Canada’s Environmental Progression & the Top 5 Happy Eco News Stories for September 20, 2021

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This week we have a blog post by the Leader of the Green Party of Quebec, Alex Tyrell who tells us about Canada’s environmental progression and its importance especially in this year’s election (happening today!). We also have stories about the Whatcom County in Washington state to become the first to ban fossil fuel infrastructure, tidal turbines pumping out green electricity in Scotland, Paris’ plans to create a greener, healthier future for the environment, household paint that can capture carbon dioxide, and why congress is finally getting serious about regulating forever chemicals.

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Pro-environment Discourse by Conservative Leader is Sign of Progress in Canada

Guest post by: Alex Tyrell, Leader of the Green Party of Quebec

While the Conservative Party of Canada has been well known for their denial of climate science, their support for the oil and gas industry, opposition to a carbon tax, bashing of the Paris Accord and Canada’s withdrawal from the Kyoto protocol their messaging under leader Erin O’Tool has changed dramatically. After years of long repetitive speeches in parliament about the « job killing carbon tax » their new leader has abandoned this messaging and adopted a carbon pricing scheme of his own. Don’t get me wrong, the Conservative Party of Canada has no credibility on climate and, in my opinion, they do not deserve the votes of anyone who cares the slightest about the environment. Although the messaging has changed their priorities remain the same. Many have pointed out that their candidates do not support the change in messaging that has occurred under the current leadership. A change in messaging does not necessarily equate to a change in actions. The liberal party has taught us this lesson many times. In this federal election voters have consistently identified the environment as a top priority…[read more].

The Happy Eco News Weekly Top 5

  1. ‘People Are Winning’: County Becomes First in U.S to Ban New ​Fossil Fuel Infrastructure

The Whatcom County Council in Washington state has unanimously passed permanent land-use policies that ban new fossil fuel infrastructure, becoming the first in the U.S. to pass such a measure. The ordinance prohibits the construction of new refineries or coal facilities and places more restrictions on expansion of fossil fuel facilities at Cherry Point, such as requiring offsets for greenhouse gases emitted from any expansions and rigorous environmental review. Whatcom is currently polluted by two of Washington’s five oil refineries, and five years ago saw the cancellation of the country’s largest planned coal export facility due to concerns from the Lummi Tribe around fishing treaty rights. “What’s been happening in Whatcom County for the last 10 years and in the state and Oregon is that people have been saying no to these new proposals coming forward one by one by one,” said Matt Krogh, director of the Safe Cities campaign for Stand.earth. “And people are winning.” For a deeper dive: For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook , sign up for daily Ho… [read more].

  1. World’s most powerful tidal turbine pumps out greener electricity in Scotland

The Orbital O2 can generate enough green electricity for 2,000 homes and will operate for 15 years. It will offset the equivalent of 2,200 tonnes of CO2 per year. Wave and tidal power are an important part of the green energy mix for reducing global CO2 emissions. The world’s most powerful tidal energy turbine is in operation in Orkney, off the northern shores of mainland Scotland. Capable of generating enough renewable electricity to meet the needs of 2,000 homes and offsetting around 2,200 tonnes of CO2 (per year), the most powerful wave-power turbine in the world has gone into service. The Orbital O2 floating turbine is anchored in the notoriously fast-flowing waters of the Orkney archipelago, which lies less than 20km to the north of the Scottish mainland . It measures 74m in length and is destined to remain operational for the next 15 years. A subsea cable connects the Orbital O2’s 2 MW output to the onshore electricity network. The need to make more progress toward the energy transition is as pressing as ever. Since 1992, when the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed, CO2 emissions from energy and industry have increased… [read more].

  1. Garden City brings a breath of fresh air to urban Paris

The future of Paris will be focused on a greener, healthier future for the environment. Part of this plan focuses on the Bois de Vincennes, the city’s largest public park. It sits on the Lac des Minimes. The project, Garden City of the Crescent Moon, seeks to showcase what the design of the future can look like. How can environmentally friendly concerns be integrated into urban design? Garden City seeks to provide the answers to that question. Urban agriculture is a big part of the design. This is a method of using space to create growing areas for herbs, spices and vegetables. Urban agriculture not only improves soil quality but also reduces air pollution. Most importantly of all, it produces food. By providing spaces for farming and gardening within urban areas, the plan also provides opportunities for economic benefits. Produce, spices and other products harvested from these mini urban farms can become a source of supplemental income. Roof terraces and small urban greenhouses create space for urban agriculture and create a unique look. The design also includes spaces for housing, offices, sports facilities and areas for cultural activities. The distinct silhouette of the project overall is made to… [read more].

  1. Carbon-capturing Celour paint allows anyone to “participate in CO2 removal in their daily lives”

Design graduate Kukbong Kim has developed a paint made from demolished concrete that is capable of absorbing 20 per cent of its weight in carbon. Called Celour, the paint can sequester 27 grams of CO2 for every 135 grams of paint used. “That is the same amount of carbon dioxide that a normal tree absorbs per day,” Kim said. The indoor-outdoor paint is made of waste concrete powder, a cement-based residue from concrete recycling that is normally buried in landfills, where it can alkalise the soil and have a detrimental effect on local ecosystems. Celour is a carbon-capturing paint that comes in three colours Through a chemical process called mineral carbonation, which takes place when the paint reacts with the CO2 in the surrounding air, Kim says Celour can reabsorb a significant part of the emissions that were generated by producing the cement in the first place. Eventually, she hopes to optimise the capturing capacity of the paint so that it completely negates the carbon footprint of the cement it is made from. “I think it is too early to describe Celour as carbon neutral,” Kim said. “It needs further study but I want to make… [read more].

  1. Congress Is Finally Getting Serious About Regulating “Forever Chemicals”

For generations, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community has made its home along the shores of Michigan’s Lake Superior, developing a culture and livelihood closely tied to the waterbody, the largest freshwater lake by surface area in the world. Species such as salmon, lake trout, and walleye play a key role in the subsistence fishing tribe’s day-to-day life. In the last few decades, however, pollutants like mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, have put fishing cultural traditions at risk in the Great Lakes. Now, scientists are warning there’s a new threat—PFAS, a group of man-made toxic substances also known as “forever chemicals” found in everyday household items. Similar to DDT in the 1950s and 60s, PFAS compounds increase in concentration as they move up the food chain. For the first time, officials in Michigan and Wisconsin have issued a fish consumption advisory for PFAS in the Great Lakes. The chemicals, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, bioaccumulate in the environment—similar to DDT in the 1950s and 60s—building in concentration as they move up the food chain. They have been linked to health… [read more].

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