The relentless, weather-gone-crazy type of heat that has blistered the United States, Canada and other parts of the world in recent years is so rare it can't be anything but man-made global warming, according to a new statistical analysis from a top American scientist.
The research by a man often called the "godfather of global warming" says that, from the 1950s through the 1980s, the likelihood of such sweltering temperatures occurring was rarer than 1 in 300. Now, the odds are closer to 1 in 10, according to the study by James Hansen. The NASA scientist says that statistically, what's happening is not random or normal, but pure and simple climate change.
The headline of this article made me think of the legal forgiveness that car/truck drivers often get when they hit pedestrians or bicyclists. But that's not what they are talking about. They are talking about engineered transportation designs that allow for our mistakes and human nature. An example of forgiving design is the placement of rumble-strips on the road to alert an auto driver they are approaching a stop or may be driving off onto the shoulder. Unfortunately, some of these forgiving elements only serve to allow drivers to speed up or drive more carelessly.
Forgiving design elements are known but rarely applied to protect pedestrians and bicyclists but that trend appears to be changing.
Sierra Club Canada is calling on the federal government to follow the lead of European Union and take action to protect at-risk bee populations by banning three neonicotinoid pesticides: Imidacloprid, Clothianidin and Thiamethoxam.
The pesticides, which attack the bees’ nervous system, are being banned in Europe after strong evidence from a European Food Safety Authority study linked them to the bee die-off witnessed in Europe.
Leading water scientists have issued one of the sternest warnings yet about global food supplies, saying that the world's population may have to switch almost completely to a vegetarian diet over the next 40 years to avoid catastrophic shortages.
Humans derive about 20% of their protein from animal-based products now, but this may need to drop to just 5% to feed the extra 2 billion people expected to be alive by 2050, according to research by some of the world's leading water scientists.
"There will not be enough water available on current croplands to produce food for the expected 9 billion population in 2050 if we follow current trends and changes towards diets common in western nations," the report by Malik Falkenmark and colleagues at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) said.
OTTAWA - The government of Canada continued its assault on environmental protection today with omnibus Bill C-45.
“Today’s killing of the Navigable Waters Act, along with further gutting of what’s left of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and Fisheries Act, will inhibit the ability of Canadians to protect their natural environment for their children, grandchildren and future generations,” said John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada.
"Canadians want to protect the environment and have a strong economy. We don’t need to sacrifice the planet to achieve the latter - the two aren’t mutually exclusive,” said Mr. Bennett.
Critics of Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline from the Alberta oilsands to tankers on the British Columbia coast say there is no time for the science to be completed before a federal deadline for the environmental assessment currently underway.
Documents filed with the National Energy Board show the environmental review panel studying the Northern Gateway project asked Fisheries and Oceans Canada for risk assessments for the bodies of water the proposed pipeline will cross. The pipeline is to traverse nearly 1,000 streams and rivers in the upper Fraser, Skeena and Kitimat watersheds.
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).
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.