'Alternative' energy and less energy

Donald Gutstein
Saskatchewan’s Boundary Dam 3 carbon capture and storage facility is one of three major CCS projects in Canada, and has consistently failed to meet its targets. Photo from SaskPower.

Oct. 26, 2022

Corporations, the province and allies like the Fraser Institute are pushing ahead with a flawed alternative to greener energy.

Big Oil and supportive governments have stalled action on climate change for so long that, as the clock ticks toward catastrophe, one of the last hopes is the expensive and unproven technology of carbon capture and storage, or CCS.

Óscar Carpintero, Jaime Nieto
 photo credit: Vauban, Freiburg, a sustainable model district. By Claire7373Andrewglaser – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2637411

An informative but not comforting article--recent studies from Spain showing that a) the transition to "green" energy will be much more problematic than most expect, b) the possibility for a future for humanity will require an end to "growth", and c) what is required cannot be accomplished under capitalism. 

                  -- Gene McGuckin 

Oct. 6, 2022

Lyndsay Duncombe, Harvey Cashore, Lynette Fortune
Pellets from virgin forests fuel the U.K.'s Drax Power Station, backed by politicians and subsidies

Oct. 6, 2022

Pellets from virgin forests fuel the U.K.'s Drax Power Station, backed by politicians and subsidies

From the highway just south of Prince George, B.C., you can see the logs, thousands of them, piled neatly in rows. 

They were cut from trees in old growth and primary forests in the province's Interior.

This timber won't be used to build homes or furniture, or even to make paper. These logs will be ground and compressed into tiny pellets, shipped to Europe and Asia and burned to produce fuel for electricity.

Jim Robbins
Wind turbines on the Whitelee wind farm in Scotland. Photo by Ian Dick / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Joshua Frank
Image by Vladyslav Cherkasenko.

Costs, dangers, comparisons with renewables, the weapons connection, experiences in France and elsewhere--this is a very comprehensive, albeit brief examination the the nuclear power option.

              -- Gene McGuckin

Sept. 9, 2022

Natasha Bulowski
Parkland Corporation wants to build a facility in Burnaby, B.C., to turn canola oil into renewable diesel. Photo by Bernard Spragg / Flickr (CC BY 1.0)

"A big concern in climate circles is that the ripple effect of converting food crops to fuel makes it hard to calculate the true greenhouse gas emissions of biofuels. Increased demand for food crops for fuel can cause deforestation in other parts of the world, which, in turn, creates more emissions, John Reilly, former co-director of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, told Canada’s National Observer." 

Rob Miller
Renewable energy power storage is successfully being added to the North American grid to keep the lights on, computers running and the electric vehicles charging. Photo by Pixabay/Pexels

Aug. 29, 2022

The federal government is developing Clean Energy Regulations (CER) to help move the electrical grid to net-zero emissions. The regulations, among other measures, will encourage adding more renewable energy to the grid, which will eventually replace coal and natural gas electricity generation in Canada.

John Woodside
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz examine a hydrogen powered toy car as they tour a trade show, Tuesday, August 23, 2022 in Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Aug. 25, 2022

An alliance formed this week between the governments of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz revealed a major point of disagreement that could determine the future of hydrogen in the global economy.


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