It makes you wonder how many other voices that complain about tar sands impacts are being ignored? Fort Chipewyan's calls for independent health inquiry, the cancer concerns in Fort Saskatchewan are just two, both recently echoed by the Edmonton Journal's editorial board; the fact that some doctors may not comfortable treating oil-symptom patients is another.
There are guidelines over assessing what kind of activities are to be allowed in B.C. parks. However, they are not law -- they are regulations, and they can be changed by the ministry without any public consultation, public debate, or public scrutiny. The passing of Bill 4 means that the law protecting our parks has been weakened, while the ministry has increased its power and adopted a "trust us" approach.
The campaign to save the spirit bear is a full-fledged movement, owned not by the Youth Coalition, but by millions around the world. And having done all we can to take the issue this far, it is up to all of us, as individuals, to take on the responsibility of continuing to make sure that the spirit bear isn't just safe, but will forever be wild and free.
The HuffPost blog from the Fraser Institute's Senior Director, Natural Resource Studies, Kenneth Green, set out to make me look uninformed based on my submission to the U.S. State Department on the proposed Keystone pipeline. From his first words, it was pretty clear he didn't grasp the concept of writing a letter.
Recently, Green Party leader Elizabeth May orchestrated an open letter to United States Secretary of State John Kerry, urging the U.S. to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. In her note, Ms. May states that she sent Mr. Kerry "4 facts about Keystone XL." Unfortunately, two of Ms. May's facts aren't actually facts, and two of her facts are so lacking in context as to constitute merely factoids.
Despite the best efforts of citizens and watershed groups actively caring for their local waters across the country, we have no consistent way to measure water health. That leaves us in the dark, unprepared to do what's necessary to care for our waters. It leaves us without the information we need to understand the impacts and trade-offs of development decisions, restoration projects and legal reforms.
I often mention that it is not about being perfect in avoiding every toxin -- this is an impossible task in today's world. However, it is important to be aware of toxic sources in your living/working space and reduce or eliminate as many as possible. Combining a reduction & detoxification strategy has never been more important than it is today.
Because nature doesn't always behave the same in a lab, test tube or computer program as it does in the real world, scientists and engineers have come up with ideas that didn't turn out as expected. We're now facing the most serious unintended consequence ever: climate change from burning fossil fuels. Some proposed solutions may also result in unforeseen outcomes.
I've always been passionate about the environment. In Grade 6, I started an anti-litter campaign in my elementary school called "Clean Up Your Act" -- I was that kid. When I was 11 years old and telling kids to clean up their trash, I never would have believed that I would drive an electric car in my lifetime. But now the technology exists, it works, and it's more popular than ever.
Despite being a vast land of mountains, forests and ice, Canada is an urban nation. Over 80 per cent of us live in large centres like Montreal, Toronto and Calgary, as well as rapidly growing communities like Regina, Surrey and Markham. This increasing concentration of people in cities is consistent with rapid urbanization over the whole planet.
I was raised on a dairy farm in Belledune, a small community on New Brunswick's North Shore. By the time I showed up to school in the fall of 1968, the schoolhouse was bordered by a smelter on one side and a fertilizer plant on the other. I started hearing a little voice inside me saying, "Do something!"
Governments, media and much of the public are preoccupied with the economy. That means demands such as those for recognition of First Nations treaty rights and environmental protection are often seen as impediments to the goal of maintaining economic growth. The gross domestic product has become a sacred indicator of well-being. Ask corporate CEOs and politicians how they did last year and they'll refer to the rise or fall of the GDP. It's a strange way to measure either economic or social well-being. Whatever we come up with, it has to be better than GDP with its absurd emphasis on endless growth on a finite planet.
I can't imagine how it would feel after I've seen my cattle die, my daughter almost fall down the stairs because of chronic headaches and dizziness, and my family get sick to the point we had to leave our farm and move into our parents basement. And then to be told that it's not the constant tar sands emissions that are the problem, but my attitude to the oil and gas industry.
To say that rock legend Neil Young has been making waves on his ACFN 'Honour the Treaties' tour would be an understatement. His comments about the horrors of the tar sands have made front-page headlines, set social media ablaze, and have brought out more than a few attacks mostly from stalwarts of the oil industry.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper needs to figure out that not everyone is going to agree with him and his government's policies -- and that's okay. Rock legend Neil Young is making his way across Canada this week on a high-profile concert series in support of First Nations who oppose further expansion of oil sands extraction into their lands. Harper, through his spokesperson, responded to Young's concerns with empty talking points, reiterating that the natural resource sector remains a "fundamental part of our country's economy."Okay. Thanks Captain Obvious. Why is it so hard for the Prime Minister to speak with people who disagree with him?
For those of us who are interested in the field of conservation biology, this time of year prompts us to be more thoughtful about lists of a different kind: the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada ceremoniously completes a review of (in overly simplified terms) Canada's endangered species list at the end of each year.