Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

The David Suzuki Foundation uses my photo of Canucks defensemen Willie Mitchell in “Cause An Effect” video

I was contacted a couple of weeks ago by a representative of the David Suzuki Foundation about using a photo that I had taken in one of their promotional videos. As it turns out, Devon from the DSF was actually a former intern at the radio stations where I currently work, so it was nice to make a connection with someone who has progressed in their career and on to a great opportunity to work for an organization that I have a lot of respect for.

The photo itself was from the 2008 Canucks Superskills competition at GM Place. I shot it with my Canon S5 IS, and it’s one of my more favorite shots of Willie as he was just skating around in circles during a brief moment of downtime. Anyone who goes to see enough Canucks games knows that he’s a constant mover on the ice when nothing else seems to be going on.

The video was put together to spotlight an ongoing effort on the B.C. coast by the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR) to help preserve the fresh salmon from the effects of sea lice that comes from the salmon farms in the same areas.

You can see more Cause An Effect videos on the DSF website. Many thanks for to their organization for asking me to use the photo in their video.

The Arctic could be ice free by 2030

Regardless if you believe it or not, that’s a scary damn thought. It doesn’t help when you read things like this.

The Arctic ice cap has collapsed at an unprecedented rate this summer and levels of sea ice in the region now stand at record lows, scientists have announced.

Experts say they are “stunned” by the loss of ice, with an area almost twice as big as the UK disappearing in the last week alone.

So much ice has melted this summer that the Northwest passage across the top of Canada is fully navigable, and observers say the Northeast passage along Russia’s Arctic coast could open later this month.

If the increased rate of melting continues, the summertime Arctic could be totally free of ice by 2030.

Mark Serreze, an Arctic specialist at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre at Colorado University in Denver, said: “It’s amazing. It’s simply fallen off a cliff and we’re still losing ice.”

The Arctic has now lost about a third of its ice since satellite measurements began thirty years ago, and the rate of loss has accelerated sharply since 2002.

Dr Serreze said: “If you asked me a couple of years ago when the Arctic could lose all of its ice then I would have said 2100, or 2070 maybe. But now I think that 2030 is a reasonable estimate. It seems that the Arctic is going to be a very different place within our lifetimes, and certainly within our childrens’ lifetimes.” [guardian]

I say bring on the mass transit and new methods of creating cleaner energy. We need it now. Driving around the lower mainland as much as I have in the past month is proof positive as to how much pollution spews into the air from a few million people crammed into the valley. Forget doom and gloom. Let’s just start breathing some cleaner air.

Documentary: The Great Global Warming Swindle

I heard about this about a week or so ago. Apparently “The Great Global Warming Swindle” is creating quite a stir, and I am not surprised. Rebecca and I watched it over the weekend, and it really makes you think about things. Personally, I think there is some validity to all the arguments regarding global warming, for or against it actually happening or not.

You can watch this for yourself on Google Video. It’s almost an hour and a half long, but worth the time.

Bottom line, I don’t want to breathe in this stuff anymore. I am all for reducing CO2 emissions and making the skies less hazy with smog. The fact that my great uncle in California always sleeps better, feels better, and has less pain in his joints whenever he is visiting family, outside of the greater L.A. area in which he lives, tells me a lot. It’s bad juju.

With warming there is dimming

I discovered something new last night on the Knowledge Network when it comes to the issues of climate change and global warming. Global dimming[wiki] is a fascinating phenomena that doesn’t get as much press as the previously mentioned topics do. It’s a friend and foe all at the same time.

This is the best, basic explanation that I could find.

Fossil fuel use, as well as producing greenhouse gases, creates other by-products. These by-products are also pollutants, such as sulphur dioxide, soot, and ash. These pollutants however, also change the properties of clouds.

Clouds are formed when water droplets are seeded by air-borne particles, such as pollen. Polluted air results in clouds with larger number of droplets than unpolluted clouds. This then makes those clouds more reflexsive. More of the sun’s heat and energy is therefore reflected back into space.

This reduction of heat reaching the earth is known as Global Dimming. [globalissues]

So of course, the more sunlight you reflect into space, the cooler the temps are on the surface. The way the program put it, there needs to be a delicate process of reducing these particles because a sharp decline of air pollution will accelerate an increase of temperatures on the surface of the Earth. And with this being a recent discovery among climatologists, it’s making a lot of current models regarding the future trends of global warming to be reevaluated.

I try to keep a very open mind when I hear about these things, but the data is really hard to argue with. The simple matter is that things need to change for the better, and this needs to happen soon rather than later. Even if nothing will happen for another 10 years or 50 years, everything that is done now can make things better for the next 500 years. We cannot, as a global community, keep pumping junk into the atmosphere.

Oh, and by the way, they are discovering new islands around Greenland at an amazing rate. Not from volcanoes, but because the shorelines are melting away.

Speaking of distilling water

You can never be too prepared, so in an effort to find out some information to refresh my idea of being able to distill water in a pinch, I found this site with some good information. I’ve lived through a few tornado hits in my lifetime to understand that it’s rare to find anyone who is truly prepared for disaster. Maybe this will help you if the situation arises. I pray that it never does. Continue to the full post →

Going to beat this until it’s good and dead

This boil water advisory has gotten old, fast. This goes beyond whining. I’d consider this a matter of concern for every person in the GVRD. If a bad weather system can leave us fighting for bottled water, think what an earthquake can do.

Posted AT 12:17 PM EST ON 20/11/06

B.C. water warning could last weeks: official

TENILLE BONOGUORE
Globe and Mail Update

Stark water warnings forcing almost a million B.C. residents to boil their tap water could be in place for weeks to come, the Greater Vancouver Regional District has warned.

Weekend storms and continuing rainfall added even more sediment to the already-turbid water supplies for Vancouver and Burnaby.

District spokesman Bill Morrell said Monday that, without a prolonged stretch of clear weather, the water supply had little chance of clearing.

“The sediment is very, very fine, and it will stay suspended in the water for some time,” Mr. Morrell said.

“It’s very difficult to speculate when it will be within acceptable limits. Our operations folks are of the opinion it may be weeks before this is settled out.” [globeandmail]

In a pinch, I could fashion together a setup to distill our own water, a la MacGyver. Amazing that high school chemistry taught me something and I remember it. Kinda. Thank you, Mr. Nelson.

Photographs exhibiting evidence of global warming

I had heard about The Canary Project somewhere before, but the post on Boing Boing led me over to the site.  What they are trying to accomplish should give you a reason to pause and think it over a little.

The mission of The Canary Project is to photograph landscapes around the world that are exhibiting dramatic transformation due to global warming and to use these photographs to persuade as many people as possible that global warming is already underway and of immediate concern.

To compile a persuasive body of images, we will be photographing at least 16 landscapes throughout the world. These images will show that global warming: (1) is affecting the world in a variety of ways (melting, sea-level rise, drought, extreme weather events, dying habitats, etc.); (2) is affecting every place on earth.  [canary-project]

CBC Radio One Book Club w/ David Suzuki

During the recording session at the CBC studios in Vancouver, BC with David SuzukiTo follow-up on the previous post about going to this event, it’s really hard to sum up the whole experience. Rebecca posted something yesterday while it was still fresh in our memories, and I probably should have done something similar to give you the best account of the nearly two hours we spent in the same room as David Suzuki[wiki].

He is a remarkable man. He’s more personable than you would think, but there is an obvious sense that he is a very busy man with a lot on his mind and just as much, if not more, to do. Even with the David Suzuki Foundation, he pounds the pavement to spread the message of numerous causes in the world. For a man of his age, he is in shape, healthy, and doing what he loves to do.

I left the CBC building in Vancouver feeling very empowered. For what reason, I was really unsure. Suzuki has that effect on you. He doesn’t butter up the situation. There are some serious, evironmental issues in this world that makes me wonder how a guy like this sleeps at night. These issues blow my mind everytime I think about it, but being a victim of popular culture, I’ve conditioned myself to occupy those concerns with other things that pale in comparison. Continue to the full post →