Giving licence to vulgarity

The rising interpersonal venom on the Internet is a distressing sign of the times

Giving licence to vulgarityIf you’re middle aged or better and have a sense of life before the Internet, information technology and all of the associated foofaraw, you may also remember the value of polite speech. It was extremely rare in my youth to witness profanity first-hand in what might still be called polite society. That included family relations,…

Venice flooding a sign of deepening climate crisis

Think of Venice as a metaphor for humanity’s tepid response to the swelling climate crisis

Venice flooding a sign of deepening climate crisisIn the last week of September, I spent an interesting hour talking with an Italian doctoral student in ecology on the banks of the Venice lagoon. She wanted to know why I had come to Venice and what I knew of its insular yet urban environment. “Did any aspect of the Venetian lagoon’s environment draw…

Going green, one vehicle at a time

The fuel economy of today’s car is miles ahead of what it used to be but manufacturers aren't done yet

Going green, one vehicle at a timeArguably the biggest challenge facing automakers has to do with the environment: How to make their products more fuel efficient and cleaner running, while consuming fewer natural resources and leaving a smaller carbon footprint. Air conditioned seats, illuminated cup-holders, and cars that park themselves are fine and dandy, but people (and governments) want automobiles that…

The tables have turned in the climate change debate

Work on risk assessment, and policy choices that follow, needs to be examined with a more realistic eye

The tables have turned in the climate change debateNow that the federal election is over, the government of Justin Trudeau (perhaps now in closer concert with parties across the aisle) will continue its climate policy program. It’s therefore worth noting the recent tragic death of Harvard economist Martin Weitzman has underscored his work on climate risk assessment, which many climate activists use to…

Behind Maple Leaf Foods’ bold call to become carbon neutral 

The company is showing what environmental stewardship in agri-food should look like in the 21st century

Behind Maple Leaf Foods’ bold call to become carbon neutral Maple Leaf Foods isn’t just pretending to be environmentally friendly; it’s trying to be a trailblazer in the wild kingdom of proteins. The company has just adopted science-based targets that will help it become the first major agri-food company in the world to be carbon neutral. Clearly motivated by the federal carbon tax and our…

Extinction Rebellion’s cult-like threat to society

Ultimately, they want nothing short of a transfer of democratic power to oligarchies of frantic enviro-zealots

Extinction Rebellion’s cult-like threat to societyCults obey a logic of their own rather than following the parameters of mainstream logic. Climate zealots who concertedly blockaded bridges and important public roads in order to help the planet against climate change defy common logic. Blockading traffic and at times endangering tens of thousands of commuters to pressure governments to listen to their…

Want to save the world? Embrace Canadian energy

China’s and India's greenhouse gas emissions in 2018 equal to 150 Canadian oil sands

Want to save the world? Embrace Canadian energyWhat will happen in Alberta’s energy sector in the aftermath of the federal election is anyone’s guess. But we need to change what we have been doing. We do know that there are many reasons a Canadian voter would be attracted to the Liberal or NDP platforms, and we know that concerns for the environment…

Don’t blame the oil industry for our consumer excesses

Assigning the blame too narrowly is neither a fair nor effective strategy

Don’t blame the oil industry for our consumer excessesFor an increasing number of young people, governments no longer seem to have the answer to many of the fundamental challenges of the 21st century. Climate change is at the forefront. As politics becomes increasing tribal, intolerance is entrenched and good governance is weakened. Very few systems are designed to address global concerns, promoting regional…

Taking a broader, ecological view of Venice

How many of us think of the Venetian lagoon and its imperilled circumstances when we imagine a trip to Piazza San Marco?

Taking a broader, ecological view of VeniceVenice has been a feast of art, archaeology and escape for tourists since it began to attract them in the 15th and 16th centuries. But it is under attack. One of the world’s first cities to be founded almost exclusively on the conduct of financial transactions, its promotion of mercantile capitalism led the way to…

How the leading parties will confront global warming

The Greens offer the most comprehensive plan. But it, like all the other platforms, is significantly shortly on details about costs

How the leading parties will confront global warmingDuring this federal election campaign, my youngest grandchild turned three months old and I had my 79th birthday. What can I hope for our futures? I cast my first vote for John Diefenbaker’s Progressive Conservatives before most of today’s voters were born and steadily migrated through the ideological spectrum. I worked in Pierre Trudeau’s Liberal…
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