Moving to solar and wind from our current energy configuration will be challenging because of material costs, land requirements and a potential labour shortage. | File photo

Wind, solar power no magical solution

Despite our best efforts to foresee what the future will bring, we really don’t know what is forthcoming until the future becomes the present. The challenge of climate change has focused our attention on what this unknowable future will look like and what we can or should do about any potentially serious impacts. The focus […] Read more

Empty grocery store shelves are among the factors that some point to when arguing for a wholesale overhaul of the country’s food production.  |  Reuters/Carlos Osorio photo

Will the COVID crisis cause a food revolution?

Innovative technologies are waiting on the shelf, but will they finally be embraced?

There’s been lots of blather about exciting food and agriculture industry technological innovations. “Smart” everything has been talked about for more than a decade. My newspaper has published dozens of stories about the possibilities of blockchain. The “internet of things” is a term buzzing away at every farm and ag conference out there. But it’s […] Read more

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association has produced a video explaining the environmental impact of Canada's beef industry. But there's one problem: hardly anyone has seen it. | Screencap via

VIDEO: Cattle producers look at ways to spread the good word

MACGREGOR, Man. — The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association has produced a video explaining the environmental impact of Canada’s beef industry. The video, available on YouTube and a longer version on the Beef Cattle Research Council website, features images of cattle on green pastures and ranchers on horseback with mountains in the background. Producers and scientists appear […] Read more

A committee is measuring Ontario’s plan against the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform’s Farm Sustainability Assessment tool to see if provincial plans could meet a standard.  |  File photo

Environmental farm plan programs fit well together

OTTAWA — Preliminary work indicates that existing provincial environmental farm plans align fairly well and that could make it easier to establish national EFP stands, a recent conference heard. The idea isn’t to replace the provincial programs but ensure they are equivalent by establishing a base line. A national EFP is one way that Canada […] Read more

A facility for capturing CO2 from the air of Swiss Climeworks AG is placed on the roof of a waste incinerating plant in Hinwil, Switzerland.  |  REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann photo

This cool idea could save the planet

OLSO, Norway (Reuters) — Scientists are sucking carbon dioxide from the air with giant fans and preparing to release chemicals from a balloon to dim the sun’s rays as part of a climate engineering push to cool the planet. Backers say the risky, often expensive projects are needed to find ways of meeting the goals […] Read more

He faces three counts under The Environmental Management and Protection Act, 2010 and one count under The Wildlife Habitat Protection Act. | Screencap via

Boyd charged with environmental/wildlife violations

Former Saskatchewan cabinet minister Bill Boyd will appear in court later this fall on environmental charges. He faces three counts under The Environmental Management and Protection Act, 2010 and one count under The Wildlife Habitat Protection Act. Boyd allegedly altered the shoreline and habitat on farmland near Eston, Sask. If he is found guilty, he […] Read more

In late July, the Government of Canada committed $25.7 million to the Lake Winnipeg Basin program. The goal of the program is to reduce nutrient pollution in the lake and water bodies within the lake's watershed. Excessive nutrient loading has caused massive algae blooms in Lake Winnipeg, so large that the green algae can be seen from space. |  GETTY IMAGE

Watershed cleanup could take decades

Farmers are taking steps to reduce the amount of nitrogen flowing off agricultural land, but Canadians may need to wait years to see the benefits. In some cases the wait may be decades. “What this study tells us is that it can take a very long time to see the effects of pollution-reduction efforts,” said […] Read more

A particularly egregious incident involved the dumping of 55 commercial air conditioning units in one forested region. Officials have also found abandoned kitchen appliances and vehicles on public lands. | Government of Alberta photo

Albertans urged to report illegal garbage dumping

Is the August long weekend an ideal time to dump trash in Alberta’s camping regions? The provincial government says no. Definitely not. It reminded Albertans Aug. 3 to call the Report a Poacher hotline if they see any abuse of public land while they are out and about this weekend or at any time. In […] Read more

Nearly one million tonnes of straw are burned in Canada every year because recovering the fibre from flax straw isn’t economical.  |  File photo

You shake my breath and rattle my health

Come the fall, the field will be harvested, your grain will be in the bin, and if you’re lucky, everything will quickly be hauled off. All that will be left on your field is the straw, and if it’s a flax field, that straw becomes a real pain next seeding season. It wraps around the […] Read more

Orphaned wells pose a significant environmental risk for communities and the landowners who have inherited these impacts.  |  File photo

Alberta plans loans to speed well reclamation

A loan to Alberta’s Orphan Well Association is being proposed by the Alberta government to assist in reclaiming about 152,000 abandoned or inactive oil and gas sites. The government proposes to borrow $235 million for the loan and provide it to the OWA at a more favourable interest rate than it could access on its […] Read more