Thomas Homer-Dixon

31 results found for: Energy


December 20th, 2013 —

Seeing Past the Fracking Hype

Toronto Globe and Mail, December 20, 2013 For years, NASA has produced a composite photograph of North America at night. Taken by satellite, the photo shows huge patches of light marking New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto. Smaller patches mark cities like Denver, Seattle, and Calgary. Recently something strange has appeared in this image. Another [...]

Read more »


July 11th, 2013 —

No Trains, No Keystone XL?

The Lac- Mégantic tragedy will make large-scale rail shipment of oil products far less acceptable to the public in both Canada and the US. So the main alternative to Keystone XL that the State Department has identified is unlikely to be available at anything like the scale needed. If so, the pipeline’s approval would enable expansion of oil sands’ extraction that wouldn’t otherwise occur, and it would therefore lead to a large net increase in the oil sands’ carbon emissions—violating President Obama’s main criterion for approving the project.

Read more »


June 3rd, 2013 —

Oil Sands Debate

Resolved: The oil sands industry is distorting Canada’s economy and eroding its democracy in ways that will exact an enormous cost on our society over the long term.   THOMAS HOMER-DIXON How the oil sands industry is distorting Canada’s democracy and economy By 2030, Canada’s output from the oil sands will reach about five million [...]

Read more »


April 1st, 2013 —

The Tar Sands Disaster

President Obama rejected the pipeline last year but now must decide whether to approve a new proposal from TransCanada, the pipeline company. Saying no won’t stop tar sands development by itself, because producers are busy looking for other export routes — west across the Rockies to the Pacific Coast, east to Quebec, or south by rail to the United States. Each alternative faces political, technical or economic challenges as opponents fight to make the industry unviable.

Read more »


May 1st, 2012 —

Exploring the Climate “Mindscape”

Exploring the Climate “Mindscape”: an interview in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
The climate change problem might ultimately reside as much in our heads as in the external world. Researchers need to map the “mindscape,” a virtual space within which most of the world’s people are clustered in a few ideologically polarized groups. Vast, unexplored regions of the mindscape, he says, may offer new ways of thinking about problems such as climate change and new ways of living together successfully in the future.”

Read more »


April 7th, 2012 —

All’s Not Lost, Ontario. The Future Is Green, Not Black

Green Energy in Ontario: an op-ed in the Toronto Globe and Mail
Commentators on the political right often slam the economics of green energy. They say that renewables are inefficient, that they create jobs in China, not in Canada, that Europe is cutting green-energy subsidies and that, in any case, the world and especially Canada are hopelessly hooked on carbon. Many of these criticisms are factually wrong, and they’re all shortsighted.

Ontario should focus on the long game. While Alberta and the federal Conservatives double down on carbon, Ontario can be in the vanguard of one of the biggest technological revolutions humanity will ever experience. The future is green, not black.

Read more »


February 1st, 2012 —

Our Peak Oil Premium

Global Oil Supply: an op-ed in the Toronto Globe and Mail
Analysts concerned about global oil supply usually point to two basic facts. First, each year, the world’s mature conventional fields produce about four million barrels a day less oil than the previous year, a gap that has to be filled just to keep global output constant. In only five years, that gap grows to 20 million barrels a day of production – equivalent to twice Saudi Arabia’s output, which is mammoth. Second, the world’s cheap and easy-to-get oil is disappearing fast. So, on average, each additional barrel requires more work, more complex technology, more environmental risk to get and refine than the last.

Read more »


June 7th, 2011 —

Video: Civilization Far from Equilibrium: Energy, Complexity, and Human Survival

“Civilization Far from Equilibrium: Energy, Complexity, and Human Survival,” Equinox Summit—Energy 2030, Perimeter Institute, Waterloo, Ontario. View the presentation.

Read more »


March 18th, 2011 —

Our Fukushima Moment

A quarter of a century after we first heard it, the word “Chernobyl” stands in our minds for technological calamity borne of incompetence. Environmentalists used the label to deliver a near-fatal blow to the nuclear power industry. What will Fukushima mean to us in 2036, and how will we have used the label to change our world?

Read more »


May 5th, 2010 —

Complexity Science and Public Policy

On May 5, 2010, I had the honour of giving the Manion Lecture for the Canada School of Public Service, in Ottawa, Canada. The article is a revised text of the lecture, titled “Complexity Science and Public Policy.”

Read more »


« Next Page of Results
Print Friendly