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The threatened white beluga whales of the St. Lawrence or high-noise pipeline work?

Earlier this month we blogged about Justice Claudine Roy’s decision granting a temporary injunction to environmental groups, blocking Energy East Pipeline Ltd. and TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. from conducting exploratory work in the St. Lawrence River near Cacouna, QC until October 15, when a critical beluga spawning period had passed. The purpose of the project is to study a portion of the sea-bed under the St. Lawrence River to determine where a marine terminal should be built to allow the export of Alberta tar sands oil.  The temporary injunction expired on October 15, as scheduled, but the energy companies are still blocked from proceeding, this time by Quebec’s environment ministry.

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Dear faithful readers,

We are updating the framework of our website to make it faster, cleaner, and more mobile friendly. During the process, you may notice some layout changes, but the excellent content that you are used to will all remain available. For WordPress theme aficionados, we are moving from Thesis 1.8 to Thesis 2.1.
Thank you for your patience. We do apologize for any inconvenience, and will do what we can to keep it short.

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The U.S. Pentagon’s latest report, the 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap, calls climate change an immediate threat to national security.

The forward, by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, sets the tone: “Rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, climbing sea levels, and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict. They will likely lead to food and water shortages, pandemic diseases, disputes over refugees and resources, and destruction by natural disasters in regions across the globe.”

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In O’Byrne et al. v. Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company (Lindsay), 2014 ONCA 543, the Ontario Court of Appeal has forced an insurer to pay for a fuel oil cleanup after a spill, despite a pollution exclusion clause.

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Is the tide turning on fossil fuel divestment? Climate Week featured promises, by some big mainstream investors, to start divesting from fossil fuels. Notable announcements included the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which was built on the Standard Oil fortune. Europe has more than nine fossil fuel divestment campaigns underway. And now Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, has called for investors to report the long-term environmental impacts of their decisions along with their financial results. He warned that fossil fuel companies cannot burn all the reserves on their existing books if the world is to avoid catastrophic climate change. [click to continue…]

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Fair sharing of biodiversity: The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization, under the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), enters into force this week. The Protocol is an international environmental agreement intended to ensure that those, who share access to genetic resources and associated traditional and aboriginal knowledge, benefit fairly from their use. 51 countries have ratified the Protocol to date.

Canada, with its large aboriginal population, has neither signed nor ratified this Protocol. [click to continue…]

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