Want to chill in an age of global heating? Check out an old growth forest. BC’s forests help prevent some of the worse disasters that are coming at us with the climate crisis, fire, flood and yes, even heat waves. The Sierra Club of BC has come out with a new report showing how better forestry and preserving natural forests can help prevent the worst in climate catastrophes. We speak with the report’s author, Dr. Peter Wood.
BC’s greenwash old growth policy, announced just before last fall’s provincial election, is still in the news. And old growth forests are still being rapidly mown down. Former Nelsonite, Mark Nykanen is now hosting XRTV Victoria with online episodes on different climate topics. In episode three they visit the Fairy Creek blockade, protecting key old growth. We have an excerpt.
LISTEN to or DOWNLOAD Feb 2 Here:
Sunday, Feb 7 11 am PT
Champion a National Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform for Canada?https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/8016111241159/WN_xAZFLXWIQmW9_F71-EtTAg
Thursday, Feb 11 6:30 pm PT
Virtual Winter Storytelling Evening. Indigenous and non-indigenous speakers sharing traditional stories from winter times.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a Zoom Link, or check Facebook: West KootenayPeopleWhoSupportTheWetsuweten.
By March 15
Suzy Hamilton Legacy Fund Award Now Taking 2021 Nominations
The Suzy Hamilton Legacy Fund honours the work of one self-identified woman environmental activist in the West Kootenay each year through a cash award. There is no official entry form for the award. Entries should include the name and contact information of the nominee, as well as a short paragraph about the work they do for the environment. We welcome the re-submission of nominees from previous years. Nominations can be sent to the Fund’s award committee at email@example.com. Nominations close on March 15th.
Feb 2 2021 Good Environment News (for a change)
It’s a good news week for the Environment News. Topped by new US President Joe Biden’s climate day which The Guardian newspaper called transformative.
The batch of climate orders signed by Biden on Wednesday, is a major change for the American direction on climate and it ends the reign of climate denialism in Washington. Oil and gas drilling is to be banned from public lands. A third of America’s land and ocean protected. The government is dropping the combustion engine from its entire vehicle fleet. Now battery-powered trucks will be delivering the mail and electric tanks operated by the US military.
The president called the climate crisis an “existential threat” to civilization.
“We can’t wait any longer – we see it with our own eyes, we feel it in our bones,” Biden implored.
“When I think of climate change I think of jobs,” has become one of Biden’s slogans.
BlackRock, the world’s biggest investment fund manager, threatened to sell shares in the worst corporate polluters, the US Chamber of Commerce said it would support a price on carbon, and General Motors announced it will make only zero-emissions cars from 2035 onwards.
In its official response to a parliamentary petition submitted last November, the Canadian government said it “will continue to follow closely the discussions on ecocide at the international level.”
The petition, initiated by Amita Kuttner and submitted by Green Party MP Jenica Atwin called on the Canadian government to “declare its support for an [ecocide] amendment to the Rome Statute and advocate its adoption internationally in the knowledge that many countries must stand together for the long-term protection of all life on Earth”.
Stop Ecocide Canada has also been in dialogue with Liberal, Conservative, NDP and Bloc Quebecois representatives, and the team is engaging with Indigenous rights advocates and lawyers and organizing public events.
Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley says the province needs to take better advantage of global investment in renewables and clean tech to be an energy leader. Notley was speaking to the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce last week. She pointed to U.S. President Joe Biden’s revocation of the Keystone XL permit last week as proof the province needs to be more aggressive in its economic diversification plans, including in petrochemicals and recycling.
“We need to take control of our own destiny, and not tie our fortunes to projects outside our jurisdiction, subject to another nation’s politics,” she said.
Notley said setting the agenda as a global energy superpower is Alberta’s “birthright,” and that the oil and gas sector will continue to have a place in the province’s economy for decades to come.
The management of The Quartz Creek watershed forestry area that includes Ymir’s watershed has been transferred from BC Timber Sales, to Fruitvale-based ATCO Wood Products, the Nelson Star reported.
ATCO CEO Scott Weatherford said his company has yet to send any foresters into the area, nor have they reviewed any studies BCTS made while they were managing Quartz Creek.
“We’re starting with a blank page there,” he said.
In 2017, BCTS said it would develop three cut-blocks in an area that included Ymir’s watershed.
Ymir residents feared logging would threaten their expensive water filtration plant and the drinking water of the whole hamlet, with disastrous effects on liveabililty and property values.
The biggest global climate survey ever conducted shows nearly two-thirds of people around the world see climate change as a “global emergency”. The desire for urgent action is even higher among young people.
Organized by Oxford University and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the People’s Climate Vote survey reached “more than 1.2 million people in 50 countries” in December.
The Canadian Press says Canadians “are more concerned about the issue than most,” with 75% of those surveyed agreeing that the climate crisis is an emergency. Older respondents in Canada were nearly on par with younger citizens in their alarm at the climate crisis, at 72%.
Also notable: 75% of Canadians polled, regardless of age, “said action should be urgent and on many fronts,” while 69% agreed that polluters should pay. “Only the United Kingdom, at 72%, registered stronger among high-income countries,”
Australian mining firms seeking to strip-mine metallurgical coal in Alberta knew well ahead of Albertans that the government was planning to rescind a law that stood in the way.
The 44-year-old Coal Policy, the result of extensive public consultation in the 1970s, protected 1.5 million hectares in the eastern slopes of the Rockies from open-pit mining. But last May the Jason Kenney government announced it had cancelled the policy with no public consultation.
Alberta’s environment minister has denied that doing away with the Coal Policy “has opened up the eastern slopes for strip-mining.”
However, a 2019 private investment company apparently had early warning and said in an investment report the “Alberta government [is] in the process of changing the coal policy to allow more open-pit mining.”
Renewable energy generated by wind, sunlight, water and wood made up 42% of the UK’s electricity last year surpassing the 41% generated from gas and coal plants.
2020 was the first time that renewables were the main source of the UK’s electricity over a year.
Renewable energy also outperformed fossil fuels across the European Union for the first time, according to the report, following a collapse in the use of coal last year.
The UK has built new windfarms which produced the country’s renewable record. Almost a quarter of the UK’s electricity was generated by wind turbines last year, double the share of wind power in 2015 and up from a fifth of the UK’s electricity in 2019.
A new study looking at mortality in West Coast orcas looked at 53 cases of orcas found stranded in the eastern Pacific Ocean and Hawaiʻi between 2004 and 2013. They were able to determine the cause of death in about half of the cases.
“About 40 per cent of the southern resident orcas died of a ship strike,” said lead author Stephen Raverty. They migrate seasonally, going offshore in fall/winter and then returning in large numbers to feed in areas that coincide with salmon runs. Many of these salmon runs occur in areas with active fisheries, and where there may be large shipping lanes.”
Fish hooks were found in two cases. Other causes identified in the study include parasites and congenital defects. By analyzing post-mortem records, along with data from a separate group of 35 stranded animals, the researchers established baseline data for evaluating the health of the animals, in addition to what ended their lives.
Raverty, a veterinary pathologist for the Ministry of Agriculture, says the research was spurred in part by a significant drop during the 1990s in the southern resident population, to under 80 animals, where it remains today. The northern population, ranging from mid-Vancouver Island to Alaska, is relatively healthy.
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