Vancouver has a new goal: be powered by only renewable energy. This announcement was made the same week that an oil spill hit the city’s shores. Indeed, the city is so sick of wasting money on carbon-based power sources that their 100% goal even includes cars, trucks, buses, etc.
This is great news for the people of Vancouver and will hopefully inspire other Canadian cities to follow.
Andrea Reimer, Vancouver’s deputy mayor told the Guardian: “There’s a compelling moral imperative but also a fantastic economic case to be a green city.” The 100% goal is likely to be set (Read more…)
By Emily Griffiths
In the wake of the oil spill a few days ago, I set out this morning with my partner to see the aftermath first hand. I really didn’t want to go, because I don’t enjoy feeling depressed or enraged, but denial isn’t a healthy choice, either.
We arrive at English Bay around noon. It’s almost as if nothing has happened. It’s like any Saturday, folks are just out here, doing their thing; people jog, walk, or cycle along the seawall, a mass of tankers blocks the horizon. We know something’s up, though, as a helicopter hovers by (Read more…)
Economists are really bad at predictions, but their views carry sway over large amounts of capital. Their most recent inaccuracies have been in the energy sector. Clean, renewable, energy is making faster progress than previously predicted.
Renewables have seen faster implementation, more investment, and quite massive technical gains in the past few years. And all of these gains have happened despite the fact that oil is so cheap (in terms of money, not carbon).
Each of these trends — cheaper batteries and cheaper solar electricity — is good on its own, and on the margin will help to reduce our (Read more…)
Canada has an international reputation as being a dullard when it comes to the environment. That’s not shocking given that the present “conservative” government has sabotaged international climate meetings, has climate change deniers as leaders, and openly supports the world-destroying tar sands.
All of this can change though.
A group of over 60 scientists in the country have proven that Canada can be powered by 100% renewable, sustainable, energy by the year 2035!
The authors of the report want to place a realistic plan on the table for political and public discussion. And they want this plan discussed before the (Read more…)
“There is no fortress so strong that money cannot take it.” — Cicero
On Mar 24, 2015 Jim Prentice sent Albertans a message of such heartless cynicism that only the most naïve amongst us would fail to understand.
Here’s what Jim Prentice’s Budget 2015* told Albertans.
Corporations matter, you don’t
When asked why the government did not raise corporate taxes, Finance Minister Robin Campbell replied “The corporate sector is going to do their part, but we have to do our part also.”**
This is utter nonsense.
Mr Campbell looking somber
The corporate sector did its part (Read more…)
Costa Rica has been 100% powered by renewable energy for the first quarter of the year and this may continue. This is fantastic for the central american country as it has been making huge strides as a an eco-friendly tourist destination. You can see the beginnings of the country’s environmental focus when we looked at it back in 2006.
Costa Rica continues to impress!
This year has been a pretty special one for Costa Rica — for the first quarter, the country’s grid has required absolutely no fossil fuels to run, the state-run power supplier the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (Read more…)
“I believe we show who we are, and how much we care, by what we do.”—Stephen Harper, Canada’s prime minister
In his March 24 “State of the Province Address” Mr Prentice urged Albertans to receive his new budget in a spirit of openness. He said if we all act responsibly we can dig the government out of the $7 billion financial hole it created for itself.
Budget 2015 is Fiscal Fairyland. So its promoter, Mr Prentice, should have no problem giving Ms Soapbox an imaginary interview to discuss its imaginary benefits.
Mr Premier you say the current fiscal structure (Read more…)
Green roofs or solar panels are now required on all new commercial buildings in the country of France. This is great because now buildings can have either a zero energy impact or contribute to their local environment.
Rooftops on new buildings built in commercial zones in France must either be partially covered in plants or solar panels, under a law approved on Thursday.
Green roofs have an isolating effect, helping reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building in winter and cool it in summer
On Friday Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman announced that she’ll be running as a candidate for the Liberals, the Alberta Party and the Greens in the upcoming election…
…and on Sunday Ms Soapbox announced to her dad that she’d joined the NDP. He swears he’ll never speak to her again.
While I applaud the efforts of progressive MLAs and party leaders to cooperate I fail to understand how Ms Blakeman’s decision gets the progressives anywhere.
As journalist Graham Thomson points out this isn’t a merger of the Liberals, the Alberta Party and the Greens and it’s not a (Read more…)
Canada’s economic and fiscal debates in recent months have been dominated by the possible impacts of the sudden fall in oil prices since last autumn on growth, employment, and fiscal balances. Finance Minister Joe Oliver delayed the budget, the Bank of Canada shocked markets with a rate cut, and Alberta Premier Jim Prentice is now promising a shock-and-awe austerity budget unlike any that province has experienced. And these are just the first-round policy responses. More drama surely lies ahead.
I have prepared for Unifor a summary economic bulletin that reviews the many and varied impacts of the (Read more…)
I’ve been watching The Book of Negroes this week. I have no words. I only recognize justice, integrity, brutality, acknowledgement, witnessing, story telling and a myriad of other foggy responses.
It’s easy to also ponder qualities of heroes.
Then I read this from earlier this week, and nodded. Do you get it?
Anishinabe Women Protest Energy East Pipeline on Family Day
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 16, 2015
‘Protect the Water, For Future Generations’: Message being shared today with local families, starting at Market Square at noon.
Kenora—Dozens of Anishinabe Women, their families, and supporters converge today on Market Square at (Read more…)
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
The pile of lawsuits sitting on top of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines and Tankers Project keeps getting bigger, and this time the Province of British Columbia has been dragged into the mix.
In January 2015 a new legal challenge was launched by First Nations in relation to the Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal, this time in the British Columbia Supreme Court against the Province of BC. The parties commencing the legal challenge, Gitga’at First Nation and Coastal First Nations, argue in the case that the Province of BC has a legal duty to make its (Read more…)
I have a new case study (full pdf; summary article from the publishers) out as part of the Economists for Equity and Environment‘s Future Economy Initiative. I look at the City of Vancouver’s Neighbourhood Energy Utility (NEU), a low-carbon district energy system that hits a sweet spot of clean energy, local control, and stable prices at competitive rates.
The NEU arose as part of a vision for redevelopment of former industrial land into a mixed-use community in the Southeast False Creek area of Vancouver. The first phase included construction of the False Creek Energy Centre and service to (Read more…)
The community of Burlington, Vermont have gotten their power grid to be fully renewable – they are so good at it that they can sell surplus energy to other places. Burlington is known for being a progressive place and they are clearly leading the renewable energy path in the USA. It’s the first city to be 100% powered by renewable energy in the country.
Burlington, Vermont, the state’s largest city, recently became the first in the country to use 100 percent renewable energy for its residents’ electricity needs. In a state known for socially conscious policies, the feat represents a (Read more…)
By Emily Griffiths
The Transit referendum “Yes” campaign has been asserting itself all over Facebook, Twitter, neighbourhood news boxes, and I can’t help but ask myself, Since when is increasing a flat tax a leftist thing to do?
Oh! The word “transit” has been attached to the newest proposed consumer flat tax increase, therefore rendering it “left” and “sustainable”. Have we forgotten that the poorest members of our community are already shelling out $91-$170/ month just to be able to ride a crowded bus to work and back without risk of being detained by over zealous transit police (the only (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: The So-Called Transit Referendum: Don’t Be Duped!
Acres of newsprint have been devoted in recent weeks to the possibility that lower oil prices might push the federal budget back into a deficit position. As I argue in my column in today’s Globe and Mail, this drama is mostly political theatre — and progressives should be cautious about accidentally accepting the Conservative frame for this debate.
Provincial governments in the oil-producing provinces face a huge fiscal risk from lower oil prices (since they rely, to varying degrees, on petroleum royalties to directly fund current public services — not exactly a wise fiscal strategy). Ottawa, in (Read more…)
Drinkable water right from a tap in your home is a relatively new and amazing thing. Just when you thought water delivery systems couldn’t get any better a company has converted pipes into energy generators. Their new pipes can capture energy from water as it flows to its destination to provide a small amount of energy for communities.
“We have a project in Riverside, California, where they’re using it to power streetlights at night,” Semler says. “During the day, when electricity prices are high, they can use it to offset some of their operating costs.”
In Portland, one of (Read more…)
Yesterday, Justin Trudeau appeared to be backing away from a national carbon price. He says some of the provinces have already implemented carbon pricing, so the federal government will be left to “oversee”. What Trudeau is actually saying isn’t quite clear, but it certainly seems like he is giving up on creating a national carbon price and leaving it to the provinces.
In the subsequent discussions on twitter, some pointed towards the difficult politics of carbon pricing in Canada’s regionally diverse federation. Below I will argue that the ideal policy response to Canada’s regional diversity involves implementing geographically specific clean (Read more…)
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
I was honoured to attend the Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s (TWN) launch and celebration of its new solar tracker. With the installation of TWN’s solar tracker, TWN signaled that the green energy future is now. Far more than just opposing a pipeline that threatens their culture and spirituality while facilitating the expansion of the tar sands leading to runaway climate change, TWN is demonstrating leadership by investing in alternatives and looking to the future.
Solar is Intergenerational: TWN Sacred Trust member Carleen Thomas with her parents Ernest and Lily George and granddaughters Dee, Miya and Jasmine.
“We have (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: Environmental Law Alert Blog: Tsleil-Waututh Nation: “Yes” to solar; “No” to Kinder Morgan
Rolling Stone has a great article looking into the logic of divestment, that is the growing trend to remove investments in fossil fuel companies and investing in renewable companies instead. On campuses around the world students have been pushing their schools to put their money where their mouth is by divesting.
It makes sense to do this as a society too. It’s not just because the current economic system is unsustainable but because it also makes economic sense.
For RBF, the logic of divestment was twofold. “There was a very clear moral impetus to do this,” Wayne says. RBF makes (Read more…)
The only valid argument for saving the CBC is that it has a MANDATE, coast to coast to coast, to be there for all the people of this country, to disseminate information (however flawed that process might be these days..) and news for the entire country, especially those less well-served by the media as it exists today.. Let’s be honest here, if all CBC did was make such turgid dramcoms as Republic of Doyle, King of Kensington, etc etc I would say toss it, too… But the fact that anyone anywhere in this country (Read more…)
Well, why would you support something called Science World when it participates in a program to brainwash students into supporting the liquid natural gas industry, despite the science indicating how harmful it is to the world.
Climate change deniers deny science.
The BC government pretends to care about climate change but is roaring ahead with oil, gas, coal, pipelines and tankers. Pure hypocrisy. They think we’re stupid.
Science World, by joining in with the BC government pimping LNG to kids, has joined the wrong team.
Why would you go to a Science World that rejects the sociopolitical implications of (Read more…)
Need some help driving your office’s green initiatives? WWF Canada offers free downloadable tools including getting-started guides, spreadsheets, benchmarks, campaign poster templates for green initiatives on energy reduction, paper reduction, waste reduction, travel, procurement, and green team building. I find some of the tools very useful.
As mentioned in an earlier article Employee Engagement Drives Sustainability Strategy, World Wide Fund for Nature’s Living Planet @ Work program aims to make it easier for businesses to make greener choices. The program helps businesses large and small with strategic guidance on green business ideas and best practices and offers tools to (Read more…)
The infrastructure already developed to accommodate cheap fossil fuels creates a psychological barrier to rational discourse on energy issues, says David Suzuki.
The post David Suzuki: Energy shift requires shift in conversation appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.