Sunday, February 25, 2007

harriet nahanee


harriet nahanee
Originally uploaded by Rob__.
CBC Radio is reporting that Harriet Hahanee has died (also coverage here, here and here). In her early life she was a victim of residential schools. At the end of her life she became a victim of the province's ideology of development regardless of the consequences. Perhaps she will be remembered as the first person to die as a result of protesting development around the 2010 Winter Olympics.

In January, Madam Justice Brown sentenced the Squamish elder to fourteen days in jail for asserting her rights under the Constitution as an Indian and refusing to apologize to anybody, including the court, for blockading construction at Eagleridge Bluffs.

Betty Krawczyk, who had been acting in the courtroom as a McKenzie Friend of the court on Harriet's behalf objected to the sentencing. She felt the Surrey Pre-Trial Centre would not be safe for someone in Harriet's condition.

Betty was forcibly ejected from the court room and refused re-entry.

While jailed Nahanee developed pneumonia, was hospitalized and died as a result of complications from that illness.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Jailing Wisdom

Last summer a first nations elder taught me how eat shoots of salmon berry bushes. I am interested in indigenous edible plants, so I was excited to learn that more of the plant was edible than just the berries.


It was a wonderful moment on the edge of magnificent forest. The moment stuck with me partly because the elder seemed so kind, generous and wise.


Today that elderly women is fighting for her life. She developed pneumonia while in a pre-trial detention centre. She was arrested for trying to defend that magnificent forest that we stood on the edge of.


More details including constitutional arguments that may have made her sentencing illegal can be found on Betty's Early Edition blog.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

CO2 is a pollutant part 2

"A substance or condition that contaminates air, water, or soil. Pollutants can be artificial substances, such as pesticides and PCBs, or naturally occurring substances, such as oil or carbon dioxide, that occur in harmful concentrations in a given environment."

pollutant. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Science Dictionary. Retrieved February 15, 2007, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pollutant

"
physical, chemical, biological, [or] radioactive . . . substance or matter which is emitted into or otherwise enters the ambient air." (CAA, sec. 302(g))"

The Clean Air Act in the U.S.

CO2 (carbon dioxide) is a pollutant

I recently got into a online discussion with someone who made the ridiculous argument that CO2 (carbon dioxide) can not be classified as a pollutant. Below are the reasons he gave that it is not a pollutant and my responses:

".. benign gas..."

Many pollutants are "benign" at low levels. The are several ways in which CO2 is not benign at higher concentrations.

"..occurs naturally..."

Many pollutants (maybe even most) occur naturally - asbestos, mercury, sulphur, radiation,

"helps to maintain the earth at a temperature suitable for life"

Ozone as it exists in the atmosphere also helps to maintain life on the earth. But it is also considered a pollutant.

"...essential to the growth of all plants..."

Nitrates are essential to plant growth. Sulphur is an essential element for cell growth. But both are considered pollutants.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Nairobi, Malaria and climate change

A recent article in the International Herald Tribune by Paul Reiter attempted to throw doubt on the climate change consensus by raising the old malaria in Kenya controversy.

I wonder if the author was trying to qualify for the $10,000 offer from the AEI?

Selected quotes from the article and my responses follow.

“I am not a climatologist,...”

But then he goes on to try to make claims about climate science. Isn't it interesting that often the most adamant deniers are often people speaking outside of their area of expertise?

“...that this consensus is a mirage”

But he offers nothing to support this statement. It is incredibly dishonest. By any reasonable definition there clearly is a consensus and even most people in the denier's camp have come to admit this.

“...Al Gore's film, ... which claims that Nairobi ...”

The film is filled with much more convincing evidence that global warming is occurring. Why are critics continually pulling out this one small item from the film? Perhaps the other evidence is just to hard to find holes in?'

But it turns out that even the situation in Nairobi is not as simple as the critics would have you believe.

"...and published their findings in the journal Nature”

This article was published in February 2002. What he fails to mention is that a response was published to that article later in the same year (also in the journal Nature).

In the second article Professor Mike Hulme, a climatologist, and medical epidemiologist Dr Jonathan Patz, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Maryland said the data used in the previous research is not precise enough to rule out a link.

He also fails to mention that in 2005 the same journal, Nature published another article that showed evidence that climate change will increase malaria rates around the world.

It seems that this author was using selective research to make his point.