DESMOG CANADA

What B.C. Hydro is Hiding In Its Misleading Site C Poll

DeSmog Canada | Posted 06.16.2016 | Canada British Columbia
DeSmog Canada

B.C. Hydro must have been counting on nobody taking a close look at the questions they asked respondents in a recent public survey about the site C dam, because not only are they misleading, they also tell another story entirely.

Big Oil Distorts Discourse To Fuel Its Bottom Line

DeSmog Canada | Posted 05.17.2016 | Canada Politics
DeSmog Canada

We've all seen a chart like it: logos of corporations connected by thin lines to other logos, linking dozens of subsidiaries to spin-offs of even larger companies. But such diagrams rarely involve Canada or the fossil fuel companies that dominate lobbying and other political efforts.

Geothermal Energy Could Put Alberta Workers Back On The Job

Carol Linnitt | Posted 05.17.2016 | Canada Alberta
Carol Linnitt

Abandoned oil and gas wells in Alberta are on the rise -- but where many see a growing liability, Alberta's fledgling geothermal industry sees massive opportunity.

How Did Climate Advocates Get The Fort Mac Conversation So Wrong?

DeSmog Canada | Posted 05.12.2016 | Canada Impact
DeSmog Canada

Connecting extreme weather events with climate change isn't exactly a new thing; from Hurricane Sandy to the California droughts, it's a conversation that goes hand in hand with every natural disaster, and it's usually handled in a reasonable fashion. So how did the climate conversation around the still-raging Fort McMurray wildfire that destroyed thousands of homes become so befuddling-ly messed up?

Plan To Electrify Oilsands With Site C Dam An Act Of Desparation

Carol Linnitt | Posted 04.15.2016 | Canada Politics
Carol Linnitt

Clark said the power from the Site C dam could potentially provide electricity to Alberta -- where the government has recently committed to closing all of its coal-powered energy plants. Clark's suggestion that Site C may power the oilsands shines a spotlight on the B.C. government's ever-changing rationale for building the project.

Pipelines Or Indigenous Rights? Premier Notley Can't Have Both

DeSmog Canada | Posted 04.14.2016 | Canada Alberta
DeSmog Canada

The Alberta government clearly has a reason for wanting to facilitate the export of more oil and gas via the proposed TransCanada Energy East and Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain pipelines. But the NDP committed in its election platform to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and to "work with Alberta Indigenous Peoples to build a relationship of trust and ensure respectful consultation."

Does National Unity Have To Be A Casualty Of Canada's Energy Debate?

DeSmog Canada | Posted 04.12.2016 | Canada Politics
DeSmog Canada

In a recent panel discussion, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna assured Albertans that the Liberal government would not risk damaging "national unity" by acting quickly on climate change. For some, her comment begs the question: when exactly will the Liberals be ready to start acting on their emissions reductions targets?

Site C Dam Permits Were Quietly Issued During The Federal Election

DeSmog Canada | Posted 02.23.2016 | Canada British Columbia
DeSmog Canada

Former prime minister Stephen Harper's government issued 14 permits for work on the $9-billion Site C dam during the writ period of the last election -- a move that was offside according to people familiar with the project and the workings of the federal government.

Logging In Ancient Walbran Valley Forest Spells Doom For Treetop Species

DeSmog Canada | Posted 02.02.2016 | Canada British Columbia
DeSmog Canada

High in the trees that have been growing in the Walbran Valley on Vancouver Island for up to 1,000 years, unique colonies of insects and invertebrates are thriving. However, new plans to log Central Walbran, outside of borders of Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park, are once again threatening a unique and vital ecosystem.

Global Leaders Are Fighting For New 1.5°C Warming Target

Carol Linnitt | Posted 12.02.2015 | Canada Impact
Carol Linnitt

The group of countries, known as the Climate Vulnerability Forum, argues current efforts to limit global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius is insufficient to protect many nations from the dangers of climate change. The leaders say lives, rights and the prosperity of billions are at stake in the globally agreed temperature limit.

Inaction Scores Harper a Failing Grade on Climate Change

DeSmog Canada | Posted 10.15.2015 | Canada Impact
DeSmog Canada

For more than two decades, Mark Jaccard has been penning "report cards" about Canada's environmental track record. The results haven't been pretty. His annual evaluations were harnessed in the mid-2000s by Stephen Harper as arguments for why the Conservatives deserved a shot at governing the country. Jaccard's latest report card, released on October 6, concludes the Conservative Party has since "implemented virtually no policies that would materially reduce emissions" despite making significant emissions pledges for 2020 and 2050. Jaccard concludes the absence of such actions shows "they must have had no intention" of dealing with climate change.

B.C.-Alaska Mining File Is A Tale of Two Countries

DeSmog Canada | Posted 10.06.2015 | Canada British Columbia
DeSmog Canada

Alaskans emphasize they are not against resource extraction, provided there are adequate environmental and financial safeguards, but believe Canada's record -- most recently illustrated by the Mount Polley mine tailings dam collapse -- shows that B.C.'s regulations are not strong enough to protect downstream communities.

What Is the Environmental Impact of Celebrities Visiting the Oilsands?

DeSmog Canada | Posted 09.28.2015 | Canada Alberta
DeSmog Canada

By now, it's an almost entirely predictable routine: a celebrity takes a tour of the Alberta oilsands for a day or two and quickly harnesses apocalyptic rhetoric in press conferences to detail the experience. Chagrined industry spokespeople lash out. News coverage dissipates after a few days. Rinse and repeat.

The Industrialization of B.C.'s Wilderness Puts Politics Before Posterity

DeSmog Canada | Posted 09.01.2015 | Canada British Columbia
DeSmog Canada

An ugly thread of misspent taxpayer dollars, environmental destruction and conflict-of-interest -- backed by a government beholden to the mining industry -- runs along the recently completed Northwest Transmission Line, charges acclaimed explorer and scholar Wade Davis.

Site C Dam 'Doesn't Make Sense' Says Former BC Hydro CEO

DeSmog Canada | Posted 08.14.2015 | Canada British Columbia
DeSmog Canada

Former BC Hydro CEO Marc Eliesen says ratepayers will face a "devastating" increase in their electricity bills if the Site C dam is built

Stephen Harper Forgets His Own Pledge to End Fossil Fuel Use

Carol Linnitt | Posted 08.13.2015 | Canada Politics
Carol Linnitt

If the recent frufrah over NDP candidate Linda McQuaig's comment that "a lot of the oilsands oil may have to stay in the ground" is indicative of anything, it's that Canada's election cycle is in full spin. May all reasonableness and sensible dialogue and accountability be damned. Perhaps that's the blunt and singular reason behind the Conservative Party and Stephen Harper's outrage at McQuaig's entirely non-contentious assertion that, because of our international commitments to curtail global climate change, Canada won't exploit the entirety of its oil reserves.

This Alaskan Fishing Community Is Worried About B.C. Mines

DeSmog Canada | Posted 08.12.2015 | Canada British Columbia
DeSmog Canada

Commercial and sports fishing fill the freezers and wallets of Wrangell residents but, out of mind for many of them, behind the shield of the Coast Mountains, lurks a threat that could annihilate the area's fishing and tourism-based economy.

One Year In, Residents Remain Frustrated with Superficial Cleanup of Mount Polley Spill

Carol Linnitt | Posted 08.06.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Carol Linnitt

"It's not just what the breach did environmentally to us; it's what has happened with the bad publicity we got when this went around the world. That also hurt everybody here."

'Grassroots' Canada Action Carries Deep Ties to Conservative Party, Oil and Gas Industry

DeSmog Canada | Posted 07.29.2015 | Canada Alberta
DeSmog Canada

A whole host of campaigns designed to advance the agenda of the fossil fuel industry have cropped up: Resource Works, British Columbians for Prosperity, Energy Citizens, Coal Alliance, Canadian Natural Resources Alliance, Pipeline Action, and many others.

Alaskans Hope Century-Old Treaty Will Protect Salmon Rivers from B.C. Mining Boom

DeSmog Canada | Posted 07.22.2015 | Canada British Columbia
DeSmog Canada

Southeast Alaskans, anxious about B.C.'s mining boom along the Alaskan border, are pinning their hopes for stronger mine management on a treaty that dates back more than a century.

Is There a Case to be Made for Letting Canada's Wildfires Burn?

DeSmog Canada | Posted 07.08.2015 | Canada British Columbia
DeSmog Canada

Those studying the issue say the human toll of wildfire needs to be balanced against the reality that vulnerable forests are going to burn either way -- especially given the mounting pressures presented by climate change.

Group Asks Alberta Government to Review Oilsands Water Usage Amid Wildfires

Carol Linnitt | Posted 05.29.2016 | Canada Alberta
Carol Linnitt

The Keepers of the Athabasca want to know if the NDP will consider revising water use rules in light of extreme conditions induced by climate change. The group argues current rules are based "on our once vibrant past when water was plentiful."

B.C.'s Plan to Protect Endangered Caribou Is Flawed

Carol Linnitt | Posted 05.22.2016 | Canada British Columbia
Carol Linnitt

B.C. will continue to kill wolves for at least a decade in an attempt to save endangered caribou according to government documents released this week -- but new research re-confirms that caribou declines are primarily caused by industrial development.

Rio Tinto Alcan Is Harming Kitimat Households

Carol Linnitt | Posted 05.15.2016 | Canada British Columbia
Carol Linnitt

Increased sulphur dioxide (SO2) pollution from the expanded Rio Tinto Alcan (RTA) aluminum smelter in Kitimat, B.C. will result in increased health costs for local households, an expert witness told an Environmental Appeals Board panel in Victoria, Monday.

Emissions From Rio Tinto Alcan Kitimat Smelter Are At Heart Of Hearings

Carol Linnitt | Posted 05.02.2016 | Canada British Columbia
Carol Linnitt

"This case really does represent a situation where you have a regulator that has gotten too close to a powerful and well-resourced private interest that it is supposed to be independently regulating," said Chris Tollefson, lawyer for the University of Victoria's Environmental Law Centre.