Sierra Club Blog Posts
The climate change issue reached new heights in Canadian public dialogue this week. It wasn’t because of the unprecedented melting of Arctic sea ice this summer, the phony-baloney announcement about Canada’s ‘progress’ toward meeting its greenhouse gas targets, or government’s caving on real regulations for coal plants. Nope, it wasn’t because of any of these worrisome situations.... Read more »
By Paul Beckwith
About 5 million years ago continental drift pushed North and South America together, creating the Isthmus of Panama where the Central American Seaway ocean passage had previously existed. The Pacific and Atlantic were no longer connected, drastically altering global ocean currents and atmospheric circulation patterns. As the Atlantic Gulf Stream strengthened, it carried vast amounts of moisture into the northern regions. The Arctic eventually cooled and it’s estimated sea ice cover has existed continuously in the Arctic Ocean for 3 million years, possibly for as long as 13 million years.... Read more »
A great Sierra Club environmental victory went largely unnoticed a couple of weeks ago. President Obama announced new fuel economy standards (an increase up to 54 miles per gallon) by 2025. As is generally the case, Canada will undoubtedly follow suit soon.
Working on both sides of the border, Sierra Club campaigners played a critical role in forming and executing a North American “clean car” strategy. It was brilliant, really. I'm proud to have been part of it.
It was a simple encirclement of Detroit. The car companies controlled the US Congress and Ottawa, but did they control sate and provincial governments? They certainly didn’t control California – always in the forefront of clean car regulations.... Read more »
By John Bennett and Paul Beckwith
I'm sharing my space this week with climatologist Paul Beckwith because an enormous cyclone blew over the North Pole all this month - an event that has kept scientists around the world up at night.
It’s very rare for there to be such a storm in the summer. In the past a storm like this would arise in winter and blow snow around on top of a thick ice cover. This summer, over thinner ice, the wind creates large waves which, combined with warm temperatures of air and water, are causing havoc with a keystone of the global climate.
Arctic ice physically reflects most of the incoming solar radiation harmlessly back into space, keeping the surface temperatures cold. When water replaces the melting ice it absorbs much, much more sunlight and thus increasingly heats up the ocean and atmosphere. This extra heat melts even more ice in a vicious heat amplifying feedback cycle.... Read more »
The federal government recently surprised many when Health Canada announced a $1.8 Million study on health impacts of living near wind turbines. Electricity generation and health are both largely provincial responsibilities - so this is major deviation by a government that has strictly avoided straying into areas of provincial jurisdiction.... Read more »
There are many coincidences in life. Every day - in a world with billions of things happening - there are bound to be events that just seem to be related. There are also deliberate acts that seem to be coincidence.
As consumers of news it’s our job to read between the lines and decide for ourselves what’s coincidence and what’s deliberate.
Two things happened yesterday:
1) Hundreds of lab-coated scientists marched on Parliament Hill proclaiming the death of evidence (a nice play on the Death of Innocence because there really has been a change in Ottawa where facts and figures no longer play a role in policy formulation); and
2) The Harper government announced Health Canada would study the (already well-studied) health effects of living near wind turbines.... Read more »
Finally an honest oil CEO speaks the truth on climate change. According to ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, climate change is happening, but who cares - we can adapt. So fears about climate change, drilling, and energy dependence are overblown.
He said the oil industry’s biggest challenge is "taking an illiterate public and try to help them understand why we can manage these risks." That would be me and you.
... Read more »
The federal government’s war on nature and democracy means “Silence is no longer an option” for Canadians. So I’m urging you to join with Sierra Club Canada and the country’s leading environmental organizations in a national campaign to force the government to restore the environmental protection and democratic participation. The campaign aims to force the Harper government to retreat and restore the environmental protection and democratic participation it recently gutted.... Read more »