Sierra Club Blog Posts

This page shows a collection of all of Sierra Club Canada's blog posts, shown in chronological order. To view the full post, click on its title.

International Stop the Tar Sands Day 2011 - Here we go again!

EL REMATE, GUATEMALA - I guess my timing on this one could not have been better. Harper and new Environment Minister Peter Kent announce Friday that the tar sands are ethical oil and have gotten a bad rap. Derek announces Sunday the date for International Stop the Tar Sands Day 2011.... Read more »

Are we the grinch?

Canadians are receiving their annual Climate Change Christmas present at the United Nations, a place we were once revered. This year it's coming via Mexico, and as usual it's a lump of coal.

I can’t help but wonder...are Canadians being given a lump of coal, or are Canadians giving the world a lump of coal?

For most of us, this time of year is about being generous and giving of our time and resources to others.  All across the country we are helping with toy drives and hampers for families in need. We watch movies about hope, redemption and family.
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Miracles never cease

I cheated this year and opened my first present a little early. I was kind of suspicious. It arrived all wrapped up in blue, so to speak, and came in the form of an email; but when I opened it up, I couldn’t believe anyone could be so kind.

It was an excerpt from Hansard (the official record of the House of Commons). As you might imagine, I've been a little down lately, stuck up here in Ottawa with all the action at the United Nations negotiations down in Cancun, Mexico (I never seem to get to go when they are in a warm country!). I have been rigorously reviewing all of my email scans for tidbits from the negotiations, hoping something important happens, while at the same time not wanting to miss out on being there when it does.
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How WCO uses scientific uncertainty. The example of infrasound and the wind power debate

Infrasound

Infrasound is referred to by acousticians as sound that is below 20 hertz (Hz), the approximate value for the lowest audible frequencies.  20Hz is not necessarily the threshold for low frequency audible sound with experimental data showing individuals with thresholds at 4Hz in sound proof rooms (Watanabe and Møller 1990 in Leventhall 2006), or as low as 1.5Hz wearing headphones (Yeowart, Bryan et al. 1967 in Leventhall 2006).  Infrasound then, is somewhat difficult to define as “non detection” depends heavily on who is being subject to the sound, as well as the overall intensity of the sound itself.  Furthermore, recent research presented in “Responses of the ear to low frequency sounds, infrasound and wind turbines” by Salt and Hullar (2010) suggests that certain inner ear problems may cause increased sensitivity to infrasound.

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Tocco Da Casauria- A Wind Power Success Story

The wind power developments in Tocco Da Casauria, a small mountain town in Italy, are an excellent example of how wind energy can be successful both in supplying reliable, clean, energy and in engaging broad community support at the same time.  So how is it that wind power is so well received in this small town of about three thousand people?  We can begin to explain this by explaining Tocco's economic situation, ample natural endowments of wind, as well as by exploring how benefits are reaped for the entire community from profits from wind power. 

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Sierra Club Blog- WCO and Wind Project Public Meetings.

 

On Wednesday November 17th I had the opportunity to observe a public meeting/information session hosted by International Power Canada (IPC) for their proposed Silcote Corners Wind Project near Owen Sound.  As I anticipated, there was a strong WCO presence and they certainly didn’t sit on the sidelines and watch.  Before I get into what WCO did at the meetings I should first describe how the meetings were set up as this undoubtedly influenced how the protests proceeded. ... Read more »

We are the majority!

Last week the CBC reported that polar bears near Churchill, Manitoba are going hungry because Hudson Bay is over a month late freezing over this year. The bears hunt at the edge of the ice; the climate is changing. Think of polar bears as giant canaries - the miners’ early warning system.

Also last week, Conservative senators used a surprise dirty trick to defeat the Climate Change Accountability Act – a private members bill twice passed by elected MPs. The bill would have required the government to base its emission reduction plan on science.

Why can't we get action on climate change?  In every poll done over the last five years, an overwhelming majority of Canadians are in support of climate action. In the last election, 68% of voters voted for parties with plans to take significant steps to address this issue. The last pollster even told me we have the best numbers she’s ever seen for a public issue.
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Wind Concerns Ontario and the Green Energy Act

            Wind Concerns Ontario has vocally opposed the Ontario government’s Green Energy and Economy Act (GEA) for several reasons.  They argue that the GEA is too expensive (both as a taxpayer funded program and as a factor in increasing household energy bills), gives wind energy an unfair advantage in the energy market, and that this “unfair advantage” hides apparent flaws in wind technology.  Moreover, the GEA is strongly criticized for eliminating municipal control over wind power projects.  Here are a couple of quotes from the Wind Concerns Ontario site that explain this position well.... Read more »

New Developments in Ontario’s Energy Politics- Wind Concerns Ontario is Making its Mark

In the last few weeks Ontario’s provincial politics have gained significant media attention.  With elections less than a year away, and Liberal support showing signs of weakening, significant attention has been given to the talking points of Premier Dalton McGuinty and the new Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak.  Energy issues were consistently part of their discourse.  Interestingly, it appears that the Progressive Conservative party has aligned itself with many of the anti-wind assertions made by WCO.  Hudak has pledged to scrap the Feed-In Tariff program introduced in 2009 that subsidized green energy development by guaranteeing premium per kilowatt-hour prices for green sources of energy.  McGuity was on the defensive, citing the huge increase in green energy produced, and planned for the near future, as a direct result of the green energy act, as well as, economic progress in the green energy sector.   ... Read more »

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