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This is how you can really help reduce greenhouse gas emissions – CTV News

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TORONTO —
When many Canadians think of how they can help lower greenhouse gas emissions, they often look for ways to reduce their own carbon footprint by flying less frequently or driving an electric vehicle, for example.

However, as laudable as those actions may be, climate activists say there are more effective ways for people to become involved and make a difference.

Alex Speers-Roesch, a climate campaigner with Greenpeace Canada, explained that the phrase “carbon footprint,” which is the measure of the total greenhouse gas emissions directly or indirectly caused by an individual, organization, event, or product, was actually popularized by the multinational oil and gas company BP in the early 2000s in an attempt to put the burden of change on to the individual.  

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“It’s good for people to think about the emissions associated with the things that they consume, but there’s a tendency sometimes in the way that carbon footprints are talked about and promoted that tries to put the onus on individuals and consumers for those emissions in a way that can be unfair,” he told CTVNews.ca during a telephone interview in late November.

Lauren Latour, a climate ambition co-ordinator for Climate Action Network Canada, cited a study from a few years ago that showed that just 100 companies were responsible for 70 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988.

She also referenced another recent study that claimed frequent-flying “super emitters,” consisting of just 1 per cent of the population, were responsible for half of the world’s aviation carbon emissions in 2018.

“The average Canadian is very much not responsible for the lion’s share of harmful climate change effects,” Latour said during an interview with CTVNews.ca in late November.

So while both Latour and Speers-Roesch said Canadians should be mindful of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the goods and services they consume and how their individual choices affect the environment, they said there are other, more impactful, ways for them to address the climate emergency.

“It’s not going to be the individual actions of consumers that are going to address the climate crisis, what we really need is collective action from all of us working together to produce systemic change,” Speers-Roesch said.

SEEK INFORMATION

Canadians interested in doing their part to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions can start by seeking out more information about the topic from environmental organizations dedicated to the cause, Speers-Roesch suggested.

He said there are many climate change groups operating in Canada, such as Greenpeace Canada, 350 Canada, Environmental Defence, and Climate Action Network Canada.

“Find a group like that, sign up for the email list, see if you can get involved,” he said. “Once you start looking, though, you start to see, ‘Oh there are opportunities everywhere.’”

Speers-Roesch said Canadians can also seek out climate change events happening in their area. For example, if there is a protest nearby, he suggested going to see what it’s about and to meet other attendees.

“As you connect with others and get more involved and get more engaged, you’ll probably have more ideas,” he said. “Before you know it, you’ll have lots of stuff to keep you busy on climate change.”

BECOME POLITICALLY ENGAGED

Latour acknowledged that getting involved in politics can be a “scary” thing for a lot of people, but that it doesn’t have to be and there are many opportunities to become engaged by joining community-led initiatives.

She said Canadians can join local organizations that work to influence government policy on the municipal level.

“For instance, a city is able to switch its bus fleet over from fuel combustion buses to low emissions, or hybrid or electric buses, or an electric light rail system,” she said.

Latour said Canadians can also volunteer for a mutual aid effort that is dedicated to building resiliency in their town or region. For example, she cited the groups that stepped up to help mitigate the effects of flooding in the Ottawa area over the past few years.

“In a lot of places, we see municipalities and we see smaller communities really leading the way on climate change and on climate policy,” she said.

“Individual change does matter and that individual change is getting involved in community organizing and getting involved in influencing your politics and local legislation.”

Speers-Roesch, too, said political activism is one of the most important things Canadians can do to become involved in the fight against climate change.

“The majority of the emissions are due to industry and are a result of government policy decisions so that’s really the most important and impactful place that people can focus their energies,” he said.

The Greenpeace campaigner said that Canadians should learn about their local politicians’ environmental platforms and encourage them to act.

“Call your MP, call your MPP, or city councillor,” he said. “Let them know you want them to do more on climate change.”

PUSH THE CONVERSATION FORWARD

Finally, Speers-Roesch said Canadians can still do their part by incorporating climate change issues and pushing the conversation forward in their daily lives.

“Think about how you can bring climate activism into your existing life,” he said. “It doesn’t always necessarily have to be finding another group and joining them.”

As an example, Speers-Roesch said someone who is already part of a book club that meets on a weekly basis could suggest a book for them to read on climate change.

He said they could also organize an event within an organization they’re already involved in, such as their workplace, school, sports team, church, or temple, to raise more awareness.

“Look for a little thing that you can do each week to sort of make your voice heard and get activated and engaged on climate change,” Speers-Roesch advised. “Climate change is something that we really need to sort of infuse into every aspect of our lives and our work and everything that we do.” 

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Eta Aquariids meteor shower: Fireball streaks across BC sky

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A bright green fireball streaked across the Okanagan sky Wednesday night, and sightings were reported elsewhere in southern B.C.

The exciting celestial event occurred just before 10 p.m. Wednesday and residents across Kelowna, Kamloops and down to Osoyoos reported seeing the fireball.

One Castanet reader who lives near Kelowna International Airport said it appeared in the sky to the west.

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“It didn’t have a fast movement to it, it sort of came flowing down,” he said. “It was a very bright green, beautiful orb, just very strange, that fell out of the sky last night.”

Kamloops resident Justin Moss caught the event on his house’s surveillance camera, pointing south towards the TRU campus.

People living on Vancouver Island posted online about seeing the event as well, along with others in Washington State.

While it’s not clear what the fireball in the sky was, the Eta Aquariids meteor shower is currently ongoing. The meteor shower, associated with Halley’s Comet, generally runs from about April 19 to May 28 every year, peaking around May 5 or 6.

A meteor’s colour is indicative of the chemical makeup of a meteor. Those with a lot of nickel glow green when they burn up in the earth’s atmosphere.

 

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NASA Contractor Warns That Boeing Launch Must Be Stopped "Before Something Catastrophic Happens"

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“NASA needs to re-double safety checks and re-examine safety protocols to make sure the Starliner is safe before something catastrophic happens to the astronauts and to the people on the ground.”

Shut It Down

A NASA contractor is urging the space agency to suspend the upcoming Boeing Starliner launch over major safety concerns with the aerospace company’s wares.

In a press release, the president of ValveTech, a NASA contractor that supplies the agency with parts, warned that the buzzing sound heard during the now-scrubbed Starliner launch could indicate something seriously wrong with the transport capsule.

“As a valued NASA partner and as valve experts, we strongly urge them not to attempt a second launch due to the risk of a disaster occurring on the launchpad,” ValveTech president Erin Faville cautioned. “According to media reports, a buzzing sound indicating the leaking valve was noticed by someone walking by the Starliner minutes before launch. This sound could indicate that the valve has passed its lifecycle.”

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After the incident, which occurred just before Starliner was supposed to attempt its first crewed launch earlier in May, NASA has said that it won’t try again until at least May 17. According to Faville, much needs to be be done between now and then to head off the worst possible outcomes.

“NASA needs to re-double safety checks and re-examine safety protocols,” he said, “to make sure the Starliner is safe before something catastrophic happens to the astronauts and to the people on the ground.”

Bad News Boeing

The CEO of United Launch Alliance, which is launching the craft into orbit, pushed back strongly on X-formerly-Twitter.

“Not sure what to say about this one,” he wrote. “Close to none of it is correct: Not urgent. Not leaking. Etc. Remarkable that the particular person quoted doesn’t seem to know how this type of valve works.”

ValveTech’s warnings come not just after the scrubbed Starliner launch, but also after months of terrible press for Boeing that have included parts falling off its planes, government investigations, and two dead whistleblowers.

As the company’s press release notes, the launch scrub also occurred after a November 2023 ruling in which a federal court found that Boeing had used a valve from another aerospace company, Aerojet Rocketdyne, that copied ValveTech’s designs. The part was not, according to a witness in that trial, equipped for the job it was meant to do, and as far as the company can tell, it hasn’t been replaced.

“ValveTech continues to question how NASA, Boeing and Aerojet could have qualified this valve for the mission without proper supporting data or previous history or legacy information, which in its experience, goes against aerospace-industry qualification protocols established by NASA,” the press release reads.

All told, these are some pretty serious claims, and Futurism has reached out to NASA to ask if the parts in question have been replaced.

 

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Strong solar storm could trigger northern lights in United States

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Multiple outbursts from the sun could trigger magnificent auroras in many parts of the United States this weekend.

A severe geomagnetic storm is expected to hit Earth on Friday, triggering colorful nighttime auroras, or the northern lights. People in the United States could see moderate to strong geomagnetic activity starting around 11 p.m. and lasting through Saturday.

 

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