Sustainable energy in the North Atlantic: Historical lessons to support long-term energy solutions

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Event Details

This one-day session engages experts to share lessons and key moments from the region’s past that underlie energy decisions we face today. The event assembles a diverse mix of the top thinkers in energy issues, including academics, engineers, and policy makers, who will identify historical lessons from the North Atlantic, with a particular focus on Nova Scotia, that encourage a transition toward a sustainable energy future.

Energy policy is generally crafted on the basis of economic data or a political mandate for enhanced sustainability. But what does history tell us about Nova Scotia’s social and cultural capacity for the energy transformation proposed by recent provincial strategies? What is unique about this place, its experience with and attitudes toward energy resources, production, and use? What initiatives from Nova Scotia have worked compared to neighbouring jurisdictions? What are the distinctive strengths, but also potential fissures?

The morning will include focus presentations by John Sandlos (Memorial University) and Claire Campbell (Dalhousie University) about long-term trends in the region’s energy profile, followed by select brief presentations by government, NGO, and business leaders about key turning points that have shaped our current understanding of energy use and the public and institutional landscape of energy policy.

In the afternoon, participants will engage in small group discussions in order to apply these historical and cultural perspectives to a series of policy questions about future energy planning, questions such as: What are the most important events that have shaped the public’s understanding of Nova Scotia’s energy production and energy use? Who would benefit from knowing this information? Are there past practices that can affect energy security? The afternoon is particularly designed to encourage conversation between new scholars and younger energy professionals and the more senior voices of the morning’s sessions that revolve around the benefits of using a business electricity comparison site not only to save cost but also to save energy.

Finn Arne Jorgensen (Umea University) will deliver the keynote evening public lecture on energy transitions, titled “Planning for Sacrifice Zones: Mining, Renewable Energy, and Spatial Sustainability in the Boreal North.”

The one-day workshop is free of charge to all participants and will include lunch and coffee breaks, and a reception before the keynote.
The event is generously supported by the Network in Canadian History and Environment (NiCHE) and Dalhousie University’s Strategic Initiatives Funding.

August 13, 2013
Room 5000 Rowe Building, Dalhousie University

If you have any questions, please contact –
Jeff Wilson, Dalhousie University

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