May 14, 2010
Got a few hours to spare for the planet?
As you know our most recent campaign is calling for a ramped up coal phase-out in Ontario, specifically by the G-8/20 which is June 25-27. It’s the perfect opportunity for Premier McGuinty to get global and local recognition for the most progressive climate initiative on the continent, and it would show the world that Ontarians do care about the environment!
We’re distributing this leaflet, which includes a postcard to McGuinty: http://www.cleanairalliance.org/files/active/0/CoalPhaseOut-web.pdf
Can you help us distribute them? Let me know if you can spare some time and I’ll fill you in on how you can help. email@example.com
Hamilton City council is asking the provincial government to shut down coal-fired electricity plants in Ontario including the massive one in Nanticoke. Councillors were told this week that a sharp drop in electricity demand along with rapidly expanding sustainable energy production means the McGuinty government can accomplish its planned coal phase-out four years early.
Please contact Premier McGuinty and asked him to phase-out coal now (and cc me).
Coal's Toxic Sludge
Big coal has spent millions of dollars over the past year touting the virtues of what the industry calls "clean coal," but it's no secret that coal is the dirtiest fossil fuel. When you burn it, coal releases monstrous quantities of deadly compounds and gases — and it all has to go somewhere. The worst of the waste — heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium and mercury, all of which are highly toxic — are concentrated in the ash that's left over after coal is burned or in the dirty sludge that's scrubbed from smokestacks. Each year, coal plants in the U.S. churn out nearly 140 million tons of coal ash — more than 900 pounds for every American — generating the country's second-largest stream of industrial waste, surpassed only by mining. If you piled all the coal ash on a single football field, it would create a toxic mountain more than 20 miles high.
Why the oil spill could change everything.
By Al Gore
The continuing undersea gusher of oil 50 miles off the shores of Louisiana is not the only source of dangerous uncontrolled pollution spewing into the environment. Worldwide, the amount of man-made CO2 being spilled every three seconds into the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding the planet equals the highest current estimate of the amount of oil spilling from the Macondo well every day. Indeed, the average American coal-fired power generating plant gushes more than three times as much global-warming pollution into the atmosphere each day—and there are over 1,400 of them.
AREVA’s radioactive legacy in the desert towns of Niger.
In one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking last in the Human Development Index of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), where more than 40% of children are underweight for their age, water and access to improved water sources is scarce and almost three quarters of the population are illiterate1, the French nuclear giant AREVA extracts precious—and deadly—natural resources, earning billions for its Fortune 5002 corporation, and leaving little behind but centuries of environmental pollution and health risks for the citizens of Niger.
The quest for nuclear disarmament is likely to fail if governments and corporations continue to promote nuclear technologies as a solution to the world's energy needs, say independent experts.
More delays plague N.B. nuclear plant
New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham was in Ottawa last week to ask the Harper government to help cover the estimated $475 million in cost overruns at Point Lepreau.
Background: Originally scheduled to be finished by September 2009, at a fixed price of $1.4 billion, the "refurbished" Point Lepreau nuclear reactor is now not expected to be ready before the end of February 2011. This doubles the total amount of time estimated for the refurbishment, and there is always a likelihood of further delays.
Refurbishment is a mild term for the complete gutting of the reactor core, the removal of thousands of highly radioactive and corroded pipes both inside and outside of the core, and the complete rebuilding of the core and the primary cooling system of the reactor.
Each day of delay costs the utility about a million dollars in replacement power, for an additional $450 million at least. This does not include the added expenses associated with the delays in the reconstruction work itself.
Back in 2002, the New Brunswick Public Utility Board had advised against the reconstruction project on the grounds that the risks and uncertainties for the N.B. taxpayers were too great. - Gordon Edwards.
Upwards of 50 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and groups from a dozen nations, and over 150 individuals throughout and beyond the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway have signed onto a resolution opposing Bruce Power's plan to transport radioactively contaminated equipment through the Great Lakes, along the St. Lawrence River, across the Atlantic Ocean and into the Baltic Sea to Sweden for melting and release into the marketplace.
The original resolution is posted at: http://www.nirs.org/radwaste/glresradsteamgen.pdf Please sign on as an individual or as a group.
In defiance of legal challenges and a U.S. Government moratorium, Canadian company Denison Mines has started mining uranium on the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Uranium is a known cause of cancers, organ damage, miscarriages & birth defects.
They're ripping the tops off mountains in West Virginia coal country to feed our insatiable appetite for power. It's cheaper that way. And the trees and the animals and the flooding? It may not be pretty, but we've got all those dishwashers to run
What does this have to do with you? This is where Ontario gets 40 per cent of the fuel powering its coal-fired power plants. Ontario Power Generation is a big buyer from West Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. Company spokesperson John Earl says 40 per cent of its coal comes from there. The coal is used to stoke burners at its two biggest coal-fired plants, Nanticoke and Lambton.
In the wake of the worst coal mining disaster in 40 years, compromise and political machinations this spring have resulted in a regulatory crisis of failure; workplace safety in the mines, including the black lung scandal, has emerged as a national tragedy; toxic coal ash remains uncategorized as hazardous waste; mountaintop removal operations and devastating strip mining in 24 states continue under regulatory plunder, not abolishment; billions of taxpayers’ dollars pour down the black hole of carbon capture and storage boondoggles, increasing coal production; climate legislation hangs in the balance of political games.
Our modern-day Paine, James Hansen at the NASA Goddard Center, has issued a similar clarion call: “Coal is the single greatest threat to civilization and all life on our planet. Our global climate is nearing tipping points.”
Clean energy independence, not coal, will bring more sustainable jobs. Wind, solar, hydropower and turbine manufacturing, along with weatherization, retrofitting appliances and homes, could create jobs. The Appalachian Regional Commission found that “energy-efficiency investments could result in an increase of 77,378 net jobs by 2030″ in the region.
Leachate treatment raises public concerns
Test water for radiation, reader urges
Leachate from landfill treated in Barry's Bay
"In a telephone interview on Monday, Manning said that the leachate is not tested for uranium or radioactivity by OCWA because it is not among the required tests."
Twice this year, the nation’s 21,000 wind turbines pumped out so much power that utilities reduced customer bills for using the surplus electricity. Since the first rebate came with little fanfare at 5 a.m. one October day in 2008, payments have risen as high as 500.02 euros ($665) a megawatt-hour.
Wind’s impact on prices results from its “low marginal costs,” which pushes more expensive technologies including natural gas and coal out of the market, the Poeyry study said. Fossil-fuel burning relies on fuel, which can boost the price of electricity from those sources.
Canadian Premiere of documentary feature film, Living Downstream
Bloor Cinema, Toronto
Tues. May 18, 7:30 p.m.
General admission: $10. Advance tickets available via Brown Paper Tickets (http://ca.brownpapertickets.com/event/109106) and in person from all Book City locations. Remaining tickets available at the box office one hour before the screening.
Co-presentation of Planet in Focus and Women’s Healthy Environments Network
Living Downstream is an eloquent feature-length documentary that charts the life and work of Sandra Steingraber: a biologist, author, cancer survivor and cancer prevention advocate. Like the book on which it is based, Living Downstream documents the growing body of scientific evidence that links human health with the health of our environment.
Please join the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT) in opposing it this weapons bazaar. Be part of this campaign.
What is CANSEC, and why do we oppose it?
"CANSEC: War is Business" (50-page COAT publication. Get the nitty gritty)
"Rally for Peace," June 2, 5-7 pm, Ottawa (Our main antiCANSEC event)
Includes a list of speakers, poets and musicians, and links to their websites.
"Peace Bus" from Toronto to Ottawa, June 2: All aboard for the anti-CANSEC rally