Post Carbon Society: Implications for Canada's Future
Professor Ann Dale of the School of Environment and Sustainability at Royal Roads University has embarked on a year long initiative to encourage discussion of Canada's future energy supply. Her contribution takes the form of moderated "e-Dialogues" via the Internet.
To date one online discussion has been initiated with invited "e-Panelists" more or less simultaneously providing written input through their computers. There was an audience and members could submit questions. The Professor refers to this process as a synchronous e-Dialogue. I sat in on the first of these. Panelists included Elizabeth May, Louise Comeau, John Robinson, Jeff Ardon, Richard Gilbert and Ralph Torrie. Unfortunately, I did not realize till the end that questions from the audience were being collected for introduction by the moderator. The process seemed to go fairly well. Surely some advantage goes to the quickest fingers on the keyboard. It was also clear some panelists were well prepared with links to references and pre-prepared text ready to submit. It is my understanding more of these panels will be established though the year. The results of the first e-Panel discussion have been archived. They provide some information participants could use to pose additional questions on the open public forum.
The open public forum e-Dialogues have been set up to allow registered participants to make contributions on an on-going continuing basis. Professor Dale refers to this process as an asynchronous e-Dialogue. Several major topics relating to energy have been established already, mostly by the moderators. I believe it is possible for registered participants to start new sub-topics.
I found it difficult to wend my way around the forum. I posted a couple of comments successfully and intend to contribute more through the coming year. I'm sure familiarity will make it easier. I encourage others to register and contribute to making the dialogues a balanced and useful discussion of future energy supply in the face of potentially dwindling, or deliberately curtailed use of, fossil fuel resources. (DRP 06/01/08)