Latest posts in Notes from the Panther Lounge

Lisa's letter to Santa

December 17, 2014
Photo: Lisa's letter to Santa

By Lisa Gue, Researcher and Analyst

Dear Santa,

I know I'm not perfect, but I've tried to be good this year.

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Site C approval is the wrong decision for B.C.

December 16, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: Site C approval is the wrong decision for B.C.

(Credit: Andrea Morison)

By Faisal Moola, Director General, Ontario and Northern Canada,

At a news conference on Tuesday, B.C. Premier Christy Clark announced that the government has approved the controversial Site C dam project on the Peace River in northeastern British Columbia. The decision ends months of speculation following a joint provincial-federal environmental review of the mega-project, which found it is unclear if power from Site C is even needed now. The review also raised doubts about whether the price tag for Site C, currently estimated at more than $8 billion, truly reflects the project's full costs.

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EcoMUSICology: The rhythms of life

December 16, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: EcoMUSICology: The rhythms of life

(Credit: ECUAD EcoMUSICology 2014 students)

It's hard to hear nature when you're living in a large urban environment. That's what students at Emily Carr University of Art + Design found when creating soundscape music videos in urban green spaces for their EcoMUSICology class assignments.

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Plan Bee: Ontario moves to restrict neonics

December 15, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: Plan Bee: Ontario moves to restrict neonics

(Credit: Peter Organisciak via Flickr, modified)

By Lisa Gue, Researcher and Analyst

Ontario's Pollinator Health proposal has created quite a buzz. The government is proposing regulations to prohibit the use of neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seeds, except under certain conditions. The intent is to reduce these uses by 80 per cent by 2017.

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Blue Dot message evokes memories

December 12, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: Blue Dot message evokes memories

Hiltrud and Carlo spreading the Blue Dot movement.

By Hiltrud Hegst, Blue Dot volunteer

On the Blue Dot Tour, David Suzuki's talk about clean air, water and soil to grow healthy food brought me back to childhood. I grew up in Berlin, Germany, and as a small child I helped my aunt in the garden. This was right after the war and we were hungry. I "stole" peaches and rhubarb from neighbours, telling myself that it was not really stealing. There was so much that these neighbours could not possibly eat it all themselves. Sometimes I would pick flowers to sell little bouquets. With the money I would then go to the store, buy sauerkraut and sit on the back steps of our apartment to eat it. It was wonderful. In those days all food was organic. Fruit and vegetables were full of nutrients and we did not have any junk food. Times were difficult, but in many ways better.

For my husband Carlo, who suffered from asthma since he was three years old, air meant everything. We left Berlin in 1968 to come to Canada and arrived in Edmonton, Alberta. We lived many years in the country, planted a garden and swam in the little lake which bordered our acreage. Forty years later we made another big move to Prince Edward Island. I love the trees and Carlo loves the fresh sea air as it helps his breathing. However, we did not know PEI is polluted with pesticides from the potato industry. While we tried growing an organic garden, our neighbours also got their lawns sprayed. Carlo often voices his opinion against pesticide use in letters that have been published in local papers across the island. We continue to speak up about this, despite ongoing resistance from our neighbours. This year, some of our neighbours stopped spraying, and I have now planted some vegetables in between my flowers.

When the Blue Dot Tour arrived in Summerside, Dr. Suzuki shared his enthusiasm and encouraged people to speak up. I signed up to be a volunteer in my community and encouraged others to sign the extra Blue Dot postcards I took home on the evening of the show. There are people who missed the show and would have loved to hear and see Dr. Suzuki, so I explain to them what the Blue Dot Tour is about. It is not easy for me to talk to strangers, but when I think of how our clean air, water and food are being compromised, I cannot keep quiet.