sustainability

I know there are bigger environmental issues out there than plastic bags, but it still is an important issue.  Seeing videos like this I can’t help but wonder what TV ads would look like if advertising companies used their skills more responsibly.

 

In case you haven’t already heard, Rob Ford is considering an end to the plastic bag tax.  I guess ending the war on car wasn’t going fast enough, so he decided to end the war on poorly made plastics too.  According to a recent Sun Article, “the mayor’s office had received several calls and e-mails that day about the bag tax. The “overwhelming majority” of those calls were people urging him to scrap the bag tax”

Ironically, around the same time this made the news, the entire country of Italy decided to ban the use of plastic bags.  Now I don’t know about the rest of you, but I don’t think there’s anything special about Toronto’s bags that makes them so much better and more worth having than Italian plastic bags. I really don’t want to live in a city that decided to choose convenience over the health of the planet that future generations will have to live in.  Plastics do not break down, and wind up permanently in our oceans and environments spreading their toxins. There is a lot of information out there on these issues. Check out the short videos below.

I get where these complaints are coming from, I have a low income, and a cat.  I do have a use for plastic bags, and sure there are times when I could use that extra 5 cents, but I figure if we’re going to let Rob Ford head off on a second crusade against the environment we might want to make sure it’s going to do something good for this city.

Hans Peter Roth and Kyoko Tanaka, dedicated members of our Save Japan Dolphins Team from, respectively, Switzerland and Japan, are in Taiji checking the activity in the infamous Cove. Hans Peter reports:

“I returned alone to the cove about 2 pm. Things had completely quieted down. The nationalists had gone. But still five police cars were parked there. I had come not a moment too soon. Fishermen were just about to open the last, outermost net that had sealed off the Cove, as I unpacked the camera. Six hunting boats took position outside the cove. At first the bottlenose dolphins did not realize that they were free. Then they did and started taking off slowly, then ever faster. The hunting boats started driving them out to sea in a sort of reverse drive hunt, but not as violently as they had driven them in the day before. In the end the dolphins were just literally flying towards the open ocean, thrashing up a lot of white water. This could be seen for miles before they disappeared towards the horizon.“

The “no-kill” policy continues to be in effect in Taiji. Several dolphins, unfortunately, have been collected to be sold to zoos and aquariums around the world. That’s a tragedy in itself. The rest are being released.

Our recent trip — worldwide press attention,– and continued presence in Taiji are intensifying pressure on Japanese government to stop the dolphin slaughter. The worldwide dolphin captivity industry is also coming under withering attack for their continuing role in the Taiji tragedy.
We must keep up the pressure.
Check the full blog for further details…
http://www.savejapandolphins.org/blog.html

Meanwhile, Dr. Lori Marino has a great interview against the captivity of dolphins posted on the Animal Planet website at:
http://animal.discovery.com/tv/blood-dolphins/dolphins/opposition-dolphins-captivity.html Don’t miss it!

And finally, the concluding episode of Animal Planet’s “Blood Dolphin$” features Ric, Lincoln and the EII team achieving a breakthrough for dolphins in the Solomon Islands. Episode info at: http://www.earthisland.org/blooddolphins

Canada is close to passing the Climate Change Accountability Act, but it’s under threat by Conservative Senators. Parliamentarians passed the Bill (C-311) in May. Now the Bill needs the support of 53 Senators. Of the 105 Senators, 52 are Conservative.

The situation is precarious. Years of hard work to get the Act to this point could prove meaningless if it does not get the support from all 53 opposition Senators: 49 Liberal Senators, two Progressive Conservatives and two Independents.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is calling on its members to lobby the Senate to oppose the Bill. Let’s galvanize a concerted citizen campaign in support of Bill C-311, which if passed into law will set science based emissions reductions, require the government to produce five year target plans, establish independent reviews, and punish polluters who break regulations. It will also position Canada as a global leader in the transition to a low carbon economy.

What to do? Please visit http://www.trunity.net/climateresponse/topics/view/53728/ for sample letters to Senators, as well as the heads of insurance companies and financial firms, who are Chamber of Commerce members, to lobby the Senate to support of the Bill. I also include contact details. I put a lot of work into this so you don’t have to. Please send these letters off and spread the word.

On September 28th Senator Neufeld will speak out against the Bill when the Senate resumes debate on it. Let’s bombard the Senate with emails. Soon I will craft sample targeted emails to Liberal Senators, PC Senators and the Independents, and upload them onto the Climate Response campaign page.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Let’s ensure that the Climate Change Accountability Act becomes law.

Want to find out more about the People’s Movement to stop Climate Change?  Have you heard of  the Cochabamba Agreement – a Climate Change Accord designed by the People that will be officially recognized by the UN later this year? Come check out this amazing event!

Friday, May 7, 2010, 7pm Steelworkers Hall Toronto
25 Cecil Street
(east of Spadina, south of College)

Donation $5 or pay what you can

Principal speakers

  • Robert Lovelace, Ardoch Algonquin First Nation
  • Ben Powless, Mohawk from Six Nations in Ontario, member of the Indigenous Environmental Network
  • Kimia Ghomeshi, Campaign Director, Canadian Youth Climate Coalition
  • Danny Beaton: winner of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Environment and Natural Resources
  • Delegation from Toronto Bolivia Solidarity

Plus

  • Messages from supporters and sponsors
  • Bolivian dance troupe and First Nations indigenous drumming.
  • Bolivian food and beverages.

Sponsoring organizations

  • Canadian Youth Climate Coalition
  • CAW-Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy at Ryerson
  • Climate and Capitalism
  • Common Frontiers
  • KAIROS Toronto Center
  • Latin American Solidarity Network
  • Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG)
  • Toronto Bolivia Solidarity
  • Toronto Climate Campaign
  • Toronto Forum on Cuba
  • Toronto Haiti Action Committee

To add your organization to the Sponsors’ list, email Torontoboliviasolidarity@gmail.com

You can also read the Cochabamba Agreement online.

Toronto is the most sustainable large city in Canada, according to Corporate Knights Magazine, which recently released its 2010 Most Sustainable Cities Ranking. Toronto edged out last year’s winner, Edmonton, for its commitment to sustainability in both policy and practice.  Indicators included air quality, water use, employment, housing costs, waste diversion, and quality of life measurements.

More details at http://corporateknights.ca/cities