Showing posts from April 11, 2014

Former BC Hydro CEO calls for review of "apprehension of bias" by NEB member on Kinder Morgan panel

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[Marc Eliesen says it's "appropriate" for Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain NEB panel member David Hamilton to be disqualified. *RON*]
Jenny Uechi, Vancouver Observer, Apr 11th, 2014

Former BC Hydro CEO Marc Eliesen, an intervenor for the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion hearing, put in a motion for one of the three National Energy Board panelists on the file to be disqualified, based on an "apprehension of bias".

In a letter to the NEB yesterday, Eliesen argued that David Hamilton -- who, along with Lynn Mercier and Philip Davies, will be evaluating the applications -- is in an "untenable position" because of his recent work with projects relevant to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

"Let's be clear -- I'm not accusing Mr. Hamilton of bias," Eliesen told the Vancouver Observer."But I am suggesting strongly that because of Hamilton's involvement and judgment …

Air pollution kills 40 people per week in Scotland

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[More deaths than are caused by obesity. As universities become more dependent on business and industry for funding it becomes increasingly unlikely that this kind of very necessary research will be funded. *RON*]
by Ilona Amos, The Scotsman, 11 April 2014

Air pollution kills ten times more people every year in Scotland than obesity, a new report has claimed.

Figures published yesterday estimate that 40 people north of the Border die each week as a result of man-made toxic particles floating in the air.

Campaigners said the study has revealed for the first time the full impact of pollution on public health in Scotland.

Many deaths were related to cardiovascular and lung diseases. The elderly and those with pre-existing heart and lung problems are most at risk from long-term exposure.

The Garbage Eaters

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[New forms of life are evolving in the oceans that eat plastic. *RON*]
By Erin Biba, Newsweek, April 9, 2014
On the surface of the most desolate parts of the world's oceans, billions of tiny pieces of plastic swirl and churn. They are festering pockets of pollution, but the ocean is a resilient beast. And even in these incredibly remote areas, where nothing much ever happens, this human garbage has begun to attract communities of life. Recent research suggests the ocean's plastic patches are instigating a new evolutionary pathway for microbes and creating a food chain out of thin air—and water.

You've probably heard about the ocean's garbage patches—large areas of water where waste plastic collects. It's a phenomenon that didn't exist until the 1970s, when Styrofoam started showing up en masse. A slew of other plastic items followed, so much so that in 2012, scientists announced that the amount of plastic in the ocean had g…

Pollution Fears Crush Home Prices Near Fracking Wells

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[Proximity to a fracking site reduces the home values by 10-22%. *RON*]

 Jeff McMahon, Forbes, April 10, 2014

Whether or not fracking causes groundwater pollution, people fear the risk enough that property values have dropped for homes with drinking-water wells near shale-gas pads, according to new research.

Researchers from the University of Calgary and Duke University studied property sales from 1994 to 2012 in 36 Pennsylvania counties and seven counties in New York. They mapped sales against the locations of shale-gas wells, and they compared homes connected to public drinking-water systems to homes with private wells.

Properties with private wells suffered a loss in value compared to properties connected to a municipal water system, they found, offsetting gains in value from mineral-rights royalties. The loss varied with distance from the nearest shale-gas well. At 1.5 kilometers, properties with private wells sold for about 10 percent less.

Scientists Frustrated by Factory Farms

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[Scientific evidence of their non-sustainability mounts. *RON*]

By Jim Lundstrom, Peninsula Pulse, April 11, 2014

Professor Robert Lawrence is in a select company of researchers.

"I think the only other group of scientists who probably are more frustrated than we are are the climate scientists," Lawrence said in a recent telephone call.

Lawrence is director of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future in Baltimore, Md., where he also holds the title of the Center for a Livable Future Professor in Environmental Health Sciences Professor, Departments of Environmental Health Sciences, Health Policy and Management, and International Health Director. The Center's mission is to engage "in research, policy analysis, education, advocacy and other activities guided by an ecologic perspective that diet, food production, the environment, and public health are interwoven elements of a single complex system."

The reason for the phone …

CBC Cuts: More Than 650 Jobs To Be Lost Over Two Years

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[Click here to go to Friends of CBC to see what you can do to help. *RON*]

The Huffington Post, 04/10/2014

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is planning to cut 657 jobs over the next two years in an effort to cut $130 million from its budget.

The news was not unexpected, given warnings from CBC President Hubert Lacroix that the network is in dire straits following the loss of NHL hockey to Rogers Communications.

In a major change of direction, the broadcaster announced it would no longer compete with other networks for sports programming, which have the upper hand because they own specialty sports channels and multimedia platforms.

But the broadcaster said it would continue to compete for sports events of "national significance," such as the Olympics.