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Elon Musk visits Brazil’s Bolsonaro to discuss Amazon plans

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By Diane Jeantet in Rio De Janeiro

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Tesla and SpaceX chief executive officer Elon Musk met with Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday to discuss connectivity and other projects in the Amazon rainforest.

The meeting, held in a luxurious resort in Sao Paulo state, was organized by Communications Minister Fábio Faria, who has said he is seeking partnerships with the world’s richest man to bring or improve internet in schools and health facilities in rural areas using technology developed by SpaceX and Starlink, and also to preserve the rainforest.

“Super excited to be in Brazil for launch of Starlink for 19,000 unconnected schools in rural areas & environmental monitoring of Amazon,” Musk tweeted Friday morning.

Illegal activities in the vast Amazon rainforest are monitored by several institutions, such as the national space agency, federal police and environmental regulator Ibama.

But deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has surged under Bolsonaro, reaching its highest annual rate in more than a decade, according to official data from the national space agency. Bolsonaro’s critics say he is largely to blame, having emboldened loggers and land grabbers with his fervent support for development of the region.

During the event, Bolsonaro said the region was “really important” to Brazil.

“We count on Elon Musk so that the Amazon is known by everyone in Brazil and in the world, to show the exuberance of this region, how we are preserving it, and how much harm those who spread lies about this region are doing to us,” he said.

Bolsonaro and Musk appeared in a video transmitted live on the president’s Facebook account, standing together on a stage and answering questions from a group of students.

“A lot can be done to improve quality of life through technology,” Musk told the crowd.

Although none of the students asked about Musk’s prospective purchase of Twitter, Bolsonaro said that it represented a “breath of hope.”

“Freedom is the cement for the future,” he said, calling the billionaire a “legend of freedom.”

Musk has offered to buy Twitter for $44 billion, but said this week the deal can’t go forward until the company provides information about how many accounts on the platform are spam or bots.

Like Musk, Bolsonaro has sought to position himself as a champion of free speech and opposed the deplatforming of individuals including his ally, former U.S. President Donald Trump.

The meeting with Bolsonaro occurs just five months before the far-right leader will seek a second term in a hotly anticipated election.

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Alberta

Report confirms Asia can reduce emissions with Canadian LNG

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‘It reduces emissions globally, so it’s for the good of everyone’

From the Canadian Energy Centre Ltd.

Asia’s demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) is rising fast as countries look for cleaner alternatives to coal while their economies expand.  

To significantly reduce emissions, the LNG should come from Canada, according to a new report by global research consultancy Wood Mackenzie.  

If Canada increases its LNG export capacity to Asia, net emissions could decline by 188 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year – or the annual impact of taking 41 million cars off the road, analysts wrote. 

“It’s like taking all of the cars in Canada away, if we were able to build all of those projects,” said Matthias Bloennigen, Wood Mackenzie’s director of Americas upstream consulting. 

“It reduces emissions globally, so it’s for the good of everyone.” 

To reach global net zero emissions by 2050, the largest reductions will likely need to come from the power sector, analysts wrote.  

The heart of the opportunity is switching from coal-fired to gas-fired power plants, particularly in Asia. 

Natural gas – traded globally as LNG – produces less than half the emissions of coal when used in power generation.  

And it’s a so-called “baseload” reliable fuel that can help offset the intermittency of wind and solar as renewables take on a larger share of the global energy mix, analysts wrote.  

“Gas is also cost-competitive and there are large global reserves in many countries, including Canada,” the report said. 

“If Canada does not export as much LNG as anticipated to northeast Asia, the region would need to rely on LNG from elsewhere that has a higher emissions intensity.” 

If Canada limits its LNG exports to one or two projects, total emissions in northeast Asia would increase by 121 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent through 2050, analysts wrote.  

But if Canada significantly increases LNG capacity to help northeast Asia reduce its reliance on coal, net emissions would decline by 5,459 mtCO2e over the same period.  

“LNG from Canada going into northeast Asia has lower emissions than LNG coming from many other global LNG exporters,” the report said.  

LNG from western Canada has average life cycle emissions intensity 12 kgCO2e/mmbtu, compared to 21 kgCO2e/mmbtu for projects in the United States.  

“With its high environmental standards and stewardship, Canada would be a great partner to fill the LNG demand gap in Asia,” Wood Mackenzie analysts wrote.  

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Dan McTeague

COP27 – Playing the fiddle while Rome burns

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In case you missed the (mainstream) media frenzy, the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) just wrapped up in Egypt.

This is the annual conference that highlights just how completely out of touch the elites, environmentalists and world leaders truly are, including our own prime minister.

In the weeks leading up to COP, the media was full of hysterical statements from politicians, UN bureaucrats, and activists. In October, the British newspaper The Guardian quoted UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres: “The fossil fuel industry is killing us.” In the same piece the “co-founder” of a “change agency” (whatever that is) says we’re facing “Armageddon”.  Gutteres told the delegates we’re on a “highway to climate hell”. Celebrities fly in on their private jets and pose for pictures. Politicians make more hysterical speeches.

There were lots of meetings and negotiations. It always turns out that the last round of green plans and “climate” policies didn’t quite work, and the solution is always, well, more plans and policies. Then they do it all again the next year.

And it would be funny if it weren’t so damaging. If ever the expression ‘playing the fiddle while Rome burns’ applied, this is it.

Domestically, Canadians are struggling to pay for food, heat, and housing. Inflation is driving up the cost of everything and Canadians are feeling it. Food banks across the country are sounding the alarm on record breaking visits. They note that it is no longer the unemployed that are primarily visiting them, it is the ‘working poor’ those who are employed but simply cannot make ends meet. Many Canadians are choosing between heating their homes or feeding their families. The situation is bad. And it’s even worse in Europe, but that’s another story.

In the midst of this, the Trudeau government is focusing their time and our resources on what? Greenhouse gases that might raise temperatures very slightly over the next quarter-century.  And they are doing this at enormous expense. The cost of this climate cult to Canadians is mind-boggling. Since 2015, Trudeau has spent 60 billion dollars trying to get our tiny contribution to global greenhouse emissions – around 1.5 percent – even lower.

Over the next thirty years, the total cost of the government’s climate initiatives will be around 2 trillion. 

Let that number sink in.

But that’s just what they’re spending. In addition, we should think about rising carbon taxes and energy costs, which make everything more expensive. We should think about the jobs we’ll lose, and the massive profits we could be making if the government would let our resource sector operate normally.

And have the last 26 COP conferences slowed the warming trend? Of course not. While according to Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault“progress on commitments was at the forefront of this COP,” you can be sure there will need to be a 28th, and a 29th and a 35th COP conference. At some point, Einstein’s definition of insanity might apply – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

It goes to show just how out of touch the Trudeau government is. It is an insult to have Canadians pay for politicians and bureaucrats to be “COP delegates” and to fly halfway around the world for another pointless conference. We’re on a highway to hell, alright, but not because the world may be a little warmer in 2050.

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