This week, Terra Informa correspondent Myles Curry talked with the NDP Environment Critic and member of parliament for the Edmontn-Strathcona riding, Linda Duncan on her experiences at the Cancun Climate Conference. Then we bring you the second part of Dr. David Schindler’s talk titled ‘Measuring the Effects of Oil Sands Development on the Athabasca River Ecosystem’
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Linda Duncan on the Cancun Climate Conference
The Cancun climate talks wrapped up with a late night agreement after a week which left most skeptical about the possibilities for international cooperation at the UN level. In an effort to gain a deeper insight into the process and outcome of the Cancun negotiations Terra Informa correspondent Myles Curry interviewed environmental activist Russel Charlton & NDP MP Linda Duncan as they left Cancun from two different international conferences on climate change. This week Myles spoke with New Democrat Environment Critic and Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Strathcona Linda Duncan from the morning after the conclusion of the Cancun conference.
Dr. David Schindler on the Effects of Oil Sands Devlopment
Last week we aired part 1 in a two part series brought to us by Terra Informa correspondent Rebecca Rooney. Back on December 3rd, she recorded a talk titled Measuring the Effects of Oil Sands Development on the Athabasca River Ecosystem, delivered by Dr. David Schindler. Dr. David Schindler is the Killam Memorial Professor of Ecology at the University of Alberta. His recent research has concluded that oil sands extraction and upgrading north of Fort McMurray does contribute to the contaminant load of the Athabasca River. This research clearly demonstrates that contamination from oil sands extraction and upgrading can be detected up to at least 50 km away. In part 1, he focused on the increase in toxic metals and hydrocarbons in the snowpack, in tributaries, and in the main Athabasca river and the reasons why the data collected by Alberta Environment and by the Regional Aquatic Monitoring Program (RAMP) has historically failed to detect this contamination. In part 2, he focuses on Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, often called PAHs, and associated deformities in fish. We pick up where Dr. Schindler left off, explaining how he was able to achieve more sensitive measurements of PAHs than Alberta Environment or RAMP, using a new sampling technique. As a consequence of the results of Dr. Schindler’s research, former Environment Minister Jim Prentice launched an independent review of the Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program (RAMP), the program that currently monitors pollutants in the Athabasca river. That panel was due to report on its findings to Environment Canada by the end of November, but has yet to file its report.