Do the math. Please.
For a great long time, I’ve been talking about how we must dump the oil, gas, fracking, tankers, pipelines, coal…all the carbon-based energy systems because of climate breakdown [aka climate change, aka global warming, aka the greenhouse effect]. We need to transform our society to a post-carbon energy infrastructure.
The lie that there are billions in government revenue and 90 gazillion jobs just waiting for us all (sigh) is so incredibly compelling. But if you look at some data, like…facts, you might find some startling surprises that indicate that you’ve been swallowed whole by the carbon-based (Read more…)
Hillary Rodham Clinton was in Calgary last week to give the keynote address at a breakfast meeting of 2500 Calgarians who paid about $500 to hear her speak. Luckily my friend, the Zen Banker, invited me to attend as her guest.
Hillary is like the Chloe Diamond—brilliant, mesmerizing, multifaceted and years in the making. Agree with her or not, it’s critical that Canadians understand how the woman who may become the 45th president of the United States views the world and our little part in it.
Here are the highlights:
Energy is the key: Energy is at (Read more…)
During summer heat air conditioners are used extensively and this can increased energy consumption can be crippling. Black outs occur in the summer thanks to people cooling their homes and workplaces – but these power issues can be avoided. By simply painting roofs white it can help cool buildings and lower energy bills. Painting multiple roofs white can a really positive effect on a large area.
They found that urban expansion alone could increase summer temperatures by up to 6°F in some areas in addition to greenhouse gas-induced warming by 2100. The Mid-Atlantic and Midwest seeing the biggest overall summer (Read more…)
Can you do it?
Can you be inspired by the strong possibility that we can move to a post-carbon energy infrastructure, like I wrote about yesterday?
Can you not reject science like the tarsands-addicted bad employee of ours, Mr. Harper?
Can you see that, as a species, we must choose policy that is based on science and evidence to avert climate breakdown?
If not, leave this website and never come back. I don’t want you here.
If so, click here:
Abrupt climate change is not only imminent, it’s already here.
– David Biello, December4, 2013 [before the polar vortex (Read more…)
NOT actually science-fiction.
In your science-fiction news today:
Imagine a power system that could harness the energy of 2,000 suns and provide fresh water and air conditioning in remote locations.
Not only that but it would be completely renewable, be able to provide the entire world’s energy supplies and only take up two per cent of the Sahara Desert’s land area.
via IBM’s New Solar Collector Power System (HCPVT) Could Power The Earth.
But it’s not actually science-fiction.
I recall debates with friends in the 1980s who went on and on about how technology will save us from the greenhouse (Read more…)
Friday, February 21, 2014
When U.S. President Obama met with Prime Minister Harper earlier this week, he highlighted the importance of considering climate change in key energy decisions, like the Keystone XL, but was polite enough not to highlight that Canadian energy decisions do their best to ignore climate change. The reality is that building fossil fuel infrastructure, and dramatically expanding the oil sands, cannot be divorced from the consequences of those actions. Canadians would all benefit from a decision-making framework that transparently and realistically assessed the costs of the fossil fuel future that we are building. (Read more…)
I posted this on CCPA’s BC Policy Note blog but others across Canada should pay attention to BC’s quest for LNG gold. I’d also recommend this comparison of the Quebec and BC budgets by Michal Rozworski, which highlights the stubborn emphasis on natural resource development in both budgets. It’s like the tax cut culture has so permeated Canadian politics that our political class cannot see beyond the lure of resource revenues to pay for essential services. Bad fiscal policy and bad environmental policy, not even good policy in terms of job creation, but seemingly good politics in the Age of (Read more…)
by: Obert Madondo
In this age of the Harper Conservatives and a rampaging fossil fuel industry, Canadian anti-fracking activism requires more than a sense of environmental and social justice. It requires a toolkit of knowledge about what’s happening and how to effectively respond at the local, national and global level.
The Council of Canadians’ new “Fracktivist’s Toolkit” is one such toolkit.
The toolkit empowers Canadians to push back against fracking, protect Canada’s water sources, combat climate change, and partner with First Nations in their ongoing struggle to protect their besieged rights. It was inspired by the Council of (Read more…)
Calgary’s massive flood.
Let’s stop saying “global warming” because whenever climate breakdown events occur that are COLD, deniers try to say global warming isn’t happening. Sigh.
Let’s also stop saying “climate change” because that sometimes makes people feel that yes, we’d like a climate more like Palm Springs. Especially in Vancouver on a pouringrainwindcold day like today.
Let’s recognize that systems theory and positive and negative feedback loops are highly complex, which means that our carbon use is leading to a breakdown of our climate such that it will not be sustainable for us human people.
And if you’d like (Read more…)
Friday, February 14, 2014
It feels a bit like déjà vu. Once again we’re faced with a federal government study that was highly relevant to the environmental assessment of the Enbridge pipelines and tankers project, but which was not considered in the assessment because it was released too late. Like an earlier Environment Canada report, this Transport Canada report is highly relevant to the issues that were before the Enbridge JRP. In fact, the Transport Canada report directly considers the marine risks posed by Enbridge’s pipelines and tankers proposal, concluding for example that Enbridge’s project would raise the (Read more…)
I apologize in advance, British Columbia.
This will be the week from hell, and it started yesterday while we were all Family Day-ing. Hold your breath:
Yesterday, the Conservative Soft Fascist Party of Canada rammed through the “Fair (sic) Elections Act” that will further protect us from the possibility of fair elections into the future. The next Fair Elections Act will likely give corporations the vote. Because why not, they’re people too! Actually, they’re more human than us in so many ways. And it’s actually called corporatism, not so much the fascism. In recent weeks we heard that the (Read more…)
Today is Friday. Let’s make it “think for ourselves Friday.”
It’ll work: the government/corporations/1% won’t see it coming!
Twitter / occupythemob: http://t.co/doHx1xWO4l.
December 17, 2013 Fried Squirrels (0) December 20, 2013 Enbridge: What Now? We Escalate Our Fight (4) January 7, 2012 Day Two of Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons (0) January 7, 2012 Opening Panel from the Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons (0)
2013 saw great things happen on the Arabian Peninsula in relation to energy production. The region has invested heavily in installing solar power plants and reducing their own reliance on oil (so they can export more). In fact, the UAE is looking to start export in renewable energy!
For the Gulf’s solar industry, 2013 was a year of firsts: In addition to the opening of Abu Dhabi’s Shams 1 plant, Dubai’s first solar power plant became operational, and Kuwait and Oman decided to build their first as well. In Saudi Arabia, one energy analyst found the cost of generating electricity (Read more…)
Readers of this site have seen lots of evidence that in the 21st century the best place one can live for a small carbon footprint is in urban areas. Things like increased infrastructure costs and higher costs of living associated with automobile use in rural & suburban places are obvious reasons why denser areas are better.
Now we can add even more reasons to live an urban life thanks to research from the IPCC and WWF.
The latest assessment by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicates a global carbon budget, or the estimated amount of carbon available to (Read more…)
It’s a trifecta of moral corruption!
Rex Murphy shills for Big Oil and Gas. Postmedia consigns its editorial control to the Oil and Gas Lobby[TM]. Postmedia, naturally, fires one of the best energy/environment reporters in the nation.
Film at 11.
Ok, it’s 11. Let’s drill down.
Journalists should declare when they receive money to speak at events. Sooooo many of them don’t. They think it’s OK because, shut up. But it’s a compromise to their credibility and can fuel speculation about conflicts of interest and bias. Many journalists pretend they’re objective. It’s humanly impossible to be objective. We all have (Read more…)
Iceland recently demonstrated that it’s not only possible to use the core of our planet to generate power, but it’s feasible. Iceland’s geothermal operations are the envy of the world and they tend to push boundaries in their search for more energy. Due to this recent development geothermal operations in places like Hawaii are looking to build their own power plants.
The borehole is located in Krafla, in northeast Iceland, near a volcanic crater. The hole created a shaft with high-pressure, super-heated steam that could power a nearby electrical plant, the project leaders said.
“According to the measured output, the (Read more…)
The hype on LNG has grown to staggering proportions. I have not had much time to debunk all of the government’s grotesque exaggerations and outright falsehoods. But Christy Clark’s claim that BC is “doing the world a favour” by exporting LNG to Asia made me write this oped, which got picked up in today’s Vancouver Sun:
Is LNG B.C.’s big favour? It’s unlikely exports will reduce global greenhouse gas emissions
Is British Columbia “doing the world a favour,” as Premier Christy Clark put it, by developing a liquefied natural gas export industry? Or is this just wishful thinking (Read more…)
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
So how did the National Energy Board’s Joint Review Panel (JRP) considering Enbridge’s proposed pipelines and tankers project conclude that a catastrophic spill of diluted bitumen (untreated oil sands oil, diluted so that it can be transported by pipe) on BC’s North Coast would only have a short-term impact on the environment? We suggest that the Enbridge JRP report is illustrative of two concerns that we’ve raised about changes to Canada’s environmental assessment laws:
Having environmental assessments done by the National Energy Board (NEB) undermines the potential for an unbiased and independent assessment; Putting in place (Read more…)
High 5′s to people are aren’t old men! [on average, 19 times out of 20, +/- 3.6% of the time.]
My apologies if you’re a man, or over 55, but those two demographics love the Big Oil, and they’re giving you all a bad name!
I know lots of men and people over 55 who know that moving to a post-carbon energy infrastructure is the only sustainable future. The problem is convincing their peers that getting rid of their Lexus [it used to be Hummer] is in everyone’s best interest.
Maybe it’s because some of those (Read more…)
Spain makes use of a plethora of energy sources and they are leaders in Europe when it comes to utilizing solar and wind energy. Energy policy is always under debate in the country and hopefully they will continue their overall trend of helping sustainable energy develop.
Wind accounted for 20.9 percent of the country’s energy last year — more than any other enough to power about 15.5 million households, with nuclear coming in a very close second at 20.8 percent. Wind energy usage was up over 13 percent from the year before, according to the report.
The (Read more…)
Friday, January 17, 2014
Finding consensus among British Columbians on the controversial Site C dam that BC Hydro is seeking to build on the Peace River is challenging. But one thing that can’t be disputed is our need of food. Call it a universal truth: we need to eat. And so this week I went to Fort St. John to help residents, farmers and citizen groups protect regional and provincial food security against plans by the BC Hydro to flood almost 16,000 acres of farmlands for the sake of industrial development and energy exports.
Peace River, BC. Photo courtesy (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Environmental Law Alert Blog: "Not In Your Breadbasket"
Friday, January 17, 2014
Canadians may soon know more about the chemicals being used to extract bitumen from Alberta’s tar sands, thanks to West Coast Environmental Law and our colleagues at Environmental Defence and the Association Québécoise de Lutte Contre la Pollution Atmosphérique (AQLPA). But, unless the federal government can be persuaded to drop it’s narrow interpretation of pollution disclosure rules, Environment Canada won’t be requiring oil and gas companies to provide information about what chemicals are used in hydraulic fracturing (fracking). This means that most Canadians will have little to no knowledge of the potentially harmful and toxic (Read more…)
Thursday, January 16, 2014
The National Energy Board Joint Review Panel, in its recent report endorsing the Enbridge Pipelines and Tankers Project, argued the economic benefits of the project would trump the risks to the envrionment and all the public and First Nations opposition. But the fact is that it is precisely that public and First Nations opposition, and their determination to prevent the environmental impacts, that make the Pipeline and Tankers project an economic dead end. The JRP Panel report seems to recommend that the project go ahead, but reading the report closely, it’s clear: if we (Read more…)
For years China has been trying to improve its sustainable energy production but to do so Chinese companies had to rely on patents and techniques from the rest of the world. Due to an increase in demand (and production knowledge) China is now poised to make the best, most efficient, and easiest to maintain wind turbines.
Already, the amount of wind energy outputted in China puts the rest of the planet to shame.
However, since China’s total generation is more than that of all European Union countries combined, wind’s percentage is large in absolute terms.
Liming Qiao, China director of (Read more…)
In one year California was able to increase power output from solar panels installed on roofs from 1,000 MW to over 2,000 MW. This is impressive and hopefully this trend continues in the very sunny and warm state!
To put this in perspective, it took California over 30 years to build 1,000 MW of rooftop solar, hitting that landmark in early 2013. Today, California is closing out the year with more than 2,000 MW of rooftop solar systems installed statewide. The California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) latest figures report 1,917 MW of rooftop solar, but those numbers exclude basically all (Read more…)