Clean Energy Beginning To Tip The Scales in Canada

Clean Energy Jobs Now Exceed Oilsands Jobs In Canada: Report

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WINDMILL WORKER
Which industry employs more Canadians? The oilsands or clean energy?

Guess again.

Employment in Canada’s clean energy sector has jumped 37 per cent in the past five years, says a new report from the think tank Clean Energy Canada, and now exceeds employment in the oilsands.

There were 23,700 people directly employed by the clean energy industry in 2013, compared to 22,340 jobs in the oilsands, the report found. Those green jobs include people employed in clean power production, energy efficiency, biofuels and manufacturing of green energy technologies.

Those job gains were the result of about $25 billion in new investment over the past five years, the report said. It singled out Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia as the three provinces leading the way in clean energy investment.

The report said that the federal government has helped lay the groundwork for green energy, “but has done very little to build on it.”

The Canadian Press reports:

OTTAWA – Canadian investments in clean energy totalled $6.5 billion last year, a 45 per cent increase from 2012, according to a new study released Tuesday.

More than half the Canadian investment — $3.6 billion — went into wind power, with another $2.5 billion invested in the solar sector, says Clean Energy Canada, an advocacy and research organization.

The investment spike moved Canada up to seventh place among the Group of 20 industrialized nations, from 12th spot a year earlier.

“We hear a lot of talk about pipelines and the oil and gas sector,” Merran Smith, the director of Clean Energy Canada, said in an interview.

“What we don’t hear is that Canada’s actually gone from a boutique clean energy industry to really big business.”

Over the past five years, $24 billion has been invested in clean energy, and the sector now accounts for almost 24,000 direct jobs, a total that includes manufacturing but not construction employment.

The report comes as Canadian officials begin two weeks of meetings in Lima, Peru, on the United Nations framework convention on climate change.

Greenhouse gas emissions are rising again in Canada, according to Environment Canada projections, and the country will not come close to meeting its 2020 international target for curbing emissions under the 2009 Copenhagen accord. The talks in Lima are part of negotiations for a post-2020 international agreement that is supposed to be completed next December.

The UN talks were given a jolt of adrenalin last month when the United States and China, the world’s two biggest emitters, announced a bilateral deal to curb emissions through 2030.

Both the Chinese and U.S. governments are investing heavily in renewables.

“There’s a clean energy transition underway globally already, and they’re backing their clean energy industries,” said Smith.

What makes the Canadian investment story more compelling is that it’s happening without much federal government interest.

Private sector financiers — many from abroad — and provincial governments are driving the investment boom.

Of the top five financiers of clean energy in Canada over the past five years, investing $3.44 billion among them, two are Japanese, two are German and just one is Canadian, says the study.

Clean Energy Canada would like to see a federal industrial policy, based on tax and research incentives, like the one that helped Canada’s aerospace and oil sands industries in their infancy.

“If the federal government got engaged we could be a real world leader in clean energy,” said Smith. “But the federal government is really missing in action.”

— Bruce Cheadle, The Canadian Press

Chamber Pot Hunt!

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I’ve been thinking a lot about toilets!  You know the point when you’re researching something and you suddenly hit some sort of critical mass and your gut lurches and you realize that you have way too much information?  Well that is where I am at. How can a simple woman like me cope with so much overwhelming options for disposing of our #$%^?

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It is critical that I lower my footprint on the earth which means I basically have two options for my poop.  I can compost it indoors right in the selected privy, or I can pull a humanure bucket from our commode twice a week and then plop it onto our designated compost pile strictly kept for this purpose.  Problem!

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The thing about this latter option is that in Canada where we live, it is sub-zero for like 10 months of the year, ok well 9 and half months.  This last year, it’s been 12 horrific months of near igloo preserving weather which will mean that our dormant matter of the fecal variety will literally freeze in clumps of ice-cube blocks of defecating wonder.  What happens when it thaws after months of minus 20 centigrade? Can you see what I’m dealing with? Egads!

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So if it takes a full year for people who live in normal climates to be able to use their black earth humanure compost around their fruit trees (never in a vegetable garden for obvious reasons) with great verve and joy, am I going to be sticking a pitch fork into an poopy icebergs?  If so, this is not ideal.  Also, they never mention where the pee ends up?  Are they peeing off the side of their decks?  Yes, I know uric acid is not harmful to the environment, but it is harmful for my too-kus to be exposed in minus 30 degree weather in the middle of the night.  Perhaps they’re using the chamber pots as illustrated above.  I also love how the humanure folks on the Youtube vids always stick their foot-long thermometer down into the steaming mass and sigh with great jubilation during the summertime filming.  I fear never realizing this perfect moment of bliss.

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So that leaves the pot de chambre right on board with pee tube exiting the million dollar toilet and the hiney waste being broken down right on board in the unit.  Now, everyone who sells these $2,000 privies will tell you that there never ever is the slightest odor de peu in the toilette. However, I’m pretty darn skeptical and terrified to be trapped with my own waste in my beautiful tiny home with few options available to me other than 500 sticks of pine forest incense lit at once and a sheepish look when company comes to call.

One option from a tiny house dweller that I’ve grown to trust went through 2 other composting toilets until she found this pricey model made in Sweden, however, you still have to dispose of the waste once every 3 weeks?!!! I’m not sure how that tiny bag does not adequately fill to the brim more often than that!  Sadly, she does not describe where this wee bag end up.  Perhaps she buries it in the back yard for the dog to dig up later?!!! Help