'Alternative' energy and less energy

Russ Francis
Out of control: A growing area of high-hazard clearcuts and plantations are fuelling BC's raging forest infernos

WHILE FAMILY AND FRIENDS of the 569 British Columbians who died in June as a direct result of runaway global heating were still grieving, the provincial government was quietly approving the initial project plan for another huge fossil fuel facility. 

Brian Tokar
IPCC Graphic 2021

[Two further IPCC reports to come in February (climate impacts) and March (mitigation).]

Aug. 19, 2021

Justin Mikulka
Charging Bull, or the Bull of Wall Street. Credit: htmvalerio, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Aug 13, 2021

Comments from a recent energy industry conference reveal major financiers of fossil fuels view environmental and social investing concerns as a trend to “inoculate” against but not a long-term threat to the industry.

“I kind of remind people, I personally think oil is a renewable, it just takes a little bit longer,” said Mari Salazar, senior vice president and manager of Energy Financial Services for BOK Financial, an Oklahoma-based bank that caters to the oil and gas industry. 

Nick Cunningham
Premier John Horgan (left) visits LNG Canada to assess its progress. Credit: Province of B.C. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Aug 13, 2021

12 min. read

Several proposed LNG projects in Canada promise carbon neutrality for their gas exports. But the claims lack detail and appear mostly designed to defang opposition to the gas rush.

Under growing pressure to rein in greenhouse gas emissions, developers of liquefied natural gas (LNG) are turning to questionable claims about “carbon neutrality,” “net-zero,” or “green LNG,” in order to pass muster with governments, investors, and society, who are becoming increasingly anxious about the climate crisis. 

Jenna McGuire
"Blue hydrogen is a nice marketing term that the oil and gas industry is keen to push but it's far from carbon free." (Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

Aug. 12, 2021

"Blue hydrogen has large climatic consequences. We see no way that blue hydrogen can be considered 'green,'" says the report.

While celebrated as a climate victory by the Biden administration, the large infrastructure bill passed in the U.S. Senate this week includes billions of dollars of funding toward "blue hydrogen," which new research published Thursday finds is more polluting than coal.

Ryo Mukano, Nikkei staff writer
Offshore wind turbines near Amsterdam. Island nation Japan remains slow to build such infrastructure.   © Reuters

July 27, 2021

Hokkaido facility to churn out enough clean fuel for 10,000 vehicles

TOKYO -- Japan's largest hydrogen plant powered by offshore wind energy is set to open on the northern island of Hokkaido as part of a national effort to slash carbon dioxide emissions.

Scheduled to begin operation as early as the year ending March 2024, the plant will produce up to roughly 550 tons of hydrogen a year -- enough to fuel more than 10,000 hydrogen vehicles, according to plans.

John Woodside
Paris climate targets could soon be out of reach without immediate and massive greenhouse gas emission reductions, says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in a landmark report. Photo by Steven Weeks / Unsplash

August 9th 2021

Paris Agreement climate targets could soon be out of reach without immediate and massive greenhouse gas emission reductions, says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in a landmark report published Monday.

Jenny Uechi
Stock photo of solar power installation from Unsplash

The first time I read about  “Carbon Buster,” the solar farm Peter Nix built in 2016, I was delighted. Nix, a retired environmental consultant, in the sunny southern region of B.C.'s Cowichan Valley, spoke with pride about the potential of solar power. And it was just the beginning of the National Observer's efforts to feature ordinary people becoming climate heroes.


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