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Ontario To Take Landmark Climate Change Action

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Last month, the province of Ontario passed revolutionary climate change legislation that lays the groundwork for them to join the largest carbon market in North America, linking them with the Quebec and California market already in place.

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This measure guarantees that the province will responsibly invest the proceeds from the cap-and-trade program into actions that will reduce greenhouse gas pollution, generate jobs, and assist both people and businesses make the change to a low-carbon based economy.

Under the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-Carbon Economy Act, the funds that are produced from the cap-and-trade program will be deposited into the province’s “Greenhouse Gas Reduction Account.” Every Canadian dollar that is raised will be invested in initiatives to reduce harmful GHG pollution and further the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Upon royal assent, the province is expected to officially launch the new cap-and-trade system January 1, 2017. While it is still in development, the current plan is the result of a combined effort between the provincial government and the local business community, various environmental organizations, the public at large, and indigenous communities.

The Climate Change Mitigation and Low-Carbon Economy Act falls under the province’s Climate Change Action Plan, a radical plan with 80 different policies that encompasses nearly three dozen different “actions” that will be implemented beginning in 2017. The primary goal of this $7 billion plan is to reduce the current amount of greenhouse emissions Ontario releases each year. This will be done in stages, with the first goal of a 15 percent reduction from 1990 rates by 2020; 37 percent by 2030, and a massive 80 percent by the year 2050.

To achieve these goals, substantial expenditures will be made in several key areas. Here are some of the highlights of how the $7 billion will be spent:

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Almost $4 billion will be used to retrofit existing structures, enabling them to be heated from solar, electric, or geothermal sources while keeping energy rates low. An energy audit will be required before one is able to sell their home. New building codes in 2030 will require new construction homes and most buildings to be built without natural gas or other fossil fuels as their heating source. All new construction will have this requirement by 2050. $175 million is allotted to bring government buildings up to code.

Changes to the transportation industry will also require a major outlay. Almost $300 million will be used for electric car initiatives, with the government providing a rebate of up to $14,000 for each electric car purchased. Installing a home charging station will net a $1,000 rebate. Lower income residents may qualify for an additional subsidy to remove older vehicles from circulation.

Money will also be earmarked for building charging stations, and new construction will be required to include charging ports. School districts and the trucking industry will also receive almost $300 million for electric buses and lower carbon trucks. The GO Regional Rail Network will receive $300 million for upgrades to its infrastructure, and an additional $200 million will be used to make roadways safer for bicycles.

As continuing green research is of the utmost importance, $375 million in funding will go towards R&D, including the building of a Global Centre for Low-Carbon Mobility that will further research green transportation technology. The manufacturing industry will receive 1.2 billion for new equipment and machinery to assist with their compliance.

The majority of the funding to implement these programs will come from the cap and trade program. “Cap” refers to the limits that will be set on emissions. The limit will be gradually lowered each year so the goals for 2020, 2030, and 2050 are met.

The “trade” refers to the carbon allowance market that will assist businesses with meeting or coming in under these limits. The less they emit, the more money they save. The cap will set the limit they can emit, and if they exceed the limit, they will be fined. The cap limits will apply to all major industries, including the energy sector, both electric and natural gas producers, the transportation industry, and major manufacturers. Emitters will be allotted so many credits or allowances. One ton of carbon dioxide will be the equivalent of one allowance, and the total amount of allowances will be equal to the total cap. Business will be aware of the diminishing yearly caps and their allotted allowance, which will enable them to plan ahead.

Depending on the industry, some companies will naturally find it easier to comply than other industries. Many won’t end up using all of their allowances, while others will struggle with their given allotment. This is where the trade comes in. It will allow companies to buy and sell their allowances with one another. The reason this will work is because carbon dioxide is unique in that it is a global pollutant; whether it is released in Toronto or Chicago or Beijing, it all goes into the air, affecting the entire globe, not just the local air quality.

A company that is able to effectively cut their pollution will end up with leftover credits. They can then sell these to other companies who require more credits yet while they work to change their current operations. This will provide an economic benefit to the company that uses less, translating into a profit in their pocket for reducing their emissions output and reducing pollution. The pollution caps are still in place and met each year with this market system.

The natural gas industry will also be using renewable natural gas (RNG) content to help them meet their goals. RNG is a renewable natural gas that is created from the organic waste created from landfills and wastewater treatment plants. Their industry goal is to use five percent RNG by 2025 and 10 percent by 2030. It is blended with natural gas and requires no changes to home heating and cooking equipment to use. The use of RNG-blended natural gas in these amounts will be the equivalent of removing approximately three million vehicles from circulation.

The Chamber of Commerce has urged the Liberals to delay the cap and trade system for another year, saying too many questions remain unanswered, while the Progressive Conservatives support the reduction of emissions, but believe it should be a neutral tax rather than a market, fearing the Liberals will use the money to balance the books.

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Alternative News

Environmentalist Censored For Shifting His Opinion On Climate Change

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Forbes.com deleted a new article from environmentalist Michael Shellenberger. His perspective on climate change shifted, and he decided to write about it. Forbes wasn't having it.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are we deciding to censor different perspectives as opposed to explore them? Is our emotional intelligence so undeveloped collectively that we cannot have civil conversations?

What Happened: Michael Shellenberger, a long time environmentalist who has been in the trenches helping to save the world’s last unprotected redwoods, co-created the predecessor to today’s Green New Deal and led an effort to keep nuclear power plants operating in order to prevent a spike of emissions, has shifted his perspective on climate change. Prior to today, he was holding the perspective that we must be alarmed about the fact that the world will end in a short amount of time if we don’t act to reduce carbon emissions immediately.

He shifted his opinion based on exploring emerging science on the subject. He then went on to write a book called Never Apocalypse, which seeks to help explore what we can do to better our environment from a grounded and accurate point of view, as opposed to alarmism.

He wrote an article on Forbes website titled On Behalf of Environmentalists, I Apologize For the Climate Scare.” Two days laterForbes decided to remove his article.

Why It Matters: The fact that Forbes removed an article that was grounded, calm, well written and explored new conversations illustrates the emerging culture of ‘censor anything that can get us in trouble’ or ‘censor anything that doesn’t agree with mainstream conjecture.”

We’ve come into a time where our collective lack of emotional intelligence is surfacing deeply for us to address. When we disagree on something, we struggle to explore things together. When a company says something they feel might get them in trouble, they run away in fear that the angry mob will come after them.

All that happened here was a man wrote an article that brought some new light to a conversation that has been very polarized and is causing people to react out of emotion instead of logic and the heart. Instead of listening and exploring, censorship ensues.

The Takeaway: I spoke at a high school here in Toronto last year. At the end of my talk, many students came up to me to talk, discuss ideas and share feedback. The vast majority of them explained to me that they were terrified that the world was going to end in just a few years. They felt they had no future because of the acts of generations prior who were causing CO2 levels to rise so high that the world would end.

I thought to myself, wow, an entire generation of kids being pushed into fear, anxiety and depression based on information that isn’t even accurate. This information was created by politicians and pushed out by media. Scientists categorically do not agree with the idea that the world is coming to an end as a result of CO2 emissions. Yet not enough people are telling people this, most of media is staying silent on other perspectives and censorship even shuts down opposing ideas.

What type of world will we create if we can’t discuss basic ideas? What  type of world will we create when we choose to run, hide and censor as opposed to having important conversations? How can we stop identifying so deeply with positions, so that we can be more free to shift ideas when new information helps us understand things better?

Looking Deeper:

I made a film last year called Regenerate: Beyond The CO2 Narrative. After 10 years of researching and investigating climate change, I came to many conclusions that I felt needed to be shared, yet were extremely rare in public discourse. One of the most important aspects of Regenerate was that we simply are looking at our environment from such a limited point of view that we can’t identify the real issues we face, and that our level of thinking, or consciousness, is completely disconnected from the solutions required to truly shift our relationship with earth. Thus, we are creating solutions that never truly address making the environment cleaner or better long term.

I encourage you to check out the film trailer below, and if you wish to watch the film, it’s available on our member platform called CETV. You can start a free 7 day trial to watch it if you like. We also discuss this story in more detail in episode 2 of The Takeway, an orignal show we have on CETV.

Watch the full film here.

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Due to the pressure of mass censorship, we now have our own censorship-free, and ad-free on demand streaming network!

You can stream conscious media 24/7 and enjoy mind-expanding interviews, original shows, and documentaries and guided programs.

Click here to start a FREE 7-Day Trial and watch 100's of hours of conscious media that you won't see anywhere else.

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Alternative News

Fins From Up To 73 Million Sharks Are Used in Shark Fin Soup Every Year

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Thanks to the efforts of Yao Ming, the destructive history of shark fin soup is on the decline and so is the ivory trade in China.

  • Reflect On:

    What is your relationship like with plant and animal life? Do you view it as below you? As there simply to fulfill what you want?

The support for a shark fin soup ban has skyrocketed in China thanks to NBA Hall of Famer and GOAT of Chinese basketball, Yao Ming.

Back in 2011, Ming became the face of an awareness campaign on shark fin consumption that has been effective in raising awareness about an issue many thought was untouchable within Chinese tradition and cuisine. As a result of this campaign, most recent government surveys have shown that shark fin consumption in China has fallen by up to 80%!

Shark fin soup is considered a Chinese delicacy and has a deep history in traditional weddings, banquets and prestigious events. The soup, although considered a luxury item, has slight flavors and isn’t all that unique. Given the amount of suffering and death that goes into creating the soup, you’d imagine there would be something more to it other than light flavors and texture. Then again, our treatment of animals on this planet for even the slightest human benefit has been shocking for decades.

As many as 73 million sharks end up in the global shark fin trade every year according to Oceana.org. In many cases, when sharks are caught, their fins are removed and then they’re thrown back into the ocean to die as they’re unable to swim.

In 2006, as many as 75% of Chinese citizens were unaware that shark fins were actually used in shark fin soup. After awareness increased due to campaigns like the one Yao Ming participated in, public education has shifted the perception on shark fin soup.

Shark fin consumption in China has fallen by up to 80% in the last 10 years. And it just so happens that Yao Ming’s activism on the issue has been going for the exact same amount of time.

Ming Moved Onto China’s Ivory Trade Next… And Won

With Ming being China’s most powerful celebrity for 5 consecutive years between 2004 and 2009, you can imagine that, in a country of over a billion people, that truly says something in terms of public power. Ming was moved to take on China’s ivory trade and once again used his image and platform to raise awareness about elephant poaching. He teamed up with WildAid to eventually find success in making it illegal to buy Ivory in China.

Chinese state media Xinhua described the run-up to the ban as “one of the largest ever public awareness campaigns” with support from other celebrities such as actress Li Bingbing.

“We all know that there is ‘on paper,’ and under the paper, there’s still a long way to go to save the animals — and then save ourselves,” Ming told CNBC.

Yes, there is more work to be done. The way we treat our environment and the animal kingdom on this planet truly needs to change, and that change will only come from awareness and connecting to self. Great genocide takes place on our planet every single year… and it is that of animals for needless human consumption.

The Takeaway

Even the largest of challenges we face can be changed with the efforts of people. Sure, in this case, it was a celebrity with great influence, but in many other cases, it is large groups of people coming together. The March Against Monsanto is a great example of that. I recall when that was first starting out and we were one of just a small handful of websites who actively raised awareness about Monsanto’s actions – even when other partnering companies wouldn’t work with us because of our efforts in that area of reporting.

Slowly but surely, our stories and articles became more and more viral over the years. The conversations eventually moved to the mainstream, and over time, it is now being turned into action across the planet against GMO foods and practices. Something that started out with just a few people has grown into a global movement thanks to their tireless efforts to do the right thing.

We have the power to do great things. Something that seems small can build to be impactful over time, but even if it doesn’t, doing what inspires you is an incredible energy to add to collective consciousness and inspire others.

Change truly starts within. That’s why I created The 5 Days of You Challenge and made it available for everyone. With this challenge, everyone can begin getting in touch with themselves and making a difference in our world. Check it out here.

Start Your Free 7 Day Trial To CETV!

Due to the pressure of mass censorship, we now have our own censorship-free, and ad-free on demand streaming network!

You can stream conscious media 24/7 and enjoy mind-expanding interviews, original shows, and documentaries and guided programs.

Click here to start a FREE 7-Day Trial and watch 100's of hours of conscious media that you won't see anywhere else.

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Alternative News

Cigarette Butts Are The Single Most Littered Item On Our Planet

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Cigarette butts account for one-third of all trash collected according to the ocean conservatory project. Research shows that filters aren't even needed as they do next to nothing to mitigate the harmful effects of smoking.

  • Reflect On:

    What can we do to minimize our impact on the environment? Is it time to re-evaluate our smoking habits and do what we can to be the change?

Over the past several years a lot of attention has been brought to the amount of trash that is ending up in our world’s oceans. We have seen straw bans happening around the world and bans on single-use plastic bags as well. There has been a concerted effort to make single-use cutlery compostable or even edible. Although this is a huge step in the right direction and something that we should continue to do, there is one pollutant that should be in the spotlight as it is the single greatest source of ocean trash — cigarette butts.

For some reason, this small, but ubiquitous source of trash has mostly avoided any form of regulation. This soon could change if a committed group of activists has a say.

A tobacco industry academic, California lawmaker, and a worldwide surfing organization are among the growing number of people who are arguing that cigarette filters should be banned.

“It’s pretty clear there is no health benefit from filters. They are just a marketing tool. And they make it easier for people to smoke. It’s also a major contaminant, with all that plastic waste. It seems like a no-brainer to me that we can’t continue to allow this,” Thomas Novotny, a professor of public health at San Diego State University told NBC News.

A California assemblyman proposed an outright ban on cigarettes with filters but wasn’t able to get the proposal out of the committee. A state senator from New York has written legislation to create a rebate program for butts returned to redemption centers, but that idea is also on hold. San Francisco has propositioned for a 60 cent per pack increase to raise around $3 million annually to help to cover the cost of cleaning up these discarded butts.

Time To Tackle The Most Littered Item In The World

The Truth Initiative, one of the largest anti-smoking initiatives in the U.S. is doing everything it can to raise awareness around this issue. they use funds collected between state attorneys general and tobacco industries to deliver hard facts against smoking. The group used a nationally televised Video Music Awards show to launch a campaign against cigarette butts. The group is going against the hands down, “most littered item in the world.”

With 5.6 trillion cigarettes manufactured worldwide each year, the filters made from cellulose acetate, a form of plastic that takes a minimum of 10 years to decompose. An alarming two-thirds of those butts are dumped irresponsibly each year according to Novotny, who founded the Cigarette Butt Pollution Project.

Since 1982 the Ocean Conservancy has sponsored a beach cleanup. Each year, cigarette butts have been the most collected item on the beaches of the world. Over 60 million have been collected over that period of time. Out of all the plastic wrappers, eating utensils, bottles, containers, cigarette butts have accounted for one-third of all the trash collected.

Let’s not forget that these discarded filters contain synthetic fibers and hundreds of chemicals that are used to treat tobacco. Novonty is actively pursuing further research to see exactly what waste from cigarettes is leaching into the soil, streams, rivers, and oceans.

“More research is needed to determine exactly what happens to all of that,” said Nick Mallos, director of the Trash Free Seas campaign for the Ocean Conservancy. “The final question is what impact these micro-plastics and other waste have on human health.”

Do We Even Need Filters?

Filters were made in the mid-20th century to help mitigate growing concerns in regards to the health impacts of tobacco. It was determined that filters weren’t even able to control the carcinogenic compounds from smoking. Then “filters became a marketing tool, designed to recruit and keep smokers as consumers of these hazardous products,” according to research conducted by Bradley Harris, a graduate scholar in the history of science and technology at Stanford University.

How Can We Take Action?

Are you a smoker? If so it is up to you to take responsibility for the proper disposal of your butts. This may even be enough of a drawback from smoking that it may inspire you to quit. If not, there are many options available. One being, rolling your own cigarettes, and either just going filter-less or using a reusable, cleanable filter. The mass produced, chemical-laden, filtered cigarettes are hardly ideal. It is possible to get organically grown, additive free tobacco, which would be much less harmful to you.

What can you do to minimize your impact? Change starts with us! We can all do our part.

Start Your Free 7 Day Trial To CETV!

Due to the pressure of mass censorship, we now have our own censorship-free, and ad-free on demand streaming network!

You can stream conscious media 24/7 and enjoy mind-expanding interviews, original shows, and documentaries and guided programs.

Click here to start a FREE 7-Day Trial and watch 100's of hours of conscious media that you won't see anywhere else.

Continue Reading
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