Vitoria Gasteiz is a very compact city of 250,000 people and because of its geographical density you are never more than three kilometres from downtown, no matter where you live. But in spite of its compact form, Vitoria-Gasteiz used to have a twelve-lane roadway that ran right through its heart. Then planners did something other cities only talk about.
The holidays are a notoriously wasteful time of year with an estimated 300,000 additional tonnes of garbage created by Canadians between mid November and New Years' Day. With an excess of gift wrap, consumer packaging, and food waste, that's not hard to believe. Here are five ways you can give the gift of green this holiday season.
Wood is certainly not a new fuel. We've been using it since the invention of fire to keep warm, but can it be a big part of our electricity mix in our modern age? Biomass provides green baseload power -- an important consideration for grid operators who want to integrate more renewable energy by balancing the intermittent nature of solar and wind.
If you look at Calgary and Edmonton, their skylines full of construction cranes, developers must do more than 'aim for height'. As the old adage goes, "Rome wasn't built in a day". Developers must be creative and work closely with architects to foster the development of robust communities that reflect cohesive design, and feature functional buildings that people want to live in.
Stephen Harper recently announced that dealing with climate change will not come at the expense of crippling the economy, and said that he encourages other countries to do the same. He claimed he was just being honest and that no leader really wants to take action on climate change, but based on recent actions by China, United Kingdom and the United States, this doesn't seem to be the truth.
The Metro Vancouver regional authority wants to build a massive garbage incinerator at a yet-to-be-determined location that will purposefully pump more smog into the air and burn recycled goods like paper and plastic. And get this, taxpayers are going to have to foot the $470-million bill to breathe it all it all in.
We live in a society where it is impossible to live a functional lifestyle and not consume products made from petro-chemicals every single day. As such, the notion that environmentalists -- such as Neil Young for example -- have no right to criticize oil sands developments, pipelines or fracking because they "choose" to heat their homes and drive cars is downright nonsensical.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper needs to figure out that not everyone is going to agree with him and his government's policies -- and that's okay. Rock legend Neil Young is making his way across Canada this week on a high-profile concert series in support of First Nations who oppose further expansion of oil sands extraction into their lands. Harper, through his spokesperson, responded to Young's concerns with empty talking points, reiterating that the natural resource sector remains a "fundamental part of our country's economy."Okay. Thanks Captain Obvious. Why is it so hard for the Prime Minister to speak with people who disagree with him?
Soon, it won't make sense to not have solar on your house, on your office or on any spare building that faces South. It's simple math. The cost of electricity is going up while the cost of solar is going down. Way down. Thirty-five years ago a watt of solar photovoltaic power cost $75. Now it costs $0.75.
Citizens vote, not corporations or unions. Yet, if you look at who funds Ontario's three old-line parties at Queen's Park, you might think otherwise. Canadian democracy week is the perfect time to tell politicians at Queen's Park that our democracy should not go to the highest bidder. We need a ban on corporate and union donations to political parties.
Recently, a concerned parent pointed me to a film being shown to his child's sixth grade class, called The Story of Stuff. The movie, created in 2007, depicts a world in which big corporations, in cahoots with big government, pretty much destroy the entire planet and maliciously poison the environment for their own filthy ends. This is merely one example of how The Story of Stuff misleads.
A new report out today finds that environmental infractions by companies in the Alberta oil sands are addressed with an enforcement action far less often than similar infractions reported to the United State's Environmental Protection Agency. Of the more than 4,000 infractions reported in the oil sands, less than 1 per cent (.09 to be exact) were addressed.