Category Archives: Environmental Advocacy

Save the Arctic!

 Greenpeace

Amazingly, in just one week we already have more than 330,000 signatures. But we’re doing more than circulating a petition, like sending our ships to the arctic to support research and raise awareness.

» Find out more


© Greenpeace

2012 supermarket seafood sustainability ranking released

We’ve released the fourth annual ranking of Canada’s eight largest supermarket chains on their seafood policies. While seven of the eight chains got a passing grade, Overwaitea is leading the pack. See how your supermarket ranks.

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The Great Bear Rainforest
needs your help!

Demand the B.C. government keep their promises to safeguard one of the world’s the last intact coastal temperate rainforests from unsustainable logging, oil pipelines and supertankers.

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© Greenpeace

Calling all photographers!

Enter our 2013 calendar photo contest. Submit your best images of Canadian wildlife and landscapes for a chance to appear in our annual desk calendar, sent out to thousands of our supporters every year.

» Enter now


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MELTING ARCTIC

The Arctic ice we all depend on is disappearing. Fast.

In the last 30 years, we’ve lost as much as three-quarters of the floating ice cap at the top of the world. The volume of that sea ice measured by satellites in the summer, when it reaches its smallest, has shrunk so fast that scientists say it’s now in a ‘death spiral’.

For over 800,000 years, ice has been a permanent feature of the Arctic ocean. It’s melting because of our use of dirty fossil fuel energy, and in the near future it could be ice free for the first time since humans walked the Earth. This would be not only devastating for the people, polar bears, narwhals, walruses and other species that live there – but for the rest of us too.

The ice at the top of the world reflects much of the sun’s heat back into space and keeps our whole planet cool, stabilising the weather systems that we depend on to grow our food. Protecting the ice means protecting us all.

To save the Arctic, we have to act today. Sign now.

OIL DRILLINGA new Arctic oil rush is starting. Shell, BP, Exxon, Gazprom, Rosneft and others want to risk a devastating Arctic oil spill for only three years’ worth of oil. The same dirty energy companies that caused the Arctic to melt in the first place are looking to profit from the disappearing ice. They want to open up a new oil frontier to get at a potential 90 billion barrels of oil. That’s a lot of money to them, but it’s only three years’ worth of oil to the world.

Previously classified government documents say dealing with oil spills in the freezing waters is “almost impossible” and inevitable mistakes would shatter the fragile Arctic environment.

To drill in the Arctic, oil companies have to drag icebergs out the way of their rigs and use giant hoses to melt floating ice with warm water. If we let them do this, a catastrophic oil spill is just a matter of time.

We’ve seen the extreme damage caused by the Exxon Valdez and Deepwater Horizon disasters – we cannot let this happen in the Arctic.

We need a ban on oil drilling in Arctic waters. Sign now.

INDUSTRIAL FISHING
Industrial fishing fleets are starting to trawl Arctic waters. Local people have fished sustainably in the Arctic for thousands of years, but that could be threatened if we let giant fishing companies exploit the Arctic ocean.

We need a ban on unsustainable industrial fishing in Arctic waters. Sign now.

Conflict
Arctic nations are preparing for possible conflict over the Arctic. As the Wikileaks cables show, the US has spoken of “increased military threats in the Arctic” and Russia has predicted “armed intervention” in the future.

Countries are spending billions on Arctic weaponry, threatening the long-term peace of the region. Nuclear-powered ice-breakers, submarines and fighter jets are being purchased by Arctic states with overlapping claims on the area around the North Pole.

The best way to maintain the peace there is to make its resources off-limits. That’s why we’re campaigning for a global sanctuary and a ban on oil drilling and industrial fishing.

Just like in Antarctica, we need an Arctic Ocean dedicated to peace and science.

No country owns the Arctic. It should stay that way. Sign now.

YOU CAN SAVE THE ARCTIC
There is no government or army to protect the Arctic, only countries and companies looking to carve it up. Help us plant a Flag for the Future at the North Pole. There are seven billion of us on our planet. Each and every one of us is affected by the health of the Arctic: by reflecting the sun’s rays off its ice, the Arctic shapes our weather patterns and the food we grow and eat.

But the Arctic is the frontline of our warming climate – heating up twice as fast as anywhere else. It’s also the frontline of the oil industry – one of the dirty, dead fuels responsible for the melting in the first place.

By stopping the new oil rush in the Arctic we are creating the conditions for a radical change in how we power our lives, accelerating the clean energy revolution that will fuel the future for our children.

We know we’re going up against the most powerful countries and companies in the world.

But together we have something stronger than any country’s military or any company’s budget. Our shared concern for the planet we leave our children transcends all the borders that divide us and makes us – together – the most powerful force today.

That is why we’re taking your name – and a million others – to the North Pole with a Flag for the Future designed by the youth of the world. It will show that our shared vision of a green, peaceful, healthy planet depends on an Arctic protected by us all.

But the flag is only a symbol. We’ll be taking your voice to every political leader in the world to ask them where they stand on the Arctic. One by one, as our movement gathers momentum, we’ll turn towards the United Nations, where we’ll demand a global deal to protect the Arctic.

30 years ago we launched a similar campaign to protect the Antarctic. Nobody thought we would succeed, but we did, and we created a world park around the South Pole.

Now the Arctic is calling.

Save The Arctic. Sign now.
TARGET:
1,000,000
190,057 HAVE SIGNED

Yes! Let’s declare a global sanctuary in the Arctic
Come with us to the North Pole. When we reach 1 million signatures we’ll plant your name and a Flag for the Future on the bottom of the ocean at the top of the world.
© 2012 Greenpeace International. All rights reserved.

At Rio+20, We’re all Missing the Point!

By David Suzuki (excerpted)
“Representatives from more than 150 nations gathered in Rio de Janeiro the week of June 21 for Rio+20, also known as United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. There’s lots of talk. We’ve been hearing about the green economy, the business opportunities of including the environment in financial transactions, the need for technological innovation to overcome major ecological challenges, the financial mechanisms needed to spur innovation and proper corporate behaviour to move toward a sustainable future.
We heard it all before in 1992, when Agenda 21, a massive blueprint for a sustainable future, was adopted and soon after spurned by most rich nations because it cost too much (0.7 per cent of annual national GDP).
Once again, delegates have arrived with expense accounts and fancy hotel accommodations to discuss yet another statement, building on the failed statements of the past while the world confronts a biosphere even more severely damaged by millions of acres of destroyed forests, two billion more people, and atmospheric carbon concentrations nearing tipping-point levels. In 1992, 1,700 senior scientists from around the world and more than half of all Nobel prize winners alive at the time released a document called World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity, which stated, “No more than one or a few decades remain before the chance to avert the threats we now confront will be lost and the prospects for humanity immeasurably diminished.”
Despite the urgency of the plea, the international community has failed to respond adequately. Humans have reached, or perhaps exceeded critical tipping points in disrupting some of Earth’s great cycles (carbon, nitrogen, water) and have torn at ecosystem and species diversity that are the key to cleansing and replenishing the atmosphere, water and soil.
In all the political posturing and lobbying by corporations, there is simply no comprehension of what the real crisis is: We humans have become so numerous and technologically powerful, so impatiently demanding and servile to a destructive global economy built on a corporate agenda, that we are undermining the life support systems of Earth.”

Read the full article:

Greenpeace Billboard Banned in Edmonton

STOP the Enbridge “Northern Gateway” tar sands pipeline!

PLEASE ADD YOUR NAME TO SAVE OUR COAST – CLICK THE LINK BELOW:

 

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/#banner

Tar sands | Greenpeace Canada

Tar sands

 

Aerial view of Syncrude Aurora tar sands mine in the Boreal Forest north of Fort McMurray. © Greenpeace / Jiri Rezac

Greenpeace is calling on oil companies and the Canadian government to stop the tar sands and end the industrialization of a vast area of Indigenous territories, forests and wetlands in northern Alberta.

The tar sands are huge deposits of bitumen, a tar-like substance that’s turned into oil through complex and energy-intensive processes that cause widespread environmental damage. These processes pollute the Athabasca River, lace the air with toxins and convert farmland into wasteland. Large areas of the Boreal forest are clearcut to make way for development in the tar sands, the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.

Greenpeace is also concerned with the social and health costs of the tar sands. First Nations communities in the tar sands report unusually high levels of rare cancers and autoimmune diseases. Their traditional way of life is threatened. Substance abuse, suicide, gambling and family violence have increased in the tar sands. Meanwhile, the thousands of workers brought in by oil companies face a housing crisis in northern Alberta.

Enbridge Inc.’s tar sands tanker pipeline proposal threatens to allow a 30 per cent expansion in tar sands development. Enbridge’s tar sands pipeline would span 1,170 kilometres from Hardisty, Alberta to Kitimat, in the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia. Over the past decade, Enbridge’s own pipelines spilled an average of more than once a week. The pipeline would cross over 1,000 rivers and streams and the Rocky Mountains on the way to B.C.’s pristine coastline. The pipeline would bring more than 200 crude oil tankers through some of the world’s most treacherous waters each year.

 

How Greenpeace works to stop the tar sands
  • Pressuring governments: The governments of Alberta and Canada actively promote tar sands development and ignore international commitments Canada has made to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Through direct action, we draw international attention to government climate crimes in the tar sands and demand change.
  • Educating shareholders: We meet with Canadian and international shareholders in oil companies and discuss the investment risks associated with the tar sands.
  • Working with impacted communities: We reach out to landowners and First Nations affected by the tar sands and stand in solidarity with them.

Canada’s environmental laws are under attack by both the federal and Ontario governments.

By David Suzuki, June 12, 2012

In Ottawa, the government introduced Bill C-38 to implement far-reaching measures announced in its budget. Ontario’s government introduced a similar omnibus bill with profound implications for the environment.

The 420-page Bill C-38 will gut a raft of federal laws passed over the years to ensure that our air, water, and most vulnerable wildlife populations are protected. Casualties include the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, Fisheries Act, Species at Risk Act, National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy Act, and the Kyoto Implementation Act.

In a surprisingly similar action, the government of Ontario recently introduced Bill 55. The 327-page bill seriously affects no less than six important resource and wildlife laws, with amendments that strike at the heart of Ontario’s Endangered Species Act and other vital environmental legislation. These changes would reduce the level of protection and undermine public management of cherished forests, lakes, and rivers and the immeasurable benefits they provide.

When Ontario introduced its Endangered Species Act in 2007, legal experts and advocates lauded it as one of the strongest environmental laws in North America. Ontario’s leadership was commendable, as it established a strong legal benchmark to protect wildlife at risk in the province, such as caribou, snapping turtles, and rare Carolinian forests, only a few years before the world came together to celebrate the 2010 United Nations International Year of Biodiversity.

Although biodiversity loss receives less attention than issues such as climate change, it threatens the very life-support systems of our planet: clear air, clean water, and productive soil. This is not a problem of some far off tropical rainforest nation or our overfished oceans. Scientists say Ontario is particularly vulnerable to biodiversity decline and has a global responsibility for stewardship.

A study in the renowned scientific journal The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences identified the boreal forest (which makes up more than 40 percent of Ontario) as the biome on the planet most vulnerable to damage from industrial activities and the effects of human-caused global warming. The study’s authors showed that in recent years these areas have lost more forest cover to resource development and natural disturbances exacerbated by human-caused climate change than any other biome on the planet—including tropical rainforests such as the Amazon.

By weakening its Endangered Species Act—eliminating legal timelines for the development of species recovery strategies, creating loopholes for resource industries like forestry and mining, and further limiting legal protection of endangered wildlife on private lands—Ontario will be unprepared to cope with ongoing threats to its precious ecosystems and biodiversity, such as urban sprawl, the spread of invasive species, and climate change.

The federal government has justified its efforts to eviscerate environmental laws by cynically claiming that caring for nature is a barrier to economic prosperity. But this ideologically driven agenda will harm our nation and undermine the future for our children. We can’t hope to have healthy economies and communities in Ontario or the rest of Canada without healthy ecosystems and species diversity.

Species and ecosystem losses affect production of valuable economic commodities like food, timber, and medicines, and compromise many ecological services that sustain the health and well-being of our communities. Nature helps regulate climate, disease outbreaks, and wastes; provides aesthetic, recreational, and spiritual value; and supports services such as nutrient cycling and water purification.

A recent study by the David Suzuki Foundation found that biodiversity in Ontario’s Greenbelt alone helps to filter, store, and regulate drinking water for millions of people in the Greater Toronto Area—a service worth over $1 billion a year that saves cash-strapped municipalities hundreds of millions in capital costs just to upgrade water infrastructure.

The health of our air, water, and most vulnerable wildlife populations are too important to be treated so callously. The government of Ontario must withdraw the proposed amendments to its Endangered Species Act and other environmental laws.

The environment can’t simply be a fair-weather friend for politicians running for election. True leadership means committing to the long haul and ensuring that air, water, land, and wildlife are protected now and into the future in Ontario and across Canada.

Written with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Terrestrial Conservation and Science Program director Faisal Moola.

Learn more at www.davidsuzuki.org.