Damned if you do: the thorny decision to remove hydro dams

Dealing with only one side of an issue – whether it’s migrating fish or electric cars – can generate more problems than it solves

Damned if you do: the thorny decision to remove hydro damsEconomists often talk about over-constrained problems. These are situations where there are so many goals to be reached and/or so many limitations that it’s impossible to find a solution that meets all requirements. Contrast this with advice often given to politicians to never talk about anything that can’t be fully described on a bumper sticker.…

Robbing Peter to pay Paul with energy subsidies?

There is no subsidy pot of gold going to oil and gas companies that can be diverted to renewable energy ventures

Robbing Peter to pay Paul with energy subsidies?By Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre When the issue of taxpayer subsidies for energy comes up – oil and gas and renewables alike – the public, policy-makers and media could be forgiven if they feel like they’re drowning. Endless decimal points and numbers that run into the trillions can make it near…

Killing Keystone XL gives other countries an advantage over Canada 

Plenty of other countries ready to take over Canada’s market share if Canada exits the oil business

Killing Keystone XL gives other countries an advantage over Canada By Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre The killing of the cross-border Keystone XL pipeline due to anti-oil activism and politics will change nothing about worldwide oil demand. All it does is hand an advantage to Canada’s competitors. Worldwide oil consumption has been on an upward trajectory, and with the COVID-19 pandemic subsiding…

The case for the buy-local movement defies logic

If the fertilizer, tractor and other equipment used to produce by-local carrots were made elsewhere, do the carrots still count as local?

The case for the buy-local movement defies logicIn his 1776 seminal work The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith wrote: “It always is and must be the interest of the great body of the people to buy whatever they want of those who sell it cheapest. The proposition is so very manifest that it seems ridiculous to take any pains to prove it.”…

Weaponizing science to justify protein choices a dangerous game

Suggesting humanity got it wrong by eating meat is unsupported by scientific evidence

Weaponizing science to justify protein choices a dangerous gameProtein wars have taken a back seat to the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020. Most of the attention was obviously given to the virus, variants, vaccines and how to keep safe. That makes sense. But since we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, proteins appear to be back in the spotlight. Just…

We still need plastics despite Trudeau’s vow to get rid of them

Plastics have allowed a revolution in material science that has vastly improved our quality of life

We still need plastics despite Trudeau’s vow to get rid of themBy now, most everyone has seen the memes of Dr. Evil ordering a change of focus in his campaign to maintain global fear: “Fear of [the last crisis] is no longer working. Release the murder hornets!” To judge from recent news articles, the meme should read: “Fear of COVID-19 is no longer working. Restart the…

The wasted pursuit of social licence for oil exploration

Canada wasn’t targeted for international outrage because it was a threat to the global climate, but simply because it was an easy target

The wasted pursuit of social licence for oil explorationFor several decades, Canada was the focus of a global attack on its natural resource economy, with its oil sands deposits (the world’s third-largest oil reserve) ranked as public enemy number one. Though only a tiny contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions (about 1.6 per cent of the total), the oil sands were seen as…

Indigenous leaders step up but no applause from environmentalists

First Nations are fighting to determine their own futures. Why are environmental groups standing in the way?

Indigenous leaders step up but no applause from environmentalistsNot enough has been said about the recent memorandum of understanding between the First Nations Climate Initiative table and the First Nations Major Projects Coalition, which represents 70 First Nations from across Canada. In December 2020, the two parties signed an agreement to advance an Indigenous-led, net-zero carbon-emissions policy framework, including nature-based solutions for carbon…

Pipeline cancellations cost Canadians billions of dollars a year

A vocal minority opposed to resource development damaging our prosperity

Pipeline cancellations cost Canadians billions of dollars a yearBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre Oil and natural gas pipelines are like light switches on the wall. You take them for granted, along with the expectation that once flipped, your lights will come on. In normal company and normal times, few people would discuss over dinner something as arcane as tubes…

A lost economic opportunity in northern B.C.

Windy Craggy is a perfect example of how misguided environmental activism is fuelling northern alienation

A lost economic opportunity in northern B.C.A World Heritage Site designation continues to prevent development of one of the largest cobalt and copper deposits in North America. That lack of development is denying opportunities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. And it serves as an example of how environmental activism is fuelling northern alienation. Windy Craggy is in northwestern British Columbia, about…
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