100 episodes

Conversations That Matter is a weekly news series hosted by veteran Canadian journalist Stuart McNish. He sits down with thought leaders from around the globe to dig into the issues that matter to Canadians.

Conversations That Matter Stuart McNish, Veteran Canadian Newsman

    • News
    • 4.3 • 7 Ratings

Conversations That Matter is a weekly news series hosted by veteran Canadian journalist Stuart McNish. He sits down with thought leaders from around the globe to dig into the issues that matter to Canadians.

    Is today finally hydrogen’s day? Guest: Jessica Verhagen

    Is today finally hydrogen’s day? Guest: Jessica Verhagen

     Is today finally hydrogen’s day?


    Guest: Jessica Verhagen


     


    To say hydrogen’s day has been coming for a long time is an understatement. It was discovered by Henry Cavendish in 1766 and it was quickly identified as the most abundant chemical substance in the universe – the entire universe. In other words, there is no “peak hydrogen.”  We can use the stuff forever and we can use it to store energy and to fuel transportation. And maybe, just maybe, today is the day hydrogen takes centre stage as the fuel of choice.


     


    In transportation, the electrification of heavy vehicles and service vehicles like taxis and police cars and delivery trucks just isn’t practical. The practical alternative is hydrogen. Practical is so many ways such as storage, storage capacity in the vehicle, the fact that hydrogen and gas mix. Heck, hydrogen and methane mix and so does hydrogen and diesel.


     


    And the sources of hydrogen are ubiquitous – they are everywhere. With that said, in a world that is endeavouring to lower GHGs, green hydrogen is treasured. That means the electricity used to produce the hydrogen is, well, green.  Well, what about waste by product hydrogen – the hydrogen you can produce using landfill waste? Not only do you reduce methane emissions from landfills, but you also create clean burning hydrogen.


     


    It’s an exciting new world. But wait – there’s the challenge of switching vehicles from diesel or gas to hydrogen. That can be costly. And who do you turn to and how does it work? Enter British Columbia-based Hydra Energy, which offers hydrogen to trucking fleets as a service.


     


    Stuart McNish invited Jessic Verhagen, the CEO of Hydra Energy, to join him for a Conversation That Matters about hydrogen’s role in a low carbon world.



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    • 23 min
    Social Media and Food Guest: Sylvain Charlebois

    Social Media and Food Guest: Sylvain Charlebois

    According to Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, one of the most important changes in the food supply network is social media. “Consumers,” he says, “finally have a voice and they're using it. They're talking a lot about food and where to buy it.” Previously, the food relationship was a push from manufacturer to grocer and then to consumer. But he says, “Now it's a pull in the other direction. And this, in essence, is putting tremendous pressure on the food industry in Canada.”


    Charlebois says it's democratizing the supply chain and it's giving everyone a chance to establish direct relationships between producers and consumers. And according to him, “Big-name producers like PepsiCo, Kraft Heinz, Gordon Food Services, and Sysco – to name but a few – are now selling directly to consumers.” This shift in the relationship is also introducing food choices that didn't exist before, and that's because small or specialized producers couldn't access the market. Charlebois, who consults with food startup companies, says, “You will now see more and more small specialized producers connecting online with consumers and offering them a wider range of products.”


    Stuart McNish invited food specialist Dr. Sylvain Charlebois of Dalhousie University to join him for a Conversation That Matters, Food For Thought episode about the dramatic changes underway in food production and supply thanks to consumer empowerment.


    Please become a Patreon subscriber and support the production of this program, with a $1 pledge https://goo.gl/ypXyDs  Watch this episode on YouTube and on CHEKNews

    • 32 min
    COVID-19: Where did it come from? - Nicholas Wade

    COVID-19: Where did it come from? - Nicholas Wade

    The hunt is on for the source of the coronavirus. Was it a natural leap from animal to human via another host animal or was it a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology? To date, we don’t know. And the answer is vitally important to a large swath of people and the Chinese and American governments.
     
    Early in the pandemic, we were heavily influenced to believe it was a natural emergence. The reason we were nudged in that direction was statements from two significant scientific groups – statements that, according to science journalist Nicholas Wade, “were not at first examined as critically as they should have been.”
     
    On February 19, 2020, The Lancet published a statement that said, “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin.”
     
    Wade says, “Contrary to that assertion, the idea that the virus might have escaped from a lab-invoked accident, not conspiracy – it surely needed to be explored, not rejected out of hand. A defining mark of good scientists is that they go to great pains to distinguish what they know and what they don’t know. By this criterion, the signatories of the Lancet letter were behaving as poor scientists.”
     
    We invited Nicholas Wade to discuss his investigative work to have a Conversation That Matters about what we do and don’t actually know about the source of COVID-19. ---
     
    Please become a Patreon subscriber and support the production of this program, with a $1 pledge https://goo.gl/ypXyDs --- ctm358 #covid19 #coronavirus #pandemic



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    • 23 min
    Does Context Matter? Guest: Vince Taylor, author of “Beyond the Blindfold: Harnessing the Secret Power of Context”

    Does Context Matter? Guest: Vince Taylor, author of “Beyond the Blindfold: Harnessing the Secret Power of Context”

    Does context matter? It’s an odd question to ask, especially of yourself. After all, isn't your point of view yours and therefore it’s correct? So who cares? Well, Vince Taylor cares. He cares so much he wrote a book about his journey of self-discovery.


     


    Taylor says, “Before I really understood context, I understood nothing.” If you sit back for a moment and think about Taylor’s assertion, it seems implausible that you could be so far off base because you haven’t taken the time to consider the context. According to him, “Context is the most powerful, naturally occurring interruption of the conscious mind I have ever experienced – a neural concoction so influential that even the best and brightest suffer from incredible and inexplicable bias. The result is that now, to consider my opinions ‘right’ and other opinions ‘wrong’ has become preposterous and embarrassing.”


     


    In fact, he was so moved by what he learned, he spent ten years writing a book that, should you read it and absorb the messages, you too will challenge yourself and your perspectives and biases. And if you decide to travel on that journey – one that Dr Scott Peck calls the “Road Less Traveled” – well, put on your seatbelt and wear a helmet because the road is bumpy and long.


     


    Stuart McNish invited Vince Taylor, author of “Beyond the Blindfold: Harnessing the Secret Power of Context,” to join him for a conversation that matters about a path to enlightenment that is humbling and rewarding.



    Please become a Patreon subscriber and support the production of this program, with a $1 pledge https://goo.gl/ypXyDs  Watch this episode on YouTube and on CHEKNews

    • 29 min
    Will the cruise ships ever come back to BC? - Guest Ian Robertson

    Will the cruise ships ever come back to BC? - Guest Ian Robertson

    Ep 356 - Will the cruise ships ever come back?


    Guest: Ian Robertson


     


    Where have all the cruise ships gone?


     


    They were a long time coming.  It’s important to remember they didn’t come here by chance.


     


    In the 1980s, the Honourable Grace McCarthy set her sights on building a sustainable tourism business and she knew the growing Alaska cruise ship industry was a perfect fit. She worked with the Feds and built Canada Place in Vancouver, not just as a convention centre but also as a world class cruise ship terminal that would bring millions of passengers and their money to Vancouver.


     


    In the 1990s, the focus expanded to include rebuilding Ballantyne Pier and to include Victoria. And it worked brilliantly. Central to the success of the campaign is a provision in the Jones Act called the Passenger Vehicle Services Act, which requires ships carrying passengers to stop at a foreign port between two US ports.


     


    This provision meant Vancouver and Victoria were perfectly located in the Alaska cruise ship industry. Ships could travel from Alaska to British Columbia and back again, or Alaska, BC and Seattle and back again. In 2018, “Cruising in Alaska” reported “about 3.8 million port-of-call cruise passenger visits, or approximately 61%, of all port-of-call cruise visits in the United States,” making Alaska the number one cruise destination.


     


    Over the last three and a half decades, Canadian governments appear to have taken the industry for granted, so much so that when Alaska reached out to Premier Horgan and Prime Minister Trudeau to find a way around the Canadian government's COVID closed-border rules, neither leader even returned the call or email. 


     


    Rather than sit by and do nothing, Senator Mike Lee of Utah introduced three bills (that weren’t approved) to repeal the PVSA, saying it is blatantly “Canada First” and it needs to go. Then Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski introduced a bill that was passed and now allows cruise ships to bypass Canada while our border remains closed.


     


    Stuart McNish invited Ian Robertson, the CEO at the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, to have a Conversation That Matters about why taking the cruise ship industry for granted is a bad idea.


     


    Please become a Patreon subscriber and support the production of this program, with a $1 pledge https://goo.gl/ypXyDs

    • 23 min
    Is Cattle Ranching Sustainable? - Cherie Copithorne-Barnes

    Is Cattle Ranching Sustainable? - Cherie Copithorne-Barnes

    Ep 355 - Is cattle ranching sustainable?


    Guest - Cherie Copithorne-Barnes


    We need protein – plain and simple, we need it. And we need protein from nutrient rich sources. Beef, chicken, pork are all nutrient rich and when cooked, these are the foods that propelled the development of the human brain. They remain important to our brain health and the replacement of protein in our bodies that is continuously breaking down.


    Alberta cattle rancher Cherie Copithorne-Barnes says, “Cows are an exceptional source of protein. They eat plant matter and bio-pack it into nutrient rich food for us.”


    Today, there are approximately 70 million cows in North America. That’s down by close to 50 million cows from a peak in the 1970s.  These are large grazing animals that we eat. 50 million cows is still a lot of animals eating a lot of grass and grains and barley. They take up a lot of space and they burp methane.


    “Yes,” says Copithorne-Barnes. “And they play a vital role in the health of marginal agricultural lands – land that you cannot grow anything else on,” to which Copithorne-Barnes points out, at over 1,300 metres above sea level in Alberta, no other agricultural product will grow and produce food humans can eat.


    The question then is, are cows bad for us? Bad for the environment? Or are they good for the environment and good for us? And that begs the question – is cattle ranching sustainable?


    Stuart McNish invited fourth generation rancher Cherie Copithorne-Barnes to join him for this episode of Conversations That Matter, Food for Thought to ask her about beef.


    Please become a Patreon subscriber and support the production of this program, with a $1 pledge https://goo.gl/ypXyDs

    • 23 min

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