Trump, The Paris Agreement, And It’s A Wonderful Life

Last week we talked about how Trump’s crazy Paris Agreement antics surprised absolutely no one, and the world just kept on spinning.  This week, I’d like to give a slightly different viewpoint.  Don’t get me wrong, we all saw this coming from a mile away, his reasons are faulty (as per usual), and most of what he said about backing out of the Agreement was patently false.  My slightly different viewpoint here has to do with the reaction.  Many companies have said that they are going to still work towards the agreement, as have tons of States- some of which have said they will go around the government to work with other nations on achieving the lofty targets set out in the Paris Agreement.  And while all of this seems great, I kind of don’t think it is.  Sure we’re still working towards lowering greenhouse gas emissions across the United States, but Trump is no longer being held accountable.  He kind of just got off scott free. Continue reading

The Weekly Round Up: February 19-25

Welcome back to the Weekly Round Up!  If this is your first time here, it’s nice to meet you!  Grab a seat, get comfortable, settle in- cause it’s been an interesting week.  We’ve got some shitty stuff- like more microplastics in our oceans than imaginable and an end to the on ground protests against the DAPL- but also some really great stuff- like California moving to save the environment from Trump and some bee research that is seriously cool.  Honestly, the bee research is real fascinating.  So without further ado, let’s dive in! Continue reading

December Conservation Series: Biodiversity Loss & What We Can Do

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All month we have been talking about biodiversity loss. It has been estimated that we are losing species 1,000 times faster than normal, and have even deemed this period of time as the Holocene extinction. The irony of this whole situation is that the species causing these extinctions (that’s us, by the way) is the same species whose survival depends on the survival of other species on the planet! What a twisted web we have all laid. How do we undo what we have done and effectively protect Earth’s biodiversity? To make it make sense in my head, I’ve broken it down into 3 levels. Continue reading

The Weekly Round Up: November 2-7

It’s that time of the week again: it’s the Weekly Round Up!  This week was all over the place.  There were steps forward in the fight to get people to realize that global warming is a thing- like Canada getting a Minister of the Environment and Global Warming as well as Canada’s scientists getting unmuzzled- but also steps backward- ignorance surrounding NASA’s Antarctica study.  There was also some really cool new eel and jellyfish research that could have some pretty neat biomimicry ramifications.  So, something for everyone- dig in! Continue reading

The Weekly Round Up: October 19-24

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Once again, nature continues to both amaze and puzzle us at the same time! Scientists were able to create a robotic insect, as well as link coral destruction to sunscreen, and a Coca-Cola bottle facility was charged with falsifying pollution data. In some good news, Oslo plans to ban cars in the city! But in some bad news, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency can’t work with dead fish… Enjoy! Continue reading

Let’s Get Political: NDP Edition- Updated

Here we go people! We are getting ever closer to election day, which means things are getting heated up on the election trail, and I’m looking forward to no longer seeing random people’s names on front lawns everywhere! This week we are taking a look at the NDP’s environmental “platform”. Now, Brian, why did you put quotation marks around “platform”? Well my curious readers, let me explain. You see, for all of these articles I accomplish a certain level of research that I’m quite proud of, consisting mostly of me looking through a federal party’s website, as well as at credible news articles and interviews to uncover their environmental platform. Doing this for the NDP party, however, was like excavating the Grand Canyon in search of a missing cell phone! There were no documents on their website that outlined their platform in detail, nor were there any news articles available that gave more information other than a mumble jumble of buzz-words such as “sustainability” and “change”. Without coming across biased…here is a series of quotes and videos that we could find of Thomas Mulcair addressing Canada’s environment. Continue reading

It’s Getting Political! The Conservative’s Environmental Platform

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For those who have been busy binge-watching Netflix all summer (like me), you may have missed that there is an election going on in Canada. Although we don’t have a “superstar” candidate like Donald Trump to keep things entertaining, it’s still important for us to be knowledgeable on the issues. On a side note: as boring as Canadian politics can be at times, I have to hand it to some of the candidates this year because these scandals (google MP peeing in a cup) is next-level crazy! I always say that there is no better time to be an environmental activist than during an election because those people WANT votes! So we, as environmental lovers, need to make sure that our plans for Canada’s natural spaces match with those of the government parties we vote for.

So we will be working from the right to the left, and today we are focussing on the Conservative’s platform. Continue reading

April Conservation Series: Lobbying for the Arctic

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Often times it is hard to understand how some of these environmental issues even begin. In the example of the Shell arctic drilling issue, it seems like there are many technicalities working against the oil company. First off, the Shell Company does not have the best track record when it comes to environmental competence, with a long list of oil spills and pollution lawsuits in the past. Secondly, the process of drilling for oil in the arctic has come under fire for being too risky and being more susceptible to environmental disaster. Finally, Shell has already experienced a failed attempt at exploration drilling in the Arctic when the Kulluk oil rig ran aground in 2012. So with all of this evidence mounting against the company, how was the company able to get a new Arctic exploration plan accepted by the US government?

The answer is easy, money. Continue reading

April Conservation Series: Shell Exploration Plan

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Last week, we brought attention to the recently approved proposal from the Royal Dutch Shell Company (Shell) to continue exploratory drilling within the Arctic. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) now has 30 calendar days to analyse and evaluate the proposal and either approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove it. The director of BOEM’s Alaska OCS region said, “We will be carefully scrutinizing this revised EP [Exploration Plan] to determine whether it meets stringent environmental and regulatory standards,” The public also has two opportunities to comment on the proposal; for 10-days, ending on April 20, and for 21 days, ending on May 1. The EP is quite long, at 139 pages, and so it’s doubtful that many members of the public are going to take the time to read the whole document.

Luckily for you, we’ve already done that, and have summarized the main similarities and differences between the new EP and the one that Shell presented in 2012. Continue reading

April Conservation Series: Arctic Drilling

 

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We decided to focus on arctic drilling for this month’s conservation series because of the news that recently came from Washington- that the US government gave the go-ahead for the Royal Dutch Shell company to continue explorative drilling in the Arctic.

This proposal comes three years after a failed attempt to perform drilling in the same region, when an oil rig ran aground. That past drilling endeavour, in 2012, cost the Shell company $5 billion and the company was fined for pollution. Yet, they still believe that drilling in the Arctic is worth the risk. Continue reading

March Conservation Series: How to Help

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For the past three weeks we have taken a look at large cat conservation around the world. First, we looked at the current populations of large cats. Then we focussed on the main threats that these species face, finally, putting a focus on the key contributors to these issues. Well today we are rounding out this month’s conservation series by putting all of our attention on how we can do something to help these species. Even though these animals are found all over the world, we can still make a positive difference in making sure that they stick around for a long time. Continue reading

This Woman Was Scared to Take Her Daughter Outside! You Will Be Shocked Why!

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Chai Jing, a China Central Television newscaster, faces what seems to be an immeasurable fear. As a mother to a young girl, she wanted to show her the wonder and beauty of the world, and yet was scared of what laid directly outside of her apartment door- the smog. The city that she had fallen in love with was covered by a layer of air pollution that stifled her abilities for her and he family to leave their apartment for almost half of 2014. Beijing had become her “prison”. Continue reading