Tag Archives: canada

You can help the arctic birds of the Boreal Forest

Snowy Owl by Brian Hansen
Snowy Owl by Brian Hansen

Boreal means bird. The National Wildlife Fund’s Gaby Chavarria explained in a 2004 article, the largely untouched Boreal Forest haven is under threat from logging, mining and drilling for gas and oil. It is, “one of the largest intact forests on the planet — the size of more than 10 Californias.” What’s being destroyed?

Billions of birds rely on the boreal forest – the sweeping expense of trees across Canada – for critical breeding grounds and summer residences. Unfortunately, clear cutting is taking its toll, as environmentally sound forestry practices are not commonplace here.

Much of the resource development in the boreal is spurred by the United States, which is the leading importer of Canadian wood products. Driving the demand for cheap pulp is junk mail, advertising inserts, newsprint, toilet paper, magazines and catalogs. In fact, according to the American Bird Conservancy, more than a third of all newsprint used in the United States originates from boreal forests.

Protecting these forests requires action on many fronts. Some retail companies such as IKEA, The Home Depot and Staples, have already vowed to avoid purchasing wood products from there.

And here’s how you can help save the forest:

You can do something, too. Besides seeking out products made from post-consumer recycled paper, recycling and being resourceful with the paper products you absolutely have to have, call or write to the magazines, newspapers and catalogs that you receive and tell them you want them to print only on post-consumer recycled paper. Or request delivery of these publications in electronic format, when available. Then sit back and enjoy all the warblers, finches, flycatchers and sparrows that fly back to your yard this spring, and know that you worked to help them make it. ~ Heidi Ridgley

To learn more about the Boreal Forest and conserving it, visit borealbirds.org

See NWF’s favorite fotos of 2014

Keystone XL will NOT reduce foreign oil imports or help US

KXL Action
Some Americans believe corrupt politicians who have spent taxpayer money trying ~40 times to cancel the healthcare services were put in place by Obama for people who really need them. The same people probably believe that the Keystone XL (KXL aka Tar Sands) Pipeline will benefit us.

The Washington Post Fact Checker gave 3 Pinocchio rating to the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline promoter’s ad claiming benefits it won’t produce, saying “We wavered between Two and Three Pinocchios. But ultimately we decided that given this is an ad for a pipeline to import Canadian crude oil into the United States, it’s really worthy of a late-night satire.” The Wapo’s researcher learned that the Keystone XL Pipeline

…will NOT reduce foreign oil dependence or even Middle East oil dependence:

Okay, but viewers of the ad might be forgiven if they did not realize this fact: The United States currently imports more oil from Canada than it does from the entire Persian Gulf, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Moreover, oil from the tar sands of Canada is expected to replace crude from Venezuela (which one could argue is not a friendly country) or Mexico. The Middle East is really not part of the equation.

and it will not reduce oil prices!

“The price of international oil prices has no impact on the operation of our pipeline and we do not profit from changing market changes,” TransCanada says in a fact sheet. “Prices are set on a global level.” In other words, if oil prices spike because of unrest in the Middle East, the impact will still be felt in the United States.

After being refined, pipeline oil will probably not even stay in America. According to the Wall Street Journal:

Much of the crude oil that would flow down the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline would likely be exported as refined products by U.S. companies—a prospect that is stirring further debate over whether the project serves the nation’s best interest.

The pipeline won’t create 40,000 construction jobs as claimed, since most of those jobs will be temporary and won’t even run a full year. According to the State Department, the number of construction jobs created will be 3900. The rest of the 36,100 jobs the KXL marketers want to claim credit for is the benefit which will supposedly disperse all across the United States when 3900 construction workers spend the money they make until their temporary construction jobs end.

In other words, you have to assume that money spent in Nebraska eventually helps a bartender in New York or a dancer in San Francisco

TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard explains this reckoning:

“We track the jobs associated with our project in the same fashion that the U.S. Department of Labor does and believe that every job – whether it is temporary or full-time – is important for the workers and communities involved.”