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

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Airships Are Going to Redefine the Logistics Industry

Biodiversity crisis is about to put humanity at risk, UN scientists to warn

Apart from human overconsumption, agriculture, transportation, and energy production are the clear drivers that are leading to mass extinction and threatening human well-being.

‘We are in trouble if we don’t act,’ say experts, with up to 1m species at risk of annihilation


Students protest in Adelaide. UN experts warned people alive today are at risk unless urgent action is taken. Photograph: Kelly Barnes/EPA

The world’s leading scientists will warn the planet’s life-support systems are approaching a danger zone for humanity when they release the results of the most comprehensive study of life on Earth ever undertaken.

Up to 1m species are at risk of annihilation, many within decades, according to a leaked draft of the global assessment report, which has been compiled over three years by the UN’s leading research body on nature.

The 1,800-page study will show people living today, as well as wildlife and future generations, are at risk unless urgent action is taken to reverse the loss of plants, insects and other creatures on which humanity depends for foodpollination, clean water and a stable climate.

“We need to appeal not just to environment ministers, but to those in charge of agriculture, transport and energy because they are the ones responsible for the drivers of biodiversity loss.”

“There is no question we are losing biodiversity at a truly unsustainable rate that will affect human wellbeing both for current and future generations,” he said. “We are in trouble if we don’t act, but there are a range of actions that can be taken to protect nature and meet human goals for health and development.” MORE

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Why Don’t You Have an Electric Bike Already?

The Bloomfield Bicycle Company’s Guide to Cycling in the County maps several PEC road routes  for cyclists to enjoy. [See video below] Now ebikes are available from local vendors and offer an additional way to get around and enjoy our island treasure.  But as this article explains, using an ebike as your go-to mode of transportation also comes with a raft of health benefits.  They’re fun. Really fun. And they’re the most energy efficient mode of travel on the planet.

If you’re already making most of your daily trips by bike or on foot, you don’t need to read further. An electric bike is unlikely to improve your life. For everyone else, read on!

Would you like to be stronger and smarter? Would you like to be happier and healthier? Would you like to keep depression at bay without medication? Would you like to reduce your stress by 40% and sleep better? Would you like to do all this in everyday clothes, without sweating, and have fun while you’re at it?

It’s time to get an electric bike. It will change your life. Seriously. I’m not kidding.

The benefits to cycling are legion. If a pill or a gadget could make you happy, improve your immune function, make you less likely to take sick days, make you less likely to get depressed, cure your depression better than current medications, give you more energy throughout the day, help you sleep, improve your skin, promote your brain health, prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes, prevent dementia, reverse heart disease and diabetes, prevent multiple kinds of cancer, help you age well, and help you stay mobile and active until a few short years before your death, you would see people standing in line for days to purchase it. But the fact is exercise can accomplish all of the above for you. Indeed, 30 minutes of exercise a day is basically a wonder drug that is cheap, available to all, and has few side effects. Since you already have errands and commutes to do, walking or biking these trips is an easy way to ensure you get your vital 30 minutes a day. I’m a big fan of walking, but due to how our poorly US suburbs are designed (as opposed to The Ten Minute Neighborhood) most people can do few of their daily trips on foot. However, daily trips on an e-bike are very doable because e-bikes are just that great. Even better, they’re fun. Really fun. And they’re the most energy efficient mode of travel on the planet. MORE

Alberta commits $100M to 16 green transportation projects; Governments provide $90 million for Canadian Natural clean tech projects

Environment Minister Shannon Phillips announces $100 million to kick-start new green transportation projects. Edmonton Tuesday, March 12, 2019.
Environment Minister Shannon Phillips announces $100 million to kick-start new green transportation projects. Edmonton Tuesday, March 12, 2019.

Alberta is ponying up $100 million to kick-start new green transportation projects, including a truck that can drive long distances while delivering net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The truck project is being developed by the Alberta Motor Transport Association.

The province is funding 16 such projects that it says will create 114 new jobs while, in terms of GHG reductions, taking the equivalent of more than 530,000 cars off the road.

Another project will see the City of Edmonton test market a more cost-effective charging system to transition buses from diesel to electric.   SOURCE

Governments provide $90 million for Canadian Natural clean tech projects

CALGARY – The federal and Alberta governments are pledging almost $90 million to fund clean technology developments at major oilsands producer Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.

The commitments are expected to result in a total investment of $415 million in three projects.

Ottawa and Alberta are pledging almost $90 million to fund clean technology developments at Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Canada's largest producer of heavy oil. Murray Edwards, left, Executive Chairman, and Steve Laut, centre, President of Canadian Natural Resources, prepare to address the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Thursday, May 4, 2017.
Ottawa and Alberta are pledging almost $90 million to fund clean technology developments at Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Canada’s largest producer of heavy oil. Murray Edwards, left, Executive Chairman, and Steve Laut, centre, President of Canadian Natural Resources, prepare to address the company’s annual meeting in Calgary, Thursday, May 4, 2017.  (JEFF MCINTOSH / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

More than half of the federal commitment of $72.3 million, about $45 million, will go to Titanium Corp., a company working with Canadian Natural on a technology to recover valuable minerals and residual bitumen while remediating tailings at the Horizon oilsands mine in northern Alberta.

An additional $10 million has been committed by Emissions Reduction Alberta, the provincial body in charge of reinvesting carbon tax proceeds.

Canadian Natural is also to receive $5 million in federal funds and $5.6 million from the province for its in-pit extraction process which aims to separate bitumen from oilsands ore in the mine before transporting it to the processing centre, thus reducing transportation costs and emissions. MORE

Breakthrough Energy Ventures collaborates with Climeon to accelerate deployment of geothermal heat power

Image result for Breakthrough Energy Ventures collaborates with Climeon to accelerate deployment of geothermal heat power
Source: distribution.cision

Breakthrough Energy Ventures, an investor-led venture fund backed by some of the world’s top business executives, has invested in Baseload Capital, the private investment company which Climeon owns part of, to speed up the global deployment of low temperature geothermal heat power.

– Working together with Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Baseload Capital we can now take leaps, rather than steps, toward our vision of becoming the number one climate solver, says Thomas Öström, CEO of Climeon.

Breakthrough Energy Ventures is an investor-led fund created to accelerate the transition to clean energy. The team funds cutting-edge companies with the potential to eliminate a half gigaton of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per year and invests across five grand challenges: electricity, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing and buildings. These are the broad areas of activity that contribute most to GHG emissions. The Fund’s investment team has identified low temperature geothermal heat power as one of the most significant opportunities available to address GHG emissions in the production of electricity.

– Geothermal energy from low temperatures has the potential to transform the energy landscape. We believe that the combination of Baseload’s implementation expertise and Climeon’s Heat Power technology has the ability to unlock the large potential of low temperature geothermal resources and result in the deployment of significant quantities of renewable electricity, says Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures. MORE

‘Shocking’ failure to cut emissions from biggest-polluting sector in UK as others improve

Concerns lack of progress cutting greenhouse gases from cars will hamper future climate targets even as overall emissions fall

Transport is the sector responsible for most of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions
Transport is the sector responsible for most of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions ( Getty/iStock )

Zero progress has been made in reducing climate-harming emissions from the UK’s most polluting sector, according to new government figures.

In 2017 levels of greenhouse gases from cars and other forms of transport did not fall at all.

Campaigners accused the government of ignoring the “elephant in the room” and investing in new roads at the expense of the nation’s future climate targets.

With more and more electricity coming from renewable sources, transport is now firmly established as the biggest polluter, responsible for over a quarter of the UK’s emissions.

“We could be starting the kind of decline on transport emissions as we’ve done with power but instead both the government and the car industry are idling on the issue.”

Overall the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 42 per cent since 1990, with a 3 per cent drop between 2016 and 2017, the most recent period for which figures are available. However, while most sectors have seen considerable declines of up to two-thirds in the past three decades, transport pollution has fallen by just 2 per cent. MORE

Ikea deliveries now 100% electric in Shanghai

Ikea Shanghai photo

Well, that happened fast.

Not too long ago, Ikea promised 100% electric delivery fleets in key cities by 2020. Given the growing but still nascent state of electrified road freight transport, it felt like a pretty ambitious goal.

But in Shanghai, at least, they’ve beat it.

Now Eillie Anzilotti over at Fast Company reports that 100% of delivery within the inner city of Shanghai are now electric, thanks to a partnership with electric truck leasing company DST—which manages a fleet of 16,000 vehicles and the charging infrastructure to go with it.

Achieving a similar goal in cities like New York may be more challenging, however, as US charging infrastructure is streets (sorry!) behind what China has already put in place. That said, the project is moving forward here too—and Lloyd will be delighted to hear that the company is also exploring smaller vehicles like electric cargo bikes or utility trikes for those smaller deliveries that don’t need an entire truck to move them around.

As with many such goals, the benefits of Ikea hitting its target early in Shanghai are multiple. Not only will it mean an immediate reduction in emissions within that particular city—not just a growth of charging infrastructure and truck leasing options for others who want to go the same route—but it shows the world what is possible, and pushes other cities not to be left behind. MORE

Electric vehicle strategy sputters as provinces battle it out on green policies

A battery-powered Nissan Leaf sits on display in Victoria, B.C. on Nov. 20, 2018 as B.C. Premier John Horgan announces the province’s plan to introduce a zero-emission vehicle mandate. B.C. Government Photo

Talks between the federal and provincial governments appear to have sputtered on launching a national electric vehicle strategy.

A joint agreement addressing vehicle electrification is expected to be unveiled Monday when transport and highway safety ministers meet in Montreal for their annual meeting.

Transportation accounts for roughly a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, and the federal climate plan calls for expanding the number of zero-emission vehicles on the roads. Yet, while plug-in electric sales in 2018 more than doubled from 2017, they still only represent 2.2 per cent of all new cars sold.

Sources say Ottawa wants to put something aggressive on the table. That could take the form of an electric vehicle (EV) sales mandate requiring a percentage of sales to be vehicles that don’t emit carbon  pollution linked to climate change, or rebates that help lessen the burden of new EV costs for Canadians. MORE

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CITIES ARE TUCKING CLIMATE CHANGE FIXES

Image result for free transportation las vegas

Las Vegas is expanding its self-driving shuttle experiment

Cities across the US are rethinking their policies on homebuilding and transportation. Minneapolis lifted a longstanding, exclusionary ban on multifamily housing. San Francisco joined a few other cities in ending requirements that new developments have a minimum number of parking spaces.

Policymakers from big cities in Oregon and California have proposed statewide revisions to local zoning rules, making possible denser, multifamily homes and public transit. Communities like Austin and Berkeley, typically suspicious of new development, elected city council members with YIMBY-like platforms. (Citylab had a good roundup of the 2018 action.) And now the new governor of California, Gavin Newsom, has released a budget with a $1.3 billion goose to housing construction in cities.

This Uxbridge farmer is ditching diesel for a solar-powered tractor

Farmer Tony Neale sits atop his electric tractor, which he charges using solar panels installed on his farm near Uxbridge in 2018.Farmer Tony Neale sits atop his electric tractor, which he charges using solar panels installed on his farm near Uxbridge in 2018.  (MARCO CHOWN OVED / TORONTO STAR)

“It’s silent. There’s no exhaust. You can hear the birds and talk to people working in the fields. You can feel the wind on your face and smell the fresh country air.”

The tractors — which have the equivalent power of a 40 horsepower diesel engine — run for five to eight hours on a single charge and will eventually retail for around $40,000 (U.S.), which Neale says is a similar price tag to a new diesel tractor.

“But the operation is 10 times cheaper,” he said. “There are no fuel costs and little to no maintenance.” MORE