What to do about bad leaders

Four questions to ask to ensure your leaders know what they are doing

What to do about bad leadersThe world is full of bad leaders. Luckily for the rest of us, they are pretty easy to spot and tend to have limited impact because they generally do not have much influence or staying power. The real concern should be with leaders who are not bad – they just aren't very good. These are…

Rebuilding democratic ideals after the surrender of Afghanistan

Multilateral bodies have an important role to play in spreading democracy

Rebuilding democratic ideals after the surrender of AfghanistanWith democrats everywhere grieving over recent events in Afghanistan and the 20th anniversary of 9/11, it is worth recalling that as the first plane struck the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001, all 35 Organization of American States (OAS) member governments were in Peru signing a democratic charter that denied OAS membership to…

Can Canada establish profitable trade links with South American bloc?

Taking a neutral position can give Canada an advantage. But government will have to be pragmatic

Can Canada establish profitable trade links with South American bloc?In November 2018, Canada and Mercosur opened free-trade negotiations. Any such deal represents great potential for Canada – but there are concerns. Mercosur – Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay – is a bloc with a gross domestic product of over $3 trillion and a population of 261 million in 2019. That compares to the GDP of…

Materials harvest electricity from wasted heat

New materials could harness energy from cellphones or body heat, and improve solar power, geothermal

Materials harvest electricity from wasted heatExtra heat is generated from any form of energy conversion – even with something as green as solar panels. But with up to 72 per cent of it left unused, there’s also great potential to harvest electricity from that waste. A University of Alberta researcher has successfully developed a way to figure out the chemistry…

How serious is food inflation in Canada?

Very. But you wouldn't know it from StatsCan data

How serious is food inflation in Canada?If you think food prices are increasing at a much faster pace than what Statistics Canada suggests, you’re likely not imagining it. For a few years, many Canadians have suspected that the federal agency was either underestimating our food inflation or there was some lag between what was going on at the grocery store and…

Renewable energy myths busted

‘Wind and solar are cost competitive, or cheaper, than any of the conventional energy carriers'

Renewable energy myths bustedThe interest in renewable energy may be growing, but there are still many misconceptions out there. Pierre Mertiny, ’05 PhD, comes across these myths all the time. He’s a mechanical engineer and principal investigator with the University of Alberta’s Future Energy Systems. He’s here to share some facts. Myth 1: The technology isn’t fully developed.…

What will Canada look like the day after the federal election?

The federal election has been a colossal waste of time, effort and money

What will Canada look like the day after the federal election?“I wasted time, and now doth time waste me; for now hath time made me his numbering clock: my thoughts are minutes; and with sighs they jar their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch, whereto my finger, like a dial’s point, is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears,” William Shakespeare wrote in…

Geothermal energy could be generated from captured CO2, study shows

Discovery that technology is viable moves it closer to becoming part of a low-carbon economy

Geothermal energy could be generated from captured CO2, study showsUniversity of Alberta research is making new strides in discoveries about capturing and storing carbon – while yielding a high-value end product from carbon dioxide. A process that injects the greenhouse gas deep below ground, then circulates it to extract heat and geothermal energy, has proven viable in a feasibility study by U of A…

Forestry field school gets a makeover for a growing industry

Vital learning experience – a rite of passage for the past 50 years – reimagined for safety and sustainability

Forestry field school gets a makeover for a growing industryBy the time Ben Strelkov started high school, the self-described “city kid” assumed that once he was in the workforce, he’d be confined to an office, doing basically the same thing every workday. His summer job following Grade 10 shattered the illusion. “I spent the whole time in northern Alberta – building trails, helping communities…

Canada’s plan for climate change needs to use all the tools in its artillery

Why not use carbon emissions as a building block for other industrial processes and products?

Canada’s plan for climate change needs to use all the tools in its artilleryClimate change demands immediate action, and there’s no shortage of discussion about emissions reduction. Indeed, climate policies and pledges flowed left and right leading up to the federal election. However, largely absent from the mainstream dialogue on the shifting energy landscape is any pragmatic talk about the productive use of carbon emissions. That’s right –…
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