Sierra Club Blog Posts
Farley Mowat passed away this week at the age of 92. It has been thirty years since he wrote “Sea of Slaughter”, a book that I’ll never forget. He sold almost 17 million books over his long and decorated career. His books about nature (translated into 52 languages) were a major contributor not only to the Canadian environmental movement, but the global movement to protect the earth.
Millions of people around the world view Canada in a better light because of his life’s work. He mixed the serious with humour in devastating ways, making us smile one minute, cry the next and then rant with a rage over how we treat this planet.
I’ve been thinking about my favourite Farley Mowat book, “No Bird Sang”, since I heard the news today.... Read more »
This week is Emergency Preparedness Week -- the kind of non-event, event that might mean we’ll see a photo (or two) of a politician at some media event, but most won’t give it a second thought.
At best, it might evoke an image of Sheldon Cooper of Big Bang Theory with his survival backpack and fluorescent arrows painted on the floor. Some of us older folks might evoke the man on a street corner shouting: “Repent the end is near!”... Read more »
Should a CBC radio and television commentator be accepting speaking fees for pro-Tar Sands speeches on the side without publicly disclosing the financial conflict of interest to viewers? Should a national newspaper consider--let alone sign--a strategic partnership with the oil industry (a.k.a. Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers) to produce content? Would such a move render the paper a non-news organization? Should it?
These two stories emerged over the last week and received almost no attention in the media. There has to be a better explanation than Olympic coverage eating up air time.
We’re all familiar with the National Post’s ‘tendencies’ (sorry Terrence) so I wasn’t overly shocked with the latter. But I have to say I was taken aback by the news about Rex Murphy.... Read more »
ACTION ALERT / February 5, 2014
Tell the Senate to Speak Out Against Neonicotinoid Pesticides
The Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry is now holding hearings on widely-used, bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides. The committee has invited beekeepers, grain-farmers, and scientists to present evidence at the hearings.
The Senate Committee will undoubtedly hear a repeat of what the Ontario Bee Health Working Group heard last summer -- that something was wrong and the beekeepers want a moratorium on the prime suspect: neonicotinoid pesticides.... Read more »
First, thank you for your patience and the generous support you’ve shown during our year-end fundraising push. Believe me when I say we don’t like to “push” for donations, but the reality is we have to in order to keep our doors open.
BACK TO WORK
We’re back to work now and I want to talk about mercury pollution.
Most people my age cite Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” when asked how they first became aware of the environment and the need to protect and preserve it. For many, the moment was the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970.
My moment of truth was the mercury poisoning at the Grassy Narrows Reserve in northwest Ontario. Between 1962 and 1970, two First Nations communities’ staple food — fish — had been contaminated with record-high levels of mercury from a chemical plant up the river. But no one knew, and for almost a decade they consumed the poison.... Read more »
By John Bennett
The “Radioactive Road Trip”, thanks to you and many others on both sides of the US/Canada border, is still parked. You’ll remember that Atomic Energy Canada Limited (AECL) proposed shipping the highly toxic and unstable enriched uranium (dissolved in nitric acid) to the Savannah River facility in Carolina for ‘reprocessing’. It’s been stalled by U.S. officials asking excellent questions about the use of dry containers (designed for dry, solid waste) to carry the dangerous radioactive liquid concoction. Apparently the U.S. also has restrictions on shipping radioactive materials in winter.... Read more »
Thank you for being part of our campaign to help save the bees! I didn’t need to tell you how important the bees and other pollinators were to our ecosystem and food supply--you understood the situation was dire, took action and made a difference.
So here are the numbers: Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) comment period on neonicotinoid pesticides closed this past Thursday, December 12th having received 10,241 comments from YOU (via the Sierra Club Canada website). Pat yourself on the back – you deserve it.
Obviously we cannot rest on our laurels as there’s much more to be done, but it’s important to take a moment and be proud of our accomplishments to date.
More good news…
I’m excited to report a large foundation is seriously considering a major grant to support our bee work in 2014 through a $120,000 pollinator health education program.... Read more »
By John Bennett
If you felt I was reaching last week when I connected recent attacks on environmental groups & charities and the close relationship between Ethical Oil and the federal government, read this lump of coal from Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.
Sierra Club Canada is named in the error-riddled piece about environmental charities. Most disturbing part is this nugget: “these outfits are heavily financed political arms of their American cousins and are actively engaging in partisan political activities”.... Read more »
By John Bennett
As you likely know by now, millions and millions of bees and other life-sustaining insect pollinators are being killed-off by neonicotinoid pesticides.
Dr. Peter Kevan is a professor in biology at the University of Guelph and a member of the Ontario Beehealth Working Group. Here’s what he recently had to say in his address to the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority:
“We have a situation with neonicotinoids now which is an exact parallel with the previous situation with DDTs...where there was broad scale use over the entire landscape, and where this poison was everywhere.... It is my feeling that we're in for a kick in the back side as neonicotinoids are being spread over huge areas of farmland… Neonicotinoids could be a disaster waiting to happen.... Read more »