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The latest measurements of the hole in the Ozone layer over the Antarctic put it at approximately th

Posted October 31, 2014 by Ria Misra

The latest measurements of the hole in the Ozone layer over the Antarctic put it at approximately the size of North America. Though that’s certainly still a considerably-sized hole at 9 million square miles, NASA reports that the overall measurement h…

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Imagine A World Without the Oil Sands

Posted October 30, 2014 by Jodi Shaw

Mommy why is gas important? That’s the question my 8 year old asked me when we were discussing a friend of ours moving. They are moving to a new house with natural gas stove and fireplaces. I explained to my LO that without oil or gas we couldn’t do the everyday things we both love […]

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Welcome, Dropping Oil Prices!

Posted October 28, 2014 by Stephen Elliott-Buckley

So, expensive oil made the tarsands and LNG more financially attractive if not climate-destroying. We know this because…science! Unless you are a science-denier. But even with and prices AND demand dropping, we are seeing the makings of a real flattening of long-term stability in demand that can fundamentally undermine the BC Liberal Party’s ignorance-embracing lust […]

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Social Network Analysis of the Obesity Research Boot Camp

Posted October 24, 2014 by Arya M. Sharma, MD

Regular readers may recall that for the past nine years, I have had the privilege and pleasure of serving as faculty of the Canadian Obesity Network’s annual Obesity Research Summer Bootcamp. The camp is open to a select group of graduate and post-graduate trainees from a wide range of disciplines with an interest in obesity research. […]

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The Cultural Drivers and Context of Obesity

Posted October 21, 2014 by Arya M. Sharma, MD

In my continuing review of not too recent publications on obesity, I found this one by Hortense Powdermaker, Professor of Anthropology, Queens College, Flushing, New York, published in the Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine in 1960. The following quotes could all have been written last week: “We eat too much. We have too […]

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Transportation After Fossil Fuels: A Decade Away?

Posted October 20, 2014 by Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Once upon a time, I rode the maglev at the Japan pavilion at Expo 86. Since then, I’ve come to see that that was the Commodore Vic 20 of high speed travel. What’s the new standard? ET3. So if you’ve been having a hard time imagining a post-carbon transportation system that would run on the […]

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Green leaders keep Barrie clean

Posted October 17, 2014 by Erich Jacoby-Hawkins
Have you ever sprung into clean? Every April on a weekend near Earth Day, Barrie residents “Spring Into Clean” through community litter clean-ups, tidying parks, schoolyards, parking lots, roadsides, and other areas where litter accumulates. Living Green pioneered this activity in 2003 when the Georgian College student group Responsible Adventure Travel Society (R.A.T.S.) contacted us about doing a waterfront clean-up right around the same time that Tim Horton’s contacted us about sponsoring one, so we brought them together and got the City’s permission to coordinate a clean-up along Centennial Beach. The event grew by leaps & bounds, more sponsors came on board, and Living Green handed over coordination to the City of Barrie and moved on to start more new initiatives (the latest being FruitShare Barrie).

But litter doesn’t wait for spring, so the City also has the Adopt-a-Park or Trail program, which allows individuals or groups to take on spring and fall clean-ups of any city-owned park or trail. Your group can adopt here, or you can join in with an existing adoption, for example, Living Green has adopted Queen’s Park and the Barrie Green Party has adopted Kidd’s Creek Trail at Sunnidale Park.

Barrie Greens are crazy about collecting litter!
In fact, this Sunday, October 19th, marks a special anniversary for the Barrie Greens’ adoption of Kidd’s Creek: this will be the 10th year we tidy it up, having started the adoption process way back in the spring of 2005. To help us celebrate, Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner will take a break from trying to clean up politics and instead join us to clean up this wonderful green space in Barrie.

This is the first of two Green Party leader visits to Barrie; the second will be when federal leader Elizabeth May presents her new book at the Southshore Centre on November 22nd. (Watch this space for more info about this exciting visit.) Green leaders like to visit Barrie because of our enthusiastic support: in the past 11 years, the Barrie riding has consistently shown about 50% higher Green support than the provincial or national average and been in the top 10% of Green vote results.

This clean-up is now a long-term tradition with us; photogenic Barrie Greens at work are even featured prominently in the City’s official Adopt-a-Park/Trail brochure. We’ve found some pretty startling things alongside the normal litter: bikes and shopping carts (both functional and junked), waterlogged down comforters, wheel rims, tires, and clothing, to name a few. Getting this garbage out of the stream and forest is an important way to help nature thrive in our urban surroundings.

You can be a part of this, too! Our clean-ups are always open to the public, and are great fun for the whole family. Meet us at the Dorian Parker Centre at Sunnidale Park this Sunday morning at 10 and join us for 2 hours of tidying, then we’ll treat you to lunch! You also get to roll up your sleeves and get down & dirty with a provincial party leader; how cool is that? Dress for the weather and wear something tough and waterproof on your feet; we’ll provide gloves and trash bags. See you there!

Published as my Root Issues column in the Barrie Examiner as “A variety of community clean-ups to choose from
Erich Jacoby-Hawkins is a director of Living Green and the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation
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How To Stop Deliberate Fouling of Aquifers by Frackers

Posted October 16, 2014 by Ian Welsh

Yup: Industry illegally injected about 3 billion gallons of fracking wastewater into central California drinking-water and farm-irrigation aquifers, the state found after the US Environmental Protection Agency ordered a review of possible contamination. According to documents obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity, the California State Water Resources Board found that at least nine of [...]

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Naomi Klein’s logic “suffers from a rootless dislocation from history, philosophy and science”

Posted October 3, 2014 by JR

Terence Corcoran reviews Naomi Klein’s new climate-revolution/kill-capitalism manifesto:

Parts … make for damn good reading. … [b]ut the good bits are not enough to salvage This Changes Everything, a 560-page call-to-arms in which Ms. Klein proposes to overthrow four centuries of Enlightenment-driven human achievement.

A major Klein target is Richard Branson, the media-darling head of Virgin Group …

Other green billionaries skewered are Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg and T. Boone Pickens, each of whom has a history of cozying up to the climate issue while their feet remained firmly planted in the fossil fuel world.

… her best putdowns are directed at the “pro-business environmentalists,” a Who’s Who of green activists who parade through a chapter sub-titled “The Disastrous Merger of Big Business and Big Green.”

The book’s real objective is to blame the looming climate threat on the greatest intellectual, philosophical, scientific and economic transformation in history.

The logic behind the climate mass revolt advocated by Ms. Klein suffers from a rootless dislocation from history, philosophy and science. It may also be totally dislocated from the world’s human beings, who remain, after many millennia, ever keen to improve their lives on Earth through continued and increasing dominance of nature.

 Klein’s advocacy of radical bottom-up popular revolution against governments and corporations, free markets and capitalism is a recipe for the collapse of the system that made possible unprecedented human advances. Along with that collapse would surely come political and economic chaos and the death, by starvation and war, of billions. Klein, like most of the radical eco-left, is a foolish, dangerous demagogue.

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We must Act to make polluters pay

Posted September 5, 2014 by Erich Jacoby-Hawkins
What if you went to a public beach, were careful to pick up and take away any trash you created, but the people next to you left a pile of garbage? And what if their excuse was “well, we pay parking fees and taxes that go toward cleaning the beach, so it’s our right to litter”. Would you accept that, or should they get fined?

I know how I feel, and I hope you feel the same: people must be responsible for the cost of cleaning up their own mess. It’s not fair to make us pay, through taxes or other burdens, for the garbage of others. That includes the trash from making and packaging the consumer products we buy.

Yet right now, much of the cost of taking your garbage away from the curb is paid out of general property tax, regardless of how much actual trash you do, or don’t, toss. The same goes for recycling. That means those who make the most waste are subsidized by the taxes of those who make the least. Yet this can easily be fixed, and if Ontario’s Waste Reduction Act is re-introduced and passed, we’ll be well on the way to having waste pay for itself.

Franke James was Banned on the Hill for saying this!
This legislation would replace the much-maligned and ineffective industry-managed “eco fees” we’ve had to pay for several years. It makes good sense for consumers to pre-pay the cost of disposal of the products they buy, and the related packaging. But under the current system, a standard fee applies, with no regard to how much or little waste the particular manufacturer creates, which means no incentive to choose greener producers. So if ACME is wasteful but Zenith is green, you pay the same eco-fee for a TV from either.

Under the new system, ACME will pay for their own wasteful ways while Zenith will save, passing that on to you in the price. Affordable Zenith TVs will fly off the shelves while overpriced ACME ones get dusty. All producers who reduce waste or packaging will have more sales and profit while wasteful ones will dwindle.

Sadly, this Act didn’t pass before the recent provincial election. But on our behalf and at the suggestion of Canadians for Clean Prosperity, last week Barrie’s City Council passed a resolution for the government to re-introduce it. Contact your MPP and add your personal voice to this request.

When polluters get out of paying for their harms, the costs fall on the rest of us, in the form of higher taxes and other financial burdens. Changing the rules to harness the power of competition to make our economy greener will lower our taxes, reduce waste, and spur innovation leading to high-quality jobs right here at home. No more subsidizing pollution and job stagnation! Make polluters pay, so they compete to pollute less!

Oh, and a special nod goes out to Pizzaville Barrie South, who took up my challenge last week and will now be donating pizza for blood donors on Tuesday & Thursday afternoons, joining Toppers who donates Thursday lunch. Hurray for our bloody generous local Barrie businesses!

Published as my Root Issues column in the Barrie Examiner.
Erich Jacoby-Hawkins is a director of Living Green and the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation
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Posted July 23, 2014 by Mulder

Oh, the irony. the pine tree planted in 2004 near Griffith Observatory in memory of George Harrison will be replanted shortly because the original tree died as the result of an insect infestation. Yes, the George Harrison Tree was killed by beetles

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Allan's Perspective

Saturday Morning Confusion #17

Posted July 19, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Folks, a lot of confusion about stuff like climate change, evolution, and a whole bunch of other scientific issues lately! This article discusses how equal time is not really appropriate for a clearly false or uninformed position! The metaphor that a coin has two sides is a powerful one, and the temptation to look at […]

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Allan's Perspective

Lets get things back into Perspective here! #1

Posted July 18, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Folks, let’s get things back into perspective here! Your humble and overworked reporter has to set things right on certain occasions, so we here at the Perspective Research Department, along with the staff at Naked News, are going to provide a regular feature here on called…………………………, LET’S GET THINGS BACK INTO PERSPECTIVE HERE! We […]

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Allan's Perspective

407 – ‘Common Sense Revolution’ in action!

Posted July 9, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Dear Readers, we got this in the mail today:: A lot of talk lately about what the provincial Liberals are going to do to Ontario now that they have a majority, but it can’t be any worse than what Mike Harris did to us back in may of 1999! The Common Sense Revolution in action: […]

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Allan's Perspective

Ford the Junkie?

Posted July 3, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Folks, all the local and national media outlets in Canada are suggesting that it’s time for Rob Ford to get out of politics ……….., but let’s face it, deep down they’re really glad he’s back! (Rob also said yesterday that he has tried a lot of different drugs, but never did heroin. Well, let’s face […]

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Allan's Perspective

Kardashian speak with forked tongue!

Posted June 24, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Dear Readers: Your ever humble, and much maligned reporter weeps for society! POLITICAL CORRECTNESS has gripped our land and the nuts are running the show kids! Reality TV star Khloe Kardashian has sparked outrage online after sporting a traditional Native American headdress to her niece’s lavish birthday bash.Listen boys and girls, if some asshole can […]

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Allan's Perspective

Dick Cheney is a real Dick!

Posted June 20, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Folks, I have said many times in the past that Dick Cheney is one person who who actually scares me! I can’t say he is totally evil since I don’t believe in the devil, but there is something fundamentally NASTY about him! And, after the disasters he got the United States into during Bush’s term, […]

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Allan's Perspective

“Assholes of the Day!”

Posted June 18, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Two! Count ‘em, Two for the price of one! The Government announced the approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline yesterday, which means thousands of jobs and billions of dollars pumped into our economy …., and both Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau came out against it! For playing politics, and jeopardizing the economic health of Canada, […]

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Salmon spawn in East Vancouver?

Posted November 12, 2013 by Darren

The other day–I can’t recall where–I read a story about salmon spawning in East Vancouver. It turns out that they spawn in Still Creek, near the…

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Climate Change

Place your Keystone bets

Posted July 5, 2013 by Nancy Leblanc

Joe Romm is betting it’s off:

Harder writes:
To the surprise of everyone outside the White House, Obama mentioned the pipeline in his speech. It was a politically savvy move for three reasons: 1) He called out the elephant in the room and thus avoided both criticism from groups like the Sierra Club and the subsequent media coverage of his omission; 2) He took ownership of the issue, showing everyone on every side of the fight he is personally involved; and 3) He shifted the debate over the pipeline from one of economics to one about the effects on climate change.

I agree with #2 and #3 — which is precisely why I think the speech makes it less likely he will approve Keystone. Obama owns KXL and he’s said the deciding factor is climate, not economics. As a new Scientific American article sums things up, “If built, the Keystone XL pipeline will be a spigot that speeds tar sands production, pushing the planet toward its emissions limit.”

And folks who have been around Washington politics a lot longer than I have think it would be very un-savvy to spend so much time laying out a strong moral case for climate action and then bringing up Keystone IF the president is planning on approving it. He would have been far better off not talking about Keystone at all in that case. As it is now, he will rightfully be called an extreme hypocrite if he ultimately opens the spigot to the dirty tar sands.

There’s no question Obama could approve Keystone, but I believe the smart money has shifted from betting he will to betting he won’t.

CTV was reporting that Peter Kent may be moving on and therefore would be out as Environment Minister. Not sure there’s much a new Canadian minister might do to sway the Obama administration but Keystone has got to be figuring into Harper’s thinking. Is Rempel, currently the Parliamentary Secretary to Kent, the one?

Whoever it is, they’re also going to have to deal with this burgeoning – and very warranted – focus on petcoke. This oil sands byproduct gained greater visibility recently given the Koch brothers’ piling of it on the Detroit waterfront to the discomfort of Windsorites looking on from across the river.

We, for the most part, won’t burn it for fuel due to its high emissions levels and the “Environmental Protection Agency will no longer allow any new licenses permitting the burning of petroleum coke in the United States.” So it is largely being shipped overseas to China and Mexico, nations that don’t care much about emissions levels. Shouldn’t we Canadians be concerned about that? Particularly if Keystone were to be approved, with the amounts of petcoke that will be produced.

Over to you, next Harper environment minister.

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Message from Ian Gartshore

Posted April 18, 2013 by davids

Ian Gartshore, the Green Party candidate in the British Columbia riding of Nanaimo, sent me this message.

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