Posts Tagged ‘environment’

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Choose to do Something, Environment Week #emptythetanks #environment #blackfish

04/06/2014

I have been working behind the scenes to help others with work in sustainable energy for awhile. I am online frequently and try to bring awareness to news and views with respect to the environment, animals, science etc.

I live in the Niagara region, and I am currently championing an excellent campaign in Ontario called “Green Energy Doors Open”. I am trying, however, I choose to do something I had not done before. I gathered with somewhere over 100 people recently to publicly express my heartfelt unhappiness for at least one very lonely & depressed creature in my local neighbourhood.

Now to be clear, yes, I care about animals, and yes, I have rescued a dog from an abuser.  But this particular, sentient and beautiful creature I am speaking of is not one that I can just simply intervene on by myself.  There are others who feel the same, and I respect that.

My participation is coming from a genuine concern and I could get into the whole back story, but here is the specific focus:

Marineland is holding the last ORCA, the last Killer Whale for entertainment purposes, in Canada, in a swimming pool that, relative to its’ natural environment in the oceans, is like sticking a child into a cage, period.

Being a killer whale, Kiska’s inherent and natural feelings and instincts cannot, in any logical way, shape or form, be duplicated, accommodated or replicated in tiny pools.  Being alone, without her true family, her bloodlines, or even any related company, I can only guess the perpetual sadness and stress that must keep her grinding her almost non-existent teeth (is that even in any way acceptable that her teeth are in such bad shape?). And also, how many times can a killer whale, held in a sardine box pool, become pregnant and in some way not be expected to abort.  This may sound really sick to some or sad to others, but if I was held in captivity, in a cage, forced to become pregnant, alone, hurting and depressed, I would most likely, being a mother, think that my body would reject any child, knowing consciously and with feeling, that their life would be just as bad?

All anyone needs to do is Google Marineland and/or any other SeaWorld Parks and there is not a pretty, entertaining picture being painted.

It bothers me.  I have seen the place behind the scenes where most regular people don’t get to go.  This is the truth.  The tiny holding pools for things like the dolphins, and especially the caged up walruses were such unhappy a to animals see.  There is a conscious sentient being looking back at you when you look them into their eyes.  And their look is utter sadness.

They should never have been put there in the first place and deserve rehabilitation.

There should never be any more wild animals held in cages, in tiny pens.

People can help, with one small step at a time.  People are saying ‘no more’ and understand that these beautiful amazing sentient creatures have families, have feelings and are doing something.

I appreciate the people who attended the gathering at Marineland in Niagara Falls.  I met many people from different places, feeling, reaching out.  They are just regular people, who are doing something.

It may not be what you, as the reader of this blog, may agree with. You may even think it’s ‘loserish’. However, the people who came out to express their concerns are really doing something.

All I suggest is that during this time of Environment Week, we all think about possibly making one choice, one small step and actually do something about something to do with the environment.

I cannot find any logical way to agree that Kiska is in a safe or healthy environment.  She cannot stand up for herself.  She is not being heard by those who own her in any real way, as she is merely property to them.  And those who have taken care of her in the past, present and future will definitely be affected by it, and I hope they too will come out and express their concerns.

I cannot be like Captain Paul Watson, I don’t have the freedom of the seas to do as he does.  I do have a voice, and I do have sons, who also feel that holding any wonderful beautiful sentient creature, out of its’ natural environment, is just wrong.

Please make a choice to support a healthy & safe environment for all creatures & the environment.  One step.

Thank you to all who support #emptythetanks and Sea Shepherds.

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Thank you to all those who love animals & understand how important they are.

Now go do something about it!

But hey, what do I know?

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1 Old Cell Phone in a Landfill is 1 Too Many

16/04/2014

Recycle My Cell makes it easy for Canadians to do their part for Earth Day 2014

OTTAWAApril 16, 2014 /CNW/ – Recycle My CellCanada’s free cell phone recycling program, is calling on Canadians from coast to coast to recycle their old cell phones and accessories in support of Earth Day on Tuesday, April 22. Almost 582,000 devices were recovered through the Recycle My Cell program in 2013. Results from the2013 National Cell Phone Recycling Study released today show that while Canadians replace their wireless device approximately every 30 months, only 10% of survey respondents recycled their old device when they purchased a new one, with 42% putting the old device in storage.

Canadians can participate in Earth Day by visiting the bilingual Web site – www.RecycleMyCell.ca andwww.Recyclemoncell.ca – and enter their postal code to locate the 10 drop-off locations closest to them where their old wireless devices will be accepted, regardless of brand or condition. If a consumer cannot get to one of the drop-off locations in their neighborhood, the Web site offers printable postage-paid labels that can be used to mail the device back to Recycle My Cell at absolutely no cost to the consumer.

The Web site also provides information about the program, facts and figures on e-waste, FAQs and links to provincial e-waste management sites. There is also a downloadable brochure and information about how consumers can clear their device of all personal data before dropping it off for recycling.

Other notable findings from the 2013 National Cell Phone Recycling Study include:

  • Nearly half of survey respondents (49% nationally) report knowing about cell phone recycling programs.
  • Satisfaction of those who utilize the Recycle My Cell continues to be high, with 96% of respondents citing a positive experience.

“Canadians are world leaders in the way they embrace new technology, particularly when it comes to wireless devices,” said Bernard Lord, President & CEO of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA). “It is also our responsibility to be world leaders in protecting our environment for generations to come. There is simply no reason that an old cell phone should ever end up in a landfill.”

All of the processors involved in the Recycle My Cell program are ISO certified or verified to be operating in conformance with the requirements of the Electronics Recycling Standard (ERS), so they all have environmental management systems in place that guarantee accountability and knowledge of the environmental impacts associated with recycling.

The Recycle My Cell program also supports numerous local and national charities through the proceeds from the recycled devices.

“In recognition of Earth Day, we join in encouraging Canadians to recycle their used mobile devices which will not only help reduce the growing e-waste in Canada’s landfills, but also generate much needed funds for mental health initiatives across the country,” said Peter Coleridge, National CEO, Canadian Mental Health Association.

Businesses and community organizations can also support the Recycle My Cell program by hosting a drop-off location. Registration is quick and easy and all set-up materials are provided at no cost. For more information, please visit http://www.recyclemycell.ca/host-a-drop-off-location/ or contact info@recyclemycell.ca.

Recycle My Cell was created and is maintained by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) in conjunction with cell phone carriers and handset manufacturers who have come together to raise awareness about the importance of cell phone recycling. The program’s partners include: Bell, BlackBerry, Eastlink, GEEP Inc., GREENTEC, LG Electronics Canada, Inc., Lynx Mobility, MTS, Nokia, ProMobility, Rogers Communications, Samsung Electronics Canada Inc., SaskTel, Sims Recycling Solutions, Sony of Canada, Tbaytel, TELUS, Videotron, and Virgin Mobile Canada.

Canadians can contact a Recycle My Cell representative by e-mail at info@recyclemycell.ca, or call toll-free at 1-888-797-1740.

About Recycle My Cell
Recycle My Cell is Canada’s national recycling program for mobile phones and accessories. The bilingual Web site –www.RecycleMyCell.ca and www.Recyclemoncell.ca – allows consumers to simply enter their postal code to locate the 10 drop-off locations closest to them where their devices will be accepted, regardless of brand or condition. The free program is run by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), in conjunction with cell phone carriers and handset manufacturers, who have come together to raise awareness about the importance of cell phone recycling.

SOURCE Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association

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Technology and Words Changing First Nations – Right or Wrong?

25/08/2012

I was offered the opportunity to participate in an Ontario Power Authority initiative  – Giibimidowing Gidakiiminaan – Keeping, Respecting & Caring For Our Land Treaty #3 Conference – August 21 – 23, 2012 in Kenora, Ontario at which I jumped readily.  It was my opportunity to motivate, encourage & talk about possibilities – in renewables, but even beyond.

My dealings with First Nations, in the past, have taught me that I am but a stranger, an outsider to them.  How would I know anything about who they are or how they live?  Perception & reality are significantly different in my books.  However, I always make it a point to speak from the heart and this opportunity was no exception.

So off I flew to Thunder Bay where I met some of the other speakers and together we set off by car to Kenora, Ontario.

Trees, grass, water.  Clean air. True blue skies.  Not like the haze many have grown to become accustomed to in the Greater Toronto Area.

Sunset in Kenora, Ontario – beautiful, priceless

However, this area is not without its environmental – economical – technological – societal problems, quite the contrary.  Another type of unhealthy haze has been inflicted, and it is one that separates us huge concentration of southerners from the realities & truths of those living in the true north (which people in Kenora laugh and say they consider themselves in the south of the the north!).

Kenora, Ontario, some 5 hours drive from Thunder Bay – 3 hours drive from Winnipeg, Manitoba, lies in Treaty #3 First Nations area.  Unfamiliar with Treaty #3 and its’ important historical significance in Canada?

“Treaty 3 was an agreement entered into on October 3, 1873, by the Ojibway Nation and Queen Victoria. The treaty ceded a vast tract of Ojibway territory, including large parts of what is now northwestern Ontario and a small part of eastern Manitoba, to the Government of Canada. Treaty 3 also provided for rights for the Métis and other Ojibway, through a series of adhesions signed over the next year.

It was the third in a series of eleven numbered treaties between the Crown and North American First Nations. Despite being the third of these treaties it is in fact more historically significant in that its text and terms served as the model for the remainder of the numbered treaties. Treaties 1 and 2 covered an area about the same size and in fact had to be amended to reflect some of the developments arising out of the negotiation of Treaty 3. At the time that it was negotiated it was anticipated that the terms of Treaty 3 would serve as a model for future treaties and would require the amendment of Treaties 1 and 2 [Letter from Minister of the Interior Campbell to Lieutenant-Governor Morris, 5 August 1873, Public Archives of Canada (“PAC”), RG10, vol. 1904].

Treaty 3 has particular historical significance because of the litigation that ensued between the Crown in Right of Ontario and the Crown in Right of Canada over the significance of the treaty and the respective roles of Canada and the provinces in relation to aboriginal peoples. The first of these cases is the St. Catharines Milling v. The Queen [(1888), 14 App. Cas. 65 (P.C.)] which dealt with the question of the ownership of lands subject to a treaty (a question that was decided in favour of the Province). The second, A.G. (Canada) v. A.G. (Ontario), [(1910) A.C. (P.C.)], dealt with the question of whether or not Ontario had to indemnify Canada for the expenses incurred in negotiating the treaty and the ongoing costs of fulfilling the treaty obligations. Canada lost this case as well with the Supreme Court of Canada and the Privy Council holding that Canada was responsible for Indian affairs and the welfare of Indians and that the treaty had been negotiated to achieve broad national purposes (such as the building of the transcontinental railway) rather than to benefit Ontario. The significance of these decisions is still a matter of discussion in the Canadian courts.

Treaty 3 is also significant as there exists a written record of the native peoples understanding of the treaty. This is known as the Paypom document. It is a series of notes that were written for Chief Powassin during the treaty negotiations, and documents the promises that were made to the First Nations people. The promises in the Paypom document differ in a number of ways from the printed version available from the Canadian government.” – wikipedia

As a result, First Nations has no trust in outsiders and their talk about this and about that.  Not just with this treaty, but with a number of ‘agreements’ and/or ‘contracts’ and/or ‘initiatives’, many First Nations takes the stance that others don’t live up to their end of the ‘bargains’.  This is not to say there are no First Nations people who develop trust or ally themselves with others, however, they do with much caution.  In either case, I don’t blame them.

Making a long story short, I spoke my presentation from the heart and managed to connect with many, like Willy – a 74 year old elder, who has been attending all kinds of meetings and gatherings about the community, “… since 1981.” he said.

“I’m not afraid of progress. But.  There is a right way and a wrong way of doing it.” he almost whispered at me, as his aged wise eyes looked at me, the breeze blowing about his straw coloured, long hair.

Willy, an Elder from Treaty #3 has been attending community meetings since 1981.

First Nations Treaty #3 has a number of issues that are affecting their communities, and in no small manner.

3 hydro electric dams stand at the centre of much controversy.  First Nations describe how the frogs have disappeared.  No longer do the sturgeon grow.  In September of 2011, Grand Council Treaty #3 filed an application for judicial review. Respondents are the Province of Ontario as represented by the Ontario Ministry of Energy and the Ontario Power Authority (OPA).  The main issue at the centre of this review is the Respondents failure to perform their “duty to consult” in good faith with First Nations.

“… the Ontario Energy Minister’s direction to the OPA to develop the Hydroelectric Contract Initiative (HCI) without Aboriginal consultation. In question is the OPA’s development and implementation of the  HCI, the decision by OPA to enter into an HCI contract for existing hydroelectric generating facilities (Calm Lake, Sturgeon Falls, Fort Frances, Kenora, and Norman) in Treaty 3 territory with ACH Limited Partnership (ACH). As of May 2011, these dams are owned by Calgary based BluEarth Renewables Inc.” – GCT3  (Please read here for full text)

Sounds as though, once again, people are not living up to their ends of ‘bargains’ … and so the cycle continues.

How about the proposed ‘solution’ of dumping toxic nuclear waste into the communities up there?  (Click here for full text of story.)  Nuclear Waste Management was on the agenda for the discussions as well.  Their displays, which likely cost thousands and thousands of dollars, took a whole day to put up, I watched it.  They were complicated, showed large pictures of business people and were overwhelming, even for me.

In no way is this an effective way of communicating to First Nations … and again, the cycle continues.

There’s more.

In December of 2011, Treaty #3 launched an education lawsuit against the federal government – the reason? ” … a breach of their treaty right to education.”

Inexperienced teachers & disintegrating schools.  Yes, it’s real and not fixed, even if Mike Holmes has drawn attention to the appalling living conditions, as he did in his December 2011 CBC article entitled, “Stop building junk on reserves.”

And if that doesn’t get you, let’s just go deeper down the rabbit hole and talk about how shocking Pikangikum truly is.

If you have never heard of this place, you need to.

In 2000, this First Nation was given the horrible and terribly sad title of, “Highest Suicide Rate in the WORLD” (I used wikipedia as a reference, but that info is not complete & certainly paints a picture leaning toward female inhalant abuse. It’s way more than that, affecting all.)  And, it hasn’t stopped.

In fact, this area is especially worse than ever.

I met a local from the area who shall remain nameless, due to the sensitivity of this information.

In March of 2012, MacLean’s published a story called, “Living and dying in Pikangikum.”  While it does speak to the horrors of life up in the area, it surely isn’t giving up the whole picture.

Picture a home, barely a structure, empty. No beds, no appliances, nothing.  A First Nations woman, standing in the middle of it, with utter desperation in her eyes.

Where to get another $500.00 together for just one more tab of Oxycontin.

Yes, comfortable ladies and gentlemen, reading this online, having encountered this sad article somehow through the internet because you are able to.

One tab of Oxy goes for $500.00, usually split into 4 – so 1/4 tab per person at $125.00.

How about a mickey?  A mickey of alcohol is $250.00.

Who controls all this?  I won’t write it out loud, but they surely are not angels.

We should all be ashamed of ourselves, allowing such injustices to continue to First Nations.  In fact, one of the Elders, a ‘Grandma’ said,

“First it was smallpox.  Now this.  Why not just give them smallpox and be done with it.”

It is not right to have our eyes shut for us to this, or for us to shut our eyes to it ourselves.

So, if you didn’t know about all this, dig deep.

Go even deeper and talk to First Nations.  What?  You can’t or don’t know how to? That’s bull. Keeping us separate is an excellent way to keep the cycle of abuse going.  I have and no, I don’t always believe everything … whether it’s from the government or from First Nations.  But I have observed this now myself having been there and there is no denying that while technology can most definitely be used to improve the quality of all of our lives, it has also become apparent that it can also create great problems that cannot be swept under the rug: it’s as simple as having the power to transport in drugs and alcohol to remote locations and turn viable people into zombies walking around ghost towns, as some really evil people are capitalizing on the genocide of a people.

But don’t believe me.  As I said, go find out for yourself.  And if you do not find this sad, shocking, angering, then perhaps all is lost and we live in a soul-less, money loving people filled country.

I hope that some of you reading this can connect even more dots in between with the mind-bending and twisted way some of our communities are merely being given perceptions, words & stories that makes the “jobs & prosperity” buzz over resources & technologies sound so great.

If we have such wonderful communication technologies, how come we seem to have difficulty in communicating, educating, negotiating & consulting with First Nations?  If guns kill people, spoons are making Harper fat.

It is also my hope that heartfull, responsible people will step-up and champion the introduction of new ways that are right, to the benefit of our communities and the children of our future.

But what do I know?

OPA Conference for Treaty #3 – Youth & Elders Forum

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[VIDEO] Strange Colours, Clouds & Light Over Niagara, Ontario

08/07/2012

Strange colours & light over Niagara, Ontario, Canada today.

The heat continues in the area and there was no rain.  Cirrus clouds have been idling by all day in the light, warm breeze.

Cirrus clouds (cloud classification symbol: Ci) are a genus of atmospheric clouds generally characterized by thin, wispy strands, giving them their name from the Latin word cirrus meaning a ringlet or curling lock of hair. The strands of cloud sometimes appear in tufts of a distinctive form referred to by the common name of mares’ tails.

Cirrus clouds generally appear white or light grey in color. They form when water vapor undergoes deposition at altitudes above 5,000 m (16,500 ft) in temperate regions and above 6,100 m (20,000 ft) in tropical regions. They also form from the outflow of tropical cyclones or the anvils of cumulonimbus clouds. Since these cirrus clouds arrive in advance of the frontal system or tropical cyclone, they indicate that the weather conditions may soon deteriorate. While they indicate the arrival of precipitation (rain), cirrus clouds themselves produce only fall streaks (falling ice crystals that evaporate before landing on the ground).

What was interesting was that there had to be a correlation with the composition of the clouds and how light was refracted through them.  Most likely, these clouds were composed of solid ice particles.

There could be many other explanations, which I encourage readers to leave their comments about.

Was hoping some kind of unidentified flying object or meteor would fly by at the same time but, alas, not.

Maybe HAARP? 🙂

But what do I know?

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The Valley of Headless Men – Nahanni Canada

01/01/2012

The Nahanni Valley of Canada’s Northwest Territories has been called one of the last truly unexplored places in the world. Lying above the 60th Parallel, it is accessible only by air, water or a long overland journey from the village of Tungsten. As a result, much of the area remains unexplored, despite being declared a national park in 1976, and a World Heritage Site in 1978.

Native tales tell of an unknown evil lurking within 200 Mile Gorge, and most avoid the area. Local oral history also tells of a mountain-dwelling tribe known as the Naha. The Naha were feared by the region’s Dene people, as they often descended to raid nearby villages. These tales end with the rapid, mysterious disappearance of the Naha. No trace of this tribe has ever been found.

The eerie nickname attached to 200 Mile Gorge is the Valley Of The Headless Men. This name comes from a series of unexplained incidents in the Gorge during the Gold Rush of the early 20th century. Two brothers, Willie and Frank McLeod left in 1906 in an attempt to reach the Klondike through Nahanni. Nothing was heard from them for the next two years. Rumours spoke of the two finding the “mother lode” of gold. Despite this, no efforts were made to find them. In 1908, another prospecting expedition discovered two bodies, later identified as the McLeod brothers. Both had been decapitated. This incident would likely have been marked up as just another macabre tale of North had they been the only headless bodies.  In 1917, the body of a Swiss prospector by the name of Martin Jorgenson was found next to his burned cabin. Decapitated. In 1945, the body of a miner from Ontario, whose name seems to be lost to history, was found in his sleeping bag, without a head. A trapper named >John O’Brien was found frozen next to his campfire, matches still clutched in his hand. I cannot find any reference to the state of his head.

Theories abound as to what happened to these men, and others (up to 44 people are said to have disappeared there). Some put these attacks down to grizzly bears, some feuding  prospectors, others natives. Some say the area is naturally heated by hot springs, and is practically a tropical paradise, a Shangri-La if you will, with the valley floor covered in gold nuggets. These theories often speak of the valley being a haven for the Sasquatch. Some even claim the valley is an entrance to the “Hollow Earth”. My view lies somewhere in-between all these. I believe that the native Naha people discovered this sheltered valley, and settled there. Theoretically, food would be plentiful if the valley is the veritable paradise described in some reports. These people then likely became highly territorial over their lands, and killed any trespassers. The decapitation is reminiscent of certain other tribal practices designed to instill fear in their enemies. The image provided is for reference only, and as far as I am aware, there are no images of the 200 Mile Gorge available online.

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Thar She Finally Blows – Cleveland Volcano Spewing 15,000 Feet of Ash

29/12/2011

The Alaska Volcano Observatory said satellite images showed Cleveland Volcano had spewed ash 15,000 feet (4,572 meters) into the air in a cloud that moved east-southeast. U.S. Geological Survey scientist-in-charge John Power called it a small explosion.

“It’s not expected to cause a disruption to big international air carriers,” he said.

But the event drew strong interest from air carriers.

“Any time you put an ash cloud up into the atmosphere, the airlines, the air carriers, air freight companies — it’s a major concern,” Power said.

The ash cloud was significant enough to raise the alert level from yellow, representing elevated unrest, to orange, representing an increased potential of eruption, or an eruption under way with minor ash emissions or no emissions.

Cleveland Mountain is a 5,675-foot (1,729-meter) peak on uninhabited Chuginadak Island about 940 miles (1,512 kilometers) southwest of Anchorage.

Scientists in July noted increased activity in the crater at the summit of the volcano. Satellite images showed lava building and forming a dome-shaped accumulation.

Chris Waythomas of the USGS said in September that lava domes form a lid on a volcano’s “plumbing,” including the chamber holding the magma. When they grow big enough, lava domes can become unstable and will sometimes collapse. When the magma chamber decompresses it can lead to an explosion as the conduit inside the volcano suddenly becomes unsealed and gases escape.

Radar images earlier this month showed the dome had cracked and subsided, Power said.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the airline industry get concerned for trans-Pacific flights when an ash cloud has the potential to exceed the 20,000-foot (6,096-meter) threshold, as Cleveland Volcano has done in the past.

Cleveland Volcano’s last major eruption was in 2001. It has had bursts of activity nearly every year since then, and the ash cloud Thursday was not out of character.

“It’s not unexpected for a volcano like Cleveland to do things like this,” Power said. “Unfortunately, Cleveland is one of those that is so remote, we have no on-ground monitoring or instrumentation there, so it’s hard for us to pinpoint things any more accurately than we can do with satellite imagery.”

The observatory Thursday morning had no satellite images of the crater after the eruption.

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Red Sea Volcano – New Island Forms Off Coast of Yemen

27/12/2011
New Island in Red Sea

© NASA
The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured this high-resolution, natural-color images on December 23, 2011 showing an island being formed in the Red Sea.
New Island in Red Sea_1

© NASA
Satellite image of the same region from October 24, 2007.

An eruption occurred in the Red Sea in December 2011. According to news reports, fishermen witnessed lava fountains reaching up to 30 meters (90 feet) tall on December 19. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites observed plumes on December 20 and December 22. Meanwhile, the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite detected elevated levels of sulfur dioxide, further indicating an eruption.

The activity in the Red Sea included more than an eruption. By December 23, 2011, what looked like a new island appeared in the region. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured these high-resolution, natural-color images on December 23, 2011 (top), and October 24, 2007 (bottom). The image from December 2011 shows an apparent island where there had previously been an unbroken water surface. A thick plume rises from the island, dark near the bottom and light near the top, perhaps a mixture of volcanic ash and water vapor.

The volcanic activity occurred along the Zubair Group, a collection of small islands off the west coast of Yemen. Running in a roughly northwest-southeast line, the islands poke above the sea surface, rising from a shield volcano. This region is part of the Red Sea Rift where the African and Arabian tectonic plates pull apart and new ocean crust regularly forms.

References:

    • Global Volcanism Program. Zubair Group. Smithsonian Institution. Accessed December 27, 2011.
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