The true cost of unreliable renewable energy

Longer days are coming! Cheaper solar power, not so much

The true cost of unreliable renewable energyWe are constantly being told that wind and solar power are really cheaper than fossil-fuel power if you tot up the true costs of using each type. These arguments have always been dubious on their merits, if not outright disingenuous. Yes, the wind is free and the sunshine is free, but nothing about capturing either…

Oil investment decline is leading to an energy crisis

The current European/Asian energy crisis is a preview of what we can all expect in the years ahead

Oil investment decline is leading to an energy crisisIndustry and environmentalists are on a clash course. The 23rd World Petroleum Congress in Houston last week was enough to highlight the emerging trends, complexities and challenges faced by the oil and gas industry. The message from the industry was clear – a global oil scarcity is on the horizon. Underinvestment since oil prices began…

Pipelines are safe and green despite Suzuki’s extremist rhetoric

Comment the mark of an extremist with little interest in human safety

Pipelines are safe and green despite Suzuki’s extremist rhetoricIn mid-November, prominent environmental activist David Suzuki made some remarks that any impartial observer would consider radical. This was during an event hosted by an organization that is not known for its measured responses: Extinction Rebellion. Suzuki’s message was clear: “there are going to be pipelines blown up if our leaders don’t pay attention to…

U.S. tries to force a drop in world oil prices

U.S. "commitment" to tackle climate change crumbles in the face of climate poverty

U.S. tries to force a drop in world oil pricesWith the possibility of co-ordinated moves by major crude-oil consuming nations, the markets took a hit last week. On Friday, oil prices were down four to six per cent. Strong demand growth and a tight leash on global supplies have driven the oil markets in recent months. New COVID-19 lockdowns in parts of the world…

Achieving net-zero will take decades to accomplish

The world is learning the hard way that the global economy still relies on fossil fuels

Achieving net-zero will take decades to accomplishWith the UN-sponsored Climate Change Conference (COP26) climate talks in Glasgow over, it is important to review some of the agreements and implications that have resulted from this process and assess the impact on Canada’s energy resources sector. Putting the rhetoric in context One can take seriously the undeniable threat posed by climate change while…

Let’s be smarter on carbon capture. We won’t get to net-zero without it

There is a real opportunity to reduce GHG emissions through decarbonization

Let’s be smarter on carbon capture. We won’t get to net-zero without itCOP26 in Glasgow is likely to call for even more ambitious GHG emission reduction targets than the ones that have been consistently missed by virtually all countries. Canada’s existing target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 is daunting enough as is. Strangely, much of the focus of carbon policy has been on reducing the amount…

The 26th Blah Blah Blah Festival (aka COP26)

Those who care about the climate act; those who care about blah blah blah will all be in Glasgow

The 26th Blah Blah Blah Festival (aka COP26)The Cop26 climate summit starts in Glasgow, UK, on October 31, and countries must deliver tougher pledges to cut emissions to keep the goal of 1.5C within reach. According to the UN, carbon emissions will rise by 16 per cent by 2030, rather than fall by half as governments previously agreed to in Paris at…

We need a Plan B to deal with climate change

Adapting to a changing climate is the only feasible option

We need a Plan B to deal with climate changeDrawing heavily from physicist Steven Koonin’s recent book – Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters – my last column looked at some of the challenges involved in getting to global carbon-free by mid-century. Koonin actually calls it “a practical impossibility.” Now let’s talk about contingency planning. If carbon…

The road to a carbon-free future will be rougher than we thought

If aspirations and reality collide, always bet on reality

The road to a carbon-free future will be rougher than we thoughtIf you’ve been following international news lately, you’ll have noticed a new development. Europe and Asia are suddenly worried about energy. With winter coming, costs are soaring and there’s even concern about shortages that might trigger industrial shutdowns and endanger people’s ability to heat their homes. From an object of loathing and scorn, fossil fuels…

What happens to climate talks in the face of rising oil prices?

Decision to open the taps and let the markets surge comes just before UN Climate Change Conference

What happens to climate talks in the face of rising oil prices?Rapid moves with long-term ramifications are being made on the global energy chessboard. Early last week, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies in OPEC+ opted to stick to their original plan and gradually open the crude oil taps. After their Oct. 4 ministerial meeting, OPEC+ said it had “reconfirmed the production adjustment…
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