Airships to ferry goods to Northern Manitoba?

Innovation is going to result in profound changes in the new Green Economy. Airships, for example, could open up Canada’s vast northern territories, dramatically lowering the price of food, medicine, housing,  and essential supplies for development. Imagine a better future!

Airships Are Going to Redefine the Logistics Industry

Northern Manitoba chiefs are hoping an idea to help their communities avoid the high cost of fresh produce will get lift-off next month. Meagan Fiddler reports. 1:51

MKO Grand Chief David Harper said the goal is to make shipping cargo up north more cost-effective.

“There’s no reason that First Nations can’t operate these airships,” he said. “And there’s no reason they can’t build these airships.”

“Instead of sending six trucks up, you could be sending one of these, and your goods are delivered year round,” he said. Harper said climate change is making winter roads unreliable, sometimes open for just a couple of weeks. And he said a permanent road won’t be a reality for a long time.

Barry Prentice said Manitoba spends almost $5,000 per kilometer building some 2,200 kilometers of ice roads every year.

“So it’s about $10 million a year spent on ice roads,” he said. “And at the end of the year, it all melts away, and it’s gone. If we had 10 years of that money, we’d have a whole airship industry started.” MORE


Airships Are Going to Redefine the Logistics Industry

Self-healing concrete can be used anywhere, lasts longer, is a greener option

Is this a solution for Highway 49?

Created in B.C., self-healing concrete can be used anywhere, lasts longer, is a greener option

The future is coming, and it’s arriving at Chawathil: the First Nation will be the first place in Canada to have a self-healing road.

“Chawathil is a very interesting community, very forward-thinking and modern-thinking,” said Dr. Nemy Banthia, who’s the research chair and University of British Columbia (UBC) professor behind self-healing concrete. “They welcomed us to bring this new technology into their community.

“And it’s very impactful technology,” Banthia continued. The First Nation will be getting a “highly loaded parking lot and an approach road with lots and lots of traffic.” Between the parking lot and the road, Banthia says there will be several hundred square feet of the concrete installed in Chawathil.

The possibilities for this product are nearly endless.

Created in his IC-IMPACTS (India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability) lab, a federal research initiative based at UBC, Banthia says the self-healing road technology is a fibre-reinforced concrete that’s made through combining tire fibres, plant-based cellulose fibres, and a nano-coated manufactured fibre material: “It’s a hybrid system of (recycled and manufactured) products,” the professor explained. MORE

It’s time for nations to unite around an International Green New Deal

“The International Green New Deal changes the frame. Rather than pleading for restraint, it sets out a positive-sum vision of international investment, in which the gains from joining in outweigh those to going it alone.”

Several countries have proposed their own versions of a Green New Deal, but climate change knows no borders. We need a global response

Wind farm at sea<br>GettyImages-1133007846 Wind Farm
The stakes of the international Green New Deal are not merely environmental.’ Photograph: Craig Easton/Getty Images/Cultura RF

In times of crisis and catastrophe, children are often forced to grow up quickly. We are now witnessing this premature call to action on a planetary scale. As the adults in government accelerate their consumption of fossil fuels, children are leading the campaign against our species’ looming extinction. Our survival now depends on the prospects for a global movement to follow their lead and demand an International Green New Deal.

Several countries have proposed their own versions of a Green New Deal. Here in Europe, DiEM25 and our European Spring coalition are campaigning under the banner of a detailed Green New Deal agenda. In the UK, a new campaign is pushing similar legislation with MPs such as Caroline Lucas and Clive Lewis. And in the US, dogged activists in the Sunrise Movement are working with representatives such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to push their proposal to the front of the political agenda.

Unfortunately, climate change knows no borders. The US may be the second-largest polluter in the world, but it makes up less than 15% of global greenhouse emissions. Leading by example is simply not enough.

Instead, we need an International Green New Deal: a pragmatic plan to raise $8tn – 5% of global GDP – each year, coordinate its investment in the transition to renewable energy and commit to providing climate protections on the basis of countries’ needs, rather than their means.

Call it the Organization for Emergency Environmental Cooperation – the namesake of the original OEEC 75 years ago. While many US activists find inspiration in a “second world war-style mobilization”, the International Green New Deal is better modeled by the Marshall plan that followed it. With financial assistance from the US government, 16 countries formed the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC), dedicated to rebuilding the infrastructure of a devastated continent and coordinating its supply of energy.

But if the original OEEC entrenched an extractive capitalism at Europe’s core –protecting the steel and coal cartel – the new organization for an International Green New Deal can empower communities around the world in a single transformational project.

Confronting the climate crisis will require more than keeping fossil fuels in the ground.

The transnational scope of this mobilization is crucial for three main reasons. MORE


Economist Mariana Mazzucato explains how rethinking industrial policy could be key to tackling climate change.

Maple Leaf pivots to plant-based proteins with new U.S. factory

Indiana plant will double its production of pea and grain-based protein alternatives

Maple Leaf is investing heavily in plant-based products, including tempeh, franks and other meat alternatives.(Greenleaf)

MIssissauga, Ont-based Maple Leaf Foods is investing in meat alternatives, building the largest plant in North America for plant-based protein.

The $310-million US plant in Shelbyville, Indiana, about 50 km from Indianapolis, will more than double Maple Leaf’s capacity to produce plant-based protein products for the Canadian and U.S. markets.

Construction is expected to start in late spring this year, with production start-up expected in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Demand for meat alternatives growing

The company, once known mainly for its processed meats, estimates sales of plant-based protein in North America topped $1 billion in 2018. In a conference call with investors, CEO Michael McCain said he expects double-digit growth in the segment for the foreseeable future.

“North American consumers are seeking more protein and more protein choices in their diet,” he said. “Plant-based protein is on the cusp of becoming mainstream with incredible growth potential.” MORE

Food companies can make nutrition affordable to low-income consumers with a mix of tech and tradition

Image result for good food is good business

The future of affordable nutrition is the subject of a report released last week from the Institute for the Future and commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Good Food is Good Business” takes a look at forces that will drive opportunities to create more affordable, accessible, appealing and nutritious foods for lower-income consumers during the next decade.

The 59-page report focuses on national and regional food and beverage companies, multinational food and beverage companies, innovators and input suppliers to the industry. Technological approaches such as artificial intelligence and blockchain are addressed, along with biological ones such as cellular agriculture, the microbiome and cultural zones of innovation.

Low- and middle-income countries rarely show up on the radar of large multinational food companies, so innovation, R&D and business development aren’t often looking at affordable nutrition, the report says. “For those few companies who develop nutritious foods for low- and middle-income markets and survive, their impact remains limited and their scale small. Providing healthier, more nutritious and more affordable foods to lower-income consumers is therefore a grand challenge, shouldered mostly by food aid organizations along with some private-sector actors,” it states. MORE

Youth are preparing to lead in an uncertain future

Canadian students take to the streets in Toronto on March 15, 2019 as part of a global student strike to pressure governments to take serious action to address climate change. File photo by Carlos Osorio

The student climate strike on March 15 made it clear that young people have had enough. We are no longer waiting for others to secure our future. Students took to the streets on that day because we have big problems to solve and what we’re doing right now isn’t working. It’s time to be bold and innovative. It’s time to try something new.

By 2030, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says we need to be well on our way to a carbon neutral society. Meanwhile artificial intelligence systems, complex global trade networks, and automation are about to completely reshape how we work. The Institute for the Future, a non-profit educational organization, estimates that 85 per cent of the jobs today’s students will be doing in 2030 don’t exist yet. That means we have to solve long-term problems while navigating a fast-changing world.

Eighty-five per cent of the jobs today’s students will be doing in 2030 don’t exist yet. That means we have to solve long-term problems while navigating a fast-changing world.

Youth will bear the brunt of the impacts of these problems and youth will be the leaders who overcome them. Yet our biggest challenge is that we face issues like climate change, inequality, and disruptive new technologies all at once. This means that leaders need to reach across boundaries, understand issues from multiple perspectives, and radically collaborate. They need to be adaptable, knowledgeable, and connected. So equipping young people with the skills they need to lead and innovate is in everyone’s best interest. The Trudeau government’s most recent budget emphasizes the importance of skills development, while the OECD encourages all its members to develop national skills strategies.


Edmonton tech firm to turn windows into solar panels, gets financial boost to go commercial

Minister Deron Bilous learns about how one company is trying to turn windows into solar panels.

Minister Deron Bilous learns about how one company is trying to turn windows into solar panels. Sarah Kraus / Global News

A company operating out of the University of Alberta is one step closer to turning windows into transparent solar panels — thanks to a grant of carbon tax revenues. Applied Quantum Materials (AQM) has a clean energy innovation called luminescent solar concentrators.

CEO David Antoniuk explains what they do: “We can apply a coating to the glass and the glass can absorb energy and it can transform that energy to solar cells which are located on the edges of the window-frame.”

“What you have is simply glass that’s coated, it’s transparent and it generates electricity. So for a building, it could be a net zero building,” Antoniuk said.

“Because it absorbs the UV light, it acts as a filter. It reduces the heat load on a building, reducing the air conditioning costs as well.”

The company is working with All-Weather Windows to design and build the windows — and then in the future AQM is hopeful its partner, PCL Construction, will incorporate the technology into sustainable buildings. They hope to revolutionize the building industry and reduce the carbon footprint of infrastructure. MORE

These Islands Are Leading The Drive For Hydrogen Energy

Orkney – Island of the Future | Fully Charged JUN 4 2015 BYMARK KANE

Orkney is the only place in the United Kingdom that generates its entire power supply from clean energy and has become one the most promising sites for low-carbon energy research in the world. Made up of seventy islands of which less than a third are inhabited, the 22,000 Orcadians who call the island group home long had to rely on the Scottish mainland’s coal and gas power plants for its energy. In 1980, the UK government decided to invest in wind power, designating Orkney as the first place to trial the new alternate power source.

Today, Orkney is home to 700 micro wind turbines producing over 120% of their electrical needs, the archipelago has become a poster child for sustainable development

The excess energy produced has led to a debate on how to appropriately use it. Although a cable connects to the mainland, it was designed to import energy to the islands and lacks the capacity to export all of the extra electricity generated. Many Orcadians have already traded in their diesel or petrol powered cars for electric ones, and several discussions were had regarding laying down new cables to the mainland to inject Orkney’s energy into the Scottish grid. But then they had an idea: why not turn it into fuel?

The excess energy produced by Orkney’s wind turbines has provided engineers with a rare opportunity to create and store hydrogen fuel on a larger scale than previously done before. MORE


Orkney – Island of the Future | Fully Charged

Young scientists see bright future despite threats such as climate change

Moon tourism and automated farming are the next big things, according to survey

More than 450 students, out of 1,131 people exhibiting at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, participated in the Gengage survey. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
More than 450 students, out of 1,131 people exhibiting at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, participated in the Gengage survey. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Young scientists are an optimistic bunch, believing technology will transform people’s lives this century despite the threat of climate change.

The coming decades might not see hover cars, time travel or a real life Jurassic Park but moon tourism and automated farming is just around the corner, according to a survey of participants at this year’s BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE).

61 per cent think technology will be a force for good for future generations.  One in six think moon tourism will be mainstream by 2029. Despite the uptake of electric cars, 72 per cent of participants do not think hover cars will be mainstream in the next 10 years. Nearly three in four think fully automated farms are around the corner (74 per cent). Two-thirds (67 per cent) think virtual schools, with classes on live stream, will be the norm by 2029. MORE


10 new innovations that will shape a more sustainable future

The new technology that will make an impact in the next five years

Virtual reality experiences that encourage sustainable behaviour is just one of the innovations at the forefront of sustainability innovation.
Virtual reality experiences that encourage sustainable behaviour is just one of the innovations at the forefront of sustainability innovation.

From alternative energy sources to immersive artificial experiences designed to change behaviour, sustainable innovations aim to drastically reduce the effects of human life on planet Earth.

Renewable energy use needs to increase six times to achieve sustainability goals laid down by the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. Rapidly improving energy efficiency will contribute a percentage of the progress required.

But the importance of new technology and innovation has never been greater to limit the average global temperature rise to below 2°C from pre-industrial levels. Mubadala’s development company Masdar is central to many new developments and innovations in the UAE.

It has commissioned a report on the top 10 sustainable innovations likely to make the greatest impact over the next five years. MORE