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LeDaro: Fate of the Earth

Is it possible that the Planet Earth can become a totally barren planet in the not too distant future? In particular if the CO2 emissions and pollution continue at the current or accelerated rate?

LeDaro: Smog in Beijing

It is  getting really bad in Beijing. People on the streets wear masks as well as commuters in the trains wear masks.

LeDaro: Alberta’s oil-sands are polluting groundwater

Harper government will like us to believe that Alberta’s oil-sands are safe. However, a recent study has shown that that is not the case.

  New federal research confirms that Alberta’s oilsands are polluting ground water and seeping into the Athabasca River. The industry has maintained that toxic chemicals are contained safely in tailing ponds, but new research shows this isn’t the case.

Read more here.

LeDaro: Frucking fracking commercial and danger to environment

The following commercial – and similar commercials – are shown every day, singing the songs of fracking and how it is supposedly safe. The reality is quite different. Fracking causes serious health and environmental problems, including drinking water pollution and disposal of fracking waste-water (the latter is a common theme in the news in Nova Scotia where they are struggling with disposal of wastewater).

The Nova Scotia, and more so the New Brunswick, governments are enthusiastic about fracking. Some fracking has been done in Nova Scotia and it is very problematic for reasons stated above. Yet oil and shale gas (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Counterfeit Cash-I Hear That Coal Train Coming

Politics, Re-Spun: What’s With Pipeline-Loving Old Men?

High 5′s to people are aren’t old men! [on average, 19 times out of 20, +/- 3.6% of the time.]

My apologies if you’re a man, or over 55, but those two demographics love the Big Oil, and they’re giving you all a bad name!

Here’s why.

I know lots of men and people over 55 who know that moving to a post-carbon energy infrastructure is the only sustainable future. The problem is convincing their peers that getting rid of their Lexus [it used to be Hummer] is in everyone’s best interest.

Maybe it’s because some of those (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- John Cassidy makes the case to call the U.S.’ war on poverty a success – pointing out that there has been a meaningful reduction in poverty over the past 50 years connected almost entirely to government programs. But lest that be taken as an indication that there’s no need to do more, Jared Bernstein points out that if economic growth had been distributed as it was in the postwar boom, poverty would have been eradicated by the mid-1980s – rather than persisting among tens of millions of Americans today as inequality (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Video: Fracking in Manitoba

Winnipeg, Oct. 26, 2013: Retired scientist Dennis Le Neveu spoke at a forum on the environmental hazards of fracking, sponsored by Idle No More Manitoba. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Fracking is a process used to extract oil and natural gas. It involves drilling horizontal wells into rock formations and injecting a mixture of fresh water, chemicals and sand under high pressure to fracture the rock and release the oil and gas.

Fracking has been linked with contaminated water aquifers, air pollution and earthquakes.

In Manitoba, the gas extracted with the oil is hydrogen sulfide, a toxic gas that is lethal (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Andrew Nikiforuk writes that air quality in Alberta’s Upgrader Alley may be among the worst in North America, including dangerous concentrations of cancer-causing chemicals. And Danny Harvey points out that the planet as a whole stands to be damaged by excessive tar sands development which is utterly incompatible with meaningful action to combat climate change.

- Andrew Jackson discusses how preferential tax treatment of stock options both exacerbates inequality and warps incentives for big business: One objectionable aspect of paying already well-remunerated executives in the form of stock options on top of (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Video: No Prairie Pipeline

TransCanada Pipelines’ proposed “Energy East” pipeline project, which is intended to transport Alberta tar sands crude to eastern Canada, is meeting growing opposition from First Nations, environmentalists and citizens who live along the planned route.

The Winnipeg chapter of the Council of Canadians, along with Idle No More and the Boreal Forest Network held a public forum on the issue on October 22, 2013. Speakers included Maryam Adrangi, the Council of Canadians’ Energy and Climate Campaigner, and Crystal Green, Michael Kannon and Nina Was’te of Idle No More. The forum was moderated by Susan McCrea of the Boreal Forest (Read more…)

LeDaro: Frucking Fracking for shale gas is becoming a serious problem

Premier David Alward of New Brunswick does not get it. It is not only natives who are opposed to fracking in New Brunswick, but the general public as well. Also demonstrations to support New Brunswickers are being held around the country. But Alward is stuck on frucking fracking. I believe natives and other anti-frackers are right and more New Brunswickers and Canadians should get behind them. Fracking is being done on native lands and their permission is absolutely important.

Fracking is especially deadly to drinking water.

The exploratory drilling in New Brunswick also faces opposition from the local non-aboriginal community. Allan (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On patterns of behaviour

Sure, it’s tempting to treat Pamela Wallin’s role as a director of a failed oil sands firm as a personal commentary on the Cons and their Senate appointees. But the story is far more closely connected to another theme that’s popping up in news stories on a daily basis.

There’s ample question as to how honest Oilsands Quest was with the public (and the settlement of the class action suit against it effectively ensures that nobody will be pushing for further answers). And the complete disconnect between corporate self-interest and the public good is turning up all over the resource (Read more…)

LeDaro: Fracking: Natural gas and risks

I watched a documentary on fracking by David Suzuki -The Nature of Things. It is an eye-opener that how dangerous fracking can be to the environment. It causes water pollution, air pollution and produces methane more than CO2 produced by other fossil fuels. Gas can show up in drinking water that if you put a match near your tap water/gas catches fire.

Here is a brief clip:

You can watch full documentary here.

Here is another interesting video:


Politics and its Discontents: An Elegant Solution

Earlier this month I posted an interview with Neil Turok, head of The Perimeter Institute and the deliverer of this year’s Massey Lectures. As I indicated in my original post, I was struck both by Turok’s humanity and his optimism, perhaps best exemplified when he said that almost all the problems we face are caused by human beings and are capable of being solved by human beings.

I was reminded of that sentiment today as I was editing a loan description for Kiva, a microfinance organization with which I volunteer. The woman requesting the loan lives in a (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: The need for a global no-growth agreement

Trade agreements are all the rage among nations these days. And that might not be a bad thing if they were principally about trade rather than about empowering corporations at the expense of workers and governments.

In any case, what the world really needs is not global trade agreements but a global no-growth agreement. Sensibly, we cannot continue to use up ever more resources when the planet

Things Are Good: USA Raises ‘Carbon Price’

Climate change is happening and it’s costing a lot of money to deal with. More floods, tornados, hurricanes, and other natural events are happening with greater frequency thanks to planetary temperature increase. The reason the planet’s temperature is increasing is thanks to the way previous generations have dealt with waste.

One such waste product comes in the form of exhaust from cars and other air pollution from various sources. This much is obvious, but very few countries have acted on this issue (in fact, Canada has gone out it’s way to stop action). In the USA, the Obama administration has (Read more…)

Art Threat: Controversial Coke advert causes stir in Australia

Without a doubt, Coca-Cola is one of the worst companies on the planet. From its murderous human rights violations stamping out unions in Latin America (especially at Colombian bottling plants) to its marketing to youngsters to its environmental record (especially concerning water), it is hands down a terrible corporation getting away with incredible harm on this planet. So it’s refreshing indeed to see Killer Coke get its comeuppance in this amazing Australian Greenpeace TV advert about Coke and plastic pollution. While it’s not surprising that Coke is blocking a new recycling scheme in Australia it is surprising that the advert (Read more…)

Earthgauge Radio: EG Radio May 9: the Kalamazoo River oil spill 3 years later

Download: earthgauge-podcast-may9-2013.mp3

Photograph: State of Michigan

This week on Earthgauge, we take a look back at what happened in Michigan in 2010 when an Enbridge pipeline ruptured spilling roughly 1 million gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River. What is the legacy of the spill and is there anything for the rest of us to learn as we debate the construction of more pipelines from the tar sands of Alberta to B.C. and the Gulf of Mexico?

I have 3 interviews on the program today:

Susan Connelly, a local resident of Marshall, MI where the spill occurred Jeff (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Earthgauge Radio: EG Radio May 9: the Kalamazoo River oil spill 3 years later

Earthgauge Radio: Tomorrow on EG Radio: the Kalamazoo River oil spill

This week on Earthgauge, we’ll take a look back at what happened in Michigan in 2010 when an Enbridge pipeline ruptured spilling roughly 1 million gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River. What is the legacy of the spill and is there anything for the rest of us to learn as we contemplate the construction of more pipelines from the tar sands of Alberta to B.C. and the Gulf of Mexico?

I was in Kalamazoo and the surrounding area last week and I had the opportunity to speak with residents who have been affected by the spill and its (Read more…)

LeDaro: The Keystone XL pipeline: Harper will have to wait

Environmentalists are quite unhappy with the The Keystone pipeline project. Too much pollution.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

“While the possible construction of the Keystone XL pipeline has made for contentious disagreements from the halls of Congress to ranches in Nebraska, the real environmental debate begins in a place most Americans have never heard of…..

The whole operation is a carbon intensive process sending more global warming gases into the atmosphere. How much depends on your point of view. The oil industry downplays the impact, but opponents claim it is (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: LeDaro: The Keystone XL pipeline: Harper will have to wait

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the one point of agreement about the environmental impact of the tar sands is that we still don’t have enough information to so much as evaluate the effects of the industry at the core of the Harper Cons’ economic strategy.

For further reading…- The Canada-Alberta Oil Sands Environmental Monitoring Information Portal is here, with the disclaimer mentioned in the column here. – CBC reports on the EPA response (PDF) to the State Department’s current environmental assessment of Keystone XL. – And Joe Oliver is doing what Joe Oliver does by publicly bashing climate science (Read more…)

Earthgauge Radio: EG Radio March 28: Federal Budget 2013, urbanization in Kenya and the tar sands “staples” trap

Download: earthgauge-podcast-march28-2013.mp3

We love covering local stories on Earthgauge and this week, we get just about as local as we can, focusing on some compelling environmental research taking place at Carleton University in Ottawa. We also take a look at the environmental provisions of last week’s federal Budget 2013. We have 3 interviews on today’s show:

Glennys Egan on the environmental and human impacts of urbanization in Kenya Brendan Haley on the tar sands “staples trap” Andrew Van Iterson on the environmental measures in Budget 2013

We also have our usual update from Kathy of Ecology Ottawa on local (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: When Pigs Float

Shanghai has a water problem.   Somehow more than 2,800 dead pigs wound up floating in one of the main rivers that supplies drinking water to the mega-metropolis of 23-million.

Local authorities claim the river water is still safe to drink but they are local authorities and this is China.

Nobody has figured out where the pigs came from yet.   How some farmer can conceal the absence of nearly three thousand pigs is a bit tough to understand.   Yet the animals show no sign of disease or any other obvious cause of death.

Apparently this is nothing new.

. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: When Pigs Float

The Canadian Progressive: Alberta Tar Sands Facilities Pollute Athabasca River: Ecojustice

By: EcoJustice (Press Release) | Mar 5, 2013: EDMONTON — Ecojustice, armed with research that shows how toxic oilsands emissions are contaminating the Athabasca River, has called on the federal government to investigate whether oilsands operators have violated the Fisheries Act. “Canadians have the right to know how oilsands production impacts our air, water and land,” said Ecojustice senior scientist READ MORE

Earthgauge Radio: Keystone XL: Massive Civil Disobedience is Next

Check out my latest article for the Common Sense Canadian on the massive climate change rally last weekend in Washington D.C. Here’s the link:

I am pleased to be acting as an Ottawa correspondent for the excellent online publication The Common Sense Canadian, British Columbia’s premier environmental news journal. CSC combines cutting-edge video, audio, and reporting and editorials from former BC Environment Minister and Hall of Fame broadcaster Rafe Mair, documentary filmmaker Damien Gillis, and a host of formidable contributors and guest editorialists who bring you the stories and opinions our establishment media won’t publish.


. . . → Read More: Earthgauge Radio: Keystone XL: Massive Civil Disobedience is Next