All Posts Tagged With: "Oil"
Divestment movement gets a boost
The Dalhousie Student Union unanimously passed a motion on Wednesday calling for the university’s Board of Governors to end investments in fossil fuels, putting pressure on the school to respond. It’s a win for a global movement that wants to hurt the industry they say causes climate change.
“It is morally bankrupt for an institution who claims to be a leader in sustainability to profit off the extraction of fossil fuels, the warming of the climate, and the displacement of millions of people, ” said Divest Dal member Rob McNeish, according to a press release.
Energy East isn’t next CP Railway: historians
To hear some proponents of the Energy East project tell it, when the taps open on the $12-billion oil pipeline the moment will be as significant as when the last spike was driven into the Canadian Pacific Railway almost 128 years ago.
Linking western crude to eastern markets would be a huge undertaking — it’s the most expensive project in TransCanada Corp.’s (TSX:TRP) more than 60-year history — but some observers are dubious Energy East will one day be worthy of its own Heritage Minute.
Tugging at Canadians’ patriotic heartstrings is a “smart and usable PR strategy” to get the public onside with the project, said Claire Campbell, a historian at Dalhousie University in Halifax.
“But I don’t think it is going to be written about as the new national dream by historians 100 years from now.”
Sean Kheraj, a historian at York University in Toronto, said it’s far from the first time Canadian business leaders and politicians have used nationalistic rhetoric to drum up support for controversial proposals.
For instance, Canada’s first prime minister, John A. Macdonald, used lofty language to entice Parliament to spend huge amounts of public funds on the railway in the late 1800s.
“It seems very clear that there’s an express political purpose behind this to try and use nationalism as a way to motivate consent from Canadians for permission to construct the project,” Kheraj said.
Petition asks university to pull money from fossil fuels
McGill University’s Board of Governors has rejected a petition from the environmental activist group Divest McGill, which collected hundreds of signatures calling on the school to take money out of companies that develop, transport, refine or sell oilsands products, reports the McGill Daily.
The vote was likely a first in Canada and the rejection is a setback for a global movement.
Hundreds of campus groups across North America affiliated with 350.org have pressured schools to pull out of fossil fuels in an attempt to slow climate change by cutting off the cash.
Researchers oppose closure of Experimental Lakes Area
There appear to be “remarkable similarities” between fish deformities found downstream from Alberta’s oilsands and those observed after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska and after Florida’s Deepwater Horizon disaster, says a renowned ecologist.
David Schindler of the University of Alberta has written an open letter to two federal cabinet ministers pointing out the recent research findings from scientists as far afield as the Gulf of Mexico.
“Given the parallels in the cases from various locations, it seems likely that some chemical or suite of chemicals in crude oil is causing the malformations,” Schindler wrote.
He’s proposing that Canada take the lead in researching the issue by isolating the various chemical compounds and introducing them to fish stocks in a controlled setting.
And Schindler says the federal Experimental Lakes Area — which has been shut down by Ottawa for a savings of about $2 million annually — is the ideal natural laboratory for the work.
An environmentalist argues in favour of divestment
Torrance Coste studied conservation geography at the University of Victoria before becoming a Vancouver Island Campaigner with the Wilderness Committee. He argues that universities should exit investments from companies he considers unethical, like those in fossil fuels. After reading his piece, check out Professor Todd Pettigrew’s argument that divestment is unrealistic.
While the debate around fossil fuel development and climate change intensifies in Canada, there is an effort emerging to hit the perpetrators of this global environmental disaster where it hurts—the bank account. The premise is simple: pressure post-secondary institutions to stop investing—or divest—money from companies in fossil fuel and other environmentally and socially destructive industries.
The call has been sounded through the Go Fossil Free campaign, an initiative of 350.org, a U.S.-based organization that fights climate change. Recently, a group of Canadian university graduates have petitioned Maclean’s to include an “ethical investment” category in its highly regarded annual university rankings.
Oil contamination losses could range from $90- to $300 million, study says
PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. – The financial costs of a worst-case scenario tanker spill off the north coast of British Columbia could outweigh the economic rewards of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline for the region, says a study by the UBC Fisheries Centre.
The study funded by World Wildlife Fund Canada looked at the potential losses to commercial fisheries, tourism, aquaculture and port activities in the area in the event of a tanker accident.
Using the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill as an example, researchers calculated various scenarios, from a spill with no impact to a high-impact spill of 257,000 barrels of crude, in winter, over 52 kilometres of coastline that includes Haida Gwaii and Porcher Island, near Prince Rupert.