Thursday, December 17, 2009

BBC Polar Bear Song

The Polar Bear Song is catchy tune by science teacher Tom Rugg, which contains a gentle message about climate change. The Polar Bear Music Video forms part of the bbc wales green season of programming.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

One thousand sculptures meld in the sun

UK artist created thousands of ice sculptures to emphasis global warming. See more images at the Telegraph.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Carbon Capture and Water Saving Gardens

Wicking Beds are a new process of water conserving, plant growing from Australia.

To read more see

Another video

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Young Leaders' Summit on Northern Climate Change

Are you 18-30 years old? Are you concerned about climate change and what it means for the future? Do you want to make your voice heard and be part of the solution? The Young Leaders' Summit on Northern Climate Change is your opportunity!

August 17–20, 2009
Inuvik, Northwest Territories

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New Strawbale House at Craik

As the snow finally melts off the Prairie, a new house is being build in the Craik Enviro Village called Riverstone Studios. The foundation was poured in the shape of a three leaf clover last year and my understanding is it will offer two studios and a central living quarters.This house is using a post and beam construction different from the more basic straw bale wall without wood shown in a previous example. The first image shows three of the houses.

The next picture is a closeup of the construction on two of the sections.

Finally here is a picture of either a garage or a power generation station with solar panels in the roof that is behind the house.

I can't wait for my next trip to see how the houses are progressing.

Inspiring Action

The new GreenPeace video

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Nuclear Power: We have much better choices

Ryan Meili calls on NDP MLAs to oppose SaskParty uranium resolution.
On Thursday, the Saskatchewan Legislature will debate a motion by Meadow Lake MLA Jeremy Harrison supporting the development of nuclear generation in Saskatchewan. NDP leadership candidate Ryan Meili has issued the following statement.

The Wall government’s uranium resolution falsely frames the debate on nuclear energy and uranium development.

Nuclear power is not a viable solution to Saskatchewan’s energy needs. It is too expensive. It is too risky. It is too slow. We have much better choices.

I am calling on all 20 New Democratic Party MLAs to vote “no” on this misleading motion.

Nuclear power is being sold to us as a means to provide cheap energy, as a means of addressing immediate energy needs, even as a means of protecting our environment.
But none of these sales pitches are based on the facts.

• Nuclear power isn’t cheap. A nuclear reactor is a very expensive undertaking and the people of Saskatchewan will pay for it on their electricity bills for a long time to come, if it is allowed to be built. We pay 10 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity now. Whether its Bruce Power or SaskPower, no one will build a nuclear reactor in Saskatchewan for less than 20 cents per kilowatt hour – double the current price of electricity. That simple fact is why most private sector utilities in the United States have been avoiding nuclear power – they know there are too many hidden costs and that most nuclear power construction projects have huge cost over-runs. Add to that expensive repair bills, the high cost of disposing of radioactive nuclear fuel waste and the very high cost of decommissioning a radioactive reactor core. When compared to wind power at 11 cents per kilowatt hour and electricity conservation at less than 6 cents per kilowatt hour, nuclear power’s economics make no sense.

• Nuclear power puts our environment at risk. Yes, nuclear power can reduce the carbon footprint. But that assumed you ignore the massive carbon emissions involved in building the reactor – particularly if it is built in a remote area. A nuclear reactor will also produce intensely radioactive waste materials which no country on earth has successfully disposed of. Why should the next generation of Saskatchewan residents bear the burden of disposing of this radioactive waste material, with the worry that it must be kept out of ground water supplies for tens of thousands of years into the future.

• Nuclear power doesn’t address our immediate energy needs. Nuclear reactors are not designed and built quickly. Sites are not chosen quickly. Even if the process started today, it would be nearly 20 years before a proposed nuclear facility contributed a single watt to the energy grid.

Securing Saskatchewan's Energy Future

Ryan Meili's response to the energy motions

Earlier today, the Saskatchewan Legislature debated two motions regarding Saskatchewan’s energy future. NDP leadership candidate Ryan Meili has issued the following statement.

I want to commend House Leader Len Taylor and the NDP caucus for showing leadership in introducing a balanced resolution calling for wide-ranging consideration of all options, including energy conservation, in addressing Saskatchewan’s future energy needs and recognizing that energy choices have social and environmental impacts.

The Wall government's original resolution was written to create a false dichotomy where the issue was "nuclear: yes or no", intended to trap the caucus into looking either as though they were in favour of a reactor or blindly opposed to even considering it. This tactic from the Saskatchewan Party diverts our attention from the real matter at hand.

The Wall government has ignored our real energy challenges and done nothing to address climate change. They have dismantled the Climate Change Secretariat and depleted the Green Future Fund. They have made petty investments in carbon capture and ignored conservation or conversion to renewable sources of energy. Now they are beginning a process of mock consultation designed to come to a foregone conclusion: that a nuclear reactor is the only option for Saskatchewan.

In fact, there are more options – safer options, cheaper options and better options – to address Saskatchewan's long and short term energy requirements. I would welcome an open and honest debate about Saskatchewan's energy future. When considered alongside wind, solar, small-scale hydro and other renewable energy options, it will be clear that a nuclear power plant is simply not viable for Saskatchewan – it is too expensive, too risky and fails to meet our short or long term energy needs.

Frankly, the type of consideration the Wall government has in mind is a waste of time and money. A reactor in Saskatchewan has been considered many times. The answer is still no.

We can build an economically and environmentally sustainable energy industry in this province. We have incredible resources for the development of wind and solar power. We have a choice: demonstrate leadership and be at the forefront of renewable energy, or be stuck in the unsustainable answers of the past.

When Premier Wall is prepared to stop hiding behind wordplay and "independent" panels of nuclear industry apologists, when he is ready to engage in a real debate about Saskatchewan's energy future, Saskatchewan New Democrats will be ready.

The text of the Saskatchewan Party motion (Jeremy Harrison, Meadow Lake) is as follows:

That the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan supports the consideration of further value-added development of Saskatchewan’s uranium industry including nuclear power generation and recognizes the potential benefits to the growth and prosperity of the people of our province.

The text of the NDP motion (Len Taylor, The Battlefords) is as follows:

That the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan supports the consideration of the further value-added development of Saskatchewan’s energy industry including energy conservation, nuclear, solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and other alternative power generation, and as part of that consideration (which would obviously involve extensive public consultation) recognize not only the potential benefits to the growth and prosperity of the people of our province.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Google Earth and renewable energy

Two environmental groups have teamed up with Google in an effort to help steer renewable energy development away from sensitive areas, by utilizing Google Earth maps.

The National Audubon Society and the Natural Resources Defense Council on Wednesday unveiled the new tool –which is called the Path to Green Energy– and it’s available for the public to use. Read the full article

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Flicking The Lights Off

Earth Hour Parody

Why do we have so much trouble listening to Science?

"It's as if scientists know a bomb will go off, but can't find the right words to warn the people who might be able to defuse it." - Marlowe Hood

Read the article Climate change blues: how scientists cope from the Vancouver Sun.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Earth Hour March 28th, 8:30

"Earth Hour is a symbolic event. Turning off our lights for an hour won’t stop climate change but it does demonstrate that our individual action is important and adds up to make a big difference. More importantly, it sends a very powerful message to government and world leaders that people want policies and regulations put in place that can achieve meaningful emission reduction to help fight climate change."

Read more at Earth Hour Canada.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Climate scientists warn of "irreversible" climate shifts

CNN reports "The world is facing an increasing risk of "irreversible" climate shifts because worst-case scenarios warned of two years ago are being realized, an international panel of scientists has warned.

Drought, flooding, storms and mass extinction in the future will have a heavy social cost as well.
Temperatures, sea levels, acid levels in oceans and ice sheets were already moving "beyond the patterns of natural variability within which our society and economy have developed and thrived," scientists said in a report released Thursday.

The findings came at the end of a three-day conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, where nearly 2,000 researchers gathered to discuss climate change."

Read full article.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Great Tar Sands Debate

MUENSTER, ST PETER’S ABBEY – Michael Hall, Rm 101 Sunday / March 15 / 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.  Doors open at 1:00 pm
5 miles east of Humboldt, south side of Hwy 5 – use Parking Lot C For more information: please call Elaine Hughes (306-323-4938)
SASKATOON – Broadway Theatre – Broadway Ave. between 10th & 11th Streets Sunday / March 15 / 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.   Doors open at 6:30.
For more information: please call Nayda Veeman (244-0034).
SASKATOON – Uof S – Rm 241, Arts Bldg.
Monday / March 16 / 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.    Doors open at 3:00 For more information: please call Shannon Dyck (966-6970) ======================
SASKATOON – McNALLY ROBINSON BOOKSTORE – 8th St. at Circle Drive Monday / March 16 / 7:30 p.m.
PRINCE ALBERT  - Cuelenaere Public Library – 125-12th St. E.
Tuesday / March 17 / 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  Doors open 6:30 For more information: please call Rick Sawa (306) 922-3851 / (306)
NORTH BATTLEFORD – Chapel Gallery – 203 - 891 – 99th St.
(note:  this is the only location with a 7:30 pm start time) Wednesday / March 18 / 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.   Doors open at 7:00 (Going west toward the River, take the last left hand turn off South Railway Ave.) For more information: please call Reid Stewart (446-4512) ==========================
REGINA – U of R – Education Auditorium
Thursday / March 19 / 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  Doors open at 6:30 (enter campus on Kramer Blvd.  Education Auditorium is about 3 blocks in, on the left.) For more information: please call Don Narine (527-4566).
MOOSE JAW – MJ Public Library
Friday / March 20 / 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.  Doors open at 11:30 For more information: please call Larissa Shasko ( 692-7925 / 684-3463)

SWIFT CURRENT – Great Plains College
Friday / March 20 / 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.  Doors open at 3:00

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Why I'm going to work for Ryan Meili

Ryan Meili is running for the NDP leadership in June. He is a family doctor and community organizer; for years, he has been working to build healthier communities in Saskatchewan. Currently employed as a rural relief locum, Ryan’s job as a family doctor takes him all over the province to give doctors in small communities some much-needed and well-deserved time off. When not on the road he lives in Saskatoon’s core community of Riversdale.

This is what he says about the environment:

Building a healthier society requires a long-term vision for a sustainable relationship with our environment. Saskatchewan has been blessed with an abundance of natural resources. The way that we choose to use them is a true test of our stewardship.

To ensure that we use our resource wealth responsibly, Saskatchewan must invest heavily in the future. We have an opportunity to grow a green economy in energy production, manufacturing and conservation at a time when the world needs us to use less.

- Implement floating royalty rates to ensure that the economy continues to grow while Saskatchewan people receive fair value for their resources. Invest the wealth generated wisely and sustainably in environmental stewardship and renewable energy.

- Invest boldly in obtaining our energy needs from renewable sources such as wind, solar and hydro rather than non-renewable technologies such as coal, fossil fuels and nuclear power. This will decrease our carbon and waste footprint as well as conserving scarce resources for future generations.

- Reduce our energy needs by investing in conservation. Support retrofits for existing buildings. Incentivize and regulate new construction to promote energy efficiency, including the use of geothermal heat and solar power.

- Because transportation is one of the greatest energy users and pollution producers, we must invest in rail, public transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and high efficiency vehicles.

These changes can be made so as to benefit us both economically and environmentally. We can put the eco back in economy and grow both our prosperity and our sustainability. Not only can this shift be made, it must be made. Climate change is happening and we are contributing to it. The cumulative impact of unsafe industrial practices threatens our environment. It is not too late to change, but the time has come to use our best energies to build a greener, cleaner, healthier society.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Alberta environmentalists take it to US

This advertisement from Forest Ethics,
the Mikisew Cree First Nation
and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
appeared Tuesday in USA Today.
(Forest Ethics)

According to the CBC, "An anti-oilsands advertisement placed by an environmental group and two northern Alberta First Nations appeared in Tuesday's edition of USA Today, the most widely circulated newspaper in the United States."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Check out Local Bounty

Local Bounty began one year ago as a forum for connecting local chefs who want to serve Saskatchewan food with the farmers, gardeners, fishers, orchardists, etc., who produce it. Chef Anthony McCarthy is this year's artisan taking Saskatchewan produce and melding it into an experience for our taste buds.

Local Bounty Saskatoon
March 8, 2009
The Saskatoon Club

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Image of Darwin

A lovely creation from Neoformix made of 10,000 images of animals. A larger image is available on his website.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

One Million Acts of Green

Does anyone know where this image comes from?

In 100 days, Canadians performed 1,000,000 acts of green and counting. Keep it up Canada!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Saskatchewan Resources

Cartoon by Nick D Kim, Used by permission

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Reduce Carbon Dioxide by 15%

Making bales with 30 percent of global crop residues – the stalks and such left after harvesting – and then sinking the bales into the deep ocean could reduce the build up of global carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by up to 15 percent a year, according to just published calculations.

That is a significant amount of carbon, the process can be accomplished with existing technology and it can be done year after year, according to Stuart Strand, a University of Washington research professor. Further the technique would sequester – or lock up – the carbon in seafloor sediments and deep ocean waters for thousands of years, he says.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

How does a society collapse?

So according to my reading of Diamond, a society collapses because its decisions about how to handle 5 major types of crisis result in extreme depletions of population and resources.

Saskatchewan is facing decisions about climate change, loss of trade and economic erosion such as loss of water, soil, minerals and forest. How do you think our decision makers will respond to this crisis?

Reflections on "Collapse"

I've been reading Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond. In a nutshell, this is my take on what he is saying.

Saskatchewan has recently experienced a resource increase because of the worlds need for oil making extraction from tar sands more viable. As a result, we have been experiencing a large population increase that has driven the cost of land and housing to unexpected heights. Increasing employment opportunities have supposedly offset the increase in prices, so we have suddenly become a "have" province ready to ride out the economic downturn. So we are at our pinnacle point.

We have recently felt the inkling of crisis as trade has decreased because of less need for resources such as timber, grain, fertilizer and a fall in the price of oil.
So what does Diamond say about how a societies response to crisis leads to success or failure? What should Saskatchewan do?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

What can I do? I'm just one person.

Earth Hour 2009 will take place Saturday, March 28th at 8:30pm wherever you are around the


A beautiful, award winning video from Switzerland about why we need to change our obsessive, overcrowding behaviour.

Download a 36 MB version for full screen