TAKE ACTION! Stop Teck’s mega tarsands mine

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Mining giant, Teck Resources, is trying to sneak the largest ever open-pit tarsands mine through a weak environmental review — before the Trudeau government can strengthen the rules.

The $20-billion Teck Frontier Mine would rip up huge swaths of pristine boreal forest, destroy critical habitat for caribou and bison, and spew out toxic pollution equivalent to 35 million new cars on the road.[1-2]

The project’s currently being reviewed under a weak, Harper-era process that’s likely to rubberstamp the project despite the massive environmental risks — but we have a unique opportunity to stop it.

Here’s the thing: right now, Trudeau’s finalizing a new set of rules for how tar sands projects like Teck get approved or rejected — but there’s a real risk they remain weak, and let projects that are already under review, sidestep the new ones.

A massive petition could convince Trudeau to put the Teck Frontier Mine through a rigorous environmental review — one so strict that the mine could never get approved.

Trudeau is expected to unveil his new environmental review process any day now, so we need to act fast. Will you sign the petition to make sure the largest-ever tarsands mine doesn’t get approved without a proper environmental review?

Trudeau’s already facing some of the fiercest backlash on the climate file since his time in office this week, making him extra vulnerable to pressure from the public.  

A last minute flood of signatures from tens of thousands of voters across the country could ensure that any new review process is fit for the 21st-century: climate-science-based, includes rigrous environmental and Indigenous rights assessments, and applies to projects already under review.

This is the kind of robust process that toxic projects like Teck’s could never pass. With Trudeau’s set to announce his new rules within days, we have to act now. Sign the petition.

RELATED PETITIONS:

PETITION: Stop Canada’s tar sand apocalypse!
Petition: CANADA’S TAR SANDS
What is Teck Frontier and how to reject a tar sands mine in 7 easy steps
Stop the largest tar sands project in history – petition

 

What do we do when our home is on fire?

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Australian governments have denied or downplayed the existence and risks of human-caused climate disruption. There, coal is king. In our outdated economic systems, short-term jobs and financial indicators mean more to politicians than keeping the planet habitable for human life!

The worst bushfires in Australia’s history have consumed more than 11 million hectares, killing dozens of people and more than a billion animals, displacing many more, and destroying thousands of homes. While the fires rage on, smoke chokes the air and coral reefs bleach and die, Australia’s leaders are touting development of yet another huge coal mine, the Adani Carmichael mega-mine in Queensland, designed to produce 2.3 billion tonnes over 60 years of mostly low-quality, high-ash coal.

Australia’s fires cover an area 15 times larger than those in the Amazon, which are also bad. More than 30 years ago, my wife Tara and I, along with others, worked with the Kayapo in Brazil to help protect their traditional territory in the rainforest from development. Together, we convinced the World Bank to pull funding for a massive dam system, which put the project on hold.

As Brazil’s economy improved and World Bank money was no longer needed, the project went ahead under a new name. Flooding is just one threat to this precious forest. Clearing and burning to make way for agriculture and industrial development are also fuelling rapid destruction.

Some call the Amazon the “lungs of the world,” because the rainforest breathes in carbon and exhales oxygen. Canada is home to what some call the “northern lungs” — the boreal forest.

Some call the Amazon the “lungs of the world,” because the rainforest breathes in carbon and exhales oxygen. Canada is home to what some call the “northern lungs” — the boreal forest stretching from Yukon to Newfoundland and Labrador, covering 55 per cent of Canada’s land mass. The amount of oxygen forests produce is difficult to calculate and often exaggerated, but there’s no doubt forests are important for human survival.

The boreal is also under threat from rapid development and global heating. As with recent massive wildfires elsewhere, climate change is increasing the boreal fire season and fuelling intense burning over larger areas than ever — regardless of whether fires are set by lightning, arsonists or sparks from machinery or a train wheel. Warmer winters have also facilitated the spread of tree-destroying insects like mountain pine beetles that cold winters once kept in check.

Intact forests produce oxygen and provide many other services beneficial to humans. They sequester carbon, which helps regulate global temperatures. They prevent runoff, slides and flooding. They maintain and filter water. They provide food and other necessities for people, and habitat for plants and animals.

In the midst of its fires, Australia has been hit by extreme weather events, including terrifying massive dust storms, battering hail and flood-producing torrential rains. Smoke from the fires is also a potent greenhouse gas. So, as a heating planet causes more forests to burn, the fires release even more carbon into the atmosphere, creating feedback loops that accelerate warming.

Our economic systems still run on endless growth and consumerism, creating unconscionable waste and devastation.

What will it take for politicians and others to listen? As Greta Thunberg warns, our home is on fire. It will get worse if we fail to change our ways, quickly. But politicians and industry keep expanding fossil fuel development, trying to cash in before markets fall in the face of better alternatives and climate chaos. Our economic systems still run on endless growth and consumerism, creating unconscionable waste and devastation. We judge how well the economy is performing in part by how quickly we are tearing up the world.

It makes no sense.

Why is Australia going ahead with a massive coal mine? Why is Canada considering approving a 24,000-hectare open-pit oilsands mine, the Teck Frontier project in Northern Alberta? Why is the U.S. reversing environmental protections and facilitating fossil fuel expansion? Haven’t they heard we’re facing a global crisis the likes of which we’ve never experienced? Or do they ju st not care? Are money and power really more important to them than the health and well-being of citizens and the future of our children and grandchildren?

We’re not being held back by a lack of solutions — there are plenty existing and more being developed. We’re hostage to a lack of political will and imagination. Wake up humanity! All that money and power won’t mean anything if we destroy our only home.

 ASK THE GOVERNMENT TO REJECT TECK

Ban The Fossils From Climate Talks Starting With #COP26 in Glasgow

In order for climate talks to succeed, organizers must ban the fossil fuel industry—the fossils—from all future climate conferences starting with COP 26 (Conference of the Parties) in November 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. Click on button below and say “I Agree”.

Ban the Fossils from Climate Talks

It's Time To Ban The Fossils From Climate Talks Starting With COP 26 in Glasgow, Below2C

The World Needs Fossil-Free Climate Talks

Previous summits going back decades —including COP 25 (Madrid) — have been supported financially by sponsorship deals from the fossil fuel industry. And it’s not unusual for the fossils to actually have a spot at the negotiating table. “Company representatives are often invited by governments to join their delegation and allowed to hold side events during the summit,” reports The National.

Why even the Paris Agreement (COP 21) “was guided to its inevitable conclusion by the veiled hand of Big Oil and its corporate and political allies,” writes Donald Gutstein in The Big Stall. According to Gutstein, Big Oil got its deal in Paris. The Agreement is weak lacking in both ambition and any means of enforcement—exactly what the fossils wanted.

Nothing in the Agreement is obligatory, prompting ecological economist Clive Splash to call it “a fantasy which lacks any actual plan to achieve the targets for emissions reduction…no mentions of greenhouse gas sources, not a single comment on fossil fuel use, nothing about how to stop the expansion of fracking, shale oil or explorations for gas and oil in the Arctic and Antarctic.”

In the euphoria following the approval of the agreement in Paris in 2015, many media outlets, climate experts and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) proclaimed victory calling it the beginning of the end for fossil fuels. But then, the fossil fuel industry got to work and doubled down.

Always Set Up to Fail

There have been four COPs since the Paris Agreement (COP21) and all have failed to move the climate action needle forward. Commenting on the recent COP25 failure in Madrid, Dr. Peter Carter (Director of Climate Emergency Institute and an IPCC expert reviewer) shared these observations during a video interview.

He called COP25 “yet another circus…it’s another delay. — Dr. Peter Carter

“Oh, it’s always been set up to fail….the first two COPs were pretty successful and ever since then things have gone down down down…it just takes a couple of countries to be able to veto any major decision…it is unbelievable what these high-emitting fossil fuel producing countries are doing.” And this is so because of the “consensus” approach adopted for COPs including COP21 which produced the Paris Agreement in 2015. Peter Carter is also the co-author of Unprecedented Crime: Climate Science Denial and Game Changers for Survival.

Year after year major oil-producing countries such as the US, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and others are blocking the science from the negotiations that are necessary to achieve solid climate success. Mitchell Beer, curator for The Energy Mix, reports that “there was no doubt that fossil interests are still by far the dominant corporate voice.” “They are inside government writing the rules,” Greenpeace International Executive Director and COP veteran Jennifer Morgan said of the business representatives following the meeting.

“Big polluters and the countries most historically responsible for the climate crisis have been able to ruthlessly advance the fossil fuel industry’s profit agenda over our collective futures,” said Catherine Abreu in Madrid.

Ban the Fossils from Climate Talks

We have a global climate emergency. Climate talks are failing. We don’t have time to wait any longer. We are failing our children and grandchildren.

The Fossils should not be a major player in climate talks. They should not be at the negotiating table. Governments hosting climate conferences should not seek nor accept sponsorship deals from the Fossils. Their goal is to slow down and block action on the climate.

The goal of the Agreement is to decrease greenhouse gases and hold the warming of the planet to well below 2C. But that isn’t happening five years later nor will it ever happen as long as the Fossils control the process.

The World Needs a Fossil-Free COP 26 in Glasgow. It starts with this petition to the United Nations. Click on the button below, and then click on “I agree”.

Ban the Fossils from Climate Talks

TAKE ACTION! Burning more gas is not what our climate needs

Enbridge Gas wants to build a pipeline through one of Hamilton’s most important natural areas in order to feed a huge increase in the use of Ontario’s gas-fired power plants and to supply the U.S. Northeast with fracked gas.

Building a four-foot wide pipeline through an ecologically sensitive wetland to allow greater use of polluting gas plants is a bad idea that needs to be stopped in its tracks. Using Ontario to supply fracked gas to U.S. States because other U.S. States will not allow such a pipeline to be built through their territories is an equally bad idea.

Instead of setting the stage for a 400-600% increase in gas-plant use – and resulting greenhouse gas emissions – Enbridge should help its customers save money by expanding its highly cost-effective conservation programs.

On average, Enbridge’s 2019 energy efficiency programs will reduce its customers’ energy bills by $4.72 for every dollar spent by the utility. Its most cost-effective programs in the commercial sector are forecast to reduce bills by $16.43 for every dollar spent. And every cubic metre of gas not burned thanks to these efficiency programs represents greenhouse gases kept out of our atmosphere.

Meanwhile, Enbridge is projecting that building its pipeline will actually increase gas rates in Ontario by $120 million.

While Enbridge thinks the way to deal with the closure of the old and unsafe Pickering Nuclear station and the shutdown of other aging reactors is to burn more gas, the better solution is to increase our use of renewable energy, including importing low-cost water power from Quebec. And continuing to improve efficiency in the electricity sector remains the lowest costway to keep our lights on and will help green energy go further in meeting our energy needs.

We don’t need Enbridge’s climate damaging pipeline. Please sign our petition opposing Enbridge’s destructive pipeline plan

And please pass this onto your friends.

Thank you.

Angela Bischoff, Director

The Amazon is burning. How you can help.

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The images coming out of the Amazon are terrifying. Major cities have been plunged into darkness by thick smoke as large swaths of forests burn relentlessly. The fires are consuming important areas of forest in the Brazilian and Bolivian Amazon, and in other important ecosystems.

The Amazon rainforest is the largest in the world and provides numerous ecological services, such as oxygen, not only for local communities but for the entire world. It is also the biggest deforestation front in the world, with over 20% already cleared.

As forests burn, the fragile ecological processes that have been refined over millions of years erode.WWF

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We have so much to lose with the burning 🐆🌳💧 and yet not enough action is being taken to stop its destruction!😱 It is crucial that we urgently agree to a and People, so moments like these won’t go unnoticed – and unanswered. RT to spread the word!

View image on Twitter

We need urgent action to protect the iconic Amazon, for the invaluable ecosystems, communities and biodiversity it sustains. The trees in the Amazon contain up to 140 billion tonnes of carbon. That’s the equivalent of what humans produce in 100 years. It is also home to 1 in 10 known wildlife species on Earth. Put simply, there’s no way we can fight the climate crisis or reverse wildlife loss without stopping the destruction of our forests.

What can you do?

1. Share the news

Share updates in social media and in your personal networks to raise awareness about the devastating impacts of the Amazon forest fires. Educate your family and friends about the importance of the Amazon, which contains over a third of the world’s remaining rainforest.

2. Write to your policymakers

Deforestation in the Amazon affects the world, and it is critical to have integrated policies and concerted action across the region and beyond to influence positive change. Tell your government representatives to take action and enable policies that end large-scale deforestation in the Amazon.

3. Ask companies to go deforestation-free

Agriculture and cattle ranching is one of the leading causes of deforestation in the Amazon, as is unsustainable and illegal timber trade. And much of this is to support international demand. Become a discerning consumer and ask how your food and other purchases have been produced. SOURCE

First Nations in B.C. launch new legal appeal against Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Chief Leah George-Wilson of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation announced at a press conference in Vancouver that they have officially launched their appeal of the approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

VANCOUVER—Several First Nations led by Tsleil-Waututh have again launched an appeal against the approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, alleging that Canada did not conduct a fair consultation with First Nations.

“The federal government’s approval of the pipeline is unlawful and must be quashed,” said Chief Leah George-Wilson of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation at a news conference in Vancouver. She was joined by representatives from five other nations that have filed for a judicial review.

In June, the federal government approved the expansion project for a second time. Last summer, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and others won a major court case that forced federal authorities to reconsider the environmental risks of the increased tanker traffic associated with the project and undertake further consultation with Indigenous communities.

George-Wilson said it “feels like déjà vu” to announce yet another application for appeal to get a fair consultation process.

“Two and a half years ago, we were here announcing our latest court challenge, which we won,” she said. “Canada had an opportunity to get it right and they did not. We have not seen any significant difference in the consultation process, and in some ways it was worse.”

The First Nations maintain that building the $9.3-billion pipeline expansion is a constitutional violation, “primarily around the failure to satisfy the duty to consult, accommodate and seek consent from First Nations, and regulatory legal errors by the National Energy Board.” SOURCE

Want to help stop the Trans Mountain pipeline and tankers? We’re launching Pull Together, Round 3. But we can’t do it without you!

Yesterday, a joint legal challenge was filed by the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Squamish Nation, Ts’elxweyeqw tribes, Shxw’owhamel Nation, Coldwater Indian Band and Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation.

These Indigenous Nations are challenging (again) the federal government approval (again) of the Trans Mountain tarsands pipeline and the 700% increase in tanker traffic it will bring to the coast.

We’ve been here before. And we can do it again.

Yesterday, we heard leaders of these Nations share how this federal decision was the result of another hasty and deeply flawed review process that failed to satisfy the duty to consult, accommodate and seek consent from Indigenous Nations.

Chief Leah George-Wilson of Tsleil-Waututh Nation said, “It was clear that Canada had already made up their mind as the owners of the project⁠—they repeated many of the same mistakes again.”

We heard how the project would involve the digging up of burial grounds and sacred sites in Shxw’owhamel and Stk’emlupsemcte Secwepemc territories. It puts the Coldwater Band’s drinking water at risk. These are just a few of the many harms this project will create on the ground.
So the Nations are going back to court. I’m humbled by their leadership and their commitment to defending their lands and waters.

 

Find the dumped mercury barrels

Please take a moment to send an email to the federal and provincial governments in support of the people of Grassy Narrows.

I’m sure you’re as shocked as I am by reading today’s Toronto Star report that the Ontario government is dragging its feet on commitments to search for mercury at the infamous Dryden mill site – mercury that may still be contaminating the waters of Grassy Narrows (Asubpeeschoseewagong) First Nation.

n the 1960s and early 1970s, the Reed Paper plant dumped 10 tonnes of mercury waste into the adjacent Wabigoon River upstream from Grassy Narrows. The property is now known to harbour significant amounts of mercury, including some that was illegally buried in steel drums decades ago.

A retired plant worker blew the whistle on this, saying he was ordered to haphazardly bury dozens of barrels of mercury waste in the 1970s. Recent soil samples from the property show unnaturally high levels of mercury, indicating that the barrels may have rusted away and released their toxic contents.

The people of Grassy Narrows deserve justice – they deserve clean land and water and for these illegally dumped contaminants to be fully removed and the area restored. Will you take a moment of your time to write to the Ontario government and demand that it fulfill the commitment to remediate this site? SOURCE

Take action! Take the Fight Ford Pledge

Doug Ford: Fool the People

I pledge to fight Doug Ford’s agenda. I want to join people across Ontario who are coming together to save our vital social programs, protect water and the environment, safeguard our communities and workers, and defend the most vulnerable in our society from Doug Ford and his government’s destructive agenda. I want an Ontario that works and cares for everyone. TAKE THE PLEDGE