Hereditary empires and the struggle with modernity

Hereditary dynasties could not survive the industrial revolution. Well, except for one

Hereditary empires and the struggle with modernityLast week’s column drew from British historian Dominic Lieven’s current book about emperors and empires. Called In the Shadow of the Gods, it’s an exploration of the characteristics that contributed to dynastic success or failure. Lieven’s penultimate chapter deals with the challenges modernity posed to hereditary dynasties. As the environment changed rapidly, the crowns adorning…

How empires grab and hold on to power

Being recognized as divinely anointed didn’t guarantee acquiescence, but it was still a huge asset

How empires grab and hold on to powerDominic Lieven is a British historian who has written extensively on European, particularly Russian, history. His latest book, In the Shadow of the Gods, is about emperors and empires. It examines their historical scope and the characteristics that contributed to dynastic success or failure. At over 400 densely written pages (excluding notes), the book is…

The global energy map faces dramatic revisions

Putin's war on Ukraine has changed everything

The global energy map faces dramatic revisionsEnergy security is back on the global agenda. Not long ago, energy security was almost taken for granted by all. With the emergence of new energy frontiers over the last decade and a half – including shale oil and gas and the growing emphasis on renewables in the Americas – it was felt that energy…

Newfoundland and Labrador can grow as a trusted oil supplier to Europe

Already a steady supplier and can grow significantly if major projects get the go-ahead

Newfoundland and Labrador can grow as a trusted oil supplier to EuropeEurope needs new suppliers to get off Russian oil and maintain energy security in the long term. Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil industry is already a steady supplier and can grow significantly if major projects get the go-ahead. “We have the potential certainly to be producing more,” says Paul Barnes, Atlantic Canada and Arctic director…

Can Canada fill the gap if the world quits Russian oil?

It won’t be easy because Canada lacks the infrastructure to ship oil or gas to Europe directly

Can Canada fill the gap if the world quits Russian oil?With serious endeavours to reduce dependence on Russian energy supplies underway, global energy markets are faced with a real challenge: where will the oil come from to fill the emerging supply shortfall? As part of their efforts to punish Russia for its Ukraine misadventure, Western countries are trying to cut off their dependence on Russian…

Canada can still help provide Europe with energy security

Access to stable and affordable energy from Canada is important to the Free World

Canada can still help provide Europe with energy securityCanada’s chattering classes – often more accustomed to playing the ineffectual dovish role – are rushing to prove their outrage over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and demonstrate their resolve to make Russian President Vladimir Putin pay. However, these are often the same people who opposed Canadian gas pipelines, which could help fellow NATO countries. The…

Guilbeault is wrong. Canada’s oil and gas can help save the world

Misleading Canadians about what we can do to help our allies and the world

Guilbeault is wrong. Canada’s oil and gas can help save the worldFederal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said recently that Canada isn’t the solution to the energy security crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He’s wrong and he’s misleading Canadians about what we can do to help our allies and the world. Guilbeault is a former Greenpeace activist vehemently opposed to Canadian oil and gas. Here is…

Europe’s energy crisis set the stage for war in Ukraine

Unfortunately, Canada is in no position to help because of decades of poor energy policy

Europe’s energy crisis set the stage for war in UkraineRussia’s invasion of Ukraine didn’t cause the energy crisis in Europe. Rather, the energy crisis enabled the invasion – and it’s been decades in the making. So what are we going to do about it? Energy policy must be strategic. Unless Western nations address our energy security, we may be destined to see this kind…

Will Europe freeze in the dark if the U.S. imposes sanctions on Russia?

The U.S. made it clear that Russia will pay for a Ukrainian invasion. But so will other nations

Will Europe freeze in the dark if the U.S. imposes sanctions on Russia?The possibility of Russia invading Ukraine is the hottest geopolitical issue today. And this carries implications for the global energy balance. Growing concerns over the possible military conflict in Ukraine, resulting in disruption of natural gas supplies to Europe, is a point of deliberation in Washington and other NATO capitals. The United States has made…

A century after a critical turning point in Irish history

1920's Ireland is a fascinating study of competing perspectives

A century after a critical turning point in Irish historyDecember 1921 was a critical turning point in Irish history. The Dec. 6 Anglo-Irish Treaty aimed to end the War of Independence by “establishing the Irish Free State as a self-governing dominion within the British Commonwealth.” But it actually did more. It effectively launched the fledgling entity on a glide path toward full independence without…

Do lockdowns actually worsen COVID-19’s impact?

Jurisdictions with the most repressive lockdowns have higher death rates per case

Do lockdowns actually worsen COVID-19’s impact?The most mentioned reason for lockdowns has been the protection of health-care systems. The claim is that such protection saves lives. So is it fair to ask how well health systems are performing their lockdown life-saving duty? There are several points from which one can compare health jurisdictions and their fight against COVID-19. One can…

Europe remains dependent on imported oil from repressive states

Its policies on renewable energy mean that dependence will only deepen

Europe remains dependent on imported oil from repressive statesBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre One of the more bizarre developments in Europe in recent years has been the twin policy path in which fossil fuels are discouraged in favour of wind and solar energy, but deals are struck with autocracies such as Russia to import more fossil fuel via pipelines.…

Incidents of serious parasitic disease on the rise in Alberta

The province is now the North American hotspot for a rare, potentially fatal disease

Incidents of serious parasitic disease on the rise in AlbertaA rare parasitic infection imported from Europe continues to take root in Alberta. The province is now the North American hotspot for human alveolar echinococcosis (AE), which takes the form of a growth in the liver, causing serious and potentially deadly health complications. A recently published review of known AE cases in Alberta found 17 instances…

Why a convenience store giant wants to be a grocer

Couche-Tard has a reputation of generating value by polishing hidden gems in companies like Carrefour

Why a convenience store giant wants to be a grocerWe heard this week that Alimentation Couche-Tard is looking at acquiring European-based Carrefour, the seventh largest food retailer in the world. Buying a grocery chain would be a significant departure from what Couche-Tard is known for. A non-binding, friendly offer of $25 billion was sent to Carrefour. Couche-Tard is all about the convenience store economy.…

The global energy landscape is changing fast

Over a fifth of Europe’s energy was generated by solar panels and wind turbines in the first half of 2020

The global energy landscape is changing fastPeak oil demand is approaching fast – and earlier than anticipated. It’s not that oil won’t be required in the years and decades to come. It will still be in demand. But the world won’t be critically, crucially and strategically dependent on oil, as it is today. This year may be the turning point for…
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