Biggest” vs. “Best” (Part I)

ReNew Canada bills itself as the country’s “Infrastructure Magazine.” That’s not braggadocio.  No matter what aspect of infrastructure you’re involved in—finance, research, engineering, policy, construction, whatever—the magazine is a virtual “must-have.”  The January-February issue has just hit the newstand, and it features a special supplement on the 100 biggest infrastructure projects in Canada. ReNew’s “Top 100” adds

Read More

Having Our Cake and Eating it Too: The Environment, the Economy and Market-based Instruments

I sometimes find myself getting weary of ideologues on environmental issues. One argument I find particularly tiresome is the insistence that there are significant tradeoffs when it comes to the economy and the environment. The conclusion of these extreme viewpoints is that we can be prosperous polluters or penniless hippies. Apparently, there is no middle

Read More

Innovation by Accident

Last year my little commuter car suffered more than its fair share of scrapes and scratches. It started with some fancy BMW almost side-swiping me.  A few weeks later a Nissan finished the job in beijing.  For reasons unknown, a Mustang became infatuated with my car’s rear bumper, and then my car got smoked—twice—while it sat

Read More

Social license to build and operate: The missing part of the energy debate in Canada

As the debate about an energy strategy for Canada has unfolded, several core themes have emerged. Carbon pricing needs to be pursued if we ever hope to deal with climate change. Regulatory efficiency is critical to energy development. Energy efficiency and conservation is important for reducing both economic and environmental costs. In 2009, the Energy Framework

Read More

Canadian energy strategy key to Alberta’s future: Redford

Originally published in the Edmonton Journal EDMONTON – Politicians, industry and environmental groups across Canada are bracing for a lengthy battle to define how governments will balance competing demands to exploit national energy resources and protect the environment. Premier Alison Redford has launched an ambitious bid to secure a pan-Canadian energy strategy, which she will

Read More

“Big-scale” Problem Meets “Small-scale” Solution (Part II)

Every now and then I’m asked—in public, mind you—for a little “crystal-balling.” What’s going to happen with this issue?  Who’s going to win that campaign?  What’ll happen here?  How’s it going to shake out there?  If there’s one Q&A or media query that I hate, it’s being asked to make “the prediction.”  I’m not very

Read More