Environment

Réchauffement climatique : le GIEC sonne à nouveau l'alarme (French only)
Publish Date: 31-MAR-2014 11:07 AM
Le réchauffement climatique mondial représente une menace croissante pour la santé, les perspectives économiques, de même que pour l'alimentation et les ressources en eau douce de milliards d'habitants, selon le dernier rapport du Groupe d'experts intergouvernemental sur l'évolution du climat (GIEC).  
 
25 years later, Exxon Valdez spill effects linger
Publish Date: 20-MAR-2014 02:53 PM
Twenty five years later, most of the species have recovered but some wildlife, as well as the people who live in the region, are still struggling. 
 
Cabinet shuffle: Greg Rickford may be less abrasive than predecessor in natural resources job
Publish Date: 19-MAR-2014 02:49 PM
Greg Rickford’s appointment as the federal natural resources minister could signal a change in tone as the government tries to overcome opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline and other energy and mining projects. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Rickford was taking over the natural resources portfolio from Joe Oliver, who has become the finance minister following Jim Flaherty’s surprise resignation. 
 
Echoes of Walkerton in Environment Canada cuts
Publish Date: 19-MAR-2014 02:43 PM
Albert Einstein’s well-known definition of insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” is unsettlingly relevant to a new round of federal government cuts. The latest slashing of Environment Canada, which by 2016 will have half the budget it had in 2007, calls to mind a series of deep cuts to environmental protections in Ontario in the late 1990s. Some of the players are even the same, so they cannot reasonably claim to be ignorant of the tragic consequences. 
 
Federal funding cuts to science felt in university research labs
Publish Date: 19-MAR-2014 02:39 PM
Changes to scientific funding at the federal level are taking their toll on the work done in some University of Western Ontario research labs. Christopher Pin — an associate professor in the university’s department of pediatrics, oncology, and physiology and pharmacology — has experienced the repercussions first-hand as grants available through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) shrink. 
 
Seven Steps Back for Canada’s Natural Defence
Publish Date: 19-MAR-2014 02:32 PM
Canada once was an active environmental leader, helping coax other nations into such landmark international measures to protect the planet as the Montreal Protocol to defend the ozone layer. That was then. This is now. Canada walked away from the Kyoto Protocol in 2011. Now, the Montreal Protocol appears to be one of seven important international conventions to prevent the spread of hazardous toxins and other pollutants that the Conservative government quit "engaging" on in recent years.  
 
Obama Turns to Web to Illustrate the Effects of a Changing Climate
Publish Date: 19-MAR-2014 02:29 PM
President Obama wants Americans to see how climate change could deluge or destroy their own backyards — and to make it as easy as opening a web-based app. As part of an effort to make the public see global warming as a tangible and immediate problem, the White House on Wednesday inaugurated a website, climate.data.gov, aimed at turning scientific data about projected droughts and wildfires and the rise in sea levels into eye-catching digital presentations that can be mapped using simple software apps. The project is the brainchild of Mr. Obama’s counselor, John D. Podesta, and the White House science adviser, John P. Holdren. 
 
Scientists Sound Alarm on Climate
Publish Date: 18-MAR-2014 02:11 PM
Early in his career, a scientist named Mario J. Molina was pulled into seemingly obscure research about strange chemicals being spewed into the atmosphere. Within a year, he had helped discover a global environmental emergency, work that would ultimately win a Nobel Prize. Now, at 70, Dr. Molina is trying to awaken the public to an even bigger risk. He spearheaded a committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society, which released a stark report Tuesday on global warming. The report warns that the effects of human emissions of heat-trapping gases are already being felt, that the ultimate consequences could be dire, and that the window to do something about it is closing. 
 
Scientists map seafloor for future offshore drilling
Publish Date: 17-MAR-2014 02:06 PM
Canadian researchers, in partnership with scientists from the USA and Korea, are busy laying the groundwork for exploratory offshore drilling in the Beaufort Sea. More than 100 scientists, technicians and crew members took part in a Canada-Korea-USA Arctic research expedition in September, whose preliminary findings were presented to a crowd of more than 30 at Aurora College in Inuvik last Wednesday. Their main goal: to ensure offshore drilling happens in a safe and responsible way. 
 
Facing Millions in Cuts, Environment Canada Prepares to Get Lean
Publish Date: 15-MAR-2014 09:39 AM
The Harper government's plan for Environment Canada, the department tasked with coordinating the country's environmental policies and programs, involves millions of dollars in cuts and hundreds of job losses over the next three years. The cuts are outlined in a newly-released 2014/15 report on plans and priorities for the department, along with government rhetoric that promises "a clean, safe and sustainable environment while supporting economic prosperity." 
 
Fish Farm Pesticides Closer
Publish Date: 14-MAR-2014 10:35 AM
A federal law deemed a “critical impediment” to aquaculture by the Department of Fisheries has been assigned to Environment Canada. The transfer is seen as a step to legalizing fish farmers’ use of pesticides. Cabinet ordered the transfer of the Fisheries Act Section 36 that forbids dumping of chemicals into habitat. Fisheries managers had complained of “fuzziness” over the law that restricted aquaculture companies from treating species with chemicals, and proposed it be legalized and regulated similar to crop sprays. 
 
Feds investigate pipeline company after Alberta spill report
Publish Date: 14-MAR-2014 10:30 AM
The federal government is investigating laying charges against a U.S.-based pipeline company after a damning report by an Alberta regulator into a 2012 spill. "Environment Canada’s Enforcement Branch has an ongoing investigation into this incident to determine if a contravention of federal environmental legislation has occurred, and continues to work in cooperation with provincial regulatory authorities," said department spokesman Mark Johnson. Alberta is also looking into whether charges will be laid under provincial legislation. 
 
If we really cared about endangered species
Publish Date: 12-MAR-2014 10:18 AM
Of 345 species at risk in Canada, more than 160 have waited far too long for recovery strategies. Thanks to a recent federal court decision, four luckier ones are finally getting overdue plans detailing steps needed to save and protect them, including identifying habitat they need to survive. But to make it happen, environmental groups such as the David Suzuki Foundation had to take the federal government to court. It wasn’t the first time we’ve gone to court to protect wildlife.  
 
Environment Canada braces for cuts to climate programs
Publish Date: 12-MAR-2014 10:15 AM
Canada’s efforts to combat climate change could be scaled down as Environment Canada braces for more budgetary belt-tightening over the next three years. A recently released report on Environment Canada’s plans and priorities reveals the department plans to reduce spending from $1.01 billion in 2014-2015 to $698.8 million in 2016-2017.  
 
Il faudrait 83 ans pour tout restaurer (French only)
Publish Date: 11-MAR-2014 09:58 AM
Résultat de décennies de négligence environnementale, les sites miniers abandonnés continueront longtemps de faire partie du paysage québécois. Si Québec continue les travaux de restauration au rythme actuel, il ne faudra pas moins de 83 ans pour venir à bout de cet héritage toxique, pour un coût dépassant le milliard de dollars. Et la facture sera assumée uniquement par les contribuables. 
 
Time’s up? Federal government could run out of Radarsat-2 data unless it finds more money
Publish Date: 10-MAR-2014 10:10 AM
The Canadian government is quickly using up its allotment of surveillance time on the country’s most sophisticated satellite and could find itself doing without by 2017 unless it comes up with more money, according to Department of National Defence documents. Federal departments were to receive $445 million worth of data collected by the Radarsat-2 satellite in exchange for the government’s financial contribution to the building of the satellite, which is owned and operated by a British Columbia company. But the spacecraft has become so essential, particularly for the military’s surveillance of the country’s coastline, that the federal government is fast using up its data credits. 
 
Enbridge peut aller de l’avant avec l’inversion du pipeline (French only)
Publish Date: 07-MAR-2014 09:50 AM
Cinq ans plus tard, ce rêve — ou cauchemar, scandent les groupes environnementaux — est devenu réalité. Près de 15 mois après le dépôt d’une demande officielle, le groupe albertain Enbridge a le feu vert pour inverser le flot d’écoulement de son pipeline Québec-Ontario, appelé communément « Ligne 9 », de manière à transporter vers l’est le pétrole issu des sables bitumineux. 
 
Enbridge Line 9 pipeline reversal approved by energy board
Publish Date: 06-MAR-2014 09:04 AM
The National Energy Board has approved energy giant Enbridge's plan to reverse the flow and increase the capacity of a pipeline that has been running between southern Ontario and Montreal for years. The green light for the Calgary-based company is subject to certain conditions and requirements.  
 
Feu vert à l’inversion du pipeline Enbridge vers Montréal (French only)
Publish Date: 06-MAR-2014 08:58 AM
L'Office national de l'énergie a donné son feu vert à l'inversion du pipeline 9 d'Enbridge vers Montréal, jeudi. L'organisme réglementaire a publié une décision de près de 200 pages en toute fin de journée pour confirmer sa décision. Enbridge peut donc inverser le flux de son oléoduc de 639 kilomètres entre North Westover et Montréal, qui coule actuellement d'Est en Ouest. La compagnie pourra aussi hausser la capacité de la conduite de 240 000 barils par jour à 300 000. 
 
No global warming ‘hiatus’ for extreme heat days
Publish Date: 26-FEB-2014 09:08 AM
The number and intensity of extremely hot days has been increasing steadily despite a "pause" in the rise of average surface temperatures over the past 15 years, a new study has found. "This analysis shows that not only is there no pause in the evolution of the warmest daily extremes over land but that they have continued unabated over the observational record," said the paper published Wednesday in Nature Climate Change. "Furthermore, the available evidence suggests that the most 'extreme' extremes show the greatest change." The average global temperature is a common measure of climate change used by scientists and policymakers, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.