Things Are Good: Using a Blockchain for a Smarter Energy Grid

Blockchain technology stems from Bitcoin and provides a platform for change greater than Bitcoin itself. Researchers in the renewable energy industry have realized that blockchains can be used to replace outdated billing and tracking. Presently when a company produces energy it requires verification form other companies and each step eats into profits – a more ...

Earthgauge News: Earthgauge News – Oct. 15, 2017

Edition #2 of the new podcast Earthgauge News for the week of Oct. 15, 2017. A weekly Canadian environmental news podcast featuring the top environmental stories from across Canada and around the world. Join us here every week or subscribe in iTunes or your favourite podcast catcher.

Earthgauge Radio: Earthgauge News

The inaugural edition of our new podcast Earthgauge News! A weekly Canadian environmental news podcast featuring the top environmental stories from across Canada for the week of Oct. 9, 2017. Join us here every week or subscribe in iTunes or your favourite podcast catcher.

Things Are Good: Living Off the Grid in a Major City

Most people think living off the grid means living the countryside with your own well, reenable energy, and food source. The truth is that style of off the grid requires massive space to work (for example, a well needs a large area to collect water from), so that rural off the grid doesn’t work for ...

Things Are Good: International Leaders of Geothermal Energy Agree to Work Together

Geothermal energy is very simple in principal: drill a hole into the hot earth and use the naturally occurring heat to get turbines spinning. In practice it can be very hard. To bridge the practical difficulties getting geothermal around the world running leaders behind the technology are gathered in Florence to discuss ways to accelerate ...

Things Are Good: Improved Air Conditioner Beams Heat Into Space

Air conditioner suck up a lot of energy in hotter months by dumping heat from inside buildings to the outside, ironically heating up neighbouring locations. A Stanford research team developed a more efficient cooling system for AC by pre-cooling water that circulates through the machine. It cools water during the night by essentially beaming the ...

Things Are Good: Wind Power: One of the Cheapest Sources of Energy

Sustainable and renewable energy sources continue to get more cost effective when compared to fossil fuel based energy. This is fantastic since the economics of scale are really kicking into effect around solar and wind technology. Thanks to better and more production wind turbines have become more effective and energy grids have gotten more capable ...

Things Are Good: How One Hawaiian Mayor is Making His Town Better

Hawaii is a beautiful part of the world and like most gorgeous parts pf this planet it’s feeling the pressures of climate change. Despite the American government’s blatant rejection of science and sense in environmental policy one Hawaiian mayor, Bernard Carvalho, is bringing his community into the 21st century. Indeed, when the American government pulled ...

Things Are Good: Alberta’s Carbon Tax Brings Cash to Great Programs

The Canadian province of Alberta is best known for the tar sands and the damage extraction of the bitumen has done to the planet. The province is now aware that their extraction economy won’t last forever because it isn’t renewable, so they have started to implement policies to make their province more efficient. One recent ...

Things Are Good: A Solar Solution on Indian Railways

The largest railway system in the world runs in India and it consumes a lot of energy to run it. Back when oil was more expensive they started looking into way to lower their fuel bill from using biofuel to solar. Today, they are running one solution that will save money in the first year ...

Things Are Good: Tonawanda Provides a Template for Transitioning a Town’s Economy from Coal

Globally, coal is on the way out and in America small towns are suffering because coal demand is dropping. The predictable plight of coal-backed small towns in the USA has some politicians trying to bailout the coal industry in order to protect jobs, which is obviously the wrong approach. Instead, what those backwards-looking politicians should ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Fiscal situation of Canada’s ‘oil rich’ provinces

I’ve just written a blog post about the fiscal situation of Canada’s ‘oil rich’ provinces (i.e., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador). It consists of a summary of key points raised at a PEF-sponsored panel at this year’s Annual Conference of the Canadian Economics Association. Points raised in the blog post include the following: -The ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Kinder Morgan’s IPO: Risk > Reward

Thursday, June 1, 2017 Kinder Morgan’s risky Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion just got a whole lot riskier, just as the company was taking steps to offload some of that risk onto Canadian investors. That is why this week, we released a new legal brief outlining the legal risk for the project. read more

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ontario’s Electricity Sector III: Legislative & Finance Update

My January and March posts on the Ontario electricity sector described how decisions by different Ontario governments gave rise to excess electricity generation with an inflated cost structure, leading to higher electricity prices. Here I discuss the latest development, the Liberal Government of Ontario’s proposed financial framework for its “Fair Hydro Plan” (FHP). In election ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Why the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act is worth celebrating

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 On May 12, 2017, the federal government introduced Bill C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, for first reading in Parliament. You could say that the Act has been almost half a century in the making. So, is it a win? Keeping in mind the old adage, “don’t let the perfect be ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: United we beat Enbridge: Celebrating the defeat of Northern Gateway with the people of Haida Gwaii

Monday, April 10, 2017 West Coast Environmental Law was happy to accept an invitation to attend a celebration in Gaaw (Old Massett) on March 25, co-hosted by Haida Gwaii CoAST and the Council of the Haida Nation, to mark the defeat of the Enbridge Northern Gateway project. Staff Counsel Gavin Smith and Eugene Kung recount ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ontario’s Electricity Sector II: Political Economy Update

This is a third guest post by Edgardo Sepulveda, who is a Toronto-based expert in telecommunications and regulatory economics.  Twitter: @E_R_Sepulveda   By Edgardo Sepulveda In my previous post of January 29 I described how decisions by different Ontario governments gave rise to excess electricity generation with an inflated cost structure, leading to higher electricity ...

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2017 Links

The latest on the NDP’s leadership campaign. – Karl Nerenberg sees the youth debate in Montreal as having shown more differences in style than substance, while Christo Aivalis identifies some more clear distinctions. And James Munson examines the candidates’ positions on economic development, innovation and the social safety net. – The Tyee interviews Charlie Angus ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Wresting authority from the regulators: The proper role of the National Energy Board in environmental assessments

Friday, March 31, 2017 It is not every day that we have an opportunity to effect transformative legal change. It is natural, then, that when last summer a number of cabinet ministers announced the review of four key federal environmental laws, West Coast Environmental Law – along with other lawyers, academics, environmental groups, Indigenous peoples ...

Things Are Good: Renewables Had a Record Year in 2016

Renewable energy production is growing more every year and 2016 was no exception to that growth. In 2016 capacity of renewables increased by 8.7% and for the first time solar growth outpaced wind energy. Unsurprisingly the majority of the growth occurred in Asia seeing 58% of global growth happening in that one continent. Africa saw ...

The Canadian Progressive: What will it take to get Canada’s Arctic off diesel?

The planned Innavik Hydro Electric Project will provide clean energy and propel the indigenous Inukjuak community in Northern Quebec off its dependency on dirty diesel energy. But the project faces serious challenges, including lack of adequate funding, and mega hydro projects’ disastrous legacy of wiping out thousands of caribou and flooding large swaths of land. ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: A Kinder Morgan snapshot

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 It’s been a while since we’ve updated you about Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker expansion project (KMX). A lot has happened in the past few months, so here’s a snapshot of where we’re at. It’s been a while since we’ve updated you about Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and ...

Things Are Good: More Americans Working in Solar Than in Coal

The coal industry is failing and sustainable alternatives are on the rise. No matter what politicians do to try and “save” coal it’s clear that the dirty source of electricity is on its way out. A recent report revealed that in the USA more people are employed by the solar industry than in the coal ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Will the Pacific north coast oil tanker ban hold water? A review of Canada’s proposed new legislation

Tuesday, January 31, 2017 On November 29, 2016, the federal government announced that it will introduce legislation in spring 2017 to entrench an oil tanker ban on the north coast of British Columbia, and it provided preliminary details on the content of the legislation. In our new publication, West Coast addresses the federal government’s proposal ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Will the Pacific north coast oil tanker ban hold water? A review of Canada’s proposed new legislation

Tuesday, January 31, 2017 On November 29, 2016, the federal government announced that it will introduce legislation in spring 2017 to entrench an oil tanker ban on the north coast of British Columbia, and it provided preliminary details on the content of the legislation. In our new publication, West Coast addresses the federal government’s proposal ...