The Common Sense Canadian: Despite Trump & Trudeau’s pipeline fetish, green economy will keep booming

US President-Elect Trump (Flickr/Gage Skidmore) and Canadian PM Trudeau (Flickr/Canada 2020) are both big on pipelines Forces at play suggest there will continue to be significant advancements in the global migration to a green economy.  Trudeau and Trump are rowing against the current. Despite Trudeau’s continued focus on tar sands extraction and limiting provincial action on ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Electric Vehicles are set to take off…so why is Trudeau still pushing pipelines?

Tesla Model 3 at March 2016 unveiling (Steve Jurvetson/Flickr) In my previous March 2016 article “Pipelines to Nowhere“, I made the point that the proposed Canadian pipelines are about increasing the international supply of petroleum when all the signs are that demand fossil fuels are levelling off over the longer term. For example, recent data ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Trudeau abandons green election promises, lacks real climate plan

Justin Trudeau talking a good game at the Global Progress summit (Canada 2020/Flickr) “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” -Albert Einstein With the recent National Energy Board approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline and Justin Trudeau’s enthusiastic post-election remarks to the effect that Canada can build ...

The Common Sense Canadian: 90% of world’s new electricity coming from renewables: Welcome to the end of the fossil fuel era

Solar installation class (Haggerston Community College/Flickr CC licence) According to the International Energy Agency, a staggering 90% of all new electrical capacity brought online around the world in 2015 came in the form of renewable energy. That same year, China invested a record $110 Billion in clean tech – virtually 100% of its electrical capital – and ...

The Common Sense Canadian: The NDP’s only shot at winning in BC: Embrace the NEW ECONOMY

BCNDP Leader John Horgan has a tough road to hoe to win the next election (BCNDP/Flickr) The following is Damien Gillis’ rebuttal to colleague Rafe Mair’s recent piece, “By Backing LNG, the Horgan NDP lost election before it began” I agree with my colleague Rafe Mair on most things – including his commentary that John Horgan ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Pipelines to Nowhere: Energy East, Kinder Morgan make no sense amid global green energy boom, tanking oil market

Images: Lindsay G/Flickr (left), Minoru Karamatsu/Flickr (right) Most financial analysts, economists and energy experts would have us believe that the fossil fuel sectors, and the petroleum sector in particular, are in a slump, that this is cyclical, and things will eventually normalize.  This is because their “training” is based on the assumption that the future ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Battery breakthroughs jump start renewable energy

Photo courtesy of AllGrid Energy of Australia Remote Australian communities often use diesel generators for power. They’re expensive to run and emit pollution and greenhouse gases. Even people who don’t rely entirely on generators use Australia’s power grid, which is mostly fuelled by polluting, climate-altering coal. Now, one company is showing that supplying Australia’s energy ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Wind power cost plummets to all-time low as capacity grows

Read this Aug. 10 story Ars Technica story by John Timmer on the continuing drop in the cost of wind power, as nine US states now generate more than 10% of their electricity from wind. After years of uninterrupted success, wind power experienced a bit of a pause around the start of this decade. Prices ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Exxon disses paltry clean tech subsidies while oil industry takes Trillions from taxpayers

Digital composite by AZRainman (Flickr CC licence) A recent article quoting executives from Exxon is an incredible example of the misinformation, half-truths and contempt for solutions to climate change that we continue to see from the oil and gas industry. In response to a question about subsidies for renewables, Theodore Pirog and Robert Gardner, two top ...

The Common Sense Canadian: How Alberta NDP can get r done with green energy…seriously

Alberta Prermier Rachel Notley (Alberta NDP/facebook) In her speech on election night, Rachel Notley spoke of her ambition to diversify the economy of Alberta – including the energy sector – and partner with the energy industry and federal government for a national strategy on the environment.   Is all this possible?  The answer is a resounding yes! Alberta could actually ...

The Common Sense Canadian: China’s emissions drop, global cleanteach boom are cause for optimism on climate change

Chinese solar company Suntech at the Bird’s Nest stadium Despite Canada’s total lack of leadership in the green economy, a number of key global developments are grounds for optimism heading into the Paris UN conference on climate change. Global emissions plateau in 2014 In a pleasant surprise for the planet at large, according to the International Energy Agency, ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Fossil fuel era drawing to a close…except in Canada

Adrian Wyld/CP The following is the sequel to an earlier story by Will Dubitsky on the growing green economy and Canada’s failure to take advantage of it. In the first part of this story, I discussed how Canadian and Quebec leaders are largely ignoring the potential of high job creation, high growth green sectors, while China, Europe ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Transition away from fossil fuels needs to take care of workers

 Gas workers in BC’s Horn River Basin (Photo: Damien Gillis) By Karen Cooling, Marc Lee and Shannon Daub The steady stream of bad news from Alberta’s oilpatch is a potent reminder of the boom-and-bust nature of being a resource-commodity exporter. It’s a story deeply understood in resource communities, as decisions made halfway around the world ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Canada, Quebec’s political leaders blind to clean tech revolution

Part 1 of a 2-part story from innovation expert Will Dubitsky on Canada’s missed opportunity to build a prosperous green economy. The ardent defenders of our resource economy are in no way limited to the climate skeptics who support TransCanada’s Energy East project, the Keystone XL pipeline and the tripling of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline capacity to Vancouver. There are also much ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Suzuki: Wind power has come a long way – Wildlife impacts improving, health issues minimal

There’s no free ride when it comes to generating energy. Even the cleanest sources have environmental consequences. Materials for all power-generating facilities have to be obtained and transported, and infrastructure must be built, maintained and eventually decommissioned. Wind turbines take up space and can harm wildlife. Hydro floods agricultural land and alters water cycles. That’s ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Clean-tech is good for the economy and environment

Photo: Associated Press/ Ed Andrieski What’s the fastest-growing sector in Canada’s economy? Given what you hear from politicians and the media, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s the resource industry, especially extraction and export of fossil fuels like oil sands bitumen and liquefied natural gas. But we’re no longer just “hewers of wood and drawers ...

The Common Sense Canadian: BC sitting on enough geothermal to power whole province: New maps

Steam rising from the Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Station in Iceland (Photo: Gretar Ívarsson / Wikipedia) By Erin Flegg – republished with permission from desmog.ca At a time when B.C.’s politicians are considering flooding the Peace Valley for the Site C hydroelectric dam, a new project by the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association says the province could be sitting on a ...

The Common Sense Canadian: China’s war on coal means lots more renewable energy…and fracking

Shale gas is a big component of China’s future energy plans China has declared war on coal and coal consumption is down as a result. But this coal war offers some good news, some not so good news for Canada, and some bad news, all at the same time. China turns to clean tech, fracking The ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Nearly 100% of US car sales could be electric in 15 yrs – the challenge is powering them with clean electricity

An electric smart car in Amsterdam – from the popular car sharing service, Car2go (Wikimedia Commons) There are those who suggest that a migration to a green economy is too expensive, that we must convert to natural gas as a transition fuel, that the subsidies for clean technologies are driving up the cost of energy, ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Canada’s green cities take lead on climate change

Vancouver is Canada’s climate leader (photo: Wendy / flickr) Amid the dire warnings about global warming’s impacts, what’s often overlooked is that actions to reduce or prevent them will lead to livable communities, improved air quality, protection of natural spaces and greater economic efficiency, to name just a few benefits. So it’s not surprising that ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Over half Germany’s energy now comes from solar power

Read this June 19 story from Popular Mechanics on Germany’s steady march toward a renewable energy future. The Common Sense Canadian has been documenting Germany’s green energy success story over the past several years. Continuing its unrelenting march toward a renewable-powered future, Germany now can produce more than half of its energy from solar. The official word of this milestone comes from ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Elon Musk buys solar company to build large-scale panel factories

SolarCity Chairman founder Elon Musk By Jonathan Fahey, The Associated Press NEW YORK – The energy world is not keeping up with Elon Musk, so he’s trying to take matters into his own hands. Musk, chairman of the solar installer SolarCity, announced Tuesday that the company would acquire a solar panel maker and build factories “an ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Obama gets tough on coal plant emissions with 30% reduction goal

President Obama visits Copper Mountain solar plant (Photo: Sempra U.S. Gas & Power) By Dina Cappiello, The Associated Press WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday rolled out a plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 per cent by 2030, setting the first national limits on the chief gas linked to ...

The Common Sense Canadian: 6 reasons why renewable energy is no joke

Photo: Associated Press/ Ed Andrieski Listen to the rebuttals against opponents of oil pipelines, coal, and fracking and a familiar refrain emerges – it goes something like this: It’s hypocritical to attack fossil fuels, because we all depend on them and will continue to do so well into the future. In other words, renewable energy is ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Phoenix rising: Largest solar power array set to energize 230,000 homes

The Agua Caliente solar power array, near Phoenix, Arizona Read this May 9 syory from Scientific American on the world’s largest solar power array, in Arizona, which is about to go online near Phoenix, Arizona. Global climate change is here, and it’s only going to get worse, according to a White House report released on ...