Posts filed under ‘Energy’

Degrowth in the suburbs

So what would become of the suburbs if we gave up fossil fuels and moved toward a low-energy, post-carbon society beyond growth?

Suburban catastrophists like James Kunstler in the US argue that fossil fuel depletion will imminently render the suburban landscape an inhospitable wasteland. Such curdled imaginations fail to recognise suburbia’s latent capacity to become something new.

Inspired by research and advocacy from the likes of Ivan IllichDavid Holmgren, and Ted Trainer, we see the suburbs as an ideal place to begin retrofitting our cities according to a new vision of prosperity. 

Read Degrowth in the suburbs by Dr Samuel Alexander and Brendan Gleeson at Ecologist.

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November 7, 2018 at 12:11 pm Leave a comment

New plant slated for Johnstown

An Ontario company has chosen Johnstown to become the first North American site of a recycling operation that uses a unique technology to turn plastics into light diesel oil and natural gas.

Grant Lawson, president of BBL Energy Inc., said the company will take such “dirty” plastic waste as water bottles, food containers like margarine tubs, plastic bags, hospital waste, straws and industrial drums. This plastic is now plugging up landfills because it can’t be recycled.

The company’s same machines also can transform tires and used oil into energy, he said.

Read New plant slated for Johnstown by Wayne Lowrie at The Recorder and Times.

October 22, 2018 at 11:00 am Leave a comment

Have your say on climate change, cancellation of Cap and Trade

Bill 4, Cap and Trade Cancellation

This Act repeals the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, 2016 and provides for various matters related to the wind down of the Cap and Trade Program. It also establishes a requirement for the Minister to prepare a climate change plan and to prepare progress reports in respect of the plan

The government’s Environment Ministry has  OPENED an online comment portal to seek public feedback about what it should do about climate change, pledging to use the information collected in order to introduce a new plan.

Make your comment HERE>>

Here is a chance to have your say – no matter where you stand on this issue. Our democracy depends on people taking the opportunity to speak up. This consultation closes on October 11, 2018.

September 17, 2018 at 10:55 am Leave a comment

Breaking it down: how carbon pricing addresses climate change

 

Pollution isn’t free. There is a real cost to the environment and our health when someone — an individual or a business — pollutes, leaving the air, water, or land less clean for everyone.

Economists tell us that putting a price on pollution will reduce emissions; but there is often a misunderstanding or lack of clarity on exactly how it achieves this.

As illustrated in our recent infographic series, it’s helpful to think of solutions in the near-term, mid-term, and long-term. Some of the near-term changes are the most clear. For example, individuals can save money by reducing the amount of electricity they use by making small changes. This can include switching to LED light bulbs, sealing leaks in windows and doors, using programmable thermostats, or alternatives to solo car travel for some of their trips, like carpooling, or if they’re in cities, cycling, walking or taking transit. But these behavior change nudges that carbon pricing provides doesn’t end there. In fact some of the bigger potential savings come in the medium and longer term.

Read Breaking it down: how carbon pricing addresses climate change by Sara Hastings-Simon at the Pembina Institute.

August 15, 2018 at 10:38 am Leave a comment

10 overlooked low-tech ways of keeping your home cool

Summer is here and the air is full of the the sound of whining air conditioners, all seriously sucking kilowatts. Yet much of that air conditioning load could be reduced or the air conditioning season shortened if we did simple things, many of them common before air conditioning was common in North America. Here are some low-tech tips for keeping cool.

The best ideas are those that keep the heat out of your home in the first place, rather than paying to pump it out after it gets in.

Read 10 overlooked low-tech ways of keeping your home cool by Lloyd Alter at Treehugger.

August 1, 2018 at 10:14 am Leave a comment

How land under solar panels can contribute to food security

Adding plants to solar farms offers all kinds of benefits to the facilities’ primary aim of reducing carbon emissions and expanding renewable energy. “Solar development is happening on a massive scale as lands are being converted from agricultural land or unused land into solar projects,” says Jordan Macknick, energy-water-land lead analyst with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which funds research on the impact of native and crop plants grown in solar farms. “That represents an amazing opportunity to improve our agriculture and improve our food security while developing energy at the same time.”

And native and crop vegetation can help improve the health of pollinators, which are threatened by habitat loss, pesticide poisoning, poor nutrition, disease, decreased genetic diversity and a host of other factors.

Read How land under solar panels can contribute to food security by Frank Jossi at Ensia.

July 13, 2018 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

Nice shades: 7 Fast growing shade trees to slash your electric bill

Keeping the sun off of our homes and windows during the summer can end up saving us both money and energy, because we can avoid some of the heating effects and keep our homes cooler to begin with, so less energy is required to keep them comfortable. And one of the best ways to do that is by planting shade trees in the right location around our home, where they can block the sun from streaming in our windows and heating our walls and roofs during certain times of the day.

Read Nice shades: 7 Fast growing shade trees to slash your electric bill by Derek Markham at Treehugger.

July 4, 2018 at 10:29 am Leave a comment

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