People’s Climate March

On Sunday I attended a climate rally in Regina with what looked to be well over a hundred other people.

Peoples Climate March

It’s too bad more of the 33,400 Rider fans in attendance didn’t make the People’s Climate March a priority for their pre-game activity. Listening to the crowd at the Legislature though, it’s apparent there are plenty of people in oil country who are afraid to speak out against the industries ruining their water tables and flooding their towns with oil money. Who would they speak to anyway? Some local papers won’t publish stories of oil spills a journalist told me in 2010. Bad for business. And Postmedia owned papers are in cahoots with CAPP. That makes it all the more amazing that Murray Mandryk managed to write a fairly critical piece on McMillian bolting from Wall’s government to work on the private side of the oil lobby sector. McMillian perhaps exhausted his public oil deeds.

You probably want to read this about oil lobbying in Canada. Look who is sitting with criminal Bruce Carson? Oh, it’s just the Premier of Alberta.

Peoples Climate March

The Premier makes a little cameo appearance in this short film of the Climate March. Bring ‘Em Out.

A Plan Designed To Fail Is No Plan At All #skpoli

“While it’s not immediately clear what impact the Obama (climate change) plan will have on the province, the government of Saskatchewan has taken measures to address the greenhouse gas issue through the development of programs and policies that will reduce our CO2 emissions,’ Wall said. “We have our (GHG) emissions reduction targets and continue to work toward them.”

Wall’s government’s plan is to reduce emissions to 20% below 2006 levels by 2020. Any climatologist could tell you this is totally insufficient to arrest climate change. The Kyoto protocol to reduce GHG to below 1990 levels, is arguably insufficient also, and there was a lot less carbon going into the atmosphere in 1990 than in 2006.

In fact, the destined-to-fail SaskParty plan is based on the equally political and unscientific Conservative [Not] Made In Canada (TM) lack-of-plan in Ottawa. That’s why all of the numbers are 20-20-20, they are a propaganda gimmick, not a scientific reality to “address the greenhouse gas issue”. They are ‘addressing it’ by reassuring the casual observer into a false sense of security, to trick people into thinking their leaders have the problem under control when in fact it’s totally mismanaged.

If you Do The Math, you’d want serious action from our government.

Do The Math – English subtitles from on Vimeo.

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Wall’s Leaky Logic

Brad Wall went to Washington in order to pitch the Keystone XL pipeline project. In doing so, he made some really absurd claims, that CTV failed to juxtapose against the scientifically accurate situation that Wall mischaracterized. Joe Oliver of the Conservatives has also been making totally absurd claims about Canada’s environmental track record under his government’s [lack of] leadership.

“Saskatchewan’s environmental record is not good.” – Global TV news clip from 2009.

It’s totally irresponsible journalism by the Canadian Press to allow the Premier to make the opposite claim without also clarifying his remarks, or offering the comments from someone with a factual response to his fiction.

Here’s the economic case, here’s the energy security and oh, by the way, we care about the environment and here’s what we’re doing with respect to the environmental piece of this.”
“We need to indicate that we’re serious about the environment, because we are,”{… delusional or two faced, I must add.}

This was a horrendously unbalanced CP article. Experts can refute the “Conservative” premier’s claims that Sask. can care about climate change while pushing the carbon-budget-obliterating KXL pipeline project.

Wall’s claim is analogous to a captain saying that he’s serious about keeping a ship afloat by plugging a hole in starboard side, while boring a bigger hole in the port side. It doesn’t matter if water intake is reduced in one side, if the ship’s still getting flooded.

The premier added he’s confident Keystone will soon be approved, particularly following the U.S. State Department’s draft environmental assessment of the pipeline that was dismissive of many of the environmental movement’s concerns about it.

That State Dept. report was actually written by a KXL friendly contractor, we soon later learned. Hard to believe Wall didn’t know the integrity of the report is in doubt. What is not in doubt among scientists is the potential carbon from the tar sands, when burned, will far surpass the carbon budget our climate could possibly withstand for a less than 2 degree change in our climate’s temperature.
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Oiled Up

There’s a suspicious situation uncovered at the UofR, by CBC. IPAC, the CO(2) CCS project was audited, and there were apparent conflicts of interest in how some of the money was spent. The report stopped short of saying there was crime, but implied there was the possibility of it.

Only last week I saw a CCTV ad for IPAC-CO2 appear out of nowhere, and I was unfamiliar with the logo they used until I spelled it out and realized it must be for the CCS project. This is the “heart of the Saskatchewan Party’s plan to tackle climate change”, according to Geoff Leo of CBC.

CVI is an IT provider, but they were getting over half of the budget. “There was no set of deliverables.”

One apparent conflict of interest, was Malcolm Wilson for a time being on the board of CVI. He reportedly returned shares so as to not profit from the work.

The Sask Party Minister for CIC, Donna Harpauer said “it’s a conflict of interest”. Wilson, through his lawyer told CBC that when the facts are all in, there was no conflict of interest. A Mr. Fitzpatrick, in the audio interview, said there was “no impropriety”.

Side note: I’ve appeared in a Global TV report years ago with both Wilson, and Brad Wall.

Shell, along with the provincial and federal governments gave the UofR millions of dollars years ago to pursue Carbon Capture & Storage at their test facility at Estevan. I’ve toured it; they were using North Dakota’s CO2 gas, instead of gas from the coal plant the test site is built beside. To that point, in ~2008, no gas from power SK production had been stored. I assume that remains the case.

Why would Shell, which has little to do with coal power, invest millions into this R&D? CCS has the ‘side effect’ of forcing exhausted oil fields into extended opportunities of production. In short, put the gas down, and oil comes out. We then burn that oil without using CCS, further limiting the net benefits of CCS.

There are presently 0 “clean coal” plants in production in the world.

The U of R, despite saying they are a “clean energy” research facility, presently has 0 solar panels in production, and 1 VAT windmill in research & production.

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Conservatives Abandon Community Pasture Protection

If the Conservatives removed protection on all fish in the ocean, do you think there’d be an outcry of concern? What if they allowed every old tree to be cut down, because we could just plant new ones by hand? Arrogance is the assumption that humans have figured out how to do everything by hand better than nature does without even trying.

There’s an open forum in Regina today (Friday), to help people connect with others who are concerned about the privatization of previously protected public pasture prairie.

You should be concerned about it too, whether you live in SK, or in Toronto, or St. John’s. Like the state of the fisheries and oceans is a concern to the people of the prairies, so too is the state of the grasslands to all other Canadians. Without some of the natural prairies left for future people to preserve from development, we’ll have snuffed out a biologically diverse and important habitat, and ruined the economy for untold scores of people yet to come.

It was costing us only $8M to get $58M worth of benefits from the protected community pastures managed by PFRA. “A darn good deal” – Candace Savage, author on the plains.

The province for now holds the land, poised to sell it at “market” rates. How can the market reflect the irreplaceable value of land and wetlands unmodified by human plows? Simply, it will not, and history will not judge our mistaken removal of protection kindly.

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Children Love Saskatchewan

Come to Saskatchewan, and see our Wall.

(- This wall is in Ottawa.)

That’s the apparent pitch, awkwardly spoken by Regina’s former mayor, Pat Fiacco. Now Fiacco is the head of Tourism Saskatchewan, and in charge of making people want to visit our province. Fortunately there are more lasting tourism draws than Canada’s currently most popular Premier. Saving us from 16 years of NDP rule isn’t exactly heroic, but that’s how many people choose to see his white-bread leadership. If the former Mayor figures this will make his job easier, so be it. I think it has more to do with why he’s got his job, and why he thought to mention it.

With all the available talent in the hospitality industry across this nation who might have been interested in such a senior provincial post, one might also question exactly what the government-appointed Tourism Saskatchewan board saw in Fiacco that put him ahead of the 40 other applicants who might have had more experience.

Typical Canadian child, “Mommm, I want to go to Saskatchewan and see their Brad Wall. He’s so dynamic!”

“When you have a dynamic premier like we have, that is probably one of the best-identified images for Saskatchewan,” Fiacco said.

Seriously? Brad Wall’s image is a tourism selling point? Has one tourist ever come to Saskatchewan to see the wonders of Brad Wall? Continue reading

Wall Resource Royalties

This article is going to be fun during an upcoming election campaign, so I’m making sure that it doesn’t disappear if the website it is on goes away.

Wall muses about changes to resource royalties
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012 7:34AM CST
Last Updated Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012 7:40AM CST

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is musing about adjusting the way the province collects money from companies that extract natural resources.

Wall says companies should have royalty stability especially after they’ve spent billions investing in the economy.

But the premier also says it’s important that taxpayers are properly compensated if in 20 years potash production has doubled.

The current complex system is based on price rather than volume and Wall says it needs to change.

However, the premier says it could be years before the discussion gets into any specific detail and there might just be some tweaking rather than any major adjustments.

Wall also says the province and industry will work together to avoid what he calls “royalty shock.”

“We’ve said that to companies that in the long-term we’re going to have to adjust as we go forward. Doubling production in Saskatchewan in 10 or 20 years is a game changer and that should be reflected in a number of things,” he said Wednesday.

Former Alberta premier Ed Stelmach took a lot of heat over a decision to revisit energy royalties in that province.

Stelmach aimed to strike the right balance of maximizing revenue for taxpayers without driving the price so high that drillers look elsewhere. But a rise in royalty rates following a 2007 report brought outrage from the sector and a drop in drilling.

Wall says that’s not what he has in mind.

“This is not what Alberta did. This is not a unilateral ‘We’re increasing royalties,”‘ said Wall.

“We’re going to have to re-adjust so stakeholders have the stability they need and the taxpayers can be kept whole. Because if we’re producing more potash and selling more potash, but making less money, that doesn’t make much sense.”

The Opposition NDP said a fair schedule for standard, independent reviews is no risk to stability. But it added musing out loud that a review is being planned could raise concern and cause instability within the potash industry and the resource sector as a whole.

“Letting it slip that a review might be brewing behind closed doors is likely to make our partners in the resource industry feel much less secure about investing here,” said NDP resources critic Cathy Sproule.

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