Humble Dogs

That they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts. Matthew 13:15b

Archive for the tag “ecology”

God Has Made it Plain

“…What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–His eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made so that men are without excuse” (Rom. 1:19-20)

I highly recommend the PBS program Earth From Space which aired last evening on most PBS channels.

For all who missed watching last night, it is available for direct viewing.

Earth From Space

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/earth-from-space.html
Earth From Space
Detailed satellite images reveal the web of connections that sustain life on Earth. Aired February 13, 2013 on PBS

Program Description
“Earth From Space” is a groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth. Viewers witness how dust blown from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon; how a vast submarine “waterfall” off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents around the world; and how the sun’s heating up of the southern Atlantic gives birth to a colossally powerful hurricane. From the microscopic world of water molecules vaporizing over the ocean to the magnetic field that is bigger than Earth itself, the show reveals the astonishing beauty and complexity of our dynamic planet.

None other than Divine creation could have designed such an amazing life sustaining sphere. Although the program does not directly say so, it is plain to see; This is not by cosmic accident!

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Rants of a Christian Enviromentalist

I am an environmentalist. I believe all people have a role to play in protecting the environment and the eco-systems we live in. Even more so for us who claim a dedication to Christian principles. We were created by God to be stewards of all He created.

Earth

View from Space

Genesis 1: 28; And God blessed them, and God said unto them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth”.

It is that word, “DOMINION”, which means REGENCY. God granted us regency in His creation. We, mankind, are to, use the land, the seas and all God has abundantly supplied but, we are to watch over it, take care of it, and return it to Him unsullied. God has asked us to be conservationists, environmentalists, ecologists and take care of this earth. Perhaps, at least in part, it is our failure to look after this earth that the final act of the creation story is to create a new earth, one fit for His Holy Kingdom.

I will admit, I get very judgmental over environment issues, especially towards those whose authority is to look after the affairs of our Country, Province/State, or community. Yes, I am referring to politicians  I live in Alberta, Canada and I realize that even though I am retired, much of the benefits I enjoy come from the resource revenues created by the Oil Sands industry. Some call it the Tar Sands, probably a more fit name but, that is another debate.

The last thing I want in this matter is to have the Oil Sands shut down. That would serve no one. What I would like to see is proper management applied to this resource. Both the Federal and Provincial Governments know the problems with pollution, they have conducted numerous studies, they know the solutions and yet due to heavy lobbying pressure by the oil companies involved, they choose to do nothing environmentally constructive. They boast about the monies the project brings in, they spread economic fear that unnecessary meddling will create economic disaster.

What I don’t understand is why the laws to protect the environment and ecology which are already in place are not enforced over the industries involved with the oil sands.

Several months ago a government authorized study conducted by the Univ. of Alberta confirmed that pollution, directly attributed to oil sands operations, is having a detrimental effect on the environment and the ecology in a wide path, mainly east,(prevailing winds) surrounding the Fort McMurray, Wood Buffalo region. These reports were not released to the public and scientists who worked on the report were put under gag order. The report was eventually leaked by a subordinate several weeks later.

I wrote to my Member of Parliament, Blaine Calkins, on this matter and received this reply:

Dear Mr. Tilley,

Thank you for your letter concerning the recent study done by Environment Canada that confirmed the studies done by Dr. Schindler.

As Environment Canada noted in their report, the levels of containments found in the samples were consistent with contaminants that have been found in areas with no development. Consequently, Environment Canada has decided to do further tests in an effort to better understand the levels of contaminants in the Oil Sands area.

“…the levels of contaminants found in the samples were consistent with contaminants that have been found in areas with no development.” Of course they are consistent – they are the same contaminants blown there by winds coming off the oil sands.
In other words; “We will continue to do nothing.”

I also asked him about the ‘Gag Order’ muzzling the UofA scientists, he replied:

With regards to your comments about monitoring reports being kept secret, and scientists being ‘gagged’, it simply isn’t happening. The process of making reports public is not new, and has not been changed by our Government.

OK, Let’s hear from the scientists themselves after the report was leaked. Watch the following news video.

Government Hides Proof of Oil Sands Contamination
http://www.albertaprimetime.com/Stories.aspx?pd=4450

Original Air Date: Monday, November 05, 2012
The public is learning Environment Canada knew of oil sands contamination and muzzled its scientists. What fallout will those revelations cause?

We speak with David Schindler, international acclaimed and outspoken environmental biologist from the University of Alberta.

Tar Pit #3

Tar Pit #3

This week a new report was released by Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario This time the report was published directly to major news sources. This report confirms the findings of the previous UofA reports of last November.

Oil sands development polluting Alberta lakes: study 
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/oil-sands-development-polluting-alberta-lakes-study/article7014184/

Oil Sands Polluting Area Lakes 
http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/393673-report-oilsands-polluting-area-lakes

Oil sands pollution ‘clearly evident’, government-funded study says 
http://business.financialpost.com/2013/01/07/government-funded-study-concludes-toxic-hydrocarbons-from-oil-sands-pollute-lakes/

Margaret Munro, Postmedia News | Jan 7, 2013

Leading federal and academic scientists have uncovered “compelling” evidence that Alberta’s oil sands operations have been sending toxins into the atmosphere for decades.

Industry’s role as a decades-long contributor of PAHs to oil sands lake ecosystems is now clearly evident
The team has found “striking” increases in contaminants known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at the bottom of six lakes up to 90 kilometres from the massive oil sands operations in northeastern Alberta.

PAHs began to climb in the lake sediments in the 1970s and are now up to 23 times higher than 1960 levels. It says the increased PAHs coincided with oil sands development and the compounds have a distinct “petrogenic” fingerprint different from PAHs generated by natural phenomenon like fire.

Levels of the toxins have almost tripled since the 1960s in Namur Lake, the most remote lake tested. It is about 90 kilometres northwest of oil sands operations in a provincial park known for its fishing. The PAHs are up to 23 times higher in the other lakes, which are within 35 kilometres of the oil sands operations.

“Given the planned expansion of the oil sands, the trend will likely accelerate in future,” says co-author John Smol, a Canada research chair in Environmental Change at Queen’s University.

Government and industry response is; “that many pollutants found in the lakes and rivers of northeastern Alberta are naturally occurring and leached from the bitumen deposits themselves.”

In other words; “We choose to do nothing.”

Dominion of Canada

When Canada became an independent nation, the founding fathers adopted the title “Dominion of Canada”. The term was taken from Genesis when God said to Adam, “You shall have dominion over all of creation” God was saying to Adam, “I have appointed you to be the caretaker over the land which I have given you”. It was a vice-regency title given to Adam from God and the connotation for Canada as being part of the Realm of the British Empire.

The term “Dominion” can be traced to a suggestion by Samuel Leonard Tilley at the London Conference of 1866 discussing the confederation of five of the British North American possessions, the Provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island into “One Dominion under the Name of Canada”, the first internal federation in the British Empire. Tilley’s suggestion was actually taken from the 72nd Psalm, verse eight, “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth,” This verse is echoed in our national motto, “A Mari Usque Ad Mare. latin for “from sea to sea”

By adopting the term Dominion, the founding fathers took on to themselves and passed on to us and all generations that follow the responsibility to be caretakers of the lands, the resources and ecology, the flora and fauna, the waterways, the land and the environment. To be a member of government is to shoulder that responsibility. It was written into the name of Canada – Caretaker. We are the caretakers of this land first before all other responsibilities, the onus is on us to make sure that Canada is passed on intact and viable for all generations that follow. Not only our children, but our children’s’ children forward to all generations.

The shame for Canada is that we have slowly but deliberately dissolved our responsibilities as vice-regents, as caretakers, and now only give lip service to care taking of our lands that make up this nation of Canada. So determined to not be labeled as “Caretakers”, our governments dropped the name Dominion Day and called July 1st Canada Day instead.

Worth the Price?

Tarsands Oil Exports vs BC North Coast
Which is worth more? Tarsands oil exports to China, or securing the ecology of the BC North Coast. Is it an either or situation? Can we have both?
Enbridge’s economists have calculated that building the pipeline and shipping out Alberta crude will increase the gross domestic product of Canada by $270 billion over the three decades. What is the BC North Coast worth? Can it’s value be quantified in dollars?
Enbridge admits there will be incidents, but can be limited to less than what was spilled at Valdes. Their own analysis predicts 250 kilometers of coast line contamination in the first week after a spill. “Protection of environmental, socio-economic, and cultural sensitivities will be prioritized, and response strategies will be developed to limit potential adverse effects.” NGP-FS-03-003_Emergency Preparedness and Response
The Coast Guard reports 8 incidents in the years 1999-2010 involving bulk carriers and general cargo vessels with experienced captains and certified pilots aboard along the same routes the tankers will travel. The largest of these vessels being less than half the size of mega tankers.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada has identified 15 Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs) in the newly designated Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area “… areas worthy of enhanced protection”. http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Library/329206.pdf
Another important question is; Can Canada trust China?
Are we allowing too much Chinese state controlled investment in our resources? Will there come a time when China is calling the shots? They refuse to ratify an agreement on investments to date. Their foreign policy and actions are abysmal at best.
Is the Pipeline Joint Review Panel just a political facade? Will it’s findings carry any weight in the final decision? PM Harper seems to have already endorsed the project and is about to ratify an agreement in principal while in Beijing this week.
Maybe we can nickname the project, the Panda Pipeline.
Where does the interested Canadian turn for a rational view on the Gateway Pipeline Project?

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