Economics

Writing in The Globe and Mail Thomas Homer-Dixon and Yonatan Strauch have a solid explanation for the incompatibility between the Trans Mountain pipeline and the climate commitments Canada has chosen for itself: For these [pipeline] opponents, further massive investment in the extraction and export of some of the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel on Earth is […]

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When it comes to stopping unsustainable fossil fuel development, anything that creates investor uncertainty can be useful. By that metric, the British Columbia government’s announcement of a diluted bitumen shipment expansion moratorium while it studies how a diluted bitumen spill would unfold is a small contribution to shifting Canada to an acceptable development pathway. Still, […]

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Reporting on the Credit Suisse Research Institute’s global wealth report, The Economist explains: If the world’s wealth were divided equally, each household would have $56,540. Instead, the top 1% own more than half of all global wealth. The median wealth per household is just $3,582; if you own more than that, you are in the […]

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Some earlier comments discussed the Site C dam project in B.C. Today, B.C.’s NDP government committed to finishing the $10.7 billion project. Like the Muskrat Falls project in Labrador, this is a multi-billion dollar project facing extensive criticism from environmentalists and Indigenous people. On the one hand, it is desirable to get as much low […]

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U of T may be heading for another strike: Contract academic workers at U of T vote 91% in favour of strike mandate.

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One of the most important economic and political points arising from climate change is uncertainty about how seriously future governments will respond to the problem. If some kind of political change makes governments serious about hitting the 1.5 – 2.0 ˚C temperature targets from the Paris Agreement, it will mean doing everything possible to rapidly […]

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By the time of the 2015 World Heavy Oil Congress, midstream companies like Kinder Morgan, Enbridge and TransMountain PipeLines had grown used to the calamity that accompanied their pipeline applications. TransCanada’s Keystone XL project had ignited the battle, drawing ferocious protests from ranchers and Indigenous people in Nebraska. This in turn had attracted opposition from […]

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Perhaps every boom is expected to last forever. Every boom contains within it some skewed logic in which the impossible growth and rapidly amassed wealth undergo a transition from fantastically fluid to some simulacrum of a solid state. The careening boom logic becomes the norm. Luck becomes a strain of genius, and opportunism starts to […]

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Midway through the boom’s first wave, in 2006, a Statistics Canada study reported that Alberta was in the midst of “the strongest period of economic growth ever recorded by any Canadian province.” Annual provincial gross domestic product (GDP) and population growth both cleared 10 percent. When the oil industry’s champions first pitched the federal and […]

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Still, even if it was not recognized in many boardrooms in Calgary or anywhere else in the industry, oil’s dominance could no longer be taken for granted. Climate change was not readily managed like the sludge in a single tailings pond or contained like the mess from a single pipeline spill. This was a more […]

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