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THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Northern Gateway pipeline: B.C. Conservative MPs put on notice

Earlier today, citizens reacting to Stephen Harper’s approval of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline put B.C. Conservative MPs on notice.

The post Northern Gateway pipeline: B.C. Conservative MPs put on notice appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Northern Gateway Pipeline Opponents: This Means ‘War’

by: Lauren McCauley | First published by Common Dreams on June 18, 2014

“It’s official. The war is on,” Grand Chief Stewart Phillip told a crowd of hundreds who had flooded the streets of Vancouver late Tuesday following the announcement that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper had approved the Enbridge Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline.

Phillip, who is president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, told reporters that people are prepared to go to jail over this fight, “because that’s what it’s going to take.”

Phillip’s statement exemplified the widespread condemnation and vows of resistance that swiftly (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Chilean Dam Project Broken Up Thanks to Activists and Locals

Activism works, just ask the Chilean communities that stopped a hydroelectric dam from being built. The dam was going to cause a lot of local ecological havoc with little actual gain to the local populace. The Chilean government has backed down from building the dam and the communities that were to be affected are celebrating the decision. Chile is committed to supporting other forms of renewable energy that won’t cause such environmental damage.

The committee “decided to side with complaints presented by the community,” Environment Minister Pablo Badenier told reporters. “As of now, the hydroelectric project has been rejected.” (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Support The Experimental Lakes Area

The Experimental Lakes Area has suffered greatly from the Canadian government’s anti-science funding policies and has luckily been saved by the International Institute for Sustainable Development. To ensure that further damage can’t come from the ideologically-driven and anti-environment Conservative Party the ELA has turned to crowd funding to survive.

Last year, The Walrus magazine had a great article on the ELA and how beneficial it is to science and the planet.

You might have heard that the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) took it over the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) on April 1st. We are reaching out to the (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Build Your Own Wind Turbine

Off the gird living just got a little easier thanks to inventor Daniel Connell who has put instructions on how to build a wind turbine for $30 online. It’s not the most efficient and powerful generator out there but anybody with basic knowledge of drills can build it.

Creating something that can deliver a few hundred watts–enough to pump water, say–might not be that difficult. Daniel Connell, who’s drawn up a blueprint to show you how, swears that anyone who “can cut paper and hold a drill” can manage it.

“I’m hoping the animation is such that nothing (Read more…)

Things Are Good: A Call For Mathematicians to Protest the NSA

The NSA is the world’s largest employer of mathematicians and now there is a movement from some mathematicians calling for a protest against the spying agency. We don’t know what they work on at the NSA but we do know that mathematicians contributed extensively to the Orwellian mass surveillance of people around the world. The revelations from Edward Snowden as shown that the NSA’s surveillance efforts have increased security risks for anybody who uses the internet.

If you’re a mathematician please don’t go work for agencies like the NSA, GCHQ, or CSEC because their unethical and immoral behaviour as institutions (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Transition From Knowing About Earth Day to Acting to Help the Earth

Today is Earth Day which is a day that calls people to be conscious of the environment and find ways to help or protect nature. It’s a great intuitive that has been around since 1970 and it’s impact continues to grow. One issue that a lot of environmental organizations run into is transitioning people’s knowledge of negative environmental behaviour into direct action.

This where a new web service called Rallyware can potentially help out. It looks alright and is one of many initiatives we’ve seen attempt this – hopefully this service will be a great success.

According to Rallyware CEO (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Help Bring Bad Mining Companies to Court

Q’eqchi’ communities in Guatemala have been resisting the push of Canadian mining company HudBay Minerals into their land. This resistance has been met by dubious practices by the Toronto-based mining corporation and now they are being brought to court. A group supporting the Q’eqchi’ communities is looking to bring attention to this matter as well as gather signatures to present.

Sign the petition now!

Q’eqchi’ communities in the Izabal region of Guatemala have faced an onslaught of these and other abuses over the past five decades at the hands of a series of Canadian mining companies who have owned the (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Eat Less Meat and Save More Wildlife

Just reducing the amount of meat one has in their diet can have a positive impact on our food system, the planet, and wildlife. Take Extinction Off Your Plate is a campaign to get people not to be vegetarian, just to get people to reduce their meat intake. Producing meat in the modern farming system requires a lot of energy; indeed, Stanford warns about the dangers of global meat production.

It’s easy to be vegetarian, but remember – even decreasing your meat consumption can have positive impacts on the world and your health!

Meat production is one of the (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Scotiabank Looks to Reward Eco Companies

Banks have a horrible reputation because of their inability to predict economic behaviour, this was highlighted by the ongoing economic claptrap that started roughly seven years ago. Canadian banks have also received a tarnished reputation because of their ongoing unethical investments in the Alberta tar sands. Perhaps as a reaction to this, Scotiabank launched an awards program in 2010.

Their EcoLiving Awards is focused on bringing attention and finances to companies that are improving the efficiency of households. This can range from better windows to new technology systems. You can nominate a company at their website, so if you know (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Earth Rangers Launches Battery Blitz

Earth Rangers has launched a new campaign for kids to learn about the potential danger of batteries. Battery Blitz Mission encourages kids to collect used household batteries and dispose of them properly. When batteries are improbably thrown out it can cause a lot of harm to the environment due to the dangerous chemicals inside.

Since batteries provide energy for so many of the things we use every day, what to do with batteries once they are dead is a big problem. When batteries are thrown out in the trash, they end up in landfills where they add to solid waste (Read more…)

Things Are Good: 100in1Day Spreads to More Cities

On June 7th Toronto will be one of many cities having an intervention. 100in1Day is being brought to Toronto through the efforts of Evergreen meaning that Toronto will join many other cities in random acts artiness. 100in1Day uses art and other fun activities to break the routines and everyday sameness that may people get attuned to in urban centres.

The event is called “100 in 1 Day.” It is a global initiative with a lofty ambition: To shake the urban masses out of complacency, and compel residents to do 100 little things, dubbed “interventions,” to improve their city in (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Art + Activism = Craftivism

Some crafty people are up to some crafty activism. Craftivism is using your skills at crafting things you like to send message to make the world a better place.

Through activities such as teaching knitting lessons, crocheting hats for the less fortunate, and sewing blankets for abandoned animals, craftivism allows for creativity to expand previous boundaries and enter the arena of activism. In the pre-Industrial Revolution era, craft skills were needed to clothe the family and maintain a working household. As mass production increased, there became no need to knit sweaters for winter warmth or weave baskets to hold vegetables. (Read more…)

Things Are Good: A Toy Designed to Increase Empathy

Who doesn’t like toys? Nobody! Everybody loves playing and we all can remember the joy that toys bring us when were kids. Now some educators are looking to make a toy that is not only fun but also teaches kids empathy. Empathy is perhaps the most important skill one can acquire in this modern age.

Empathy and play allow us to understand different perspectives and imagine new possibilities. And isn’t that what great education is all about?

The Empathy & Creative Dialogue Toy is a 3D puzzle game that challenges players to place themselves in each other’s shoes. It’s an (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Video Games to Help the World

A game based on the story Half the Sky puts players into a perspective usually different than their own: a young girl in the developing world. It teaches young gamers in the developed world empathy and what it’s like to be a young girl trying to make a living in the majority world. It’s always nice to see games being used to make the world a little better.

If you succeed at certain tasks, the game triggers donations through partner charities. For example, the game has donated a quarter-million books. Players can also use real money to purchase virtual items (Read more…)

Things Are Good: A Good Message Told Through Comedy

Comedy troupe Uncle Mom want you to cut the plastic that holds six packs. There are many reasons why it’s important to cut six pack rings, but for the real reason watch the video.

Thanks to Evan!

Things Are Good: SXSW ECO in Austin Texas

I’m in Austin right now attending (and presenting) at the Captivate Conference and this city has come to impress me. While I’m at that conference about digital design there is another conference happening in Austin that readers of this site may enjoy: SXSW Eco. It’s an event focused on making the world a better place!

SXSW Eco is a conference about solutions – solutions that bring new thinking to today’s challenges and inspire meaningful progress towards a sustainable and prosperous future. This year over 250 speakers will participate in more than 100 sessions that encourage cross-sector collaboration between professionals from (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Canadians: Stand Up for Science on Sept. 16

Previously on Things Are Good we’ve seen Canadians concerned about democracy mobilize to ensure that our political leaders make informed decisions. After a streak of attacks on knowledge, scientists and non-scientists alike are rallying in cities throughout Canada this coming Monday. If you’re in Canada you should join the rallies organized by Evidence for Democracy.

Here’s all the relevant information:

A year after gathering on Parliament Hill to mourn the ‘Death of Evidence’, scientists and their supporters are back. On September 16th, they will rally in Toronto and across the country to highlight the critical need to maintain evidence-based decision-making (Read more…)

Things Are Good: A Protest Song About the NSA Reading Your Emails

The band YACHT has gone back to the glory days of Dylan and the like by writing a protest song. The song is about the NSA illegal spying the USA, which should bother pretty much anyone who cares about privacy. Until now, there was no good news to mention about the questionable actions revealed by Edward Snowden so hat tip to YACHT for singing what we all think.

“We claim full citizenship in the nation of Internet,” Evans told me over email, by way of explanation. “We wouldn’t be where we are if it weren’t for the existence of (Read more…)

Things Are Good: 50 Small Things to Help the Planet

There are so many small things we can do throughout our day that can make the world a better place. Sometimes it may seem like there are so many we can’t focus on which activity to accomplish. Luck for us there is a website that lists 50 small ways to make a large impact – just choose one and go for it!

Some of the suggestions are common sense, so it should be easy to incorporate into your everyday, just look at #25:

25. BATCH ERRANDS Feel like you spend your whole week trying to catch up with the errands? (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Open Tech Forever Hardware Cooperative in Colorado

Colorado has a new permaculture and open sourced initiative taking shape and it look promising. The team is adding open source technology from hardware and software to a sustainable agriculture setup. On top of all of that they are also developing an open source business model!

This is an exciting project with the ultimate goal of having their setup to be replicated locally elsewhere.

“Open Tech Forever (OTF) is dedicated to developing new and improved, open source versions of modern and cutting-edge technologies. In the open source spirit, we create free, online, high quality educational resources demonstrating how to understand, (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Help Me Support Team Fox

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a degenerative disorder that impacts a person’s motor skills and often PD can impact mental functions. PD is in no way a good thing and that’s why I’m one of many people who are fundraising for research. The Michael J. Fox Foundation funds research into PD for ways to find a cure and help those who are living with it. They have already helped to fund over 60 clinical trails.

To help fundraise for this research I’m running in the Toronto Waterfront race and hoping that readers of good news can help make more good news (Read more…)

Things Are Good: No Strings Attached: Giving Cash to Poor People

GiveDirectly is a charity that just gives money to poor people in Kenya. There isn’t anything complicated about the idea: it’s just straight up handing out cash with no deliverables. The NPR recently investigated the operation.

Planet Money reporters David Kestenbaum and Jacob Goldstein went to Kenya to see the work of a charity called GiveDirectly in action. Instead of funding schools or wells or livestock, GiveDirectly has decided to just give money directly to the poor people who need it, and let them decide how to spend it. David and Jacob explain whether this method of charity works, and (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Bicycle Commuters Save Economy $21 on Each Commute

Australian research has led to the conclusion that bicycle commuters are great for the economy! Every time a commuter chooses to ride a bicycle instead of a car or public transportation the economy benefits.

With the obviousness of health benefits from riding a bicycle and the ever-increasing amount of economic research that supports bicycle infrastructure the future of smart transit planning is just around the corner.

The economy benefits by more than $21 every time a person cycles 20 minutes to work and back and $8.50 each time a person walks 20 minutes to and from work, according to (Read more…)

Things Are Good: The B Team – A Plan B for the Economy

The economic stupidity of a few years back is still causing problems and the fact that the wrongdoers got bailouts for their transgressions hasn’t helped. Even years later economies haven’t recovered and the class divisions within multiple societies have widened. It’s time for an alternative to this current form of (rather bizarre) “hyper capitalism”.

This is where The B Team is looking to make a difference. It’s a new organization focused on researching and promoting a new form of economic thinking that doesn’t ignore the environment and people. Social entrepreneurship is on the rise and The B Team seems to (Read more…)