Saturday, 16 November 2019

Environmentalists have long argued that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is not only an urgent and critical necessity for our planet’s survival, it’s also good for the economy. Now a new report by the Ecolgy Action Centre quantifies these benefits. It’s an excellent piece of work, and very necessary to help focus the discussion we need to have. However, the report does not go far enough in terms of environmental justice and tackling the dominance of car culture.

We featured Brent and Donna, the Sheet Harbour couple on income assistance, in an earlier story about the terrible state of disrepair of their public housing unit. Community Services used to pay their entire power bill, but last week they contacted me because all of a sudden they are saddled with a $60 monthly share. They don’t know why, and they don’t know how they are going to deal with it.

Nova Scotia is one of Canada’s most emissions-intensive provinces. Peggy Cameron wrote an open letter to Stephen McNeil pleading to change that. “You need to say “no” to highways and pipelines that increase our use of fossil fuels. Then you need to tackle this short list: increase renewables for Nova Scotian use, not export; shut down coal-fired generating plants; incentivize regenerative agricultural practices; stop clear-cutting and pesticide-spraying; promote afforestation and value-added production; establish a province wide integrated transportation network; and create a net-zero-carbon building programme.”

The Muskrat Falls development may be far away in Labrador, but it is very much Nova Scotia’s business. That was the message delivered by speakers at a news conference held outside the Emera / Nova Scotia Power offices on Lower Water Street in downtown Halifax this morning. “What we are seeing is massive destruction and genocide for profit. The crown corporation Nalcor is giving itself the legal authority to commit genocide using water as a vehicle for devastation. Once they drown the landscape, methylmercury poisoning is inevitable.  We are talking mass genocide to all vegetation, medicines and all living species. Lives will be lost,” said Michelle Paul.