Besides destroying a nine-kilometre creek and endangering salmon and the neighbouring community of Likely, the catastrophe damaged the mining industry's reputation. One year later, the Mount Polley mine is operating again, this time with a conditional permit and no long-term plan to deal with excess tailings.
Whenever I meet a Hummer, tension rises in my chest, unkind thoughts develop in my head and my hands tighten and tremble, as if they want to signal something. I've long wondered why that happens, and I think I've finally figured it out. It has something to do with a song, economics and the courteous way to walk your dog.
If nothing else, the G7 countries' recent agreement to end fossil fuel use for energy by 2100 signals a shift in the way we talk and think about global warming. Previous agreements were about reducing carbon emissions from burning coal, oil and gas. This takes matters a step further by envisioning a fossil fuel-free future. Moving toward zero carbon emissions -- in a much shorter timeline than agreed upon by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States -- is absolutely necessary, and not just for the climate.
Across cultures and regardless of age and gender, people whose values centre on social position and accumulation of money and possessions actually face a greater risk of unhappiness, including anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. People who are materialistic also tend to be less interested in ecological issues, have negative attitudes toward the environment and demonstrate fewer instances of sustainable behaviour. That's a tragedy for humanity and the rest of life on Earth.
More than half the planet's people now live in urban areas. The need to supply food, shelter, fresh water and energy to billions of urban residents is resulting in loss of farmland, forests, wetlands and other ecosystems, as well as the critical ecological services they support, like providing food, clean air and drinking water. growing number of jurisdictions have responded by enacting strong land-use policies to protect farmland and green space through sound urban planning
Turning a blind eye to the links between race, socio-economic status, and environmental risks doesn't make the issue any less real. The fact is, environmentally harmful activities take place in some communities more than others. The proposed Act to Address Environmental Racism in Nova Scotia is a powerful step in that direction.
How much are whiter teeth and smoother skin worth to you? Are they worth the water and fish in the Great Lakes? If you use the myriad other creatures the seas support? If you use personal care products such as exfoliators, body scrubs and toothpastes containing microbeads, those are the costs you could be paying.
When former federal cabinet minister David Dingwall was questioned about a generous buyout package he received in 2006, his oft-quoted reply was, "I am entitled to my entitlements." It caused much outrage. But as the biblical expression goes, let whoever is without sin cast the first stone, because perhaps we're all a bit guilty of entitlement.
Climate change is a critically important issue for the economy. The Clean Economy Alliance, which launched Wednesday, has united under some common principles to support Ontario's commitment to climate action and to make some suggestions for how the province should proceed. We've come together because addressing climate change can benefit our economy, and failing to address climate change would be very costly. Climate change has been called the single largest threat to the global economy, which is why the World Bank says a four-degree world must be avoided.
American and Canadian transit opponents paint themselves as populist supporters of the common people, a tactic also used against carbon pricing. They fail to note that poor and middle class families will benefit most from public transit and other sustainable transportation options. To reduce pollution and address global warming, we must do everything we can, from conserving energy to shifting to cleaner energy sources. Improving transportation and transit infrastructure is one of the easiest ways to do so while providing more options for people to get around.
Despite a long history of the impossible becoming possible, often very quickly, we hear the "can't be done" refrain repeated over and over -- especially in the only debate over global warming that matters: What can we do about it? Climate change deniers and fossil fuel industry apologists often argue that replacing oil, coal and gas with clean energy is beyond our reach. The claim is both facile and false.
Changing the way we move through cities is a critical step in reducing carbon emissions. The most direct way to accomplish this is to provide urbanites with reliable alternatives to automobile travel. A two-car household that replaces one vehicle with alternative transportation can cut its annual emissions by 10 per cent.
Mining is important to human well-being, but the current economic system means it's often aimed at maximizing profit with little regard for people or the environment. It's one area where Canadians can make a difference. Canadian mining companies haven't always had a great record for environmental and social responsibility in communities where they operate -- but public scrutiny and pressure may be helping to change that.
While Winnipeg residents enjoy clean water, the people of Shoal Lake 40 suffer from substandard water. It's an abrogation of the basic right of all Canadians to have access to clean, safe drinking water. The fact that such deplorable conditions persist in places like Shoal Lake, and in hundreds of other First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities across Canada, is a national shame and must be resolved immediately.
Society as a whole saw jobs created, collected tax dollars and bore at least some of the blame, for the harm caused by both tobacco and asbestos. And yet this did not absolve the manufacturers of responsibility for the damage caused by their product. So yes, we are all responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, but fossil fuel companies are much more responsible.
The approved EA measures are very complex, and will include freezing in place the huge underground dumps of arsenic trioxide which pose the greatest health risk. It is likely to take 25 years to freeze it all. The freezing system will have to be actively operated, forever. The arsenic will stay poisonous -- it does not improve with time.
The idea of a right to a healthy environment is getting traction at Canada's highest political levels. Federal Opposition MP Linda Duncan recently introduced "An Act to Establish a Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights" in Parliament. If it's passed, our federal government will have a legal duty to protect Canadians' right to live in a healthy environment.
So how do we ensure that all Canadians have the right to enjoy clean air and water and healthy food? We could follow the lead of more than half the world's nations and enshrine the right to a healthy environment in our Constitution's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That's one of the goals of the Blue Dot Tour