Updated 6 October 2008
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October 6, 2008 The Honoured Reader (free edition) of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 13 No. 8 October 3, 2008 posted click here.
Editorial by Colin Isaacs: NOT THE WAY TO GET THERE FROM HERE
Theme: (general current affairs issue)
REALITY CHECK ON CARBON EMISSIONS AND PRICING
DAVID COLLYER: POINTMAN FOR THE ALBERTA TAR SANDS
GM VOLT: SUNSPOTS GET IN YOUR EYES
GM Fastlane Blog
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
THIRTY SECOND SUMMARY
Wayne Richardson Retiring
GUEST COLUMN: SLOW MONEY, MANURE AND PRUDENCE
By Woody Tasch
GREEN MONEY JOURNAL
ENVIRONMENTAL FABLE BECOMES A PLAY
GL TAKES A FLYER
CANADA’S LEADERSHIP IN HEWING OF WOOD THREATENED BY MAINE
ABOUT THIS ISSUE
Welcome to the first of our exclusive “current affairs” issues, responding to our readers’ expressed desire for more but shorter issues of Gallon Environment Letter (GL). Rather than stating that there is no feature topic in this issue - features focussing on specific topics will still appear in alternate issues - we would prefer to think that every article is a feature. As always we welcome your feedback.
If you are wondering what has happened to the big issues and why governments are focussing on the smaller issues, take a look at our editorial. GL suggests that Canada’s environmental NGOs are at least part of the problem. Drs. Robert Page and Mark Jaccard recently discussed climate change strategies on CBC Radio’s excellent and popular Quirks and Quarks program. It was one of the best such discussions GL has heard in the media for a long time. We provide a brief summary and tell you where you can find the complete radio program.
The broadcast media has been covering climate change and the environment with greater intensity recently - not only the above mentioned Quirks and Quarks show but also a morning radio show about the “tar sands”, and a Colbert Report segment with Bob Lutz of General Motors, a company which apparently still falls into the camp of climate change denyers. We have received and share with you a letter from the OECD on our coverage of their Environmental Performance of Agriculture report. Our Guest Column this issue is very relevant to the current debate about the economy: it is entitled Slow Money, Manure and Prudence and it is from Woody Tasch, Chairman and President of Slow Money and is reprinted from Green Money Journal. Our “GL Takes a Flyer” feature looks at another absurd environmental claim, we update our past coverage of an environmental fable for children, and we draw to your attention that not only is Canada’s reputation on Kyoto Protocol leadership highly tarnished but now we are even at risk of losing our reputation as leading hewers of wood.
Our next issue, in just a few days, will be our Canadian Election Summary. We will report on the green issues, the platforms, and our expectations as to how these will affect the business of the environment for at least the next two or three years.
October 6, 2008 Events Posted click here
New additions are:
October 2008 Federal Election 2008. Throughout Canada.
November 2008 Carbon
Emissions Business Forum. Toronto, Ontario.
December 2008 The India's Envirotech '08 and Energy Tech '08. Pragati Maidan, New Delhi
September 30, 2008. The Honoured Reader (free edition) of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 13 No. 7 September 4, 2008 posted click here.
Editorial by Colin Isaacs: COMMUNICATIONS IS ALMOST AS IMPORTANT AS PREVENTION
Theme: AGRICULTURE AND BIODIVERSITY
OECD AGRICULTURE REVIEW INCLUDES BIODIVERSITYTrends in Agricultural Impacts
Ag Biodiversity Intersects with Wild Biodiversity
Trends in Biodiversity as Related to Agriculture
Conserving Plant Genetic Resources
Ag Environmental Management Practices
Complexity of Biodiversity
OECD AG REVIEW: CANADA
AG CANADA REPORT: BETTER FARMING, BETTER AIR
Key Greenhouse Gases
LOCAL FOOD PLUS: BIODIVERSITY ACTIVITIES FOR CERTIFICATION
EAT A RARE BREED
RARE BREEDS CANADA
STIRRING IT UP: FUN, SAVING THE PLANET AND MAKING MONEY WITH ORGANICS
Single Use Yogurt Cups
Canadian Company Supplies Wastewater Technology
Mooving on Environmental Practices
MORAL ROUTE TO STEADY STATE ECONOMY TO PRESERVE BIODIVERSITY
SCHOOL DAYS: OUT WITH OLD, IN WITH THE NEW
ABOUT THIS ISSUE
Our theme in this issue is Biodiversity and Agriculture. Despite increasing interest in Product of Canada food and food safety our national media pay very little attention to what is happening in the food production system. According to a recent OECD review, Canada's food system is adversely impacting biodiversity, only slightly improving its less than satisfactory environmental performance, and increasingly becoming large scale. Many commentators bemoan the fact that so many young people do not know where their food comes from. GL hopes that our summary of the OECD report may help readers and others understand that the agricultural eco-system is not nearly as healthy as it needs to be for sustainability.
It is not only the OECD that is considering the environmental impacts of agriculture. We review a recent report from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada on greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. It is not clear that AAFC really wants Canadians to read the report but we give you a synopsis of a report that could be key to Canadian agriculture's involvement in a future GHG emission reduction strategy. Farming can be both an emitter of and a sink for greenhouse gases - the challenge is to get the mix right through sound GHG management.
Intuitively, humans should not eat rare breeds. But when it comes to agriculture the only way to maintain rare breeds might be to eat them. GL tells you why, where, and how. Hurry along to the Rare Breeds Canada website if you want to bid on the auction. Our book review this issue, of Stirring It Up: How to make money and save the world, discusses how Stonyfield Farm grew to become a hugely successful organic yogurt supplier. Read it to understand the key role of the CEYo. After reading the book you will want to try the product. Fortunately you can buy Stonyfield Farm products at some Canadian grocery stores.
Our letter writers continue the theme of degrowth and enhance our efforts to discuss biodiversity. Another book review looks at ethics rather than economics as a pathway to preserve biodiversity. It is back to school time so GL links it all together by looking at a book that was maybe twenty years ahead of its time. And to celebrate our editor's birthday, this issue of GL ends with a link to a song that has been amusing him and others more easily amused for fifty years.
In our next issue we will review a number of current topics, including water in bottles, slow money, controlling agricultural runoff, and dead zones in marine and freshwater environments. In early October our next feature issue will look at the topic of Environment and Intellectual Property, unless, that is, the federal election campaign generates much more environmental and climate change excitement than we are expecting.
August 7, 2008 The Honoured Reader (free) edition of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 13, No. 6 July 14, 2008 has been posted click here.
Editorial by Colin Isaacs: LIABILITY FOR PUBLIC STATEMENTS
OF ECOSYSTEMS AND BIODIVERSITY - TEEB
BIODIVERSITY IN GOOD COMPANY
Leadership in Biodiversity in Good Company
UN Earth Summit 1992 and Later
B & B: BUSINESS AND BIODIVERSITY AT CBD
ICC GERMANY - ROLE OF BUSINESS IN BIODIVERSITY
BUILDING BIODIVERSITY BUSINESS
CORAL IN HOT WATER
The impact of business
GREEN ROOFS FOR HABITAT
RBC(R): BIODIVERSITY IN FINANCE
US MAYORS: HIGH-CARBON FUELS RESOLUTION
FORESTETHICS: TAR SANDS ACCOUNTABILITY OVERDUE
OIL SANDS COMPANY WANT TO TALK
PEOPLE AND BIODIVERSITY: WINNERS AND LOSERS
Total Economic Value of Biodiversity
LETTERS TO EDITOR
ALUS: AN AGRI- ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY SOLUTION FOR ONTARIO'S FARMLANDS
by Phil Beard, General Manager of the Maitland Valley Conservation Authority MVCA, Ontario
THIRTY SECOND SUMMARY
SHIFT OR GET OFF THE POT
GREEN PARTY: GREEN TAX SHIFT
HERBICIDE: A LITTLE GOES TOO FAR
Dow Agrosciences Notice
Milestone(tm): Reduced Environmental Risk
INVITATION TO ALLEGED TELEVISION SHOW
ABOUT THIS ISSUE
Our theme this issue is biodiversity. GL often touches on biodiversity; the last theme was Landscaping for Biodiversity in GL V9 N9 May 10, 2004. The global community seems to have begun to recognize that biodiversity is not just an aspect to be managed or protected but is also something which has economic value and which presents economic opportunity. GL’s editor recalls trying to make this case to a Canadian government biodiversity conference several years ago when the vast majority of participants were interested only in protecting and preserving. Today the Value of Nature is a theme for the most prestigious events. In this issue we review the economics of biodiversity and a multitude of ideas for good corporate roles in biodiversity. However, not all companies have yet got the message: we look at the example of coral death and the role of business in lobbying against Marine Protected Areas. If only the effort was put into protecting instead of fighting protection.
Our editorial, while appearing to pick on the cellular phone industry, is intended as a caution to all those industries whose knee-jerk reaction is to deny the existence of any environmental or public health problems with their production or product lines. The lawyers are coming to take you away, ha ha.
Related to biodiversity, we report on the US Conference of Mayors recent resolution against the use of high carbon fuels such as those from the Canadian tar sands. It is difficult for anyone concerned about the environment to deny that they have a point. The question will be how Canada and the companies involved respond. Will it be with major efforts to address the problem or will it be with a denial of the existence of a problem? The ngo ForestEthics has already expressed an opinion. We bring you the industry view as well.
As a preview for the second part of our biodiversity review which will focus more on the role of food and agriculture in biodiversity (next issue) we include in this issue a guest column by Phil Beard on Alternative Land Use Services: Balancing the environmental demands of society, with the needs of farmers and rural communities.
In this issue we also focus on the carbon policies of the federal Liberal and Green parties. Will climate be a major issue in the next election? Perhaps jaded by the fact that environment has never yet taken its position as a major election campaign issue, GL is betting that environment will not make it on to the politicians’ agenda in the upcoming federal campaign, but we note that this is one occasion when we very much hope that we are wrong.
A relatively new apparently low risk pesticide appears to have some issues. We bring you news of a report from the UK. The Competition Bureau has introduced updated rules for environmental labelling of products. Brand owners who have been following the old rules, in effect since the early 1990's, are unlikely to notice much change. However, environmental groups may have to remove their logos from products. We bring you the scoop. Finally a caution to Canadian environmental business and organizational spokespersons: an invitation from the US to appear in a television show about environmental technologies and services may be just another way to get you to pay for advertising which may or may not be useful to you. We bring you a caution.
In our next issue we plan to continue our coverage of recent advances in biodiversity.
In the meantime, enjoy this issue and
keep those letters to the editor coming to email@example.com
August 7, 2008 Events Posted click here
New additions are:
August 2008 International Water Symposium August 12-14 2008 Winnipeg Manitoba
September 2008 The Composting Council of Canada's 18th Annual National Conference. Chateau Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec.
12th European Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production (erscp2008), Berlin
October 2008 Canadian
Environment Network AGM, Toronto, Ontario
June 23, 2008 The Honoured Reader (free) edition of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 13, No. 5 June 9, 2008 has been posted click here.
Editorial by Colin Isaacs: THE FOOD VERSUS BIOFUEL CONTROVERSY
Theme: ASBESTOS PART 2 (See GL V13 N1 for Part 1)
ROTTERDAM: RESPONSIBLE INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN ASBESTOS
CHRYSOTILE ASBESTOS AGAIN RECOMMENDED FOR PRIOR CONSENT LISTING
CANADA'S ASBESTOS LEGACY
Awards for Environmental Health Work
HEALTH CANADA SHOULD MAKE ASBESTOS REPORT PUBLIC
Stayner Wins Award for Work on Chrysotile Asbestos Research
SCHMIDHEINY: CHANGING COURSE
Phasing out Asbestos at Eternit
Charges of Injustice about Eternit's Asbestos Legacy
BRAZILIAN WORKERS SEEK COMPENSATION FOR ASBESTOS
Fernanda Giannasi: the Erin Brockovich of Brazil
EMERGENCIES: REDUCING ASBESTOS RISK
CARBON NANOTUBES ACT SIMILARLY TO ASBESTOS
CIELAP Releases 2nd Nanotechnology Policy Document
Subject: Degrowth Conference GL V13 N4
Subject: CANSEE Conference 2009
BIOFUELS NOT ONLY CAUSE OF FOOD SHORTAGE
CANADIAN CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY REPORTING - BEST PRACTICES 2008
GUEST COLUMN - Note on Degrowth: "De-growth" Debate in France Originally Sent to Sylvia Lorek
by Emmanuel Prinet (see also Letter to the Editor):
STEADY STATE ECONOMY
GLEN DAVIS UPDATE: PUBLIC ASSISTANCE REQUESTED
by Monte Hummel, O.C. President Emeritus WWF-Canada
WASTE - THE SOCIAL CONTEXT '08
BOOK: SOME LIKE IT COOL
ANOTHER KICK AT THE GALLON CAN
...National GHG Emissions
CSR AT EDC
The Enviroexport Program
WATER HYACINTH: FROM WEED TO CASH CROP
A New Profitable Use
BEEKEEPERS' OUTRAGE LEADS TO TEMPORARY GERMAN BAN ON CHEMICAL
Canadian Approval of Poncho
REDEFINITION AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO ACTION
ABOUT THIS ISSUE
Our two part update of asbestos issues concludes in this issue with a special focus on asbestos and international relationships. Even as conservative a group as the Canadian Cancer Society has called for “the eventual phasing out of use and export of asbestos” and for Canada to support the inclusion of chrysotile asbestos on the Rotterdam Convention’s Prior Informed Consent list for 2008, yet both past Liberal and the current Conservative governments have consistently declared that chrysotile asbestos can be handled safely. As our articles indicate, support for asbestos has trademarked Canada as a country that has insufficient concern for the health of workers and citizens in many developing countries. See GL V13 N1 for Part 1 of this series. Even if you are not directly involved with asbestos, our stories illustrate how international organizations, companies, governments, and individuals are teaming up to defeat the Canadian government’s position on asbestos.
Recently the media, spurred on by some of the silliness at the Rome Food Summit, have been full of the biofuel versus food debate. The Food Summit was attended by national leaders from around the world, including President Sarkozy of France, President Lula of Brazil, President Mubarak of Egypt, Prime Minister Fukuda of Japan, and more including the most senior of Canadian representatives, our Ambassador to Rome. GL’s editorial explains where this periodical comes out on the food versus fuel debate.
Are you an Ecological Economist yet, or are you into Degrowth? Our letter writers in this issue would encourage you to be. Our guest column also focusses on the Degrowth issue - GL is inclined to think that, while the term is unattractive, the concept is well worth contemplating. If Degrowth is not for you then try the Steady State Economy, a similar concept which we also address in this issue. We review a conference, Waste: the Social Context '08, and an excellent new book by Robert Paehlke: Some Like it Cold, The Politics of Climate Change.
Stratos has published its Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting - Best Practices 2008 report - we give you its highlights and tell you where to find it. Stratos did not review the corporate social responsibility report of the government’s export agency, EDC, so we will do it for you. We also look at a chemical that is widely used in Canada but which has been put on temporary ban in Germany because it may be implicated in the death of bees, something that was of great concern to Charles Caccia and is still of concern to many beekeepers and orchardists. Water hyacinth was for many years regarded as the worst of weeds but now some local entrepreneurs in Africa have worked out how it can be used as a for-profit resource. Isn’t that what Sustainable Development is really all about? Almost finally, in this issue we are introducing a new feature, Another Kick at the Gallon Can, in which we will provide updates on issues previously covered.
Finally, it is unusual, in fact never before done, that GL publishes a request for assistance from the police. In this instance, however, the victim was such a strong environmentalist and the circumstances so tragic that we have decided to publish the appeal on the extremely unlikely off-chance that one of our readers was in the area of Yonge and Eglinton in Toronto on May 18, 2007. If you think you may be able to help please follow the link given in our article.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently spoke to Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity which held its ninth meeting in Bonn May 19-30, 2008. Given no Canadian Minister participated in the 2008 World Food Summit and the enthusiasm from Ottawa for the Bonn Climate negotiations is similar to the enthusiasm with which a pike swallows a hook, GL has decided that the Biodiversity Convention must be part of a really big deal. We’ll be looking at some of the business aspects associated with this Convention (target sectors include agriculture, animal breeding industry, energy, fisheries, financial institutions, forestry, infrastructure, mining, shipping and tourism) in our next issue. That is if we survive the kamikaze attacks of the red-wing blackbirds protecting their nests in our yard not just by fluttering overhead and squawking but also by diving to make actual human body contact.
Canadian Cancer Society Position on Asbestos. http://www.cancer.ca/ccs/internet/standard/0,3182,3172_600633685_17432422_langId-en,00.html
Excellent reporting on the High-Level Conference on World Food Security is available through IISD’s Earth Negotiations Bulletin Linkages reporting service at http://www.iisd.ca/ymb/wfs/
June 23, 2008 Events Posted click here
New additions are:
September 2008 Green
Party National Convention, New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
Please note: The Honoured Reader edition of the Gallon Environment Letter does not contain most of the links of the paid subscription. However, any urls listed, checked at the time of publication of each issue, may no longer be current.
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