Saskatchewan Adopts New Environmental Code
Early this month Saskatchewan Environment Minister Scott Moe announced the province is adopting a new environmental code with the goal of protecting our environment for future generations, while hoping to meet the challenges of economic growth. Environment officials say the new system will be results-based, and can take advantage of modern monitoring technologies like satellite imagery or drones instead of relying on outdated methods like physical measurement.
Critics of the new code note the lack of regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. Saskatchewan has the highest per captita emissions of any province in the country, and not much is being done to regulate this. The government has passed legislation to track greenhouse gas emissions, but it has not yet been put into effect while it waits for the federal government to take action.
Find out more about the new environmental code here.
Report on How Public Accountability is Slowing Tar Sands Development
The tar sands movement and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis has released a report that for the first time, quantifies the impact the tar sands movement has on the industry in terms of carbon kept in the ground and in terms of material financial risk public accountability campaigns are driving. The results are pretty impressive. The bottom line is that this diverse, committed, and talented movement is keeping carbon in the ground, and generating an undeniable financial risk for an industry that is insistent on reckless expansion of high carbon, high cost, and high risk tar sands.
Among other findings, here are a few of the highlights:
- Tar sands producers lost $30.9 billion from 2010 through 2013 due to transportation bottlenecks and the flood of crude coming from shale-oil fields. Of that, $17.1 billion, or 55 percent, can be attributed to the impact of public-accountability campaigns.
- The combination of risks facing the industry has the potential for canceling most or even all of the planned expansion of the industry in Canada.
- This no new pipeline scenario would mean up to 6.9 billion barrels of tar sands oil could be left underground by 2030. In other words, if no new pipelines are built, our forecast predicts that an additional 4.1 billion tonnes of CO2 will be kept in the ground.
- Spread over the 16 years of this forecast, these emissions are the equivalent of the emissions from 67 average U.S. coal plants or nearly 54 million average passenger vehicles.
- Rather than seeing more than a doubling of output from 2 million barrels of oil per day to 4.8 million barrels per days - as the industry predicts - the report projects flat production levels.
Nine Scientific Findings Too Recent to be Included in the New IPCC Report
On November 1st, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its 2014 Synthesis Report, which summarizes the findings released in Assessment Reports over the past year. The report underscores three major facts about climate change: It's happening now, it's already affecting communities and ecosystems worldwide, and the most dangerous impacts can still be avoided if we act now.
While the IPCC reports are the most comprehensive, authoritative consensus on climate change among scientific experts, the cut-off date for literature for the report was in 2013. New research is happening every day on climate change, and much has been learned over the last year.
The World Resources Institute has put together their summary of the scientific findings in the last year that relate to climate change, and the effect these findings have on what we now know. Their summary includes research on sea level rise, extreme weather events, ecosystem impacts, and GHG emissions and temperature. These findings stress the importance of swift action, and that climate change is no longer a distant problem for our children, but we are feeling the effects of it today.
Read their full summary on these findings here.
Former Head of BC Hydro Backs Out of Kinder Morgan Pipeline Hearings
The former head of BC Hydro Marc Eliesen has withdrawn as Intervenor for the National Energy Board hearing on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. Noting that his conclusions are based on a "wealth of experience" from over 40 years' experience in senior executive positions in the energy sector of Canada, Eliesen goes so far as to label the hearings as a "farce," claiming the National Energy Board is "a truly industry captured regulator."
In a very unflattering letter written to the NEB, Eliesen requests to withdraw from the pipeline hearings, saying that "continued involvement with this process is a waste of time and effort, and represents a disservice to the public interests because it endorses a fraudulent process." This isn't the first time the ethics of the NEB has come in to question, but it is significant considering it is coming from someone with this much experience in the energy industry in Canada. Eliesen doesn't hold anything back in his this letter and exposes the NEB for its bias in a way only someone with his background can accomplish.
Read the full from Marc Eliesen to the NEB and Read the CBC article on it here.
Petition to Pass the Act to Defend the Pacific Northwest
Due to proposed pipeline projects, BC' s Great Bear Rainforest and the Pacific coast is at great risk from pipeline leaks and tanker accidents that could catastrophically impact the environment and Canadian ecosystems. Avaaz has launched a petition to pass the "Act to Defend the Pacific Northwest," which calls politicians to put people ahead of pipelines. If the petition receives over 75,000 signatures they will run a large ad campaign in western ridings that face the greatest risk of pipeline expansion.
Check out and sign the petition here.
Help Residents of Clyde River, Nunavut Protect their Waters
The people of the tiny Hamlet of Clyde River, Nunavut have launched a legal challenge against oil exploration in their waters. They are taking action to protect Canada's Arctic from oil spills. A Canadian government regulator has recently approved a five-year oil exploration project off Clyde River's coast, which allows seismic testing as a first step towards Arctic oil drilling.
This region is home to 80-90 per cent of the world's narwhals. Not only would drilling have an adverse effect on ocean life in the area, but the sonic explosions fired in the testing process can have harmful effects as well. These explosions can disrupt the migration patterns of narwhals and other animals, and are in some cases linked to permanent hearing loss and death of marine life.
Join their cause by signing their petition here.
Opportunities/Call for Proposals
SmartNet Alliance LaunchPAD Funding Opportunity for Green Entrepreneurs
Ottawa-based SmartNet Alliance (SNA) is offering to assist people with great green-energy ideas to get into business. The firm is calling for applications and will select six people with the best ideas. Free of charge, these lucky six will receive up to $10,000 in support to get their ideas launch-ready. "The LaunchPAD: From Idea to Start-Up" is a program designed to take individuals through all the necessary steps to get their innovative green-energy business idea launch-ready, from market studies to payroll.
The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, November 19th, and successful applicants will be announced by December first with the program starting January 12th, 2015.
To find out more and submit your application, visit their website here.
CFCR is Looking for a New Radio Host for Environmental Programming
Saskatoon community radio station CFCR is looking for a new radio personality to host their weekly program "Pocket Mulch" which focuses on environmental issues affecting Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, and the world. The program has had a rotating cast of hosts over the years, and the current host of the program is moving from the city in December and will have to give up the show. CFCR is hoping to keep this program on the air or a similar environmentally themed program, so a replacement host is needed soon.
This is a weekly half-hour program, which can either be recorded live or recorded in advance to be edited for air time. If you are interested in hosting this program or have any questions about this opportunity you can contact Jay Allen from CFCR at email@example.com.
Participate in the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program
The purpose of the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program (RFCPP) is to bring like-minded partners and their resources together with the common goal of conserving and protecting Canada's recreational fisheries. The long-term goal of enhancing the sustainability and ongoing productivity of recreational fisheries would be achieved via the program objective: restore, rebuild and rehabilitate recreational fisheries habitat.
Round 4 of the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program (RFCPP) is now open and we will be accepting applications until December 12, 2014. To aid you in your proposal preparation, the Central & Arctic team will be hosting a webinar to provide additional information about the program and application process. Please note that both a computer to see the presentation and a telephone to listen to our facilitator will be required. The session will be held on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00p.m. (Eastern Time)
The program is limited to recreational fishing/angling groups and conservation associations. An eligible recipient must be a legal entity (i.e. must have a federal business number). Preference will be given to funding requests in the $20,000 - $100,000 range, but there is a maximum funding request of $250,000.
Tree Canada Greening Canada's School Grounds Program
Creating an interactive, educational landscape engages youths' curiosity and gives parents, teachers, and staff the opportunity to take part in learning too. The planning and maintenance of school gardens and trees is undertaken by the school community, with opportunities for students to make their own contributions, and with help from Tree Canada experts.
Schools can apply to the Tree Canada Greening Canada's School Grounds program for the opportunity to win grants of up to $3000. Fill out an application form here.
CN EcoConnexions From the Ground Up Program
Applications for the 2015 CN EcoConnexions From the Ground Up edition are now being accepted. CN EcoConnexions From the Ground Up will provide funding of up to $25,000 for the greening of municipal and First Nations properties across Canada, especially in communities along its rail lines.
Projects should address local issues and provide a means for engagement at the local level by indicating how local community groups and service clubs would be involved and are in support of the project. The projects may also address concerns related to water conservation, naturalization, stewardship or environmentally friendly transportation (i.e., trails).
Find out more and fill out the application form here.
Help Sponsor a Saskatoon Environmental Art Project
Jennifer Gallays, a teacher at St. Anne's Elementary School in Saskatoon is organizing a large environmental project with her students in the spring of 2015. The first part of the project will have students working with hip hop, rap/spoken word, and musical artists to create a play about consumerism. The purpose of this project will be to build awareness and develop intrinsic motivation to curb consumption. This portion of the project will be funded through a grant from the Saskatchewan Arts Board
The second part of the project is to create a large mural which focuses on environmental sustainability. This mural will be painted by St. Anne's students under the direction of teacher and artist Jennifer Gallays, and local Indigenous artist, Kevin Wesequate, whose work can be seen on the front of St. Paul's Hospital. In order to produce this mural, they require the help of a sponsor.
As a sponsor, your organization's logo could be displayed within the mural, and you will be recognized through social media, Gallay's educational blog, the school newsletter, and on a plaque at the front of the school
Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre - Research, Rankings and Rare PlantsWednesday November 19th, 7:00pm, Royal Saskatchewan Museum
As part of their monthly Native Prairie Speaker Series, Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Action Plan is hosting a presentation on rare plants in Saskatchewan by Sarah Vinge-Mazer of the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.
The presentation will be online here.
Dr. Mark Brigham - Recent Research and Conservation Challenges Facing BatsMonday November 17th, 7:30pm - 9pm, Royal Saskatchewan Museum
Dr. Brigham, from the Department of Biology at the University of Regina, is well known as a leading expert on bats. He will talk about his recent research surrounding bats with an emphasis on Saskatchewan but also in other areas. He will also speak to the two main issues facing bats in our part of the world, namely wind energy development and white-nose syndrome.
For more information on this presentation, email Nature Regina at firstname.lastname@example.org
SaskOutdoors: Standard Wilderness First AidNovember 28th-30th, University of Regina
Join SaskOutdoors for some basic level of Wilderness & Remote First Aid that covers material in Standard First Aid & CPR, plus special material on techniques for wilderness and remote areas. The course also offers strategies for providing extended care for up to 24 hours. Part of the course is taught in an outdoor setting and requires greater physical activity and endurance than typical first aid training. This course is suitable for those who work or live in remote locations or who are outdoor recreation enthusiasts.
For more information and registration, visit their website here
Building Saskatchewan Green ConferenceNovember 13th & 14th, Delta Bessborough
The 11th Annual Building Saskatchewan Green Conference will take place November 13th and 14th in Saskatoon. A two day multi-dimensional symposium, BSG hosts green building professionals from across the province for tours, workshops, speakers and networking events. This is a great opportunity to get out and meet the people who are attempting to accelerate a movement toward green high-performing buildings and communities in Saskatchewan, and learn more about how this can be achieved.
To learn more about the conference, the agenda, and registration, visit the Building Saskatchewan Green website here
Green Drinks SaskatoonFriday November 14th, 5:30pm, Spadina Freehouse
Green Drinks will be taking place in conjunction with the Build Saskatchewan Green conference taking place across the street at the Delta Bessborough. Prior to Green Drinks, the BSG key note speaker Chris Turner will be speaking at the Bessborough from 4pm to 5pm. Turner's talk will be free and open to the public.
For more information on the talk from Chris Turner, visit the Facebook page here
Saskatoon Nature Society Birding Field TripsNovember 16th, 22nd, 30th, and December 6th, Meet in Saskatoon
The Saskatoon Nature Society is hosting four birding field trips in various Saskatchewan locales in the coming month. Travel with other birding enthusiasts to Pike Lake, Eagle Creek, President Murray Park, and Gardiner Dam to look for a variety of different birds that reside in our province. Everyone is welcome to participate in any field trip. Carpooling out-of-town trips is usually arranged at the meeting place, and participants are expected to share gasoline costs. Otherwise there is no charge for any of these trips.
For more information on these field trips visit the Saskatchewan Nature Society website here
Wild Creatures, Weird Facts Book ReadingSunday November 16th, 1pm - 2pm, McNally Robinson, 3130 8 St E
Active volunteer with the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan Anne McElroy presents her children's book, "My ABC Book… Wild Creatures, Weird Facts. In this children's book, McElroy explores the world of insects, birds and mammals and the wonder of the living environment. Each letter of the alphabet is accompanied by Anne's funky, colourful drawings of wildlife. Weird and wonderful facts about each creature are written in a style which is funny and fascinating for children and adults alike.
Find out more about Anne McElroy and her book here
Book Reading - Eleven, by Paul HanleyMonday November 17th, 7pm, McNally Robinson, 3130 8 St E
11 billion people will share this marvellous planet by century's end. Adding 4 billion more people to an already overburdened world will force everyone to change everything. The sweeping changes that will make a "full world" work-involving dual processes of disintegration and reintegration-will transform global culture, agriculture and ultimately the human race. Eleven is a call to an ethical revolution. Saskatoon writer Paul Hanley proposes a change model that will help individuals, communities and institutions make an 11-billion world work for everyone-and the planet.
Paul Hanley has been an environmental columnist with the Saskatoon Star Phoenix for 25 years, and is a recipient of the Canadian Environment Award.
Find out more here
Electric Cars: The Future is NowTuesday November 18th, 7pm - 8:30pm, Frances Morrison Library
This presentation will consider the evolution of electric and hybrid vehicles. Do they make sense even if the electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels? What are the pros and cons? What does the future hold? After much research, Lynn Oliphant purchased a used Chevrolet Volt. It has an electric drive train with a battery range of 60-70 km, with no gas used at all. It plugs into a standard outlet for an overnight charge and has a small gas engine that powers an on-board generator, giving unlimited range for long trips with good gas mileage. Lynn thinks electric cars are ideal for anyone living in the city or within approximately 30 km. The possibility of forming an informal cooperative to bring used electric cars into Saskatchewan at affordable prices will also be discussed.
Find out more about this event and more from the SES speaker's series here
Tox on Tap: Dr. Ken CoatesTuesday November 18th, 6:30pm, The Woods Alehouse
Tox on Tap aims to bring the public and scientific community together in an informal setting to discuss relevant toxicology related issues. This month's speaker is Dr. Ken Coates, the Canadian Research Chair in Regional Innovation, and he will be giving a talk on aboriginal peoples, natural resources, and the future of Canada.
Visit the Tox on Tap website for more information here
Saskatoon Zoo Society: Young Naturalists Paper Making WorkshopSaturday December 6th, 1pm - 3pm, Affinity Learning Centre at the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo
Join the Saskatoon Zoo Society and learn how paper is made and create your very own paper from recycled materials. This is a great project for gift tags and cards. Make sure you remember to wear old clothes, as this program can get messy!
SaskOutdoors: Winter CampDecember 6th-7th, St. Michael's Retreat Centre, Lumsden, SK
Have you ever camped in the winter? SaskOutdoors is offering an opportunity for you to learn, share and play outside. Time will be spent specifically covering skills useful for taking groups winter camping. If the weather permits, you can make and stay in your own quinzees (snow shelters)! Otherwise, you will be sleeping in tents. SaskOutdoors can supply camping gear if needed. Registration for the winter camp is $30 for SaskOutdoors members, and $40 for non-members, and includes meals.
For more information and registration, visit their website here.