REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS: UPGRADING YourEnvironment.ca
I created YourEnvironment.ca in 2014 to provide members of the public with easy access to the complete historical record of air pollution, water pollution, temperature, precipitation and other environmental indicators for all Canadian communities in an objective, easy-to-use format. Guiding principles of the site include:
May 10, 2016
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS TO UPDATE AND AUTOMATE AN ONLINE ENVIRONMENTAL ARCHIVE FOR CANADA
Newspaper Columns, Commentary and Other
DEMAND SIDE MISMANAGEMENT: HOW CONSERVATION BECAME WASTE
Tom Adams and I published a report through the Fraser Institute looking at energy "efficiency" programs.
SUMMER 2015 OP-EDS ON ENVIRO POLICY
A FIRST LOOK AT THE KARL ET AL. (2015) REVISED TEMPERATURE DATA SET
The team from NOAA released (June 4 2015) a new global temperature data set that shows an upward trend after 1998 of similar magnitude to the post-1950 trend, thus eliminating the "hiatus" observed in other data sets. The source of this change is the revision from the ERSSTv3b to the ERSSTv4 ocean surface data set. In order to help readers understand what i think the changes mean, or don't mean, I have prepared a commentary (June 8: Revised version posted):
THE PRINCIPLE OF TARGETING
I published a brief essay through the Fraser Institute called
Journal Articles and Discussion Papers
EMPIRICALLY-CONSTRAINED CLIMATE SENSITIVITY AND THE SOCIAL COST OF CARBON
I have just released a working paper with Kevin Dayaratna and David Kreutzer of the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC which recomputes standard Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) estimates using updated empirical estimates of the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS).
RESPONSE TO BENESTAD ET AL (2015)
Last year, Rasmus Benestad and a list of coauthors published a paper called "Learning from Mistakes in Climate Research." While purporting to be about scientific methodology, the bulk of the paper was a trojan horse-like Supplement that disparages a long list of papers the authors dislike. I first encountered this study in 2012 when I was asked to referee it for Climatic Change. I requested the authors revise the many errors in it, and when they failed to do so, the editors rejected it. I was then asked to review it for another journal, where I again pointed out the same uncorrected errors, and it was rejected. It was also submitted to a handful of other journals where I was not the reviewer, but the editors rejected it based on other referees' comments. Finally the authors (the list of which now includes some new names, even though the content is little changed since 2012) found a willing host in the form of Theoretical and Applied Climatology, which published it last fall.
On September 1 2015 I sent a detailed critique to the editor (Hartmut Grassl) and managing editor (Robert Doe) requesting retraction of the most obviously false statements in the Supplement to the article. I never received even an acknowledgment of receipt of my email, so I have today re-sent it to the journal.
PIPELINE UNCERTAINTY AND THE MARKET VALUE OF CANADIAN ENERGY FIRMS
Elmira Aliakbari and I looked at the question of whether unanticipated events that have bearing on whether pipeline projects get approved affects the market value of Canadian oil and gas firms. The working paper version of our study is here:
CLIMATIC VARIATIONS AND THE MARKET VALUE OF INSURANCE FIRMS
Bin Hu and I published a study looking at how climate variations, in particular indicators of extreme weather, have historically affected the share prices of major insurance firms. The insurance industry has raised the concern that climate change poses a financial risk due to higher payouts for weather-related disasters. However, if extreme weather is increasing, presumably that means they have an opportunity to sell more insurance products as well, which may increase profitability. In our paper:
I am very pleased to announce the launch of yourenvironment.ca, a new project of mine. The idea is very simple: to present the complete environmental record of every community across Canada. The site currently shows air emissions by source (back to 1985), air contaminant levels (back to 1974) and monthly average high temperatures (back to 1900) for hundreds of places across the country. Water pollution data are coming this summer.
The layout is self-explanatory and it's very easy to use. The data are all from government agencies, but most of it has not hitherto been disseminated in a usable form to the public. All my sources are, or will soon be, linked and the data I use will all be easily-downloadable.
So the next time you find yourself in a conversation with someone who (i) is convinced that Canada does nothing to protect the environment, or (ii) thinks winters around here used to be a lot colder/longer/snowier; or it never used to be this warm/cold in April/October/ etc, or (iii) worries/guffaws about the alleged/obvious ecological disaster all around us, and you wonder what, if any, of this is true, look at yourenvironment.ca and find out.
While browsing, check out the new lyric video for the single Waste My Time by my friend Joni NehRita.