18. January 2017 · Comments Off on If there ever was a time . . . · Categories: Activism, Climate Crisis, Climate Policy, Energy Policy, Pipelines-Tarsands, Scott Harris, Social Justice

by Scott Harris

First Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 in the Chronicle Journal

Right-wing Fraser Institute’s Ken Green champions the “rule of law” vs “special interests” (Protesters Aren’t in Charge – Guest Column, CJ, Jan. 16). He states that pipeline protesters should take heed.
He qualifies that civil disobedience “is most appropriate when a group faces oppression without representation.” How better to describe future, unborn generations, a group which has no voice, which nevertheless has a right to a tolerable climate, but whose present-day governments don’t see it that way.

Our own Liberal government acknowledged this right by signing on to the Paris Agreement to limit the greenhouse gases that threaten that right, but then, inexplicably, made it impossible to follow through by approving new tar sands pipelines.
Naomi Klein got it right. The immediate threat of global warming changes everything, and the promises of politically compromised, deal-making governments are meaningless in the face of it.
If ever there was a time for civil disobedience, it is with respect to the issue of new bitumen pipelines.
Scott Harris
Thunder Bay

13. January 2017 · Comments Off on Common Voice Northwest out of turn on pipeline · Categories: Activism, Climate Crisis, Climate Policy, Energy Policy, Pipelines-Tarsands, Social Justice, Tom Cook

First Posted: Friday, January 13, 2017 in the Chronicle Journal

I would like to take this opportunity to comment on the Jan. 2 article about Common Voice Northwest and their Energy East forums. Who is Common Voice Northwest?
They are a Thunder Bay-based non-profit group which was formed via a collaboration of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) and the regional chambers of commerce. NOMA is an ‘old boys’ network’ of representatives from Northwestern Ontario municipalities to share information and concerns, and to promote business in the area. Their president is Mayor Dave Canfield from Kenora and board member, Coun. Iain Angus from Thunder Bay is executive director of Common Voice Northwest.
Unfortunately, NOMA sometimes makes pronouncements such as support for the Energy Pipeline proposal which has not been supported by either Thunder Bay city council or Kenora city council. Given this situation, I have some concerns about a possible bias in Common Voice Northwest research. More »

05. October 2016 · Comments Off on Confirmation bias: Science and the Internet form a double-edged sword Story · Categories: Activism, Climate Crisis, Climate Policy, Corporate Irresponsibility, Economic Policy, Energy Policy, Fouling the Earth, Scott Harris, Social Justice, Transformative Ideas

First Posted: Wednesday, October 5, 2016 in the Chronicle Journal

By Scott Harris
For The Chronicle-Journal
‘By either stressing or ignoring the information that bombards us, we create our own reality” (author unknown). Such, perhaps, is what it means to be human. Our own opinions are formed by our own unique experiences, cognitive intake and reflection.
The advent of universal, electronic transmission tools such as the Internet amounts to an information strafing unlike anything we humans have experienced before.
But the Internet is a double-edged tool. With the current availability of electronic information, one can find validation for virtually any opinion, no matter how bizarre. On the other hand, there are impeccable, peer-reviewed sources which help us separate truth from fiction. That distinction is becoming increasingly important, as we begin to address global issues triggered by human behaviour. More »

22. June 2016 · Comments Off on EBR moose and coyote regulation: CUSP submission · Categories: Activism, Climate Crisis, Social Justice

EBR Registry Number: 012-6073
Comment ID 192372
Contact name: Lynn Palmer
Organization Citizens United for a Sustainable Planet (CUSP)

CUSP is a group of citizens that live in or near Thunder Bay who are committed to promoting healthy communities, a healthy environment, and social and ecological justice. CUSP strongly opposes this proposal, as we do not believe is likely to benefit moose and which may actually result in negative impacts.

CUSP does not oppose hunting. However we do support science. We do not see strong scientific evidence in this proposal that it will have the intended effect to improve the health of moose populations. More »

20. April 2016 · Comments Off on Forests For All, Forever · Categories: Corporate Irresponsibility, Julee Boan, Social Justice, Topics, Transformative Ideas

First published in the Chronicle Journal Wed April 20, 2016

Julee Boan

Debate over the use of Ontario’s forests has intensified in recent years. At the heart of the matter: how do we determine which activities are sustainable, and which are not? How much risk is too much risk? And most importantly, who should decide?
Even in a democratic society, such as Canada, expectations for determining whether forestry activities are sustainable go beyond mere compliance with federal and provincial laws. They also go beyond assertions of sustainability from companies themselves or their industry associations. More »

11. January 2016 · Comments Off on Fracking is a bridge to nowhere · Categories: Climate Crisis, Energy Policy, Fouling the Earth, Jason MacLean, Social Justice

SUSTAINABILITY MATTERS
First published in the Chronicle Journal Jan 11, 2016

BY JASON MACLEAN
For Canada and other parties to the recent Paris climate change agreement to meet their commitment to keep warming well below 2 degrees Celsius, “‘plan A’ must be to immediately and aggressively reduce GHG emissions.”
Why? Because there’s no plan B.
That’s not the cry of crazy environmentalists. That’s the cool-headed conclusion of a recent study in the journal Nature Climate Change entitled “Biophysical and economic limits to negative CO2 emissions” assessing the potential of what are called NETs (negative emissions technologies), which are designed to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. More »

14. July 2015 · Comments Off on Is NOMA ignoring democratic values? · Categories: Climate Crisis, Climate Policy, Economic Policy, Energy Policy, Julee Boan, Pipelines-Tarsands, Scott Harris, Social Justice

By Julee Boan and Scott Harris
We have concern regarding the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association’s (NOMA) recent resolution, passed with support from Thunder Bay, calling on a number of environmental organizations to “cease and desist” their forestry “campaigns.”
While Environment North is not specifically mentioned, we are also a registered charitable organization. Since 1972, we have strived to improve and protect the ecological sustainability and socio-economic wellbeing of Northwestern Ontario through leadership, research, partnerships, education, community advocacy, information and community capacity building.
At times, we have called for changes to forestry practices and policy, including voicing questions and concerns when the province exempted the forest industry from the Endangered Species Act. We also voiced support for forest tenure reform to increase local decision making, and the expansion of Wabakimi Provincial Park, among other issues. More »

23. March 2015 · Comments Off on The terrorists we know by Peter Lang · Categories: Activism, Corporate Irresponsibility, Democracy Undermined, Economic Policy, Energy Policy, Social Justice

First published in the Chronicle Journal
Saturday, March 21, 2015
I suppose that Stephen Harper must believe that if he plays the terrorist card he will win a majority of votes in the upcoming election — but I think he’s wrong. This time I believe voters will see through Bill C-51 and its overblown scare tactics. In truth, I’m more concerned about the terrorists we know. More »

29. September 2014 · Comments Off on Walking With Our Sisters a moving experience · Categories: Activism, Peter Lang, Social Justice

Thursday was my birthday. To celebrate, my wife took me to the Thunder Bay Art Gallery to see the exhibit, Walking With Our Sisters. And, while I knew that it was commemorative in honour of murdered and missing First Nations women, I had no idea that the exhibit would affect me so deeply.

Upon entering, visitors are met and introduced to the significance of what they will see, and then ‘smudged’ by an Elder who blesses you and sets you on your way. More »

14. December 2013 · Comments Off on Slow, downsize Ring of Fire project · Categories: Patricia McCormick, Ring of Fire, Social Justice

December 14, 2013

In response to Don Watson’s question “Why the Ring rush?” (letter, Dec. 4) and Kaleigh Bahlieda’s answer, “If you can’t grow it, it has to be mined!” (letter, Dec. 5) I’d like to agree with both of them and add my own question: When would be a good time to practise sustainability for minerals supply via recycling, totally?

I ask this because eventually we will exhaust our Earth’s deposits of minerals. More »

20. November 2013 · Comments Off on Climate Justice · Categories: Climate Crisis, Scott Harris, Social Justice

Good that our Federal Government is giving $20 million on our behalf to the storm-ravaged Phillipines. That’s about 60 cents for every Canadian, the price of half a cup of coffee at the donut shop. Good also that Canadian businesses and individuals have contributed another $20 million. Bravo!

Not to belittle those individuals compassionate enough to donate personally, but this is as it should be. This “largesse” should not be interpreted simply as a reflection of our generosity, but rather a debt needing repayment, since we are one of a number of Western industrialized countries responsible for the excess carbon dioxide driving global warming. More »

03. September 2013 · Comments Off on Alternatives to Capitalism, Part 1: Perpetual growth on finite planet delusional · Categories: Economic Policy, Fouling the Earth, Scott Harris, Social Justice

A recent writer questioned the widely-held belief that free-market capitalism, based on infinite growth and supported by relatively cheap fossil-fuel energy, was sustainable (Our Ubiquitous Deadly Addiction — commentary, July 22). Freda Davies suggested we look at other economic models.

So what’s wrong with free-market capitalism?

The Cochabamba Summit: Documents of the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth (Bolivia, April 2010) is helpful: “Under capitalism, Mother Earth is converted into a source of raw materials, and human beings into consumers and a means of production, into people that are seen as valuable only for what they own, and not for what they are. It is an imperialist system of colonization of the planet.” More »

25. March 2013 · Comments Off on Choose Anti-Racism · Categories: Media, Paul Berger, Social Justice

Neutrality and racism: What can journalists do?

“All writers are propagandists,” wrote environmentalist Derrick Jensen — all have a position and a message. That might seem obvious for book authors, but don’t we expect more from journalists? Shouldn’t the media be unbiased? Neutral? Objective? Balanced?

I am a community member concerned about social justice, environmental degradation, and the fair treatment of aboriginal people. I’m interested in the media’s roles and responsibilities in these areas, since much of our knowledge comes through the media and our opinions are often informed by what we see, hear and read. More »

01. February 2013 · Comments Off on Ecocidal behaviour · Categories: Activism, Scott Harris, Social Justice

Thank you to the aboriginal community, especially the young leaders of the local Idle No More movement who spoke so eloquently at the City Hall rally Monday. At the moment, you seem to be our best hope for slowing the Harper agenda.

As spokesperson Joyce Hunter and many others have documented, Prime Minister Harper is hell-bent on being the leader of a fossil-fuel superpower, and doesn’t care what it takes to realize such a misguided dream. More »

23. December 2012 · Comments Off on We’re all Treaty People · Categories: Activism, Peter Lang, Social Justice

Two eagles circled in a cold, sunny, winter-solstice sky, high above the Idle No More rally at Spirit Garden, Thunder Bay. This is true. At the same time a young Aboriginal speaker was telling us that, “We’re all treaty people”. I had never considered it. Yet, if you reason that the treaties were signed between aboriginal and non-aboriginal peoples – indeed, we are all treaty people. Accordingly, should we not accept that together we’re all responsible to maintain the spirit and intent of the treaties? More »