Would you be willing to hang out with wolves in the Arctic? How about spending your time following Caribou around? This week on Terra Informa, we pay our respects to the late Farley Mowat, environmentalist extraordinaire (who happens to be a friend to the wolves.) And, we’ve got your environmental lit covered this summer with our new column, Summer Reading, kicking it off with the book Being Caribou by Karsten Heuer.
This week on the show Chris Chang-Yen Phillips talks to Green Party leader Elizabeth May about the Trans Pacific Partnership, a deal that could leave the environment a casualty of compromise for its member countries. Trevor Chow-Fraser and Natalee Rawat speak to Severn Cullis-Suzuki about her life today—22 years after she delivered her speech that silenced the world for five minutes at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. And finally we’ll take you to Washington, D.C. with Trevor, who spoke to some faith-based organizations who are calling for what they call a Fast For The Climate.
The last two weeks have seen major developments surrounding the Keystone XL pipeline route and its associated environmental impacts. This week our correspondents conducted a variety of interviews, including one with Elizabeth May, to delve deeper into the controversy surrounding this pipeline.
The Keystone XL pipeline project is a proposed pipeline route which would pipe bitumen from the Canadian oil sands down to the gulf of Mexico. Our correspondent Myles Curry brings us a variety of interviews to help bring you up to speed on the battle over the Keystone XL pipeline.
Elizabeth May was elected to the house of representatives in the most recent election and promised to champion a number of environmental issues. High on her list was action on climate change. Correspondent David Kaczan spoke with her to find out whether she has managed to achieve any parts of her agenda in parliament thus far, as well as her take on the Keystone XL proposal.
Canadian grades on drinking water: Ecojustice has released a report grading the ability of the Canadian provinces to manage their drinking water. Notable grades were granted to Ontario, which received an A and Alberta which came in last among Canadian provinces with a C-. Nunavut received the lowest grade with a D.
NDP versus PC over Keystone XL Pipeline: Members of the NDP have been the target of scolding at the hands of Alberta Premier Allison Redford and Prime Minister Stephen Harper this past week. Members of the NDP spoke against the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to Washington politicians.
More on this story: Calgary Herald
Aquaculture charges in the Bay of Fundy: New Brunswick’s largest aquaculture company may face serious charges from the death of hundreds of lobsters in the Bay of Fundy. On November 1st, the Federal Environment department laid charges against three executives of Cook Aquaculture and Kelly Cove Salmon with 11 counts for allegedly violating Section 36(3) of the Fisheries Act. This section of the Act prohibits the deposit of a substance that is harmful to fish into fish-bearing waters.
More on this story: The Coaster
A few extra interesting news stories for this week: Richer Canadians create more greenhouse emissions, Canada’s Kent to speed environment reviews of big projects
This week Zane brought an insightfull look at the past weeks news. Here are those headlines and links.
According to a recent report prepared for Alberta’s Sustainable Resource Development (SRD) department, there are approximately 23 grizzly bears estimated to occupy Alberta’s Swan Hills. This new information brings the total estimated number of grizzlies in Alberta so far to 604. The status of Alberta’s grizzly bear is currently being reviewed. Following the review, Alberta’s Endangered Species Conservation Committee (ESCC) will make a status recommendation to the Minister of Sustainable Resource Development.
Council of the Haida Nation and the Government of Canada represented by Parks Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada signed a long-awaited agreement to cooperatively manage the proposed Gwaii Haanas national marine conservation area. The federal government and the Haida protected the land through a national park reserve and Haida Heritage Site. But the surrounding ocean ecosystem remains largely unprotected, despite a commitment by both governments to also protect it over 20 years ago. The partnership agreement announced today with the Haida is an important step forward for a future Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA). (Article)
The Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled Thursday that a British Columbia mining development can go ahead, even though the court said the project didn’t go through all the required environmental assessments. The Supreme Court sided with the appellant, MiningWatch Canada & Eco-justice which had argued that the Red Chris mine project did not go through a full federal environmental study. The decision is expected to mean that future large development projects will need to go through full environmental reviews. (Article)
Sea Shepherd Announces Mediterranean Campaign for the Bluefin Tuna. Both Sea Shepherd ships, the Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker, will head for the Mediterranean from the Southern Ocean. The objective will be to intercept and oppose the illegal operations of Bluefin tuna poachers. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) meets in March to debate banning trade in the Bluefin. Yet in the lead up to the meeting, the European Union has taken the Bluefin off the agenda so as not to offend the fishermen of France, Malta, Italy, and Greece. Sea Shepherd intends to confront the poachers and will not back down to threats and violence from the fishermen. (Article)
Canada has aligned itself with U.S. policy as it gave the United Nations its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions under the Copenhagen Accord. Environment Minister Jim Prentice on Saturday said that by 2020 Canada would reduce emissions by 17 per cent from 2005 levels, the same target the U.S. announced to the UN on Thursday. Prentice made the announcement in Calgary, a day before the deadline stipulated in the agreement reached in the Danish capital last month. Prentice said his government now wants to work toward achieving a comprehensive and binding international treaty, building on the framework agreement reached in Copenhagen
Environmentalists with an interest in politics have had reason to feel energized since 2006, when veteran Environmental campaigner Elizabeth May was elected to lead the Canadian Green Party. Under her leadership the party took almost a million votes at the 2008 federal election, their best result ever. Prior to entering politics May was a high profile environmental lawyer and executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada. She has written 7 books and has advised federal governments of all political stripes on environmental policy. Last week Elizabeth May spoke to students at the Sierra Youth Sustainable Campuses Conference. Terra Informa’s David Kaczan caught up with Elizabeth after her address, to discuss climate change and the future of the green party.
In the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern US, a battle is raging. Mining companies are blasting away mountain tops to reach underlying coals seams, locals are worried about their health, and environmentalists have had enough. This past week they shut down one of Massey Energy‘s mines with a tree sit that lasted for nine days. Steve talked to a spokesperson for Climate Ground Zero to find out what was going on.