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Climate Change is a tragedy of the Commons issue


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Harrie Vredenburg: “…The role of the United Nations in Climate Change goes back to how we think about Climate Change.

Climate Change is a tragedy of the “commons” issue and our thinking about Climate Change goes way back to the early 1800’s when in England there was a concern about over-grazing of commons pasture land.

People would graze their sheep on the pastureland and there was concern that the pasture would disappear altogether.  So somebody said I’m not going to graze my sheep there, but the problem was that if their neighbour increased the amount of grazing on their land, the problem wasn’t solved, but only the first farmer who didn’t graze their sheep there was hurt.

Same thing with Climate Change.  It’s a global “commons” problem.  And that’s why it needs the United Nations and why the UN has made several efforts to do so.

The first effort was the Kyoto Protocol and it was an effort to regulate globally climate issues. It was essentially a failure.  It was agreed in the 1990’s and then upon that agreement first of all, the United States opted not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.  Canada did ratify it but then opted not to execute on it, and then other countries dragged their heels and nothing was done about it … so the Kyoto Protocol was essentially a failure…”

Harrie Vredenburg, Professor University of Calgary Suncor Energy Chair

Producer’s Note: 

Thoughtful and intuitive metaphor here by Harrie with the tragedy of the commons using sheep as a metaphor to describe climate change. I often ask myself, wouldn’t it make sense if the world is going to use the oil anyways – does it make sense to use Canada’s oil?

Click here to for more of Harrie Vredenburg’s stories and videos on Todayville.

Click here to connect with Harrie on LinkedIn.

Professor & Suncor Chair in Strategy & Sustainability, Haskayne School of Business & Research Fellow, School of Public Policy, University of Calgary

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Ensign Energy reports lower Q4 drilling activity, revenue as slow recovery continues

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CALGARY — Drilling company Ensign Energy Services Inc. says oilpatch activity in its Canadian and U.S. operations is staging a slow recovery from a deep slump in 2020.

The Calgary-based company says it earned net income of $3.1 million or two cents per share on revenue of $201 million in the last three months of 2020, compared with a net loss of $71.6 million on revenue of $375 million in the year-earlier period.

Analysts had expected a net loss of $57.9 million on revenue of $197 million, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

Ensign’s fourth-quarter revenue slumped 43 per cent in Canada compared with the same period in 2019, by 52 per cent in the U.S. and by 36 per cent in its international arm, which operates in South America, the Middle East and Australia.

The driller says it had a net loss attributed to shareholders of $79.3 million for 2020 as a whole on revenue of $936.8 million, compared with a loss of $163 million on revenue of $1.6 billion in 2019.

It said it received $12.5 million in 2020 from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program and a $6.9-million wage subsidy from the Australian government.

“The outlook for oilfield services has recently and meaningfully improved as oil and natural gas industry fundamentals continue to recover,” Ensign said in a news release that notes recent improvements in benchmark world oil prices.

“In addition, the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines globally in combination with economic stimulus actions have driven oil demand improvements.”

The outlook echoes that offered by rival Precision Drilling Corp., which last month reported a fourth-quarter loss of $37.5 million as its revenue fell 46 per cent compared with a year earlier.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:ESI, TSX:PD)

The Canadian Press

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Judge to decide if pastor accused of violating public-health orders will receive bail

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EDMONTON — A judge is to decide today whether to release an Alberta pastor from jail, after his lawyer argued he should be free to lead worshippers until his trial.

James Coates with GraceLife Church, west of Edmonton, has been in jail for over two weeks and is appealing his bail conditions.

Coates is charged with violating Alberta’s Public Health Act and with breaking a promise to abide by conditions of his bail release, which is a Criminal Code offence.

His lawyer, James Kitchen, told court Thursday that Coates can’t follow a bail condition that forbids him from holding services, because that would violate his conscience by disobeying God.

A prosecutor argued that the pastor’s release is a danger to the public.

The church has been holding services that officials say break public-health orders on attendance, masking and distancing.

The church has continued to hold services, even though Coates is in custody.

He is to stand trial in May.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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