An enduring lesson from COVID-19 is that where there’s a will there’s a way. Faced with a pandemic, governments have risen to the challenge and made profound changes that would have seemed impossible mere months before. We now need to shift this out-of-the-box thinking to the existential threat posed by climate change. The need to …
Even before the arrival of COVID-19, the history of the Second World War was making a remarkable comeback. Our movie theatres (remember those?), Netflix offerings and bookstore shelves were full of modern reboots of our mid-century wartime experience. Then the global pandemic struck, and suddenly, everyone is drawing comparisons to the Second World War.  As …
Last week my report “Reassessment of Need for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project” was published by the Parkland Institute and Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). The Canadian Energy Centre (aka Premier Jason Kenney’s “War Room”) took exception to my report and wrote a hit piece designed to discredit it,“A Matter of Fact: CCPA report …
New research from veteran earth scientist David Hughes concludes that the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project (TMX) makes no financial sense. In fact, Alberta heavy oil producers can expect to lose money on every barrel of oil they produce and move through TMX. Contrary to claims that bringing heavy oil to tidewater for export to …
Richard Washington, professor of climate science at the School of Geography and the Environment at Oxford University, recently noted that ‘Africa will be hardest hit by climate change, but has contributed the least to causing that change.’ Southern Africa in particular has suffered from drought for years, exemplified by the extreme water crisis that Cape …
Court documents and FOI materials show BC Hydro knew shale would move at troubled construction project, yet Hydro proceeded with river diversion   BC Hydro approved the pouring of massive amounts of concrete to build a buttress at its problem-plagued Site C dam project months before a critical drainage tunnel was completed to draw water …
BC Hydro knew 30 years before it started building the Site C dam that its chosen location for the most expensive publicly funded infrastructure project in British Columbia’s history had big problems.  In fact, by the 1980s, BC Hydro had done tests showing that the ground at Site C had serious flaws “due to the …
Earthquakes triggered by natural gas industry fracking operations near BC Hydro’s troubled Site C dam construction project are far greater in number than previously thought, raising troubling questions about whether they are adding to the already formidable geotechnical challenges at the site. Not only are more earthquakes occurring in proximity to the costliest public infrastructure …
Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) has been embraced by British Columbia’s government as a budding engine of growth for the provincial economy. Claims by industry lobby groups of tens of thousands of jobs and billions in government revenue make headlines. Is it true there really is a free lunch? As a scientist who spent a career …
In the face of the economic fallout from COVID-19, it’s easy to forget that some communities in British Columbia were in deep fiscal distress long before the pandemic began. Fort Nelson is a good example, and a textbook case of why senior levels of government need to be mindful when they roll out recovery plans …
“Canada hasn’t seen this type of civic mobilization since the Second World War. These are the biggest economic measures in our lifetimes, to defeat a threat to our health… We all need to answer the call.”—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, April 1, 2020, during one of his daily pandemic briefings outside his home.   As Canada seeks …
2020 has been a year like no other in the political economy of energy and climate change. As the new year broke, wildfires spiked by higher temperatures scorched Australia. In Canada, a different fire took hold as a BC gas pipeline sparked a cross-country Indigenous-led uprising. By mid-March, economies around the world were shutting down …