Pam Palmater: Thank You Message to Canadians

Thank you message to Canadians standing in support of the Wet’suwet’en Nation and all First Nations engaging in solidarity actions all over Turtle Island.

We hear your solidarity, we see you in the streets and we have read your emails and messages of support. Thank you for standing beside us in our peaceful actions for justice.

As I state in the video, I do not speak for the Wet’suwet’en Nation, as they have their own spokespeople. Also, any errors made in this video are my own and not that of the Wet’suwet’en peoples or Nation.

Here are the links to the Unistoten and Gidimten webistes where you can access their supporter toolkits and find out how you can help. Here is the link to my last video explaining some of the issues involved in the RCMP’s invasion of Wet’suwet’en territory:…

Please note that nothing in this video promotes violence on our Indigenous territories. If you would like more information about these issues, you can check out my website at If you would like to help me keep my content independent, please consider supporting my work at Patreon:


These adorable comics are perfect for anyone trying to reduce waste

Waste Aware Animals balloons
© Mira Petrova (used with permission)

They show that the struggle is real, and you’re not alone.

Mira Petrova is an artist from Sofia, Bulgaria, who has been trying to live a zero-waste lifestyle for a long time. But like anyone who has tried it, she knows how hard it can be. Whether it’s because of one’s own mistakes or the frustrating limitations created by product designers or retailers, it is almost impossible to do away with waste completely.

Rather than get discouraged, Petrova has turned to art as a way to stay motivated. She creates delightful, engaging comic strips that illustrate the many situations in which she has found herself – dealing with mounds of non-recyclable wrapping paper and paper bills, wanting to pack a waste-free lunch, buying second-hand clothes for environmental reasons, refusing a plastic grocery bag at the store, turning down plastic straws over and over again, and trying to repair broken items to prevent them from going to landfill.

Her comics resonate with readers because we’ve all been in these situations before and know how it feels. The characters themselves are endearing – cute little cartoon animals featuring a Mr. and Mrs. Fox (styled after Petrova and her boyfriend) with other animal friends in a mostly urban environment. As Petrova told Bored Panda, “Who could possibly be a better inspiration for sustainable living?”Her message is not to give up! We might not become zero-waste celebrities with an entire year’s worth of trash in a single glass jar, but becoming “waste aware” is a huge step in the right direction. Keep plodding, push past the roadblocks that will inevitably crop up, and persistence will win the day. Now, sit back and enjoy a selection of my favorite comics, chosen from the Waste Aware Animals Instagram page with Petrova’s permission.

Waste Aware Animals carbon© Mira Petrova (used with permission)
Waste Aware Animals toothpaste© Mira Petrova (used with permission)
Waste Aware Animals shopping bag© Mira Petrova (used with permission)
waste Aware Animals furoshiki© Mira Petrova (used with permission)

You can see more Petrova’s wonderful work on Instagram or Facebook.


David Suzuki: Beyond Climate ventures to the heart of a rapidly heating B.C.

Increased acidity in seawater because of higher levels of CO2 absorption (creating carbonic acid) killed 10 million scallops at a Vancouver Island shellfish farm in 2013.

Island Scallops on Vancouver Island has relied on stable ocean conditions since 1989. But CEO Rob Saunders says those started changing a bit more than a decade ago. Measurements showed dropping pH levels, indicating increased acidity. “We started to notice our larvae weren’t swimming very well; they weren’t feeding. They were dying at a tremendous rate,” he says.

In 2013, acidity spiked near Qualicum Beach and wiped out 10 million scallops, forcing the company to rapidly adjust. Heightened acidity is a well-known consequence of C02 dissolving into the ocean to form carbonic acid. “The focus for us now is to try as fast as we can to find something that’s going to succeed in that ocean,” Saunders says. “There’s no question that the atmospheric CO2 is increasing.”

Saunders isn’t alone in noticing accelerating effects of climate disruption. People throughout British Columbia are witnessing profound changes. Salmon runs are down as rivers get warmer, lower, or dry up altogether. Wildfires are becoming larger, more intense, and frequent, threatening homes, businesses, and ways of life. Insect outbreaks once kept in check by longer, colder winters have devastated millions of hectares of forest. People in the Okanagan have been hit with the double whammy of huge wildfires and flooding from rising lake levels. Climate chaos is costing billions.

Ian Mauro, a University of Winnipeg environmental scientist, geographer, and filmmaker, explores the climate challenges and opportunities facing B.C. in his latest work Beyond Climate, which I narrate. This award-winning film takes the viewer past the headlines and into the heart of the issues.

From Haida Gwaii to Kelowna, Vancouver, and Whistler to Mount Robson, we heard from people whose world is changing around them. Their stories of struggle and their ability to adapt in the face of massive shifts are important, so we’re offering the film for free starting February 20.

Past Haida Nation president Peter Lantin describes how low river levels from a historic drought in the archipelago affected everything from food to culture. “I think at one point it was 36 days without rain. Haida Gwaii is a rainforest, so that has huge impact on us.”

Whistler Blackcomb environmental planner Arthur Dejong says that despite the ski resort’s high elevation, it won’t escape climate-change effects. “For every degree Celsius increase, the snow line will go up 120 metres. For over a decade-and-a-half now, we have been putting lifts higher, [with] more snow-making, more summer grooming, as part of our adaptation to a future with less snow.”

Processing and transporting fossil fuels also poses risks. Still reeling from a spill of more than 100,000 litres of fuel and other pollutants when tugboat Nathan E. Stewart sank near Bella Bella in 2016, the Heiltsuk wonder how much worse it would be if a tanker loaded with diluted bitumen were to run aground.

Salmon and other fish are being especially hard hit by fossil-fuel impacts, affecting commercial- and sport-fishing industries, food supplies, and ways of life for coastal and inland peoples, especially Indigenous communities. Salmon also feed bears, eagles, and other animals and fertilize the magnificent coastal rainforests.

Environmental planner Stephen Sheppard connects the dots between pipelines and climate. “We’re moving massive amounts of carbon through this province, all largely invisible to people. These are pipelines to the sky. It’s like taking carbon and sticking it in the air. Sooner or later, somewhere along the way, it gets burned; it goes up there.”

Fortunately, solutions are plentiful. In 2009, Vancouver implemented its Greenest City Action Plan. Compost programs, energy-efficient buildings, district energy, reduced reliance on private automobiles—all are putting the city on track to a greener future. Vancouver has the lowest greenhouse-gas emissions per person of any major North American city.

B.C. is the proverbial canary in the coalmine for many related issues that will define our place in the world: reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, the clean-energy transition (with concurrent continued fossil-fuel development and transport), conservation, food production, changing industries, and economic priorities.

Listening to people experiencing rapidly increasing climate impacts and to those doing something about the problem is critical to our understanding of how to live better in this province and on this planet. SOURCE


TAKE ACTION! Blockades Are Impossible to Ignore

More than 60 shipping vessels stalled off B.C. coast due to rail blockades. Industries in B.C. are asking for provincial and federal governments to prioritize ending pipeline dispute

Blockades in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en land defenders are becoming more powerful everyday. Thanks to demonstrators, CN and VIA have indefinitely cancelled train service across the country.1 Empty cargo ships with no where to go are piling up at Vancouver’s ports.2 And Justin Trudeau was forced to cancel a trip overseas to respond to the rapidly escalating situation.3

In the midst of all this, the Liberal caucus is showing more and more signs that they might be ready to reject the Teck Frontier Mine.4

But, we know that it’s in these moments when Big Oil pulls out all the stops. That’s why we’re doubling down to make sure Trudeau and his key cabinet ministers can’t ignore the moral consequences of their decision. Take a minute to send them a fax demanding that they reject the largest tar sands mine ever proposed.

Last week, we flooded Trudeau and his cabinet ministers’ phone lines with over 1,000 calls. This week, it’s time to ramp up the pressure. We want to flood their offices with images of them from 2050. We want to help them look 30 years into the future and contend with the moral consequences of approving the Teck frontier mine. That’s why we need to send thousands of faxes to their offices with this image:

Our goal is to send in over 5,000 faxes by the end of the week. Can you help us get there? Use our one-click fax system to send them a fax in less than one minute.

Time is running short. The Trudeau cabinet could make a decision about the Teck Frontier Mine any day now.

We know that Big Oil and their allies in government are doing whatever they can to make sure that this carbon bomb is approved. These are the same interests that convinced the Trudeau government to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline back in 2018. We know what they’re capable of. Let’s make sure our voices are heard loud and clear in Ottawa.


PS – Wet’suwet’en land defenders are asking for support from people across the country. Find a solidarity action close to you here. View their supporter toolkit hereDonate to their fight against the Coastal GasLink pipeline here.


Extinction Rebellion protesters glue themselves to police vans as tensions rise

Extinction Rebellion protesters have glued themselves to police vans as tensions rise at the Schlumberger building in Cambridge.

The action comes on the third day of the week-long ‘Rebel for Justice’ action, which is primarily based around the blockade at Trumpington Road and The Fen Causeway, however there are satellite protests happening alongside.

One of these is targeted at the Schlumberger Gould Research Centre in Cambridge – also known as the ‘tent building’ due to its appearance.

Protesters marched down toward the building to the beat of their drums before settling in, starting a drum circle, and gluing themselves to the revolving glass doors.

One protester spray painted ‘Ecocide’ in bright yellow on the glass front of the building and was later taken away by police and put in the back of a police van.

In response, one Extinction Rebellion protester decided to superglue herself to the bonnet of the police van.

Annie Rose told reporters: “I’ve glued myself to this police van because one of my fellow rebels was arrested for doing something that I believe, that I know she believes, we all believe was the morally right thing to do.” SOURCE

Driven By Climate Change, Desalination Researchers Seek Solutions To Water Scarcity

One alternative source of water that regions are increasingly investing in is desalination. (Jean Chung/Getty Images)

One alternative source of water that regions are increasingly investing in is desalination. (Jean Chung/Getty Images)

The state of California has dedicated $34 million for eight desalination facilities across the state amid growing concerns about water scarcity in the U.S.

Desalination is when saltwater is converted into freshwater. Though 71% of the Earth is made up of water, extreme weather linked to climate change is adding to concerns about water scarcity.

Scentists estimate that by 2071, nearly half of the 204 freshwater basins in the U.S. may not be able to meet the monthly demand for water, according to a study published in the journal Earth’s Future.

Extracting salt from water seems like an easy fix to a global problem, but the process of desalination can be expensive, and it can also have a huge impact on the environment. That’s why some researchers are looking into how to lower the cost and improve efficiency.

Desalination technology can cost anywhere between two to 10 times the cost of traditional freshwater sources, says Meagan Mauter, research director for the National Alliance for Water Innovation and an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University.

“I think it’s very important to think about seawater desalination as one part of a much broader water portfolio,” she says. “In the same way that we don’t rely solely on solar panels to provide electricity, we shouldn’t be thinking about relying solely on next-generation desalination facilities to provide water.”

Mauter says desalination costs so much because of the amount of energy needed to separate salt from water, she says.

“The National Alliance for Water Innovation is really built on the premise that to drop costs and to reduce energy intensity, we need to look at the broader network of water management in order to drop those costs,” Mauter says. “So broadly, the costs of managing water are the combination of the costs of treating water, plus the costs of distributing water and collecting wastewater.”

The amount of energy needed for the desalination process also negatively affects the environment. Most of the current technology is tailored for large scale desalination projects, but building technology on a smaller scale could offset the financial and environmental impacts, Mauter says.

“It’ll drop the overall energy intensity of that combined treatment and distribution,” she says. “And second, novel ways of managing concentrate at smaller scales will help us avoid the need to do lots of seawater desalination to augment supply.”

Climate change is not only expected to affect the amount of available water, but it will also impact “the timing at which that water is delivered or naturally stored,” Mauter says. Making the electricity system more energy efficient is also “deeply connected” to the water supply.

“The process of decarbonizing our electricity system or our energy system is itself going to require lots of water treatment capabilities,” she says. “Underlying that is a tremendous need for new desalination technologies that integrate well with the electricity system.”

While desalination is more costly and energy intensive than some other water sources, it does provide water resilience for municipalities because it is not subject to drought, changes in precipitation or snowpack, Mauter says.

“I think it’s also critically important for municipalities to think about other sources of resiliency,” she says. “That could be through water conservation, that could be through ensuring the safety and longevity of water storage, and that could be through supporting water reuse inside of the municipalities.” SOURCE

Just a Tiny Fraction of America’s Plastic Can Actually Be Recycled, Report Finds

Many of the plastic containers labeled as recyclable in the United States may not actually be recyclable, according to a new report from Greenpeace. The report, which analyzed waste processing data at the country’s 367 material recovery facilities, found that only PET #1 and HDPE #2 plastic bottles and jugs are being recycled with regularity. Plastics #3 through #7, while collected by municipal recycling programs, most often are “being sent to landfills or incinerated.”

The new research found that none of the United States’ 367 facilities are capable of processing coffee pods. Just 14 percent of them accept what are known as plastic clamshells, containers commonly used for takeout food, fruit, and baked goods. Just 11 percent of facilities recycled plastic cups; 4 percent recycled plastic bags; and just 1 percent processed plastic plates, cutlery, straws, and stirrers.

“This survey confirms what many news reports have indicated since China restricted plastic waste imports two years ago — that recycling facilities across the country are not able to sort, sell, and reprocess much of the plastic that companies produce,” Jan Dell, founder of The Last Beach Cleanup and leader of the new survey, said in a statement.

Greenpeace listed several companies that it says use misleading labels, including Target, Nestlé, Walmart, Procter & Gamble, Clorox, SC Johnson, and Unilever. As The Hill notes, the new report comes amid a congressional effort to ban some single-use plastic, as well as require manufacturers to use more recycled content in their packaging. SOURCE


The hidden plastic pollution on our beaches


Wet’suwet’en: Rule of Law?

Wet’suwet’en hereditary Chief Na’moks stands beside Paul Manly at the Office of the Wet’suwet’en (Submitted photo)

Paul Manly MP, Green Party

On Saturday Feb. 8th I was invited to speak at a local rally in support of the Wet’suwet’en people. I was grateful for the opportunity because the situation in Wet’suwet’en territory is a complex one. Too often important parts of the story get lost in the public debate. I did my best to to highlight some important points that are not well understood, particularly by those who are citing the “rule of law”as justification for the injunction enforcement that has taken place, and the arrests and removals that were a part of that.

Wet’suwet’en: An Open Letter to Justin Trudeau and John Horgan (02/01/20)

Wet’suwet’en: Pipelines, Politics and UNDRIP (01/26/20)


Three weeks ago I went to Wet’suwet’en territory, and I traveled with Chief Na’Moks for two days. I listened to him for two days about the situation, what was happening in the Wet’suwet’en territory. I also met with the Smithers detachment commander of the RCMP, and the liaison officers there. They weren’t involved in this injunction enforcement. They’re connected to the community. They’re not necessarily happy about this political failure that the RCMP is having to deal with. I also met with the detachment commander at the Community Industry Safety Office, which is a police station in the middle of nowhere. Thirty kilometres off the highway, a series of Atco trailers and storage facilities. The police in there, the detachment commander there, is rotated in every week, and the RCMP are rotated in every week. And they have no connection to Wet’suwet’en territory. They have no connection to the people there. They’re also not happy with having to deal with the political failure of our prime minister and our premier.

This is a political failure. When I met with Chief Na’Moks one of the things that he told me was that they had proposed an alternate route for Coastal GasLink and when you read the injunction it recognizes that the Wet’suwet’en people had asked Coastal GasLink to take another route, and they proposed another route, and Coastal GasLink said no it’s too expensive we’re not going to go that way we’re going to go the way we want to go. And so they drove their pipeline through pristine territory, running right through the historic Kweese trail. This trail is thousands of years old, this trail has burial grounds on it, this trail has archaeological sites on it, this is where they do their cultural training for their young people, this is where they do their hunting and their trapping and their berry picking. This is where they built a healing centre, the Uni’stot’en healing centre, which is being attacked today. This is their territory, and these blockades that they have set up, they are asserting their sovereignty over their territory.

I want to talk a minute about the rule of law because we’ve heard this from the premier, about the rule of law and court injunction from the you know the colonial court system. The Wet’suwet’en have their law, they have the hereditary law. And in 1997 in the Delgamuukw decision the Supreme Court of Canada recognized the hereditary system and their laws. In that Supreme Court case it was the hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en and the Gitxsan that took this case forward. There was not one elected band council member or chief from the colonial imposed Indian Act system. This court decision, the plaintiff in this Court decision, were the hereditary chiefs, that was who was represented and who was recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada. This was affirmed in the Tsilhqot’in decision. That it is the people who bring the case forward, it’s the hereditary system, that determines the land and title rights of First Nations. This land was never signed over. It was never surrendered. This is Wet’suwet’en territory and they are asserting rights to their sovereignty here.

I want to tell you that we cannot blame anybody who signed onto these these agreements with these gas companies, because in all of these First Nations, in these reservation systems, the band councils that are part of the Indian Act system, they are dealing with poverty. They’ve been struggling with poverty since colonization. And they’re given a choice, this pipeline’s going through anyway, do you want the money or not? And we’ve heard with the Teck Resources mine, this huge oil sands project, the largest oil sands project that’s being proposed in Alberta right now, that First Nations have signed onto that. I heard a chief on CBC say they’re going to do it anyway, the regulator has never turned down one of these projects. So this isn’t consent, they are conceding, they are conceding this is not consent. When you have communities in poverty and, you know, take the money or don’t take the money. I can’t blame the Haisla either, the Kitamaat people, they’re the ones with the LNG facility going onto their territory. their land has been poisoned by Alcan. The Kitimat River was poisoned by the smelter there, their ooligan run is destroyed. Their salmon run is destroyed. The harbour, the Douglas channel, the end of the Douglas channel is poisoned. People have cancer in that community they need economic prosperity and they see that LNG is coming and it’s going to be there or it’s going be somewhere else if do you want the money or not? That’s their choice because they’re ramming this stuff through.

I want to talk for a second about the economics of this situation because we’re sold a bill of goods on this. We’re told that this is good for the economy, we’re told that this is good for the environment. I meet with people in the House of Commons, I’ll meet with any lobbyists, I won’t go to their receptions and drink their wine, but I met with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers this week and had a nice little debate with them in my office. Talked about the economics of this situation, they’re talking about about LNG replacing coal, and that it’s gonna be a transition fuel, and by the end of my argument with them they conceded that LNG has as much of a greenhouse gas footprint as coal does. When you take it from the fracking, and the leaking of fracking, all the way to when you turn on your stove and you release a little methane before it lights up. That is damaging our climate as much as coal burning coal for electricity is. Methane is 80 times more potent as a greenhouse gas in the first 15 years it’s released and in 100 years is 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gases CO2. It is a climate killer, it is not a solution. And in my little debate with the Canadian Association for Petroleum Producers they admitted that. I wish I had it on video.

I delivered letters to Justin Trudeau, and I sent a letter to John Horgan. I told them that the RCMP should stand down, that we shouldn’t be pushing this project through. And Justin Trudeau said this is a provincial matter It’s not our problem. I said you’re responsible for the relationship with indigenous people, it’s a nation to nation negotiation. British Columbia is not a nation. Canada is a nation and they need to be talking to the Wet’suwet’en people.

I want to mention a couple of other things about this LNG nonsense. They say that it’s going to pay for hospitals and schools and whatnot. You know ten years ago we got 1.2 billion dollars in revenue from natural gas in this province. You know much we got last year? 108 million. And that is in spite the fact that production ramped up by 70 percent, so almost double the production, but we’re getting ten percent of the royalties. Why that is? Because they’re giving royalty breaks to the gas frackers because they’re horizontal drilling. All the fracking is horizontal drilling! They’re giving the resource away. The LNG plant, which is five foreign multinationals, have 5.4 billion dollars in tax breaks, including not paying the carbon tax, not paying PST, they’re getting power from the Site C damn, which is another incident where First Nations, some of them signed on to an agreement because they conceded. Fourteen of them opposed the project, twelve of them ended up signing on because that was their only choice, was to get money. Two of those nations are still fighting in court, the West Moberly and the Prophet River. That dam is being built to provide hydropower to the fracking fields and to the LNG plant. The federal government has put $250 million dollars into LNG Canada, five foreign multinationals, three of them are state-owned corporations from China, Korea, Malaysia, giving our resources away, giving them huge tax breaks, building a damaging dam and making ratepayers like you and me pay for it so that these folks can get to our resources for nothing.

We are being ripped off, the First Nations people are having their rights trampled over this. We’re talking about the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, what does that mean? What does it mean? Where is the respectful relationship here? This is… there are so many layers to this, that need to be undone. I got into a 10 minute debate on this because in December, I brought up a question of what was the government’s response to the UN Human Rights office about the Site C damn. The UN has asked that the Site C damn be stopped. Stop construction until you have informed consent from the First Nations involved and they have not stopped. Since then the UN has written again and asked that the Coastal GasLink project be stopped until there’s informed consent. And that the Trans Mountain be stopped until there’s informed consent.

I got my ten minutes of debate in Parliament when I first got back after being up in Wet’suwet’en territory. I also asked the question on Thursday, where is this government on the nation to nation negotiation? Why don’t they respect the rule of law? Why not?

This whole situation is disgusting. We stand in solidarity and support the Wet’suwet’en people, and all of those communities that are being destroyed in the fracking fields in northeastern British Columbia and those communities that are standing against the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline. We’ve got to keep on fighting folks. They are on the front line of this climate battle. They are on the front line of the defending the rights of Indigenous people. They are on the front line of the future of our children and grandchildren, and the future of their children and grandchildren. Thank you.  SOURCE