Things Are Good: Reusing Renewable Power Pieces

Despite being more efficient and better than other forms of generating electricity renewable power generation does cause waste. The waste isn’t in the form of smog or tailing ponds or even radioactive barrels. When it comes to wind power the waste generated is broken blades, and there are a lot of them! Rotterdam has taken ...

Things Are Good: Use of Coal Power to Shrink Regardless of Politics

Coal producers can’t keep up. Coal used to be the cheapest form of energy, but that was before cheap renewable technology and more efficient gas plants came along. What’s more is that there are social, health, and environmental costs to using coal that makes it hard to argue for. The future of coal is not ...

Susan on the Soapbox: “Phasing Out” the Oilsands

At a recent town hall meeting Mr Trudeau reiterated his position on climate change.  He said: “You can’t make a choice between what’s good for the environment and what’s good for the economy.  We can’t shut down the oilsands tomorrow.  We need to phase them out.  We need to manage the transition off our dependence ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Eco-Hypocrites: Flights of the Anti-Flyers

I was just contemplating this very idea when I came across this NYTimes Op Ed on hypocrisy. Likely I’m not the only one in this position of explaining away, or coming to terms with, behaviour very contrary to my ethics. I’ve written before that nobody should board an aircraft for a luxury trip, and then I took ...

Things Are Good: Busting Urban Planning Myths

There’s a lot of misconceptions about how to make cities a better place to live that need to be cleared up. A popular belief is that adding more lanes for cars will help curb traffic jams – when the opposite it true. Some backwards-looking individuals think that adding bike lanes is bad for business when ...

Things Are Good: Trees are Great for Cities

Cleaning the air and keeping areas cool are what trees do best. A new study has looked into how best to use trees from a purely utilitarian standpoint. Essentially they drilled down to what trees do best and where they can thrive. The researchers cataloged the best places to plant trees based on factors like ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – James Wilt writes that the PR campaign pushing pipelines is based largely on the false claim that the only other choice is to allow even more dangerous means of facilitating the burning of fossil fuels. And David Suzuki argues that the cost of addressing obvious environmental problems ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Evening Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Anis Chowdhury refutes the theory that top-heavy tax cuts have anything to do with economic development: Cross-country research has found no relationship between changes in top marginal tax rates and growth between 1960 and 2010. For example, during this period, the US cut its top rate by ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading. – Jared Bernstein argues that the limited stimulus provided by tax cuts for the rich is far from worth the overall costs of exacerbating inequality and damaging public revenues: I’m encountering progressives who are compelled to be at least somewhat supportive of wasteful, regressive tax cuts, like those proposed ...

Things Are Good: Obama and Canada Bans New Coastal Oil and Gas Drilling

Obama is leaving office and he’s clearly worried that the next president will ignore climate change and its effects on humanity. In order to stymie any damage that president Trump can do, Obama has passed a law that effectively bans ocean-based drilling for oil and gas in some areas. In support, Canada has passed a ...

A Puff of Absurdity: What Happens in the Arctic, Doesn’t Stay in the Arctic

There are more and more signs of climate change about to pull a number on us, but we still won’t listen. We’ve got ammonia in our atmosphere and a spike in methane concentrations: “CO2 is still the dominant target for mitigation, for good reason. But we run the risk if we lose sight of methane offsetting ...

Song of the Watermelon: Vancouver Sun Letter

For what is likely to be my last letter to the editor of 2016, see today’s Vancouver Sun (fourth letter from the top). The gist of my argument is that Kinder Morgan is bad. Fun fact: this ain’t the first time I’ve responded to a pro-Kinder Morgan op-ed by former NDP Premier Dan Miller. Filed ...

Things Are Good: Economy Continues to Grow Despite Decrease in Emissions

Economists used to measure progress using emission rates correlated to GDP, now that comparison is ridiculous. A few years ago we looked at how carbon output is shrinking while economies grow and that is continuing to be the case. Earlier this year it was predicted that the global economy will continue to see a separation ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Eshe Nelson interviews Richard Baldwin about the future of globalization and the possibility that the worst disruptions to workers are just beginning: What happens to the chart on global income distribution during this phase of globalization? It keeps going down. It will be disruptive in the G7, but ...

Things Are Good: Standing Rock Sioux Achieve a Victory

This is proof that direct protest action works. The US Army Corps of Engineers has decided to not grant permission to allow the Dakota Access pipeline to be built as planned. The pipeline was meant to go through burial lands of the Standing Rock Sioux which is offensive in itself, but there’s more to it. ...

The Disaffected Lib: Here’s One You Might Not Have Heard Of – the "Technosphere"

Think of it as everything man has built on Earth that’s still standing. That includes the pyramids and everything older provided it’s still around. Now I’m going to throw out a number that’s pretty hard to digest – thirty – trillion – tons. That’s the estimated weight of the stuff we’ve built. Those pyramids, sure, ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Stephen Hawking discusses the urgent need to address inequality and environmental destruction as people are both more fearful for their futures, and more aware of what’s being taken away from them: (T)he lives of the richest people in the most prosperous parts of the world are agonisingly visible ...

wmtc: before the flood: good information but ultimately a weak message

Tonight we watched “Before the Flood“, Leonardo DiCaprio’s film about climate change, which I had heard such good things about. It’s well done, and is chock full of appropriately terrifying and depressing information. But in the end, the film delivers yet another “it’s up to each of us” message, focusing on individual actions, rather than ...

Canadian Dimension: Energy producers have an obligation to improve environmental reporting

Photo from Wikimedia Commons The social and environmental concerns over pipeline economics and oil transportation projects are growing across the continent. After losing the public relations battle with military tactics, the U.S. Army Corps is threatening to “close” the Standing Rock opposition camp to the Dakota Access Pipeline in early December. Opposition to Canada’s involvement ...

Things Are Good: 47 Developing Countries Leapfrogging to Renewables

At the tail end of the Marrakech UN conference on the climate 47 countries formed the Climate Vulnerable Forum to share the one goal: getting to 100% renewable energy as fast as possible. Previously, economists and politicians argued that developing countries will need to use coal or other destructive carbon-based energy before upgrading to renewables. ...

Canadian Dimension: Maude Barlow: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis

Photo from Millstonenews.com Winnipeg, Nov. 24, 2016 – Council of Canadians Chair Maude Barlow discusses her latest book, Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis with Paul Moist at McNally Robinson Booksellers. Barlow is one of the world’s foremost water activists and she has been on the front lines of the world’s ...

Things Are Good: It’s Time for the Economy to Shrink

money With the frequent boom and bust cycles the economy goes through it is rare for people to argue that perhaps the downward portion of cycles should continue. Shrinking the economy can actually be a good thing when done with good direction. DW has gathered many examples of places and people around the world that ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Janice Fine discusses how the decline of organized labour as a political force has opened the door for the likes of Donald Trump: Just when we need them most, the main institutions that have fought for decent jobs are a shadow of their former selves. Unions that ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Monbiot’s Impossible Crises

George Monbiot lists 13 crises, but warns you should only read the list if you’re feeling very strong. It’s an appropriate warning. He’s barely even talking about climate change here, so this list could be so much longer including the degradation of the oceans, poisoned waterways, messed up ecosystems…  His list is more political in ...

Things Are Good: Canada to Phase Out Coal Power Plants

The Canadian government has decided to end the use of coal for electricity by the year 2030. To make up the lost production the provinces which still use coal will have to replace their power plants with sustainable alternatives. This makes a lot of sense since using coal for electricity is really (really really really) ...