Ten charts show how the world is progressing on clean energy

Combined world map and bar chart showing The installed capacity of wind power at the end of 2017, in gigawatts (GW). Source: Drax 2018.

Rapid progress towards clean energy is needed to meet the global ambition to limit warming to no more than 1.5C above pre-industrial temperatures.

But how are countries doing so far? In our Energy Revolution Global Outlook report, written with colleagues at Imperial College London and E4tech – and published by Drax– we rank progress in 25 major world economies. MORE

Ellen Page takes aim at Alton’s controversial underground gas storage plan

Ellen Page takes aim at Alton Gas project

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HALIFAX – Actor Ellen Page is once again harnessing her massive online following to advocate for environmental issues in her home province: this time, publicly opposing a controversial project that would eventually see natural gas stored in huge underground caverns north of Halifax.

Alton Natural Gas LP intends to use water from the Shubenacadie River to flush out underground salt deposits to create the caverns east of Alton, N.S., then pump the leftover brine solution into the river. The planned has raised the ire of Indigenous protesters who have set up a permanent protest camp near the waterway.

Members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation in nearby Indian Brook argue that the project will damage the 73-kilometre tidal river, which runs through the middle of mainland Nova Scotia. MORE

The Optimistic Activists for a Green New Deal: Inside the Youth-Led Singing Sunrise Movement

Sunrise, founded a year and a half ago by a dozen or so twentysomethings, has established itself as the dominant influence on the environmental policy of the Democrat’s young, progressive wing.

n a Sunday in mid-December, some eight hundred young people filled the pews and the aisles of Luther Place Memorial Church in Washington, D.C. They had trickled in from all over the country, in vans and buses, carrying backpacks and sleeping bags, some of them college students and others still in high school.

They belonged to an environmental movement called Sunrise, and they had come to the capital to pressure their congressional representatives on the issue of climate change. The next day would be one of visits and protests, where the young people planned to lobby the incoming Democratic majority to begin work on a Green New Deal.

The plan they hope to see adopted—to make the United States economy carbon neutral—would be nothing less than a total overhaul of our national infrastructure. MORE

Photograph by Michael Brochstein / SOPA / Getty

Space tech that feeds high-end diners in Toronto could help Canada’s North

Lush, leafy greens could be locally grown with innovative vertical farming system


A look inside We the Roots vertical farm in Toronto. Wired with LED lights, the hydroponic facility can grow up to 20,000 leafy green plants at a time. ( Yan Jun Li/CBC)

Technology being used to stock high-end Toronto restaurants with designer leafy greens could provide Northern Canadians with locally grown produce.

That’s the view of academic experts and entrepreneurs involved with a high-tech vertical garden housed in an east-end Toronto warehouse.

“We’re going to grow food using light recipes to make economic food, to make food cost-effective” says Amin Jadavji, “and I think that’s the North story”. MORE

Drawing a line in the oilsands

Why the leaders of First Nations that have been on the front lines opposing oilsands expansion now support a project to develop the industry’s biggest mine in their own backyard

Search “Chief Allan Adam” online and photos pop up of the Indigenous leader with celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Jane Fonda and Daryl Hannah. When Hollywood stars travel to northern Alberta to voice their disgust with the oilsands, the chief of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) is usually their tour guide.

Adam and his people are based in Fort Chipewyan, an isolated community that is a 40-minute flight north of Fort McMurray, Alta., and downstream from the region’s massive oilsands developments. MORE

 

 

Political stumbles, savvy activists knock Canada’s oil sector to its knees

WINNIPEG, Manitoba/VANCOUVER (Reuters) – A decade ago, Canada’s oil sector was growing so fast it was predicted to become a global energy superpower, but a series of political missteps and formidable environmental activism has created a dysfunctional system requiring OPEC-style government intervention to move its oil to market.

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 Greenpeace protestors (C) occupy an oil storage tank at Kinder Morgan Energy’s pipeline terminus in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, October 16, 2013. REUTERS/Andy Clark/File Photo

…But Ottawa has failed under two governments to effectively counter the strategy of environmental activists to attack the oil sector’s heart by choking its arteries – pipelines. Roughly 35 million barrels, twice the normal amount, of Western Canadian crude used to produce diesel, gasoline and jet fuel is stuck in storage. MORE

Melting Arctic ice is now pouring 14,000 tons of water per second into the ocean, scientists find

A new survey finds that the region has contributed almost an inch to rising seas since 1971


A melting iceberg floats along a fjord leading away from the edge of the Greenland ice sheet near Nuuk, Greenland, in 2011. (Brennan Linsley/AP)

new scientific survey has found that the glaciers of the Arctic are the world’s biggest contributors to rising seas, shedding ice at an accelerating rate that now adds well over a millimeter to the level of the ocean every year.

That is considerably more ice melt than Antarctica is contributing, even though the Antarctic contains far more ice. Still, driven by glacier clusters in Alaska, Canada and Russia and the vast ice sheet of Greenland, the fast-warming Arctic is outstripping the entire ice continent to the south — for now.

However, the biggest problem is that both ice regions appear to be accelerating their losses simultaneously — suggesting that we could be in for an even faster rate of sea-level rise in future decades. Seas are rising by about three millimeters each year, according to NASA. That’s mainly driven by the Arctic contribution, the Antarctic and a third major factor — that ocean water naturally expands as it warms. MORE

Electoral Reform Didn’t Fly. Here’s Another Way to Fix Our Democracy

Greens and NDP need to merge, and we need to do more to stop the election spending race.

John Horgan and Andrew Weaver handshake
Greens and New Democrats are going steady under Premier John Horgan and Green leader Andrew Weaver. If they want to win under first-past-the-post, they need to tie the knot. Photo from John Horgan, Facebook.

The voters have spoken. We can now leave proportional representation in the hands of countries like Sweden and New Zealand.

“Under FPTP, parties build their coalitions before the election. Under PR, they build their coalitions after the election.”

But the basic problem with first-past-the-post remains: against a fragmented opposition, even a party supported by a minority of voters can enjoy a landslide victory. And if that minority has rich supporters, it can stay in power a long, long time. MORE

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