Stop the Destruction of Whispering Creek and An Environmental Journey Success – Top 5 Happy Eco News – 2021-07-05

Thanks for reading the Happy Eco News Weekly Top 5 newsletter. This week we have two guest blog posts. One is a regularly scheduled post by Jacob Givens, Director of Promotions and Marketing of Biofriendly who talks about the environmental journey of the company’s CEO, Noel Carroll.

The second blog post is an emergency post of sorts and as such could not wait for the regular schedule. It requires urgent action to protect a very rare ecosystem from imminent destruction.

Tim Turner, a board member with the Gambier Island Conservancy wrote a heartfelt plea asking for help putting pressure on the local government of British Columbia, in order to stop the clearcut logging of one of the last stands of old-growth forest in the province. British Columbia is regarded as a place of big trees and wild lands, untouched and free. But the reality is that in this province that is the size of California, Arizona, and Nevada combined, there is only about 1% of the forest that has not yet been logged. One such place is the headwaters of Whispering Creek on Gambier Island. This area has trees that have lived since before the very first European explorers landed here, and now they are slated to be clear-cut.

The Errico family that owns the timber rights to the woodlot is a historic fixture in the community. They are generally regarded as good stewards and neighbours, but it was recently confirmed that the contractor had not done any ecological studies of the area and that they were unaware of the documented presence of species at risk, species of concern, and other flora and fauna that will be affected by the logging.

If there is one action you take today, please click through to the petition to stop logging the headwaters of Whispering Creek.

But back to the Happy Eco News! This week we also have stories about UK’s efforts to suck carbon dioxide from the air, how your hot showers and toilet flushes can help the climate, how the North Sea green energy could replace oil and gas, Arctic nations agreeing to fight global warming, and a sea star that is helping to fight against climate change.

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Whispering Creek and our Crisis of Character

By Tim Turner, board member, Gambier Island Conservancy

I say Cha-ULT-na-wich but I am not from the Squamish Nation. This is the name they have given the largest of the emerald isles that fill the funnel-shaped arm of the Salish Sea that we now call Atl’katsem Howe Sound. Both the island known by many as Gambier and the Sound that cradles it are the traditional territory of the Sa-qu-ome-mesh (Squamish) peoples. This has been their home for over 9,000 years and, unlike so many others who came later and took what they could and left, these people – the Squamish have stayed.

On this large, hand-shaped island of topographic twists and turns, secret worlds await those who seek out the last remnants of Gambier’s former glory. Those were the days when this was part of the greatest temperate rainforest on Earth and its peoples took from the land and waters only what they needed… [read more]

An Environmental Journey that has Come Full Circle

Guest post by: Jacob Givens, Director of Promotions and Marketing of Biofriendly 


So often in life we are forced down diverging pathways—fearful that we are moving further away from our goals, only to soon discover that these alternate routes were critical in providing tools for our future success. This was exactly the case for Noel Carroll, CEO of Biofriendly, whose environmental journey led him down a road full of twists and turns that eventually came full circle to his goal of saving the planet.

The son of Australian immigrants, Carroll comes from a long line of environmentalists, who won the Queen’s Award for saving marine life in the polluted North Sea with their invention, the Vortoil oil/water separator. They continued their environmental journey by launching Biofriendly in 1999 to reduce the world’s air pollution problem with their breakthrough technology, Green Plus® fuel enhancer. The business was focused on selling Green Plus to help reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions in everything from automobiles to maritime ships to diesel equipment…[read more].

The Happy Eco News Weekly Top 5

  1. Trials to Suck Carbon Dioxide from the Air to Start Across the UK

Australia’s first “hydrogen valley” would be created in New South Wales and run entirely on Climate-heating carbon dioxide will be sucked from the air using trees, peat, rock chips, and charcoal in major new trials across the UK. Scientists said the past failure to rapidly cut emissions means some CO 2 will need to be removed from the atmosphere to reach net zero by 2050 and halt the climate crisis. The £30m project funded by UK Research and Innovation will test ways to do this effectively and affordably on over 100 hectares (247 acres) of land, making it one of the biggest trials in the world. Degraded peatlands will be re-wetted and replanted in the Pennines and west Wales, while rock chips that absorb CO 2 as they break down in soil will be tested on farms in Devon, Hertfordshire and mid-Wales. Special charcoal called biochar will be buried at a sewage disposal site, on former mine sites and railway embankments. The best large-scale ways to use trees to capture carbon will also be examined across the UK, including on Ministry of Defence and National Trust land. The last trial will measure the carbon removal potential of energy crops such as willow and miscanthus grass for the first time at commercial scale. These crops … [read more].

  1. How Your Hot Showers and Toilet Flushes Can Help the Climate

A secret cache of clean energy is lurking in sewers, and there are growing efforts to put it to work in the battle against climate change. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates Americans wash enough energy down the drain every year to power about 30 million homes. The sources are often everyday items inside homes. Think hot showers, washing machines and sinks. Evolving technology is making it easier to harness that mostly warm water. Denver is now constructing what is likely the largest sewer heat-recovery project in North America, according to Enwave, a Canadian energy company set to operate the system. Over the next few years, a $1 billion remodel will turn the 250-acre site, home to the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, into a hub for art, education and agriculture. The revamped National Western Center will include about a million square feet of new indoor space, all of which will be heated and cooled with energy from the sewer pipes below. Brad Buchanan, the CEO leading the redevelopment, said the project has already changed how he thinks about the best location for real estate. Big pieces of sewer infrastructure have long repelled development. Now he imagines they … [read more].

  1. North Sea Green Energy Could Overtake Oil and Gas by 2030, Says Study

The UK’s half-century legacy as a leading offshore oil and gas hub will be eclipsed by the North Sea’s fast-growing green energy industry within the next decade, according to new research. An academic study by the Robert Gordon University, based in the oil industry capital of Aberdeen in Scotland, has found that by 2030 most of the UK’s offshore energy jobs will be in the low carbon energy industry. The research found that the number of green jobs off the UK’s coastlines is likely to climb from 20% of the country’s offshore energy sector to 65% by the end of the decade in a “significant change for the offshore energy industry”. Almost half of the jobs in the UK’s offshore energy industry will be supported by the offshore wind sector, which is the largest in the world and could support up to 90,000 roles by 2030 under a new deal with the government to support a quadrupling of wind power capacity. Meanwhile a fifth of offshore energy industry jobs in 2030, or 40,000 roles, will be linked to other clean energy sectors such as producing hydrogen from renewable energy, or capturing and storing the carbon emissions from factories and … [read more].

  1. Arctic Nations Agree to Fight Global Warming Despite Tensions

Arctic countries on Thursday pledged to fight global warming, which is happening three times faster in the northern reaches of the earth than elsewhere [File: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP] Arctic countries have pledged to fight global warming, which is happening three times faster in the northern reaches of the earth than elsewhere and to preserve peace in the region as its geopolitical importance increases. Accelerated global warming, untapped resources, new maritime routes opened up by retreating sea ice, and the future of local populations all topped the agenda as foreign ministers of countries bordering the Arctic gathered in Reykjavik in Iceland on Thursday. “We are committed to advancing a peaceful Arctic region where cooperation prevails on climate, the environment, science and safety,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told his Arctic Council counterparts from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden. “The Arctic as a region for strategic competition has seized the world’s attention” but ‘rule of law’ must be ensured so that it remains a region free of conflict where countries act responsibly,” he added. Military manoeuvres The warming climate has opened up the Arctic for shipping, fishing, drilling and mining, and China, an observer to the Council, has … [read more].

5. This Sea Star was Almost Killed Off. Now Scientists are Breeding it to Help Fight Climate Change

Sea star’s disappearance has had damaging consequences for the marine ecosystem. Once abundant in the Pacific, rising temperatures and a strange disease all but killed off the sunflower sea star. In an ecosystem chain reaction, their demise led to a reduction in carbon-absorbing kelp. Now scientists are breeding the sea stars in an attempt to revive the species – and combat climate change. What has a diameter of around one metre and is being grown in a lab by scientists hoping to reverse ecological damage in the Pacific? The answer – sunflower sea stars. From Alaska to Mexico, this enormous invertebrate was once a common sight on the seabed. But between 2013 and 2017, an estimated 91% of the sunflower sea star population was wiped out. It is now an endangered species. The cause of this catastrophic decline is referred to as sea star wasting syndrome and is thought to have killed as many as 5.75 billion of the creatures. Their disappearance has had damaging consequences for the marine ecosystem. Sunflower sea stars feed on sea urchins. Sea urchins feed on kelp. Without the presence of sunflower sea stars, their key predator in the food chain, sea urchin… [read more].

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