Mega Loads and Bug Fungus

This week on Terra Informa we go from Mega Loads to mini pesticides, and a round up of the week’s biggest Canadian environmental news stories. Myles Curry talks to Northern Rockies Rising Tide  about the transportation of Tarsands MegaLoads through pristine wilderness on sketchy roads. Rebekah Rooney brings us a science short on the use of a peculiar fungus as an alternative insecticide. And of course we start the show off with our weekly examination of Canada’s environmental news headlines.


Community Resistance to the Tarsands Mega Loads

Download this week’s show.

Environmental News

In Alberta an army of 600 workers has been deployed to prevent the spread of the mountain pine beetle. The Alberta Government is spending 15 million dollars on the effort, aims to cut and burn trees already infested in an effort to kill larvae.

Vancouver Sun, Whitecourt Star

Vancouverites will be banned from throwing kitchen scraps in the trash at the end of next year, organic waste will be diverted to composting facilities by way of separate green bins for each household. Most metro Vancouver cities plan to cut garbage collection to once every  two weeks, with organic waste collection every week.

Vancouver Sun, BC Local News

In Toronto, a team of scientists has published compelling evidence for a link between man made global warming and an increase in heavy rainfall. A second study from the UK, also published this week corroborates the Canadian scientist’s findings. They found that recent increases in dramatic deluges cannot be explained by natural fluctuations alone and that the probability of heavy downpours grew by 7 percent in the second half of the twentieth century and the chance of large floods doubled under the human influenced model.

Washington Post, Scientific America, Time blogs

In Quebec, the provincial government has signed a draft accord on investment and development of the mining industry with the Government of India, the accord covers the mining of asbestos. Critics have accused Quebec of exporting a product unacceptable to Canadians for the sake of rejuvenating an old mine and the jobs it brings. A group of investors has asked the Quebec government for a guaranteed loan of 57 million dollars to expand the mine and boost production for export.

AOL News, Rediff

The controversial seal hunt began last week. Animal rights activists have vowed to document and photograph the hunt in detail, and use the photos in their campaign in Europe against Canada’s seal products. A group of European countries has already slapped a ban on such products from Canada, prompting the federal fisheries minister Gail Shea to announce that Ottawa will be seeking intervention against the ban from the World Trade Organisation.

The Globe and Mail, Montreal Gazette, CBC

Local Campaigns: Tarsands Mega Loads

Correspondent Myles Curry brings us another edition of Local campaigns this week, but its local defined in a new way. In this edition Myles talks to a organizer in the American North West who is mobilizing communities against, and bringing media attention to a not so well known extension of the tarsands- the Tar sands Mega Loads. For more on what the mega-loads are, how they connect to the tarsands and what communities are doing in resistance, here is Myles with this weeks edition of Local Campaigns.

Northern Rockies Rising Tide

Science Short: Insect Fungus

You might think an insect is a pretty strange substrate for fungus to grow on, and you might have a pretty hard time imagining what that could have to do with the environment.  Arthropods are the preferred host for the parasitic fungus Beauveria bassiana, and scientists have worked out how to use it as a biocontrol agent on insect pests.  Scientists like Sunil Rajput, a former graduate student from U of Alberta’s Department of Biological Sciences.  His research focused on a fungus’s potential as an alternative to chemical insecticides in pest management in greenhouses.  Correspondent Rebecca Rooney asked him about his research findings and filed this Science Short report.

One comment

  1. No, this was just a rejection of the pemrit to build the extension of the Keystone project to the Gulf of Mexico. This wasn’t a rejection of the enire project. This extension can still be reapplied for and approved as long as it doesn’t go over the Ogalalla Acquifer. But of course, that will happen after the election. This is a temporary stay so to speak, because these vipers in the fossil fuel industry and their minions are not going to give up. And to be honest, I am incensed because of the spin on this on all sides because it is an election year. Republicans are saying this will now cost a huge amount of jobs when that simply is not true and Democrats will spin it to make Obama look like a hero, which sorry I don’t see him as on this. Shell will still be allowed to drill the Arctic, and BP once again allowed access to the Gulf with fracking as well. And this entire XL project has been used as a political football from the beginning and the climate has exactly been what has been forgotten in all of this.Did you know that the Alberta Clipper line was already built from Alberta to Wisconsin and already pumps tarsands here? I also believe there is another one that goes to Illinois. Emissions went up 5.9% last year and the tarsands are still going strong XL or no XL. The only saving grace of this is that the Ogallala Aquifer has been spared. Unfortunately, I have such a forboding feeling that Transcanada will reapply after the election, get another pemrit and build that pipeline somewhere else here. This is the epitome of what the Occupy movement is talking about and what we have to fight. We should be building a solar pipeline down that route to supply clean energy to our country. But will that be the obvious lead in conversation from this?Will shutting down the tarsands actually be the true focus now as it should be to avoid game over? So while there will be those who will celebrate this as if Obama actually cured all of the world’s ills, some of us who don’t use this as a political wedge see it for what it is and that he shouldn’t now be so cocky to think he can rest on his laurels. This planet is in serious trouble as the tarsands continue and we aren’t talking and doing nearly enough because we can’t even admit we have an addiction!

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