hydraulic fracturing

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

Fracking Blockade in Alberta & the Story of Paul Watson

Today we speak to members of the Blood Nation in southern Alberta who set up a blockade to stop hydraulic fracturing on their land. We investigate what’s meant by the term biophilia, and we bring you a review of the new movie Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson, which takes a look at the controversial leader of the anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd. All that, plus your round up of the week’s news headlines.

Download this week’s show.

Maija Tailfeathers standing in front of a fracking truck on the Blood Reserve in southern Alberta.

News Headlines

Peter Kent changes tone on coal regulations
CTV News
Winnipeg Free Press
Global News
Council of Canadians

Ontario’s proposed tax cuts bad for carbon emissions
Globe and Mail
Ottawa Citizen
CBC News

Ontario protests against wind power
Stratford Gazette
Meaford Independent
The Sun Times

Manitoba pig farmers voice opposition to Bill 46
Portage Daily Graphic
Winnipeg Sun

Conway Sandhills in PEI protected
The Guardian
Winnipeg Free Press
Environment Canada press release

Nova Scotia’s new provincial waste reduction plan
CBC News
CTV News


Fracking blockade on the Blood Reserve

Opposition to hydraulic fracturing has been fierce in many parts of Canada. June saw thousands rally against the controversial practice in Montreal, in early August a similar scene played out in Fredericton, and numerous smaller protests have taken place throughout the maritimes. Concern is also growing in northern BC. But in Alberta it’s largely been smooth sailing for the industry. At least until this past week. On Friday, members of the Blood Nation in southern Alberta attempted to block work on a fracking project, leading to several arrests. For more on the story, Steve Andersen spoke to Lois Frank of Kainai Earth Watch, the group that organized the blockade.

Video from the blockade is available here.


Movie Review: Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson

Today David Kaczan brings us a Green Screen Review of Eco-Pirate, the latest enviro-documentary from Vancouver’s Trish Dolman. This biographical movie focuses on Paul Watson, founder and leader of the controversial ocean-going activist group, Sea Shepherd. Eco-Pirate is currently screening in movie theatres around the country, so to help you decide whether to roll up and check it out, here’s our critical take.