Clean Break
Tyler Hamilton is the Editor-in-Chief of Corporate Knights Magazine. Prior to joining the magazine, Hamilton spent 10 years as a business columnist at the Toronto Star. Hamilton is also the author of the book Mad Like Tesla.

Is Ontario destined to become a relic of the auto industry?

Judging by the province’s record on EV innovation and manufacturing, the future of its auto sector looks bleak.

Ben Faiola drives his Michigan-made Chevy Volt into his garage, turns it off and just walks away. Usually, he’d have to do what nearly all electric vehicle owners must do to start their next trip on a fully charged battery: plug the car into a wall charger.

Not Faiola. He’s one of a handful of people in Canada who has installed a wireless EV charging system called Plugless, developed by Richmond, Virginia-based Evatran Group. The system just sits on the floor of Faiola’s garage. All he has to do is drive over it with the help of a wall-based unit that uses light signals to guide him in like an airplane on a runway.

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ATCO envisions big hydro push in Alberta

It’s a great idea, which could be even better by including wind, solar and geothermal.

Economics professor Andrew Leach has a lot on his plate.

In late June, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley appointed Leach as chair of a new climate change panel that will advise her government on energy and climate policies ahead of December’s big UN climate gathering in Paris.

Notley plans to be the first Alberta premier to attend the annual gathering, and she’s making sure she comes armed with a meaningful and effective action plan. Leach, who is director of natural resources, energy and environment programs at the University of Alberta’s School of Business, will spend the next weeks and months gathering and weighing ideas with an eye to rebalancing the province’s environmental and economic objectives.

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The changing tone of Al Gore’s message, and its importance

Seven years ago, the former U.S. VP was mostly a bearer of bad news. Today, he’s buoyed by talk of solutions and action.

There was something substantially different about Al Gore’s two-hour presentation Thursday in Mississauga, Ontario, where more than 500 people gathered to become certified climate presenters as part of the Nobel laureate’s Climate Reality Project.

The number of people in attendance has grown substantially since 2008, which was the last time the former U.S. vice-president conducted his training session in Canada. But what stood out most – at least to those who remember the 2008 sessions – is that the content of Gore’s latest presentation is more hopeful in tone and direction.

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Firefighters challenged on the front lines of climate change

From wildfires in B.C. to floods in Calgary, the nature of the job is changing. Are resources keeping up?

Six weeks after Typhoon Haiyan pounded the Philippines, Toronto firefighter Geoff Boisseau brought a team to the storm-ravaged city of Tacloban to assist and train its local firefighters.

The typhoon, which made its first landfall on Nov. 8, 2013, was one of the most powerful tropical storms ever recorded with sustained wind speeds that reached 310 kilometres per hour. It completely wiped out villages, killed thousands, and pushed millions, mostly poor families, out of their homes and communities. Tacloban got the worst of it, including a storm surge more than five metres high.

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RMI chief: “It’s game over for the tar sands… for coal”

Canada could become a purveyor of horse buggies and whips in the 21st century, warns Jules Kortenhorst.

There’s no shortage of environmental and energy “think tanks” telling us how to wean society off fossil fuels and at the same time keep climate change from spiraling out of control. But Boulder, Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), founded in 1982 by Amory and Hunter Lovins, arguably stands above the rest.

As Amory Lovins is fond of saying, RMI isn’t just a think tank – it’s a “do tank.” Over the years it has worked with big business and military organizations on ways to get the biggest bang for their energy buck with the least impact possible on the environment. Clients include utility Duke Energy and the U.S. Department of Defense.

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