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2014-05-08  |  John Bennett

Farley Mowat passed away this week at the age of 92. It has been thirty years since he wrote “Sea of Slaughter”, a book that I’ll never forget. He sold almost 17 million books over his long and decorated career. His books about nature (translated into 52 languages) were a major contributor not only to the Canadian environmental movement, but the global movement to protect the earth.

Millions of people around the world view Canada in a better light because of his life’s work. He mixed the serious with humour in devastating ways, making us smile one minute, cry the next and then rant with a rage over how we treat this planet.

I’ve been thinking about my favourite Farley Mowat book, “No Bird Sang”, since I heard the news today.

I first met Farley in the back room of a book store in Belleville, having arrived late for an interview following a book signing. I was late because I detoured to pick up my wife and daughter -- I didn...

2014-05-06  |  Webmaster

This week is Emergency Preparedness Week -- the kind of non-event, event that might mean we’ll see a photo (or two) of a politician at some media event, but most won’t give it a second thought.

At best, it might evoke an image of Sheldon Cooper of Big Bang Theory with his survival backpack and fluorescent arrows painted on the floor. Some of us older folks might evoke the man on a street corner shouting: “Repent the end is near!”

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Symposium on Extreme Weather: Impacts, Challenges and Adaptations, presented by the Canadian Climate Forum in Ottawa. As you would expect from the title, I heard a...

2014-04-15  |  Webmaster

By John Bennett

There were four events of note this week--well five, actually. The first two demonstrate the dissonance between the Government of Canada and the rest of the world.

Early Sunday morning the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group on Mitigation released its latest report, and on Monday the National Energy Board (NEB) posted a list of issues it will ‘consider’ before approving the proposed “Energy East” pipeline. While the IPCC warned humanity drastic changes are needed now, or else ("The high-speed mitigation train would need to leave the station soon and all of global society have to get on board,"...

2014-02-17  |  John Bennett

Should a CBC radio and television commentator be accepting speaking fees for pro-Tar Sands speeches on the side without publicly disclosing the financial conflict of interest to viewers? Should a national newspaper consider--let alone sign--a strategic partnership with the oil industry (a.k.a. Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers) to produce content? Would such a move render the paper a non-news organization? Should it?

These two stories emerged over the last week and received almost no attention in the media. There has to be a better explanation than Olympic coverage eating up air time.

We’re all familiar with the National Post’s ‘tendencies’ (sorry Terrence) so I wasn’t overly shocked with the latter. But I have to say I was taken aback by the news about Rex Murphy.

This week,...

2014-02-06  |  John Bennett

ACTION ALERT / February 5, 2014

Tell the Senate to Speak Out Against Neonicotinoid Pesticides

The Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry is now holding hearings on widely-used, bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides. The committee has invited beekeepers, grain-farmers, and scientists to present evidence at the hearings.

The Senate Committee will undoubtedly hear a repeat of what the Ontario Bee Health Working Group heard last summer -- that something was wrong and the beekeepers want a moratorium on the prime suspect: neonicotinoid pesticides.

Noenicotinoids are sprayed on almost all the corn and soybean seeds grown in Canada (roughly 1 million bags of corn seed in...

 
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