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Neil DeGrasse Tyson, best known for his work in astrophysics and Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, has kept environmental concern in the public eye. Through his public appearances and social media presence, he has done much to enrich public discourse — he has even helped to boost scientific literacy. This is of great importance in the modern age, especially with the environmental hazards at hand.

Tyson is frequently compared to Carl Sagan, the well-known astronomer and television personality. Sagan taught at Cornell University, wrote more than twelve books, worked with NASA, edited a scientific journal, and served as the house astronomer on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. He co-created and hosted Cosmos: A Personal Voyage in the 1980’s and was the most famous scientist in America.

More recently, Tyson has been in the public sphere with his radio talk show, Star Talk; a reboot of Carl Sagan’s show, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey; and will host a late-night talk show starting April of this year on National Geographic. His shows broadcast the most up to date information about astral bodies, and other scientific tidbits relating to outer space. Each episode explores the laws of nature, and attempts to create an emotional and spiritual experience through scientific exploration.

Tyson, like Sagan before him, embraces modern media as a means of engaging the general public. Both men explain complex methods in layman’s terms, helping households not only understand certain principles, but also engage in conversation with one another. Political and civil discussions about global warming and the value of NASA’s space exploration would have been completely different without these men.

Looking toward the future, Tyson sees the ability to harness the power of natural disasters and utilize them as a direct energy source. Such technology would be adapted for tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanoes, allowing us to tap into that energy source like tapping into a keg of beer. In an interview on renewable energy’s future, he states that he is “looking forward to the day when a hurricane is building in the gulf, and then just before it hits land, we capture its energy to drive the city that would otherwise have been destroyed if the hurricane’s power had been left untapped.”

By encouraging scientists to share their knowledge with the public, Tyson believes the public’s excitement and education will expand. While public interest in science is growing and evident, it is a challenge to convince scientists to break convention and use modern information channels to share their findings with the general public. Tyson urges scientists to share fun and interesting information that they learn everyday. His personal Twitter account, which has over 1.5 million followers, does just that. One of his recent posts reminds the public that education is more than just in the books: “Good education is not what fills your head with facts but what stimulates curiosity. You then learn for the rest of your life.” From quips to scientific “fun facts,” Neil keeps his followers on their toes.


Advances in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to obtain natural gas have made this resource an abundantly available and comparatively inexpensive source of fuel. While electric utility generators have traditionally favored large coal-or nuclear-powered plants to supply electricity to a designated grid, natural gas has steadily risen in popularity within this sector since the 1990’s - if it continues along its current path, natural gas is projected to overtake coal and nuclear power as a primary source of alternative energy over the next few decades. Automakers, however, are still struggling to put America’s prodigious volumes of natural gas to their use.

While coal may still be the cheapest means of generating electricity, it is also the dirtiest, causing smog, soot, acid rain, and other toxic air pollutants. Natural gas burns cleaner, and releases dramatically fewer emissions into the atmosphere - a nearly 30 percent reduction in carbon output and toxins. It’s also cheaper by as much as $1 per gallon equivalent, even as the prices of gas and diesel have plummeted in recent weeks. When used to power vehicles, it’s one of the leading choices for environmentally-conscious drivers worldwide.

But despite its comparatively clean and reliable track record, CNG vehicles have had a hard time catching on in the United States. The average yearly growth rate for the U.S. hovers at around 4%, as contrasted with an impressive global growth rate of over 30%. Government agencies and private companies are making massive investments to boost America’s natural gas fueling infrastructure, but the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel remains relatively modest. Most CNG vehicles offered today are available for commercial truck fleets, or as buses and medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks. Because there are so few personal vehicles running on compressed natural gas, companies are unwilling to invest in the construction of a network of refueling stations. And auto companies don’t want to build CNG vehicles if drivers will have no where to gas up.

The compressed natural gas success story in the United States is still in its infancy. But as technology advances, the domestic uses for natural gas multiply. Furnaces and water heaters powered by the alternative fuel can allow homeowners to save between $300-$1,262 per year on their utility bills. In typical home appliances, the use of natural gas cuts energy consumption by 28 percent and produces 37 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Innovators in the fuel industry soon hope to give individuals the option to generate their own electricity at home, using natural gas to power small generators (more info at Direct Energy’s website). Our energy future continues to hang in the balance, and while the harvesting and transport of natural gas pose a threat to its success, it remains one of the most promising advances in the energy sector.

As with all fossil fuels, natural gas began as microorganisms living in the ocean. As such, natural gas is a non-renewable resource (at least in our lifetime) and it’s important to remember that it won’t be available forever. Lack of infrastructure also complicates matters, and some fracking companies have become victims of their own success when productivity outpaces access to pipelines. The fracking process itself is also an enormous concern, and so far over 100 U.S. municipalities have banned fracking due to concerns about groundwater contamination.

Air pollution, hazardous wastes and other issues are also connected with use of hydraulic fracturing, and have been linked to increases in health problems in people living near fracking sites. Tests from these areas have also revealed high levels of benzene, formaldehyde and other cancer-causing chemicals in the air.

With fracking production outpacing the science on its impact, continued drilling has sparked public outcry and outrage from environmentalists. That said, the increase in available natural gas, along with increasingly strict vehicle emission requirements and a gradual improvement in fueling infrastructure, can be expected to continue to push the market for CNG passenger cars in conjunction with the increased demand for home heating and appliance applications. In 2013, 27% of U.S. electricity was generated from natural gas, more than doubling from

amounts used for that purpose in 2004. While natural gas’s role in climate change remains controversial, our hunger for energy resources as insatiable as ever. With a cheap, domestic energy source at our disposal it seems foolish to throw the baby out with the fracking water.


As electric cars become more and more prominent on roads around the world, it is only logical that the demand for home charging stations is reaching a new peak, with companies scrambling to meet it. Already there are several options with a wide array of benefits that give consumers a choice, but the question becomes how does one find the best charging station for them and their particular situation? Fortunately, it's fairly easy to compare several of the top brands.

Converting Your Car

The first thing to keep in mind is that it's actually very easy to convert a car from using petrol to employing electric power, and there are quite a few reasons to make this change.

For one, it costs a lot less to run an electric vehicle. For a handful of change you can travel as far as a full tank of gas would otherwise bring you. According to a study conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists “Based on electricity rates in 50 cities across the United States, the analysis found drivers can save $750 to $1,200 dollars a year compared to operating an average new compact gasoline vehicle (27 mpg) fueled with gasoline at $3.50 per gallon. Higher gas prices would mean even greater EV fuel cost savings. For each 50 cent increase in gas prices, an EV driver can expect save an extra $200 a year.” Those who live in energy deregulated markets (read more about those here) can pair this with an energy provider who uses green energy to pack a double punch against their carbon footprint.

Luckily for car owners who want to make the changeover but are wearing of the price tag of electric cars the actual conversion of a gas powered car to one that runs off electricity can be done for much less than the cost of a new electric car and it will produce zero emissions when it's finished. Making this change is therefore not only good for your budget (in both the short and long runs), but also the environment.

Leviton Evr-green

Leviton has gone to great lengths to start thinking ahead. That's why the new Evr-green system is not only designed for both Level I and Level II users, but it also includes a pre-wire system that can be installed in a home in order to make the transition to an electric car easier. The system starts at around $200 but does not including installation, which is best left to the professionals.

That being said, it's a bit pricey at $1,129.54 and doesn't include DC fast charge, making it one of the slower units available on the market today.


What stands out about AeroVironment is largely their commercial operations, offering both Level II and DC fast charge units, but its residential operations just got a big boost in the arm by securing the exclusive contract to be the installed station for Nissan LEAF home charging. At $899.00, it's an excellent deal.

What makes this particularly useful is that AeroVironment is now forced to comply with standards of a major automobile brand, so you should see a consistent progression of improvements on the model and more cars making use of the system in order to partake in already installed units. On the other hand, the units are designed with specific cars and receptacles in mind, so if you get another car later you'll likely need another charging station to go with it.

General Electric WattStation

Part of what makes the GE WattStation such a great station and will be fantastic for home use is that it's the only one with WiFi smart grid technology built into it, so it's easy to connect to when you require remote access and help finding additional charging stations when you need them on the road (you can even check out a map of stations on their site). Add to that the GE name, which has built its reputation over quite some time, and you have a charging station you can count on.

That being said, it is by far the most expensive at $2,999.00. What's worse is that is for a station that only does Level II charging. It is clear that you are very much paying for the GE name with this charger.

Clipper Creek

Despite being around for decades, Clipper Creek isn't well known in the charging station industry. They're very much a quiet competitor, largely because they haven't put much effort into the design of their stations. Moreover, they only do Level II charging. That being said, they are the install of choice for the Tesla Roadster and despite just being gray boxes, are highly reliable charging stations. These will last as long as your car and probably more than that, as well as having a wide variety of voltage and amperage settings to choose from.

The price for a Clipper Creek station runs anywhere from $379 to $899, making them also the least expensive option despite their limitations.

NRG eVgo

NRG eVgo is a company that is aggressively trying to establish itself as the center of home and public charging, and they're doing it by not only offering a high quality residential unit for a good price, but also offering service and maintenance at your house for when things go wrong. The drawback, however, is that you only get 12 to 25 miles of travel per hour of charge, making it great for a standard Level II if you don't drive a lot, but terrible if you're looking for something that will last a while. The width of the variance also makes it uncomfortable to gauge your driving capacity.

You can get a home charging NRG eVgo station for $699.00 or you can sign up for their monthly Freedom Station network for $14.99 per month plus a recharge fee.

As you can see, there are quite a few options for almost everyone’s budget if you’re considering converting your existing car to, or purchasing, an electric car. It’s important to note with all this technology that while the upfront costs may seem like a burden, they will pay for themselves in the long run and help you sleep better at night knowing all the good you’re doing for the planet.


Most of the American public is already familiar, if only in passing, with drones and their general capabilities. We know that they’re primarily used for military purposes, whether it be surveillance or combat, and that they can be controlled remotely. However, new uses are constantly cropping up for drones in commercial settings, which is leaving many Americans slightly uneasy about their presence – an uneasiness which comes from a lack of information on the positive work drones can do. Granted, as with anything, there are better and worse sides to drones. But in some cases, the good might entirely outweigh the bad.

Some of the biggest supporters of drone use are delivery services. Maybe you’ve seen the video of Amazon’s purposed drone delivery service. It would make their delivery services much quicker, efficient, and in the long run, save money and valuable resources by reducing the number of heavy, fuel-eating trucks on the road. Joining Amazon in looking into drone delivery is UPS, the world’s largest parcel service. Both companies have more than enough funds to invest in research, so it’s possible that delivery drones will be closer to reality every day. In a rather comical bid to join UPS and Amazon in the drone delivery arena, Domino’s has been supposedly testing their “DomiCopter” drone, which is a drone that would be used to deliver pizza. It’s a godsend for delivery addicts everywhere, and thinking about the number of delivery cars (who only deliver a few pizzas each round) off the road is intriguing, but Domino’s full investment doesn’t seem as likely as an Amazon or UPS drone.

It isn’t all about commercial, money making drones either. There are a number of philanthropic companies looking to use drones to better our planet as well. A company on the forefront of this is Conservation Drones, who not only were able to develop a drone for only $2,000, but were also able to show its ability to survey and collect conservation data of rain forests and other wildlife habitats without disturbing them. The company caught the attention of the Mongabay corporation, whose financial support allowed them to become an official non-profit. What this means is that Conservation Drones will be able to channel even more funds into creating inexpensive drones to help protect and conserve the planet's increasingly threatened wildlife habitats.

Joining them is Matternet, whose purpose is to use drones to deliver medical supplies to impoverished areas, but to also create a “physical internet” infrastructure in rural and remote areas whose only somewhat viable option today is satellite internet. Their end goal is to connect those in remote areas with the rest of the world, thus increasing their education and knowledge, and hopefully enabling them to better improve both their lives and the lives of others around them.

In addition to philanthropic efforts, drones are becoming a tool used in response to emergency situations. Germany company Height-Tech has teamed with defibrillator manufacturer Schiller to create a system where defibrillators would be delivered via drone to heart attack victims when prompted by a smartphone app. The drones could fly a distance of 200 km according to Height-Tech’s website, making their use fairly localized at the moment (for now).

Closer to home, drones are being used to track weather, wildfires, and other potential natural disasters. Recently, NASA teamed with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Northrop Group to develop and create drones which would be used to track and monitor hurricanes. These drones would be able to reach higher altitudes than the hurricane itself, thus giving an overview of the storm that previously has been mostly unavailable. In addition to that effort, the use of drones in tracking and fighting wildfires is becoming an increasingly viable option. Since wildfires are notorious for rapidly and unexpectedly changing direction, a drone would be able to give live updates to fire officials and the public, whose lives (and the lives of the wildlife involved) may be saved by this real-time knowledge. Right now, firefighters tackling these wildfires have had to update the location of the fire themselves through tablets and smartphones. However, in more remote areas, where they have no internet or cellular connection, they’re out of luck and must rely solely on instinct and (likely) old information they've received.

When it comes to drones, there are equally viable arguments both for and against their use. None of these arguments are going to be solved overnight, though generally, once a technology hits the market, it’s difficult to reverse its forward progress. It’s simply going to take time in order to see when and where drone usage will become regular, where it shouldn’t be used, and what changes need to be made for an increasingly drone friendly world. According to the Federal Aviation Agency, there is likely to be a staggering 7,500 commercial drones in the air by 2018, some of which can hopefully be put to good use.


There’s no denying that buildings created in the past ten or so years are far more energy efficient than older structures. The older the building, more likely it is to be an energy sinkhole, consuming far more resources than it needs to. Older buildings more commonly have inefficient HVAC, cooling, lighting and water heating systems in place, as well as wear and tear issues: such as drafty doors and windows, leaky pipes, and worn insulation (if there is any at all).

Many articles and much attention has been given to the easy fixes regarding these buildings. Updating lights to CFL or LED lighting, installing a smart thermometer, and purchasing inexpensive insulation from hardware stores for attics, windows and walls are all excellent ways to cut down on energy costs. However, with the ever-rising costs of energy prices, and the knowledge that resident and commercial buildings still account 40% of energy consumption globally, it might be time to consider doing more than picking up a few draft stoppers.

Today there are close to 20 million home remodels a per year, with up to $150 billion spend on renovations. Unfortunately, this money is generally driven toward expansion and aesthetic purposes, such as replacing worn out interiors. Little is done toward updating the energy efficiency of a building -perhaps due to a lack of motivation, or lack of knowledge regarding the inefficiencies of a particular structure. Some home and commercial building owners might have even resigned themselves to the belief that unless they were to entirely rebuild, there’s not much that can be done, and obviously, rebuilding a structure from top to bottom costs more than most people can afford.

However, this thought process is entirely untrue. There is more that can be done beyond easy quick-fixes, and it doesn’t require knocking a structure down and starting over. In fact, it has been proven that completely rebuilding would waste more material, energy, and money than committing to a Deep Energy Retrofit -what renovation companies and contractors are calling the intense weatherization program that saves far more than the 10% to 15% of standard energy efficiency driven upgrades.

Deep Energy Retrofits do more than locate energy weak spots in a home and replace outdated systems. Some contractors, in an effort to create a perfectly insulated building, even use laser technology to create a 3D model of the structure - in addition to traditional scanning technology. Every DER involves adding some form of interlocking, leak proof, thermally efficient material (such as TES, a timber-based facade) onto every outer wall, as well as double and triple glazed windows. Both additions will do far more for a building’s insulation than anything store-bought and self-applicable could ever do. Deep Energy Retrofits might also include replacing poorly installed batt insulation, adding ceiling insulation, sealing ducts, and upgrading hot water heaters, HVAC and temperature systems, and all appliances to Energy Star approved machinery. Additional changes might include installing a sealed combustion furnace and improving kitchen and bath exhaust, as well as whole-house ventilation.

On average, depending on the size and state of the building, a full retrofit could cost anywhere from $10,000 to $60,000, with many variations. The cost is high, but still less than a complete rebuild, and well worth it: buildings that have been retrofitted can see onsite energy reductions of up to 74%, and carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced as much as 54%. With energy costs only continuing to rise —more than doubling in the past ten years— and the sluggish pace of renewable energy projects, an Deep Energy Retrofit is likely the best option for many outdated residences and commercial buildings. Building updates, paired with a re-evaluation of energy prices and renewable energy programs (through sites like or depending on your area) are more immediate, and have more drastic results than investing in unreliable renewable energy sources onsite, such as solar panels or wind turbines, and then rewiring the building.


Veganism is often considered one of the most radical diets. It truly is a lifestyle as well, since being vegan by choice not only entails refusing to ingest any animal products, it also means avoiding animal products in clothing, makeup and other purchasable items. But what many don’t realize is that veganism and vegetarianism, besides encouraging a healthier, plant-based diet, also contribute to a greener earth, and could save the lives of not only countless animals but also our planet itself.

Before urbanization and industrialization and other “izations” that led us to where we are today, consuming animals meant finding one, killing it, and utilizing the meat and fur it provided. Nowadays, livestock production requires huge amounts of natural resources such as water, fossil fuels and topsoil. There are more than 17 billion livestock in the world — approximately triple the number of people. The water needed to irrigate grains and hay for livestock is massive. The Water Education Foundation has discovered that it takes around 2,654 gallons just to produce one pound of beef, whereas only 25 gallons are necessary to produce one pound of wheat. In the United States, 40 percent of water used goes to irrigating feed crops for livestock. In addition, world meat production has quadrupled in the past fifty years, and the livestock population is growing far faster than human population. It’s expected that this trend will only continue at a rapidly increasing rate due to the Chinese and other countries’ middle classes adapting to a more Western-inspired, meat-centred diet.

In addition to water usage, a meat-based diet takes up three times as much land as a vegan diet. Land availability is one of the primary constraints on increased food production, and with a population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, a major question has become, quite literally, where on earth we will produce more food. The planet is limited on the amount of viable land for agricultural, and what’s not already being used could be the home to endangered species of plants and animals. It also doesn’t help that the continued felling of forests to grow food leave fewer trees overall to absorb carbon dioxide and combat global warming. Industrial livestock production is simply unsustainable. However, a vegan diet only requires about a third of the land necessary for meat-based diets.

Not only is livestock production taking up vast amounts of space, it’s also polluting our air. The methane produced by bacteria in the stomachs of sheep, cattle and goats (which is released through the animals’ bodily functions) is responsible for at least one third of all biological methane emissions on the planet. Methane, unfortunately, is also twenty times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Even if methane wasn’t an issue, a typical meat-based diet is creates nearly 1.5 tonnes more carbon dioxide per person, per year, than a vegan diet. To put that number in perspective, experts have agreed that it would be more environmentally beneficial to stop eating meat than it would be to switch to an electric car.

So why are the majority of people still opposed to the vegan diet? Is it truly the taste of bacon and other meat products that make it difficult for people to even slightly reduce their animal consumption down to just a few meals per week? Perhaps it is a lack of education, or misunderstanding of the vegan and vegetarian culture that causes a negative response.

Data from the social media analysis tool Viralheat shows, despite veganism being most often associated with health concerns and a clean diet (some the most frequent vegan Tweeters are handles like @health_watch and @CookingRecipe_s) negative sentiment toward the idea of veganism slightly outweighs positive sentiment, though both represent around 40 percent of all social mentions. The remaining 20 percent remain somewhere in the middle, perhaps knowing the diet’s benefits, but not being in favor of committing themselves.

Still, it’s important to keep in mind, for those opposed to veganism and vegetarianism, that even a compromise, or commitment to eating less meat, could benefit the planet. Animal cruelty viewpoints aside, there’s no debate that eating less meat would help ease food crisis and prevent excessive energy use and pollution. After all, veganism is no longer just about the animals, it’s now also about a greener planet.


Chances are if you're anywhere in the northern half of the country, you’ve been shivering more than a little for the last month. With the first polar vortex, and now this week’s return to near-zero temperatures, millions of Americans have been slammed with snow and unbearable temperatures (which could have been even colder). The only way to battle the cold is to pile on layers of clothing and turn up the heat. If you thought your electricity and gas bill were high to begin with, wait until you get it at the end of the month. However, there are ways that you can reduce your energy use in other areas in order to help compensate for the extra heat you need to avoid freezing solid in your sleep.

The first, most logical, solution to reducing your energy bill is to turn down your heat as much as comfortably possible. For every degree you turn your thermostat down, you can save between 1-3% on your annual heating costs. There is nothing wrong with having to layer up a bit inside your home, no matter what the kids say. It’s the middle of winter, lounging around in shorts and a t-shirt shouldn’t be an option outside or inside. Also, instead of turning up the heat to make the house cozy for bedtime, layer on some thick blankets and turn the thermostat even lower. If you really need the extra heat in a certain part of your house (perhaps the living room where you spend most of your time) invest in a small space heater for that room alone and keep the temperature in the rest of the house lower than usual.

This is also a great time to look at your energy provider and see what they are doing to go green. Because why should you be the only one in this relationship making an effort? In many states where energy is deregulated, green and ecofriendly electricity companies are popping up as the go-to source of energy for many eco-conscious homeowners. Companies like CPL Energy offer “green plans” that allow their customers to choose supporting environmentally friendly energy sources versus ordinary fossil fuel sources.

In addition to this, it’s important to clean or replace the filters for your HVAC or forced air furnace at the beginning of each season. A dirty filter means the system has to work that much harder to do the same job, thus jacking up your energy bills. This is also a great time to invest in a humidifier. This freezing air is incredibly dry, which can not only dry out your skin and hair, but also suck all the moisture out of the air in your home. Moist air feels warmer than dry air, so having some moisture in the air will make it feel a bit more comfortable inside.

Of course, heating an area with drafts or air leaks is an illogical thing to do. Your money is literally flying out the window in the form of wasted heat. To prevent this from running up your bill, investigate the doors and windows in your home. Do you see any cracks or gaps at all? Does it feel slightly cooler in certain areas? Time then to invest in some caulk and weatherstrips. Even if the gap seems too small to make a different, caulking it can stop the problem before it starts. On the US Department of Energy’s website they offer a handy how-to guide on how to caulk if it’s your first time.

Aside from all of this it’s important to take stock of what you’re using inside your home. Many people don’t know this, but ceiling fans do more than just cool down a room. It’s common knowledge that heat rises, so most of the warm air in the room is around the ceiling. By switching the fans spinning direction to clockwise, it will disperse warm air down and throughout the room.

These are just a few steps you can take to help soften the blow that will inevitably come when you receive your energy bill and also reduce harm to the environment from all of the carbon emissions released during this polar vortex. It’s not difficult to see how the environment and weather have changed as a result of humans and our recklessness, so taking even small steps during this cold snap will hopefully lessen the negative impact on mother nature.


Energy companies in Calgary, Alberta, are attempting to make their first network of natural-gas export terminals as lucrative a business as their counterparts in Texas. The first step, however, is finding almost 50,000 workers willing to make the move to Alberta.

Over the next decade, the Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada estimate that as many as 47,900 oil and gas jobs will need filling over the next decade, and if British Columbia’s efforts are included, more than 100,000 jobs could be created. In order to tempt workers to make the trip, housing complexes with significant amenities are in the process of being constructed. Workers will find their homes boast indoor golf driving ranges, two-story gymnasiums and even private movie theaters. Calgary-based company, Atco, has even added squash courts, a running tack, and recreation rooms with Ping-Pong and foosball tables.The atmosphere and entertainment options are a not-so-hidden attempt to mitigate the isolation workers from across the globe may feel if they do decide to join one of the many future projects.

It’s difficult to tell if any perk will overshadow the isolated West Coast, but perhaps the wage inflation might. Remoteness may become more bearable when considering that labor shortages in Canada have already resulted in many oil and gas workers’ wages skyrocketing as much as 60 percent higher than the same job pays in the United States, according to both U.S. and Canadian labor data. Workers in Texas, often envied for their high wages, make approximately $29.50 an hour. Those same positions in Canada can earn up to C$44.80 ($42.01) an hour, according to the numbers from Nabors Industries.

The main instigator for Canada’s sudden wave of gas export construction is the country’s desire to meet rising demand in Asia. Last year, Japan alone imported $58 billion of liquefied natural gas last year. Chevron, which is among the Alberta Natural Gas companies looking to profit from this venture, is aiming to build a pipeline across Canada’s western mountains as well as a plant on the country’s freezing Pacific Coast to allow shipping to Asia. That project alone will require as many as 5,500 workers.

Other companies looking to benefit from Asia’s need are Royal Dutch Shell, and Petroliam Nasional. The project leaders, which include Chevron, intend to secure financial partners and long-term contacts with suppliers before proceeding with the proposed ten export LNG terminals already looking to receive building permits. If even five of the projects are built by 2021, then at a minimum, 21,600 workers will be needed, and an estimated C$47.8 billion will be spent.

The housing alone will cost Canadian energy companies an average of $200 a day per person, since competition to acquire workers has resulted in work camps that function more similarly to a hotel than the previous dorm style living standard. Now, labor costs can make up to as much of half the construction budget of a typical LNG plant, and Canadians can expect the living price to continue to rise. In Australia, similar competition resulted in resort-style living. In addition, due to the demand for skilled workers, such as those who could weld cryogenic equipment, some workers earn as much as $500,000 a year.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark is hoping for British Columbia to make a similar, if not bigger contribution to the natural gas energy market as Alberta. Clark says that as much as 150 years worth of natural gas reserves can be found in B.C. fields, as much as Alberta has in their oilsands. Clark believes that B.C. and Alberta will be doing the “biggest favor for the environment” by helping China and the rest of Asia reduce dependence on coal. As she says: “[Canada] would be doing a huge favor to the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions because we all share that air.”

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