District Heating, Geoengineering & Carbon Offsets

On this week’s show we take a look at Yellowknife’s ambitious plans to heat their downtown core using geothermal energy tapped from a defunct gold mine. We explore geoengineering, the intentional large-scale manipulation of environmental processes. And we demystify the complexities of carbon offsets, explaining what you need to look for when making a purchase.

Download this week’s show.

Exhaust trail from a passenger jet. Photo by François Roche.

News Headlines

Alberta’s river water conservation plan
Vancouver Sun
Public Interest Alberta

Ontario orders environmental review of proposed mega mine
Toronto Star
CTV

Alberta’s new air quality index
Fort Saskatchewan Record
Environment Canada
Alberta Environment

Obama administration refuses to allow increased air quality standards
San Francisco Chronicle
New York Times

 

District Heating in Yellowknife

These days we hear a lot about our carbon footprints. The climate is warming, and if we don’t do something to reduce the amount of CO2 we’re releasing… well, it’s bad news. But that can be easier said than done. Especially here in Canada, where a lot of our emissions are from heating our homes and offices.

Well, Yellowknife has come up with a pretty innovative solution. City councilors have a plan to cut the greenhouse gas emissions of the entire community. They want to convert an old unused mine near town into a brand new source of geothermal power. And it’s got people talking. When you live as far north as they do, finding a cleaner way to heat your buildings can make a huge difference for the environment, and your pocket book.

Yellowknife Con Mine Energy Project

 

Carbon Offsets

Most of us think little of hopping on a plane and heading off for a quick break, especially when airfares are on sale. But air travel is one of the world’s fastest growing sources of carbon emissions. For those who are concerned about their personal impact on the planet, avoiding plane travel is a good start. But for those flights you insist on taking, offsetting the carbon emissions might help alleviate the damage. But the world of offsets is tricky – lots of companies, not much regulation. To help make sense of it all, we’ve sorted through the details so you don’t have to.

Guide to Purchasing Carbon Offsets by the Pembina Institute and the David Suzuki Foundation

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