Canadian government pushing First Nations to give up land rights for oil and gas profits

The Harper government is trying to win support for its pipelines and resource agenda by pushing First Nations to sideline their aboriginal rights in exchange for business opportunities, documents reveal.

The news that Canada’s Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs is working to this end by collaborating with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is sparking strong criticism from grassroots Indigenous people.

Funded by the federal government, the Working Group on Natural Resource Development held private meetings in Toronto and Edmonton in the fall of 2014 that were attended by several invited Chiefs and representatives from Enbridge, Syncrude and other oil corporations, as well as mining companies and business lobby groups.

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Why Does the Keurig Coffee Founder Regret His Invention?

John Sylvan, the man behind the billion dollar Keurig empire, recently spoke with The Atlantic about why inventing the wildly popular coffee pods was probably a mistake. “I don’t have one. They’re kind of expensive to use,” he said. “Plus it’s not like drip coffee is tough to make.” Sylvan’s biggest issue with his brainchild, however, is the negative impact it’s had on the environment, which wasn’t in good shape before coffee pods came along either. Last year, Keurig sold more than 9 million K-Cups, but because they are very complicated to recycle and not biodegradable, many of them end up in landfills. It’s estimated that the amount of K-Cups used in 2014 could circle the earth more than a dozen times.

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"It’s a dangerous attack on the power of knowledge"

Two bills are up for a vote in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, both of which could significantly impact the way the Environmental Protection Agency is allowed to use science to come up with regulations. The Secret Science Reform Act and the Science Advisory Board Reform Act both require the EPA to consider only publicly available, easily reproducible data when making policy recommendations. Scientific organizations and environmental groups, as well as a number of Democrats, disapprove of the bills, arguing that they favor industry over real science.

Money talks, science is silenced. 

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How Do Our Bodies Fight Off Dangerous Chemicals?

UC San Diego’s Amro Hamdoun explains how you can think of cells like night clubs. With every substance that a cell encounters it has to decide which to eliminate and which to let in. Since humans have generated over 80,000 synthetic compounds, it’s now ever more important to understand both what these substances are doing to our bodies, but to also create a rule book for making these chemicals safer.

Paper or Plastic? How about both?

Recycling paper saves trees. Now, recycling plastic might just save trees as well. A group of Mexican entrepreneurs have developed a process that can be used to convert recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles into a biodegradable paper.


Recycling PET is nothing new - it has been done for years to supply polyester fibers and storage containers, but the innovation comes in transforming a plastic product into a paper product efficiently. The so-called “Chronology” technology has many benefits over the traditional method of making paper. For one ton of paper, it can save up to 20 trees and over 50,000 gallons of water, all while being about 15% cheaper than its ecologically-harmful predecessor.

The process takes plastic bottles and crushes them down into tiny plastic beads, which are then heated to high temperatures and rolled out into large sheets of paper. This type of paper can naturally biodegrade within just six months. Processes like this have already been used in-house at companies in Asia and Europe. However, the Mexican company claims that its process is four times cheaper than those already being used. This is a big selling point to paper companies that might have previously shied away from or not fully committed to recycled products.

One subtle drawback to this breakthrough is that the plastic still must be made in its original form, which is not an eco-friendly process. It remains to be seen how much this new recycling process can payoff to offset that. By re-using a product that is already going to be made for other industries, the paper industry could make an overall positive impact by choosing plastic for its paper.

Link to article:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150115083032.htm

By Oliver K., Discoverer.

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The National Bank of Abu Dhabi found that “cost is no longer a reason not to proceed with renewables”

The Gulf States may have been built on oil, but their future is going to be in solar. The opportunity is enormous, the technology exists and, according to a new report from the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, “cost is no longer a reason not to proceed with renewables.” I’ll repeat that for emphasis: this report comes via the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, one of the biggest banks in the Middle East. And it couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the investment opportunities in renewable energy.

Solar is looking like it’s too good of a deal to turn down.

If there’s anything worth fighting for, it’s life. And the quality of it. 

It is rather evident that we’re mistreating our planet, carelessly abusing the very habitat that allows us to do everything that we know possible. And it’s not so much us personally- it’s people with a lot of money, big business and priorities of the materialistic who are putting our future, and the future of our children, in extreme jeopardy. 

There is so much you can do to help out. It cannot be stressed how powerful you are as a voice. 

Things you can do:

There are many other ways to do your part, from using public transport, to avoiding certain companies, to taking to the streets in absolute disgust of people who simply aren’t caring enough about our planet. It’s not ours to claim in such arrogance, it is ours to cherish. If you feel passionate about the world and want to do your part, don’t be put off by believing your voice won’t be heard, because trust us, it is needed. You can find out more on the big wide web, there’s plenty of amazing tips out there. 

(1) http://www.fao.org/ag/magazine/0612sp1.htm                                                       (2) http://bioscience.oxfordjournals.org/content/54/10/909.full                                   (3) http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2009/3098/                                                                  (4) http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/2012/03/virtual-water-real-impacts-world-water-day-2012/                                                                                                         (5) http://www.friendsoftheriver.org/site/PageServer?pagename=50ways

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Capturing America’s Disappearing Rivers

Some people are just born for their jobs. Ansley West Rivers makes use of her aptly-given surname by creating portraits of various rivers across the nation. However, it’s not just strictly portfolio work; with her photos, Rivers hopes to bring awareness to America’s disappearing bodies of water, so she captures lakes and rivers through various stages of evaporation. Employing a splicing technique, she is able to show these bodies of water in their past, present and future stages. Rivers lives us with this thought: what we see now is not what we will always have.

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How Climate Change Will Alter New York City’s Skyline

"Last week, the New York City Panel on Climate Change released a new report detailing exactly how climate scientists expect New York City to change over over the next 100 years, focusing on projected increases in temperature and sea level.

What climate will really change is the true shape of New York: Its iconic skyline, and the buildings in it.”

Read more at wired.

A Deeper Look at the #KillTheKCup Movement via CNBC

Keurig K-Cups, the single-serve brewing pods, have revolutionized the coffee experience for some. But for others, the non-recyclable and non-biodegradable cups have incited a lot of frustration, reports The Atlantic.

Last year, Keurig sold more than 9 billion of the pods, which accounted for most of the company’s $4.7 billion in revenue.

But earlier this year a YouTube video called “Kill the K-Cup” went viral, anonymously calling out the pods as a hazard to the environment and “extremely wasteful and irresponsible.”

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