car coops

Fracking, Environmental Land Protection and Car Shares

This week, we bring you a review of the documentary Gasland, which delves into the world of hydraulic fracturing and its legacy across America. We talk to Eric Herbert-Daly, National Director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, about increasing the amount of land under protection for environmental heritage. Finally, we bring you all you wanted to know about local car shares. Stay tuned!

Download this week’s show.

Waterton National Park. Dana Harper.

Fracking is the process of injecting high pressure water mixed with chemicals into underground rock formations to crack them, allowing oil and gas to be extracted. Concerns over groundwater contamination fueled protests from British Columbia to the Maritimes and Quebec even went so far as to ban the process until further studies could be conducted. Alex Hindle brings you a Green Screen movie review of ‘Gasland’, a documentary which explores the controversial process of natural gas extraction and its legacy across America.

More on this story: Gasland website

Approximately 10% of the land in Canada is under some form of protection for the sake of environmental heritage. Much of this is due to the advocacy work of conservation organizations. One such organization is the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, who claim they won’t rest until 50% of the land in Canada is under some form of protection. David Kaczan speaks with Eric Herbert-Daly, National Director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, to find out more.

For a lot of people, cars are an everyday part of life. But, despite their high cost, they tend to spend a lot of time just sitting. Sitting in the garage at home. Sitting in a parking stall at work. Just sitting. Well, what if you could have a car whenever you wanted one, but you only had to pay for it when it was in use? What if your car could become a pickup truck when you needed to make a run to the lumber yard? And then a minivan when your friends wanted a ride to the hockey game? Well…then you’re probably a member of your local car share. Correspondent Steve Anderson explains more on this growing trend.

News:

Saskatoon First Nations and the transit system: In Saskatoon, First Nations students now have unlimited access to the transit system. the Universal Bus Pass in Saskatoon has been extended to students at the First Nations University of Canada and the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies. The Universal Bus Pass or U-Pass gives students unlimited access to bus services, in exchange for a mandatory fee of  $96.62 per semester (or $289.86 for a full year).

More on this story: CBC, Saskatoon CTV, Saskatoon Homepage

Chevron defeated in court…twice: The American oil giant was defeated in court in both Ecuador and the United States  last week.  In Ecuador, an appeals court upheld a ruling that Chevron should pay $18 billion in damages to 30,000 plaintiffs. Plaintiffs who accused Texaco, which was bought by Chevron in 2001, of polluting the Amazon rainforest and damaging the health of farmers and indigenous communities. Days later, a Manhattan federal court judge denied a bid from Chevron to prevent Ecuadorean plaintiffs from collecting the $18 billion damages award.

More on this story: Huffington Post, Financial Times, Reuters

New discoveries of Antarctic species around hydrothermal vents: British scientists find unexpected species mix underwater with piles of newly-discovered yeti crabs, starfish, and barnacles.

More on this story: CBC, BBC, Scientific American

Ottawa backtracking on coal emissions strategy: After complaints from provinces, “the federal government is willing to cede regulation of power-sector emissions to the provinces – as long as they have rules in place that would achieve equivalent reductions. The new approach would allow provinces to set overall emissions targets, rather than adhere to strict targets for each individual power facility as set out by the government’s original approach” (Globe and Mail).

More on this story: The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Global Toronto

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Community Car Coops and the Real Cost of Cheap Food

Today we investigate the growing trend of community car shares. Members tell us how the systems work and why they love this increasingly popular way of getting around. Plus author and academic Michael Carolan fills us in on his new book, The Real Cost of Cheap Food, which examines the enormous environmental and social costs of the modern food industry.

Download this week’s show.

Market in Santo Tomás, Guatemala. Photo by auntjojo.

Environmental News

University of British Columbia study reveales a chronic under-reporting of fish catches from the Arctic Ocean in the period between 1950 and 2006.

Study Abstract, Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun, CBC

The water flea has had its genome sequenced and published in the prestigious journal Science.  This represents the first crustacean genome to have been studied.

Study Abstract, CBC, Nature, Scientific America

Greenland wants to work with Nunavut to improve Arctic environmental protection

CBC

Environment Canada Fines Nova Scotia  Electronic Scrap Exporter

Environment Canada Release, News Wire, Recycling Today

Prairie artists oppose Oil Company Enbridge’s sponsorship of arts and music festival

Pipe-up Against Endbridge Release, Montreal Gazette, Prophagandhi News

Real Cost of Cheap Food

Michael Carolan is a sociologist who’s got some interesting things to say about how our food is made. Food certainly looks cheap at the supermarket, and the average north American pays far less for food relative to incomes than people did only a generation ago. But Michael Carolyn argues that this cheapness is a product of bad agriculture policies that are pushing the costs onto the environment, onto other countries, and onto future generations. Michael Carolyn is based at Colorado State University, and later in the year his new book will start hitting the shelves. It’s called The Real Cost of Cheap Food. Next he joins Terra Informa correspondent David Kaczan to explain its arguments.

Community Car Shares

Well, what if you could have a car whenever you wanted one, but you only had to pay for it when it was in use? What if your car could become a pickup truck when you needed to make a run to the lumber yard? And then a minivan when your friends wanted a ride to the hockey game? Well… then you’re probably a member of your local car share. With more on the growing trend, here’s Steve Andersen.

List of Canadian Car Shares
Vancouver Car Co-op
Edmonton Car Share