Atmosphere & Energy
Research is questioning the logic behind the federal government's move to streamline environmental assessments.
After tracking thousands of assessments over a decade, the peer-reviewed findings of Derrick de Kerckhove suggest a great majority of Fisheries Act environmental reviews over the last decade were completed well within recommended timelines.
Nor was there a bottleneck of projects being held up by a clogged review process, he said.
"We didn't find any. Even when the input was high, it seemed to be handled very well."
De Kerckhove, a University of Toronto PhD candidate, analyzed 10 years worth of data from Department of Fisheries and Oceans annual reports on the progress of environmental assessments triggered under the Fisheries Act. That legislation generates more such reviews than almost any other — anywhere from 7,700 to more than 12,000 in a single year.... Read more »
OTTAWA -- Sierra Club Canada is very encouraged the U.S. State Department’s conclusion that the United States does not require the Keystone XL Pipeline to meet its energy demands.
“This clears the way for President Obama to reject the Keystone pipeline. If Keystone isn't needed, why would President Obama approve it," said John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada. “This is clearly the most significant conclusion in the 2000 page report.”
Sierra Club Canada has concerns with some sections of the report, namely that the authors took a narrow view in their analysis of overall greenhouse gas implications associated with Tar Sands development.
Sierra Club Canada will continue its review of the State Department's draft environmental impact statement on the Keystone XL Pipeline and will use the 45 day comment period to respond to its shortcomings.... Read more »
Sierra Club executive director John Bennett does not believe the baby should be thrown out with the bath water.
He believes while Ontario's Green Energy Act may be imperfect, ground breaking legislation, it is still the centrepiece of Canada's response to climate change, the basic issue in the renewable energy debate.
At a Greater Napanee council meeting, Bennett was allowed to make his full presentation on the controversial topic in the Roblin community hall and there was an opportunity for questions and comment following the presentation.... Read more »
Climate change has arrived. Through erratic weather patterns, forest fires and glacier melt we are already experiencing the effects of climate change. Worse, the process of climate change, based on the levels of greenhouse gases we have already put in the atmosphere, is likely to increase the severity and frequency of severe weather events. If we allow levels of greenhouse gases to continue to rise, the disasters of today will be dwarfed by future catastrophic impacts.
Clearly, one of humanity’s principal challenges in this century will be to stop climate change. To do this, we must drastically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) – gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide that trap heat in the atmosphere, raising global temperature and thereby spurring climate change.
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See an electric vehicle next to you on the road and you might not distinguish it from any other gas guzzler confronting rush hour traffic. But drive one yourself...and you won't soon shake the experience.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are powered entirely by their onboard batteries and therefore have no tailpipe. No combustion engine vibrates under their hood and no gears need shifted, giving these machines an unrivalled smoothness. When faced with stop signs, red lights or drive-thrus, EVs don't expend their power idling - they are incapable of idling.
But for all their blessings, EVs have their drawbacks. Their batteries have limited range, they can't be fuelled at the pump and for the time being, they cost more than your average gasoline vehicle. However, professor of mechanical engineering at Dalhousie University, Lukas Swan, said these drawbacks are being left in the dust.... Read more »