Canadian Government Thinks People Are Stupid

copyright Pembina Institute

Canada’s New Plan “Pretends” to Curb Emissions, Say Activists

By Stephen Leahy

Apr 26 (IPS) – Canada’s newest plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions will be much too little and too late, environmentalists said Thursday.

Its third climate action plan in less than two years, the Canadian government proposal titled “Turn the Corner”, released Thursday afternoon, proposes to reduce emissions 20 percent by 2020. However, that would be a 20 percent reduction from 2006 levels.

“That would leave Canada 11 percent above its Kyoto commitments many years after the country is legally obligated to meet them,” says John Bennett of the Climate Action Network Canada, a coalition of environmental groups.

“This government is all about pretending to reduce emissions,” Bennett told IPS.
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How to Lay the Foundations for a New World

EARTH DAY: Happiness Is a Smaller Eco-Footprint

blue marble

… more children knew the characters of the video game Pokemon than could recognise an oak tree or an otter…”

By Stephen Leahy

Apr 21 (IPS) – Today’s children will live in a new world of climate change and greatly diminished natural resources, which may give way to a nightmarish reality, or it could give birth to a happier and lighter way of living on the Earth, say environmentalists.

The scientific evidence for environmental troubles — from rising sea levels to species extinction to desertification — sends a clear signal that we are running into the limits of spaceship Earth to support us as it has for millennia.

“This world is ending; we need to lay the foundations for a new world,” says Alice Klein, a magazine editor and documentary filmmaker in Toronto. “We have a great opportunity to make a better world,” she told IPS.

Klein’s film “Call of the Hummingbird“, to premiere on Earth Day — Apr. 22 — at Toronto’s Hot Docs film festival, tracks the 13 days when some 1,000 teachers, eco-activists, farmers, Mayans, Rastafarians, holistic health-workers, non-governmental organisation executives, student leaders from all over Latin America and a few from Europe and North America camped out together in central Brazil in 2005.

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57 Tips On Going Green and Saving Money

shodou-calligraphy.gifFrom the Frugalist – a guy who loves to make lists here’s 57 tips on going green and saving money.

Some good ideas here although I’m not sure how he arrived at the dollar savings of going green i.e car pooling will save you $780 a year, but he’s right it would save a pile of money. As will many of his other green money savers — lots of great links as well.

[FYI: I’m an independent journalist who supports his family and the public interest writing articles about important environmental issues. This is now only possible with your support (see Collapse of Media). A small contribution ($5, $10, $20) is the ONLY way this can continue.  PayPal or Credit Card Or contact me for mailing address.

6 Easy Ways to Green your Transport and save $$

  1. Bike or walk to work. The only gas you’ll use with this option is oxygen. Savings: $1,560 per year.
  2. Telecommute. Learn about this quiet revolution [PDF link] in the workplace. Telecommuting twice a week can save you 40 percent of your gas costs according to the Telework Coalition. Savings: $624 per year.
  3. Carpool. If you must use your car, share your ride. Find a ride in your local paper or try craigslist. Savings: $780 per year if shared with one other person.
  4. Keep your car tuned. A well-tuned car uses approximately nine percent less gas than a poorly tuned car, and you can lose about two percent in fuel economy for every pound of pressure your tire is under the recommended level. Savings: $150 per year.
  5. Learn to drive. Rapid acceleration and braking can lower your gas mileage by five percent around town and 33 percent on the highway, or an average of $0.55 per gallon. And, you get less mileage for your money (23 percent less or $0.67 per gallon) if you drive over 60mph. Savings: $1.22 per gallon, or $634 per year.
  6. Decrease your drag. If you aren’t using that overhead luggage rack, take it off (do you really need to carry that much luggage in the first place?). Also, it may help to turn off the AC and open up your windows to conserve gas, but not when you’re cruising down the highway at 60mph. Open windows at that speed increases drag and is less conservative than using the AC

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Related stories:

How to Kick-Start the 21st Century Eco-Economy

Consumption, Consumerism and Global Warming – Connecting the Dots

Global Warming Is Real But I Didn’t Do It

Can Capitalism Be Green?

Everything’s Green Except the Media

Sushi, Moonies, Whales and $Commerce

Top U.S. Sushi Company Linked to Whaling
By Stephen Leahy

Blue whale, courtesy IFAW

Apr 11 (IPS) – An investigation has revealed that the U.S. supplier of sushi to more than 6,000 restaurants is associated with a Japanese company that sells millions of tins of whale meat.

Despite a global ban on killing whales, Japan’s Kyokuyo, a multinational seafood conglomerate, sells between 10 and 20 million cans of whale meat a year, according to an Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) report released Tuesday. Continue reading

Overcoming Climate of Despair and Apathy

a.jpeg“Climate Change, Despair and Empowerment” roadshow is coming to North America starting in Miami April 14 and on to Arkansas, Ontario, US Northeast. Author and eco-activist John Seed of Australia leads a series of ‘pay-what-you-can’ workshops designed to start, invigorate and support grassroots climate study/action groups.

The evening or day long workshops address the hopeless despair that many people feel and provide tools to transform despair into empowerment and effective action. This will be based on the Despair & Empowerment work of Joanna Macy and will:

* unveil the false and “business as usual”, solutions being touted by the major political parties such as nuclear power and so called “clean coal”.

* raise awareness and inspire political action towards the real solutions that we, the people, must insist upon. (eg. end the many billion dollars a year in subsidies to the fossil fuel industries, support energy efficiency, solar, wind etc.)

* provide resources for the many things that we can all do to turn the situation around.

* Support a network of Climate Study/Action Groups across N America.

Highly recommended — see this recent story for more about the roadshow and what it hopes to accomplish:

Passion Needed to Meet Climate Challenge

Just Published: Oil Stains in the Boreal Forest



Oil Stains in the Boreal Forest:
The Environmental Cost of Canada’s Oil Sands

A New eBook Available Here

Canada’s oil sands are the world’s largest industrial project easily visible from space. Some of the environmental impacts can also be seen from space but many more are invisible and unacknowledged in their entirety until now.

Oil Stains in the Boreal Forest offers a fast, factual overview of the environmental impacts of pumping more than 1.1 million barrels of oil — 175 million litres/50 million gallons — each day to thirsty US markets. Leading scientific and environmental experts along with industry officials are interviewed to provide the full story.

Oil Stains in the Boreal Forest includes pictures of the environmental destruction, hyperlinks for additional information, a bonus chart on The Real Cost of Tank of Oil Sands Gas and a new economic study that shows Oil Company profits are based on no-cost pollution.

Written by independent journalist Stephen Leahy who has been published in New Scientist, The London Sunday Times, Maclean’s Magazine, The Toronto Star, Wired News, Audubon, BBC Wildlife, and Canadian Geographic. Leahy is the science and environment correspondent for Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS), a wire service headquartered in Rome that covers global issues, and its Latin American affiliate,Tierramérica, located in Mexico City.

Oil Stains in the Boreal ForesteBook – full-color, 8 1/2 x 11″, 28 page pdf (1.2 mb download) Special publication price $6.00

Passion Needed to Meet Climate Challenge

Copyright Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchClimate Change: The Challenge of the Century?

By Stephen Leahy

Apr 6 (IPS) – Climate change is already altering the Arctic, sub-Saharan Africa, small islands and Asia’s river deltas, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported Friday in Brussels.

And these observed impacts will only increase and widen in the years to come, along with some nasty surprises as the human race’s global climate-altering experiment rapidly gains momentum.

Scientists and environmental activists say the overarching question — and the challenge of the century — is what will we do about it?

“The irritating thing is that we have all the tools at hand to limit climate change and save the world from the worst impacts,” said Lara Hansen, chief scientist of the World Wildlife Fund’s Global Climate Change Programme.

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