Environmental Think Space

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing – Albert Einstein

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Zero Mile Diet: growing your own food

That’s what I want to be starting in 5 years time ❤


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There will be no economy without a planet

You know, you think the world is changing, and hope or even believe that there’s been a shift in consciousness where people are waking up to the damage we’re doing to our planet and to each other.

When you yourself start to assess the news you are being presented and search for news that offers a different side to mainstream stories, it eventually becomes what you read mostly everyday. And you think change is happening. But then you read the headlines of major news broadcasters and realize you’ve just been ignoring the large chunk of information that people are fed easily; sitting there on a table in the office, waiting room, etc. You venture into the industry or energy and resource section of any major newspaper and you see nothing is changing there. You’re still reading about the energy sector (which is to mean oil and gas and coal) trying to bolster itself in the face of changing energy strategies and voices of opposition; politicians trying to figure out the best way to keep the oil and gas industry running in order to keep their economy “booming”.

Right now, Canada (or more explicitly Alberta) needs to find new customers, away from their traditional importer (the USA who are trying to become more energy independent). One article said they have little choice but to find new customers in Eastern Canada and Asia, with the only other option to scale down production.

That right there says it all. It tells me the fight for change in beliefs and practice has a long way to go. I think of all the people who wouldn’t even question that sentence; think it ridiculous, bad business, bad policy to scale back production of the oil sands. Often quoted as the dirtiest oil project ever known.

I have friends who work in these places. They tell me how much the companies they work for don’t give a shit about the environment. So don’t tell me these companies aren’t greenwashing or that corporate social responsibility isn’t just some lip service to those those who actually give a shit. And really don’t expect me to believe that the oil sands are going to be okay for the environment, that these companies are taking “all necessary precautions” because those are just nice comforting words people tell themselves so that they can go on and not worry or care about what is actually happening. You like to believe these companies are doing good because you like to believe in good people. And I admire that and I too believe in good people. But I also have heard the harsh, uncaring words come out of their mouths and have witnessed their apathy.

Don’t choose to ignore it, and for all our sakes if you are the apathetic one, try to move some of your compassion and caring for your family and friends towards the earth that gives them all a place to live.

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Water Risk Mapping Tool

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The World Resources Institute  launched its Aqueduct mapping tool. For anyone interested in water problems this is definitely something to spend some time with.

It uses 12 water risk indicators to create various maps of where and how water risks may be prevalent:

1. Baseline water stress
2. Inter-annual variability
3. Seasonal variability
4. Flood occurrence
5. Drought severity
6. Upstream storage
7. Groundwater stress
8. Return flow ratio
9. Upstream protected land
10. Media coverage
11. Access to water
12. Threatened amphibians

It is possible to see risk factors by specific water-intense industries including agriculture, food and beverage, chemicals, electric power, semiconductor, oil and gas, mining, construction materials, and textiles.

It also includes a tab where you can view projected change in baseline water stress which are based on three different scenarios of climate change and socio-economic development created by the IPCC: the A2, A1B, and B1 scenarios.