There are many uses for fossil fuels, including oil, where the alternatives are nowhere near as advanced as wind turbines, solar panels or electric cars. Stopping pipelines in Canada does not speed up the development of alternatives to oil. It doesn't slow growing oil demand in emerging economies, where most of the growth in energy demand will come from in the future.
Alberta's carbon tax is expected to have a relatively minor impact on middle to lower income folks, but what about a major city that buys $60 million worth of power every year? That's going to cut into some budgets! It turns out there's one municipality that's positioned very well for a carbon tax but its name might surprise you.
Thirty years on from the world's worst nuclear accident, millions of people are still living with radioactive fallout from Chernobyl. In contaminated areas, radiation touches every aspect of people's lives: it's in the food they eat, the milk they drink, and in the schools, parks and playgrounds their children play in. The human toll of reactor accidents is why nuclear power may never gain widespread acceptance, no matter how much the industry tries to reassure us that risks are low.
In a recent panel discussion, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna assured Albertans that the Liberal government would not risk damaging "national unity" by acting quickly on climate change. For some, her comment begs the question: when exactly will the Liberals be ready to start acting on their emissions reductions targets?
No matter how beneficial fitness can be, the pain, the time consuming effort and the negative sensations have ironically created a very unhealthy relationship between you and this very healthy activity. Truthfully it's not your fault. There are some very legitimate reasons you may have grown to hate fitness, but there is hope.
An earthship is an off-grid home that produces its own energy, captures its own water, treats its own wastewater, grows its own food and passively collects the sun's energy for heat. That's the idea, anyways. But ever since the Kinney Earthship was built in the summer of 2014, Duncan Kinney has received many emails about one particular subject: how does it hold up so far north?
When it comes to climate change and energy choices, many people think they know what it is that Albertans think and what Albertans want. I wasn't so sure that we had actually heard from the citizens of Alberta, and a group of others agreed. This past September, we launched a short-term initiative called ViewpointsAB to find out.
With the advent of new technology comes a cavalcade of fears and concerns surrounding that same technology. Wind turbines have been blamed for all sorts of health problems, ranging from sleep deprivation to cancer and yes, even death. One person, Dr. Nina Pierpont, even went so far as to coin a term for these diverse effects, "Wind Turbine Syndrome." But is there any truth to the hysteria? Let's find out.
The era of net-zero homes is upon us. These super-efficient homes use rooftop solar energy production and smaller, electric powered heating systems such as air source heat pumps to produce as much energy as they consume. That's some sexy technology, but it only gets us halfway to net-zero. The real secret is insulation.
Carl Lauren's company Tyee Custom Homes builds about 12 homes a year and about six of those are in Kimberley. Lauren says making homes energy efficient today is important because homes are going to last 50 years or more. The better the home, the more energy saved, and those lower emissions are going to be way into the future.
As the dust settles on COP21 we know that while historic steps have been taken, the demands of justice are still unfulfilled. Together we are challenging the fossil fuel system, we are ushering in the era of solutions, and we are moving the political yardsticks of what it possible. While our political leaders walk, our movements run.
All around the world people took to the streets to help give the earth a voice. From Mumbai to Australia, London to Berlin, Ottawa to Vancouver millions danced, sang, and marched to push our world's elected leaders, currently in Paris for COP21, to increase their ambition, listen to the science and the voices of those most impacted, and lead the world out of climate chaos.
Rachel Notley's challenge has been to reassure the fiercely skeptical Alberta business elites that were horrified to wake up last May to discover the NDP had risen to power. With the economy already hammered by plummeting oil prices, they feared that the New Democrats would inflict further damage through a climate change plan that would drive up costs and cripple the oil sands. But business leaders in the Alberta can read the financial press as well as the rest of us and now seem to be buying Rachel Notley's view that they better try to be part of the solution.