September 7, 2013
Canada now has a government dedicated to weakening science, but this is a world wide problem. This documentary reveals how science denial is weakening our ability to deal with the problems we are creating:
July 21, 2011
National Geographic magazine is featuring an article that shows how Canada’s push to become a player in the world oil market will threaten key habitats along the British Columbia coast. Included in the threat? The Great Bear Rainforest, home of the Spirit Bear.
From the article Pipeline Through Paradise:
With the Northern Gateway proposal, the Gitga’at and the rain forest that surrounds them have been caught up in a great geopolitical oil game. The Northern Gateway isn’t just a pipeline. It’s Canada’s bid to become a global player in the petroleum market.
The proven reserves in Alberta‘s oil sands are second only to Saudi Arabia’s oil fields, yet the United States today is virtually the sole export market for oil sands crude. A Canadian company, Enbridge, wants to build a $5.8 billion ($5.5 billion Canadian) pipeline to transport oil 731 miles, from Alberta to Kitimat. The double-barreled pipeline would carry oil west and send condensate, a liquid used to dilute the thick crude and allow it to flow, east to Alberta. Giant tankers—some nearly as long as the Empire State Building is tall, loaded with condensate or up to 2.15 million barrels of crude—would thread between a jigsaw of islands to and from Kitimat.
A West Coast oil port would open the Alberta oil sands to Asian markets, including China. Sinopec, China’s state-owned oil company, is among the Asian refiners and Canadian oil firms that have invested $105 million into moving the Northern Gateway pipeline through the planning and permitting stage.
Canada has been slow to deal with the reality of global warming due to the use of fossil fuels. It is a shame that both the federal and provincial governments are promoting oil when they have done so little to prevent the fallout of its consumption.
Read the full article online in Pipeline Through Paradise.
November 30, 2010
The Royal Society has launched a new web page to celebrate the end of its 35oth anniversary. Science Sees Further shares the twelve themes of the Royal Society’s 2010 discussion meetings. Each article is written by an expert and has been reviewed by committee to ensure scientific accuracy.
From the introduction by Lord Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society:
This is the first century when one species, ours, risks irreversibly degrading the entire planet’s environment. With rising temperatures, an ageing and ever-increasing population, growing pressure on resources and a genuine fear of the evolution of infectious diseases, issues relating to global health and sustainability are high on the scientific agenda. The risks and dangers need to be assessed and then confronted.
But now is not just a time of challenges and adversity: it is also a time for scientific opportunity. The need to develop ‘clean’ energy, new vaccines and better resources means scientists and national science academies like the Royal Society have a critical role to play over the coming years.
Issues covered include:
The speakers at each discussion group can be listened to here.
July 15, 2010
Or should we just keep oiling along?
Creating a stir in Alberta, Corporate Ethics International has begun a campaign to make people think twice before visiting the province. From the CBC:
Corporate Ethics International launched billboards in four U.S. cities Wednesday that compare Alberta’s oilsands to the environmental disaster caused by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
“We’re just trying to create pressure that motivates the Alberta government to come to the table to talk to these groups about a solution,” said Michael Marx, executive director of the group.
The billboards were placed in Portland, Ore., Denver, Seattle and Minneapolis, four centres that generate many U.S. visitors to Alberta.
May 21, 2010
For the Pembina Institute’s 25 Anniversary: David Suzuki speaks on science illiteracy, politics and climate change in Canada.
April 29, 2010
The VPRO Beagle Channel on YouTube has posted a video featuring Russ George, founder of the company Planktos Science. Sounding like the promoter of a global version of homeopathy, Russ George, a business man, claims that just a teaspoon of iron mineral dust per square kilometre of ocean can help the recovery of phytoplankton populations, which will help world fish populations recover.
Fertilizing the oceans with iron and creating plankton blooms is also said to have the potential to sequester carbon, the source of global warming.
Is the potential effects of the iron fertilization of the oceans really this simple?
See this Popular Science article (pdf) July 2008
Russ George’s Companies: Past and Present, from the New Energy Times
See this interview at Living on Earth
And see the Planktos Science website for their latest perspective on the business of ocean iron seeding.
What does science have to say about this claim? See the complexity of researching iron fertilization in this comprehensive article in Oceanus, the official magazine of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Statement of Concern Regarding Iron Fertilization of the Oceans to Sequester CO2 from the Scientific Group of the London Convention, July 13, 2007.
December 4, 2009
In 4 minutes, atmospheric chemist Rachel Pike provides a glimpse of the massive scientific effort behind the bold headlines on climate change, with her team — one of thousands who contributed — taking a risky flight over the rainforest in pursuit of data on a key molecule.
This is followed by a segment on how Stockholm has decreased emissions by restricting traffic. (IBM advertisement)