climate justice

Environmental Justice in Durban and Bill C-18 for the Canadian Wheat Board

The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance campaigns to reduce human health problems associated with heavy industry in the South African city of Durban. We bring you an interview with Desmond D’Sa, the organization’s coordinator, who tells us more about environmental justice issues in Durban. Back in Canada, the Harper Government is hoping to pass Bill C-18 by the end of this year, which will break the Canadian Wheat Board‘s monopoly on wheat marketing. We speak to Art Macklin, a concerned wheat and barley producer and member of the Canadian Wheat Board, about the environmental and social implications of this legislative change.

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Photographer2008 via Wikipedia.

United Nations climate talks are currently underway in South Africa, and all this excess attention has thrown the spotlight on the host city, Durban. The southern part of the city contains hundreds of heavy industrial sites such as oil refineries and paper mills. The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance aims to link these industrial sites to higher levels of health problems in the area, such as asthma and cancer, compared to other parts of Durban. Our correspondent Chris Chang-Yen Phillips spoke with the organization’s coordinator, Desmond D’Sa, in Durban.

More on this story: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The conservative government is intent on passing Bill C-18 before the end of the year. It has passed its third reading in the house of commons and is now before the Senate’s Agriculture and Forestry Committee who will give their report before December 13th. This bill will likely destroy the Canadian Wheat Board. Our correspondent Kathryn Lennon spoke to Art Macklin, a wheat and barley producer in Peace River, Alberta, on the implications this bill would have. Art Macklin served both as the elected representative to the Canadian Wheat Board Advisory Committee, as well as Director of the Canadian Wheat Board for 8 years. He has also been elected as both Vice President and President of the National Farmers Union, and acted as Chairman of the Canadian International Grains Institute.

More on this story: Canadian Wheat Board Alliance, Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board


World’s first undersea mine: Environmental groups are raising concerns over a new mine being developed by Toronto-based Nautilus Minerals. Located off the coast of Papua New Guinea, the project will be the world’s first undersea mine. The company plans to use deepwater robots to collect mineral rich deposits surrounding hydrothermal vents. Mining will take place a kilometer and a half below the ocean surface.

More on this story: Asia Pacific News, Radio Australia, Pacific News Center, Nautilus Minerals, Mining Watch, Deep Sea Mining Report

Ontario gets failing grade at sustainability: This past week saw Ontario’s Environment Commissioner release his annual report on the province’s sustainability efforts. In his paper, Gord Miller is highly critical of the government’s programs, saying that Ontario talks a lot about protecting the environment, but is in fact doing very little.

More on this story: Ottawa Citizen, CBC, The Star, CTV, 2010/2011 Annual Report

Aboriginal group supports Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline: Chief Elmer Derrick of the Northern British Columbia Gitxsan First Nation gave his support to the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. The announcement came just one day after British Columbia First Nations groups declared they would take a united stand against the Enbridge pipeline.

More on this story: Vancouver Sun, CBC, BC Local News, Globe and Mail, The Financial Post

Limiting fuel import into Europe: British and Canadian ministers have been secretly working together to fight a European Fuel Quality Directive proposal that would limit fuel import into Europe. The legislation would classify oil extracted from Alberta tar sands as producing 22 percent more greenhouse gases than other comparable fuels.

More on this story: The Guardian, BBC, CBC, The Star, Greenpeace

War and the Environment, Climate Justice, and Winter Cycling

This week we look at the impact of armed conflict on the environment. Scott Harris from the Council of Canadians stops by to tell us about People’s Assemblies for Climate Justice, a democratic grass-roots approach to addressing climate change which grew out of the frustration many felt after the failures of last year’s UN negotiations. And veteran winter cyclist Keith Hallgren gives some advice on how to cycling through Canada’s winters in comfort.

People's Assembly to discuss issues of climate change on thee streets of Copenhagen during COP15


Our next segment is about war and the environment. the war in Afghanistan, started after 9/11 in 2001 and the war is still going on. This war is not only the political issue, it also has something to do with environment. This week, Terra’s correspondent Seon-Ah introduces the story environmental story happening in Afghanistan.

The Climate Justice movement garnered global media attention and admiration of activists last year at COP15 in Copenhagen, when they organized a peoples assembly on climate justice to protest the backroom negotiating and develop solutions to the climate crisis. Since then climate justice advocates around the world have been mobilizing their communities and now with COP16 in Cancun quickly approaching group all around the world are holding Peoples Assemblies on Climate Justice to spread the momentum and develop local solutions to the climate crisis. In our next segment Terra Informa corespondent Myles Curry talks to Scott Harris of The Council of Canadians on the background of these assemblies and the organizing happening across Canada.

Well the weather reports are conclusive, winter is really here.  But that doesn’t mean you have to put away your bicycle!  Winter riding is increasing in popularity across Canada, even in norther cities like Edmonton, Alberta.  Rebecca Rooney interviewed Keith Hallgren, an avid winter cyclist and board member of the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters Society about winter cycling.

Three Walled Tailings Pond & Climate Justice Protest at Parliment

This week on the show, our fabulous new correspondent Jeremiah Bolstad takes an in depth look at the so called “three walled tailings pond” that was making headlines last week.  Steve Andersen brings us a story that received comparatively little coverage in the mainstream media: he speaks with one of the activists who staged a protest in Canada’s parliament building.

The tailings pond at CNRL's Horizon oilsands project near Fort McKay, Alta. The uncontained western edge of the pond can be seen at the bottom of the picture. (CBC)

News Headlines

Conservative dominated senate successfully kills NDP Bill C-311

(Globe & mail)

(Toronto Star)

Pulp mill in Corner Brook, Newfoundland proposes to test the burning of tires as an alternate fuel source.

Tire derived fuel public information from Kruger Inc.


Public outcry has lead communities in the Peace River to begin training to sample their own air quality.

Bucket Brigade Introduction


Climate Justice Protest at Parliment

Last week saw a lot of commotion in the Parliament buildings. In a surprise move, Conservative senators killed the Climate Change Accountability Act on Tuesday, November 16th, without even taking the time to debate it. But the ruckus that day wasn’t limited to the Senate chambers. Just before noon, down the hall in the Rotunda, a banner was hung from the second floor while six Climate Justice activists held a sit-in below. They wanted the government to take action on climate change and said that they weren’t going to leave until they spoke to the leaders of all the parties. To get the inside story, Steve Andersen talked to Tasha Peters, one of the activists who participated.

Climate Justice Ottawa Drops Banner in Parliament “If They Won’t Take Action on Climate Justice, We Will!” (Media

Three Walled Tailings Pond Near Fort Mackay

We’re always looking for new volunteers to help with the show.  Up next we have a piece from one of our newest correspondents Jeremiah Bolstad. Last week, the CBC reported on a three walled tailings pond on the lease of Canadian Natural Resource’s Horizon operation.  Jeremiah spoke with Davis Shermenta, a representative of Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board and Marlene Orr, a resident of nearby Fort McKay about the pond in question.

Alta. oilsands pond sludge oozes into bush (CBC News)

(CBC News)


Quebec’s Climate Action Camp & Australia’s Legal Fight Against Whaling

This week on Terra Informa we talk to one of the organizers of the upcoming Climate Action Camp in Quebec. We investigate what the camps are, how they started and what they’re trying to achieve. Then we switch gears and go all the way to Australia to learn about the Australian Government’s effort to fight Japanese whaling through the UN International Court of Justice. And as always, we get the show started with a wrap up of the week’s environmental news headlines.

Quebec Climate Action Camp Poster

Weekly Environmental News Headlines

Alberta Oilsands

ERCB leniency with Imperial Oil

Criticism from the Pembina Institute


China closing down polluting factories (2)

World-wide climate change effects

Floods and mudslides on three continents, as drought hits Africa

Record temperatures

Effects on rice production

Oil spill update

Reports that leak is sealed (2)

Tropical storm halts drilling

Endangered species still at risk

Quebec Climate Action Camp

Climate Justice as a concept and as a movement is gaining traction around the world as people search for equitable and just solutions to climate change.

Climate Justice is a vision to dissolve and alleviate the unequal burdens created by climate change. As a form of environmental justice, climate justice is the fair treatment of all people and freedom from discrimination with the creation of policies and projects that address climate change and the systems that create climate change and perpetuate discrimination.

The current growth the Climate Justice movement is experiencing amongst environmental and social justice advocates has largely been spurred and sustained by the use of climate action camps as a tactic of mobilization. Right now Climate Justice Montreal is organizing a climate action camp in Quebec, adding Canada to a growing list of countries that are the site of this radical form of environmental mobilization. To provide us with some insight into the workings, purpose and perspectives of the Quebec Climate Action camp, Terra Informa correspondent Myles Curry spoke to Cameron Fenton—an organizer of this event—from the site of the camp in Dunham, Quebec.

Stop the Flow of Destruction: A Primer on Climate Justice and the 2010 Climate Action Camp

Australian Legal Action Against Whaling

There aren’t many issues that rouse the ire of animal lovers and conservationists more than whaling. The International Whaling Commission placed a ban on Commercial Whaling in 1986 in an effort to prevent the big species from becoming extinct, after decades of intensive industrial hunting by many countries. Today whale watching is a bigger industry than whaling, but a small handful of countries persist with the old practice. Japan, Norway and Iceland all have annual and controversial hunts. In particular, the Japanese hunt, conducted under the guise of ‘scientific whaling’, is stridently opposed by environmental groups and many governments. Years of negotiations have failed to convince Japan to stop, so the Australian Government is taking the issue a step further. It has launched legal action against Japan in the International Court of Justice. To find out some background to the case, and just how likely it is to succeed, our Terra Informa correspondent caught up with Australian Lawyer Clytie Shimmin, on a beach on the Pacific Coast of Australia. David Kaczan filed this report from Brisbane.

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