"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
Dec122018

High Oil Prices or Low Gas Prices

Tar sands in alberta 2008Two posts on my Facebook timeline, one scroll apart, show just how bizarre the political economics of oil are these days.

In one post, a PC MPP from Ontario brags about how the Ontario government has lowered gas prices. The other was a news article about how Rachel Notley and the NDP government of Alberta will finally begin reducing production in order to address the glut of bitumen that’s currently driving oil prices down—that is, they’re trying to increase oil prices.

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Thursday
Dec062018

One year of Solar Panel Experience

One year ago, when my solar panels came on line, I expected to produce about 7 Megawatts of power annually based on advertised averages and assumptions. My experience fell slightly short of that by producing 6.3 Megawatts, about 90% of my expectation.

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Tuesday
Nov272018

Why I Won’t Stop Shopping at the Thrift Store

There’s no question that shopping at the thrift store saves me money. A lot of money. Considering that the average Canadian household spends over $3300 a year on clothing and accessories[i], and the thrift store easily offers 90% savings, the math is not complicated. But the other day a friend of mine challenged me. He asked why I shop at the Thrift Store, when I make a good salary and can afford to pay full price. How is it fair for me to take the benefits that should go to people in our community who can’t afford to buy new? It’s a good question, and it made me think.

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Tuesday
Nov202018

What – Over-Development!?

We have all used the term under-developed nations or under-developed regions. We may not have a definition at our fingertips, but we know what we mean when we say under-developed. But do we ever describe a country or region as over-developed? Can we conceive of that being an accurate description of a country or region? Would we recognize over-development if we saw it? What does it look like?

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Thursday
Nov152018

When It Comes to Sustainability, We’re a Society of Distracted Drivers

Richard Heinberg discusses energy at University of Toronto - (Snake Oil) - 01A recent essay by Richard Heinberg of the Post Carbon Institute intrigued me. He drew a metaphor between distracted driving and the way we all deal with sustainable living. He says driving is dangerous. In fact, it’s about the riskiest activity most of us engage in routinely. It requires one’s full attention—and even then, things can sometimes go horribly awry. The brakes fail. Weather turns roads to ice. A driver in the oncoming lane falls asleep. Tragedy ensues. And if we are not fully alert, the likelihood of calamity skyrockets. That’s why distracted driving is now against the law. If you're caught, the fine is hefty.

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