May 4, 2021. Protesting old-growth logging, Caldicott on continuing nuclear threat, Berman on BC’s carbon follies, and Professor Michael M’Gonigle on the Green foray into Canadian politics

PROTESTORS OUTSIDE MLA BRITTNY ANDERSON’S OFFICE ON FRIDAY APRIL 30

A short report from the old-growth logging protest outside MLA Brittny Anderson’s office last Friday. 

And we’re going into the archives for some other potent clips.  Stand.earth’s Tsephora Berman takes on the BC NDP government’s climate plan with startling statistics.

Anti-nuclear champion of the world Helen Caldicott says concern about the threat from nuclear weapons has NOT gone away.

And we’re bringing back an interview from last year with Michael M’Gonigle, a professor emeritus of EcoResearch at the University of Victoria and one of the founders of the BC Green Party and also of Greenpeace International.  M’Gonigle published a harsh essay on environmental politics and particularly electoral politics. 

LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD HERE:

ENVIRONMENT NEWS

Collated by Linn Murray

Nearly all of the world’s glaciers are losing mass at an accelerated pace, according to a new study published in the journal Nature. 

A International team assessed the behaviour of nearly all documented ice streams on the planet, and found that Earth lost an average of 270 billion tonnes of ice a year over the past 2 decades.

Glaciers tend to have a faster response to climate change compared with ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, and are currently contributing more to sea-level rise than either individual ice sheet, the scientists said.

Shrinking glaciers are a problem for millions of people who rely on seasonal glacial melt for daily water, and the subsequent rising sea level threatens coastal communities.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-56921164

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/4/28/world-glaciers-melting-at-fast-rate-new-study-finds

http://www.nature.com logo

tinyurl.com/25brxx2j

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In South Korea, activists and fisheries groups have been protesting for weeks over the Japanese Government’s decision to dump more than a million tonnes of wastewater from the Fukushima disaster into the pacific ocean.

A broad coalition of  South Korean fishery organizations, university students, and environmental activists have been pressuring the Japanese embassy, with protests and boat flotillas.

Both the Chinese and South Korean governments have signalled their opposition to Tokyo’s plan to release the contaminated waste.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in came out strongly against Japan’s decision, calling for officials to look into legal means to block the move.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/3/protests-grow-in-south-korea-over-japan-fukushima-disposal-plan

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The United States Environmental Protection Agency moved on Monday to phase out  a potent greenhouse gases commonly used in refrigerators and air conditioners by 85 percent over the next 15 years.

Hydrofluorocarbons, known as HFCs, are hundreds to thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide, at warming the earth’s atmosphere. 

A recent analysis by the Rhodium Group said achieving President Biden’s target would bring about an equivalent cut of around 900 million tons, the yearly emissions of nearly 195 million cars.

Alternatives to HFCs have been proposed, including ammonia for air conditioners and hydrocarbon refrigerants for domestic refrigerators. 

https://www.democracynow.org/2021/5/4/headlines/epa_plans_to_phase_out_highly_potent_greenhouse_gases_known_as_hydrofluorocarbons

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/3/us-epa-wants-refrigerant-gases-slashed-85-percent-in-15-years

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In British Columbia, the City of Abbotsford is investigating after residents witnessed large pillows of foam floating in a local creek a few days after laundry powder was spread on the rooftops of a nearby townhouse complex.

Residents of the area reported eight foot high walls of foam forming in Clayburn Creek and other nearby waterways on Friday.

The provincial Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy said they are monitoring the situation, but confirm the substance causing all the foam is Tide powdered detergent.

Officials from the Ministry of Environment and Abbotsford’s by-law department are investigating but has not said whether there will be any penalties to the contractor or strata for use of the detergent.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/abbotsford-creek-foam-detergent-roofs-1.6011306

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A pulp mill located just north of Kimberley and Cranbrook, has received a series of fines from the Provincial Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

The Fines include $52,000 for exceeding permitted discharge limits of treated wastewater, $18,800 for non compliance with air emissions, $40,000 for landfill non-compliance.

Margie Jamieson, a Wildsight board member, says it concerns her that it took three years after the first incident to levy a fine.

A statement from Paper Excellence Canada, which operates the pulp mill said that for each incident the mill has undertaken changes so the exceedances won’t happen again.

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The city of Nelson has officially released its climate change plan titled “Nelson Next”.

The plan lists hundreds of actions focused on 7 key aspirational areas including transportation, buildings, climate change risk mitigation, ecosystem health, renewable energy, waste management, and municipal operations.

Nelson’s goal is a 75 per cent reduction in community wide Green House Gas emissions by 2030 and net zero by 2040. The city is aiming for net zero in its own operations by 2030.

The full climate plan is available on the City of Nelson’s website.

http://www.nelson.ca/DocumentCenter/View/4920/Nelson-Next

Kootenay-Columbia Conservative MP Rob Morrison says he’s working on a pitch to bring an electric passenger train service to the region.

The Kootenays have not seen passenger train service since the 1960s, with local travel options limited primarily to private cars, buses, and a handful of regional airports.

Morrison said a regional electric train service is popular locally, and is a non-partisan solution that he thinks will appeal to the Liberal government.

In the past, multiple pitches have been made to return passenger trains to the Kootenays, in 2011 and 2019, however both times the proposals fizzled out quickly.

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In Nelson, a group of residents are raising concerns about a proposed logging road near the Nelson Cemetery.

The proposed road would be built for Kalesnikoff Lumber Limited, granting the Thrums-based company access to its selective logging projects in the area.

Several local residents are raising concerns about the disruption a logging road would cause to the network of trails in the area. 

They have written letters and gathered 670 signatures on an online petition as of April 29. “Much time and effort has been put into building this trail network and it is used by hundreds of local people daily, and many more since the pandemic,” the petition reads. 

Kalesnikoff’s forest development manager Gerald Cordeiro says that the logging road is not a done deal, but argues that the road would see minimal disturbance to the area. He also said the road will be decommissioned and replanted once the logging company’s wildfire mitigation and agroforestry operations are completed. 

https://thenelsondaily.com/news/proposal-temporary-logging-road-above-city-cemetery-met-concern

Week of May 4th, 2021

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