberal Government create “not-for-profits” strange things happen! One example is an entity called “Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation” (FGF) created in 2005. Their website states their purpose as: “to coordinate and fund activities that bolster the richness of life in the Greenbelt.”

FGF was launched with $25 million in funding by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and went about handing out grants when the opportunity presented itself.

By 2012 FGF managed to get rid of most of their start-up cash so the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing gave them another $20 million of taxpayer dollars. According to the March 31, 2012 and 2013 year-end annual report the Greenbelt Foundation utilized about 40% of their annual spending on grants with the rest spent on salaries, public awareness, research and other activities. If they were an actual charity that would be a truly dismal record.

Despite so much of the money supplied by the Ministry going to pay”administrative” related expenses, Environmental Defence, with Rick Smith in the position of Executive Director, managed to secure grants of $2.2 million from FGF by March 31, 2012-  as noted in an article published in 2012.

Reviewing the list of grants on the FGF website you find MaRS Discovery District, a charity recently bailed out by the Liberals (via another Liberal creation-Infrastructure Ontario) in their most recent scandal. One can also find a grant ($200,000) to the Toronto Environmental Alliance and another to the Sierra Club Foundation ($185,000).Read More »

Ontario’s amateur engineers, phony economists and sorry sailors: unprofessionals on electricity

Writing my Cold Air blog, I try to remind myself of the premise that “nobody cares that you’re mad. What’s your point?”

One reason I have this alternative blog is the possibility that premise is wrong.

A sometimes very annoying part of writing is it causes more reading. Two of the dullest things I’ve recently read were bad legal rulings regarding wind at Ostrander Point and the Darlington nuclear new built environmental assessment.

I was motivated to read the Darlington decision due to a lawyer’s implication (twitter) the judge considered the impacts of nuclear units within a context of options. This was not so.

Lawyers and judges are, in general, annoying. Generalizations being a little cowardly, let me be specific: Diane Saxe is annoying.

Diane Saxe co-writes a pedestrian summary of a legal ruling with:

We hear from folks on the ground that, once projects start running, many neighbours have privately expressed pleasant surprise that the turbines cause them no difficulty and are easy to get used to. Nocebo effects only happen if people believe in them.

Figure 4: Exposure-response relationship for annoyance indoors

This statement is offensive, although there’s some reason in the sentiment.  I ran a blog for Wind Concerns Ontario for 18 months or so, and tried to avoid making reports of negative health impacts as fear mongering.Read More »

Federal Court rules on validity of Darlington Environmental Assessment – sort of

The Federal Court has released the full ruling on the validity of the environmental assessment that had provided preliminary approval for a new build of nuclear units neighbouring the existing Ontario Power Generation (OPG) Darlington generating station.

The issue was in court due to Greenpeace Canada, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, Northwatch and Canadian Environmental Law Association – all professional anti-nuclear veterans.  The comrades had celebrated the ruling in a May 15th news release:

“The Federal Court has thrown out the approvals for building new reactors at Darlington.”

Well, not really.

From the ruling:

[394] My specific findings of inadequacies and unreasonableness in the EA Report do not vitiate the whole Report, although it seems to me that some reconsideration and corrective action is required that will allow the Cabinet and s. 37 decision-makers to assess, or re-assess, the whole Project and make their decision accordingly. I have attempted to craft a remedy that will allow this to happen without discarding what appears to me to be the highly competent work accomplished by the Panel.Read More »