Hope Isn’t A Strategy (510)

We attempt this week to start with the worst news and get better throughout to try to leave you with some hope. But as this weeks title tells you, hope isn’t a strategy (that will make sense later). Lot’s of news this week including breaking news about an entire lake disappearing due to climate change in Bolivia, a rush of lobbying by mining companies on the Canadian Gov, and an expose on how to evade lobbying laws in Canada. Insects are dying, and yes that’s bad… but at least we got a divestment win! All the news we found important this week listed below.

This weeks news:

This weeks music:

‘1001 Nights (Part B)’ – Versa & ‘Confessions Part 2’ Bad Bad Not Good

What do you think?

Let us know what you think of what we discussed in the show! Click here to find us on social media, leave us a phone message to play on air or send us an email!

(481) Alberta Confidential

download episode here – or – subscribe on iTunes here

Kevin Caners from the Elephant Podcast joins us live from Paris at COP21 for the final few hours of negotiation. Kevin gives us the scoop on whats going on on the ground, and what to expect from civil society during the last few hours of the meeting.

Follow the live-streaming tweets from the Guardian from the talks here.

It’s like a playoff game! (but for survival of life on earth :P)

Learn more about Kevin and the Elephant Podcast here.

In the middle section of the show, the hosts do a revisit of the supposed ‘controversy’ of Canadian eco-groups ‘selling out’ to join forces with big oil. This story isn’t what it seems, and we corrected a few pieces of info from last week. However, there is still some parts to be unhappy about… just not the things that people seem to be upset about. We break it down piece by piece on this weeks show.

If you are interested in this story we urge you to read ALL FOUR of these links, as they all have very different perspectives and as usual… the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Secret oilsands deal spurred by Alberta NDP’s concern over project cancellations, green group says

The Collaborative Model Takes Root in Alberta’s Tar Sands

Opinion: Alberta’s climate plan stands in the way of Canada’s

Open Letter by Tzeporah Berman on the ‘controversy’:
Deal by A Climate Friendly Canada and Climate Policy in the Tar sands? What’s Next?

Finally, we wrap up with some of the most recent COP21 details and what to expect from the deal regardless what happens.

Here’s some interesting things to note about Canada’s involvement this time around:

Canada returns to climate leadership in Paris

Canada shocks COP21 with big new climate goal

Trudeau fights to keep Indigenous rights in Paris climate deal

Bonus Show

Edward asks Daryn and Stefan to give the most ‘Cole’s Notes’ version of climate change, and we both do our best and also explain why that’s a bad idea most of the time.

We also briefly discuss the Greenpeace ‘sting’ operation on USA Academics with regards to climate denial.

Other Top News
What we didn’t get to on the show…

Greenpeace investigation finds academics for hire to promote fossil fuel interests

ExxonMobil put on mock trial for ‘climate crimes’ by Bill McKibben

Federal environmental bill of rights tabled on eve of Human Rights Day

This Weeks Music

Indio – Hard Sun & Emma-Lee – Not Coming By

(461) Nuclear Ambitions

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Our guest this week is Dr. Gordon Edwards, founder and president of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility. Gordon has been on the program several times before to provide his expertise on this or that current nuclear issue in Canada, but we decided it was time to hear from him why he does what he does. So be more specific, we asked him how he came to be an anti-nuclear activist?

The full talk is more than 30 min, so we’ve cut some parts out for the radio including a comment he made during the end of the talk about why nuclear isn’t the answer for climate change, one of the currently most prominent argument for building new nuclear today.

The video for the radio cut of the interview has also been produced with lots of graphics and images of what he is talking about so even if you’ve hear the interview it is worth watching the videos if you are interested in this topic. This post will be updated with links to both the fancy radio cut, and the full length cut of the interview in the next day or two (once I can get somewhere with a decent upload speed).

Learn more about Gordon, and the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility here: http://www.ccnr.org/

Instead of a second interview this week, we spent time talking about several important news items, and to have a cameo from the partially on vacation co-host Kevin Farmer. Please see our picks for the most interesting/important eco-news of the week below.

This weeks top eco-news:

Say Hello To Earth 2.0! Historic Kepler Discovery Suggests We Are Not Alone

Two-degree target may still cause catastrophic sea level rise, James Hansen warns

The Link Between Climate Change And ISIS Is Real

Harper Blueprint Embedded in Senate CBC Report

Another federal scientist fired in Harper’s ongoing war on science

Nexen pipeline spill cause could take months to determine

What’s Happening To The Flowers At Fukushima?

This Weeks Music!

Danny Michel “Feather Fur & Fin” & Wintersleep “Jaws of Life”

(460) Water and Oily Politics Don’t Mix

download episode here – or – subscribe on iTunes here

GreenPAC founder and president Aaron Freeman was kind enough to spend the entire show with us today talking about their efforts in helping to support candidates who are taking environmental concerns seriously. They are non-partisan and support politicians from any party, and do not support them financially. Rather they work with politicians and regular Canadians to make sure these issues are taken seriously in our public and political discourse in Canada.

After the break, we play an interview with a longtime environmental champion, and local politician NDP MPP Peter Tabuns from the Toronto-Danforth riding. Peter talks about legislation he and some others have been working on to ensure that oil trains don’t continue to endanger the public, update us on fracking (hydraulic fracture mining)in Ontario.

Finally, Stefan helps us discuss some news items including a new massive oil spill in Alberta, and the Canadian premiers apparent complicity in ignoring science and pushing in unison for a new round of pipeline investments across Canada.

Lot’s of news this week! We didn’t get much chance to talk about any of them, but some highlights from the news this week are below.

Why Does Canada Hate Indigenous Rights? One Word: Oil.

Mulcair on Energy East: ‘We are against that pipeline’

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley defends her approach on pipelines

Nexen pipeline leak in Alberta spills 5 million litres

Premiers set to fast-track oil pipelines while cutting regulatory red tape

As scandal rocks Malaysian government, B.C. pushes LNG deal with state-owned gas giant

National Energy Board slaps Spectra Energy over safety infractions

Environmental Defence Report: What to Look for in the Canadian Energy Strategy

A Hard Deadline: We Must Stop Building New Carbon Infrastructure by 2018

This weeks music:

The Band “The Weight” & The Guess Who “Hand Me Down World”

(451) Death From Taxes

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Doug Olthuis, Executive Director for the United Steelworkers of Canada joins us as the top of the program to talk about the potential use of Canada Revenue Agency charitable status audits as a political tool to punish and intimidate organizations that operate in odds with the priorities of the current government. United Steelworkers of Canada operates a charity called the Steelworkers Humanity Fund Inc., which donates a very small (last year between 2-3%) portion of their funds to a politically active external non-charity organization Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability. The CNCA is made up from a wide partnership of faith groups, environmental NGOs and others working to hold Canadian based mining companies accountable in Canada for for human rights crimes at their overseas operations.

There is no argument from Doug (or anyone really) with oversight being needed to keep charities accountable to their donors and the governments who regulate this institutions, but rather scepticism with the audit processes’ seemingly selective application.

Read the article about the audit from the CBC: Revenue Canada targets Steelworkers charity for political activities

Why is this such a big issue? Did you know Toronto is the mining capital of the world?

Find out more about the Humanities Fund here.

Canadian mining company Barrick Gold from an activist perspective: http://www.protestbarrick.net/

(Recent) History of CRA Eco-charity audits: Canada Revenue Agency’s ‘political’ targeting of charities under scrutiny


Our Second guest is Dr. Gordon Edwards, president of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility. A expert on all things nuclear, Dr. Edwards joins us again to talk about several current Canadian nuclear issues as well as comment on the recent Tesla Motors announcement by real-life Tony Stark (Iron Man) Elon Musk. The ‘Powerwall’ announcement was met with many headlines (surely inspired by Tesla’s PR team) framing it as the “nuclear killer”. We talk to Gordon about to what extent this might be true… and where it isn’t.

Read about the Powerwall announcement here: Did Tesla Just Kill Nuclear Power?

You can learn more about CCNR here, and if you would like to join Gordon’s comprehensive email list just fire him and email here: ccnr@web.net

We also cover these news items with Dr. Edwards:

Kincardine nuclear waste site gets federal seal of approval

Lake Huron nuclear waste plan passes environmental assessment

CNSC on relicencing the 8 Bruce reactor for another 5 years

You can also learn lot’s more about the campaign Gordon mentioned to buy hydro power from Quebec instead of spending millions on new upgrades and facilities by the Ontario Clean Air Alliance here: Ontario Could Save Billions By Buying Quebec’s Hydro Power


This weeks music…

No Sinner “Bo hoho” (requested by our guest from last week) & BareNaked Ladies “Odds Are”

Want to request a Canadian song? Contact Us

(424) Food Fight!

To download this episode follow us on iTunes or click here.

Ben West
Ben West

The show opens with Ben West, the Tar Sands Campaign Director for ForestEthics. Ben joins us to update on the Energy East pipeline as it applies with the National Energy Boards, and the effects of recent rail disasters on public perception of tar sands safety.

Learn more about Ben West and ForestEthics here: http://www.forestethics.org/author/ben-west

Our main feature this week is part one of a two part interview with Hayley Lapalme from My Sustainable Canada and Dave Kranenberg Director of Programming for the Centre for Social Innovation (and former Executive Director of Meal Exchange). In this episode, our guests discuss the implications of healthy accessible and affordable food on low income communities, and the response to people who think that things like water and food should be privatized commodities and nothing more.

Some events mentioned on the show…

CSI’s month of food focused events

Food Secure Canada Assembly in Halifax

Consultations on an accelerator to support a sustainable food system

The guests…

Dave Kranenberg
Dave Kranenberg

Find out more about Dave Kranenberg here: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/dave-kranenburg/5/748/596

Hayley Lapalme
Hayley Lapalme

Find out more about Hayley Lapalme here: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/hayley-lapalme/13/2ab/5a6

Video Interview of Food Roundtable Part 1

As you might have heard, we are now producing high-quality interviews in full HD video as well as memberships that get you exclusive members content each week! Check it out on the main site here: greenmajority.ca or you can…

Click the image to learn more!
Click the image to learn more!

This weeks Music:

Moist “This Shrieking Love” & The Boomtown Rats “Someone’s Looking At You”

(420) Doors Open Politics

To download this episode follow us on iTunes or click here.

Claire Malcomson
Claire Malcomson

First up, Claire Malcolmson who is the Manager of Campaign Fairness at the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition who joins us to talk about their Campaign Fairness initiative. While this may not seem like an obvious connection for a primarily environmental focused organization, Claire connects the dots for us with some startling facts about the effect of industry donations to municipal election campaigns.

You can read more about Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition and the reports they have produced on this issue here: http://www.rescuelakesimcoe.org/ourwork/campaign-fairness.html

Kristopher Stevens
Kristopher Stevens

Secondly, we are joined by Kristopher Stevens who is the Executive Director of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association to talk to us generally about renewable energy in Canada, but more specifically about Green Energy Doors Open 2014 which is a showcase of renewable energy projects in communities in Alberta, Ontario and is even now spreading into the USA in partnership with Decentralized Energy Canada. One event that happens tomorrow is the West Toronto Ride for Renewables, and we hope to see you there!

Green Energy Doors Open 2014 event listings: http://greenenergydoorsopen.ca/

West Toronto Ride for Renewables direct link: http://greenenergydoorsopen.ca/events/socec2014/

As you might have heard, we are now producing high-quality interviews in full HD video as well as memberships that get you exclusive members content each week! Check it out on the main site here: greenmajority.ca

This weeks Music:

Crash Test Dummies “How Does A Duck Know” & David Bowie “Five Years”