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Seen around town: Bird houses and trees on False Creek’s Habitat Island

Seen around town: Bird houses and trees on False Creek’s Habitat Island

Seen around town: Three of the signs posted on BC Premier Christy Clark’s constituency office earlier this spring by about 200 university and high school students rallying to oppose the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. The pipeline is intended to transport bitumen (i.e. heavy oil) west from Alberta’s tar sands through British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest to the province’s ecologically rich coast before being shipped to Asian markets.
The pipeline is currently going through a federally mandated joint review panel process, but there is an incredibly diverse movement growing here in BC to stop the pipeline and speed the transition to a climate resilient, clean energy economy. Here are two recent examples: Yesterday, green groups sued the federal government to protect four endangered species living along the proposed pipeline and shipping route. Today, the province’s local governments passed a resolution opposing oil tanker expansion on the BC coast. Interesting times in BC, Canada, and on this planet we call Earth.
Related:
'Pipeline to prosperity or channel to catastrophe?' (Globe & Mail)
'Great Bear Rainforest: Pipeline through paradise' (National Geographic)
Dr. David Schindler: ‘The Canadian oil sands: economic saviour or environmental disaster?’ (key points) (YouTube)
‘First Nations warn of civil disobedience if Northern Gateway pipeline goes ahead’ (Times-Colonist)

Seen around town: Three of the signs posted on BC Premier Christy Clark’s constituency office earlier this spring by about 200 university and high school students rallying to oppose the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. The pipeline is intended to transport bitumen (i.e. heavy oil) west from Alberta’s tar sands through British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest to the province’s ecologically rich coast before being shipped to Asian markets.

The pipeline is currently going through a federally mandated joint review panel process, but there is an incredibly diverse movement growing here in BC to stop the pipeline and speed the transition to a climate resilient, clean energy economy. Here are two recent examples: Yesterday, green groups sued the federal government to protect four endangered species living along the proposed pipeline and shipping route. Today, the province’s local governments passed a resolution opposing oil tanker expansion on the BC coast. Interesting times in BC, Canada, and on this planet we call Earth.

Related:

Tools for Change: ‘Smart Environmental Policy with Full-Cost Pricing’

From The Pacific Institute of Climate Solutions via YouTube:

Canada’s natural resources, ecosystems and wildlife are indispensable to the sustainability of our planet and economy. Despite this, both the public and private sectors do not adequately consider the environmental consequences of production and consumption when calculating their bottom line. There is a growing need for full-cost pricing, a system that adjusts market prices to reflect not only the direct costs of goods and services, but also their impact on our country’s natural capital. Presenting the findings of a March 2012 paper, Dr. Olewiler argues that the onus is on the federal government to create the conditions for full-cost pricing to succeed.

Nancy Olewiler is the Director of the School of Public Policy at Simon Fraser University. Her areas of research include natural resource and environmental economics and policy. She has published extensively, written two widely used textbooks (The Economics of Natural Resource Use and Environmental Economics), and produced numerous reports for the Canadian federal and provincial governments, including studies on energy and climate policy, natural capital, and federal business tax policy. Nancy is the Chair of the TransLink Board of Directors, and has previously served on the boards of BC Hydro and several of its subsidiaries. She is also a member of advisory committees for Statistics Canada, WWF-Canada, Sustainable Prosperity and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions. 

The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions has lots of other great solutions oriented talks here

Related:

(Graphic source: TEEB4me)

Anything else you’re interested in is not going to happen if you can’t breathe the air and drink the water. Don’t sit this one out. Do something. Carl Sagan, American astronomer, astrophysicistcosmologist, author, and science popularizer. 
Public Space: When they built the urban plaza in the Southeast False Creek neighbourhood (2010 Olympic Village) here in Vancouver they "put a bird on it." Actually, they put two birds on it, but you can only see one of them in this photo. I’m a big fan of artist Myfanwy MacLeod’s 'The Birds'. Every time I’m down there I see people and kids especially reacting to them in such fun and curious ways, as if they are trying to figure out if they are friendly, menacing or something in between. I also like the reminder that they offer that nature is larger than us humans. As for the official explanation of the piece:

The work highlights both the lighter and graver sides of what can happen when a non-native species is introduced to an environment, how the beauty of birds can sometimes mask their threat to biodiversity.

If you’re interested, I’ve got more pics here.

Public Space:

When they built the urban plaza in the Southeast False Creek neighbourhood (2010 Olympic Village) here in Vancouver they "put a bird on it." Actually, they put two birds on it, but you can only see one of them in this photo.

I’m a big fan of artist Myfanwy MacLeod’s 'The Birds'. Every time I’m down there I see people and kids especially reacting to them in such fun and curious ways, as if they are trying to figure out if they are friendly, menacing or something in between. I also like the reminder that they offer that nature is larger than us humans. As for the official explanation of the piece:

The work highlights both the lighter and graver sides of what can happen when a non-native species is introduced to an environment, how the beauty of birds can sometimes mask their threat to biodiversity.

If you’re interested, I’ve got more pics here.