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Archive for the ‘SUSTAINABILITY’ Category

BioMass: Waste Not – Want Not

19/06/2011 Leave a comment

Biomass feedstock silos at Nanticoke GSOntario is well ontrack to be one of the first industrialized jurisdictions in the world to eliminate coal-fired electrical generation. The original plan was for Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to transition to a lower carbon future by phasing out the use of coal at its four remaining coal-fuelled stations by the end of 2014, but things are proceeding ahead of schedule already! This possibility is due to wide a variety of contributing factors, with one of the most compelling ones being a clear option to convert these plants to burning BioWaste – if indeed the cost of natural gas proves to be too volatile or costly by comparison.

Of course, there’s a whole range of other considerations to factor into this decision, and alot of due-diligence still to be performed. But the considerable economic and ecological benefits to converting bio mass and waste into usable fuel has everyone at OPG considering the very real possibilities of a BioWaste fueled future.

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Conservation: A Promissory Note?

04/04/2011 Leave a comment

So…After having to endure so much more global ennui this past month, EnviroNauts are going to try and take a more local approach to plotting-out sustainable Futures for ourselves…

Earth Hour 2011
Earth Hour 2011

March 26th saw Earth Hour come and go here in Toronto, and astoundingly for a city so bent on demonstrating its political correctness,  the initial visibility enjoyed by this annual event is showing signs of flickering right out.

What started as an easy way to for armchair environmentalists and idealists of all types to make a token, yet satisfyingly visible gesture about kicking their energy habits (even just for an hour) has now seemingly fallen right off the radar for most people…at least for this year anyhow. See pics below;

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The End is Nigh…

16/02/2011 2 comments

Recent pronouncements by such self-imagined luminaries as George Lucas have certainly stolen abit of Mayan thunder from the ancient Gods with their psuedo-prophetic pronouncements that the Winter Solstice of 2012 would be the last one that we’d ever get to enjoy…Before the world (as we know it) begins it’s inexorable slide back non-human nothingness. Yet despite the scoffs and jeers of many jaded media consumers, who easily brush off such well-promoted mania as just so much movie-making pre-publicity, it’s alot harder to ignore the reality of things when notable scholars and men of social convictions such as Noam Chomsky start to mark out the signs of an early exit from this great big theater that we all know and love as our Modern Human Condition.

Unfortunately Chomsky doesn’t have anywhere near the same reach that Lucas does – at least not where it comes to promoting himself via the publicity machines that propel so much of the entertainment world to greater heights and lows. So everyone is left to collectively  seek out such wisdom independently, and share the results from a more grassroots level for observing and reacting to any sudden sea-changes.

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So…Who’s to Blame for Higher Energy Costs

10/02/2011 2 comments

Someday people will look back and wonder what could have possibly been the causes for such unprecedented increases in electrical costs on the average Ontarian – all without there being any truly impressive expansions in infrastructure or generating capacity to show for it all. The groundswell of grumblings from ratepayers has already become loud and clear as people are starting to demand reasons for our seemingly hyper-inflationary energy market. At the very least, are expecting some clarified views of any long-term benefits that might come from this short term pain. Otherwise, this information vacuum could really start to seriously damage our social structure and erode our trust in elected officials to not simply hoodwink an entire energy market with shallow short-term promises, and gouging new long-term rates.

Astoundingly, the Government continues falling well short of the mark in their communications efforts, seemingly without any thought for the political consequences.

Unfortunately this superficial approach leaves the electorate to slowly succumb to all sorts of nagging doubts. The most obvious one being that these mounting energy costs could have somehow been better managed by indentured public servants who remain immune to the negative and corrective effects of a truly free-market system. Or that bloated bureaucratic and political posturing has likely also created added costs that have simply been passed down onto the backs of ratepayers.

You can share your own thoughts, and add some new answers in in a quick survey below…Or just consider what others have been thinking and saying to date.

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LEEDing up to a Green Building Bubble

17/11/2010 Leave a comment

 

LEED Housing BubbleIt’s no secret that an enormous amount of energy has been getting wasted for decades on grossly inefficient building designs, and their heating cooling systems in residential homes, but most especially so in commercial buildings. Yet both politicians and the mainstream media have been eager to promote the many new standards and initiatives that have sprung up to change this historical trend in these times of energy austerity, and ecological awareness. So it’s been unsettling to many of the professionals within the many related fields that seek to build more efficient structures to hear growing rumors that LEED building registrations were down this year. yet today those rumors have been substantiated, and the other shoe has dropped…

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Last Call for Carbon Credits

16/11/2010 Leave a comment

Carbon Cap and Trade SchemeIt would seem that the ‘commodification of carbon’ is now well and truly in its final throes, and that the remediation efforts against of Climate Change will need to seek out a better method of self-correcting via the various (Consumer?) Markets. The death knell for carbon trading in North America is the significant, yet curiously under-publicized news that The Chicago Climate Exchange (Inc.) will close down its cap-and-trade market by the end of the year, as announced by spokeswoman Brook McLaughlin via CNN.

What’s curious is that hardly anybody else, out there in the more Mainstream Media, is so much as batting an eye – let alone packaging this news (and it’s deeper implications) for easy public consumption.  It seems that this letdown in the domestic trading of carbon credits is primarily due to political and public opinion shifts in the U.S. resulting in the failures of last years disappointingly de-clawed U.S. Clean Air Act.

The decision also coincided with a significant Republican victory and the loss of Democratic Control in the US House of Representatives. However, if you look abit deeper, we can all see that the Carbon Cap and Trade concept was indeed flawed at a much deeper level…and that this failure might also betray some underlying motivations for this financial scheme to begin with!

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A Green God Complex?

09/11/2010 Leave a comment

God is Dead - Michaelangelo Meets NietzscheFranklin D. Roosevelt once said that “rules are not necessarily sacred, but good principles are.” Unfortunately, there there seems to be a scarcity of good sacred principals available to sustaining Society through difficult times nowadays, which might explain a rise in Fundamentalism (radical or otherwise) as we search for any unassailable principals to rally around as a Society .

What we see instead, is that our greatest temples are built to represent the power of money and commerce, and the graven images of celebrities that we’ve idolized now seem to hold the place of of demi-gods in many people’s lives. Popular as they may be, these cultural icons make rather poor pillars build the Future upon, no matter how well they might reflect our dreams and aspirations today.

When looking for leadership from the more obvious sources, it almost seems strangely naive to suggest that we simply rely on politicians to step up with clear plans. Much less for the ruling Corporate Elite to offer the leadership required to build a sustainable future for Humanity. So where are our guiding principals coming from in cynically post-modern age?

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