Ecojustice recaps the week in Canadian environmental news: August 17, 2012
This week’s recap features a Northern Gateway pipeline gaffe from Enbridge, some polling numbers on climate change, a victory in the mission to reduce our exposure to dangerous chemicals and more.
By Pierre Hamilton, communications associate
Climate & Energy
Enbridge erases B.C. islands
- Professional medical illustrator and animator Lori Waters spotted that something was missing from an Enbridge video about the path oil tankers would take from the end of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. Waters filled in the missing spots, several islands in the Douglas Channel that total “about 1,000 square kilometres,” in an illustration she posted on Facebook. It became a viral sensation. Judith Lavoie wrote about it in the Times Colonist, saying that Enbridge had denied any attempt to mislead the public. “The video is meant to be for illustrative purposes only,” said an Enbridge spokesperson. Now Waters has filed a complaint that the video is misleading with the federal Competition Bureau and Advertising Standards Canada.
- Last week I told you that United Church of Canada was considering whether or not it would oppose the Northern Gateway pipeline. Well, the decision is in and it’s a no. Find out more at the Calgary Herald.
The numbers are in on climate change
- A study reported that only 2% of Canadians don’t believe our climate is changing. This Globe and Mail article explains in more detail, but the takeaway is the other 98% are haggling about what’s causing climate change and if human activity is to blame.
Germany Chancellor takes time for Canada's climate scientists
- This week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited climate scientists in Halifax, the Globe and Mail reported. Merkel was meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose government has recently muzzled its own scientists and fired scientists who monitor and protect Canada’s environment. Evan Solomon of Power and Politics said he thought Merkel took a swipe at the oil sands. Watch the video below to see what he's talking about.
Spill baby, spill
- I love infographics and this one, by KAP.Design, highlights Alberta oil spills from May to June.
- Scientists are warning that Arctic sea ice could vanish in a decade, at least for one day. If that happens, the CBC reports, greenhouse gas emissions could speed the rate of global warming.
People & Health
Tracing The Toxic Trail?
- Staff scientist Dr. Elaine MacDonald sent me the following CBC News story about Northport, Wash., a small U.S. town where people believe that lead and zinc smelters from Trail, B.C., are making them sick. Click here to hear the response that Teck, the company that owns the smelter, gave to CBC.
Victory For The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
- After three years of campaigning by a coalition of health and environmental groups, Johnson & Johnson caved to pressure to remove “harsh and toxic chemicals from its brands to protect consumers and workers,” Linda A. Johnson wrote in the Montreal Gazette. J&J pledged to remove chemicals that might cause cancer from its adult toiletries and baby products in three and a half years. Reducing our exposure to these chemicals is a good move. Hopefully other companies and our governments take notice.
Wildlife & Wilderness
Canada’s Environmental Heroes
- I record the first-ever Ecojustice podcast, about how concerned Canadians are the real heroes of the environmental movement. I talked about our migratory birds case and the people committed to making a difference. Listen here. Expect more podcasts in the future.