Posts filed under ‘Energy’

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.

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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

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

Provincial Party Responses 2018

Make your vote count: find out where the parties stand. The next Government of Ontario will inherit a province facing many significant environmental challenges, from climate change and ongoing loss of biodiversity to a steady build up of toxics and pollutants in our air, water and land.  Strong actions will be required to address these problems and to position Ontario to benefit in a world rapidly moving toward a low-carbon future and embracing the need for more sustainable economic and social systems. We asked all parties to describe their vision for making Ontario an environmental leader and how they will enhance the quality of life of all of its residents.

We have invited all four parties to submit any additional policies or information as the election progresses, and we will note when new information has been added.

Read Party Responses 2018 at Green Prosperity.

June 4, 2018 at 10:37 am Leave a comment

RetroSuburbia talk by David Holmgren

Co-founder of the permaculture movement, David Holmgren, encourages permaculture activists to focus their energies on retrofitting suburbia for an energy descent future. David argues that the opportunities to retrofit are so much more important than new buildings because of the limits to debt based growth.

May 28, 2018 at 10:46 am Leave a comment

Rail lines, not pipelines: the past, present, and future of Canadian passenger rail

Graph of Canadian railway network, kilometres, historic, 1836 to 2016

One kilometre of oil pipeline contains the same amount of steel as two kilometres of railway track.* The proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will, if it goes ahead, consume enough steel to build nearly 2,000 kms of new passenger rail track. The Keystone XL project would consume enough steel to build nearly 4,000 kms of track. And the now-cancelled Energy East pipeline would have required as much steel as 10,000 kms of track.

With these facts in mind, Canadians (and Americans) should consider our options and priorities. There’s tremendous pressure to build new pipelines. Building them, proponents claim, will result in jobs and economic development. But if we’re going to spend billions of dollars, lay down millions of tonnes of steel, and consume millions of person-hours of labour, should we be building soon-to-be-obsolete infrastructure to transport climate-destabilizing fossil fuels? Or should we take the opportunity to create even more jobs building a zero-emission twenty-first century transportation network for Canada and North America?

Read Rail lines, not pipelines: the past, present, and future of Canadian passenger rail by Darrin Qualman at Darrin Qualman blog.

May 21, 2018 at 11:05 am Leave a comment

Gas prices pinching your wallet? Here’s how much you could save with an electric car

Gas prices are expected to hit a four-year high in North America this summer, and things might get even worse now that the U.S. has pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal.

New sanctions on Iran, one of the world’s major oil producers, are already pushing up oil prices and could add another 5 cents a litre to the price of gasoline for Canadians this summer, GasBuddy analyst Dan Mcteague told Global News.

The prospect of pain at the pump through the summer driving season might spur more car-shopping Canadians to take a closer look at electric and hybrid vehicles.

There’s no question that battery-powered cars will save you a pretty penny when it comes to fuel costs.

Read Gas prices pinching your wallet? Here’s how much you could save with an electric car by Erica Alini at Global News.

May 14, 2018 at 10:51 am Leave a comment

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