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reeves report: Opposition Bill Wants Ontario to Ban Fracking

NDP MPP Peter Tabuns speaking with reporters at Queen’s Park. (CBC News Image.)

New Democratic MPP Peter Tabuns introduced a private member’s bill Wednesday encouraging the Liberals to adopt a ban on hydraulic fracturing in the province.

Tabuns, a former executive director of Greenpeace Canada and his party’s Environment and Climate Change critic, said the Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne should follow the lead of Ontario’s neighbours, many of whom — Quebec and New York state, in addition to the Maritime provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia — have already outlawed the disputed oil and gas extraction procedure.

“There (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Dennis Howlett reminds us that we can raise enough money to strengthen our social safety net merely by ensuring that a relatively small group of privileged people pays its fair share. And Seth Stephens-Davidowitz examines the glaring nepotism which festers in the absence of some policy counterweights.

- But Robert Kuttner offers seven reasons why the 99% keeps losing on policy grounds despite having the obvious theoretical ability to ensure reasonable political outcomes. In a similar vein, Sean McElwee discusses the connection between racism and poverty politics in the U.S.

- Meanwhile, (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Alternatives Journal Spells Out Canada’s Map to Sustainability

Canada has a horrible international reputation when it comes to the environment. The federal government even has climate change deniers and actively supports the shameful tar sands. At Alternatives Journal they have worked with some of the smartest people in Canada to show Canadians there’s no reason to continue down the self-destructive path we are on.

Within the issue they look at many aspects of Canadian life from cities to mining.

THIS IS THE most important issue that A\J has ever published. It will land in the hands and mailboxes of more Canadians than any issue in A\J’s 44-year existence. (Read more…)

Things Are Good: In France New Buildings Need Green Roofs

Green roofs or solar panels are now required on all new commercial buildings in the country of France. This is great because now buildings can have either a zero energy impact or contribute to their local environment.

Rooftops on new buildings built in commercial zones in France must either be partially covered in plants or solar panels, under a law approved on Thursday.

Green roofs have an isolating effect, helping reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building in winter and cool it in summer

Read more.

reeves report: Toronto Fish Health Improving – But You Can’t Eat Them Yet

Local man fishing in Toronto Harbour.

THE LATEST STUDY from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and the University of Toronto analyzed government data on mercury, dioxin/furans and polychlorinated biphenyl(PCB) in local and migratory fish populations from 1975 to 2011.

What they found was not surprising, per se, but it did confirm that efforts to curb pollution in the Toronto waterfront over the past four decades have shown positive results in the health of sport fishes, said Satyendra Bhavsar, a research scientist with the ministry and the universities of Toronto and Windsor.

Their study, published in (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: Criminalizing Protest

Now, legitimate protest is under threat once again. Not just overseas, in some far-off dictatorship with cockroach-infested prisons, but here, where the divide is economic and political and increasingly bitter. It’s environmentalists who are the new fifth columnists, and new mechanisms are being forged to squash them.

That’s from Elizabeth Renzetti’s article yesterday. We’re no longer environmentalists who recognize the need to keep fossil fuels in the ground, we’re “anti-petroleum extremists.”

This two-minute video explains the importance of being anti-petroleum (h/t Lorne):

Bill C-51will criminalize “activities that undermine the security…economic or financial stability of Canada.” They’re (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: CVRD Failed To Enforce Their Land Use Authority–Shawnigan Faces 5 Million Tonnes of Contaminated Waste

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Here is the CVRD response to the BC Liberal governments decision to allow 5 million tonnes of contaminated soil into the Shawnigan Watershed property on Stebbings Rd.

Truth is the CVRD blew it from the outset by refusing to enforce their land use authority.

The anaemic response by then Director Bruce Fraser, supported by the then mostly Liberal friendly CVRD Board proved to be a deadly combination.

When the finger pointing and blame game commences look first to the ‘do nothings’ at the CVRD. This should and must serve as an example of how the Board works, (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: LNG in Howe Sound – Dr. Eoin Finn

Eoin (Owen) Finn B.Sc.,Ph.D., MBA, a 30 year resident of Bowyer Island, Howe Sound, retired KPMG consultant.

From Vancouver Observer

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Dana Nuccitelli discusses new research into the real costs of fossil fuels which aren’t reflected in the sticker price for a dirty energy economy: A new paper published in Climatic Change estimates that when we account for the pollution costs associated with our energy sources, gasoline costs an extra $3.80 per gallon, diesel an additional $4.80 per gallon, coal a further 24 cents per kilowatt-hour, and natural gas another 11 cents per kilowatt-hour that we don’t see in our fuel or energy bills.

…Shindell estimates carbon pollution costs us $32 per (Read more…)

Left Over: A California Cautionary Tale…Served Dry

Drought-ravaged L.A. looking to ‘sponge up’ every bit of rainwater New storm drains built to let rainwater ‘piddle out’ into soil, $1B emergency plan to add more

By Kim Brunhuber, CBC News Posted: Mar 20, 2015 4:39 PM ET Last Updated: Mar 20, 2015 10:20 PM ET

 

Having grown up in SoCal, I can attest to the fact that it was either drought or semi drought when I lived there…and that was decades ago… LA was ‘created’ on what was essentially a desert, so no surprise here that this is going on..sometimes it didn’t rain for three years, (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: Changing the Curriculum

Months ago, Kathleen Wynne proposed guidelines for sex ed in Ontario, and many parents are still furious.  A group called Campaign Life Coalition has put quite a spin on it all.  In grade one, kids learn all the correct names for all the parts of their body. CLC calls that “graphic lessons on sexual body parts.” And at grade three, when kids learn about fluid gender identity, they call it “normalizing a mental disorder.” The teachers will also “normalize homosexual family structures without regard for the religious/moral beliefs of families.” Piece of work.

Wynne tried this before, (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Saskatchewan Needs a Real Change of Destination

Greg is making a good point in his latest column, but I had to throw in a Green campaign slogan into the title in good fun. The bottom line really is that the Sask Party is propping up the dying fossil fuels industry, while calls to divest from it are coming from around the world. There’s no stopping this change (for the better).

While the Saskatchewan Party remains bent on thinking small, any reasonable look at the world around us suggests it’s long past time for a big change in direction. And if if this year’s budget again fails (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Leave It In The Ground

The world has much more coal, oil and gas in the ground than it can safely burn. That much is physics.

Watch this compelling, factual argument about how to solve the climate crisis. I first became aware of this straightforward idea after watching Do The Math by 350.org run by Bill McKibben. It is MAD lunacy to spend billions of taxpayer dollars exploring for more fossil fuels when the existing known reserves would destroy our climate should it all be burned!

if we and our children are to have a reasonable chance of living stable and secure lives (Read more…)

reeves report: Work set to begin on $1.9M Asian carp berm at Eagle Marsh

Entrance to Eagle Marsh in Fort Wayne, Indiana, part of the Little River Wetlands Project. (Andrew Reeves)

FORT WAYNE, INDIANA — Recently, I travelled to Eagle Marsh to see first hand what construction of a $1.9 million berm will look like at a vital passageway between the Mississippi River basin and Great Lakes watershed. It is here where researchers with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and engineers with the federal Army Corps believe Asian carp may move from the nearby Wabash River (part of the Mississippi River basin) into the Maumee River which drains into Lake Erie.

In October 2010, (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: RCMP should not stand for Secret State Police

The CEO of Tides Canada issued a copy of his recent letter to RCMP Commissioner Paulson. If anyone doubted the once iconic police agency had become servant to rich industrialists and governing politicians, uncertainty was removed by its decision that a mostly foreign-owned industry needed protection from legitimate discussion of public policy by Canadians.

There is an irony involved in the RCMP suggestion that a respected organization staffed and supported by people aiming to preserve the livable space of our nation is allied with extremist criminality. In fact, there are no examples of Tides involvement in unlawful conduct. However, the (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: We Have The Technology

Outside of politics, my other passion is the environment, something we continue to degrade at unprecedented rates. The biggest threat to humanity’s future, of course, is climate change. While the vested interests would have us all believe that there are no practical or large-scale alternatives to our fossil fuel addiction, incrementally we are reaching the stage where it is possible to drastically reduce our carbon emissions if we have the will. Here is one such story: Normally, landfill sites and paper mills are targets for environmental groups but things are different, in Thorold.“We really got into it because of (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: It’s taboo to talk climate change at NEB’s Energy East hearings

By excluding climate change from the forthcoming review of the proposed Energy East project, the NEB is prioritizing Big oil’s anti-environment interests.

The post It’s taboo to talk climate change at NEB’s Energy East hearings appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: David Suzuki: Let’s not sacrifice freedom out of fear

Harper government can’t silence activists by labeling them “extremists”, creating police-state legislation such as Bill C-51, argues renowned scientist David Suzuki.

The post David Suzuki: Let’s not sacrifice freedom out of fear appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Cowichan Conversations: Turf Battle Over North Cowichan’s Sherman Road Soccer Fields

Don Maroc

North Cowichan municipality was very near to signing a contract to tear up one of the four grass soccer pitches on Sherman Road and replace it with an artificial turf surface, but a motion by Councillor Robert Douglas to put off the decision for two weeks was accepted by a unanimous vote.

The rationale given to the previous municipal council, which voted unanimously to replace the beautiful grass field, was to add a few days for games when our raincoast’s weather makes the fields very wet. They can still play on the grass but our kids’ soccer cleats (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Greenlid: An Easy Solution for Your Green Bin

The “dragons” on CBC’s show Dragons’ Den the investors funded a new product called Greenlid. Greenlid is a contraption that makes it easier to deal with household composting and waste diversion projects. In parts of Canada it is known as a “green bin” program.

With most waste diversion programs it’s hard to get 100% success so hopefully the Greenlid will make it easier for people to be a part of the earth-saving green bin programs (or similar )

Constructed from end-of-life recycled cardboard and newsprint, The Greenlid is scientifically designed to make composting easier and cleaner by using (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Under the Dome: A Documentary on China’s Pollution

The Chinese documentary Under the Dome (I can’t find english subtitles, sorry) has taken China by storm. The documentary was released on last week and is already changing the conversation about pollution in the country. This could mark a massive change in how China enforces their pollution laws and improves how they treat nature.

Chai Jing’s documentary was released on 28 February, less than a week before China’s annual parliamentary session begins. China’s central government is expected to pass an ambitious new law that hopes to impose tough new regulations on China’s coal-burning polluters. But in China, passing a law (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Fight Over Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Isn’t Over

U.S. President Obama vetoed the Republican bill approving Keystone XL, but the fight over TransCanada’s climate-threatening tar sands pipeline isn’t over.

The post Fight Over Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Isn’t Over appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Cowichan Conversations: Naomi Klein- ‘The Economic System We Have Created Global Warming’

Naomi Klein

I am beginning to detect a growing trend towards changing the capitalist economic model from one in which profit is the only priority to one in which wellness is the priority, and profit must be made within that paradigm.

The fact that this interview should appear in one of the most prestigious and influential German publications just as the European powers are meeting to address climate change, should not go unremarked.

Can we still stop global warming? Only if we radically change our capitalist system, argues author Naomi Klein. In an interview with SPIEGEL, she explains why the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Frank Graves writes that we’re seeing the end of progress for all but the wealthiest few – and that we all stand to lose out if we come to believe that progress for the rest of us is impossible: There is a virtual consensus that a growing and optimistic middle class is a precondition for societal health and economic prosperity. This consensus position reflects the historical record of when nations succeed. Yet if this consensus is correct, we note with alarm that almost nobody thinks that these conditions are in place in Canada. (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Obama Vetoes Bill Pushing Pipeline Approval

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

In one of Washington’s worst kept secrets President Barack Obama confirmed earlier indications of his opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline proposal. This is huge and could help bring about rejection of the Enbridge and Kinder Morgan proposals as well.

The New York Times reports on this far reaching development. In Canada all eyes will be on ‘Steve’. Could this trigger the end of Enbridge and Kinder Morgan as well?

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Tuesday rejected an attempt by lawmakers to force his hand on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, using his veto pen to sweep (Read more…)