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Why Water Matters: Annual Report 2009

Water Matters has posted their 2009 Annual Report — Why Water Matters.

Why Water Matters CoverAs Albertans, we are so used to clean water flowing from our taps that it is easy to forget how much we depend on it. Though we are solid to the touch, 60 per cent of our bodies are made of water. All plant and animal life could not survive without this simple molecule, and neither could Alberta's most important economic drivers, including agriculture and the oil sands.

 

In Why Water Matters, our 2009 annual report, we provide highlights of Water Matters' work in 2009 and revisit the fundamental motivations behind what we do. Learn why water matters to us — and why it should matter to you too!

Visit Water Matters to download the report

Posted May 14, 2010 by Anonymous

The geography of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions

The Pembina Institute's PJ Partington has crunched the numbers and come up with some interesting insights regarding the discrepancy between Alberta's contribution to GHG emissions and to economic growth.

What jumps out right away is that Alberta is responsible for over half (52 per cent) of Canada's emissions growth since 1990, despite being responsible for only 18 per cent of GDP growth and 19 per cent of the growth in population. Combined with Saskatchewan, the two provinces account for an astonishing 74 per cent of national GHG growth, but only 20 per cent of Canada's GDP growth and 19 per cent of population growth.

Link to the post on the Pembina website

Posted May 14, 2010 by Anonymous

Gulf spill exploited to paint oil sands green

In the wake of the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice has joined Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach to beat the drum for the oil sands. Prentice recently portrayed the oil sands as a less environmentally risky alternative to offshore drilling. The Pembina Institute's Danielle Droitsch takes Minister Prentice and Premier Stelmach to task for "using their positions to sell the oil sands" rather than acting "as stewards to province's resources, ensuring responsible development of the oil sands and proper regulation of oil sands operators." She concludes:

The Gulf oil spill is not an opportunity to claim the oil sands are something they're not - safer, cleaner or more secure. The spill should serve as a grave reminder of what can happen if oil is not developed responsibly. Moreover, the spill should set in motion a cleaner, carbon-free energy future, where we don't depend on risky, environmentally damaging fossil fuels at all.

Link to posting on the Oil Sands Watch website.

Posted May 10, 2010 by Anonymous

New water policy tool

The good folks over at Water Matters point us towards a new resource for those working on or interested in water policy in Canada. The Living Water Policy Project aims to: Read more »

Posted May 10, 2010 by Anonymous

Oil & The Arts: Creative Responses to the Energy Economy

Public Speakers Series

How do oil and art mix? How are visual artists, performance artists, and writers responding to the oil and energy economy? How are artists and curators representing, documenting, and archiving Alberta’s oil economy? What is the role of public art in contemplating the issues arising from Alberta’s oil economy? This speaker series will feature local and international artists, activists, and critics whose creative work addresses these questions and responds to the energy economy.

Dates: May 13, 20, 27, June 3, 10
Time: 7-9pm
Location: Natural Resources Engineering Facility (NRE) 1-001, University of Alberta.  See map: http://www.campusmap.ualberta.ca/index.cfm?campus=1&sector=1&feature=24 Read more »

Posted May 10, 2010 by Anonymous

Climate Change and the Integrity of Science

The Pembina Institute's PJ Partington gives us the highlights of the letter in defence of climate research from 255 members of the U.S. National Academy of Science. The letter was published in the May 7, 2010 issue of the journal Science. You can read the full text of the letter here.

Society has two choices: We can ignore the science and hide our heads in the sand and hope we are lucky, or we can act in the public interest to reduce the threat of global climate change quickly and substantively. The good news is that smart and effective actions are possible. But delay must not be an option.

Read more »

Posted May 7, 2010 by Anonymous

Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights debated for first time

A reminder that Bill C-469, An Act to establish a Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights, gets it Second reading (first time debated) in the House of Commons today. According to the Environmental Law Centre, the Private Members' Bill, introduced by Edmonton—Strathcona MP Linda Duncan, would:

…provide Canadians with access to environmental information, substantive environmental rights and rights to appeal federal decisions that might harm the environment.

You can watch the "action" on ParlVU. According to the projected order of business, Bill C-469 will be debated around 3:30pm MDT.

Posted May 6, 2010 by Anonymous

Climate Change Accountability Act passes third reading

With Bill C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Act, passing third reading in the House of Commons, AEN groups reacted to this historic event.

Matthew Bramley, Director of the Pembina Institute's Climate Change Program said:

By passing the Climate Change Accountability Act today, a majority of MPs have voted for strong, science-based action on climate change. This groundbreaking bill would set a target for Canada's 2050 emissions that lines up with our G8 commitments and with U.S. legislation, and would require the government to move immediately to put in place the policies needed to get on track towards that target.

And according to the Sierra Club's John Bennett:

The passing of the Climate Change Accountability Act is a huge victory for climate change policy in Canada. The environmental movement has supported this Bill from its inception as one of the strongest piece of climate change legislation in Canadian politics.

Posted May 6, 2010 by Anonymous

Premier Stelmach Goes to Washington

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach recently announced that he would "force" an end to tailings ponds. The recent ruling by the Alberta Energy and Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) on Syncrude's tailings management plan seemingly contradicts the Premier's comments (and it's own rules for that matter).

With the Premier headed to the U.S. capital, the Pembina Institute's Danielle Droitsch weighs in:

This week Premier Ed Stelmach jet set his way to Washington, D.C. He's talking oil sands and based on the premier's recent statements, he might be inclined to overpromise (and under-deliver).

Link: Oil sands PR blitz heads to Washington, D.C. Read more »

Posted May 5, 2010 by Anonymous

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