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Under the NAFTA trade deal, Canada is being sued to open up the St Lawrence River to fracking, or pay to massive damages. TTIP, TPP and CETA promise more of the same. Photo: Bob August via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

The corporate coup d'etat: TTIP, TTP, CETA, NAFTA

Joyce Nelson

17th February 2015

The raft of 'free trade' agreements under negotiation represents a massive seizure of power by corporations, writes Joyce Nelson - effectively stripping democratic governments of their power to legislate for health, environment, labour or anything else that could reduce corporate profit. But the mainstream media are mysteriously silent. more...
'Free Cascadia' banner. Photo: ario_ via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Design by Joe Martin.

Fighting the 'Big Club': blockades, strikes, and the fossil fuel blowback

Alexander Reid Ross

2nd February 2015

North America's environment campaigners face a fearsome enemy in the 'Big Club', writes Alexander Reid Ross - the nexus of fossil fuel and infrastructure corporations, government, militarized police, private security contractors, PR agencies, astroturf NGOs and quasi-judicial bodies. But the activists are winning key victories in their battle to halt the industrialization of Cascadia. more...
Fracking in a Denton residential neighborhood. Photo: Gena Felker / Britt Utsler via Frack Free Denton.

Message to the UK: the fracking 'bridge' is burning!

Naomi Klein

27th January 2015

The lesson of fracking in the US and Canada is a simple one, writes Naomi Klein. The fracking industry is vicious, brutal and will stop at nothing to get its way. British anti-frackers can celebrate yesterday's achievements - but the fight ahead will not be an easy one. more...
Bali, Indonesia: US Secretary of State John Kerry participates in a meeting with nations' leaders discussing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, 8th October 2013. Photo: William Ng / State Department (Public Domain).

TTIP is sputtering, but other 'trade' deals threaten our sovereignty

Glyn Moody

25th January 2015

Even as the controversial TTIP 'trade' deal runs into sand, writes Glyn Moody, a spate of similar deals to empower corporations over national governments and democratic forces are being negotiated even more secretively - like CETA, TPP, TISA - and could become cemented into binding treaties before civil society even knows of their existence. more...
The possible lengthening of ice-free periods may affect polar bears before the end of the century. Photo: Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia Commons.

With melting Arctic ice, Canada's polar bears face wipe-out by 2100

Tim Radford

6th December 2014

The expected melting of sea ice in Canada's Arctic Archipelago will progressively render huge areas unable to support viable polar bears populations, writes Tim Radford. By 2100 the polar bears could be pushed out altogether. more...
The Syncrude Aurora Oil Sands Mine, north of Fort McMurray, Canada. Photo: Elias Schewel via Flickr.

Tar sands industry faces 'existential' $246 billion loss

Gregory McGann

27th November 2014

The exploitation of Canada's tar sands is more than just an environmental catastrophe, writes Gregory McGann. It's also an turning into an economic disaster, with massive investments at risk as falling oil prices leave the tar sands stranded. more...
Keystone XL Pipeline Protest at the White House, Washington DC, November 2011. Photo: tarsandsaction via Flickr.

Keystone XL - we won! But the real battle lies ahead

Alexander Reid Ross

19th November 2014

The enabling bill for Keystone XL failed yesterday in the US Senate. Supported by all 45 Republican senators, it fell one vote short of the required 60-vote threshold. But the victory will be a temporary one, writes Alexander Reid Ross. The final battle can only be won by massive grassroots engagement and protest in communities across North America. more...
Wind turbines like these in Ontario, Canada, are three times more 'annoying' than those on Prince Edward Island - apparently because of Ontario's negative press coverage of wind power. Photo: Onasill ~ Bill Badzo via Flickr.

Wind turbine noise may be annoying - but it's not making you sick

Tyler Hamilton

25th November 2014

A large-scale independent study by Health Canana finds no link between the noise from wind turbines and health, writes Tyler Hamilton. That's not to say wind turbines can't be annoying - but there's a sure way to deal with that: give locals a financial benefit from their operation. Has Britain's wind industry got something to learn? more...
Stop TTIP logo. Image: Stop TTIP via Flickr.

TTIP - challenging the European Commission's unlawful intransigence

Mary Fitzgerald & Michael Efler

10th November 2014

The Commission's refusal to 'register' a European Citizens Initiative demanding an end to negotiations over the TTIP trade deal is more than just an affront to the 'democratic values' that Europe is meant to represent, write Mary Fitzgerald & Michael Efler. It is also unlawful, and the legal challenge filed today at the ECJ is richly deserved. more...
Stop TTIP demo in Berlin, October 2014. Photo: Jakob Huber / ECI via Stop TTIP! /  Flickr.

Lawsuit served on Commission for blocking TTIP challenge

The Ecologist

10th November 2014

A 300-strong coalition of civil society groups is taking the European Commission to the European Court of Justice, claiming that its refusal to register a official 'Citizens Initiative' opposing the EU-US TTIP trade deal was unlawful. more...
The 'Bridge of the Gods' crossing the Columbia River Gorge. Photo: Mark Stevens via Flickr.

US oil boom threatens pristine North-West with crude transport corridors

Valerie Brown / Climate News Network

11th November 2014

America's expanding oil production threatens the pristine Pacific Northwest region of the country with a rash of new oil terminals along the coast, writes Valerie Brown, and hugely expanded traffic of freight trains loaded with hundreds of cars of crude oil heading for California refineries. more...
'The view from my sister's window'. Greenpoint, NY, NY. Photo: Susan via Flickr.

What if your backyard was a slaughterhouse?

Laura Lee Cascada

3rd November 2014

When three giggling teenage girls in an SUV called 'BACON' at Laura Lee Cascada as she conducted a peaceful slaughterhouse vigil, she realised - those girls don't yet realise that 'bacon' has a mom. And there is only one way to create that missing connection - through love, empathy, understanding and perseverance. more...

canada: 1/25 of 52
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Heavy oil undergoing extraction from tar sands, Alberta. Canada. Photo: Howl Arts Collective via Flickr.

Plan to label tar sands as 'polluting' scrapped by EU

The Ecologist

7th October 2014

The EU is dumping a plan to label fuel made from tar sands as 20% more polluting than oil from conventional sources, making it cheaper for European countries to import. But the concession - intended to smooth the TTIP trade deal - still has to be approved by the European Parliament. more...
The North Saskatchewan River in the Kootenay Plains. Photo: Alan Ernst.

Fighting for the foothills: protect the headwaters of North Saskatchewan!

Carol Linnitt

13th October 2014

Much of Alberta, Canada has already been damaged by industrial clearfelling, or lost to the tar sands industry, writes Carol Linnitt. But now there's a chance to keep 'the most beautiful example of pristine eastern slopes Rockies out into the foothills' as wilderness, in the North Saskatchewan's unspoilt headwaters. more...
About half the world's coal is being produced at a loss, as buyers turn away. ALCOA Anglesea coal mine, Australia. Photo: Takver via Flickr.

Tide turning against global coal industry

Chris Rose / DeSmogBlog

2nd October 2014

King Coal's reign is coming to an end, writes Chris Rose, at least as a fuel for generating electricity. Following a price collapse half of all production is being sold at a loss - and major coal users like China are still moving away from the high-carbon fuel. more...
A Fairbanks to Anchorage oil train on the Alaska Railroad. Photo: Renaud CHODKOWSKI via Flickr.

Keystone XL - who needs it? We got a railroad!

Justin Mikulka / DeSmogBlog

25th August 2014

Climate change and tar sands activists opposing Keystone XL need to wake up to a new reality - the pipeline has already been eclipsed by rail transport which is both cheaper and more flexible, writes Justin Mikulka. The expanded production and export of tar sands oil just got a whole lot more likely. more...
The Canada's Northwest Territories' first fracking project, carried out by ConocoPhillips over the winter in the NWT's Sahtu region, was approved last summer with no public review. Photo: ConocoPhillips.

Drills away in Canada's Arctic - 1.35 million hectares of wilderness open to fracking

Ed Struzik /

3rdt September 2014

Hydraulic fracturing is roaring ahead in the Canadian Arctic, writes Ed Struzik. Companies are competing to exploit the Northwest Territories' 2-3 billion barrels of shale oil, as the NWT government ignores calls from indigenous nations and scientists for a moratorium on fracking pending an open review of its impacts.
more...
Hazeltine Creek on Quesnel Lake after the tailings dam collapse. Floating on the surface: the stripped off the mountainside by the force of the spill. Out of sight: 14.5 billion litres of toxic mining waste.

Swapping red tape for caution tape: why Canada can expect more mining disasters

Carol Linnitt / DeSmog.ca

27th August 2014

This month a tailings dam at the Mount Polley mine in BC breached, writes Carol Linnitt - spilling 14.5 billion litres of toxic mine waste into Quesnel Lake. A major source of freshwater and one of BC's premier fly-fishing destinations, the lake will never be the same again. But it's just the first big victim of Canada's wave of environmental de-regulation ... more...
About 250 boats took to the Peace River for the 'Paddle for the Peace' event on Saturday 12th July 2014. Photo: Emma Gilchrist.

Canada: saving the Peace Valley

Emma Gilchrist / DeSmog.ca

8th August 2014

Canada's biggest infrastructure project is planned for Peace Valley, BC - a gigantic $7.9 billion dam that would flood 83 kilometres of the Peace River - all to produce electricity that no one needs. But a coalition of farmers, ranchers and First Nations is determined to block it ... more...
Syncrude refinery, Alberta. Photo from the 2014 Tar Sands Healing Walk (www.healingwalk.org) by Rainforest Action Network.

Ignore tar sands emissions! EU buckles under US, Canada pressure in TTIP talks

Derek Leahy

23rd July 2014

The EU's Fuel Quality Directive is set to be the first casualty of the TTIP trade talks, writes Derek Leahy. Canada and the US have threatened to pull out unless the EU ignores the massive emissions of oil from tar sands - and the EU is collapsing under the pressure. more...
View of the Peel Watershed. Photo: Jill Pangman.

Wild heart of the Yukon in gravest peril

Jill Pangman

3rd July 2014

Next week the indigenous peoples of the Yukon challenge their Government in the Territory's Supreme Court, writes Jill Pangman. At issue, its plans to open the Peel watershed, a vast unspoilt ecosystem rich in wildlife and cultural meaning, for industrial development. more...
a female Monarch Butterflyen (Danaus plexippus) laying an egg on a Mexican Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica ) at the Tyler Arboretum. Photo: © Derek Ramsey via Wikimedia.

Heavy herbicide use on GMO crops raises Monarch butterfly extinction fear

John Pleasants

10th June 2014

Thanks to herbicide use on GMO crops in the US and Canada, Monarch butterfly numbers have crashed - the milkweeds the larvae feed on now survive mainly in 'conservation reserve' land and roadsides - and there's a 5% chance the Monarch will be extinct within 100 years. more...
Sea Lion entangled in fishing gear. Photo: Kanna Jones / Marine Photo Bank via Lauren Packard / Flickr.com.

The decline and fall of America's last great fishery

Jeffrey St. Clair

13th May 2014

The Bering Sea is America's biggest fishery - but factory trawlers are ripping the guts out of the ecosystem, writes Jeffrey St.Clair, as they have already devastated fishing communities. Mix in nuclear bomb test fallout - an unlikely savior? more...
Had his chips? Galyna Andrushko / Shutterstock.com.

Renewed hunting imperils Canada's Grizzlies

Kyle Artelle

10th April 2014

The Grizzly bear hunting season is under way in British Columbia, Canada. The government claims that the decision to open the hunt and the kill quotas are 'science-based' but as Kyle Artelle writes, science doesn't get a look in - and the Grizzlies' are in serious danger. more...
Emissions from tar sands bitumen production. Photo: Williamson via Flickr.com.

Alberta - tar sands emissions linked to health damage

Carol Linnitt for DeSmog Canada

5th April 2014

A report by Alberta's energy regulator links emissions from tar sands oil production with serious health impacts in the Peace River region that have forced families to flee their homes, reports Carol Linnitt. The findings reveal 'a huge information gap'. more...

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