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Things Are Good: Alberta Finally Understands That the Environment Exists

Alberta has finally decided to update their energy and environmental policies after years of ignoring the fact that their policies are killing nearly everything within the province. Premier Rachel Motley has announced sweeping changes that will bring Alberta into the 21st century. They are going to phase out their coal plants and put on caps […]

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Things Are Good: Underwater Balloons Function as Batteries

One criticism of renewable energy systems is that they do not function on demand. You need the sun to shine, the wind to blow, or another natural system to kick into effect. This means that energy will be created when it isn’t needed. The solution is to take that surplus energy and convert into a […]

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The Progressive Economics Forum: Is your pension in climate denial?

Fossil fuel divestment campaigns have become a focus for climate change organizing, targeting university endowments, churches, foundations and pension funds. While the motivations are primarily moral—if it is wrong to wreck the climate, it is wrong to profit from that wreckage—there are important economic arguments for divestment.

If we are to have a reasonable chance at staying below 2°C of global warming – the target for international negotiations – between two-thirds and four-fifths of proven fossil fuel reserves (those already near development) will need to stay underground, forever.

This situation is even more dire for Canada due to our economic reliance (Read more…)

Susan on the Soapbox: Brian Jean Embarkes on Post Truth Politics

“Fact-checking was a great development in accountability journalism…[but] one-off fact-checking is no match for the repeated lie.”

Brian Jean, leader of the Wildrose opposition, published an article in the Calgary Herald last week. It was heavy on the repeated lie and light on everything else.

Jean’s premise is: pipelines create jobs, Rachel Notley’s NDP government doesn’t support pipelines therefore, by extension, the NDP government is killing jobs and the economy.

Really? Let’s fact check his argument:

Fact Checking

Jean says “Without question, the biggest Alberta-based job-creation program that can be conceived of by any level of government over (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: 100 groups urge Trudeau to halt Canada’s “broken” tar sands pipeline approval process

More than 100 groups from across Canada and the U.S. have written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging him to halt Canada’s “broken” tar sands pipeline approval process.

The post 100 groups urge Trudeau to halt Canada’s “broken” tar sands pipeline approval process appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Things Are Good: Keystone XL is Done, COP 21 Set to Start

You probably already heard the good news about the end of Keystone XL with Obama killing the proposal. This is a good symbolic step in ending the exploitation of the tar sands in Alberta, plus this comes just a few weeks before COP21.

COP21 is the upcoming United Nations climate change conference which is set to run from Nov. 30 to Dec.11. In the light of Keystone being killed it gives people hope that Obama will actually do something about climate change.

On the Canadian side of the border Prime Minster Trudeau (who loves pipelines, sigh) has cast Catherine (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Human Waste as an Energy Source

Human waste is a problem for every place humans live and throughout history it has been dealt with in various ways. Instead of treating human waste as a problem that needs to be removed from our towns we may want to think about it as an energy source. That’s right: turn our poo into electricity.

Anaerobic digestion of human waste can be done to convert the waste into gas. The UN University has successfully done this in Uganda and ready to take it elsewhere.

Biogas from human waste, safely obtained under controlled circumstances using innovative technologies, is a potential fuel (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Europe Meets 2020 Emissions Targets Early

Europe has already beat its 202 gas emissions target and it’s only 2015! This is good news because we need to reduce our energy consumption and our global output of greenhouse gas emissions. This demonstrates to the rest of the world that not only is it economically feasible to reduce emissions it proves that it can be done quicker than climate change deniers claim.

A report by the EU’s environment agency on Tuesday said 2014 emissions were 23 percent lower than in 1990. The EU’s goal is to achieve 20 percent reductions by 2020, but the report said the bloc (Read more…)

Things Are Good: A Refrigerator That Doesn’t Need Energy

Refrigerators are a massive drain on our power grids because our modern world needs them to function. Without refrigeration our food networks wouldn’t be viable nor would we be able to stay cool indoors during heatwaves. Thanks to some very bright people we now have a fridge that won’t need energy to work.

The invention, dubbed WindChill, took first place in the student category in the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, aimed at finding solutions borrowed from nature to improve the global food system.

“We thought it would be good to decrease the amount of food waste in the world, (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Empty Conservative Rhetoric on Pipelines

Letter to the editor in today’s Regina Leader–Post (page A10):

A Tory Stunt

The Oct. 9 photo accompanying the story “Tory candidates laud pipeline industry” showed pipe produced at Evraz stored outside the fence of another company, where this Conservative campaign stunt was held.

The story did not mention that the company concerned uses pipe imported from China, which does not support employment at Evraz in Regina. The story did correctly report, “The candidates did not make any new announcements in regards to new projects or investments.”

Certainly, the Conservative government has not done anything to prevent (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Solar and Wind Continue to Succeed, Coal Keeps Failing

Coal continues its downward trend to obsolescence thanks to the rise of installed solar and wind capacity. In many places around the world coal is more expensive than renewable energy and as a result it has driven costs down elsewhere.

The future is clearly one that won’t use coal as an energy resource. We need to keep the carbon in the ground, and we’re slowly starting to leave coal alone.

For the first time, widespread adoption of renewables is effectively lowering the capacity factor for fossil fuels. That’s because once a solar or wind project is built, the marginal cost (Read more…)

In-Sights: "Radical" environmentalists proven correct

In 2009, the Wilderness Committee issued a press release. Gwen Barlee and Joe Foy were prescient: “Requiring BC Hydro to purchase power that it doesn’t need is an idiotic decision and a gift to the private power industry. Three months ago, the BCUC said buying this power was not in the public interest, and yet the BC government is ignoring their own regulatory watchdog and ordering BC Hydro to spend billions of dollars on power we don’t need. This decision won’t reduce greenhouse gas emissions in BC by one iota, but it will damage a lot of streams and rivers (Read more…)

In-Sights: As we’ve been saying…

Opinion: LNG dream will fail, David Bond, Vancouver Sun, October 5, 2016 The evidence is now overwhelming. B.C.’s current energy policies, centred on the LNG export strategy and BC Hydro’s Site C, are likely to fail at great cost to taxpayers.

Under regulations set by the provincial government, LNG development will result in significant emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Moreover, liquefying the gas once it reaches tidewater to enable shipment overseas will more than double the pollution produced because the province has approved burning gas to power the cooling operation.

In short, our clean (Read more…)

In-Sights: State and future of BC Hydro

Opposition parties in BC ought to create a set of hearings to conduct a thorough PUBLIC examination of independent power contracts, alternative less-destructive energy sources and the state and future of BC Hydro.

MLAs should try to initiate the examination as a committee of the legislature and when Liberals refuse to participate, cross the street to a public place and begin public hearings. Leave empty chairs for Liberals.

The Christy Clark Government would try to ignore the event but the public would not and the corporate media could not, without destroying what little credibility they still have on matters of (Read more…)

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Time travel with the National Energy Board – Where 15 months can feel like years

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

On September 24, 2015 the National Energy Board (NEB) did something remarkable. They stopped time. More precisely, they traveled back in time, to September 18, 2015, stopped time, then traveled back to the future, to January 8, 2016 to start it again. In the words of the Time Lord, Dr. Who, time is indeed “wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff?”

On September 24, 2015 the National Energy Board (NEB) did something remarkable. They stopped time. More precisely, they traveled back in time, to September 18, 2015, stopped time, then traveled back to the future, to January (Read more…)

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Eclectic Lip: Dieseldammerüng

image taken from’s latest t-shirt

Before we get to this message’s main event, I’ll throw another brief shoutout to Pope Francis. Sure, he leads one of the world’s socially most regressive organizations, but he seems to be pulling in the right direction, and ultimately, he’s not in fact that powerful — his level of authority is more Barack Obama than Stephen Harper, let alone Kim Jong-Il.

While there’s general awareness of the doctrine of Papal infallibility, it was only formalized in the 19th century, and has only ever been invoked twice. So it’s one of many late-arriving concepts we (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Canadian environmentalists demand overhaul of tar sands pipeline approval process

Canadian environmentalists are demanding a complete overhaul of the National Energy Board, the federal board tasked with approving major energy and tar sands pipeline energy projects. They accuse the NEB of conflict of interest and deliberate suppression free speech.

The post Canadian environmentalists demand overhaul of tar sands pipeline approval process appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Things Are Good: Sucking Diesel Fuel From Thin Air

We’ve polluted so much that there are now companies that think there is profit to be made by sucking CO2 from the air. How they make money is by reselling the CO2 to make carbonation for soft drinks, or strangely, to make diesel fuel.

What a world!

German company Sunfire produced its first batches of so-called e-diesel in April. Federal Minister of Education and Research, Johanna Wanka, put a few litres in her car, to celebrate. And the Canadian company Carbon Engineering has just built a pilot plant to suck one to two tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada After Harper

Here is the link to buy a new book, Canada After Harper, edited by Ed Finn and with an introduction by Ralph Nader, just published by Lorimer.

Most Canadians know that Stephen Harper has had a tremendous impact on the country since becoming prime minister in 2006. But few have the in-depth knowledge of how far his transformation has gone — what has already been done, and what the consequences will be in the future.

This book brings together Canadian experts in a wide variety of areas. They document key changes put in place by the Harper government. There (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Obama Battles Harper Over Climate Change

Obama spoke the other day about climate change: “we’re the first generation to feel the impact of climate change; we’re the last generation that can do something about it.”

Stephen Harper denies the science.

It’s about that simple.


February 19, 2015 Looking for Heroes? (0) August 3, 2015 11 Weeks of Daily Harper Protests (0) December 11, 2013 How Harper is Gutting Canada: THE LIST (0) July 8, 2014 The Occupy Movement Has Changed the Narrative, But We’re Not Done (2)

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Politics, Re-Spun: Harper’s Campaign Against a Mythical Netflix Tax Backfires, Badly

Check out our savvy PM, getting all hashtaggy on us all!

But to quote Mr. Layton from 2011, it’s become a #Fail, or, “Hashtag-Fail” if you will.

You see, our PM has decided to say that others want to bring in a Netflix Tax. So he opposed it. But he just made that up.

And now social media is punishing him. With the aplomb we’ve come to expect…remember #TellVicEverything?

Try the trending #NoNetflixTax to see what people are doing to our lying PM.

Harper's original #NoNetFlixTax and my improvement. #cdnpoli #elxn42

— Stephen Lautens (@stephenlautens) August (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: 11 Weeks of Daily Harper Protests

The Harper Re-election Disaster Bus Totalitarianism: daily, for 11 weeks!

Get used to this.

People hate Harper and his Conservatives. We will see through his weak attempt to wedge oppositions parties by running a long election campaign because he has more money to spend.

Saturation will come fast.

We will remember how much contempt he holds for people and democracy.

We will listen to his 5 non-answers to 5 media questions each day and we will be constantly reminded of how much we can’t stand what he has done to Canada.

And we will see this. Every day:

Harper campaign (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Using Giant Floating Turbines in the Future

Last year we looked at a company testing floating wind turbines in Alaska and how they want to use these turbines in remote locations. The testing seems to be going well and other companies have taken note. The amount of potential energy high in the atmosphere is massive and these floating turbines are well suited to capture that energy.

Over at Gizmodo they looked into the future of how these wind turbines can be used and their potential for transforming how we produce energy.

This is all to say that we use a lot of power, and could probably harness (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Coal Continues to Falter

Coal was a great power source at the turn of the last century because it was easy to transport and plentiful. The obvious problem is that it basically kills the planet when you burn it and that’s not going to change despite the whole ‘clean coal’ propaganda. The good news is as we enter the 21st century coal is losing out to better energy sources. This is great because coal is the worse thing ever.

Slate has an article looking into the fall of coal and notes that less-destructive natural gas is being used. We need to curb the use (Read more…)

Things Are Good: In Japan, Abandoned Gold Courses Become Solar Farms

Golf courses have a well deserved reputation of being absolutely horrible for the environment. Golf courses are responsible for deforestation and damaging local ecological systems all while consuming an absurd amount of water.

In Japan, where many golf courses have gone out of business, they are converting the massive chunks of land into something useful: solar farms. The open fields are located near where electricity needs to go and thus are in a prime location.

Last week, Kyocera and its partners announced they had started construction on a 23-megawatt solar plant project located on an old golf course in the (Read more…)