Emily Murgatroyd

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Do The Right Thing

Is the corporate dinosaur dying? Are we teetering on the brink of a new clean and green era of business and development? While I'm not holding my breath it's hard to ignore the steps that big business, and in particular big oil, has been taking of late to address the issue of global warming.

ConocoPhillips has just announced that it is doubling it's alternative fuel research spending to $150 million as well as funding a $22 million project to develop bio-fuels over the next 8 years with Iowa state university.

Sign Says

As I was cruising through my neighbourhood today I came across a block with a sea of white signs proclaiming “Next Election I'm Voting for REAL Action on Climate Change - Please Reduce Emissions Now”.

Immediately, I knew I had to have one of those glorious signs so I went home and contacted organizer Kevin Washbrook. His group is called 'Voters Taking Action on Climate Change' (VTACC) and it's made up of a group of local neighbourhood residents who are concerned about global warming and are calling for political action on reducing emissions. Through the sign campaign they hope to encourage Vancouver residents to make climate change the deciding issue in the next election as well as reminding candidates that they are going to have to take global warming very seriously if they want to win.

In The Bag

In six months, San Francisco will become the first North American city to ban plastic bags. It's likely that Mayor Gavin Newsom will approve the legislation which was voted in by San Francisco's Board of Supervisors. The city, which uses 181 million plastic bags annually is set to save 450,000 gallons of oil a year with this move, as well as eliminating the 1400 tons of plastic bag waste currently sent to landfills.

Canadian Idle

A group called the Children's Clean Air Network, comprised of Halifax elementary school students, has inspired one car dealership to stop their daily idling habits.

Ron Zima, of the CCAN has a mission to make idling in Halifax a thing of the past, hoping to make it as socially unacceptable as cigarettes.

His group’s video inspired Volkswagen dealership owner Mike Velemirovich to stop the practice of starting and running every car on his lot on cold days. Not only is he inspired by the environmental benefit but his annual savings from eliminating that practice alone, which even he acknowledges as useless, is $3000! Unlike your typical Idol contests - everybody wins here.

London's Got It

Here's a great example of a local government taking big steps to encourage energy consumption reduction. Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone has offered incentives to Londoners who make their homes more energy efficient as well as encouraging green investments.

Academy Awards Oscar to 'An Inconvenient Truth'

Last night's Academy Awards weren't as boring as I thought they would be. Admittedly I usually skip them but I was holding out for the 'Best Documentary' category to see if Davis Guggenheim et al would get the recognition they so richly deserved.

And I was not disappointed. Neither, I suspect, were millions of other human beings who got their first dose of the dangers of global warming through watching this highly acclaimed documentary. It may just be a gold statue, but it certainly represents an encouraging turn in public understanding around climate change.

Apres Ski - Literally

Imagine a world where the white fluffy stuff is part of folklore that you pass down to your grandchildren. A recent report released by Bill McGuire, the professor of geohazards and director of the Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre, suggests that winter sports and resorts may become a rarity in the near future.

Is Big Gas Bashing Big Coal?

It's a shame that this National Review Online site doesn't provide some solid evidence for its charge that a Big Gas astroturf group is attacking big coal projects in Texas.

But the Clean Sky Coalition looks well-funded and is mounting a compelling campaign against the use of coal for electricity generators.

Oscar Nods Twice for An Inconvenient Truth

Al Gore's documentary on the environment received two nominations for an Academy award, one for best documentary and the other for best original score. Netting over $24 million, the film has become the third highest grossing documentary of all time.

Eco-Home on The Range

This article looks at the many reasons, including saving money over the long run, that eco homes make sense and paints a picture of a scenario entirely within our reach.

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