Earth Liberation Front & Renewable Energy for Remote Communities

Many remote communities in Canada depend on diesel generators for their power. It’s a system that’s not only environmental problematic, it’s often not the most reliable. Today we speak with a BC organization that’s helping communities migrate to renewable energy so that they’re no longer dependent on fuel shipments from the south. We also bring you a review of the new film If a tree falls, which chronicles the experiences of members of the Earth Liberation Front. Plus, we take a look at dioxins: what they are, where they come from, and their effect on human health.

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A fire set by members of the Earth Liberation Front rips through the offices of Superior Lumber in Oregon. Photo by Roy Milburn.

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Green Screen Movie Review: If a Tree Falls
Every once in a while the Terra Informa crew heads out to the movies to review an eco-themed film. This week Terra Informa corespondent Myles Curry brings you a Green Screen Review of the documentary If a tree falls: a story of the Earth Liberation Front. The film focuses on the contentious issue of radical environmental groups and their treatment as terrorists by authorities. Democracy Now! Clip (1) (2)

Renewable Energy for Remote Communities
If you live in the city, try to think back to the last time you flipped a light switch and nothing turned on. Now picture depending on a plane full of diesel to come into town before you get power again. If you live in a remote community in Canada today, this is likely the energy system you rely on, so moving towards a more local renewable energy system is about more than just climate issues. Terra Informa’s Chris Chang-Yen Phillips speaks to Alia Lamaadar about Cleantech Community Gateway, her non-profit that’s working to help the communities of Haida Gwaii build a new energy system.

News Headlines

Asthma Study
Remember all that dirt you ate when you were a kid? Scientists at Harvard Medical School have found evidence it may have kept you healthier. In a study just published in the journal Science, researchers gave groups of mice different levels of exposure to microbes and examined how their immune systems reacted. Mice that were shielded from microbes in infancy seem to have had more cases of inflammatory bowel disease and asthma.

More on this story: Nature, NPR, Daily Express

Jumbo Glacier Ski Resort
In BC, the province has given a controversial new ski resort the green light. The Jumbo Glacier Resort will offer year-round skiing in a remote mountain area near Invermere, in the southeast of BC. Many people welcome the jobs that the 6000 room resort would create, as well as the recreational opportunities. But there are also fears over the environmental impact of such an enormous development, and the affects it will have on the area’s grizzly bear population.

More on this story: CBC News, Winnipeg Free Press, Globe and Mail, Cranbrook Daily Townsman

High Temperature Records Crumble
Over 7,000 high temperature records were broken in an “unprecedented” March heat wave in much of the United States signaling a warming climate, health and weather experts said in a press conference last Friday. While natural climate variability plays a major role, it is the addition of human-spurred climate change that makes this particular hot spell extraordinary, the scientists said in a briefing.

More on this story: NASA, Mother Jones, Huffington Post

Great Backyard Bird Count
The year’s Great Backyard Bird Count has released some interesting results.  Based on the observations of people from across the country, four times more snowy owls migrated south from the Arctic than did last year. This is said to be due to lemmings, which snowy owls hunt, becoming more scarce, forcing the birds to fly south in search of food.

More on this story: Great Backyard Bird Count, Science

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