Well, I’ve been off in nowhereland for a while, contemplating my navel and such.  In the meantime, some exciting things have happend – sort of.

1. Canada is opening 6 new trade commissioner’s offices in China indicating that Canada, in spite of it’s off-again, off-again relationship with China, is going to try and kick start a little bit of business.

In my humble opinion, Canada should be focusing on what it’s strong at: natural resources and energy. That’s what we’ve got, and Australia is doing it way better than we are.

2. The U.S. and China have signed a 10-year environment and energy cooperation framework. What does it mean? The two largest economies in the world are serious about 5 things right now:

1. Clean, Efficient, and Secure Electricity Production and Transmission
2. Clean Water
3. Clean Air
4. Clean and Efficient Transportation
5. Conservation of Forest and Wetland Ecosystems

Clean and efficient transportation, I might add, amount to focusing on the following:

1. Clean and efficient vehicle technologies;
2. Design and modality of transportation systems;
3. Clean and alternative fuels, including next generation (cellulosic) biofuels; and
4. Improvement and utilization of existing transportation infrastructure.

#3 there, clean and alternative fuels (including next generation – cellulosic – biofuels) is of particular interest to me and my project at this time. And it should be of interest to Canada too, who for the time being has the only demonstration-scale facility for producing ethanol from farm waste using cellulosic enzyme processes (cellulosic ethanol processes are extremely efficient from a GHG-emissions perspective). More on this later.

3. Prime Minister Harper apologised on behalf of all Canadians to all those native peoples in Canada affected by the residential school systems that were imposed on them between the 1920’s and the 1980s. The apology has come with billions of dollars in compensation, not to mention Without any specific references to human rights in China, I do wonder how this will affect Canada’s foreign policy when talking about different cultures in China.



Haitus — 1 Comment

  1. I wonder how nuclear power will factor in the discussion? I fear that like others they may attempt to label nuclear power as “green” simply because of low GHG emissions during the operational phase. Of course, when you mention Canada and energy, nuclear power is the first thing that comes to my mind, considering Canada’s lead in cutting edge design of nuclear power plants. I’m not sure where you stand on the issue, but I believe if the total life cycle is taken into account, it’s pretty obvious that nuclear power is far from benign in GHG emissions, as well as just plain awful from health, environment, and security aspects.