Will Europe freeze in the dark if the U.S. imposes sanctions on Russia?

The U.S. made it clear that Russia will pay for a Ukrainian invasion. But so will other nations

Will Europe freeze in the dark if the U.S. imposes sanctions on Russia?The possibility of Russia invading Ukraine is the hottest geopolitical issue today. And this carries implications for the global energy balance. Growing concerns over the possible military conflict in Ukraine, resulting in disruption of natural gas supplies to Europe, is a point of deliberation in Washington and other NATO capitals. The United States has made…

A century after a critical turning point in Irish history

1920's Ireland is a fascinating study of competing perspectives

A century after a critical turning point in Irish historyDecember 1921 was a critical turning point in Irish history. The Dec. 6 Anglo-Irish Treaty aimed to end the War of Independence by “establishing the Irish Free State as a self-governing dominion within the British Commonwealth.” But it actually did more. It effectively launched the fledgling entity on a glide path toward full independence without…

Do lockdowns actually worsen COVID-19’s impact?

Jurisdictions with the most repressive lockdowns have higher death rates per case

Do lockdowns actually worsen COVID-19’s impact?The most mentioned reason for lockdowns has been the protection of health-care systems. The claim is that such protection saves lives. So is it fair to ask how well health systems are performing their lockdown life-saving duty? There are several points from which one can compare health jurisdictions and their fight against COVID-19. One can…

Europe remains dependent on imported oil from repressive states

Its policies on renewable energy mean that dependence will only deepen

Europe remains dependent on imported oil from repressive statesBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre One of the more bizarre developments in Europe in recent years has been the twin policy path in which fossil fuels are discouraged in favour of wind and solar energy, but deals are struck with autocracies such as Russia to import more fossil fuel via pipelines.…

Incidents of serious parasitic disease on the rise in Alberta

The province is now the North American hotspot for a rare, potentially fatal disease

Incidents of serious parasitic disease on the rise in AlbertaA rare parasitic infection imported from Europe continues to take root in Alberta. The province is now the North American hotspot for human alveolar echinococcosis (AE), which takes the form of a growth in the liver, causing serious and potentially deadly health complications. A recently published review of known AE cases in Alberta found 17 instances…

Why a convenience store giant wants to be a grocer

Couche-Tard has a reputation of generating value by polishing hidden gems in companies like Carrefour

Why a convenience store giant wants to be a grocerWe heard this week that Alimentation Couche-Tard is looking at acquiring European-based Carrefour, the seventh largest food retailer in the world. Buying a grocery chain would be a significant departure from what Couche-Tard is known for. A non-binding, friendly offer of $25 billion was sent to Carrefour. Couche-Tard is all about the convenience store economy.…

The global energy landscape is changing fast

Over a fifth of Europe’s energy was generated by solar panels and wind turbines in the first half of 2020

The global energy landscape is changing fastPeak oil demand is approaching fast – and earlier than anticipated. It’s not that oil won’t be required in the years and decades to come. It will still be in demand. But the world won’t be critically, crucially and strategically dependent on oil, as it is today. This year may be the turning point for…

The Habsburgs: Rise and fall of Europe’s premier dynasty

They were canny, enduring and keen on expansion. In the end, however, the empire couldn't survive the First World War

The Habsburgs: Rise and fall of Europe’s premier dynastyThanks to a voluble professor of European history at University College Dublin, the Habsburgs first piqued my curiosity in the early 1960s. Then the interest lay dormant until a chance 2011 visit to the imperial crypt in Vienna’s Capuchin monastery. In operation since 1632, the crypt contains the tombs of more than 140 Habsburg royalty.…

Exiting the lockdown with care and intelligence

Recognizing the devastating consequences of allowing the COVID-19 lockdown to go on indefinitely, Austria is gingerly moving forward

Exiting the lockdown with care and intelligenceSebastian Kurz is Austria’s 33-year-old chancellor. He’s also one of Europe’s most interesting political leaders. And as Austria takes its first steps towards exiting the COVID-19 lockdown, he’s putting himself out front again. First, a backgrounder on Kurz. With his youth, charisma and all-round media savvy, Kurz may superficially strike Canadians as an Austrian version…

Brexit’s potential for unintended consequences

How about Scottish independence and Irish unification, just to start the conversation?

Brexit’s potential for unintended consequencesLet’s do a thought experiment. We’ll begin by making two speculative stipulations. First, assume that Boris Johnson comes out of the United Kingdom’s Dec. 12 general election with a comfortable Conservative majority. Thus empowered, he pushes his new European Union withdrawal agreement through parliament without any material amendments and the U.K. then leaves the EU…