LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD DECEMBER 6 2022 SHOW:
The UN Conference on protecting biodiversity starts December 7th in Montreal. Protecting biodiversity and habitat is a big issue in nature loving BC. To get a local perspective on the problems with destruction of the wild natural world I spoke with Craig Pettit from the Valhalla Wilderness Society about what’s going on here in the interior with protection, logging and development and caribou.
The BC government was given a failing grade on its climate plan by the BC Climate Emergency Campaign. The campaign had provided the province with 10 essential measures on meeting climate targets a year ago, and the follow up report on the CleanBC plan is overall a FAIL. I speak with Emiko Newman from the BC Climate Emergency Campaign about it.
Tuesday December 6. Online 3:30 to 5 pm.
Creating a liveable climate future: an interactive workshop
Join us for an interactive workshop to explore strategies to address climate change using grounded conversations and the cutting-edge climate simulator En-ROADS. The resulting experience is hopeful, scientifically-grounded, action-oriented, and eye-opening.
Sunday December 11, 11am – 3pm The Burnaby Mountain Festive Hug
From ProtectThePlanet/StopTMX: A Festive Hug brings more love to Burnaby Mountain—rain, shine or snow! Creating earth friendly crafts, we will bring wonder and beauty to the trees as we stand in unity against the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project. Community feast, music, speakers, ceremony. Forest Grove Park, Burnaby 200 Soccer Field (8505 Forest Grove Dr). Read more
BC Climate Emergency Campaign
Valhalla Wilderness Society
How many trees in the world
ENVIRONMENT NEWS BITS
In Prince Edward Island a 40-foot boat is being retro fit to be powered by 30 200-watt solar panels on its roof.
The Isola Solaretto is thought to be North America’s largest solar-powered boat and its been drawing a lot of attention in the Charlottetown harbour where is been worked on for more than six years.
The Isola Solaretto is owned by Ride Solar, the same business that runs solar-powered pedal bus tours in Charlottetown and Halifax.
Steve Arnold, co-owner of Ride Solar, says “We should be able to bring the speed of the boat down to two or three knots on a sunny day, and have the power of the sun equaling the power of the motor,”
Arnold said the boat will be used to take passengers on harbour tours from May 1 to Oct. 30, starting in 2023.
Renewables are on track to generate more power than coal in the United States this year. But the question is whether they can grow fast enough to meet the country’s climate goals.
For now, U.S. renewable output is edging higher. Wind and solar output are up 18 percent through Nov. 20 compared to the same time last year and have grown 58 percent compared to 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The government energy tracker predicts that wind, solar and hydro will generate 22 percent of U.S. electricity by the end of this year. That is more than coal at 20 percent and nuclear at 19 percent.
Researchers at Princeton University estimate the country needs to install about 50 gigawatts of wind and solar annually between 2022 and 2024, or roughly double the 25 GW that the United States installed annually in 2020 and 2021.
British Columbia has asked First Nations if they want old-growth forests set aside from logging, allowing time for long-term planning of conservation and sustainable development, but it has yet to fund the process on a large scale, advocates say.
The Canadian Press Reports that in the meantime, some of the biggest and oldest trees are being cut down.
The province asked 204 First Nations to decide whether they supported the deferral of logging in those areas for an initial two-year period, allowing time for the province to develop “a new approach to sustainable forest management that prioritizes ecosystem health and community resiliency.”
But so far the government has failed to provide funding and support for the complex process for nations to consider how to preserve old growth while developing economic alternatives.
Unless a First Nation expresses support for deferrals in its territory, the areas remain open to potential logging and applications for new logging permits.
About 9,300 hectares of the proposed deferrals — an area 23 times the size of Vancouver’s Stanley Park — have been logged over the last year, the ministry said.
One of BC’s pre-eminent ecological forest scientists, Herb Hammond has resigned from the foresters professional association with a 2,000 word letter attacking the Association of BC Forest Professionals (ABCFP)’s record in caring for BC forests. “I no longer wish to be part of an organization that is unable to see the forest for the timber.” Herb Hammond says.
A local Slocan Valley resident, Hammond says: All one needs to do is fly across the province to see the dire state of forest management. From there it requires little analysis to understand the large negative impacts that forestry has on all aspects of ecological integrity and biological diversity.
The forests are in trouble. Earth’s climate is collapsing. The forest professonal association and many of its members are complicit in this trouble, Hammond says.
His full scathing resignation letter is an incredible indictment of BC’s history of forest destruction.
Green turtles of the Seychelle islands that were once almost hunted to extinction are now thriving again. Crucial protection that was given to the species around 50 years ago and its been working.
Today, sea turtles are a well-loved icon for conservation, but back in 1888, turtle meat was the order of the day – with turtle soup a hugely popular delicacy throughout Europe.
One of the popular hunting grounds was the Seychelles archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, and in particular, an isolated place called Aldabra Atoll, one of the largest atolls in the world.
Around 12,000 turtles a year were hunted, resulting in Aldabra’s green turtle (Chelonia mydas) population collapsing to critically low levels – surveys carried out from 1967 to 1968 found no evidence of either recent or old nesting activity on the settlement beach.
The UK Royal Society recommended that the atoll should become a nature reserve with complete turtle protection – and on August 13 1968 the Green Turtle Protection Regulations were implemented throughout the territory.
Green turtles have remained largely undisturbed at Aldabra since 1968, and the effect of the protection has been astounding. As we report in our recent study in the journal Endangered Species Research, Aldabra now has the second-largest green turtle breeding population in the western Indian Ocean region.
By February 2023, fish farms may be a thing of the past in the shíshálh Nation territories in Sunshine Coast waters.
The fish are expected to be removed from active farms by the end of November 2022 and a decommissioning strategy is in the works to leave the sites healthy.
Grieg Seafood BC Ltd. will decommission its fish farm facilities, according to a Nov. 14 press release. The move follows shíshálh Nation’s review of Grieg’s existing facilities through a months-long “consent based decision-making process.” The process included input from Grieg Seafood as well as third-party aquaculture experts about the effects of finfish farms on the environment and potential mitigation measures.
“shíshálh ultimately concluded, applying the precautionary principle in a manner consistent with shíshálh laws and responsibilities and in order to protect shíshálh resources, including wild salmon, the farms must be removed,” the Nation’s release states.
It was welcome news to hear the United States call for a global phase-out of all fossil fuels, the truth is that the U.S. is planning to expand oil and gas production far more than any other country over the next few years, says one US envrionmental organization.
The global Oil Change International organization says that slow, incremental, pretend-mitigation today, at the end of 2022, is denial. A climate mitigation plan that doesn’t regulate a wind-down of fossil fuel is continuing denial and appeasement, they say. a delayer tactic.
Collin Rees, from the US office of Oilchange International says Energy transitions take decades we no longer have; historically new energy sources add to instead of displacing existing sources of energy; renewables aren’t decreasing fossil fuel use.
On Sunday December 4th, a full three years after the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion was originally expected to be completed, a Teepee was erected on an unfinished part of the pipeline route on Coast Salish lands. The Teepee belongs to Ramona Shirt from Cold Lake First Nations. The new camp represents the undying resolve of land defenders to protect the planet and stop this pipeline.
Protect The Planet has erected numerous camps along the pipeline route that have delayed the construction of the pipeline, which is now 3 years behind schedule and at least $14 billion dollars over budget. Four years ago, members of the Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish Nations with support of the NGO community , constructed camps and a Watch House directly beside the Burnaby Mountain Tank Farm, garnered National attention and attracted thousands of protestors. Not long after these mass demonstrations and arrests, Kinder Morgan announced they were dropping the project and the Canadian Government bought it.
On December 1 the BC department of Environment and Climate Change approved a new longer permit to continue to allow discharge of mine waste water into Quesnel Lake to 2025 and probably beyond!
Local activists continue to work towards eventually stopping all discharge into the lake from the Mt Polley mine or any other mine on the Lake.
The disastrous failure of the Mount Pollley mine tailings pond in 2014 spilled an immense amount of contaminated mine slurry into the lake the towns of Williams Lake and Likely BC. Since then the BC government has allowed the gold and copper mine to dump directly into the lake. Elevated levels of selenium, arsenic and other metals have been found in the lake.