Sierra Club Blog Posts
By Zack Metcalfe
Even now, after several reviews of fracking in this country, we aren't certain what it's doing to our air and water.
One such review, conducted by the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA), discovered the body of research into hydraulic fracturing was incomplete - there were no reliable studies on the environmental impacts.
There were reports of people lighting their tap water on fire and gas wells leaking methane into the atmosphere, but for all the panel's efforts, they couldn't deliver anything conclusive. The research simply hasn't been done.
In their conclusion they say, "authoritative data about potential [environmental] impacts are currently neither sufficient, nor conclusive."... Read more »
Do you know the impact that gardening with native plants can have on local wildlife? Bill Freedman does! As a professor of ecology and long-time practitioner of the principles of naturalization, he wants to spread the word about the benefits of using native plants in your garden. Walking his own talk, Dr. Freedman naturalized his own yard years ago, curating a collection of native plants where a lawn once dwelled, now home to a vibrant collection of greenery, exploding with colour throughout the various growing seasons.
Mark Butler of the Ecology Action Centre discusses how individuals and cities can make yards and urban areas more friendly for birds. Specifically, we must eliminate risks to birds such as cats, but we also must stop eliminating important habitat. What constitutes important habitat might surprise you however...
In the lead-up to our June 1st bird walk led by Kate Steele of the Nova Scotia Bird Society, fellow birder and photographer extraordinaire Russel Crosby writes about how he got into birding, and gives novices a few tips. Join us on June 1st on the Shearwater Flyer Trail to put your learning into practice!
As a long time birder I occasionally get asked about how I initially got into bird watching as a hobby, but I don’t remember any one specific event that led to a lifetime love of birds. My first interactions with birds were through my older brothers who were serious duck hunters before I was even old enough to fire a gun. Although I did go on a few of their early hunting trips where I witnessed ducks being killed, I opted instead to observe birds rather than to try to shoot them. My father supported my burgeoning hobby and bought me books he thought would interest me. They did!
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May 22, 2014
It’s been a busy week for government propagandists. Why?
Back when I was a reporter I had a mantra I would chant to myself while writing: Who, What, When, and Why. Who, What, When, and Why? It’s particularly effective when applied to government stories, so let’s apply it to last week’s series of announcements.
WHO: The federal government that has turned a deaf ear to climate change and mitigation, and stripped itself of the ability to protect the environment by gutting the Environmental Assessment, Fisheries and Navigable Waters Acts.... Read more »
After much delay and with great excitement, we're happy to announce the 2014 summer walk schedule for Halifax Diverse Walks. We have a wide range of experts who will be leading walks this year from birding to the history of McNabs Island! Updates will be posted on the facebook page (and corresponding events), and on this blog as well. On this page you can find more information about individual events by selecting individual events under the "Get Involved" menu above. You might also notice we've changed our name to reflect the recent decision of the city council. A huge thanks to Jon Burke of Jon Burke Web Design for updating our logo.
Some general information about what to expect on our Walks:... Read more »
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 »