The Great Lakes, drinking water source for over 40 million North Americans, could be the next target on tar sands marketers' bullseye according to a major new report out by the Chicago-based Alliance for the Great Lakes.
In a few days, Fort McMoney will finally emerge after more than two years of gestation. The experience is going to plunge you into the heart of the black gold rush and let you explore the city, interact with its residents, and address questions to oil industry bosses and environmental activists. The Fort McMoney experience will be a kind of web-era platform for direct democracy. The winner, if there is one, will be the battle of ideas.
In my first week in 2007 as the newly-minted President and CEO of the former National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, I sat for breakfast in Toronto with a leading environmental advocate. I asked why he and his ilk were so stridently opposed to the then-new Conservative government's environmental policies. He allowed that despite good work being done on chemicals and toxics and waste issues, the government was simply not doing enough about climate change. Action here was required to get credit there. This was my first introduction to the powerful political elixir of social licence.
That 600-mile long, 600,000 barrels per day proposed line runs from Flanagan, Illinois - located in the north central part of the state -- down to Cushing, Oklahoma, dubbed the "pipeline crossroads of the world."
Over the years, the environmental movement has written hundreds and hundreds of reports and had thousands of meetings with decision makers, and while these things remain important, what we really need is people power. We need decision-makers to realize that Canadians want climate change to be taken seriously for a clean energy future.
Public Citizen has released a chilling report revealing that the 485-mile KXL southern line is plagued by dents, faulty welding, exterior damage that was patched up poorly and misshapen bends, among other troubling anomalies.
There are moments in history when it becomes clear that our leaders are failing us. They are the moments when people from all walks of life need to dust off those placards, stand up and speak out. This is one of those moments. Canada is failing as a country to curb climate pollution. Under the Harper Conservatives, our country's climate performance has become the worst in the Western world. We cannot sit by and let them put our coast and our country at risk. On November 16, communities from across Canada will stand up to remind our elected officials that they work for us and not just the oil patch.
On average, a person takes 20,000 to 30,000 breaths each day. That means that if the air around us is polluted, we can't help but take it in, and be exposed to harmful substances. Because we can't avoid it, we should do all that we can to protect our air. Today, Environmental Defence and our partners release a new report, "Reality Check: Air Pollution and the Tar Sands".
MSNBC is far from a lonely native advertising bystander, joined in the hustle by the likes of The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, The New York Times, the AP and others. A case in point: On Sept. 10, HuffPost Green ran a native ad article titled "8 Cities Embracing Natural Gas," sponsored by ANGA.
It's sad to see so much of our media and governance in such a sorry state that we can't even expect rational discussion of critical issues such as climate change and energy policy. The science is clear that it is real and that we are a major contributor, mainly through burning fossil fuels and cutting down forests.
Cross border organizing is becoming a bigger part of tar sands campaigns for native and non-native people alike. Mariner culture dictates that if there's is a distress call anyone in the vicinity has a responsibility to act. That is the spirit of shared responsibility and stewardship that is behind our TarSandsSOS.org site. ForestEthics, with offices in Bellingham and San Francisco, partnered with Vancouver-based ForestEthics Advocacy to create it. The site is home to a unique tar sands oil tanker tracking system, which displays those tanker's locations in real time. The site also generates real time tweets when tankers carrying tar sands enter sensitive habitats on the West Coast, like whale habitat in Washington State's San Juan Islands.
The expanded pipeline will mean more oil tankers than ever in Vancouver's harbor area and it is a ridiculously short-sighted idea. The math is simple: the more tankers, the more risk of spills and a spill in Vancouver's Burrard inlet, or anywhere on our coast for that matter, puts at jeopardy our thriving multi-billion dollar tourism industry and other coastal economies. Imagine the Seawall around Stanley Park lapping in oil. We would likely have to get rid of the "Beautiful BC" on our license plates.
After protestors succeeded initially in delaying Keystone XL, Big Oil has chosen a "new normal" stealth approval method: the non-transparent NWP 12.
Now, the "ethical oil" campaign has a new backer: Anita Dunn, former White House Communications Director for President Barack Obama and current Principal of SKDKnickerbocker, a public relations firm with offices in Washington, D.C.; New York City and Albany.
These facts make it clear: Keystone XL fails the president's climate test. It significantly exacerbates the problem of carbon pollution. It is not in the national interest, and its Presidential Permit should be denied.
As almost everyone knows by now, Canada has some interesting challenges looming when it comes to transporting increasing oil production to markets both inside and outside of Canada. What many Canadians might not realize is how important oil exports are to Canada's economy, and how these exports may have become a crutch.