Archive for March, 2011

Indigenous Environmental Network tar sands campaign continues

March 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Interview with Ben Powless (9:25)

I recently had the opportunity to interview Ben Powless, a young Mohawk from Six Nations in Ontario. Ben is a  member of the Indigenous Environmental Network and a Founder of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition. Among other causes, he has been very active in the IEN’s tar sands campaign. He also sits on the board of the National Council for the Canadian Environmental Network, is on the Youth Advisory Group to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and is very involved in his local Aboriginal community.

In our interview he discusses the impacts of the tar sands on indigenous communities in northern Alberta, their campaign for a moratorium on future tar sands developments and how the IEN is trying to raise awareness internationally about what is going on in Alberta. He characterizes the tar sands as a violation of the constitutionally-guaranteed rights of First Nations people in Canada.

To download the interview, right click here and select ‘Save as’ or ‘Save target as’.

Arctic Ocean has become less salty, more unstable: scientists

March 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Arctic Ocean has become less salty, more unstable: scientists

More fresh water is pouring into the Arctic Ocean as glaciers melt, raising concern among some scientists.

The fresh water content of the upper layer of the Arctic Ocean has increased by about 20 per cent since the 1990s, say scientists from Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute.

They predict this increase may alter the world’s ocean currents, with potentially disastrous results.

Campaign to ban the sale of shark fins

March 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Calls to ban shark fin soup growing around the world –  The Independent

Did you know? An estimated 73 million sharks are killed annually to supply Chinese consumers with shark fin soup – a prized delicacy in China. Yes, that’s 73 MILLION every year. Conservation groups say one-third of the world’s shark species are now threatened with extinction. According to the United Nations Environment Program, the shark populations have plunged by 90 per cent in the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean Sea and by 75 per cent in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean within 15 years. This is an atrocity, an unmitigated slaughter in the seas for our own selfish gratification.

“The chorus of condemnation on the shark fin trade is growing louder around the world, with plans to bring the anti-finning campaign to Canada. Currently, California is considering banning the sale and distribution of shark fins, the key ingredient to a Chinese delicacy. If passed, California would join Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, and the US Territory of Guam in enacting a ban. Palau, the Northern Mariana Islands, as well as Honduras and the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, have also passed similar protections for the endangered predators.”

Hooray. It’s about time.

Deconstructionism: To reduce landfill waste, crew ‘deconstructs’ older homes

March 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Tearing down a house? Don’t demolish, deconstruct – The Globe and Mail

Did you know a third of all landfill waste comes from demolished houses? The new trend in house removal is away from demolition and toward eco-friendly deconstruction.

Everything that can be saved -doors, windows, the fireplace mantel, oak flooring, tiles, beams, two-by-fours -is being removed.

New process cleanly extracts oil from tar sands and fouled beaches

March 19, 2011 Leave a comment

If the tar sands aren’t going away any time soon (and it seems certain that they aren’t), new technologies such as this are desperately needed. What do you think?

New process cleanly extracts oil from tar sands and fouled beaches.

“the production of petroleum from tar sands causes environmental damage. Part of the damage comes from the storage of contaminated wastewater from the separation process in large open air ponds. Wastewater from the ponds can seep into groundwater and pollute lakes and rivers. In addition, the requirement for large amounts of water can deplete the supply of local fresh water resources. The Penn State separation method uses very little energy and water, and all solvents are recycled and reused.”

Categories: Energy, Oil, Tar sands

Post-Carbon Institute: 300 years of fossil fuels in 300 seconds

March 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Check this out…”We’re in for the ride of a lifetime.”

Is climate change to blame for the earthquake in Japan?

March 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Who would have thought that plate tectonics and carbon dioxide emissions could ever be related? It is of course impossible to say whether our warming climate is responsible for recent severe earthquakes around the world but some scientists think there is a link. Check out this article from the Montreal Gazette. Aren’t we humans clever?

“Severe earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and most recently Japan have raised the question of whether the world’s tectonic plates are becoming more active and if so what is the cause. Some scientists theorize that the sudden melting of glaciers due to man-made climate change is lightening the load on the Earth, allowing its mantle to rebound upward, causing the plates to become unstuck.”


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