Author Archive

Extreme weather: Canadians better get used to it

Globe and Mail: Floods (again) in southern Manitoba. Ferocious forest fires (again) in the Northwest Territories. Memories still fresh from last year’s terrible floods in Calgary. Summer in Canada. Canada’s climate is changing, and with that change goes more extreme weather conditions. We are not immune from global warming caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions; we just have to adapt differently from other places. Weather is, of course, day-to-day, month-to-month stuff. Climate change is certainly not responsible...

Obama’s climate talk may galvanize action in Canada

Globe and Mail: Consternation is the order of the day in Ottawa and Alberta. U.S. President Barack Obama has rediscovered climate change as a priority. The federal and Alberta governments have been caught flat-footed. Neither has assigned a high priority to climate change. They assumed that, since the issue was scarcely raised in the U.S. election campaign, Mr. Obama shared their lack of enthusiasm. Wrong. In his inaugural speech and the State of the Union address, Mr. Obama spent many paragraphs pledging...

Canada, of all places, should understand climate change

Globe and Mail: The United States is experiencing the hottest year on record. Most of the country's warmest years have come in the past decade. Worldwide, the 13 warmest years on record (record keeping began in the 1880s) have come in the past 15 years. And so on, year after year. Weather changes yearly do equate to a changed climate, but when a pattern takes hold over a sustained period of time, as it has, then something is happening. And that something is of course climate change, which among other effects...

Canada: There is a way to clean up ‘dirty’ oil’s problems

Globe and Mail: Canada's bitumen resources have a problem, and neither the companies that wish to exploit bitumen or the governments trying to help them seem to understand it. Bitumen, from which oil is produced, takes more energy per barrel to get at than conventional oil pumped from the ground. Because it needs more energy, bitumen-derived oil produces more greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming than conventional oil. That gap -- between bitumen-derived and conventional oil -- is the problem...