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The Big Shift

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Photo: Shutterstock.

This nine-plus part series by noted energy journalist Andrew Nikiforuk focuses on the major economic, environmental and political question of our time: Can we transition from fossil fuels to a more sustainable energy base without causing turmoil and social disintegration? What can we best do to prepare? Nikiforuk takes the question to some of the world's top experts and reports back.

The series is part of a larger project, "Canada's Transition to a Better Energy Future," produced by The Tyee in collaboration with Tides Canada Initiatives Society. Funding was provided by Fossil Fuel Development Mitigation Fund of Tides Canada Foundation. All funders sign releases guaranteeing The Tyee full editorial autonomy. Tyee funders and TCI neither influence nor endorse the particular content of Tyee reporting.

In This Series



Andrew Nikiforuk: The Big Shift

A great energy transition is coming. Will it mean a better day for humanity, or turmoil? First in a series.

By Andrew Nikiforuk, 18 Feb 2013


Unisphere, NY

Can We Live again in 1964's Energy World?

We must engineer a return to that era's lower usage, says expert Vaclav Smil. Second in a series.

By Andrew Nikiforuk, 27 Feb 2013


Horse energy transition

The Big Shift Last Time: From Horse Dung to Car Smog

Lessons from an earlier energy transition. Third in a series.

By Andrew Nikiforuk, 6 Mar 2013


Soviet map, Nikiforuk series

What Really Killed Soviet Union? Oil Shock?

Red Empire just ran out of fuel, say growing number of experts.

By Andrew Nikiforuk, 13 Mar 2013


Rolling house image

Why Energy Experts Get Things Wrong So Often

A history of failed guesses shows how hard it is to forecast fuels of the future.

By Andrew Nikiforuk, 20 Mar 2013


Big shift natural gas image

'The Shale Gale Is a Retirement Party'

So concludes an expert analyst of the natural gas boom. Brace for bust.

By Andrew Nikiforuk, 27 Mar 2013


Corn stalks

Perils and Promise of Turning Plants into Gasoline

There's a reason some call biofuels 'forbidden fuels'. Latest in a series.

By Andrew Nikiforuk, 10 Apr 2013



Solar Dreams, Spanish Realities

Facing limits to sun-powered renewable energy. Latest in a series.

By Andrew Nikiforuk, 1 May 2013



Difficult Truths about 'Difficult Oil'

As we work down the hydrocarbon pyramid, energy gets messier and much more costly. Latest in a series.

By Andrew Nikiforuk, 22 May 2013