TreeCanada Maps Its Impact

TreeCanada has planted around 80 million trees! They do this because trees make the world a better, healthier place for everybody. They also plant trees to rejuvenate school yards (ones that got paved over at some point) and to bring back areas damaged by industrial uses to their . This past month they launched an interactive map of their plantings.

The map displays a satellite image of Canada with interactive buttons that allow you to explore its tree planting initiatives. By clicking on an icon, visitors can learn about the location and number of trees planted, as well as the program and sponsor associated with that project. Below the map, further details are available, including the species of the trees planted and the environmental benefit expected. The map is currently populated with trees planted in 2013, however, over time the map will grow to include planting sites from past and present years.

“At Tree Canada, we believe that investing in trees will benefit both human and environmental health,” Mr. Rosen said. “Trees help communities by providing shade, absorbing excess water, producing oxygen and providing habitat for wildlife. As our many sponsors can attest to, when you invest in trees, you invest in a legacy that will benefit communities for decades to come.”

See the map.
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Support The Experimental Lakes Area

The Experimental Lakes Area has suffered greatly from the Canadian government’s anti-science funding policies and has luckily been saved by the International Institute for Sustainable Development. To ensure that further damage can’t come from the ideologically-driven and anti-environment Conservative Party the ELA has turned to crowd funding to survive.

Last year, The Walrus magazine had a great article on the ELA and how beneficial it is to science and the planet.

You might have heard that the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) took it over the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) on April 1st. We are reaching out to the public to help make people feel is it “theirs” (and reduce reliance on government funding so it can’t be closed again due to changes in departmental policy)

From their Indiegogo page:

The ELA features a collection of 58 small lakes, as well as a facility with accommodations and laboratories. Since its establishment in 1968, ELA has become one of the world’s most influential freshwater research facilities. In part, this is because of the globally unique ability at ELA to undertake whole-ecosystem experiments.

There is nowhere else in the world that has the same potential to conduct this type of research and make such a positive impact on our world’s freshwater supplies.

Support the campaign!

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The Lancet Calls on Canada to be a Good Global Citizen

The Lancet is a medical journal that is known for its direct and terse reports, the are perhaps best known for their detailed account of the death toll in Iraq (as a result of the American invasion in 2003). Now they are calling the Canadian government to task. PM Stephen Harper is known for his ideological drive to destroy Canada (and the global environment) and now it’s having a very adverse impact on global health. This is where the Lancet calls on Canada to step up and account for its horrible behaviour.

It’s good to see that there are organizations that exist which try to bring attention to ongoing institutionalized negative behaviour brought to bear from the powers that be.

Previously a leader in freedom of information, Canada is frequently cited for its decline in openness, most recently by the Center for Law and Democracy, in co-operation with the Madrid-based Access Info Europe, which ranked it 55th of 93 countries, down from 40th in 2011.

Harper defends withdrawal of federal funding for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that are critical of governmental policy, a reversal of a 50 year tradition of non-partisan support for civil society, saying: “if it’s the case that we’re spending on organisations that are doing things contrary to government policy, I think that is an inappropriate use of taxpayer’s money and we’ll look to eliminate it.” Consistent with this logic, the Government was able to continue funding NGOs skeptical of global warming and supportive of the asbestos industries.

Read more here.

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Rest of World to Canada: Stop Risking The Future

COP 19 ends this week and there is at least one clear message coming from the meeting: Canada is risking the wellbeing of future generations. While most countries agree that climate change needs to be dealt with and carbon output needs to be curtailed, Canada is refusing to budge on its pro-tar sands stance while keeping an ineffiecent resource-based economy running.

Hopefully Canadians will be able to notice the rest of the world is concerned about more than just Rob “Crack Mayor” Ford. Other countries are clearly thinking into the future and let’s hope Canada can do the same.

Good on the forward-thinking participants of COP 19!

“How can Canadians not see that their grandchildren will share the world with nine billion other people (by 2050)? And I have no certainty at all that it will be a livable world.”

“We’re not, I think, a stupid race. I know that political timescales can be very short. But I believe that these next two years – 2014, we have to change course, and 2015, when we need sustainable development goals and a robust, fair climate agreement – we can still do it.

“We need a forward-looking leadership, and that won’t come from Canadian politicians unless it comes from the Canadian people.”

Read more at the CBC.

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Stylish Pocket Art

Canadian artist Gary Taxali has teamed up with fashion retailer Harry Rosen to create pocket squares focused on Canadian. This is good because it seems so rare that Canadians celebrate their own talent in such a way.

Celebrating the culturally-rich heritage of Canada and featured cities – Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver, each of Taxali’s unique designs plays off of the character, culture and landmarks of each city. The result is a colourful and comical, yet highly wearable, collector’s item.

“I was inspired by how diverse our Canadian cities are, and I tried to capture the different moods and stories of Canadian life in a playful way,” says artist Gary Taxali.

More info here.

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