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…

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…

The art – and science – of rescuing food

Half of Canadians intend to reduce food waste as much as possible in 2020. The industry is offering solutions, as are other organizations

The art – and science – of rescuing foodCanada generates more food waste per capita than any other country in the world. Every year, close to 60 per cent of food produced in Canada is wasted. That’s more than 35 million metric tonnes of food is lost and wasted annually in Canada. Considering the energy and resources required to produce this food, the…

A sexual twist on environmental activism

In one amazing swoop, pagan spiritism, Earth worship, environmental activism, untethered eroticism and necromancy all come together

A sexual twist on environmental activismWhen creative intellect, left-wing politics and sexuality meet, the bizarre is sure to follow, even if it gets few followers. Take the ecosexual movement, pioneered by California PhDs Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens. In 2016, they penned the Ecosexual Manifesto. Maybe the Earth was screwed before, but this couple wants to work it over in…

Giving licence to vulgarity

The rising interpersonal venom on the Internet is a distressing sign of the times

Giving licence to vulgarityIf you’re middle aged or better and have a sense of life before the Internet, information technology and all of the associated foofaraw, you may also remember the value of polite speech. It was extremely rare in my youth to witness profanity first-hand in what might still be called polite society. That included family relations,…

Venice flooding a sign of deepening climate crisis

Think of Venice as a metaphor for humanity’s tepid response to the swelling climate crisis

Venice flooding a sign of deepening climate crisisIn the last week of September, I spent an interesting hour talking with an Italian doctoral student in ecology on the banks of the Venice lagoon. She wanted to know why I had come to Venice and what I knew of its insular yet urban environment. “Did any aspect of the Venetian lagoon’s environment draw…

Going green, one vehicle at a time

The fuel economy of today’s car is miles ahead of what it used to be but manufacturers aren't done yet

Going green, one vehicle at a timeArguably the biggest challenge facing automakers has to do with the environment: How to make their products more fuel efficient and cleaner running, while consuming fewer natural resources and leaving a smaller carbon footprint. Air conditioned seats, illuminated cup-holders, and cars that park themselves are fine and dandy, but people (and governments) want automobiles that…

The tables have turned in the climate change debate

Work on risk assessment, and policy choices that follow, needs to be examined with a more realistic eye

The tables have turned in the climate change debateNow that the federal election is over, the government of Justin Trudeau (perhaps now in closer concert with parties across the aisle) will continue its climate policy program. It’s therefore worth noting the recent tragic death of Harvard economist Martin Weitzman has underscored his work on climate risk assessment, which many climate activists use to…

Behind Maple Leaf Foods’ bold call to become carbon neutral 

The company is showing what environmental stewardship in agri-food should look like in the 21st century

Behind Maple Leaf Foods’ bold call to become carbon neutral Maple Leaf Foods isn’t just pretending to be environmentally friendly; it’s trying to be a trailblazer in the wild kingdom of proteins. The company has just adopted science-based targets that will help it become the first major agri-food company in the world to be carbon neutral. Clearly motivated by the federal carbon tax and our…

Extinction Rebellion’s cult-like threat to society

Ultimately, they want nothing short of a transfer of democratic power to oligarchies of frantic enviro-zealots

Extinction Rebellion’s cult-like threat to societyCults obey a logic of their own rather than following the parameters of mainstream logic. Climate zealots who concertedly blockaded bridges and important public roads in order to help the planet against climate change defy common logic. Blockading traffic and at times endangering tens of thousands of commuters to pressure governments to listen to their…

Want to save the world? Embrace Canadian energy

China’s and India's greenhouse gas emissions in 2018 equal to 150 Canadian oil sands

Want to save the world? Embrace Canadian energyWhat will happen in Alberta’s energy sector in the aftermath of the federal election is anyone’s guess. But we need to change what we have been doing. We do know that there are many reasons a Canadian voter would be attracted to the Liberal or NDP platforms, and we know that concerns for the environment…

Don’t blame the oil industry for our consumer excesses

Assigning the blame too narrowly is neither a fair nor effective strategy

Don’t blame the oil industry for our consumer excessesFor an increasing number of young people, governments no longer seem to have the answer to many of the fundamental challenges of the 21st century. Climate change is at the forefront. As politics becomes increasing tribal, intolerance is entrenched and good governance is weakened. Very few systems are designed to address global concerns, promoting regional…
1 2 3 8