Horizon scanning: Nine innovations set to shake-up sustainability in 2019

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Over the past 12 months, countless innovations which could help businesses and nations deliveron resource and carbon commitments have emerged. Here, edie rounds up nine key products and concepts that could transform sustainability in 2019. MORE

 

 

Your meals are speeding up climate change, but there’s a way to eat sustainably

5 tips for trimming your culinary carbon footprint that don’t involve going vegan

Your supper last night may have generated as many greenhouse gas emissions as driving to the next town in your car. At best, it was probably the equivalent of a couple of kilometres.

The good news is that it’s quite easy to eat more sustainably. Science shows there are lots of ways to reduce your dietary carbon footprint without going vegan — or even giving up any foods you enjoy.

Bonus: They’ll probably save you money, too. MORE

The importance of ‘edge populations’ to biodiversity

Protecting plants at the northern limit of their range may help species survive climate change

Warming chambers prove cool climates prevent yellow rattle from growing in alpine sites.Credit: Anna Hargreaves/McGill University

 

More than two-thirds of Canada’s biodiversity is made up of species that occur within the country’s borders only at the very northern edge of their range. Biologists have long debated how much effort should be dedicated to conserving these ‘edge populations.’ One argument in their favor is that they may be especially well suited to lead northward range shifts for their species as the climate warms. MORE

Here’s what’s on the radar for climate change in 2019

 

Blockchain is the technology the underpins digital currency and allows digital information to be distributed, but not copied. That means each individual piece of data can only have one owner.

2019 is looking like an exciting year for clean technology. Around the world, countries, cities and companies are embracing the shift toward sustainable energy — and figuring out how to turn a profit while doing it.

Look for announcements over the next year in the sectors of energy storage and microgrid systems that use artificial intelligence and blockchain. Conventional power stations are centralized and often require electric energy to be transmitted over long distances, to serve a large number of customers at once. Microgrid systems, on the other hand, are located much closer to the area they service, and can operate autonomously from the main power source.

Using smart technology, local demands can be customized, and grid disturbances like power outages can also be minimized. They can make a power grid greener, more cost efficient and more reliable. MORE

The Story of Sustainability in 2018: “We Have About 12 Years Left”

The big question now is whether businesses will push back and go down a cleaner path on their own. It’s easy to see why multinationals might as they face pressure from sub-national regions — California Gov. Jerry Brown held a Global Climate Action Summit which produced many aggressive climate goes from cities and state, for example.

Gov. Brown also signed aggressive new laws committing to carbon-free electricity statewide by 2045 and requiring solar on all new homes. So even if U.S. action sputters, governors and mayors who influence local and regional business conditions will be pushing the clean economy and pro-climate agendas. MORE

Arctic Drilling Is “Ecocide on an Incredible Diversity of Wildlife”

Pregnant female caribou from the Porcupine River Herd migrate over the frozen Coleen River on their way to calve in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Pregnant caribou from the Porcupine River Herd migrate over the frozen Coleen River on their way to calve in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.SUBHANKAR BANERJEE, 2002

“What side of history do you want to be on?” Indigenous Alaskan Tonya Garnett asked the Department of Interior officials seated at the dais. “What legacy do you want to leave behind for your children?”

Garnett had journeyed from her small Gwich’in community of Venetie, Alaska, to speak on behalf of her people. “Our way of life is at stake,” she explained. “We speak for our ancestors, and we speak for our children’s children. I want to see my son — my 9-year-old son — be able to get his first caribou. I want to see his sons or his daughters get theirs.” MORE

Oil and Gas Commission Confirms Fracking Caused Earthquakes Felt by Hundreds

Fort St. John tremors measured magnitude 3, 4 and 4.5, rattling residents.

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In an industry bulletin, the [BC energy] regulator also revealed that CNRL well operators expected that “induced seismicity was likely to occur, but events larger than magnitude 3 were not expected.”

Instead the company triggered events measuring magnitude 3.0, 4.0 and 4.5 on Nov. 29 that rattled homes and were felt by hundreds of citizens, as well as construction workers at the Site C dam site.

All hydraulic fracture operations within the lower Montney formation will remain suspended” at the CNRL well pad “pending the results of a detailed technical review,” said the bulletin.  MORE

 

Together, we are starting to build a Canada for the many.

He’s intentionally misleading voters about the drop in gas prices.

Doug Ford and his Conservative caucus have taken en-masse to Twitter to claim credit for lowering Ontario gas prices.

Their reasoning? Ending cap and trade lowered gas prices across the province. No other reason is cited for the change in price

Progressive ideas about inequality, the economy, and our planet which would have recently been dismissed out of hand are now part of the mainstream political discourse. The field is open, and we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape our future.

We created North99 to help ensure that our future is a progressive, forward-thinking one — not the one preferred by the likes of Ford and Scheer. Since its creation North99 just over 12 months ago, North99 has quickly grown to be the most engaged, and one of the largest, communities of progressive Canadians online. We have created a media ecosystem that reaches millions of Canadians with a progressive message, mobilized tens of thousands of Canadians to take action on key issues, and pressured government to enact progressive change. MORE

 

Agent of change: U of T moves forward with plan to be a sustainability leader

photo of people tending to a rooftop garden
A U of T presidential committee’s report on the environment, climate change and sustainability recommends, among other things, using the campus as a “living lab” for sustainability projects (photo by Nick Iwanyshyn)

The University of Toronto is moving forward with an ambitious plan to establish itself as an engine of sustainability in Canada and around the world.

In its most recent annual report, U of T’s President’s Advisory Committee on the Environment, Climate Change and Sustainability, or CECCS, laid out a comprehensive road map that incorporates sustainable ideas and practices – both environmental and social – into nearly every facet of campus life.

“Let’s turn the whole university campus into a sandbox for sustainability experimentation and testing.”

That includes building partnerships with the wider community on sustainability issues and using U of T building projects as “living labs” to try out new sustainable technologies and practices. MORE

B.C. creative sector points the way in sustainability, diversity

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Increasingly, the work uniting B.C.’s creative industries is a formalized pursuit of greater sustainability within the sector. My prediction for 2019 and beyond is that B.C.’s global reputation for creative expertise will be paralleled by a reputation for stewardship.

I believe our creative industries will lead the way across all the key pillars of sustainability – economic, environmental, social and policy. MORE

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