Each blue whale has a unique pattern of spots of its back, like a fingerprint or a nametag. These spots allow researchers to identify each whale as either a newcomer, or an old friend.
The Mingan Island Cetacean Study (MICS) is a non-profit research organization located on the Gulf of St Lawrence's northern shore and they were the first group to begin long term study of marine mammals in the Gulf. Since their founding in 1979, this group has followed blue whale populations in eastern Canada, the Sea of Cortez and in the waters of Iceland.
MICS has discovered something troubling in the northwest Atlantic blue whale population. Of the 475 individual whales they've identified since their genesis in 1979, only 22 have been calves. This suggests a frighteningly low calving rate for a population already swimming on the brink.
Dr John Cherry, a hydrogeologist with the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA), says fracking wells in Canada aren't built for the long haul; they tend to spring leaks.
"In my view, well integrity is likely the most important shale gas issue," said Dr Cherry in Toronto, Thursday, May 29. Dr Cherry chaired the CCA's expert panel on understanding the environmental impacts of shale gas extraction (fracking). This panel released its report in early May.
See an electric vehicle next to you on the road and you might not distinguish it from any other gas guzzler confronting rush hour traffic. But drive one yourself...and you won't soon shake the experience.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are powered entirely by their onboard batteries and therefore have no tailpipe. No combustion engine vibrates under their hood and no gears need shifted, giving these machines an unrivalled smoothness. When faced with stop signs, red lights or drive-thrus, EVs don't expend their power idling - they are incapable of idling.
But for all their blessings, EVs have their drawbacks. Their batteries have limited range, they can't be fuelled at the pump and for the time being, they cost more than your average gasoline vehicle. However, professor of mechanical engineering at Dalhousie University, Lukas Swan, said these drawbacks are being left in the dust.
Saturday Nov. 16 a group of volunteers in Peel brought a strong message to local MP's in Brampton. We participated in a "Bike for the Climate" event, riding the Etobicoke Creek Trail from MP Parm Gill's office to MP Kyle Seeback's office. We carried signs with the message that we don't want dirty tar sands or leaky pipelines running through our communities. We invited both MPs to participate but they didn't respond to our invitation.
On Tuesday October 22, Sierra Club Ontario, Sierra Club Peel Region Group and Credit Valley Conservation hosted a tree planting at Erindale Park, Mississauga. This event concludes Sierra Club Ontario’s tree planting for the season. We had a turnout of 11 volunteers and we managed to plant 143 trees, making our Grand Total 925 trees this year! The club joined with Credit Valley Conservation for four tree planting events this year, which took place in Streetsville Memorial Park, Meadowvale Conservation Area, Birchwood Park and finally Erindale Park.
Sierra Club Canada's Ontario Chapter was instrumental in the decision by our provincial government to shut down all coal plants. The day has come! Toronto environmental lawyer Dianne Saxe has a nice piece on her website about it:
Goodbye to Nanticoke, and all that coal
by DIANNE SAXE on JANUARY 15, 2014
January 8 marked the last day of operation of the Nanticoke Generating Station, the last operating coal-fired electrical generating facility in southern Ontario. This latest shut down will help mark 2014 as the year Ontario will become a coal-free jurisdiction.
The long awaited report from the US Army Corps of Engineers on how to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes has finally been released. The report evaluates the many waterways connecting the Mississippi River to Lake Michigan –all potential avenues to allow several species of Asian carp into the Great Lakes. The 5 year report costing $20M is titled Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS).
Silver and bighead carp already make up about 95% of the biomass in rivers downstream of the Chicago River. Over a century ago Chicago built a canal to reverse the flow of the Chicago River to divert their sewage and stormwater south into the Mississippi rather than their waterfront beaches. The “reversed” Chicago River flow has been supported by two US Supreme Court decisions.