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Climate Change Showdown: The Results Are In…

What can a talking sheep, a board game, and a giant thermometer teach kids about climate change and energy use? When they’re a part of BCSEA’s Climate Change Showdown, the answer is quite a bit.

The Showdown is an in-class workshop designed for elementary schools, which challenges children to participate in a take-home contest to reduce their family’s energy use. Since 2005, the program has reached 40,000 BC students, and participation in this year’s take home contest was phenomenal.

BC partners with SolarBC to back $2 million in new solar thermal projects

Through the Public Sector Energy Conservation Agreement (PSECA), the BC Government has allocated $25 million for energy retrofit projects to eligible public sector organizations over the next year. Of this, $2 million has been earmarked specifically for solar projects, and the Province has chosen to partner with BCSEA’s SolarBC project to identify qualifying projects.

"We know this investment will immediately translate into a lower energy footprint for public sector buildings, less carbon pollution, and savings to taxpayers," said John Yap, Minister of State for Climate Action. "Equally important, these investments will create new jobs across the province and spur public sector organizations and B.C. businesses to find innovative ways to tackle climate change.

To C, or not to Site-C?

To C, or not to Site-C? That is, indeed, the question.

To BC Hydro, it's a useful and reliable source of renewable energy that can be used to balance intermittent energy from wind and run-of-river projects.

To those who live in the Peace, and who love the land, it’s the forever flooding of 5,000 hectares of history, culture, forest, farmland and habitat for wildlife.

In mid-May, the BCSEA hosted a cross-province webinar on the proposed Site C Clean Energy Project. This is one of many activities which, thanks to the support of our members and donors, we offer on a regular basis. The webinar presentations, by Ken Forest of the Peace Valley Environmental Association, and BCSEA's Tom Hackney and Guy Dauncey are available on our website.

Why Campbell's HST Is Bad for the Planet

We all hate the HST, right? It's now a populist campaign, led by former premier Bill Vander Zalm, who has, by the way, also predicted the HST will expand to take in the U.S. and Mexico and eventually be controlled from Brussels, Belgium, as part of a conspiratorial New World Order.

The HST has its pros and cons, but maybe we're being blinded by it and missing the real target. To explain why, let me step back for a moment. Under the PST, various "good" things are exempt, including bicycles and renewable energy equipment. That makes sense. But so are transport fuels and residential heating fuels: oil and gas.

Under the HST, the only exemptions allowed are those on a federal Department of Finance list in Ottawa that does not include bicycles or renewable energy equipment. So these exemptions have to go, along with almost everything else. The exemptions on transport and residential fuels, however, are permitted, and will remain.

BC Solar Days

Join in the 2010 Solar Days fun on May 28, 29 and take your friends and family on an interactive Solar Tour of installs in your neighbourhood!

BC Solar Days

View SolarBC's Google map for over 38 solar tour site destinations and click on the arrow for directions to the house. Once there, you can gain first hand experience from homeowners who've installed solar hot water. Find out about their install and see how their system works. And while you're there pick up some free Solar Days giveaways and SolarBC information material.

Solar Energy? Count the Barriers!

Barrier-busting is something the BCSEA works hard at - there’s nothing more frustrating than running into a long line of regulatory obstacles and ditches, when all you want to do is build the greenest house possible, or install a solar panel or a wind turbine.

If you’re a 110-metres hurdler, jumping hurdles is what you do. But must hurdling also be a required sport for BC’s renewable energy champions, who are working so hard to create a better world for their grandchildren?

Old-time attitudes and regulations are making life hard for small-scale renewables in BC. That’s why the BCSEA is launching the Small Scale Renewable Energy Barriers Project. The project targets ten frustrating barriers, proposes solutions, and aims to bring government and business representatives together to eliminate them.

Broad energy vision would engage us all

British Columbia's Energy Minister Blair Lekstrom lays out the stimulus part of a vision for a clean energy future but the other shoe has yet to drop. Energy buffs want to know if the upcoming Clean Energy Act will embody a broad energy vision for B.C. or simply support renewable energy developers.

A broad vision could set us on course for profound changes in the way we use energy, positioning us for a future dominated by higher energy prices, greater restrictions on fossil fuel use and urgent action to minimize the CO2 emissions that drive climate change.

This vision will not initially be comfortable. We have grown accustomed to abundant, cheap energy at the flick of a switch, while ignoring the real costs and side-effects of its production. But the broad vision will ultimately be more satisfying because it will engage us all in the choices that face us, rather than insulating us and disengaging us as passive consumers.