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…

Geothermal energy could be generated from captured CO2, study shows

Discovery that technology is viable moves it closer to becoming part of a low-carbon economy

Geothermal energy could be generated from captured CO2, study showsUniversity of Alberta research is making new strides in discoveries about capturing and storing carbon – while yielding a high-value end product from carbon dioxide. A process that injects the greenhouse gas deep below ground, then circulates it to extract heat and geothermal energy, has proven viable in a feasibility study by U of A…

Forestry field school gets a makeover for a growing industry

Vital learning experience – a rite of passage for the past 50 years – reimagined for safety and sustainability

Forestry field school gets a makeover for a growing industryBy the time Ben Strelkov started high school, the self-described “city kid” assumed that once he was in the workforce, he’d be confined to an office, doing basically the same thing every workday. His summer job following Grade 10 shattered the illusion. “I spent the whole time in northern Alberta – building trails, helping communities…

Coal mining waste material more than 90% effective at removing heavy metal

Nano humus works like a sponge that attaches to and holds cadmium, a common byproduct of mining

Coal mining waste material more than 90% effective at removing heavy metalA low-value byproduct of the coal mining process is proving highly effective at helping reclaim the land and water used in mining, University of Alberta research shows. Nano humus, a substance extracted from coal mine deposits and then crushed to a black, powdery material, has “outstanding physical and chemical properties” that remove heavy metals from…

U of A research, expertise help boost diamond exploration, says geologist

University's analytical facilities and expertise are second to none, as are its collaborative ties with industry

U of A research, expertise help boost diamond exploration, says geologistIn the early 2000s, one of the large islands that make up the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Banks Island, was buzzing as teams from the world’s top diamond companies trudged around the barren tundra looking for evidence of diamonds. One organization encountered a big enough hint of what might lie below that they had equipment on…

It’s not easy being green but we can get there

Wind and solar power won't magically eliminate the threats to our environment

It’s not easy being green but we can get thereBaruch Spinoza, a 17th-century philosopher, said the future and anything we can say about it is imaginary. He was right. Despite our best efforts to foresee what the future will bring, we really don’t know what is forthcoming until the future becomes the present. The challenge of climate change has focused our attention on what…

New research chair will look into the future of forests

The work of the $4-million endowed position will help inform forest companies as they sustainably manage land for timber and biodiversity

New research chair will look into the future of forestsRobert Froese can tell you the exact moment he knew forestry would be his lifelong career. He was an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia, standing in the forest with his classmates. “My professor went crashing into the woods … and he came back with a big Douglas-fir branch,” said Froese. “It was rainy…

New Nova Scotia premier must seize opportunity for economic change

Nova Scotia is envied for its commitment to the environment. But it must also more aggressively encourage resources and startups

New Nova Scotia premier must seize opportunity for economic changeThe Nova Scotia Liberal Party has chosen a new leader so it’s important to think about the policy priorities of the province’s new premier, Iain Rankin. Although an election doesn’t need to be held until spring 2022, Elections Nova Scotia is already preparing for one as early as April 1 of this year. The premier…

Energy sector key to reviving post-pandemic Canadian economy

2021 perfect opportunity for the feds to demonstrate its commitment to a sector critical to the Canadian prosperity

Energy sector key to reviving post-pandemic Canadian economyIf only the federal government would put its full force behind the energy sector, as it does other critical sectors in the economy. In early October, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced he wouldn’t back down from the latest American round of attacks on Canada’s softwood lumber industry. Then, the federal government announced it would pursue…

The hunt for rare, valuable yellow diamonds

Yellow diamonds with colourless cores provide insight into the origin of their pure-yellow counterparts

The hunt for rare, valuable yellow diamondsA new study by University of Alberta scientists could help guide the search for rare, high-value yellow diamonds in the Canadian North. The researchers, led by PhD student Mei Yan Lai, examined the chemical makeup of stones recovered from the Chidliak and Ekati mines in Northern Canada to get a better understanding of how they formed.…

Killing resource projects hurts Indigenous communities

For economic reconciliation with Indigenous communities, we need consistent and stable policies for the resource sector

Killing resource projects hurts Indigenous communitiesThe decision by Teck Resources to withdraw its application for the Frontier oil sands project could risk future opportunities for Indigenous communities if it leads to more resource companies declining to invest in Canadian resource projects. Although Teck stated officially that the decision to withdraw was prompted by controversies surrounding Canada’s climate policies, Teck’s decision…

Putting forests to work for Indigenous communities

Governments need to work with First Nations to ensure they have fair access to forest tenure and opportunities for partnerships

Putting forests to work for Indigenous communitiesWhen you think of Indigenous engagement in the natural resource economy, you usually think of opportunities in the oil and gas industry or in mining. However, First Nations are increasingly getting involved in commercial forestry. Certain provinces – including Manitoba – have a sizable forest industry that plays a substantial role in the provincial economy.…

Indigenous economic success requires a new path

It’s time First Nations adopted property rights, economic development and self-governance

Indigenous economic success requires a new pathThe saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same” should not be applied to First Nations bands. Those bands that have maintained the same tired model that has failed for decades are still failing. Ones that have adopted property rights, economic development and self-governance have improved drastically. Unfortunately, most judges, activists and…

Why we must get Canadian energy to global markets

Canadian LNG offers a solution to help bring people out of energy poverty while reducing net global GHGs

Why we must get Canadian energy to global marketsCanada is known around the world as a country of inclusiveness, tolerance and respect for human rights. Our energy industry also holds world class standards – among the best anywhere when it comes to innovation, environmental protection and responsible resource development. According to Statistics Canada, nearly half of all money spent by Canadian businesses on…

Wexit would solve the country’s malaise

It's time to break apart this dysfunctional nation so the various parts can repair their generations-long problems

Wexit would solve the country’s malaiseBy Colin Alexander Research associate Frontier Centre for Public Policy Canada’s recent federal election result exposes intractable challenges dating from Confederation in 1867. Wexit could allow Alberta to escape from a burden somewhat resembling the maladministration that afflicted Argentina, once one of the world’s richest countries. For the past half century, Canada has not been…
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