Oldgrowthblockade.com, Saul Arbess tells story of Island blockades, TM Pipeline a bust: J.David Hughes

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, BC publishes impressive views on the spread and impact of the TransMountain Pipeline expansion, from great BC photographer, Garth Lenz. Few have documented BC’s beauty and tortured pain like Garth Lenz. The photos are well worth the click.

Some of the most intense clearcutting of old growth forests in the province is still taking place on Vancouver Island and all fall folks have been barricading logging roads and protesting the final decimation of the big trees on the Island. The Fairy Creek blockade has gotten the most news, but when we talk with one of the participants, Saul Arbess, we learned that they have spread their efforts to several valleys and threatened forests.

A couple of weeks ago we reported on the mass letter from Canadian academics to the federal government pointing out the folly of spending $12 billion on the TransMountain bitumen pipeline. Last week J. David Hughes who worked for 30 years for the Canadian Geological Survey updated his analysis of the pipeline expansion.  He concluded the oil patch doesn’t need the pipeline and it would be a massive waste of Canadian resources. We talked to David Hughes from Calgary and that will come up in the secone part of the show.

And… Keith editorializes on the US election, the calamity that is the US, impacts on climate policy in Canada, and deep climate crisis denialism in Canada.

Environment News for Nov 20 2020

StoptheSprayBC.com is holding a rally this Thursday, Nov. 12 in Prince George. They are trying to stop CANFOR’s 5-year glyphosate spraying plan for every new cutblock across a vast area.  If the plan is approved, they say, there will be 5 more years of widespread aerial glyphosate spraying of regenerative forests.  The glyphosate removal of aspen trees particularly has been tagged as one of the reasons the moose population in that same reason has crashed.  The rally is at 11:30 Thursday at the Ministry of Forests in Prince George.  


Last week residents of Orange County, Florida, voted overwhelmingly in favor of changing their county charter to give legal protection to rivers.

The result was one of several across the US in which voters supported protections for waterways or for new taxes to fund water projects. Voters in Utah and Wyoming also approved constitutional amendments related to municipal water supply and water infrastructure spending.

The Orange County amendment  passed with 89 percent of the vote It gives the Wekiva and Econlockhatchee rivers and other county waterways the right to be free from pollution and the right to exist. It allows citizens to file lawsuits on behalf of the waterways to enforce those rights.


Climate Action Tracker’s says that the election win by Joe Biden could bring a 1.5°C limit on average global warming “within striking distance”.  The analysis showed the new administration’s climate plan could cut 0.1°C off average global warming by the turn of the century. They said that “Coupled with China’s pledge to bring emissions to net-zero before 2060, and the EU, Japan, and South Korea’s commitments to reach net-zero by 2050, a tipping point is being approached that puts the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit within reach,” 

“Taken together, the U.S. and China going to net-zero emissions would reduce our estimate of end-of-century warming to 2.3 to 2.4°C, taking the world 25 to 40% of the way towards limiting warming to the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit,” said German climatologist Niklas Höhne of NewClimate Institute.


A group of local volunteers has cleared a section of the old Enterprise Creek Trail into Kokanee Glacier Park and is inviting the public use it.

This past summer the Friends of West Kootenay Parks Society (FWKP) reopend the section of the trail to Tanal Lake. This section links up with the final two kilometres to Enterprise Pass, cleared last year by BC Parks staff.  They say it again gives access to the core area of Kokanee Glacier Park.

The road to the park is accessible up to about the three-kilometre mark, then a rock barrier closes it to regular vehicle traffic for another eight kilometres to the park border. It is still navigable on bike, ATV, or on foot past the barrier, Groom says. The area cleared off by the Friends starts at the park border.


Trans Mountain has had a major setback in its expansion project through Kamloops.

The pipeline twinning includes a segment beneath the Thompson River that must be installed with Horizontal Directional Drilling.

But Trans Mountain says installation of the pipe in the segment beneath the river encountered “technical challenges” that require the entire HDD process to be restarted.

TMX says the pipe will need to be removed and the path will need to be re-drilled.


Last week, Canada’s environment minister defended government regulations related to the impacts of oil drilling off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Minister Jonathan Wilkinson told the parliament environment committee that “all drilling projects must respect high environmental standards” after a Bloc Québécois MP asked about a recent change to regulations that was requested by the Newfoundland oil industry.

The Liberal government’s announced last June it was excluding individual exploratory offshore drilling projects from having to undergo a federal impact assessment. 

Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan said it was the “number 1” request that “business and investors” had been asking for.



The Alberta utility, TransAlta has announced plan to stop mining coal and stop using coal for electricity in Canada.

TransAlta Corp. says it will close the Highvale coal mine which is only about 70 kilometres west of Edmonton, Highvale Mine is one of three TransAlta-owned surface coal mines.

TransAlata says it is Canada’s largest surface strip coal mine and covers more than 12,600 hectares.  The mine has been in operation since 1970. 

The company said electricity production plans Keephills Unit 1 and Sundance Unit 4 will stop using coal and will only operate on gas.



A report in the Ottawa Citizen says The Canadian Armed Forces is proposing to establish a new organization to use propaganda and other techniques to try to influence the attitudes of Canadians.

The Canadian Forces has spent more than $1 million to train public affairs officers on behaviour modification techniques of the same sort used by the parent firm of Cambridge Analytica, as well as a controversial and bizarre propaganda training mission in which the military forged letters from the Nova Scotia government to warn the public that wolves were wandering in the province.

The new Defence Strategic Communication plan is to advance “national interests by using defence activities to influence the attitudes, beliefs and behaviours of audiences,” 

That is from an October Armed Forces document the Ottawa Citizen obtained.

The plan says Target audiences would incude the Canadian public as well as foreign countries where military forces are sent.



LNG projects are still facing tough challenges. The Institute for Energy and Economics and Financial analysis reports this week that a French utility won’t move proceed with a $7 billion deal to import liquefied natural gas from Houston-based NextDecade Corp.  Contract negotiations between the companies reportedly stalled after concerns were raised about the methane emissions footprint of U.S. natural gas.


Investment research group portfolio.earth says that business-as-usual is continuing far too much as usual.  The organization says Fifty major banks put US$2.6 trillion into industrial activities last year.   The projects they say are driving species and ecosystems toward extinction.

The report comes at a time when scientists are warning that we face an “era of pandemics” if we fail  to protect nature and biodiversity.

The report called Bankrolling Extinction report found that “none of the lenders had adequate systems to limit the impact of their loans on the web of animal and plant life that supports human well-being.”

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