June 4 News: Canada Rewrites Environmental Laws To Help Fossil Fuel Industry

The government of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is rewriting the nation’s environmental laws to speed the extraction and export of oil, minerals and other materials to a global market clamoring for Canada’s natural resources. [Washington Post]

The government of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is rewriting the nation’s environmental laws to speed the extraction and export of oil, minerals and other materials to a global market clamoring for Canada’s natural resources….

“The idea is simple and straightforward: to make Canada the most attractive country in the world for resource investment and development, and to enhance our world-class protection of the environment today for future generations of Canadians,” said Christopher Plunkett, spokesman for the Canadian government in the United States.

Rick Smith, executive director of the advocacy group Environmental Defence Canada, calls it “a war on nature and democracy.” At least 500 Canadian organizations, along with several hundred in the United States, will darken their Web sites or publish notices Monday to protest the changes as part of a “Black Out, Speak Out” demonstration.

“This is the most anti-environmental legislation we’ve seen in decades,” Smith said. “Very clearly, a lot of these changes are designed to expedite inappropriate pipeline proposals. It’s essentially a big gift to Big Oil.”

Plants and shrubs have colonised parts of the Arctic tundra in recent decades growing into small trees, a scientific study found, adding the change may lead to an increase in global warming pressures if replicated on a wider scale. [Reuters]

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The government has been trying to water down key environmental regulations in Brussels despite trumpeting its commitment to green issues at home, leaked documents show. [Guardian]

Years of ferocious storms have threatened to gnaw away the western tip of a popular beachfront park two hours drive north of Los Angeles. Instead of building a 500-foot-long wooden defense next to the pier to tame the tide, the latest thinking is to flee. [Washington Post]

After recalculating data, climatologists have declared that Oklahoma last year suffered through the hottest summer ever recorded in the United States — not Texas as initially announced last fall. [New York Times]

If you miss this year’s synchronized firefly display in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can blame it on freakishly warm spring weather, perhaps linked to predicted weather extremes caused by global warming. [Summit County Citizens Voice]

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Natives downstream from the oilsands in northern Alberta say they have caught more deformed fish in Lake Athabasca and will be sending them away for testing. [The Canadian Press]