Canada Coaching Countries to Waste Water

Canada, a decade ago, used to do more good than bad in the wider world. Now we’re an international wrecking crew, teaching countries how to waste their water supplies on international disasters like shale oil.

This sort of unproductive activity is also changing our climate. It’s also slowing investment in renewable energy technologies that don’t pollute and consume water or air.

Our Acidic Ocean

It’s incalculably high what this will cost us.


Food Over 3 Decades Old

Yesterday I ate fruit cake my Mum made for her wedding, and it still tasted good. Few people get to eat food older than they are, and can say they enjoyed it.

Fruit cake from '78

One of the greatest things to come out of the 70s was me. Another of those great things was this cake. Both made, in part, by my Mum.

Bengough Water Tower Disaster
I learned more about the 1970s too by looking in a photo album. Here’s Bengough’s water tower accident. Mum said a vehicle was crushed, and the rink got clipped, but no one was hurt.

What Does India Have In Common With Regina? Asbestos

One thing we share is an abundance of unsafe Quebec chrysotile AKA asbestos. Most of the world stopped using the miracle mineral once they realized what a global disaster its widespread use had been. Inhaled asbestos fibres cause lung cancer. There is some ongoing effort four decades after its use in new products was stopped in Canada, to remove it from buildings we live, work, and play in.

The effort to mitigate harm from asbestos has its limits, even in a developed country like Canada. An often overlooked source of asbestos fibres in our homes has taken a backseat, while our backsides have [statistically] been suffering from it. Over half of Regina’s drinking water supply pipes are made with Asbestos Cement (AC). 500km of AC is in our city. Edmonton has twice as many kilometers of the undesirable piping. The City of Regina has admitted it has no idea how much asbestos is coming out of our taps at homes across the city.

If asbestos is consumed in sufficient amounts, it’s been shown by government health researchers to lead to polyps in human intestines. Is Regina dickering over a quarter billion dollar Waste Water Treatment Plant deal, while our drinking Water Treatment Plant can’t even hope to address the probable health disaster taking place under our city streets as water is delivered to many of our homes through AC? How many billion dollars will it take to replace over 500 kms of undesirable water piping that is likely to lead to increased rates of tumours?

What has the City of Regina done since the Leader Post wrote about this issue in 2012? Can you even find the latest Water and Sewer Budget on the website, in a year of major proposed sewer system changes?

Reginans, and indeed many Canadians, have become “test animals in a massive biological experiment involving a known carcinogen.” -Barbara Robson, Winnipeg Free Press reporter in 1987.

Are we safe? We don’t know for sure without knowing the amount of asbestos breaking free from our pipes, but there are many logical conclusions from the facts we have, to conclude we are not safe today. This is an urgent health concern that has been ignored, possibly due to its sheer scope. When we start to fix the problem, who gets safer water first? The ethical questions are extreme. The extent of the problem has been known for decades, and we’ve not even meaningfully begun to deal with the reconstruction of our water system to free it of asbestos contamination.

So, where do we start?

Sliverization: Glaciers Melting Quickly

Civilization has a sliver of a chance to survive this century.
Earth’s ice sheets are doomed. That’s it for us.

Lafleche sunset panorama

Watch the trolls roll through saying, “The. earth. has. natural. cycles,” in their robotic programmed voices. Oh really? No shit, sandman. You know what else has natural cycles? Women. Men. Animals. Plants. All of them come to an end when gigatons of pollution are dumped into their environment.

The trolls’ assertion that record levels of air pollution are not a deadly, dangerous, worldwide experiment with human civilization being at stake if it fails, has been totally debunked from decades of scientific research.

Are you going to listen to nameless trolls on the Internet telling you to pipe down and consume as normal, or to countless scientists with graphs based on hard data, and photos of dry lakes, flooded cities, corroding reefs, and melted ice sheets? Who seriously has more credibility here?

Plus, when solutions to the fossil fuel burning mess are presented, these same trolls and astroturf orgs attack the problem solvers.

Cycling In Regina Isn’t Always Easy

What’s it like for a Regina cyclist to go see a movie?

Besides homicidal/comical drivers (from Alberta),

there are flooded Multi Use Pathways,
Biking from the SW to the NE poses a few problems

and underpasses that are creeks.
Biking from the SW to the NE poses a few problems

Persist past those hazards, and there are gravelly “Shared” bike lanes with parked cars ready to give you the “door-prize”.
Biking from the SW to the NE poses a few problems

Can you see drivers being as patient and persistent as Regina’s cyclists? Despite the flooded dead-ends without detour signs, I made the 11km bike ride from the south west, to the north east in under an hour, so I could catch the latest “Star Trek Into Darkness” [10/10]. I’d highly recommend trying it. The film was great fun too. *rim shot*

Abandoned Community Pastures At Risk #cdnpoli #skpoli

The last remnants of a unique ecosystem on Earth are entering what is potentially their last years of natural existence. This will lead to the extinctions of some plants and animals that exist only on the Canadian prairies. Extinctions destabilize an ecosystem, and it’s an ecosystem where humans cannot be assured of long-term survival if it becomes destabilized.

The Conservatives removed protection for the community pastures in an apparent effort to privatize the land. The Sask Party, instead of putting the land under provincial management, has opted to sell off the land, following in the Conservative Party’s wishes. This is against the interest of Canadians, and of most of the ranchers and farmers who’ve used the pasture land over the decades they’ve been in the public trust.

Trevor Harriot in the Globe and Mail:

As for the program having achieved its goals [according to Ritz], the need for soil conservation and managing ecosystems in the public interest does not simply go away.

Press release sent my way today:

For Immediate Release:

April 17, 2013

Public Pastures – Public Interest

Uniting to Save Saskatchewan’s Community Pastures

Joint Venture Video Release

In April of 2012 the federal government announced it was divesting itself of 2.3 million acres of PFRA community pastures, 1.78 million of which are located in Saskatchewan. The control for these pastures has now reverted back to the prairie provinces and in response the Saskatchewan government has announced they will be seeking to sell or lease these lands to the current pasture patrons. With rising land values putting the purchase of these lands far beyond the reach of most patrons, exceeding their ability to run a financially viable operation, patrons are looking to find an alternative solution. Other stakeholders affected by this decision are looking to ensure a sustainable environmental action plan for the land is continued, safeguarding the continued health of the ecosystem and the 32 species at risk that reside there.

To help communicate this message, the various stakeholders (Patrons, First Nations, Academic and Wildlife/Environmental groups) have been meeting over the past several months to discuss their common concerns and encourage the two levels of government to reconsider their position on the importance of preserving and sustaining our community pastures. The result is a collaborative and inclusive video showcasing stakeholder concerns and their belief that, in order to ensure a positive outcome for all, they must work together to find a viable solution.

It is their hope this video will also help communicate the message to stakeholders not yet involved and encourage them to join the collaborative effort towards protecting out public interests, and maintaining current and long term sustainable management of our Community Pastures.

For more information on this video and the joint initiative please contact any of the following:

* Trevor Herriot, Public Pastures – Public Interest, Regina, , home 306-585-1674
* Senator Roland Crowe – First Nations representative, 306-539-9200
* Joanne Brochu – Patrons representative, , cell 306-255-7602

Oil The Humanity!

Oww, my sides would be hurting from laughing at the irony of this situation, if it weren’t a deadly serious joke that the Conservatives are playing on Canadians.

On a public relations mission to convince the public that the BC coast will be safe from oil spills, the clean-up vessel ran aground on a sandbar, and was delayed by hours.

British Columbia’s largest oil spill response vessel got stuck on a sandbar en route to a federal news conference where Monday about strengthening Canada’s oil spill defences.

This was only a test. If this had been a real emergency, your coastline would be covered in oil. Joe Oliver would be cackling.

You really have to love it when a press conference fails so badly for any politician hell bent on pitching a catastrophic idea destined to ruin lives and our environment.

Thinking Is Not Hard

Thinking is not hard to do, but some people treat it like others should do it for them. Clicking that link may be painful, as it has details of a state representative saying cyclists pollute worse than car drivers because they are exercising and breathing out more CO(2) in doing so. I guess the worst thing you could do is get in a car, go to the gym, and get on a stationary bike, eh?

Idiots are all around us, and sometimes they are elected as government representatives. Because this story casts cyclists in a negative light, I suppose you’ll be hearing about it on Gormley’s radio show later on. You can then expect the usual cast of zombie callers recounting the last time they were irritated by a cyclist on a street they owned.

There’s nothing more polluting, in every sense of the word, than a Republican on a high horse.


Yesterday I noted on Twitter that there are many easy changes someone can make in their weekly routine, to make a dent in how much climate change (air pollution) they directly and indirectly create. For instance, someone can cut meat out of one of their days in the week, to have at least a 1/7th impact immediately on their demand for meat. If the demand falls enough, fewer animals will need to be raised to make farmers the same amount of money. More importantly, meat requires much more water and energy input for the same amount of food energy plants can directly provide to humans.

Some (intentionally) hard of understanding trolls came by to mock the information. It’s hard not to laugh at someone who thinks its hard to point out a time when Saskatchewan has faced a water crisis. Although the title is worded in a clumsy way, Forbes helps explain why basing so much of the world’s food supply on meat, is a folly.

This information didn’t slow down the trolls though, who went on to suggest that I’m a damned dirty easterner, never grew up on a farm, and couldn’t have the faintest idea of what it takes to understand the food system. Besides all that, I apparently want all people to stop eating all meat, and starve. It’s hard to argue with iron-clad logic like that, eh?

Some of these comments come from people who earlier chided me for thinking of solutions to our oil dependence. When did conservatives start subscribing to pre-Copernicus thinking? There are centuries of tradition after that sort of anti-science, anti-discovery thinking to “conserve” with their defence of the status quo. There’s no need to be so anti-intellectual and anti-solution.