Author Archives: Blair

Digging into that paper that “associates” VOCs in indoor air and tap water samples with Northern BC LNG wells – a likely example of spurious correlations

This week I was directed to a new paper in Science of the Total Environment titled Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in indoor air and tap water samples in residences of pregnant women living in an area of unconventional natural gas … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Why Climate leaders sometimes build pipelines – understanding the climate implications of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project

One of the most common refrains of the activist community during our recent federal election was the line “climate leaders don’t build pipelines“. As I will explain in this blog post, this refrain, while catchy, is wrong. I have written … Continue reading

Posted in Canadian Politics, Pipelines, Trans Mountain | 2 Comments

Understanding the rules for exporting plastic waste – what the activists keep getting wrong

As part of my ongoing discussion of plastic regulation in Canada, I ended up in an enlightening discussion on Twitter. It wasn’t enlightening for what it taught me about the handling of plastic waste; rather it was enlightening in that … Continue reading

Posted in Canadian Politics, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Debunking the claim that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050

In my last post I wrote On the proposed Canadian plastics bans – Part 1: How the Government created useful “facts” for its scary headlines and how “facts” are being created, essentially out of thin air, to be used as activist … Continue reading

Posted in Canadian Politics, Chemistry and Toxicology, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

On the proposed Canadian plastics bans – Part 1: How the Government created useful “facts” for its scary headlines

This fall the Canadian government hopes to get a single-use plastics ban enacted with a plan to get to zero-plastic waste by 2030. To enact this ban, on October 10, 2020 the Canadian government recommended to the Governor in Council … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Debunking common anti-nuclear talking points Part 1 – Nuclear takes too long to build

In BC approximately 18% of our total energy is provided by clean electricity and 61% of our total energy is provided by fossil fuels (most of the rest is industrial energy supplied by burning biomass). The Pacific Institute for Climate … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Why an environmental scientist is so often critical of environmental activists

As an environmental scientist, I am regularly asked why I seem so critical of environmental activists and environmental NGOs. My answer is simple: because the people who should be speaking out when environmental activists and environmental NGOs make ridiculous claims … Continue reading

Posted in Canadian Politics, Environmentalism and Ecomodernism, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

A pragmatic environmentalist’s view on climate change, BC LNG and the Trans Mountain Pipeline project – not either or but all of the above

In the last months, I have taken a lot of flak about my stances on topics like BC LNG and the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project (TMX). In the last week alone I have been called a “denier” and an … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, LNG, Pipelines, Uncategorized | 15 Comments

Why the cancellation of Keystone XL is bad for the climate, the environment and Canada

By now we all know that President Biden has cancelled the Presidential Permit for the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline. Needless to say climate activists have gleefully celebrated the decision. But as I pointed out on Twitter, cancelling KXL will not … Continue reading

Posted in Canadian Politics, Pipelines, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

The GHG intensity of the Canadian oil industry – what the scientific research actually says

Uncertainty is a fact of life in science. Understanding and communicating uncertainty is an essential element of the scientific pursuit. Uncertainty in research comes from the fact that, in most situations, we don’t have perfect information and can’t be absolutely … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Oil Sands, Uncategorized | 10 Comments