Eight worst wildfire weather years on record happened in the last decade

Communities need to be prepared for more to come

Eight worst wildfire weather years on record happened in the last decadeThe world’s eight most extreme wildfire weather years have occurred in the last decade, according to a new study that suggests extreme fire weather is being driven by a decrease in atmospheric humidity coupled with rising temperatures. “Extreme conditions drive the world’s fire activity,” said former University of Alberta wildfire expert Michael Flannigan, who conducted…

Follow our Indigenous neighbours to a carbon-neutral future

The Wet’suwet’en are trying to preserve our planet in the face of the oil industry trying to amass profit

Follow our Indigenous neighbours to a carbon-neutral futureA major issue is getting surprisingly little coverage in the Canadian media. While we looked away to watch the impact of the climate crisis on farmland in southern British Columbia, 50 heavily armed RCMP constables raided a peaceful blockade in Wet’suwet’en territory in the north of the province. The police used helicopters and canine units…

How to live with your conscience and still have money

It’s possible to live a principled life, working hard to make a better world and still enjoy relative comfort

How to live with your conscience and still have moneyGrowing up Christian in an affluent society, there was a passage from scripture that always left me perplexed: “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other. … You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24) Did this mean that I was to sell all I owned and become…

Should we laugh, or cry, after the COP-26 debacle?

Canada sent 277 delegates to Glasgow at a cost of about $1.6 million for this?

Should we laugh, or cry, after the COP-26 debacle?Prior to the so-called COP-26 conference, Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians, Bartholemew I of Constantinople, urged the world to “listen to the cry of the earth” regarding climate change. With the 39,000-delegate extravaganza having concluded on the weekend, it’s tempting to disregard the three Christian…

Nuclear fusion could solve our energy and environmental problems

Nuclear fusion could generate millions of jobs globally

Nuclear fusion could solve our energy and environmental problemsNuclear fusion has been a science-fiction fantasy for a long time, the holy grail of energy production. But it’s rapidly moving closer to reality. The process involves combining multiple atomic nuclei to generate energy, just as the sun does. That’s the opposite of nuclear fission, in which atoms are split. Canadian and British innovators are…

Can Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos solve global food security issues?

Involving billionaires in the food aid business may lead to a paradigm shift in helping the less fortunate

Can Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos solve global food security issues?A recent Twitter conversation between United Nations World Food Program (WFP) executive director David Beasley and one of the world’s richest people, Elon Musk, turned a lot of heads. Beasley invited Musk to give two per cent of his wealth to help WFP save 42 million people from almost certain starvation and death in the…

Understanding the social effects of climate change critical to adaptation

Balancing physical and social needs key to ensuring equity in affected communities

Understanding the social effects of climate change critical to adaptationAs our world adapts to climate change, a renewed focus on social vulnerability is critical to supporting affected communities, according to a study by University of Alberta urban planning experts. “Our research shows we must expand our thinking beyond solely the physical aspects of climate change, and to instead design for the social effects of…

The rise of smiley-face environmental terrorism

There’s no telling what these extremists will do. We need to crack down on this danger now

The rise of smiley-face environmental terrorismThere’s no doubt summer 2021 was a scorcher around the world. The United Kingdom’s Met Office revealed that temperatures exceeded 30C in September for only the seventh time in history. In Vancouver, 2021 was the second hottest summer ever recorded, with daily average temperatures at Vancouver International Airport reaching 18.9C in June, July and August.…

Climate change creating a new normal for farmers

And consumers are seeing first-hand how climate impacts their pocketbooks

Climate change creating a new normal for farmersCOP26 is just around the corner – the 26th United Nations climate change conference starts in Glasgow on Oct. 31. During the two-week summit, delegates face the colossal task of bridging the gap between the climate commitments made in 2015 with the Paris climate accord and the significant transformations needed to tackle our current climate…

Oil market turmoil may well benefit consumers

The push and pull of conflicting factions may be providing some relief to consumers

Oil market turmoil may well benefit consumersLast week ended on a calmer note for crude oil markets and major oil-producing countries. Crude oil prices fell slightly as the week ended, finally hovering a little below the recent highs. Forecasts of a warm U.S. winter put some brakes on the price rally that carried the crude markets beyond $86 a barrel early…

The 26th Blah Blah Blah Festival (aka COP26)

Those who care about the climate act; those who care about blah blah blah will all be in Glasgow

The 26th Blah Blah Blah Festival (aka COP26)The Cop26 climate summit starts in Glasgow, UK, on October 31, and countries must deliver tougher pledges to cut emissions to keep the goal of 1.5C within reach. According to the UN, carbon emissions will rise by 16 per cent by 2030, rather than fall by half as governments previously agreed to in Paris at…

We need a Plan B to deal with climate change

Adapting to a changing climate is the only feasible option

We need a Plan B to deal with climate changeDrawing heavily from physicist Steven Koonin’s recent book – Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters – my last column looked at some of the challenges involved in getting to global carbon-free by mid-century. Koonin actually calls it “a practical impossibility.” Now let’s talk about contingency planning. If carbon…

Climate summit forced to confront inconvenient truths

Movement to reduce global emissions toward net-zero is still too slow

Climate summit forced to confront inconvenient truthsWith the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow scheduled to open on Oct. 31, global powerhouses are coming up with their annual energy outlooks earlier than the customary November. With climate issues coming to the forefront at the COP26 summit, most of these reports and analyses are meant to help world leaders make decisions. But…

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…
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