Archives For Environment

PEARL Arctic Research Station

The federal government has renewed funding for the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) in Canada’s high Arctic, one year after the research station in Eureka, Nunavut was shut down.

The government awarded $5-million to PEARL over five years through its granting agency, the National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).

“It was a big sigh of relief because if we didn’t get the money, my next job would have been dismantling the lab and that would not be a happy job,” said lead PEARL researcher James Drummond in a telephone interview from Germany.

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You heard it on CBC radio’s As It Happens

The federal government has renewed funding for the PEARL Arctic research station, one year after it shut down. I broke this story today with CBC radio’s As It Happens.

Here’s the story based on the As It Happens interview (the audio is at the top left):

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2013/05/17/technology-pearl-high-arctic-research-station-funding.html

Photo: CANDAC

“The current heatwave – in terms of its duration, its intensity and its extent – is unprecedented in our records. Clearly, the climate system is responding to the background warming trend. Everything that happens in the climate system now is taking place on a planet which is a degree hotter than it used to be.”

David Jones, Manager of climate monitoring and prediction at Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology

Documentary:
Wasteful Thinking – The hidden world of food waste in Quebec

With the world’s population projected to hit seven billion later this  year, a stable supply of food has never been more important.

Recent spikes in food prices have set off riots around the world and  have been linked to revolutions in the Middle East and the famine  devastating the horn of Africa. Even here at home, rising food prices are making people think more  about what they eat and where it comes from.

But what people may not realize is just how much of the food we  produce is going to waste.

The documentary, Wasteful Thinking, takes a close look at the food  system in Quebec from the grocery store to the phenomenon of dumpster  diving and the growing demand at Quebec’s food banks.

Co-Produced by Judith Jacques and Tomas Urbina

forumschistedotcom: shale gas social media site

Shale gas industry shoots for social media revamp, critics not convinced

Canada’s shale gas industry is turning to social media for a cure to its tattered public image in Quebec, according to the Canadian Press. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) has contracted the services of social media company Parta Dialogue to create forumschiste.com, a website billed as a place to discuss issues and share information about shale gas.

With the official launch of the website set for Tuesday, one of the industry’s most vocal critics, theAssociation Québecoise de Lutte Contre la Pollution Atmosphérique (AQLPA) is already calling into question the motives of the effort. “Is this looking at environmental questions or is this damage control?” said Kim Cornelissen of the AQLPA in a phone interview.

Read more: http://www.forgetthebox.net/shale-gas-social-media/

Toronto the Green

July 19, 2011

Environmental impressions from a week in Canada’s largest city

Green Toronto skylineBefore moving to Toronto for the rest of the summer I was warned about the dangers of biking on its streets. I’d need a helmet and some luck, I was told.   And I’d heard plenty about newly elected Mayor Rob Ford’s lack of appetite for cyclists and their paths.

In fact, the week I arrived, bike paths were making headlines as city council decided to remove bike lanes on Jarvis street they had set up one year earlier.   The irony of the decision is that it will cost much more to remove the lanes than it did to install them. Reports say the removal will cost $200,000 while the original installation cost only $59,000.

Read more: http://www.forgetthebox.net/toronto-the-green/

Giant pile of corn meal at Greenfield Ethanol

Photo essay: Grain drain? Corn ethanol and a tour of Canada’s biggest producer

With the effects of climate change becoming more pronounced and more dangerous each year, the push for greener fuels is growing around the world.  Developers of plant-based fuels called biofuels are doing their best to be the ones to replace gasoline, but not all biofuels are as green as they seem. Some can take nearly as much fossil fuel to produce as they are supposed to replace.

Corn ethanol is what is called a first generation biofuel because it is produced from a food grain. This fact has placed it at the centre of the food vs. fuel debate that pits the nutritional needs of people around the world against the need to move away from oil as a fuel source, while exposing corn prices to volatile market forces that have many doubting the viability of corn as a long-term solution.

In Canada, one player stands above the rest: Greenfield Ethanol.  Forget the Box visited the Greenfield Ethanol plant in Varennes on Montreal’s south shore and takes you on a visual tour of the world of biofuels, from corn to ethanol.

See more photos: http://www.forgetthebox.net/corn-ethanol-visual-tour/

Shale gas protest march in Montreal

Month-long anti-shale gas march peaks in Montreal rally

If anyone thought the battle over shale gas in Quebec was finished, a wave of protest that has swept through the province washed those thoughts away in Montreal on Saturday. Organizers and supporters of the “Moratorium for a Generation” marched on the city, bringing to a crescendo a month-long trek from Rimouski in eastern Quebec and along the St-Lawrence River to downtown Montreal outside of Premier Jean Charest’s office.

“We’re asking for a 20-year moratorium on the exploration and extraction of shale gas in Quebec,” said organizer Jean-Sébastien Leduc. Twenty years is the length of a shale gas exploration land claim and of a generation, said Leduc. “We don’t want to leave a legacy of polluted water, contaminated air and noise to the next generation.”

Read more: http://www.forgetthebox.net/wave-of-protest-month-long-anti-shale-gas-march-crests-in-montreal-rally/

Jana Wiechmann, Greenpeace coordinator, BremenDespite the fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster and renewed fears about the safety of nuclear power, almost no country has taken a position against the controversial energy source, except one.   Europe’s economic engine and most populace country, Germany, has bucked the global trend and announced it will shut down all of its nuclear power plants by 2022, at the latest.

Read more: http://www.forgetthebox.net/germany-to-abandon-nuclear-by-2022/

Wind turbines in northern Germany

Green Germany: The Klimahaus museum and beyond

When Bob Geldof opened the world’s first climate change museum in northern Germany two years ago, he was surprised by two guests, a man from Niger and a man from Samoa whose countries feature prominently in The Journeythe main exhibit at the Klimahaus. Geldof, a well-known human rights activist and music producer, spoke about water, from rising sea levels to desertification, and how these global warming problems will lead to climate migration.   People like Foua from Samoa and Ibrahim from Niger would be forced to abandon their homes and homelands because their island is being flooded or there simply isn’t enough water available to survive where their people have lived for centuries.

It’s no wonder then that two years later when I arrived at the Klimahaus there was a climate refugee art exhibit surrounding the museum.

Read More: http://www.forgetthebox.net/eco-initiatives-germany/