Huge Protest Underway Against Canadian Tar Sands Pipelines
More than 1,500 people from across Canada and all walks of life have gathered in front of the B.C. legislature today to participate in a mass sit-in to defend Canada’s west coast from the proposed Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipelines and tar sands tankers, and to push back against Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s gutting of Canada’s environmental legislation. The Harper government is seeking to further weaken federal environmental laws in order to fast-track tar sands mines and pipelines, including changes hidden in last week's second omnibus budget bill.
“The Harper government’s attempt to gut Canada's environmental safeguards and fast-track the destructive Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipelines without listening to the voices of Canadians will increase the effects of climate change and put the health of Canadians and the environment in danger,” said Susan Spratt, western regional director of the Canadian Auto Workers. “Today, we join our fellow Canadians to say no to this agenda and defend our coast, mountains, rivers, forests, wildlife and First Nations communities against tar sands pipelines and tankers. We want long-term green jobs that will take us beyond fossil fuels, not short-term high risk pipelines.”
Today’s sit-in is the largest act of peaceful civil disobedience on the tar sands issue in Canadian history. More than 80 leaders from Canada’s business, First Nations, environmental, labor, academic, medical and artistic communities have endorsed the sit-in, including Stephen Lewis, David Suzuki, Maude Barlow, Naomi Klein, Tom Goldtooth, David Coles, Bill McKibben and Tony Clarke. Prominent entertainers have also added their names in support of the sit-in, including Mark Ruffalo, Daryl Hannah, Michael Moore, Ellen Page, Pamela Anderson, Peter Keleghan and Tantoo Cardinal.
“It’s inspiring to see people from all walks of life and from across the country defending our right to say 'no' and to stand-up to projects that would put our communities at risk and to push back against Harper’s reckless anti-environment agenda,” said Chief Jackie Thomas of the Saik'uz First Nation. “Today’s turnout shows the widespread opposition to tar sands tankers and the Enbridge pipeline. There’s a clear message here for Canada’s politicians, and they ignore it at their own peril.”
The action began at 11 a.m. PST with a solidarity rally in front of the B.C. legislature featuring speeches from prominent First Nation Chiefs that would be directly impacted by the tar sands pipeline proposals and from leaders from Canada’s labor, environmental and social justice communities. Following the speeches, participants staked a 245 meter-long black banner into the front lawn of the B.C. legislature, representing the length of the Aframax tankers that are transporting tar sands crude oil through Burrard Inlet and Georgia Strait, threatening B.C.’s marine ecosystems and coastal economies. The pending Enbridge and Kinder Morgan proposals threaten to quadruple this tanker traffic and further increase the risks to our coast.
“These pipelines and tankers would take our country in the wrong direction,” said Rick Zaleski, a homeowner from Chilliwack B.C., who works in online sales. “I’ve worked hard to build a life for my family in this beautiful province, and I’m worried about the future of my two sons if these projects go ahead. Pipelines affect us all, no matter where we live.”
Groups providing support in organizing the Defend Our Coast event include Indigenous groups like the Indigenous Environment Network, Yinka Dene Alliance and Coastal First Nations; environmental and social justice groups like the Council of Canadians, Tanker Free BC, Greenpeace Canada and Occupy Vancouver Environmental Justice, and unions like the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, Canadian Auto Workers, BC Teacher's Federation, Canadian Union of Public Employees—BC and the United Fishermen and Allied Workers' Union-CAW.
“Tar sands pipelines and tankers are not the solution, they’re the problem,” said Susan Lambert, president of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation. “It’s time to for our elected leaders to put an end to the tar sands industry’s risky business and start focusing on a clean energy future for the people of Canada, especially our children.”
In 2010 alone, oil pipeline spills in Alberta occurred, on average, every 1.5 days, leaking more than 3 million liters of oil into the province’s land and water systems. The proposed Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipelines would carry up to 525,000 and 600,000 barrels per day, respectively.
“Pipeline or tanker accidents would be a disaster for our rivers and coast. But even if the oil arrives safely at its destination, the carbon emissions that would result from its use would contribute to a climate disaster,” said George Hoberg, a professor in the University of British Columbia faculty of forestry. “If the Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipelines are built, they’ll be exporting 2.5 times more greenhouse gases than we currently emit within B.C.”
"If these pipelines are allowed to be built, there will be no incentive to cut back on the production of fossil fuels and convert to the clean energy future we and the planet need," says Maude Barlow, chairperson of the Council of Canadians. "These pipelines are not only the arteries carrying the dirtiest oil on earth, they become the drivers of an expanded industry as there will be relentless pressure to keep them full. We must and will stop these pipelines."
"There are moments in history when it's clear that our elected leaders are failing us and it is necessary to speak up,” said Art Sterritt of Coastal First Nations. “Today we are calling on Members of the Legislated Assembly and Parliament to stand up for Canada’s west coast and the rights of First Nation people and all British Columbians. The absolute certainty of an oil spill will devastate the culture and economy of those who live on the west coast and will not be tolerated.”
In addition to today’s sit-in in Victoria, a solidarity rally took place yesterday in Toronto and today in Montreal, as people across the country come together to defend Canada’s west coast from tar sands tankers and pipelines.
Following today’s sit-in, people will link arms in front of the MLA—Members of the Legislative Assembly—offices in more than 55 communities, including Liberal stronghold ridings, throughout B.C. on Oct. 24 to defend the coast and say no to tar sands pipelines and tankers.
Stay tuned to EcoWatch for further developments on this protest.
Visit EcoWatch’s PIPELINE page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
A herdsman in the Chinese autonomous region of Inner Mongolia was diagnosed with the bubonic plague Sunday, The New York Times reported.
- Plagues Follow Bad Leadership in Ancient Greek Tales - EcoWatch ›
- Black Death Is Back! Two Cases of Plague Confirmed in China ... ›
By Matt Kasson, Brian Lovett and Carolee Bull
Home gardening is having a boom year across the U.S. Whether they're growing their own food in response to pandemic shortages or just looking for a diversion, numerous aspiring gardeners have constructed their first raised beds, and seeds are flying off suppliers' shelves. Now that gardens are largely planted, much of the work for the next several months revolves around keeping them healthy.
Start With Prevention<p>Just as preventive steps like maintaining a balanced diet help keep humans healthy, home growers can take many actions to help their gardens thrive.</p><p>One key step is assessing soil fertility – the ability of soil to sustain plant growth – which can vary widely depending on your location and soil type. Low soil fertility limits food production and predisposes plants to disease and pests. University extension <a href="https://soiltesting.wvu.edu/" target="_blank">soil testing labs</a> can help evaluate the quality of garden soil and identify nutrient deficiencies and acidic soils, often at no charge.</p>
Using weed barrier landscape cloth for planting rows and mulching between rows is an effective way to suppress weeds. Matt Kasson, CC BY-ND
Diagnosing Problems<p>Common plant pathogens include <a href="https://www.apsnet.org/edcenter/disandpath/viral/introduction/Pages/PlantViruses.aspx" target="_blank">viruses</a>, <a href="https://www.apsnet.org/edcenter/disandpath/prokaryote/intro/Pages/Bacteria.aspx" target="_blank">bacteria</a>, <a href="https://www.apsnet.org/edcenter/disandpath/nematode/intro/Pages/IntroNematodes.aspx" target="_blank">nematodes</a>, <a href="https://www.apsnet.org/edcenter/disandpath/oomycete/introduction/Pages/IntroOomycetes.aspx#:%7E:text=The%20oomycetes%2C%20also%20known%20as,foliar%20blights%20and%20downy%20mildews." target="_blank">oomycetes</a> and <a href="https://www.apsnet.org/edcenter/disandpath/fungalasco/intro/Pages/IntroFungi.aspx" target="_blank">fungi</a>. All of these microorganisms, especially at an early stage of infection, are too small to see. But when they proliferate, they cause changes in plants that we can recognize.</p><p>Unlike insects, which move around on six legs or on wings through the air, pathogens can move unseen and unchecked from leaf to leaf on the wind, through the soil or in droplets of water. Some microbes have even formed intimate relationships with insects and use them as vehicles to move from plant to plant, which makes these pathogens even more challenging to manage. Unfortunately, by the time some pathogens make their presence known, the damage is already done.</p><p>We recently conducted a <a href="https://twitter.com/kasson_wvu/status/1265989041725624323" target="_blank">Twitter poll</a> of gardeners nationwide to find out which culprits plagued their gardens. People named <a href="https://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/aphids" target="_blank">aphids</a>, <a href="https://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/squash-vine-borer" target="_blank">squash vine borers</a>, <a href="https://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/squash-bug" target="_blank">squash bugs</a> and <a href="https://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/flea-beetle" target="_blank">flea beetles</a> as the most problematic insect pests. Their most troublesome pathogens included <a href="https://extension.wvu.edu/lawn-gardening-pests/plant-disease/fruit-vegetable-diseases/powdery-mildew" target="_blank">powdery mildew</a>, <a href="https://plantpath.ifas.ufl.edu/rsol/Trainingmodules/BWTomato_Module.html" target="_blank">tomato bacterial wilt</a> and <a href="https://extension.wvu.edu/lawn-gardening-pests/plant-disease/fruit-vegetable-diseases/downy-mildew" target="_blank">cucurbit downy mildew</a>.</p><p>To manage such perennial challenges, the first step is to spend time closely looking at your plants. Do you notice any insects consistently hanging around, or molds colonizing leaves or other plant parts? How about symptoms such as blight, stunting, or leaves that are yellowing, browning or wilting?</p>
This white fungal growth is an early sign of powdery mildew on a leaf of susceptible summer squash. Matt Kasson, CC BY-ND
- 5 Ways to Make Your Garden Regenerative - EcoWatch ›
- How to Make your House and Garden More Tranquil - EcoWatch ›
- Gardening in Hard Times Has Deep History - EcoWatch ›
By Emma Charlton
The effects of climate change may more far-reaching than you think.
Hotter temperatures have been linked to a rise in energy poverty, with more people struggling to meet their energy bills from their household income, according to a new study published on ScienceDirect by researchers from Italy's Ca' Foscari University.
Value of air conditioning imports in selected OECD countries. ScienceDirect
The ‘Golden Thread’<p>The <a href="https://www.endenergypoverty.org/reports" target="_blank">Global Commission to End Energy Poverty</a> calls access to energy the "golden thread" that weaves together economic growth, human development, and environmental sustainability. And one of the <a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/archive/sdg-07-affordable-and-clean-energy" target="_blank">United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals</a> is to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030.</p><p>Sustainability also has a large role to play in the future of energy and failing to embed green policies in COVID-19 stimulus packages and underinvesting in green infrastructure are current risks, according to the <a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_COVID_19_Risks_Outlook_Special_Edition_Pages.pdf" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a>.</p><p>In its vision for a 'Great Reset' – building a better world after the pandemic – the Forum and the IMF jointly backed the <a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/end-fossil-fuel-subsidies-economy-imf-georgieva-great-reset-climate/" target="_blank">transition to a green economy</a> and called for an end to fossil fuel subsidies.</p>
As if the surging cases of coronavirus weren't enough for Floridians to handle, now the state's Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed that a person in the Tampa area tested positive for a rare brain-eating amoeba, according to CBS News. The Florida DOH posted a warning to residents to remind them of the dangers of the rare single-celled amoeba that attacks brain tissue.
Scientists are urging the WHO to revisit their coronavirus guidance to focus more on airborne transmission and less on hand sanitizer and hygiene. John Lund / Photodisc / Getty Images
The World Health Organization (WHO) is holding the line on its stance that the respiratory droplets of the coronavirus fall quickly to the floor and are not infectious. Now, a group of 239 scientists is challenging that assertion, arguing that the virus is lingering in the air of indoor environments, infecting people nearby, as The New York Times reported.
- Summer Heat Won't Kill the Coronavirus, New Study Says - EcoWatch ›
- Here's Why COVID-19 Can Spread So Easily at Gyms and Fitness ... ›
- Is the New Coronavirus Airborne? A Study From China Finds Evidence ›
Along the northern shores of the Gulf of Mexico, oysters live in coastal estuaries where saltwater and freshwater meet and mix.
- Hurricanes, Water Wars Threaten New High-End Oyster Industry on ... ›
- 'Dead Zone' Predicted for Gulf of Mexico ›
- The Gulf Oyster Situation Is Very Bad, But There's Hope - EcoWatch ›
Scores of people remained stranded in southern Japan on Sunday after heavy rain the day before caused deep flooding and mudslides that left at least 34 people confirmed or presumed dead.
Care Home Inundated<p>Altogether 16 residents at an elderly care home in Kuma Village are presumed dead after the facility was flooded by water and mud.</p><p>Fifty-one other residents have been rescued by boats and taken to hospitals for treatment, officials said.</p><p>Eighteen other people elsewhere have been confirmed dead, while more than a dozen others were still missing as of Sunday afternoon.</p><p>The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said many others were still waiting to be rescued from other inundated areas.</p><p>Hitoyoshi City was also badly affected by flooding, as rains in the prefecture exceeded 100 millimeters (4 inches) per hour at their height.</p>
More Rain Forecast<p>The disaster in the Kumamoto prefecture on Kyushu island is the worst natural catastrophe since Typhoon Hagibis in October last year, which cost the lives of 90 people.</p><p>Although residents in Kumamoto prefecture were advised to evacuate their homes following the downpours on Friday evening into Saturday, many people chose not to leave for fear of contracting the coronavirus.</p><p>Officials say, however, that measures are in place at shelters to prevent the transmission of the disease.</p><p>More rain is predicted in the region, and the Japan Meteorological Agency has warned of the danger of further mudslides.</p>
- 900,000 Forced to Evacuate Due to Flooding in Japan - EcoWatch ›
- Typhoon Slams Into Flood-Ravaged Japan - EcoWatch ›
- Historic Floods in Japan Kill More Than 100, Force Millions to Flee ... ›