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

Energy Strategy and Emission Targets

Past performance suggests that Canada’s progress towards GHG emissions targets will significantly depend on provincial efforts.  The Quebec Government has been the catalyst for discussion by Provincial Premiers (in their capacity as Council of the Federation).   The Premiers are scheduled to meet at Quebec City in April to decide what further efforts should be taken. Leaving the decision … Read more

Toronto goes to the polls

Two of the three mayoralty candidates in this Toronto civic election had green credentials:  Olivia Chow, who was endorsed by Elizabeth May, and John Tory, who has been active in local environmental projects.  Both these candidates included environmental planks in their election platform directed at climate change.. Just before voting day, both the Toronto Star … Read more

Big Deal!

The Federal Conservatives are stepping up the rhetoric.   When the Federal Government gives some of taxpayers’ money to a worthy-project, why that is something to be “Celebrated”!   So says the headline of a recent Press Release from the Federal Government:  “MP Albrecht Celebrates Clean Technology Milestone in Guelph.

What encouraged all this ballyhoo? Well, Harold Albrecht, Member of Parliament for Kitchener–Conestoga (Ontario), participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the first of several homes to be built as part of Canada’s largest net-zero low-rise residential demonstration project.

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Climate Change Policies “down under”

So – has Australia progressed in reducing GHG emissions to meet its 2020 targets?  And, if not, what steps will it take to do so? Australia is the source for about 1.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.  On a per capita basis these emissions are nearly twice the OECD average and more than four times … Read more

A Divide between Continents!

A recent public opinion survey of Canadian and American citizens confirms that, despite the warnings of science, climate change is not a major concern to a majority in both countries. The surveys confirm that a majority agree that global temperatures have increased, but a substantial number in both countries question the extent of human contribution to this increase.

Contrast those conclusions with a recent survey of citizens of the European Union.   According to a special Eurobarometer opinion poll on climate change published recently, nine in ten Europeans consider climate change a serious problem. A large majority – 69% – believe it a ‘very serious’ problem and 21% a ‘fairly serious’ problem. Only 9% do not consider it a serious problem.

Apart from the survey, many Canadians think that measures to reduce climate change will negatively impact the economy.  Attitudes in Europe are very different. Four out of five people in the European Union recognise that fighting climate change and using energy more efficiently can boost the economy and employment. European citizens also overwhelmingly support renewable energy.

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