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!

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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.


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