Environment and Energy 2017-05-31T20:09:57+00:00

environment & energy

World Government Summit

February 12th, 2017|Tags: |

This February 2017, Thomas Homer-Dixon spoke at the World Government Summit on "Climate Change and Food Supply."

Consider the Global Impacts of Oil Pipelines

August 6th, 2014|Tags: |

As scientists spanning diverse disciplines, we urge North American leaders to take a step back: no new oil-sands projects should move forward unless developments are consistent with national and international commitments to reducing carbon pollution.

See Past the Fracking Hype

December 20th, 2013|Tags: |

For years, NASA has produced a composite photograph of North America at night. Recently something strange has appeared in this image. Another patch of light—larger than Chicago’s—now glows in a sparsely populated region just south of the Canada-US border near Saskatchewan.

EIA Bakken Shale Oil Production Statistics

December 3rd, 2013|

In a recent optimistic analysis, the US Energy Information Administration says drillers are learning how to put holes in the ground faster and release more oil from each hole; rig productivity in the Bakken field has quadrupled since 2007. But a close look at the data suggests that the EIA exaggerates the trend.

No Trains, No Keystone XL?

July 11th, 2013|Tags: |

On hearing of the catastrophe in Lac-Mégantic, our first thoughts were with the city’s residents who had lost loved ones, friends, homes, and businesses. The accident was one of those jaw-dropping events that we all have trouble fully comprehending.

Our Peak Oil Premium

February 1st, 2012|Tags: |

Humankind will have to invest staggering resources to find and produce new oil if global output is to grow steadily. We’re likely much closer to the tipping point than optimists think

Tipping Toward Sustainability: Emerging Pathways of Transformation

October 6th, 2011|Tags: |

This article explores the links between agency, institutions, and innovation in navigating shifts and largescale transformations toward global sustainability. Our central question is whether social and technical innovations can reverse the trends that are challenging critical thresholds and creating tipping points in the earth system, and if not, what conditions are necessary to escape the current lock-in.

Our Fukushima Moment

March 18th, 2011|Tags: |

A quarter of a century after we first heard it, the word “Chernobyl” stands in our minds for technological calamity borne of incompetence. Environmentalists used the label to deliver a near-fatal blow to the nuclear power industry. What will Fukushima mean to us in 2036, and how will we have used the label to change our world?

The Enticements of Green Carrots

August 9th, 2009|Tags: |

We Canadians like to think we are green, but when it comes to protecting the environment, we are among the world’s worst actors. Whether the metric is carbon output per capita, toxic waste emissions or protection of endangered species, Canada regularly ranks near the bottom of the list of similarly wealthy countries. If our economy’s incentives start pulling in the same direction as our ethical impulses, Canadians can do better. At present, they are pulling in opposite directions.

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