fossil fuels

The long slow decline of Alberta has begun

I'm a born and raised Albertan. I love this province and I'm proud of it's natural features. Having said that, I was shocked to see a recent article in the Edmonton Journal about how Alberta has started importing natural gas from the United States: Scarcity drives deal for imports

To be honest, I thought this should have been front page news.

Richard Heinberg's Edmonton Talk

I don’t think that anyone explains the predicament that we humans are in more clearly and intelligently than Richard Heinberg. I was disappointed to miss his Edmonton talk in February, but lo and behold, the entire thing was captured on youtube for our viewing pleasure (by no less than the City of Edmonton itself).

I watched all six 9-minute videos, and I recommend them to everybody.

Heinberg tells it like it is:

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How Much Energy Does It Take To Supply Hot Water?

I read an interesting article recently about how to calculate the size of an on-demand hot water heater.  OK, while not exactly what most people would consider light reading, what I thought was interesting was how much energy it takes to generate something we take for granted.  The article discussed how running a single shower would require the incoming water to absorb energy at a rate of about 75,000 BTUs per hour and that if the tankless water heater was 80% efficient, then the heater would need to have a rated input of 94,000 BTUs per hour.  If you want the ability to run two showers simultaneously, then the numbers double so that the tankless water heater would have a rating of 188,000 BTU.  (For reference, the boiler I have for heating my house and domestic hot water can modulate  read more... »

You Want the Cold? You Can't Handle the Cold!

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I took this picture from my kitchen window one morning last month. The trick is to look at the little numbers on the inside. That’s right, –30 degrees Celsius. It gets cold in our beloved river city.

You’re a Hawaiian in an Edmontonian’s body though, right? An island-dweller stuck on the frozen tundra of Alberta. If only nature would understand your needs. Oh well, the only thing to do is hunker down and stay inside for six months a year except for that dash to your idling car. That’s why our merciful Creator invented remote car starters, isn’t it?  read more... »