Help end food waste

You’re eating local, organic, even growing your own food. Make sure you don’t end up throwing out the fruits and vegetables of your hard-earned labour!

Besides being a waste of money, time and energy, unused food that ends up in landfills is one of the main sources of greenhouse gases.

  • Worldwide, food is discarded in processing, transport, supermarkets and kitchens.
  • Many fruits and vegetables don’t even make it onto store shelves because they’re not pretty enough for picky consumers.
  • About 20 per cent of Canada’s methane emissions (a potent greenhouse gas) come from landfills.
  • When people toss food, all the resources to grow, ship and produce it get chucked, too, including massive volumes of water.

Most food waste won’t happen if people take the time to plan better and sharpen food storage skills.

Download our handy tip sheet to help you out:

DOWNLOAD FIVE WAYS TO END FOOD WASTE

An excellent overview from CBC:   WASTED: THE STORY OF FOOD WASTE

Ontario’s unbelievable ‘business case’ for nuclear refurbishment

Did you know: Ontario is moving forward with rebuilding 10 of our aging nuclear reactors at very high cost (16.5 cents/kWh) while Quebec is offering us renewable water power at less than one-third the cost (5 cents/kWh). Please sign the petition.

Residents around TMI exposed to far more radiation than officials claimed

Today is the 40th anniversary of the partial meltdown of reactor 2 at Three Mile Island  in Pennsylvania, USA. Despite the evidence in human blood, lived experience of the exposed, recognition of faulty monitors, and increases of cancers, the constant false narrative that TMI caused no harm remains.

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Five reasons why wind energy is Ontario’s best option for new electricity supply

There are five reasons why the Ontario government should turn to new wind energy to support affordability and lower future electricity bills.

Ontario’s new government is focused on finding efficiencies in the electricity sector that promote affordability and is also developing a new approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Here are five reasons why the province should turn to new wind energy to meet these goals.

  1. Wind energy is now the lowest-cost new electricity source.

Wind energy is the lowest-cost source of new electricity generation available to Ontario, other provinces, and globally. Alberta recently agreed to procure power from four wind generation projects at an average contract price of 3.7 cents per kilowatt hour – a price that is considerably below the cost of power generation in Ontario today. And, as other forms of energy increase in price, wind energy prices continue to fall. According to the Bloomberg New Energy Outlook 2017, the levelized cost of new electricity from onshore wind will drop 47 per cent by 2040.

Wind power has no fuel costs (the wind is free), and technological advances continue to increase capacity factors while lowering costs.

As for the misperception that wind energy has been a major contributor to Ontario electricity bills, see Wind energy and Ontario’s electricity prices – let’s destroy the myth.

  1. Wind energy provides significant economic benefits.

Ontario leads Canada in wind energy operations and wind energy supplies almost 8 per cent of the province’s electricity demand. The wind energy industry also provides many economic benefits to Ontario:

  1. Wind energy will be necessary if Ontario is to keep Ontario’s electricity supply reliable through the next decade.

Studies by Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator forecast a need for significant new electricity generation, especially from 2023 onwards, as the Pickering Nuclear station shuts down, other nuclear units are being refurbished, and generation contracts expire.

New wind energy would help keep Ontario’s electricity supply reliable, as well as more affordable. A study of Canada’s wind energy resources has shown that Canada can get more than one-third of its electricity from wind energy without compromising grid reliability. Other jurisdictions around the world are proving this – for example, Denmark now produces more than 44 per cent of its electricity from wind turbines on an annual basis, and in the U.S., four states now generate 30 per cent or more of their electricity using wind energy.

Wind energy is quick to construct, can be built to meet specific local needs, and can offer flexible power – especially when paired with energy storage, demand response programs, and/or other non-emitting and renewable energies such as hydro and solar.

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The bogus number at the center of the GOP’s Green New Deal attacks

Republicans’ estimates that the climate plan would cost $93 trillion are based on a think tank study that doesn’t endorse that total.

Mitch McConnell
Republicans have said that the Green New Deal would cost $93 trillion — more than enough money to “buy every American a Ferrari,” according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. | Somodevilla/Getty Images

Republicans claim the Green New Deal would cost $93 trillion — a number that would dwarf the economic output of every nation on Earth.

The figure is bogus. But that isn’t stopping the eye-popping total from turning up on the Senate floor, the Conservative Political Action Conference and even “Saturday Night Live” as the progressive Democrats’ sweeping-yet-vague vision statement amps up the political conversation around climate change.

The number originated with a report by a conservative think tank, American Action Forum, that made huge assumptions about how exactly Democrats would go about implementing their plan. But the $93 trillion figure does not appear anywhere in the think tank’s report — and AAF President Douglas Holtz-Eakin confessed he has no idea how much exactly the Green New Deal would cost.

The Green New Deal isn’t even a plan yet — at the moment it’s a non-binding resolution that calls for major action to stop greenhouse gas pollution while reducing income inequality and creating “millions of good, high-wage jobs.” But top Republicans have embraced the $93 trillion price tag, using it to argue that the climate plan would bankrupt the United States.

“Is it billions or trillions?” asked Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office. “Any precision past that is illusory.” MORE

America can afford a Green New Deal — here’s how

Green New Deal path
Shutterstock Rachael Warriner

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D.-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass) are calling for a “Green New Deal” (PDF) that would involve massive government spending to shift the U.S. economy away from its reliance on carbon.

As the author of the United Nations Environment Program’s Global Green New Deal — a plan to lift the world economy out of the 2008-2009 Great Recession — I disagree. I believe there are two straightforward ways to cover the cost and help accelerate the green revolution, while lowering the overall price tag.

As for paying for it, the first thing to bear in mind is that in my view a Green New Deal should be covered by current rather than future revenue.

So the United States would have to find new revenue sources to finance additional government support for clean energy research and development, greening infrastructure, smart transmission grids, public transport and other programs under any Green New Deal. Two of the main ways to do that would be by raising new revenues or finding savings elsewhere in the budget. MORE

How Clean Energy R&D Policy Can Help Meet Decarbonization Goals

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With roughly a decade left to avoid locking in dangerous climate change, swift action is required to identify where the greatest emissions are coming from and then rapidly decarbonize those sources. The most effective path to decarbonization is cutting fossil fuel consumption, but developing and urbanizing countries require new energy and efficiency technologies – making clean energy research and development (R&D) critical.

The good news is that advances in the last two decades have cut renewable energy costs, making new renewables cheaper than operating existing coal power in many parts of the world.

Consider solar photovoltaics, which date to the 1950s, but were too expensive to be used commercially for many years. In 1977, the price per watt of crystalline silicon solar cells was $76.67, but over time, R&D drove down prices, making more commercial applications for solar feasible.  This accelerated deployment, starting a feedback loop that further reduced prices. Solar cell prices per watt reached $0.26 in 2016, a decline of 99.6% in 39 years. MORE

The Tiny Swiss Company That Thinks It Can Help Stop Climate Change

Two European entrepreneurs think they can remove carbon from the air at prices cheap enough to matter.

Image result for The Tiny Swiss Company That Thinks It Can Help Stop Climate Change
Christoph Gebald, left, and Jan Wurzbacher, the founders of Climeworks, at their plant in Hinwil, Switzerland.Credit: Luca Locatelli for The New York Times

…The machines themselves require a significant amount of energy. They depend on electric fans to pull air into the ducts and over a special material, known as a sorbent, laced with granules that chemically bind with CO₂; periodic blasts of heat then release the captured gas from the sorbent, with customized software managing the whole catch-and-release cycle.

Climeworks had installed the machines on the roof of the power plant to tap into the plant’s low-carbon electricity and the heat from its incineration system. A few dozen yards away from the new installation sat an older stack of Climeworks machines, 18 in total, that had been whirring on the same rooftop for more than a year.

So far, these machines had captured about 1,000 metric tons (or about 1,100 short tons) of carbon dioxide from the air and fed it, by pipeline, to an enormous greenhouse nearby, where it was plumping up tomatoes, eggplants and mâche. During a tour of the greenhouse, Paul Ruser, the manager, suggested I taste the results. “Here, try one,” he said, handing me a crisp, ripe cucumber he plucked from a nearby vine. It was the finest direct-air-capture cucumber I’d ever had. MORE