Don’t blame Australian fires on climate change

The buildup of combustible material is a result of the authorities’ failure to undertake cool season burn-offs on public lands and to ensure such burning also takes place on private land

Don’t blame Australian fires on climate changeEucalypt forests are particularly inflammable and this year’s Australian bush fires have, so far, ravaged close to 20 million hectares, about 2.5 per cent of the continent, claiming 29 lives. The proximity of the fires to Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra left them blanketed with smoke for days on end. Recent days have seen heavy rainfall…

Can Starbucks save the planet?

Starbucks is going dairy free, among other measures, to cut its carbon footprint in half by 2030. It’s a bold move and accountability will be key

Can Starbucks save the planet?Starbucks’ plan to reduce its carbon emissions is undoubtedly ambitious. It wants to halve its food waste, water use and gas emissions by 2030. Their commitment to becoming a better environmental steward has wide-ranging implications across the food industry. Other chains have made similar announcements. McDonald’s aims to cut emissions by 36 per cent from…

Keeping an eye on the uncharted course ahead

Too many right-wing politicians base their policy thinking on antiquarian dogma, and not contemporary science or even democratic values

Keeping an eye on the uncharted course aheadThe other day my wife looked at me in a familiar way and said, “You are such a ‘rowboat’ thinker.” I knew immediately what she was getting at. Maybe it’s because I grew up with a father and grandfather who were inveterate hand-line fishers out of clinker-built rowboats. They first got me out on the…

It’s still winter but my trees are getting chubby

In January as the days get longer, the trees start preparing for spring and the buds start to swell

It’s still winter but my trees are getting chubbyEvery year about this time, I get quite excited as my trees start to get chubby! They aren’t really putting on weight, but their profile looks different than it did in November and December, when it was easy to see the sky through the branches since the buds were very small and the twigs weren’t…

Plant health a decidedly human issue

Climate change knows no borders and neither should science. And when it comes to plant science, Canada is a force to be reckoned with

Plant health a decidedly human issueEvery year, the United Nations promotes something that it believes warrants attention and it has declared 2020 the International Year of Plant Health. Celebrating plant health and bringing more awareness to the issue is well worth pursuing. Plants represent about 80 per cent of everything we eat. And animals raised on farms, of course, eat…

Alberta needs the ‘war room’ to challenge energy ignorance

Too many reporters have bought into poorly-conceived advocacy positions and fail to provide readers with balanced information

Alberta needs the ‘war room’ to challenge energy ignoranceThe Canadian Energy Centre – also called the “war room” – is online, publishing featured stories, reports, briefs, analysis, perspective and even an Energy IQ quiz. It’s all aimed at distributing information about energy (primarily oil and gas) in Canada. The topics are diverse, ranging from pipelines and oil products to climate, renewables, people stories,…

Crossing the line from eco-activism to emotional eco-terrorism

No other country has so deliberately turned itself into a climate-change martyr. Yet our sacrifices will have no perceptible impact

Crossing the line from eco-activism to emotional eco-terrorismIt’s been almost three decades since delegates from 172 countries, meeting at the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, adopted the Climate Change Convention. U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data show that since then the Earth’s temperature has risen an average of 0.03°C per year. At that rate, the planet will warm 2.4°…

Is capitalism a cure for the climate crisis?

Life in an air-conditioned bunker, drinking vodka sodas and binge-watching Netflix may not be enough to stimulate the privileged climate-change survivors

Is capitalism a cure for the climate crisis?The actions of the Donald Trump presidency and the many global populist governments that follow suit (Brazil, the Philippines, and arguably Saudi Arabia and even Australia) reveal a line of thought about the climate crisis: it doesn’t really exist. Climate change is basically viewed as an externality determined by God, nature or whimsy. When it’s…

Take the jolt out of Manitoba’s excess power generation

Manitoba Hydro should look for ways to increase domestic demand by displacing non-renewable energy consumption

Take the jolt out of Manitoba’s excess power generationThe world’s economy continues to grow every year by between two and four per cent. From when civilization began 5,000 years ago, the production of energy remains an important factor to continued growth. In these environmentally conscious times, efforts are intensifying to reduce energy consumption and switch to renewable resources. Manitoba is in a very…

New Year’s resolutions for a happier, sustainable future

Why not confront the demons we travelled with in the 2010s with a roadmap for dealing with a changing global climate landscape?

New Year’s resolutions for a happier, sustainable futureA new decade calls for new ideas. How about entering the 2020s with the clear vision and noble spirit that comes with embracing change? Why not confront the demons that we travelled with in the 2010s with some new, reconstructed and rethought vigour? Let’s revise our goals and refashion our strategies for their attainment. How…