Understanding our Personal Greenhouse Gases

Here are some basic facts about energy and energy usage on a personal level as applied here in Ontario. Definitions: watt (W): Energy per second (“power”) used by an electrical device. kilowatt (kW): 1000 watts. To get the total energy used, multiply by the number of hours the device is on. kilowatt-hour (kWh): Energy use … Read more

Exploiting the Arctic

Over many of the last decades, Norway’s wealth grew significantly, thanks to state revenues flowing from North Sea Oil.    During this period Norway was a benefactor to third world countries, assisting them to adopt measures to limit climate change and its impacts. A recent article in the Manchester Guardian commented on the ambivalence of … Read more

The freedom to hop on a plane

Transportation is one of the largest contributors to GHG emissions, ranking second after the generation of electricity. Airlines are projected to account for about 2 percent of global emissions — about the same as Germany. Yet the global air transport industry, airlines and manufacturers, is free from any laws that would limit emissions or penalize … Read more

A letter that should be published!

Our colleague, Michael Brothers, wrote this letter commenting on Alberta’s climate change policies to a Toronto newspaper.  It hasn’t been published. Given the importance of the issues raised the letter should be in the public domain.  Please circulate as widely as possible. Dear Sir, I am, I must admit, a numbers person.  If I am advised … Read more

Air Transport GHG Emissions

Barbara Falby, a member of the 4RG Steering Committee, attended a panel discussion sponsored by the TransformTO initiative on Transportation and Climate Change.  In the question period that followed she inquired why the panel had not referred to aviation CO2 emissions. The response:  previous research showed that aviation emissions were too low to be of … Read more

Academic Report on the tar sands

  Three years ago, the Harper Government requested the Council of Canadian Academies to assess how technology could reduce the environmental impact of oil-sands production, projected to more than double by 2030. A Council Panel very recently released its report. It concluded that fossil fuel companies working the tar sands needed to take urgent action … Read more