Environmental activism has come of age. As recently as twenty-five years ago, its adherents were commonly disparaged as tree huggers and extremists. In the years since, thanks mostly to such disasters as the Exxon Valdez and Deepwater Horizon oil spills, they have outgrown these pejoratives—in the eyes of reasonable people, at least. A turning point was Al Gore’s 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, which for millions of viewers settled the debate on climate change.
OTTAWA -- Sierra Club Canada is very encouraged the U.S. State Department’s conclusion that the United States does not require the Keystone XL Pipeline to meet its energy demands.
“This clears the way for President Obama to reject the Keystone pipeline. If Keystone isn't needed, why would President Obama approve it," said John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada. “This is clearly the most significant conclusion in the 2000 page report.”
Sierra Club Canada has concerns with some sections of the report, namely that the authors took a narrow view in their analysis of overall greenhouse gas implications associated with Tar Sands development.
Sierra Club Canada will continue its review of the State Department's draft environmental impact statement on the Keystone XL Pipeline and will use the 45 day comment period to respond to its shortcomings.
Canada has no plans right now to follow the European Union's decision to ban a class of pesticides it believes is responsible for the deaths of many honey bees.
Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency said it already started a comprehensive review of three pesticides in the neonicotinoid class following last year's accidental poisonings of more than 200 apiaries in Ontario and Quebec by farmers applying the pesticides during plantings.
But it said that review is continuing and more investigation is needed to determine if the pesticides pose a significant environmental risk to domestic and wild pollinators. In the meantime, it has issued new rules to farmers on how to avoid killing bees with the pesticides.
On this Earth Day I am urging you to take a moment and help us fight for the protection of people living downstream of the Tar Sands. The health and well-being of these downstream communities, including Fort McMurray and Fort Chipewyan, has been sacrificed at the altar of economic-growth-at-all-costs.
One day soon, people in Ontario may spot an armed convoy passing through their town. Heavily armed guards will be protecting trucks carrying thousands of litres of radioactive waste containing highly enriched (weapons-grade) uranium in a toxic mixture of acid and countless other radioactive isotopes. It will be the most dangerous transport of nuclear waste ever attempted in Canada.
The Long-Term Energy Plan review now underway in Ontario demands our attention despite its sleep-inducing name. The choices the Wynne government makes will affect your pocket book, our economic competitiveness and the health of our environment.
There is no denying the amount of fight still left in Farley Mowat. Just let him get going on the “evil forces” who are sacrificing the environment in their lust for oil.
The writer, conservationist and conversationalist, who completed what he declared to be his final book nearly three years ago at the age of 89, is irate. A proposal to put an offshore oil and gas well in the Gulf of St. Lawrence will not go away, and Mr. Mowat is aghast at the depths of human folly.
Back in 1984, he wrote a book called Sea of Slaughter that detailed a litany of environmental wrongs in the gulf and on the Atlantic seaboard. The looming development, known as the Old Harry Prospect, holds the potential to unleash more of the same, Mr. Mowat said this week in a telephone interview from Cape Breton, where he and his wife, Claire, spend their summers.
Over the past two years, a growing number of individuals, businesses, and governments in Canada and around the world have been rallying against the cruelty and ecological destruction caused by the practice of shark finning. Next Monday, January 28th, all eyes will be on Calgary City Council when they vote on a proposed bylaw to ban the sale, trade and distribution of shark fins in the city. If successful, Calgary will become the largest city in Canada to ban shark fins, and the 18th municipality in Canada to do so.
Thus far, Calgary City Council has shown resolve in moving this bylaw forward, and they have been strongly encouraged to do so by over 11,000 Calgarians who signed petitions to show their support. But Monday is the final vote, and City Council needs to hear your support more than ever.
Research is questioning the logic behind the federal government's move to streamline environmental assessments.
After tracking thousands of assessments over a decade, the peer-reviewed findings of Derrick de Kerckhove suggest a great majority of Fisheries Act environmental reviews over the last decade were completed well within recommended timelines.
Nor was there a bottleneck of projects being held up by a clogged review process, he said.
"We didn't find any. Even when the input was high, it seemed to be handled very well."
De Kerckhove, a University of Toronto PhD candidate, analyzed 10 years worth of data from Department of Fisheries and Oceans annual reports on the progress of environmental assessments triggered under the Fisheries Act. That legislation generates more such reviews than almost any other — anywhere from 7,700 to more than 12,000 in a single year.
I had originally intended to write this column about my trip to Washington, DC on February 7-8, when I met with United States Senators and Congresspersons about climate and the Keystone XL pipeline. In brief, the trip was very successful in making links with strong proponents of climate action. Things are moving. The US General Accountability Office had decided that as a threat to federal government finances, climate change is now classed ‘high risk’.