Progressive politics, ideas & culture



September-October 2011

Canada’s coming $50-billion hydro boom brings environmental perils, too

Will Braun

Canada is a nation of wild, legendary rivers. The Mackenzie, the Fraser, the Churchill, and dozens more all empty into our national identity. They flow through our landscape, history, and imagination. They are vital to any history textbook, Group of Seven exhibit, or gift-shop postcard rack. Canada is also a nation of river-tamers. We revere […] More »
March-April 2011

How Canada is being left behind in the global race for geothermal energy

Jason Brown

In the world of green power, enhanced geothermal systems technology has big potential. How big? Like enough potential to provide 2,000 times the United States’ annual energy consumption kind of big. The premise of EGS is simple: use recently developed drilling technology to bore a hole four to six kilometres deep into the earth. Pump […] More »
July-August 2008

College students learn sustainable design—by building it themselves

Jesse McLean

“No one would think it’s possible to have students with no construction experience making an entire selfsustainable building from scratch,” says David Elfstrom, a graduate of Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario. But that’s what he and 25 of his classmates in the sustainable building design and construction program did in 2006, erecting an eco-friendly outdoor-living […] More »

Exclusive: When Ontarians conserve power, wind farms will be first to shut down

darcy higgins

Despite its recent investment in wind energy, Ontario will periodically ask wind operators to turn off their turbines, leaving gas and nuclear operating, This Magazine has learned. Conservation efforts and more energy production have led to an occasional surplus of electricity in the province, requiring Ontario to power down some generators at certain times of […] More »

DIY dams light up rural Kenya with community-owned electricity

Siena AnstisWebsite

The idea of supplying hydro power to poor communities came to Nyaga Ndiga after hours spent by the river grinding millet. He was inspired to try the same concept—friction—to produce energy. In a country where only 4 per cent of the population can afford electricity, Ndiga was uncovering an untapped market: cheap, sustainable, community-owned rural […] More »
May-June 2009

Don’t fight the power

Jeremy Nelson

We need to talk about nuclear power. Now. Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, became a convert to nuclear power during a visit with James Lovelock, considered by many to be the godfather of the environmental movement. During a day spent strolling through the fields around Lovelock’s home, the two spoke of many things, but […] More »