Simcoe County Groundwater Threatened, Again

Remember the battle to stop the Site 41 landfill in Simcoe County? Writing in the fall of 2009 Joe Friesen characterized it this way:

After 25 years of fruitless opposition, it appeared as though the people would never vanquish the mighty defenders of the dump, a scarred parcel of land called Site 41. Until one day they did, in one fell swoop banishing the memory of disappointing protests past.

Water is Life

Well, it seems that the “world’s purest groundwater” is again threatened this time by a quarry expansion in the Waverly Uplands which happens to be the “recharge area for this pristine aquifer in Simcoe County, Ontario.”

Why does short term commercial gain seem to take precedent over our long term health and well-being?

According to Mark Calzavara’s post on the Council of Canadians blog last week, it’s because the “regulations governing quarries and gravel pits are badly skewed in favour of the industry and communities have little influence in the approvals process.” This has got to change.

It’s great to see this again has the support of the Council of Canadians. They were instrumental in this fight with Maude Barlow, who “sat in the front row” with her documentary crew, helping to raise an awareness that led to a 22-10 victory when Simcoe County held their vote.

It’s 10 years later and we’ll have to fight and “do it again!” Are you ready?

Send your support to to the Council of Canadians for this and the many other campaigns they are fighting for to ensure we have a future worth living.

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Push to Protect Canada’s Freshwater

Emma Lui, the National Water Campaigner for the Council of Canadians, suggests that the federal government should establish a Water Minister who could be a voice to protect all of our waterways. A fantastic idea! That would likely have improved the flawed Bill C-69 which does not restore protections and implement the necessary safeguards for our lakes and rivers.

Let’s help Emma and her colleagues continue this campaign to get parliament to take action to protect our water.

 

Mercury is Cooling Down?

Like the proverbial moth to the candle flame I am drawn to the sky and some interesting space exploration news emerged last week. The Messenger spacecraft may have detected water on Mercury. Many sources reporting that the January ‘fly-by’ found water, here’s the BBC News:

“The Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer (FIPS), onboard the craft also revealed details of the planet’s atmospheric composition … silicon, sodium and even water ions around Mercury.”

But this BBC News story also reports that the planet has actually become smaller since Mariner’s viewing in 1975.

“Scientists believe the shrinkage is due to the planet’s core slowly cooling.”

And Scientific American notes that:

“… the planet’s iron-rich core seems to be shrinking, causing its crust to buckle and crack.”

Amazing to think that this planet so close to the sun may actually have water on it. Some explanations suggested in the Columbus Dispatch story:

“There are a few theories. Hydrogen spewed from the sun might strike oxygen on the surface of Mercury and form water, said Thomas Zurbuchen, a professor of aerospace engineering and space science at the University of Michigan.

Or asteroids that struck the surface in the past might have brought water to the planet.”

And the Houston Chronicle reports that,

“… some astronomers have theorized that Mercury harbors reservoirs of ice at the bottom of permanently shaded craters at the planet’s poles, places the sun’s rays would not reach and a prospect that could hold true for the Earth’s moon as well.”

Ice on a planet that reaches temperatures of 400 degrees Celsius! Well it also goes down to -200 degrees Celsius at night.

We’ll know more in a few years when Messenger returns and enters Mercury’s orbit in 2011. Until then, check out these great pics posted at Popluar Mechanics.