The Georgia Straight By Eoin Madden September 11, 2014
I remember the day I first got word that something big was coming for all of us seeking an opportunity to stand up and demand action on climate change. I was chatting with an organizer from 350.org – a group cofounded by author and environmentalist Bill McKibben – and he looked at me with the resignation of someone who knew he was about to get very, very busy. He said, “Bill thinks we should create the biggest climate march in history.”
I knew then that I wanted to do my bit to make that wish come true, through a global solidarity event that has now become known as the “People’s Climate March”.
For many Canadians, the mention of mining may not cause concern. Yet a catastrophe such as the one unfolding at Imperial Metal's Mount Polley mine in B.C. raises serious questions. On Aug. 4, 2014, approximately 10 billion litres of waste water and five billion litres of tailings waste escaped the dam at the gold and copper mine, polluting creeks, tributaries, lakes and the local watershed, and important fish habitat of salmon and rainbow trout. The ongoing saga of the Mount Polley tailings-pond breach gives us cause to reflect on the effects of mining in Manitoba.
How would you feel if you were walking in a provincial park and a logging truck rumbled by, or if you were barbequing with friends in a protected area and the sudden whine of steel-cutting saws from pipeline construction disrupted the peace and quiet?
While these examples may seem far-fetched, in today’s British Columbia they are becoming a reality.
Sometimes it's easy to forget about what climate change will eventually mean for you or your neighbours. But coastal towns like Squamish are acutely exposed to the costs of climate change: a federal government report states that B.C.’s timber losses could range from $500 million to $3 billion, and that flooding protection costs would rise to more than $2,000 per person by 2050.
Another spring, another attempt to hand over logging rights to private interests in B.C.
The B.C. government is reviving its push to convert Crown forest lands from volume-based (usually known as Timber Supply Areas, or TSAs) to area-based tenures (Tree Farm Licences or TFLs). Area-based tenures give more control to the tenure holder, and less to the Ministry of Forests, essentially creating a system that resembles private management on public land.
The Georgia Straight By Torrance Coste and Caitlyn Vernon May 5, 2014
As the scientific evidence has mounted, public recognition of climate change as the main environmental challenge of our time has increased dramatically in recent years.
And yet our political leaders appear not to have recognized this reality. Instead, they are looking to move us in the opposite direction, toward more fossil fuel exploitation and accelerated global warming.
A couple of weeks ago our office at the Wilderness Committee had erupted in a rising babble of excited disbelief. All around me people were frantically logging on to their computers to get confirmation of some seemingly impossible news.