It’s the ultimate green dream: some device or substance that can capture the sun’s infinite flood of energy, store that energy, release it as heat and electricity — in controlled fashion — then absorb it all over again in a continuous closed loop. A little organic molecule called norbornadiene promises to make dreams come true, in the crucial realm of home heating and cooling.
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Imagine an electric-powered fleet of Canada Post vehicles, along with vehicle charging stations at post offices. And postal banking, where loans could be secured for renewable energy installations and home energy retro-fits. Listen up.
A mild mid-March in Canada’s notoriously frigid prairie capital cannot be definitively pinned on global climate change. Still, for anyone willing to listen, read and watch, the writing is on the wall. Earth is warming — and fast.
Will global capitalism eventually wean itself off fossil fuels? Can wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable energy sources generate enough joules to drive permanent economic growth? Should carbon emissions be taxed?
Things constantly change. Everyone knows it. Steady, sometimes sudden change provides contour to individual human lives. Now, it seems humans have changed planet Earth like it’s never been changed before.
Like Earth’s climate, Manitoba Hydro’s office tower — in the city of Winnipeg — is an integrated system. As Earth’s climate warms, energy efficient buildings like this will be in demand.
In the rolling foothills of the Canadian Rockies, where cattle peacefully graze and ranchers retire to handsome chalets, a purple haze hovers. Fracking is being blamed not only for air pollution, but for a litany of health complaints.
Stuart Franklin is turning air miles into trees. Franklin — the founder of a carbon offsetting project in Ecuador — calculates how many seedlings he needs to plant to capture the carbon dioxide emitted by tourists jetting to the Galapagos Islands each year.
Once upon a time, the US was the world’s top emitter of carbon dioxide. The average American still emits more than the rest of us, but – sometime last year – China’s annual emissions surpassed the US’s. As the Chinese choke on fume-filled air, their leaders are turning to the wind.