John McGrath

John McGrath is an intinerant student and sometimes reporter currently living in Toronto, Canada. He mainly writes about Canadian and International Politics from an energy and climate perspective

Climate & Energy

Guess what? Salesmen sell things

I keep wating for a credible author to write a piece about the alleged “nuclear renaissance” that doesn’t make me gag a little. Today will not be that day.  Hendrik Hertzberg writes a piece for the New Yorker that basically …

Climate & Energy

Costs kill Ontario’s new nukes

It all started so well. Almost exactly three years ago, Ontario’s government announced the construction of two new nuclear reactors to replace ageing parts of our current power supply. Despite the drawbacks of being announced in the middle of summer …

<em>Climate Wars</em>

Because we've always needed reasons to kill each other

Canada's public broadcaster, CBC, has just finished airing the three-part series Climate Wars, based on the Gwynne Dyer book of the same name. I haven't yet finished reading the book, but the thesis is easily summarized: If you thought that …

Food

I'm having a cow over beef-tallow biodiesel

I heard about this on the radio this morning, and couldn't believe the uncritical reporting on it: The City of Calgary's entire fleet of trucks and buses may soon be partly fueled by biodiesel produced from Alberta beef tallow.Tallow is …

Politics

Canadian Parliament suspended, PM Harper survives … for now

The situation in Ottawa has passed, for now. The Governor-General (representing Her Majesty Elizabeth II) has granted Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s request to prorogue (or suspend) Parliament, meaning that the confidence vote that had been scheduled for Monday will …

Politics

Canadian government may fall, bring in greener coalition

It looks like Stéphane Dion might just make it to the Prime Minister’s office after all, at least for a little while. According to frenzied reporting out of Ottawa, opposition parties in Canada’s Parliament (who, while not forming the government, …

Politics

Canadian elections strengthen Conservatives, drinkers

Well, it was a short, boring campaign, and, uh, nothing really happened. I’m writing this before the polls have all reported in, but the Conservatives have almost certainly gained a couple dozen seats, putting them just — just — short …

Climate & Energy

The moral argument for curbing climate change

Robert Farley has a point I would like all environmentalists to have seared to the insides of our eyelids: Simply because something must happen does not mean that it will happen … It’s not that people are stupid (although many …

Climate & Energy

Hope dimming for Canadian carbon tax

Not too long after my earlier post was published, even Canada’s biggest carbon-tax booster inched away from the central plank of his election platform. To understand how disingenuous this is, Dion spent months preparing the ground for his carbon tax …