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Ottawa Outreach for March on October 29th!


Hey folks! 

I've attached an image file that we are using to promote the march on Monday, if all of you could share it on facebook and link to this event that would be amazing, this is especially for organizations and individuals in Ottawa that can help get people out! 

Cameron Fenton

National Director/Directeur National
Canadian Youth Climate Coalition/Coalition canadienne des jeunes pour le climat



Help us defend the coast! Please spread the word!


Hey all, just wanted to let you know that this morning we, along with 80 influential leaders from the business, First Nations, environmental, labour, academic, medical and artistic communities across Canada today announced the mass public action in Victoria this October. We are officially live!!!! and would love your support in recruiting and spreading the word!!!

Attached to this email is the final press release, the call out for the Victoria action, draft twitter messages, and logos! We also have a website up and running at

We have spokespeople ready to talk about it right across the country and would love your help to get the word out. You can help defend the coast and support this action by:

  1. Sharing the call out with your friends, family, colleagues, allies, on facebook and other social media sites. The full call out is online at:
  2. Twitter about the event (sample twitter messages are below) and follow our twitter account - @defendourcoast
  3. Sign-up to participate in the Oct. 22nd action in Victoria and encourage other people to do the same. You can sign-up at
  4. Change your facebook picture to the facebook logo and encourage other people to do the same.

Thank you again for your support and look forward to making this event a reality with all of you.

In solidarity,




p.s. we also have a great celebrity list building with folks like Mark Ruffalo, Pamela Anderson, Tantoo Cardinal, Michael Moore and others already on board!!


Request for Emergency Debate Arctic Ice


Request for Emergency Debate + -

Arctic Ice + -

[S. O. 52]

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    The Chair has notice of a request for an emergency debate from the hon. member for Halifax.



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    Mr. Speaker, thank you for giving me the floor to speak about the extremely urgent situation in the Arctic.




    Canadians and people around the world were shocked when the U.S.-based National Snow and Ice Data Center reported last week on the dramatic melting of summer ice levels in the Arctic this year. Those levels fell to 50% of the average levels reported between 1979 and 2000. Based on the latest numbers, some scientists are even predicting that the Arctic might be ice-free during the summer of 2030.



    As you know, Mr. Speaker, I am asking today for an emergency debate on this issue and the reasons for this are significant and wide-ranging. The melting is expected to have a domino effect on our environment, creating further warming of our climate as uncovered Arctic waters warm more quickly. This will, in turn, affect all regions of Canada with more extreme weather, in part because of the effect warmer Arctic waters will have to change the speed and path of the jet stream. It will affect all communities and all industries.



    NASA climate scientist James Hansen is calling the degradation of the Arctic sea ice a “planetary emergency”.




    Mark Serreze, NSIDC director, told the media that “[w]e are now in “uncharted territory.”




    The situation is clear and it is worrying. The extreme melting that happened this summer goes beyond being a warning of potential terrifying global environmental consequences.



    Since the report was released last week, I have talked to people around the country and realized this is not just an environmental issue, it touches all aspects of our society from international relations to national security, agriculture, natural resources and more. It is a harbinger of massive socio-political and economic change that parliamentarians have a duty to address for reasons of national security. There is no time to waste. Our country needs a plan.



    With Canada taking on the chair of the Arctic Council in 2013, a comprehensive debate on Arctic issues is already overdue. We must prepare our domestic plan and prepare for multilateral partnerships on Arctic issues.




    This issue simply cannot wait. We have to discuss it in the House in order to find solutions and make a plan for the future.




    We need to discuss next steps and Canadians must be given a voice on this issue. It concerns us all, including future generations.



    I await your decision, Mr. Speaker.


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Speaker's Ruling + -

[Speaker's Ruling]

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    I thank the hon. member for Halifax for both the letter and the explanation of the issue. While I am sure it is an important issue to her, I do not think it meets the test for an emergency debate.



    I do know in coming weeks there will undoubtedly be supply days allotted and perhaps the House will have an opportunity to discuss it at that time.


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Arctic Ice + -

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    Mr. Speaker, this summer Canadians experienced weather extremes like none in history causing droughts in eastern Ontario and the failure of fruit crops in southwestern Ontario.



     In the United States, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported the highest August temperature since 1885, resulting in drought in the Midwestern states and devastating the corn crop. A report by Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University and Stephen Vavrus of the University of Wisconsin showed that the extreme weather is directly related to the loss of Arctic summer ice cover. This month, Arctic sea ice declined to its lowest level ever, beating the previous record set in 2007. The North Pole's ice cap is now 50% below what it was in 1979 to 2000.



    Francis and Vavrus have shown that the increased loss of Arctic summer ice cover is adding enough heat to the ocean and atmosphere to redirect the jet stream, the fast-moving high-altitude river of air that steers weather systems across the northern hemisphere. The sixth lowest Arctic sea ice extents have occurred during the past six years. As a result of such extensive sea ice melt, the study says that the jet stream is behaving differently. It is becoming slower with bigger troughs and ridges.



    As more ice melts, the dark ocean is revealed, absorbing more solar energy and heating the water. The heat is released back into the atmosphere in the fall and winter increasing the air temperatures over the Arctic, which in turn reduces the temperature differential between the air in the Arctic and the air further south.



    Historically, this temperature differential has driven the jet stream, which circles the earth from west to east and forms a barrier between the atmospheres in the Arctic and elsewhere. However, as the temperature difference has declined between the north and the south, the speed of the jet stream has slowed by about 20% in the last few decades. Additionally, as the jet stream has slowed and its north-south movements have become more pronounced, generally moving further north. When it does move south, these intrusions are heading further than previously.



    The changing jet stream is the main culprit behind the increasingly extreme weather events. The known negative impacts of these extreme weather events are crop failures across North America and higher food prices. For example, it has been estimated that as much as 70% of the U.S. corn crop failed this year because of drought in the Midwestern states. The apple crop in southwestern Ontario failed due to a period of unusually high temperature in March and farmers in eastern Ontario are paying as much as $140 for a bale of hay due to drought this July.



    The failure of the U.S. corn crop alone will result in food costs as high as 80% to 90% for food on grocery shelves containing corn. Meanwhile, beef, pork and dairy farmers are now reporting that they will have to decrease the size of their herds as they cannot afford the fodder, which will result in more shortage and drive costs up.



    Potential negative impacts from higher food prices include increased unemployment, criminality and civil unrest. Lower crop and animal yields will likely increase unemployment in the food processing industry as fewer people will be required to prepare the food. People in southwestern Ontario who work in the fruit industry will have no jobs while cattle, pork and dairy farmers will lay off hands in order to afford fodder for their animals. These job losses will have a ripple effect across all sectors. Demands for goods and services will be reduced.



    Further, as we have seen increased theft of gas due to higher prices, so will increased food prices result in theft. As history has shown, increased food costs or shortages have resulted in civil unrest—


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    Order. I would ask the hon. member to quickly wrap-up. He has had the floor for quite some time now.


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    Deus impeditio esuritori nullus: no god can stop a hungry man. The Russian revolution, for example, began with riots over lack of food.



    For these reasons, the House must immediately debate how Canada will deal with the increasing Arctic sea ice melt and the disastrous effect it is having on our weather systems, agriculture and economy.


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Speaker's Ruling + -

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    I appreciate the request from the hon. member. As I have mentioned, I do not think that this meets the test parameters for an emergency debate.



A Fast and Vigil for Climate Justice


Hungry for Climate Leadership is holding a fast and vigil for twelve days on Parliament Hill. Our purpose is to demand that the Canadian government address climate change, the greatest threat to our children.

As the Earth warms and extreme weather events become increasingly common, hundreds of thousands perish each year. Our children will feel the deadly effects of the carbon we pump into the atmosphere. In the second half of this century, the vast majority of humanity may perish from the droughts, floods and diseases that climate change is expected to bring. Experts estimate that by 2100 the Earth may only be able to support one billion people. Climate change is humanity's biggest challenge, yet Canada is not making even the most modest effort to reduce this threat.

Canada's role has been particularly damaging. We allow our emissions to grow and our government obstructs international negotiations. Canada signed the Kyoto Protocol and then declared that we have no intention of meeting our reduction commitments. With no real reduction programs in place, our emissions continue to grow. Countries that have not benefited from industrial development spurred by fossil fuels will experience the most devastating effects.

Our vigil and fast is to draw attention to the misery we are unleashing on our children and on this living world. We appeal to our lawmakers to take positive steps to reduce our emissions. Our action is a peaceful and hopeful one. We aim to inspire people and decision makers in Canada to find the courage and wisdom to press for, and put into action, the changes our children need.

First, we must eliminate fossil fuel subsidies of well over $1billion each year (about $40 for each Canadian). In 2009, Canada agreed to eliminate these subsidies. We have not done this. We give our public money to hugely profitable industries which further accelerates the damage to our climate. This shows a reckless disregard for the climate crisis. We should not promote destruction of the climate with public funds.

We must put a price on greenhouse gases and develop a real plan to emphasize conservation and renewable energy.

We ask you to contact your government representatives and demand urgent action, especially the elimination of all fossil fuel subsidies.

We suggest that you write letters to the editor of your local newpapers with the same demands.

We encourage you to join in a day of fasting. You can donate the money saved to a climate or hunger relief organization.

We invite you to endorse this statement and join us in taking action.

End Fossil Fuel Subsidies

If you happen to be into twitter, take some time today to join and Avaaz and hundreds of thousands around the world in a twitter storm ( as negotiations in Rio continue. The goal is to use this as one of many tools to exert pressure on leaders to live up to global expectation and end fossil fuel subsidies. We know that Canada has been on the wrong side of this debate for ages now so lets also not let them forget it. 


Grandparents Oppose Tar Sands

Alberta tar sands are estimated to be 240 GtC (gigatons of carbon); see Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007) Working Group 3 report.  That is about seven times greater than the cumulative historical CO2 emissions from oil use by the U.S. (36 GtC).  U.S. oil use was 28% of global oil use for the cumulative amounts over the past 200 years.  So Alberta tar sands contain about twice the total amount of carbon emitted by global oil use in history. 
Yet some people argue that tar sands are not so great that we need to be concerned about their effect on climate.  They argue that only about 40 GtC of the tar sands are presently economically extractable.  However, if an addiction to tar sands is established, as it would be with big pipelines, you can be confident that the addiction would lead eventually to ways of cooking the oil out of most of the tar sands.  Moreover, these numbers do not include the emissions from conventional fossil fuels used to mine and process the tar sands into useable fuel.  Nor do they include the other greenhouse gas emissions produced by the mining and processing.
The global stampede to find every possible fossil fuel is not being opposed by governments, no matter how dirty the fuels nor how senseless the energy strategy is from long-term economic and moral perspectives.  Instead governments are forcing the public to subsidize the polluters, as discussed inThe Case for Young People and Nature.
Fortunately, people are beginning to recognize the situation.  Today the Norwegian Grandparent's Climate Campaign, supported by 27 other organizations, delivered a demand to Statoil (Norwegian government being 2/3 owner of Statoil), the principal tar sands funder, to withdraw support for tar sands development.
Given the stranglehold that the fossil fuel industry has on governments worldwide and their effective campaigns to misinform the public, this may seem to be a small step.  But do not underestimate the potential of people dedicated to a righteous cause to initiate a broader public recognition and understanding of where the public's interest lies.
Jim Hansen
17 April 2012


Urgent Appeal To Sign The Letter In Support Of Wind Power


Reminder -- Please sign and share!



We are writing today to ask for your help in ensuring Ontario has a sustainable future.

A private member's bill will be debated in the Ontario legislature on March 8th that seeks to place a moratorium on building windmills in Ontario.

Despite overwhelming evidence that generating power from the wind is among of the cleanest, safest options available, anti-wind groups are determined to take Ontario backward.  

Send a letter to your elected officials now.

Please join us in sending a letter to our elected officials to let them know that support for renewable energy in Ontario remains strong.

Ontario has become a leader in the transition from using fossil fuels to using green energy. This shift is creating tens of thousands of new jobs and will leave us with a legacy of safe and clean electricity for future generations. Your voice is needed now.

Write a letter showing your support for wind power now.

Thank you, 

Rick Smith, Executive Director

Environmental Defence


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