Canada Invests in World’s First, Fully Automated Pick-Up Parking System in London

Image result for london west 5London’s West 5 community: safe, walkable, pedestrian-centric design with a vision for 100% energy efficiency.

As Canadians continue to make greener choices, the Government of Canada is delivering more options for them to drive where they need to go while reducing pollution.

Today the government announced an investment of $2.4 million to s2e Technologies to test the world’s first integrated, automated electric vehicle (EV) parking system, offering residents fully automated pick-up and parking within their community.

This investment will demonstrate a new and innovative parking and charging infrastructure for autonomous and electric vehicles and will test capabilities at a smaller scale to see if Canadian communities can support the technology.

This innovative parking tower, situated in London’s West 5 community, will function as an automated valet service for community-shared electric vehicles. The driverless vehicles will be dispatched to a resident’s doorstep when prompted, reducing the need for car ownership within the community. The control system will demonstrate the integration of a number of innovative charging technologies and will address the lack of high-density EV charging in parking-restricted urban environments.

This investment, through Natural Resources Canada’s Green Infrastructure Program, is key to building Canada’s clean growth economy, helping accelerate the deployment and market entry of next-generation clean energy infrastructure, including Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Demonstrations.

s2e Technologies, based in St. Jacobs, Ontario, develops economically and ecologically beneficial clean energy solutions for Canadians and strives to tackle climate change head-on. With operations around the world, its technological advancements in energy solutions aim to build resilient, sustainable communities through specialized energy transformation offerings.

Through Canada’s national energy dialogue, Generation Energy, Canadians made it clear that cleaner transportation options are a necessity for Canada’s low-carbon future. The Government of Canada continues to support green infrastructure projects that will advance Canada’s green future and help us reach our domestic and international climate targets. MORE


Building a department store powered by geothermal and solar

La Maison Simons is working to convert their stores across Canada to net-zero

The clothes that we wear have a far-reaching impact on the planet – from the extraction of the raw materials and manufacturing process all the way down to the mounds of textile waste from fast fashion and other discarded clothing. With all of these environmental concerns, it’s easy to overlook the energy requirements of the buildings that house their retail locations.

Seven years ago, Quebec City-based department store La Maison Simons set out to construct a building that generates as much energy on-site annually as it consumes. Teaming up with Oxford Properties, the shopping centre landlord for its Galeries de la Capitale location, the company began mapping out the different technologies required to become the first major net-zero retail store in the country.

The retailer decided to first road-test some of its plans at the Londonderry Simons store in Edmonton, installing a sizeable 636 kilowatt solar array and making numerous energy efficiency upgrades throughout the building. It led to a building that is 30-40% more energy efficient than an average Simons store, and where half the energy is generated on-site through renewables. It also benefited from an Alberta government green incentive program that covered 25% of the cost of the solar panels.

Simons applied many of the lessons learned from the Edmonton project in designing its net-zero Galeries location, which opened in March 2018 in Quebec City. It doubled the amount of solar power covering the parking lot and roof, while drilling 27 geothermal boreholes into the ground under the parking lot for geothermal heating and cooling. A high-tech LED lighting program combined with an energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning system reduced energy consumption by 60% compared to its older location.

Buoyed by positive feedback from customers, the company is now exploring plans for several potential new net-zero retail locations throughout Quebec. MORE

COLIN MACKAY: Climate change will be key in elections


Hundreds of beach umbrellas on Outlet Beach at Sandbanks Provincial Park. Rising floodwaters have forced park staff to turn away visitors just days before the August long weekend. (FRÉDÉRIC PEPIN/RADIO-CANADA)

High water levels still remain along the shorelines of Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte.

Even into August, there are small sections of the waterfront trail under water. Climate change is mainly responsible for the higher water levels, although a few people will point to an International Joint Commission Plan 2014 as a culprit too. With a federal election approaching in October 2019, how politicians tackle climate change will be extremely important. At the provincial level, too many politicians consider carbon pricing as strictly detrimental, ignoring science, while spewing only opinions.

Nevertheless, scientists have been warning that a failure to act on climate change could have enormous consequences, particularly in Canada. Fortunately, William Nordhaus and Paul Romer, winners of the Nobel prize for economics in 2018, have shown that putting a price on carbon emissions is the best way for governments to combat climate change.

Already, in the Belleville area, there have been two years out of the past three that water levels have created massive flooding resulting in considerable issues, including additional costs for our municipal government. Floods in basements, rising insurance costs, and even having to move pop-up shops to higher ground are a few of these issues.

Scientists have proven the Earth is warming considerably, almost exponentially, mainly due to increasing carbon emissions. An additional three degrees of warming during this century is predicted. Scientists from Alberta have issued an even more dire report highlighting that Canada is warming twice as quickly. A six degree increase in average temperatures would be catastrophic for the north in particular. Scientists have been ringing the warning bells for a considerable amount of time, and for the most part, politicians have failed to act.

Putting a price on carbon has proven to be the best way to reduce carbon emissions. Yet, in Canada, the political will to implement this, from a provincial level, is inconsistent. Under Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario, the cap and trade program has been dismantled, removing billions in revenue. A price on carbon is viewed, by Ford, strictly as a tax with no benefits. Yet, in British Columbia, emissions have dropped considerably due to putting a price on emissions, with their provincial economy moving along just fine. Companies wanting to avoid paying a price on carbon emissions become innovative, which is one of moving forces of carbon pricing. Sadly, in Ontario, a considerable number of innovative companies weren’t given much of a chance to succeed. MORE

Hydroponic farms use less land, water to grow vegetables

Greenhouses allow year-round growing and protection from freezes and extreme rainfall.

Image result for palm beach post: Hydroponic farms use less land, water to grow vegetablesGreenhouse Farms hydroponic greenhouse occupies nearly 3 acres. It expects to yield 750,000 pounds of premium leaf green produce through the year.

Growing lettuce and other leafy greens indoors is gaining traction nationwide, as such big players as New Jersey-based Aero Farms and Bowery, are producing huge quantities in giant warehouses fueled by millions of dollars in investment.

The push comes as farmland becomes increasingly expensive and in short supply, and consumers demand locally grown produce that’s fresher because it hasn’t been transported hundreds of miles

In Palm Beach County two new hydroponic farms—Green Life Farms and Patagonia Green Leaf— are being launched in greenhouses off U.S. 441 west of the Lake Worth Beach/Boynton Beach area. Hydroponic farming uses no soil. Instead, crops are grown in perlite, coconut fiber or nutrient-rich water in a controlled and enclosed environment.

Art Kirstein, agricultural economic development coordinator with the Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension Service, said that hydroponic farming offers advantages such as year-round growing, increased capacity on a smaller amount of land and protection from freezes and weather events such as extreme rainfall.

Green Life Farms harvested its first crop of baby arugula, baby romaine and baby spinach in mid-July. Its greenhouse occupies nearly 3 acres and will yield approximately 750,000 pounds of premium leaf green produce throughout the year, said Mike Ferree, vice president.

The greens are grown, harvested and packaged onsite, then picked up or shipped directly from the farm. They are also GMO and pesticide-free. MORE


Vertical farming grows in Nova Scotia

Bedford-based TruLeaf aims to be a leader in sustainable agriculture through the use of vertical farming


What does climate change have to do with socialism?

For many climate skeptics, climate change has little to do with science. One of the most vocal strains of opposition to mainstream climate science appears to be rooted in fears of socialism

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney (left) shakes hands with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler after Mr. Wheeler signed the Affordalble Clean Energy Rule,  June 19, 2019, in Washington.

As public concern over global warming grows, more Republicans have begun to break ranks. After years of denying or deflecting mainstream climate science, GOP lawmakers are pivoting toward a belated acceptance of man-made warming and calling for bipartisan action to curb greenhouse gas emissions and boost investment in clean energy.

But one faction in the conservative movement continues to push against such calls with warnings that the agenda for climate action is part of a socialist plot to undermine the American way of life.

“It’s a climate delusion. It’s a climate collusion,” James Taylor, a senior fellow at the Heartland Institute, told an audience of around 250 gathered at the Trump International Hotel in Washington for the institute’s 13th International Conference on Climate Change in late July.

Other speakers argued that any warming of the Earth is part of a natural cycle and not the result of human activity, as record heat swept through Europe, toppling records in France, Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Chicago-based Heartland is part of a nesting group of right-wing organizations that for decades have sought to undermine public confidence in mainstream climate science. It publishes “climate realist” books and articles that find their way into Republican platforms and into the media, and has tried to push materials into schools.

That it calls itself a free-market think tank is telling: Climate denial in the U.S. is deeply rooted in an anti-government ideology that sees virtually all regulations, including curbs on carbon emissions, as leftist attacks on free enterprise. MORE

Is Canada a socialist country?

Doug Ford: Continuing to turn his back on ‘the people’ despite new faces

Image result for the conversation: Doug Ford: Continuing to turn his back on ‘the people’ despite new faces
Ontario Premier Doug Ford faces the Toronto skyline as he attends a recent event. Ford’s campaign slogan was ‘for the people,’ but his first year in office suggests he’s not paying attention to their anger about his government’s cuts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Despite the chaos of the past few months, featuring a major cabinet shuffle that included the dumping of Finance Minister Vic Fedeli, the demise of the premier’s controversial chief of staff Dean French and statements that Ford’s administration is now “a government that listens,” remarkably little has actually changed.

Several high-profile political appointments attributed to French have been scrapped and others are now under review. The question of how these appointments, which by statute were subject to cabinet approval, occurred in the first place remains unanswered.

Ford, centre, is flanked by Fedeli, right, and French in May 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young 

The government also backed down on current in-year funding cuts to municipalities, particularly for public health services, in the face of an outcry from local governments, health professionals and others. A reversal on the funding of services for children with autism seems to be underway as well, along with a retreat on cancelling OHIP funding for out-of-country dialysis treatments.

Beyond these specific steps however, the provisions of the province’s April 2019 budget, sweeping omnibus bills pushed through the legislature and a wide array of administrative decisions remain very much intact and in motion.

Major reductions remain in place

The major reductions in provincial funding in health, education and social services, along with everything from tree-planting to small business start-up and training support, set in motion via Fedeli’s budget remain in place.

Even deeper cuts are scheduled for future years — a point highlighted again by recent protests over the government’s 30 per cent cut to the province’s legal aid system.

The changes in Bill 108 to the province’s planning legislation favouring developers remain very much on the books, as do more specific developer-friendly changes made to the province’s planning policies.

These moves have included unprecedented interventions in neighbourhood-specific plans, like the city of Toronto’s Midtown in Focus and TO Core initiatives, to systemically eliminate height limits on new developments and remove references to the nature of public spaces in these areas.

The dismantling of programs ranging from energy efficiency to the prevention of toxic pollution also continues apace.

The radical changes made to provincial and municipal institutions similarly persist. The Ontario Child Advocate and the Office of the Environmental Commissioner have been eliminated as independent entities. Toronto City Council stands at half of its pre-election size and the province’s moves to take control of the city’s subway system continue to advance.

No news on climate plan progress

Amid all of this, there has been one notable exception to the province’s policy inertia. Last December, the Ford government introduced a high-profile “made in Ontario” environment and climate plan.

But since then, there’s been little information about the plan’s climate change provisions, including a carbon trust fund and some form of carbon pricing for industry. This even as parts of the Muskoka River watershed and the Ottawa River valley disappeared under unprecedented spring floods and storms, and the premier himself acknowledged that climate change partly caused the disasters. MORE

Ontario PCs Brought Climate Action To ‘Wrenching Halt,’ Watchdog Says

WATCH: Investigative reporter talks about Bayer/Monsanto’s efforts to discredit her work

“I really was just doing my job as a journalist.”

Investigative reporter Carey Gillam sat down with nonprofit newsroom The Real News Network to discuss recent reporting on how Bayer/Monsanto attempted to discredit her reporting on the weedkiller glyphosate— the active ingredient in Roundup.

The interview comes on the heels of Gillam’s piece in The Guardian last week, I’m a journalist. Monsanto built a step-by-step strategy to destroy my reputation, that outlined how Monsanto had an action plan specifically to discredit her reporting and her award-winning book, Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science.

“This campaign by Monsanto against me has been going on for a long time … well more than a decade certainly,” Gillam says in the Real News Network interview.

“And I really was just doing my job as a journalist. I was reporting on the new scientific evidence that was coming out about different risks—cancer risks and other health risks—associated with Monsanto’s herbicides.” SOURCE


London climate change protesters daub Brazilian embassy blood red

“state-sanctioned human rights abuses and ecocide”

An activist splashes red paint over the embassy's facade during Extinction Rebellion climate change protest in front of Brazilian Embassy in
An activist splashes red paint over the embassy’s facade during Extinction Rebellion climate change protest in front of Brazilian Embassy in London

LONDON (Reuters) – Climate-change protesters threw red paint at the Brazilian embassy in London on Tuesday to demonstrate against damage to the Amazon rainforest and what they described as violence against indigenous tribes living there.

Police arrested six activists from the Extinction Rebellion group after they glued themselves to the embassy windows and climbed onto a glass awning above the entrance.

The protesters had splattered red paint and sprayed red handprints over the facade, along with slogans such as “No More Indigenous Blood” and “For The Wild”.

Extinction Rebellion, which disrupted traffic in central London for several weeks earlier this year, said Tuesday’s protest aimed to challenge the Brazilian government over “state-sanctioned human rights abuses and ecocide”.

Brazil contains about 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest, a bulwark against global warming thanks to the vast amounts of carbon dioxide it soaks up and recycles into oxygen.

Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who took office in January, has long been sceptical about environmental concerns. He argues that the Amazon is a resource that belongs to Brazil and should be economically developed. He also criticizes the existence of protected lands.

Critics say his rhetoric has emboldened loggers, ranchers and informal miners, resulting in a dramatic acceleration of deforestation and in violence against the rainforest’s indigenous inhabitants.

Last week, data from Brazil’s own space research agency showed that deforestation on Brazilian territory had jumped around 67 percent in the first seven months of the year. Bolsonaro has rejected the agency’s data and fired its chief. MORE


London climate change protesters daub Brazilian embassy blood red
Germany cuts $39.5 million in environmental funding to Brazil
Brazil tribal women protest President Jair Bolsonaro’s ‘genocidal policies’
‘Poop every other day’ to save Earth says Brazilian president as he destroys the Amazon