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.
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.
Halifax, NS – Sierra Club Atlantic welcomes the ban of the import of dangerous fracking waste announced today in Nova Scotia. Last spring, Sierra Club launched a petition calling for the ban, and the NS Liberal Party promised to ban the import of fracking waste in the lead up to the provincial election last September.
“This is a relief for Nova Scotians and Nova Scotian municipalities who feared that we were going to be tasked with dealing with toxic fracking waste in the region,” according to Gretchen Fitzgerald, Director of Sierra Club Atlantic, “I am thrilled to see the leadership in this province demonstrate they are taking the threat represented by toxic fracking waste seriously.”
Southwestern Energy (SWN) Resources is suing New Brunswick citizens attempting to protect their land, air, and water from the impacts of fracking by protesting seismic testing. In addition to naming 13 individuals, SWN named “Jane Doe” and “John Doe” as being responsible for costs they are claiming are caused by protestors. This Wednesday in Moncton, Jane Doe will speak out in response to SWN’s suit.
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.
There are warnings the tidal bore in the Bay of Fundy will light up by itself if a plan to dump more than four-million litres of fracking waste water into the ocean goes ahead.
The water, which has some level of naturally occurring radiation in it, is in a holding tank right now, but Atlantic Industrial Services plans to dump that water into the Debert sewer system if it can get approval.
The district manager for the provincial environment department’s Truro office has given the dump the thumbs up, but nothing is official until the Municipality of Colchester says so.
The municipality is holding public hearings on the topic tonight and tomorrow.
There are concerns fracking companies don’t reveal all the chemicals used in their “special sauce” recipe that they use to get the gas out of the ground.
The break is over and we only have a few days to convince the Ontario government not to weaken its already inadequate enforcement of the Endangered Species Act.
The Natural Resources Ministry wants to stop issuing permits to developers wanting to build in areas where endangered species are living. Instead of being required to obtain a permit (as is the case now) when working in sensitive habitat areas home to endangered or threatened species, developers and industry would only have to voluntarily comply with existing rules and regulations. In our business "voluntary regulation" is an oxymoron; a misnomer for deregulation or the wholesale gutting of regulation (remember voluntary labeling of GM foods – 10 years later we’re still waiting for that to happen).
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.