The time to face up to climate change is now Publish Date: 16-SEP-2014 09:35 AM On Sept. 21, more than 1,000 events are planned around the world to demand stronger action on climate change, echoing New York’s People’s Climate March. As Canadian researchers who study climate change and sustainability, we strongly support this global mobilization. Canada is running a sustainability deficit. Unlike budgetary deficits, this does not seem to preoccupy our politicians. Canada has repeatedly missed its own climate change emission reduction targets. Last January, Environment Canada acknowledged that Canada won’t meet its least ambitious target to date, proposed in 2009 as part of international climate negotiations coined the Copenhagen Accord.
Oil and gas pollution committee quietly silenced Publish Date: 16-SEP-2014 09:24 AM Environment Canada appears to have quietly ended key discussions that were intended to tackle carbon pollution from the oil and gas industry. A committee made up of representatives from Environment Canada, the Alberta government and oil and gas companies was created in the fall of 2011 to develop options to reduce industrial greenhouse gases from the oilsands sector, the country’s fastest growing source of carbon emissions.
How fighting climate change could save the planet and rebuild the economy Publish Date: 16-SEP-2014 09:12 AM Despite all the scary predictions of rising seas and global warming, politicians in the United States at least have been reluctant to take serious action to reduce greenhouse gases. Reasonably sensible ideas like taxing carbon emissions -- an idea with bipartisan intellectual support -- are routinely dismissed out of hand as being bad for the economy. But it doesn't have to be that way, according to a new report out in advance of next week's United Nations summit on climate change. The report argues that governments could significantly slow emissions and boost economic growth simply by making smart decisions about how they spend money they're going to spend anyway.
CETA’s environmental safeguards, mechanisms have no teeth, say critics Publish Date: 15-SEP-2014 11:45 AM The Canada-European Union trade deal, considered one of the most comprehensive international agreements ever will be released later this month in Ottawa, but some critics say the rules that safeguard the environment will have no teeth. Even though the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), or the Canada-European Union trade deal, is about trade, critics and proponents alike agree it goes way beyond that.
Mount Polley tailings spill effects could last for decades Publish Date: 14-SEP-2014 11:52 AM Next spring, the sockeye eggs that are now being laid in spawning beds throughout the Fraser River system will hatch and the young fish – by the hundreds of millions – will migrate into lakes to rear. And that, at least in one lake, could be a disaster. Quesnel Lake, into which 24 million cubic metres of water and mine tailings flushed when the Mount Polley tailings dam burst, is one of the biggest and most important sockeye nurseries in the province.
The science minister seems to be in denial Publish Date: 10-SEP-2014 11:40 AM It’s not unusual for any government to deny the unpalatable until it finally becomes too counterproductive or absurd to do so. The government of Stephen Harper, however, has taken the practice of naysaying to breathtaking heights. Take, for example, the reaction of Science and Technology Minister Ed Holder to an editorial in The Telegram on Aug. 29. (Science Inc.). Faced with the fact that his government has systematically undercut any scientific pursuit that hinders its pro-business agenda, the minister has adopted the tried and true head-in-sand tactic.
No substitute for scientists Publish Date: 05-SEP-2014 11:27 AM Recruiting volunteers to collect monthly seawater samples to be analyzed for traces of radioactivity is a splendid idea, but let’s hope Prime Minister Stephen Harper doesn’t get wind of it. He might be tempted to take this “citizen scientist” concept too far.
Canada’s degradation of pristine, intact forest leads world Publish Date: 05-SEP-2014 11:25 AM The world's precious few remaining large forests are fragmenting at an alarming rate, and the degradation in Canada leads the world, a new analysis shows. The degradation of such pristine "intact" forests threatens species such as Canada's woodland caribou and Asia's tigers that rely on huge unbroken expanses of natural ecosystems in order to survive, said Nigel Sizer, global director of forest programs with the World Resources Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based research institute focused on resource sustainability.
Canadian government declines interviews on oilsands health impacts Publish Date: 05-SEP-2014 11:19 AM Who are Health Canada’s experts assessing human health impacts of oilsands development? And why has the federal government never done a comprehensive study of health impacts in the region after more than half a century of industrial development?
Terminal pétrolier et bélugas : voix discordante à Pêches et Océans (French) Publish Date: 04-SEP-2014 02:15 PM Les forages que TransCanada veut faire à Cacouna ont fait couler beaucoup d'encre, mais au-delà de ces travaux, c'est tout le projet de terminal pétrolier et le trafic maritime accru qu'il générera qui «risquent d'avoir des effets négatifs» sur les bélugas. Et ce ne sont pas des militants de Greenpeace qui le disent, mais bien des scientifiques de Pêches et Océans dans un «avis» récent.
Keystone Ads Mislead on Canada ‘s Deep Cuts to Environmental Monitoring Publish Date: 02-SEP-2014 01:58 PM Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government has set aside $22.7 million for an advertising blitz this year to promote oil and Canada's other natural resources in the United States, Europe and Asia. But scientists and environmental groups say the advertising message is misleading its target audience about the Canadian government's failure to clean up the oil sands, Canada’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions.
Grassy Narrows : Why is Japan still studying the mercury poisoning when Canada isn’t ? Publish Date: 02-SEP-2014 01:50 PM By the time government scientists arrived in 1970 to do some testing, the people at Grassy Narrows and neighbouring Wabeseemoong First Nations had already eaten dangerous amounts of contaminated fish. The first tests revealed extreme levels of mercury in hair and blood. There has been no epidemiological study to establish the scope of the Grassy Narrows exposure, and no long-term tracking of what are now recognized as the life-long effects of ingested mercury, although an expert review by Canadian scientists in 2010 stated "there should have been extensive examinations and followup of these communities.”
Quand le climat devient une urgence de santé publique (French) Publish Date: 30-AUG-2014 01:44 PM Les changements climatiques sont la plus grande menace à la santé du XXIe siècle, lance Claudel Pétrin-Desrosiers, étudiante en médecine à l’Université de Montréal. Mais ils sont aussi une occasion d’améliorer la santé mondiale, en cessant d’investir dans le carbone et en choisissant des énergies vertes et renouvelables.
Québec s’en remet à TransCanada (French) Publish Date: 30-AUG-2014 01:19 PM Malgré le fait qu’il ait essuyé uniquement des refus de TransCanada à ses demandes répétées d’un avis scientifique en bonne et due forme, le gouvernement du Québec a autorisé l’entreprise à mener des forages sous-marins dans le secteur maritime de Cacouna en vue de la construction d’un port pétrolier destiné à exporter du pétrole des sables bitumineux.
Plus de 50 personnes perderont leur poste (French) Publish Date: 30-AUG-2014 01:14 PM Ce sont finalement 53 personnes qui perdent leur emploi en raison des compressions imposées par le gouvernement Couillard au ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs. Un geste qui prive Québec d’une expertise scientifique en matière de gestion de la faune et qui pourrait favoriser une hausse du braconnage.
Les É.U. et le Canada veulent coordonner leurs réglementation environnementales (French) Publish Date: 29-AUG-2014 11:24 AM Les gouvernements du Canada et des États-Unis ont annoncé une nouvelle initiative visant à coordonner de façon constante leurs réglementations environnementales vis-à-vis un vaste éventail d'industries. Des agences fédérales oeuvreront de concert avec leurs homologues outre-frontière afin de produire, d'ici six mois, des déclarations publiques qui expliqueront de quelle façon elles travailleront avec l'industrie, et avec elles-mêmes, afin de simplifier la réglementation pour les entreprises établies dans les deux pays.