Forests and Biodiversity
EDMONTON — A committee of independent scientists is being recruited to review conflicting water monitoring data from Alberta's oilsands regions, the provincial government announced Friday.
Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner said a review is critical.
"I need to have total and complete assurance in data before I make decisions on how best to balance environmental protection with development. Albertans deserve to have this assurance as well."
The announcement came with a promise.
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Last Friday, U.S. satirist Stephen Colbert turned Washington on its ear by testifying before a Congressional subcommittee studying whether migrant farm workers should earn legal rights.
He appeared in character as the faux-conservative talk show host he plays on the Comedy Network which amused some representatives, bemused others and had a whole host of observers asking themselves, what does this television comedian know about migrant farm labour?
After promising to tell the "whole truthiness" and declaring "one day of studying anything makes me an expert," Colbert -- who had been invited by a Democrat committee member -- effectively turned his appearance into a Colbert Report skit: "This is America. I don't want a tomato picked by a Mexican. I want it picked by an American then sliced by a Guatemalan and served by a Venezuelan in a spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian."... Read more »
FORT MCMURRAY — James Cameron likened the destruction of Brazil's rainforest to the impact of oilsands development on Alberta on Monday.
The Hollywood mogul said the oilsands seem to be on a similar scale to Brazil when it comes to the area of land being used by the energy industry.
"The Belo Monte dam project is a $16-billion project, and it's one of about 60 big hydroelectric dam projects that are planned in the Amazon basin," said the world-famous, Canadian-born director after he landed in Fort McMurray for a tour of the oilsands.
"So it's the same sort of thing in a general sense, which is that you have this resource there, in that case it's energy. But the cost of harvesting it is enormous in terms of the forest."... Read more »
UNITED NATIONS — Ecuador won strong new United Nations backing Monday as the South American country pushed for rich countries to give it as much as $3.6 billion in exchange for not drilling for oil in the Amazon.
Canada is among countries the UN and Ecuador are targeting to contribute to a fund that the Ecuadorean government says it will spend on alleviating poverty and development of "renewable" energy sources, such as wind and solar power.
The UN says the cash would enable the preservation of the Yasuni National Park — a million-hectare tropical rainforest at the intersection of the Andes, the Amazon and the equator.
The region is home to various indigenous tribes who live in isolation and hundreds, if not thousands, of different species of trees and plants.
UNESCO, the UN's educational, scientific and cultural agency, declared the park a world biosphere reserve in 1989.... Read more »
EDMONTON -- Environmental groups are hoping their message about Alberta's highly talked-about oilsands industry will be heard by a famous Hollywood movie director.
James Cameron, who's directed blockbuster flicks like Avatar and Titanic, will be visiting Fort McMurray, Fort Chipewyan and Edmonton between Monday and Thursday this week.
The movie director, who has openly criticized the controversial industry, has meetings slated with oil company executives and will be getting tours of oilsands operations. He will also speak with leaders in aboriginal communities in northeastern Alberta.
A Wednesday meeting with Premier Ed Stelmach, however, is still listed tentative, says Jerry Bellikka, a spokesman with the premier's office.... Read more »