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Posts from the ‘Environment’ Category

Fish farming into the future

This article originally appeared in Saltscapes Magazine‘s Summer 2014 issue.

by Chris Benjamin

I reach Red Bank Road in Hants County, NS after a blue-sky drive through sparkling frozen mudflats in high-tide country. I see a sign that says “Sustainable Fish Farming Canada.” Sustainable Blue is the company’s brand name.

The operation is 500 metres from the Bay of Fundy, near Centre Burlington. This June, its operators had hoped to sell the first Read more

Weather Seals

“Seals Dive Deep for Ocean Data” is a quirky but important story by environment writer Chris Benjamin, commissioned by Science Friday, with major impact on our understanding of climate change. For that we should all be thanking seals, especially elephant seals, for their recent contributions to oceanographic science. They are providing the best available data from extreme ocean latitudes.

Wait, seals?! Why? How!?

Here’s an excerpt from the story:

“Trying to pass a tape measure under a two-ton giant sausage is not entirely straightforward,” says Fedak, who’s based at the Sea Mammal Research Unit at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
The seals are members of a growing pinniped squadron, numbering in the hundreds, that researchers have flagged over the past 10 years with tags designed by the Seal Mammal Research Unit and tailored to gather details on ocean conductivity, temperature, and depth, collectively called “CTD profiles.”
You can read the whole story, and see some fabulous images provided by marine biologist Mike Fedak, over at the Science Friday blog.

Raucous crowd greets fracking review panel

This story was first published in the Halifax Examiner on Jul 24, 2014:


by Chris Benjamin

David Wheeler’s fracking roadshow reached Halifax last night and received its most boisterous heckling yet. Wheeler, president of Cape Breton University and sustainable business guru (he convinced the province to burn trees for energy), chairs an “independent review panel” investigating the potential for fracking in Nova Scotia.

Last night’s meeting was the Read more

Natural Law

This story first appeared in Halifax Magazine in April 2014:

It’s time for Halifax to give its earth, wind and water legal standing

By Chris Benjamin

Coming home from South America, Halifax journalist Silver Donald Cameron was asked the purpose of his trip at customs. “I was making a documentary about the rights of nature,” he said.

“What’s that?” the customs officer asked.

Read more

It’s getting hotter: What do we do about it?

This story first appeared in Dalhousie Magazine in the summer of 2013:

On a cold evening in Nome, Alaska – located just below the Arctic Circle – half the town’s 3,600 people crowd together indoors to meet Dalhousie Earth Sciences researcher Lawrence Plug. It’s a big turn-out for a science lecture, but then Dr. Plug’s topic is Read more

Dam Problems

This story first appeared in The Coast on April 18, 2013:

The Maritime Link is sold as a solution to our environmental problems. So why is no one talking about its negative environmental effects? Read more

Lorax Consumption

This story first appeared in The Coast on Mar 22, 2012:

I don’t remember reading The Lorax when I was a kid. I read it to my kid now. But I’m not a Lorax purist.

So, on a Friday afternoon I hit the Empire and paid my $13, got my 3D glasses in cellophane wrapper and prepared for a sermon. Read more

Reserve Judgements

This story first appeared in The Coast on Jan 20, 2011:

Two landmark environmental racism cases are coming to a head; one could change how polluting companies do business in Canada
By Chris Benjamin

In mid-September, the Pictou Landing First Nation band council filed a lawsuit Read more

How to build a local food system

This story first appeared on Jul 15, 2010 in The Coast:

The global food system has worked so well that Nova Scotia farms are disappearing, but with oil getting scarce, the days of food travelling over 8,000 km before finding a mouth are numbered. Read more

Pay it Forward

This story first appeared in Progress Magazine in March 2009:

Pay it forward

Eco-conscious employees are taking small achievable steps for their companies on the thousand-mile journey to sustainability Read more