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September-October 2015

Tories in review: environment

Larkin Schmiedl examines Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party's dismal environmental track record, full of broken promises and missed opportunities for a greener Canada

Larkin Schmiedl

WHEN IT COMES TO THE ENVIRONMENT, Stephen Harper doesn’t have a hidden agenda—he’s always been upfront about his healthy-industry-over-healthy-Earth policies. In 2006, for instance, in his first speech outside Canada after he was elected as prime minister, he called Canada an “emerging energy superpower,” suggesting his intention to expand oil sands production. “And that has […] More »

WTF Wednesday: I Spy, with My Five Eyes, Brazil’s Oil and Gas

Vincent Colistro

The Five Eyes! The Communications Security Establishment of Canada (CSEC)! The Olympia spying program! The Advanced Network Tradecraft! These seem like names lifted from espionage paperbacks, the kind with shiny embossed covers bearing some hyper-masculine pen name like Dick Richter. But, sadly, they aren’t the stuff of fiction. Slides were leaked last week that implicate […] More »

FTW Friday: This Week in Protests

Vincent Colistro

“The protesters should fall in love with hard and patient work – they are the beginning, not the end. Their basic message is: the taboo is broken; we do not live in the best possible world; we are allowed, obliged even, to think about alternatives.” -Slavoj Zizek As we all move slowly into the second […] More »
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 »
September-October 2010

“Upcycling” turns garbage into useful products. But is it really green?

Jenn HardyWebsite

The Claim Supporters of “upcycling”— turning garbage into funky purses, photo frames, jewelry, and more—say it’s a great way to minimize what’s going into our mountainous landfills. But just how truly green is this practice? The Investigation One company that’s been making waves in the world of upcycling is TerraCycle. Partenered with such big businesses […] More »
September-October 2010

Why Canada is at risk of a BP-style deepwater drilling oil disaster

Robert McCandless

Public anxiety about allowing offshore drilling has been around for a long time, rising to panic levels during accidents and spills, and for good reason. The continuing environmental disaster off the Gulf coast was the result of poor regulation and should prompt Canadians to question our own regulatory regime for offshore exploration. More specifically, we […] More »
July-August 2010

How Canwest helped Shell Oil greenwash its tar sands business

Raina DelisleWebsite

Shell Canada’s operations in Alberta’s oil sands are clean and green, and simply the victim of nasty rumours spread by environmentalists trying to tar the company’s reputation. That is, if you believe the “six-week Canwest special information feature on climate change, in partnership with Shell Canada.” Canada’s largest media company teamed up with the oil […] More »
July-August 2010

As green-collar jobs boom, Canada is mired in the tar sands

Jessica Leigh JohnstonWebsite

Canada and Abu Dhabi share one big trait: an economy addicted to oil. But while Canada doubles down on the tar sands, the emirate quietly plans a renewable energy hub in a gleaming zero-emissions city in the desert. Can either of these bets pay off? Looking out over the site of Masdar City in Abu […] More »
May-June 2010

How bad science stifles rational debate about wind power

Andrea McDowellWebsite

Wind energy ought to be a shoo-in. Yes, the infrastructure costs a lot of money but the fuel is free and plentiful, turbines produce no emissions, and no mountaintops need to be removed. And unlike nuclear power, no long-term radioactive waste needs to be stored for millennia. Yet, bizarrely, small groups of committed neighbourhood activists […] 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 »