Report Details How Extreme Energy Extraction Threatens the Great Lakes
Council of Canadians Chairperson Maude Barlow outlines the web of pipelines, refineries and oil shipments that threaten the Lakes in her new report released today entitled, Liquid Pipeline: Extreme Energy’s Threat to the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.
“We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg and only just beginning to understand the grave impacts these extreme energy projects are going to have on the Great Lakes,” said Barlow in her report. “We often see these projects approved piecemeal but we have to step back and think about how all these projects are going to affect the Lakes.”
“Enbridge is asking that the Alberta Clipper pipeline transport 800,000 barrels of oil per day, Calumet Specialty Products wants to ship millions of barrels of oil across Lakes and TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline cuts through the Great Lakes watershed,” Barlow continued. "If governments continue to allow projects like this, what are our lakes going to look like in 20 or 50 years?”
“Federal, state and provincial governments all say that we must protect the Great Lakes but they continue to approve these projects," said Emma Lui, water campaigner for the Council of Canadians. “The Harper government has gutted environmental legislation to grease the wheels for industry and fails to put adequate funding into Great Lakes protection.”
“These governments can no longer just pay lip-service," said Lui. “We want them to stop approving these extreme energy projects that are threatening the Lakes.”
The Liquid Pipeline report warns about the serious environmental implications of extreme energy extraction methods which are more water and energy intensive. Barlow says in her report: “The threat of extreme energy to the world’s vulnerable water supplies is very real. Large-scale water consumption combined with massive pollution from extraction methods are harming watersheds around the world. Extreme energy extraction, production and transport are about to put the Great Lakes of North America at risk.”
The Council of Canadians has launched an action alert calling on state governors and provincial premiers to ban extreme energy in the Great Lakes before it is too late.
Visit EcoWatch’s ENERGY page for more related news on this topic.
At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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