Carol Linnitt

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Carol Linnitt is Managing Editor and Director of Research for DeSmog Canada. Carol is a writer and researcher focusing on energy development, environmental policy and wildlife. She joined DeSmog in June 2010 as a researcher, focusing much of her time on the natural gas industry and hydraulic fracturing.

Carol is the lead author of DeSmog's original report Fracking the Future: How Unconventional Gas Threatens Our Water, Health & Climate. Her work also led to the DeSmog micro-documentary CRY WOLF: An Unethical Oil Story and the Cry Wolf investigative series.

Carol began her environmental career writing and performing interviews for The Canada Expedition, a non-governmental sustainability initiative, and while working in dispute resolution with communities affected by resource scarcity.

Carol has a Master's in English Literature from York University where she studied political theory, natural resource conflicts and Aboriginal rights. She also has a Master's in Philosophy in the field of phenomenology and environmental ethics and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Victoria in the English and Cultural, Social and Political Thought programs.

Much-Anticipated Details of Canada’s Climate Plan to Be Revealed at First Minister’s Meeting. Maybe.

The federal government is expected to announce the details of Canada’s national climate plan Friday, Dec. 8 at a high-profile gathering of First Ministers in Ottawa.

The details of the climate plan, which amount to a balance sheet of the nation’s carbon emissions, are critical to evaluating the federal government’s recent decisions to approve major fossil fuel projects in light of Canada’s international climate commitments under the Paris Agreement.

To have confidence in this plan’s ability we need to see credible accounting,” Catherine Abreu, executive direction of Climate Action Network Canada, said.

Trudeau has garnered significant criticism for his recent approvals of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and Enbridge Line 3 replacement, both of which invite increased production in the Alberta oilsands, Canada’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Five Myths Trudeau Rehashed in Kinder Morgan Pipeline Approval

Most Canadians weren’t surprised to hear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approve the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline this week.

Yet Trudeau’s announcement was so thoroughly cut through with political spin and misinformation some have described it as “Orwellian.”

So where did the Prime Minister rank highest on the spin-master index?

Here are our top five myth and misinformation moments from Trudeau’s Kinder Morgan announcement.

Trudeau Approves Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline As Part of Canada’s ‘Climate Plan’

Justin Trudeau announced the approval of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline Tuesday, saying the project is integral to meeting Canada’s climate commitments.

Tweet: Sorry, what? @JustinTrudeau says #KinderMorgan is integral to meeting Canada’s climate commitments http://bit.ly/2g3PQLx #bcpoli #cdnpoli“Today’s decision is an integral part of our plan to uphold the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions while creating jobs and protecting the environment,” Trudeau told reporters at a press conference.

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project will twin an existing pipeline running from Alberta to Burnaby, B.C. increasing transport capacity from 300,000 barrels of oil per day to 890,000 barrels per day. Trudeau also approved an application to increase capacity of the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline from 390,000 to 915,000 barrels per day.

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, the two pipelines combined represent an increase of 23 to 28 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent released into the atmosphere.

Under the Paris Agreement Canada pledged to reduce emissions 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Canada’s current policies aren’t expected to meet those targets. According to a recent analysis by Climate Action Network, Canada is expected to miss those targets by 91 megatonnes.

Trans Mountain and Line 3 put Canada at a further disadvantage when it comes to meeting those targets.

Federal Approval of Kinder Morgan Pipeline Would Be ‘Misguided’ Says Justice Minister in Newly Surfaced Letter

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said the federal government holds the constitutional power to force through the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline but that doing so would follow the “misguided position of the Conservatives.”

The comments, released Tuesday in a 2015 letter submitted by Wilson-Raybould to the democracy advocacy organization, Dogwood Initiative, comes as Canadians await the federal government’s decision on the Trans Mountain and other pipelines expected this afternoon.

In her letter Wilson-Raybould argues Canada needs “greater citizen engagement in decision making.”

In some ways Kinder Morgan is more complicated that Northern Gateway as it is a proposed expansion of an existing line,” Wilson-Raybould wrote. “I wonder if the Trans Mountain pipeline would ever have been approved in the first place if it was being proposed today?”

Earth to America: Trump’s Not the Centre of the Universe (Or the Climate)

President-elect Donald Trump

The UN climate talks seemed to grind to slow motion this week with the much-hyped, much-anticipated arrival of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Kerry arrived late for his scheduled talk, striding in with that celebrity dignitary air, surrounded by a posse of private security guards and long-lens photographers. An inexplicable apocalyptic plume of black smoke rose from the Marrakechi cityscape behind him.

Canada Fought to Include Indigenous Rights in the Paris Agreement, But Will Those Rights Be Protected Back Home?

First Nations chiefs

If you were to get lost in the bush, I could find you.”

It’s an oddly placed sentiment in the city heat of Marrakech, Morocco, yet an entirely appropriate one for an indigenous panel at the UN climate talks hosted by Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna.

Francois Paulette, revered Canadian indigenous leader and elder from the Dene Nation, told an international crowd of delegates, campaigners and press that back in Canada, his place is in the wild.

It is there Paulette learned from his elders the meaning of sin: “The biggest sin a man can make is to abuse the earth.”

And now that’s why we’re in the place we’re in and why there is global warming.”

Although Paulette said he is not one for the city — he’d rather be on a riverbank back home in the Northwest Territories — he’s no stranger to international diplomacy. At his sixth UN climate summit, Paulette is more determined than ever to ensure indigenous perspectives and rights are central to international climate plans.

By all appearances Canada seems determined to do the same.

Canada’s Climate Action Called ‘Inadequate’ at UN Climate Talks in Marrakech

Climate talks in Marrakesh, Morocco

Last year the Canadian government enjoyed a positive reception at the UN climate talks in Paris. After 10 years of climate inaction under a Conservative government, the international community anticipated the new Liberal government would mean good things for the nation’s climate governance.

But Canada’s contribution to the world’s first climate treaty remains “inadequate” according to a new report released by the Carbon Action Tracker in light of the climate talks.

The Paris Agreement, designed to limit global warming to as close to 1.5 degrees Celsius as possible, was signed in France last year and ratified, with incredible speed, less than one year later on November 4. Although a proud signatory of the agreement, Canada will not meet its climate targets, according to the new analysis.

New Research Finds Salmon Reside, Feed in Flora Bank Estuary, Site of Pacific Northwest LNG Terminal

Gaps in basic knowledge about salmon in the estuary near Flora Bank call into question the review — and approval — of the Pacific Northwest LNG terminal proposed for the mouth of the Skeena River, according to new research from fisheries biologist Jonathan Moore.

Data published Wednesday in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series shows salmon species don’t merely transit through the Skeena River estuary, as advanced by Pacific Northwest LNG in its environmental assessment, but can linger in the unique estuary environment for much longer periods of time than previously thought.

Tweet: ‘Young salmon in the #FloraBank estuary are rearing from days to weeks & some individuals for months’ http://bit.ly/2fEqSSs #PNWLNGThe young salmon in the Flora Bank estuary are rearing from days to weeks and some individuals for months,” Moore told DeSmog Canada.

In its environmental assessment Pacific Northwest LNG stated young salmon were moving through the estuary. Our data states that’s not true; the salmon are residing in the area.”

When Coal Companies Fund Public Health Research: The Case of TransAlta and the University of Alberta

The University of Alberta and TransAlta, a major Alberta utility company and coal producer, struck an agreement for the company to pay the university $54,000 to research the health impacts of coal-fired power plants near Edmonton, according to documents obtained by DeSmog Canada.

When TransAlta published the research — a study entitled Investigation of Fine Particulate Matter Characteristics and Sources in Edmonton, Alberta — on its website last spring the company initially stated it had sponsored the work, co-authored by Warren Kindzierski and fellow University of Alberta professor Aynul Bari.

But that sponsorship disclaimer was abruptly scrubbed from the company’s website.

Documents released to DeSmog Canada through Freedom of Information legislation show TransAlta did indeed enter into a sponsorship agreement with the University of Alberta that provided Kindzierski, as principle investigator, $54,000 to conduct the research.

The Paris Agreement Is Now In Effect. In Canada You’d Never Know

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s performance at the UN Climate Summit in Paris last December wooed and amazed the international community.

Fresh off the election circuit, Trudeau proudly proclaimed, “Canada is back,” to a cheering crowd of global delegates.

Just days later Canada, along with the rest of the international community, signed the Paris Agreement, a historic treaty designed to limit global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius (or as close to 1.5 degrees as possible) that came into effect Friday, November 4.

But A LOT has happened in the interim in Canada, between signing the document and its coming into force.

Much of that does not bode well at all for climate action.

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