I generally refrain from commenting on developments in the Sydney Tar Ponds project, because I know better than most the PR minefield faced by those charged with getting the job done. Nevertheless, the Government of Canada has just released a short video that sanitizes the history of the cleanup in a manner so patronizing and false, it demands comment. Here's an excerpt from the video's smarmy narration: In the years and decades that followed, Sydney would see good times, and it would see hard times. But the resilience of its people would never falter. Faced with the environmental legacy of a century of...

In response to this, this, this, and many other provocations, a particularly keen-eyed consumer of Contrarian arguments has graciously created the official Contrarian weather page. (Click the image to download a larger version.) H/T:WCR...

Here's another placemarker for an issue I've wanted to write about for some time. I have not read any details of the Harper Governments plan to rein in federal environmental assessments, but in principle, I believe such an exercise is long overdue. It is a dirty little secret of the environmental movement that federal environmental assessments are a massive scam. They take far too long. They cost far too much. They do not focus on important issues. Everyone in the system knows this, but no one complains, because almost everyone benefits. Engineering companies get tens of millions of dollars to carry out...

The Cape Breton Post's Chris Shannon has a thorough and detailed account of Environment Canada's failure to monitor or control rampant siltation from the Sydney Harbor dredging boondoggle project (first reported here). In among the buck-passing and not-my-department quotes lies this gem: The federal environmental screening assessment report is supposed to be posted online. But a check of each of the departments’ websites didn’t turn up the report. A spokesperson for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency said the screening report couldn’t be found on its agency’s website either since it doesn’t conduct that type of environmental assessment. “It’s really the responsible authorities that are responsible...

A 100-hectare sediment plume kicked up by the Sydney Harbor dredging project, and presumably laden with industrial contaminants, has some officials annoyed over Environment Canada's failure to regulate the project. Gerry Langille, a Sydney-based industrial photographer often used by government agencies, snapped the photos Wednesday in calm conditions at slack tide. They have since circulated widely among federal and provincial bureaucrats. The Google Earth screenshot at left shows the approximate location of the upper photograph. The photo below shows the shoreline at Pt. Edward where the dredged material makes landfall, and where most of the sedimentation appears to originate. The infilled material...

A report last week in the prestigious scientific journal Nature revealed that the hole in the ozone layer over the Arctic was the largest ever recorded—comparable for the first time to the man-induced hole that appears every year in the ozone layer over the Antarctic. But when reporters asked Canadian scientist  David Tarasick, who was involved in the study, to explain its findings, Environment Canada refused to let him speak. [caption id="attachment_8689" align="alignright" width="150" caption="David Tarasick, muzzled by Environment Canada"][/caption] Environment Canada scientist David Tarasick, whose team played a key role in the report published Sunday in the journal Nature, is not being...

Saint Mary's professor Larry Haiven thinks blaming unions for unnecessary snow days is silly: This is part of a syndrome of "if in doubt, blame the unions."  So convenient.  So wrong. A few years ago I was taking a tour of the new Toronto opera house.  We were allowed to go everywhere except on stage, even though the stage was bare, with no current production going on. One of the tour members asked the docent why we couldn't go on stage.  The tour member said he had been on tours of all the great opera houses of Europe and had never been barred...

By 7:30 a.m., today, it had stopped snowing at Kempt Head. Total accumulation: 2-5/8ths inches. Cancellations: Cape Breton Victoria School Board; Strait Richmond School Board; NSCC Marconi Campus; NSCC Strait Campus; Mayflower Mall (until noon, except for anchor stores); and pretty much every other event you could think of. Imagine! Two and five-eighth inches of snow! In February, in Nova Scotia! Gadzooks! Why hasn't the army been called? What on earth has happened to us? What has turned us into a nation of cowering, cringing, 'fraidy cats who darsn't get out of bed in the morning, lest something bad happen. Something bad might happen. Get...

Let the blogosphere note that on Friday morning, contrarian bet a friend that Hurricane Bill would not rank among the 10 highest wind speeds recorded in Nova Scotia in 2009. As of this morning, the bet is looking pretty safe. Environment Canada and the CBC  need to realize that the shrill, cover-your-ass forecasts they adopted in the wake Hurricane Juan are just as dangerous as under-predicting. EC and CBC cry wolf so often, and so predictably, citizens simply tune them out. This is a topic contrarian will return to. Reader comments welcome....