Category: energy

Hope even for Chernobyl

When the accident happened at Chernobyl’s #4 reactor in April 1986, it changed how people viewed nuclear power forever. Of course, there had already been the accident at the Three Mile Island power plant in the United States. But that was not the same as the meltdown that created a 4,000 square mile exclusion zone …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2019/04/rethinking-chernobyl/

Fracking and Canada’s Oil Sands

In 2003 I wrote an article, “Canada’s New Role in North American Energy Security,” which examined Canada’s growing importance to U.S. energy security. This paper was written in the context of 9/11, and looking back I wish that I had talked much more about the environmental costs of this resource. In the years since, so …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2018/08/canadas-oil-sands/

Hope, Fusion and the Future

As a kid growing up in Southern Ontario in the early 80s, I enjoyed listening to a science program called “Quirks and Quarks,” on CBC radio. Imagine my surprise to find that -thanks to the wonders of podcasts- I could still listen to this program, which is as good as it ever was. One recent …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2017/12/hope-fusion-and-the-future/

The new energy reality

When Kim and I reworked our textbook for the second edition, the energy chapter perhaps underwent the greatest change. In 2011 the peak oil movement was receiving a lot of media attention, and websites such as the Oil Drum were a powerful force. Matthew Simmons, Twilight in the Desert, received a great deal of media attention, with …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2017/05/the-new-energy-reality/

Fort McMurray and the Canadian Oil Sands

Years ago I toured the Fort McKay and an Oil Sands production facility. I was struck by the sheer scale of all aspects of the facility: the trucks the size of a small house; the tailings of sulphur, which formed a bright yellow block the size of an apartment building, and the pit, which seemed …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2015/06/fort-mckay-and-the-canadian-oil-sands/

Nuclear Sabotage in Europe

In a previous article, I discussed how the French government has sought to suppress evidence regarding the massive costs that a nuclear accident would entail. But an accident is not the only danger facing nuclear reactors as a recent incident at Belgium’s Doel 4 nuclear reactor makes clear. Some person -most likely an employee at …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2014/08/nuclear-sabotage-in-europe/

A Book Review of Mark Willacy’s Fukushima

The Fukushima nuclear disaster is so recent that it’s been difficult to have a nuanced and thorough perspective on this event. Mark Willacy’s history attempts to tell the story of Fukushima through the stories of not only the people who lived in the area, but also the senior government officials who dealt with the crisis. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2014/03/a-book-review-of-mark-willacys-fukushima/

North America’s Energy Boom

I’ve blogged before about Canada’s oil sands, and the political battles and environmental issues that they have spawned. What is clear, however, is that despite the environmental and safety issues that new energy supplies raise in North America, economic changes are reshaping the energy industry with stunning speed. While the Canadian Oil Sands are the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2014/01/north-americas-energy-boom/

The Dangers of Nuclear Energy: Japan, France and the US

There have been some intriguing articles recently about nuclear energy, which demonstrate the challenges entailed with obtaining power from this resource. An article in Reuters described how homeless people are being recruited to work in the nuclear cleanup in Fukushima, Japan, because few other people are willing to take on such a dangerous task for …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2014/01/the-dangers-of-nuclear-energy-japan-france-and-the-us/

Energy Reform in Mexico and Brazil

I’ve just returned from three weeks in southern Mexico, where the biggest political issue in the news has been the President’s energy reform plan. In 1938 Mexican President Lazaro Cardenas nationalized the petroleum industry. This measure attracted popular acclaim in Mexico, and fury in the United States. While President Roosevelt was pressured to act, he …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2014/01/energy-reform-in-mexico/