Municipalities, utilities on the front lines of extreme weather

Smart Energy Communities are not only more resilient, they also create new opportunities for local economic development, lower energy costs and a cleaner environment

Municipalities, utilities on the front lines of extreme weatherBy Aida Nciri and Eddie Oldfield QUEST Canadian municipalities and energy utilities are on the front lines of the impacts of climate change. A recent report by the Insurance Bureau of Canada highlights the financial costs of climate change, with insured damage for severe weather events reaching $1.3 billion in 2019. Of the top 10…

Fight climate extremists before they upend society

Start learning the deep details of the science and economics instead of letting extremists dictate what you’re allowed to think or say

Fight climate extremists before they upend societyLast year was the year the climate issue took a sharp turn towards extremism. Let’s hope 2020 is the year sanity makes a comeback. There have long been three groups occupying the climate issue. To avoid pejoratives, I will call them A, B and C. The A group are the doubters. They don’t believe greenhouse…

Putting the Greta Effect to good use

The young Swedish climate activist has raised the public consciousness about our day-to-day energy consumption choices

Putting the Greta Effect to good useA new term has entered our language: the Greta Effect. This refers to the impact of Greta Thunberg, the teenage Swedish climate activist who was named the 2019 Person of the Year by Time magazine. Thunberg has made it clear that we’re in a climate crisis and the time to act to avert disaster is…

Don’t blame Australian fires on climate change

The buildup of combustible material is a result of the authorities’ failure to undertake cool season burn-offs on public lands and to ensure such burning also takes place on private land

Don’t blame Australian fires on climate changeEucalypt forests are particularly inflammable and this year’s Australian bush fires have, so far, ravaged close to 20 million hectares, about 2.5 per cent of the continent, claiming 29 lives. The proximity of the fires to Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra left them blanketed with smoke for days on end. Recent days have seen heavy rainfall…

Can Starbucks save the planet?

Starbucks is going dairy free, among other measures, to cut its carbon footprint in half by 2030. It’s a bold move and accountability will be key

Can Starbucks save the planet?Starbucks’ plan to reduce its carbon emissions is undoubtedly ambitious. It wants to halve its food waste, water use and gas emissions by 2030. Their commitment to becoming a better environmental steward has wide-ranging implications across the food industry. Other chains have made similar announcements. McDonald’s aims to cut emissions by 36 per cent from…

Keeping an eye on the uncharted course ahead

Too many right-wing politicians base their policy thinking on antiquarian dogma, and not contemporary science or even democratic values

Keeping an eye on the uncharted course aheadThe other day my wife looked at me in a familiar way and said, “You are such a ‘rowboat’ thinker.” I knew immediately what she was getting at. Maybe it’s because I grew up with a father and grandfather who were inveterate hand-line fishers out of clinker-built rowboats. They first got me out on the…

It’s still winter but my trees are getting chubby

In January as the days get longer, the trees start preparing for spring and the buds start to swell

It’s still winter but my trees are getting chubbyEvery year about this time, I get quite excited as my trees start to get chubby! They aren’t really putting on weight, but their profile looks different than it did in November and December, when it was easy to see the sky through the branches since the buds were very small and the twigs weren’t…

Plant health a decidedly human issue

Climate change knows no borders and neither should science. And when it comes to plant science, Canada is a force to be reckoned with

Plant health a decidedly human issueEvery year, the United Nations promotes something that it believes warrants attention and it has declared 2020 the International Year of Plant Health. Celebrating plant health and bringing more awareness to the issue is well worth pursuing. Plants represent about 80 per cent of everything we eat. And animals raised on farms, of course, eat…

Alberta needs the ‘war room’ to challenge energy ignorance

Too many reporters have bought into poorly-conceived advocacy positions and fail to provide readers with balanced information

Alberta needs the ‘war room’ to challenge energy ignoranceThe Canadian Energy Centre – also called the “war room” – is online, publishing featured stories, reports, briefs, analysis, perspective and even an Energy IQ quiz. It’s all aimed at distributing information about energy (primarily oil and gas) in Canada. The topics are diverse, ranging from pipelines and oil products to climate, renewables, people stories,…
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