The road to a carbon-free future will be rougher than we thought

If aspirations and reality collide, always bet on reality

The road to a carbon-free future will be rougher than we thoughtIf you’ve been following international news lately, you’ll have noticed a new development. Europe and Asia are suddenly worried about energy. With winter coming, costs are soaring and there’s even concern about shortages that might trigger industrial shutdowns and endanger people’s ability to heat their homes. From an object of loathing and scorn, fossil fuels…

What happens to climate talks in the face of rising oil prices?

Decision to open the taps and let the markets surge comes just before UN Climate Change Conference

What happens to climate talks in the face of rising oil prices?Rapid moves with long-term ramifications are being made on the global energy chessboard. Early last week, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies in OPEC+ opted to stick to their original plan and gradually open the crude oil taps. After their Oct. 4 ministerial meeting, OPEC+ said it had “reconfirmed the production adjustment…

What does the Trudeau win mean for Western Canadians?

More of the same

What does the Trudeau win mean for Western Canadians?What does another Trudeau win mean for Western Canadians? After all, the actual composition of the House of Commons changed little, and once again, the Liberals will need the support of either the NDP or the Bloc Quebecois to pass legislation. So, for the most part, we can expect a continuation of some programs, including…

Protecting the most vulnerable from the coming energy crisis

We're deluded if we believe that the consequences will only be borne by workers in the oil and gas sector

Protecting the most vulnerable from the coming energy crisisShortly before the election was called, the federal government launched an engagement process to determine how Canadians want to implement a 'Just Transition' to a net-zero carbon economy. To the government, this means developing supports for the oil and gas workers whose livelihoods are being impacted by domestic climate policies. A 'Just Transition Advisory Body'…

What the future of energy looks like

Underpinning it all, like the safety net to a secure supply, will be fossil fuels

What the future of energy looks likeThe kingdom of Queen Elizabeth I was humming along quite nicely when, around the mid-1500s, Her Majesty caught wind of an environmental crisis in the offing. The forests were disappearing. Wood was the first energy source and had been so for millenniums. But kilns of industry and hearths of homes had been eating up the…

Lakes in Canadian Rockies losing turquoise lustre as glaciers fade

Changing colour of alpine lakes may be a sign of worsening water quality, according to reports

Lakes in Canadian Rockies losing turquoise lustre as glaciers fadeAnother casualty of the disappearance of glaciers in the Canadian Rockies is the vanishing of the iconic turquoise of glacier-fed alpine lakes, according to a University of Alberta limnologist who documented the unfortunate change in the latest look at the health of Canada’s mountains. In an essay written for the fourth annual State of the Mountains…

Finally, an LNG project that just might get built

Rationality can prevail, clean, abundant natural gas can be used for decades, energy ‘transition’ or not

Finally, an LNG project that just might get builtAn estimated $55-billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project to take natural gas from northeastern British Columbia to its northwest coast at Pearse Island recently received the blessing and financial and political backing of the Nisga’a First Nation. The First Nation is on the proposed pipeline route and is the site of planned liquefaction terminal. This…

New program fast tracks students for jobs in renewable energy sector

Alberta program builds skills to take sustainable energy projects from concept to completion

New program fast tracks students for jobs in renewable energy sectorA new certificate the University of Alberta started offering this fall will help fast-track workers into the province’s rapidly growing renewable energy sector. The Renewable Energy Technologies (RET) Certificate is the first of its kind in Alberta to offer learners the flexibility of online, part-time classes, without admission barriers. It can be completed in as little as…

Canada’s plan for climate change needs to use all the tools in its artillery

Why not use carbon emissions as a building block for other industrial processes and products?

Canada’s plan for climate change needs to use all the tools in its artilleryClimate change demands immediate action, and there’s no shortage of discussion about emissions reduction. Indeed, climate policies and pledges flowed left and right leading up to the federal election. However, largely absent from the mainstream dialogue on the shifting energy landscape is any pragmatic talk about the productive use of carbon emissions. That’s right –…

Climate simulation models are not reality, nor are they science

Climate simulation models are no more real than your favourite video game

Climate simulation models are not reality, nor are they scienceIn a recent article about climate change, Associated Press science writer Seth Borenstein gave us a master class on how to sell the results of a computer model as if it represents reality. In his world, a group of scientists can take a short-term heat wave, crank it through an “ensemble” of theoretical mathematical climate…
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