Canada is about to turn 150. Imagine that! I am old enough to remember the excitement and anticipation of Canada’s 100th birthday. Bobby Gimby, the Pied Piper of Canada, penned the wonderful anthem for our 100th birthday “Canada“. They designed an amazing symbolic maple leaf as a logo that taught me more about geometry than […]
I always look at MIT’s stuff whenever the world gets me down and I feel like giving up. There is so much innovation and enthusiasm there that my hope gets restored. Thanks MIT! New green energy course inspires high school seniors from across the country.
About 60 paddlers and environmentalists got together yesterday to see renowned paddler, raconteur, and author Max Finkelstein speak about his latest adventure paddling the Big Muddy (Mississippi) with the American adventurers that rowed across the Atlantic.
Max was at his casual best, evoking
Are you an avid or wanna be paddler? Join Max, a world renowned paddler, at a Rideau Roundtable event on Sunday, January 25th at Ben Franklin Place in Nepean’s Centrepoint where he presents his experiences on the Big Muddy (the Mississippi) following paths taken by traders centuries ago. Local Leader: Max Finkelstein, canoeist, author, river […]
Letter from Elizabeth May in response to Democracy Watch letter on Strengthening Parliamentary Institutions
Here is an e-mail I sent to the “ask-us” link from the JD Power web site about their survey methodology for “New-Home Builder’s Customer Satisfaction Survey”. I haven’t heard anything back from JDPA, but I will update this post if I do. Be careful how you interpret the results of this survey as it is […]
I am always amazed at how imaginative people can be. The TED.com blog is full of stories and videos of interesting people with amazing things to say; and so are universities. You will find a number of entries on my blog site that are based on something amazing that has been developed for the third […]
I have thought a lot about the vocabulary we use when we speak about issues. Much of the language we use comes to us courtesy of Economists. We speak of consumers or clients rather than citizens. We speak of economic debt and deficit to the exclusion of the discussion of social, cultural, environmental or infrastructure […]
TED talk on effects of wealth on personality This excellent TED talk describes how wealth can change the way we look at the world. The first few minutes are devoted to the type of tests that the researchers used to tease out the differences in perception between rich and poor but the real meat was […]
Have you ever heard of the concept of an “Earthship“? I was introduced to the concept by my brother-in-law about 14 years ago and was blown away. What is an Earthship then? In a nutshell, an Earthship is an Eco-friendly home, made predominantly from recycled materials, designed to be as close to “off-grid” as possible.
The concept of Earthships arose in the halcyon flower-power days of the 1970s in various states in the southern USA. The concept seems to have developed by Michael Reynolds, an architect from New Mexico. As you can see in the linked Wikipedia article, his idea was not without problems, but it was, none-the-less revolutionary. Michael has a website where he educates about, demonstrates and promotes the Earthship technology. The site has designs for a number of systems that an Earthship needs if it is to meet code (see figure 2, below). Continue reading “What the heck is an Earthship? … maybe an idea whose time has come!”
If you feel that your privacy has been, or is being, violated by someone or some organization, you can file a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner for Canada. If your complaint is with a federal government department or agency, you can file the complaint under the Privacy Act. If it with the private sector, you have to file the complaint under PIPEDA (the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act).
If, for example, you are concerned that Bell Canada (and now Virgin Mobile) are going to be collecting massive amounts of information about your surfing habits, your television habits, your calling habits or your texting habits, you may wish to make a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Continue reading “How to submit a privacy complaint with the Privacy Commissioner”
One of my colleagues at work sent me this list of ten interesting environmentally-related web-pages. He recommended them to me and suggested I take a look at them. You may wish to take a look at them too. Thanks Phil!
Marine Conservation Institute is a leader in the global movement to protect and recover the integrity of vast ocean areas.
We use the latest science to identify important marine ecosystems around the world, and then advocate for their protection, for us and future generations.
For 50 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature.
The world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. WWF’s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature Continue reading “Some links to interesting environmental sites”
One of my colleagues showed me this site today and it looks really good. This is a link to their blog page. This group has some pretty high priced help on their roster. From Harrison Ford to Hillary Clinton, they seem to have the bases covered. One of the environmental movement needs more of is […]
It may be an advertising pitch, but there is some truth to it. The Rainforest Alliance has put together a cute pitch that TED.COM has nominated as one of the 10 best ads of the year. The ad shows you what you don’t want to do to be green, and then goes on to show […]
I often hear pundits decrying the aggressiveness of drivers. It is hard to disagree with the premise that aggressive driving is bad, but the picture isn’t as simple as the pundits would have you believe.
For one thing, not all aggressive driving is “actively aggressive”. The pundits rarely discuss the passively aggressive drivers, like the folks that drive in passing lanes. They also often fail to look for root causes for the driving aggression.
I have been thinking about this issue for a long time and think I have a few suggestions on how to reduce aggressive driving. My suggestions are in the form of tips and I have organized these suggestions around four possibly overlapping groups of people … 1) the aggressive drivers themselves, 2) traffic planners, 3) other drivers and 4) law makers. There probably isn’t much new here, and I hope it doesn’t appear to be condescending, but aggressive driving is an issue that has been bugging me for years so I wanted to add my two cents to the conversation. Continue reading “Aggressive Driving – Some observations from the peanut gallery”
This video is all about empowerment. It is all about acting on our commitments…to the environment, to social justice, to each other. It is about supporting our government’s initiatives for becoming a “World Class Regulator“. As with other “stuff” video, this one makes its point in the same clear logical fashion, taking us from being […]
Scientific American Article about the Dangers Associated With CF Light Bulbs As a follow-on to my earlier article about various technologies for lighting your home, I wanted to post this link. As the date for conversion of all light bulbs from incandescent looms near there is a lot more is being said about the safety […]
You may think it a bit of a stretch to link exercise to the environment, but I think it is pretty appropriate. What got me thinking about it was an article on CBC.ca that pointed to the following YouTube video. I hope that after watching the video you agree with me. The video is by Toronto’s Dr. […]
Back in 2009, my family bought a 2010 model year Honda Civic Hybrid. The chart in the dealership, which was produced by an independent tester, gave the Civic a rating of 60 miles per imperial gallon (mpg) in the city and 66 mpg on the highway. A review of the Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) website […]
Sometimes being environmentally friendly means using new technologies like solar and wind power, but sometimes it is simply about doing what we have always done, but doing it in a smarter way. URISA, an association of GIS professionals, has an annual competition for students in the GIS field to produce papers and posters on using GIS to […]
I spent 6 months living in Kathmandu back in the 90s. It was commonplace for the power to go off each evening for 2 or more hours and to cope with the outages everyone had battery backups and gas-powered generators.
But over here in Canada we have never needed battery backups or generators to keep things running. The electrical system is far more reliable here than it was in Nepal in the 90s. That being said, we do still get the occasional power outages but for the most part they are little more than an inconvenience. The same cannot be said for solar thermal systems when the power goes out. Continue reading “Solar Thermal – What to do when the power goes out!”
Given the interest in solid waste policy in the City of Ottawa at the moment, now might be a great time for you to brush up on some recycling facts. CBC has a page and a video with some interesting information that might inform and entertain you. Forever Plastic: Basic Tip for Recycling Plastic – […]
Want an interesting way to explain to kids how consumer demand is created? Want to get some interesting facts about bottled water? What to know what cap-and-trade really means and whether it is a good thing or not? Want to know what all our electronic toys cost the planet? Why not mosey over to the […]
In another piece from MIT press, here is a story about how some MIT undergrads brought alternate energy education to schools in Ghana. Now if we could only get the education here in Canada… Undergrads bring energy education to Ghana.