2012 Report on Water Quality in Ontario

Want to know how Ontario is doing for water quality? Check out the MoE’s 2012 report. The report touches on a lot of important topics from contamination and climate change to phosphorus monitoring. At 92 pages, its a solid read but definitely worth a go for those interested. 

The alliance of photography and environmentalism is rich and contradictory. Photographers have sought not only to document the landscape but also to provoke awareness of the profound and often harmful consequences of human action upon the earth. And yet the photographer-environmentalist inevitably struggles with the constraints of the medium — with the challenges of capturing temporal processes (like change and decay) and atmospheric outcomes (like pollution), with the de-contextualizing and abstracting effects of the photographic frame, and with the temptations of aestheticization, the tensions between artistic ambition and political meaning.

It’s discouraging to see this lack of ambition when we’ve seen significant actions taken in other nations this year. California, the second-largest U.S. emitter, implemented a cap-and-trade system. Australia, a major fossil fuel exporter in its own right, implemented a carbon price in July. And the U.K. unveiled a new national clean energy strategy just as the UN Conference was getting underway. By contrast, the lack of leadership from the Canadian government is worrisome. Instead of beginning a transition that would help safeguard Canada’s society, environment and economy in the future, it is trying to prevent the world around it from changing and obstructing progress toward a new climate deal.

Climate change presents an environmental challenge but also offers a tremendous opportunity for sustainable growth for the present and the future. We are positioning Ontario to protect the environment, attract investments and support job creation as a leader in the low-carbon economy. Our commitment to green energy such as wind and solar power is bringing more than $16 billion in investment, and supports or creates thousands of jobs. Ontario firms will continue to be world leaders in the development of clean technologies, products and services that contribute to a cleaner environment and ensure a sustainable economic future.

This report highlights the journey we are on, a journey we share with all Ontarians. Successfully managing the challenge of climate change will be our legacy to future generations. We owe it to them, and to ourselves, to build an Ontario that is stronger and more sustainable than ever, where prosperity and respect for the environment go hand-in-hand.

Ten things I’ve learned from my Twitter feed in the past hour - Monday edition

1. It takes a long time for a page clerk in Toronto’s Courthouse to photocopy the decision on whether or not current Mayor Rob Ford will be removed from his position due to a conflict of interest. Finally, we learn that he has been removed from office.

DKsan10:16am via Twitter for Android
I think southern Ontario is obsessively checking Twitter for this decision.

haydentay10:14am via Web
Waiting for this Rob Ford thing is killing me. I JUST WANT TO KNOW.

thedaleykate10:13am via Twitter for BlackBerry®
While we wait for the Ford decision, we could perhaps have read the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. Doesn’t bode well for his defense.

paisleyrae10:16am via Web

jaketobin10:25am via Web
Waiting for this decision has now lost Toronto $40 million in productivity.

globeandmail10:33am via HootSuite
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford removed from office after being found guilty of violating conflict of interest act: bit.ly/WrM0KW #topoli

2. Ocean acidification is worse than we thought

AlternativesJ 10:18am via HootSuite
British Antarctic Survey: “First evidence of ocean acidification affecting live marine creatures in the Southern Ocean” ow.ly/fzTYq

3. Millennials continue to be millennials (myself included)

 ICSherman 10:16am via LinkedIn
A lot of millennials (including me!) complain about it being tougher for ‘us’ than past generations…but is that true…lnkd.in/qCczzw

4. Mr. Dressup continues to be loved and adored by all

_JasonHudson10:22am via Web
Google Canada celebrates Mr. Dressup’s birthday. #quaint pic.twitter.com/2LE8Zjqv

5. Cyber Monday continues to be the best thing to happen to online shopping

HuffingtonPost10:30am via The Huffington Post
Cyber Monday deals are out-of-this-world — all from the comfort of home huff.to/S7GFbV

6. Old people on the east coast continue to like to get drunk and make poor choices

CBCCanada10:20am via twitterfeed
Driver, 90, faces impaired driving charges bit.ly/Te2G76

7. Most Canadians continue to dislike Justin Bieber

JulianHarrisBro10:16am via TweetDeck
i’m pretty sure bieber wasn’t bothered by the boos b/c he has cheers piped in thru the canned music

8. The world probably won’t end on December 21st so best continue to make payments to your hydro bills

weathernetwork10:15am via Adobe® Social
Will Dec. 21, 2012 really be the end of the world? oak.ctx.ly/r/1ck8

9. Apple continues to be awesome

mashable10:32am via SocialFlow
iPad Wins 88% of Black Friday Mobile Traffic [INFOGRAPHIC] on.mash.to/10Y2U7W

10. The saddest season of the year has begun - stay off the ice kids.

weathernetwork10:30am via Adobe® Social
Tragic: man, grandson die after falling through thin ice in Quebec: oak.ctx.ly/r/1ck9

Low water levels are not the only climate-related trend being observed on the Great Lakes. Ice cover is also declining. The Great Lakes have lost 71% of their ice cover since 1973, according to a study by the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL). This past winter, the Great Lakes, including Lake Superior, were virtually ice free with just 5% ice coverage, the second lowest on record. Similar to the global assessment conducted in 2000, loss of ice cover is being reported on lakes throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.

The ELA is an essential research platform for understanding the threats to Canada′s water resources (particularly from climate change and oil and gas extraction), assessing the risks of water pollutants and emerging threats, and developing and testing strategies for ecosystem-based management to improve water quality; the area is essential to understanding the environmental effects and fate of chemicals originating from the Alberta oil sands. Moreover, the ELA has operated a comprehensive meteorological station, which is a measurement site of Environment Canada′s s Canadian Air and Precipitation Monitoring Network.

Kristy Duncan, M.P. on Which has more value to you? Action plan ads or Environmental research via iPolitics

Toronto, ON – Environmentalists and community members are overjoyed by today’s decision of the Joint Board to protect Burlington’s Mount Nemo and Jefferson Salamander breeding ponds on the farm of the Harmer family. The decision denies Nelson Aggregate’s proposed 26 million tonne quarry on the 82 hectare site.

– The happiest day for the Niagara escarpment. Read more about it on the Environmental Defence webpage.


“To develop a theory of an ecology of happiness, we must go beyond these statistical correlations and understand what, in their contact with a preserved natural environment, makes people happy. Looking back at the origins of human beings’ relationship with nature is an obvious first step. American biologist Edward O. Wilson, professor at Harvard University and a great pioneer in biodiversity studies, in 1984 proposed the concept of biophilia, from the ancient Greek bios“life”—and philos—”beloved” or “friend.” According to Wilson, people have an innate tendency to establish a relationship with the living world and natural processes. In other words, the human species has an innate emotional affinity with other living beings as well as with the plant kingdom and natural surroundings. This concept of biophilia thus refers to the psychological well-being that people experience during a close interaction with the natural environment. An attraction to nature is the expression of a biological need that has been an integral part of the development of the human species since its origin and which is essential to both the physical and the psychic parts of human nature. The hypothesis of a human dependency on nature implies much more than a need to satisfy one’s physical wants; it also includes a search in nature for aesthetic, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual satisfactions, and more widely, a quest for the meaning of life.”

—from An Ecology of Happiness by Eric Lambin

I want to read this book more than badly.

Rio+20 Earth Summit: Miracles Can Happen


“The road to success is often riddled with challenges and failures. No matter the outcomes that transpire at Rio+20, we must never give up the fight for the rights of future generations to be able to enjoy what we have taken for granted. Give people of the world a voice and they have power. Focus that human power and we can achieve anything.

My name is Fabien Cousteau, and I believe in miracles.”

(Source: www-outerspacepi)

From investigating the role of nitrogen in promoting blue-green algae blooms to the environmental impacts of freshwater aquaculture, from the impacts of hydro reservoir development on greenhouse gases and mercury cycling, to the effects of artificial estrogen on fish populations, ELA has been there. Its scientists have been in the vanguard of original research that has benefitted companies, this country, and the world time after time after time. You don’t get the First Stockholm Water Prize and the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering for goofing off.