Building bridges of trust to energy decision-making

Part 2 of a six-part series: Positive Energy is one of the key entities capable of constructively shaping the way Canadians understand and discuss energy issues

Building bridges of trust to energy decision-makingCanada's energy scene desperately needs a pracademy: a place where theory meets practice; where dialogue is robust and respectful; where ideas become reality and find purpose in everyday life. It’s a place where practitioners and academics put their heads together in a powerful ‘four-D’ combination of idea development, discussion, decisions and deployment. So what would an…

Wells-to-wheels meets farm-to-fork

A supercluster project is pairing the once-disparate oilsands and oilseeds industries. The benefits could impact all Canadians

Wells-to-wheels meets farm-to-forkCan two acronyms help position Canada as a global economic and environmental leader? Or, what do oilsands companies and oilseeds producers have in common? (Here's a hint: air, water and land.) Just ask SASC and CRIN. The first is the Smart Agri-Food Supercluster, the latter is the Clean Resource Innovation Network. One is obviously a product of…

Unplugged from the reality of our energy needs

The green movement’s fossil-fuel divestment crusade hurts the poor and middle class

Unplugged from the reality of our energy needsIf you ever wonder how academics and activists combine to end up utopian, anti-poor and anti-middle class all at once, look no further than calls for savings and pension divestment from Canadian oil and gas companies. One academic from Toronto’s Ryerson University wrote of how “we are facing an impending disaster” from fossil fuels. The professor had…

Get ready for a greener but poorer and slower economy

As the world’s fastest growing economies expand fossil fuels usage, carbon dioxide emissions, jobs and growth, Canada is going the opposite direction

Get ready for a greener but poorer and slower economyCanadians have generally accepted that carbon pricing is necessary to save the planet. But as taxes and consumer costs rise, promised green jobs fail to materialize and few others in the world seem serious about staying the course, it’s time for a rethink. Rising population and prosperity in the developing world will grow global demand…

The American dream is moving north to Canada

Great uncertainty faces Canada and the United States, but Canada seems better equipped to adapt and flourish

The American dream is moving north to CanadaSo how did you like last year? Did it advance your favourite causes? Did it fatten your assets? Did it leave you feeling like the world travelled a few metres forward on the roads that counted? Would it be enough if the 2017 trajectory simply continues for the next 12 months? Not from the perspective…

The most irrational, damaging or downright dumb beliefs of 2017

A look back at 2017 shows far too many instances in Canada where we got it all wrong

The most irrational, damaging or downright dumb beliefs of 2017For my first column of the New Year, I’ve dipped into my collection of irrational, damaging or downright dumb happenings in 2017. The year saw major breakthroughs in the use of genetically-modified human cells to treat diseases, including retinal dystrophy and blood cancer. Human genetic re-engineering is an emerging science but there has been little…

Changing behaviour is only one aim of carbon taxes

A carbon tax used to subsidize alternate energy sources will accelerate the transition away from fossil fuel dependence

Changing behaviour is only one aim of carbon taxesPricing carbon is about much more than getting people to drive less. It’s also about generating the money we need to accelerate the process of getting our economy off fossil fuels and onto renewables. If a nationwide price on carbon is going to be successful, getting this part right is crucial. Our whole economic system…

Malls a microcosm of our energy-consumption society

The typical Canadian mall is an example of the interplay of energy systems, carrying the weight of a functioning society with them

Malls a microcosm of our energy-consumption societyPick a mall in Anywhere, Canada, and visit on a Sunday afternoon. It’s as close to a first-hand view of Canadian life as you're likely to find, save a Tim Hortons drive-through or the local arena. On weekends, thousands of Canadians of all ages and walks of life converge on malls, to meet, eat, exercise and, of course,…

Should the energy sector trust Canadians?

Many Canadians are hypocrites: they want to have their energy cake and burn it, too

Should the energy sector trust Canadians?A prevailing question is bouncing around the country: Should Canadians trust the energy sector? It preoccupies a fair number of people, including academics and politicians. Many are intent on doing good by creating new ways of thinking through some of the country’s complex energy challenges. Creating trust is a cornerstone of this thinking. But trust must travel…

Injecting some Positive Energy in a divisive national debate

A three-year initiative assesses how Canadians think and talk about energy in all forms, bringing together disparate and typically unaligned voices

Injecting some Positive Energy in a divisive national debateMonica Gattinger, a University of Ottawa scholar, is doing more to do advance constructive energy conversations in Canada than just about anyone. She's the chair of Positive Energy, a three-year initiative to assess how Canadians think and talk about energy in all forms. Positive Energy is bringing together disparate and typically unaligned voices. Her goal is to reframe our…