"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”

Henry D. Thoreau

 

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Wednesday
Feb132019

If not Natural Gas, What?

Last week in this column I bemoaned the fact that we have become utterly, dangerously dependent on natural gas to keep us from freezing in our Canadian winter. That’s bad enough, but the key actors in the management of Canada’s natural gas reserves seem intent on selling and exporting our gas as quickly as possible.

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Wednesday
Feb062019

Deep Freeze Smashes Record for Natural Gas Consumption

The headline above, lead an article in the Winnipeg Free Press last Saturday. The article was buried on page C2, and the record was reported almost as if this was an accomplishment. Certainly no concern was expressed. But we should be concerned.

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Wednesday
Jan302019

Upgrades and Pay-back Time

It’s a funny thing. People will spend thousands of dollars on upgrading their kitchen with new cupboards, fancy granite countertops, Italian taps, lighting, hardwood floors etc etc. Or similarly they renovate their bathroom with new everything, but those same people will not spend their money on putting solar panels on their roof. For some reason the idea of ‘pay-back time’ is applied to solar panels, whereas ‘pay-back time’ is not even a consideration with kitchen, bathroom or other upgrades.

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Tuesday
Jan222019

Our Straw Bale House

We built our straw bale house 10 years ago. While living in Winnipeg, I came across a book on straw bale construction at our local library. We did some research and thought about it for awhile, then, because we wanted to move to the country anyways, decided to take the leap and build our own.

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Tuesday
Jan152019

What’s Happening in the Oil Industry?

Tar sands in alberta 2008Last week I again found myself waiting at a railway crossing, waiting for a train carrying oil to pass. As I waited, I got to thinking. Such trains were a rarity just a few years ago, but they are becoming increasingly common. We are told this increase in rail traffic is occurring because there is a lack of pipeline capacity. Without pipelines, the only way to move the oil is by rail. We are pointed to the Trans-Mountain Expansion Project, the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, Keystone XL Project, all pipeline projects on hold.

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