Canada's history (and present state) as a place of mines and sawmills and boom-bust cycles has left a lot of pock marks across the landscape. Sometimes someone deals with them, sometimes nobody does.
Marathon, Ontario, has had a string of hazardous materials spilled/leaked/mishandled out of an abandoned sawmill over the last few years, on top of the already dirty history of operation. Said contamination blessed the surrounding area with everyone's favourite friends “Miss Mercury” and “Captain PCB”.
ANN ARBOR, MICH. (July 13, 2012)—Yesterday the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canadian released a study affirming that all five Great Lakes are hospitable to Asian carp and that once established the non-native fish will likely disrupt the native fishery, alter the ecosystem and create another food web.
River Network, a US-based organization dedicated to protecting and restoring rivers have released a report on the water footprint of electricity, explaining how power plants of all types (nuclear, coal and natural gas) draw from our vital water resources to produce electricity. The report investigates how power production puts tremendous stress on our watersheds, including the Great Lakes. The demand for “burning” freshwater sources from electricity production also leads to a range of pollution and water scarcity concerns, which could be assuaged by introducing more water-efficient ways of generating power. Although the findings of this report are situated within a US context, the “burning” of water sources is a global occurrence, and the content presented is valuable for grasping an understanding of this phenomena nonetheless.
By Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, B.C.
On Monday, January 21st, 2013
The International Energy Agency is warning that shooting past two degrees Celsius average global temperature will have “dire consequences.” And the World Bank is talking about 3.5 degrees of warming as being “devastating.” These are not environmental agencies. They are conservative, economically-oriented institutions. They are “establishment” with a capital E. Their language is increasingly alarmed, and yet nothing happens.
Canada’s scientific and environmental community received a huge blow last week with news that the Government of Canada plans to shut down the ELA. Employees of Fisheries & Oceans Canada learned on May 17, 2012 that research at ELA no longer fits within the government’s mandate and the world-renowned facility will be terminated in March 2013.
The abrupt closure means invaluable water research projects—not being done anywhere else in the world—will be lost, and their future findings lost with them. This includes a one-of-a-kind climate change study and the only investigation in the world looking at what happens in a lake polluted by nanosilver, the increasingly popular antimicrobial agent found in everything from household cleaning sponges to socks and even children’s teddy bears.