Sunday, March 17, 2019

Sustainability in the City and Beyond Conference by Loyola College for Diversity & Sustainability

This conference will take place on March 19-21, 2019 in Montreal and it will cover research being done on sustainability in general and urban sustainability in particular at Concordia University and beyond. Presented by the Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability and the Loyola Sustainability Research Centre this year's edition of the annual Sustainability Across Disciplines conference has an urban theme and a new partnership with the Institute for Urban Futures.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Unprecedented Global School Strikes for Climate Action

On Friday March 15th millions of students in 2,000 cities around the world came together to peacefully demand climate action. Young people in at least 123 countries protested the inaction of government officials and called for immediate climate action. The students are asking governments to declare a climate emergency, and they also want to see more education about climate change and the environmental crisis. The movement know as "Fridays for Future" was launched by Greta Thunberg. Although her efforts have been rewarded with a Nobel Peace Prize nomination she remains focused on the only metric that matters, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Greta's Strikes for Climate Action and Her Game-Changing Global Movement

Greta Thunberg is the 16 year old Swedish environmental activist behind the climate strikes that are sweeping the globe. Last year Greta decided to protest the governments inaction on climate change by sitting on the steps of the Parliament building in Stockholm. What started in Sweden soon spread throughout Scandinavia, then to Europe, Britain and Australia. Now it seems as though the whole world is taking part including countries like China, Tanzania, Vanuatu, Cuba, and Pakistan.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Trump's Proposed Buget Cuts Once Again Target Climate Science and Environmental Programs

Trump has been at war with science and climate action from the beginning of his mandate. In addition to cuts to education and medicare Trump's proposed 2020 budget slashes funding to climate science and environmental programs.

Trump has made similar budget proposals in 2017 and 2018. The 2020 budget proposal includes cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of the Interior, NASA, and NOAA. This is but the latest installment of the Trump administration ongoing war with science.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Trump's Swamp is Full of Fossil Fuel Advocates

The Trump administration is awash with fossil fuel lobbyists and advocates. Republicans are the minions of the oil industry and Trump's swamp is full of it's supporters. This administration is rife with industry influence from the initial beachhead team to cabinet secretaries. The Trump transition team was chalked full of operatives tied to climate denying Koch Industries. Some of these people came from the Institute for Energy Research, which wrote Trump's insane energy policy. Other early members of the Trump administration are Mark Maddox, a coal company lobbyist and Kerrie Carr, who worked for the coal industry.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Trump Shares Russia's Fossil Fuel Agenda

The Trump administration is a champion of fossil fuels.  They have killed 40 regulations and expanded extraction including offshore drilling in the Arctic.  They have begun drilling on public lands putting 42 national monuments at risk. To add insult to injury this is an administration that opposes efficiency.

With support from fossil fuel lobby organizations like, API, Count on Coal, the National Mining Association, the Western Energy Alliance, and the National Petroleum Council in the Department of Energy, the administration has dismantled progress made on energy during the Obama administration.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Virtual Conferences Offer Global Reach with Smaller Footprints

There is a new way of conferencing that connects participants from all around the world without the massive environmental impacts commonly associated with such events. When academics fly to international conferences, they burn up to a ton of carbon each, significantly increasing their personal greenhouse-gas footprint. This is particularly inappropriate in the context of sustainability focused conferences.

Technological solutions have been around for years and now YouTube is live streaming events. Other existent and emerging internet communication technologies are making promising conference formats possible. Besides reducing emissions, these technologies allow smart conference organizers to reduce costs for participants -- especially those from non-rich countries who would not otherwise have been able to participate. The international conference of the future will be truly global, with a bigger and more diverse program, higher cultural diversity, and much lower emissions.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Transition Away from Fossil Fuels Towards Renewables is Already Underway

Several indicators suggest that renewable energy is gradually replacing fossil fuels. Coal use is down, renewable energy is growing and we are seeing increased fossil fuel divestment.

Even some oil companies see the writing on the wall. In 2017, Royal Dutch Shell, the world’s second largest publicly-traded oil company, announced plans to increase its investment in renewable energy to $1 billion a year by the end of the decade. Ben van Beurden, the company's CEO supports a carbon tax and he indicated that he is concerned about the loss of public support if progress is not made in the transition to cleaner energy.

Friday, March 8, 2019

27 Inspirational and Motivational Posts Commemorating International Women's Day

Women are the Key to a More Sustainable Future

The importance of women to the future of our species goes way beyond their procreative power. Female leadership is better leadership and this augurs a better world.

Women's Day is an opportunity to advocate for true equality and to share the evidence revealing why women are the more sustainable sex. Empowering them is good for people, the planet and profits. If we want to move forward we need to unambiguously assign blame. Women's rights are human rights and men that deny these rights need to be called out.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

National Petroleum Council Influences the US Government from the Inside

The National Petroleum Council (NPC) may be part of the US government but it is anything but non-partisan. They are a group composed largely of fossil fuel advocates who have openly professed an anti-science pro-dirty energy agenda.

There are a lot of fossil fuel front groups that influence government from the outside but the NPC is a federally chartered and privately funded advisory committee established in 1946.  As explained on their website: "The purpose of the NPC is solely to represent the views of the oil and natural gas industries in advising, informing, and making recommendations to the Secretary of Energy with respect to any matter relating to oil and natural gas, or to the oil and gas industries submitted to it or approved by the Secretary."

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Fossil fuel Industry Owns the University of Calgary

While the fossil fuel industry clearly has a hold on American universities Canada is not much better. It was not that long ago that Stephen Harper's conservative government pulled the country out of the Kyoto Protocol, cut research funding and silenced scientists. Although they were replaced by Justin Trudeau's Liberals in 2015, they have continued to push for expanded fossil fuel exports. In Alberta the newly elected NDP aggressively support their oil industry.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The Tar Sands are a Threat to Biodiversity

Tar sands not only increase climate change causing greenhouse gas emissions, they destroy habitats and contaminate air, soil and water. Tailing ponds at tar sands extraction sites have been growing in Alberta for decades and they keep getting bigger. There are now more than a trillion litres of tailings in artificial ponds covering cover 230 km² or 88 square miles. By 2030 there will be a trillion and half.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Event - BC Power Symposium

The 13th annual BC Power Symposium will take place on March 19th 2019 in Vancouver, Canada This conference will focus on the the growing demand for clean power. demands in the province. Participants will have the opportunity to network with the greatest minds in the power sector to develop your clean energy strategy.
The Canadian Institute will combine insights on further developments to Site C dam in addition to exploring newer clean energy methods, keeping in line with the Federal and Provincial commitments to generating clean energy.

British Columbia is rapidly progressing towards generating and sustaining clean energy. The 2018 conference explored a myriad of views of the developments and consequences of the Site C dam. Community views, stakeholder insights and regulatory perspectives provided a holistic overview to impacts and outcomes.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

The Energy Paradox: Environmental Defence on Canada's Escalating Oil Subsidies

Both Canada and the province of Alberta want to have it both ways. They want to be climate leaders and major oil and gas exporters.  The Canadian federal government and the provincial government in Alberta provide massive subsidies to the oil and gas industries in the form of tax breaks, fiscal support and direct grants.  Canada is the largest provider of government support for oil and gas production per unit of GDP in the G7.

After decreasing federal payments to Big Oil by $150 million in 2017 Justin Trudeau's Liberal government appears to have changed direction in 2018. Last May the Canadian government announced it was going to buy Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion. Last December the Liberals announced that they were giving oil and gas companies $1.65 billion in new grants, loans and financial supports. This is in addition to Export Development Canada, the country’s export credit agency, that provides, on average, $10 billion in government-backed support for oil and gas companies every year.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Ivy League Science Awash with Oil: How the Fossil Fuel Industry Controls Academia

As explored in a 2017 article by Benjamin Franta and Geoffrey Supran the fossil fuel industry's invisible colonization of academia is a threat to climate action. They point to devious techniques employed by oil companies to use academia to influence people's reality. They further say this is part of a "systemic pattern".

One year ago, the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center hosted a film screening of the "Rational Middle Energy Series." The university promoted the event as "Finding Energy’s Rational Middle" and described the film’s motivation as "a need and desire for a balanced discussion about today’s energy issues."