Love will soon be in the air—for barn swallows, that is. Courtship during the upcoming mating season will feature elegant aerial displays. Cobalt blue, cinnamon and chestnut-coloured, the barn swallow is a striking species. But it’s in flight that these birds go from interesting to incredible. Barn swallows are aerial acrobats, which have been recorded at speeds of up to 74 km/hour. They zip and zoom through the air, performing impressive manoeuvres to catch flying insects. Who knew that you could look so graceful while eating bugs all day?(more…)
Environmental organizations are rightly applauding the government’s stated intention to formally protect 20 properties. But the government has failed to protect something important: public trust.(more…)
Bill Black’s Jan. 2 column, “Rankin’s policies tack far to the left of McNeil,” includes a brief but untenable statement about Owls Head Provincial Park. “Noting the significant level of local support, he (Iain Rankin) believes that an environmentally sensitive proposal for a golf resort at Owls Head could be approved.”
It’s absurd to claim that an environmentally friendly golf course is possible in this location, as it would raze the biodiverse wetlands and rare plant ecosystems.
Moreover, Black and Rankin have both decidedly ignored the unprecedented betrayal of public trust, the absolute disregard for public consultation with Nova Scotians, and the dangerous precedent this sets for all of our green spaces.
Perceived “local support” cannot retroactively make secretly delisting a provincial park reserve OK. It’s premature to presume the level of local support, as the government has still not conducted any consultations, locally or provincially.(more…)
Lindsay Lee wrote the following letter following the call to action by Jacob Fillmore, the young man camped out on Grand Parade Square to protest the government’s lack of action on climate change.
The Nova Scotia Advocate
Contributed by Lindsay Lee
Editor: Robert Devet
December 18, 2020
Read on the NS Advocate
To Whom It May Concern:
As we grapple with the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, proper environmental stewardship is more important than ever. Unfortunately, responsible action on vital environmental issues is conspicuously absent in Nova Scotia.
I had never before thought of myself as an activist. However, I understand the escalating threats of climate change and biodiversity loss. I recognize that urgent action is needed. I expect our government to make well-researched decisions that reflect the best available science. If trusting in science makes one an activist, then I will wear that label with pride.(more…)
Francis Campbell’s Nov. 4 article kicked off with one of the most consequential points yet written about Owls Head Provincial Park Reserve: “The province was preparing to remove Owls Head Park Reserve from the parks protection list and sell it to an American developer more than three years before the public was notified, provincial documents show.”
If the sale of this biodiverse coastal ecosystem was such a great idea, then why did our government orchestrate three years of secrecy? If betraying the 45-year history of Owls Head Provincial Park Reserve was truly beneficial to our province, then why did the government refuse to organize public consultation?(more…)
Why we need to preserve this biodiverse coastal headland
This article has since been republished with permission in the January edition of the Eastern Shore Cooperator.
Biodiversity (a contraction of “biological diversity”) comprises all life on Earth. Greater species diversity supports healthier ecosystems and even improved human health.
“We are in the midst of both climate and biological diversity (extinction) emergencies, wherein we are at or beyond planetary thresholds for being able to recover. Such intact ecosystems as Owls Head are our ecological life-support systems. We need them in order to survive as a species, as do the other species with which we share this land, many of which are endangered1.”Dr. Karen Beazley
The ocean breeze is blowing through your hair. Imagine the feel of sand underneath your feet as you listen to the waves lapping against the beach. Think back to days spent sailing in the bay or walking along a rocky shore. You are building sandcastles, watching the fishing boats, looking for sea glass, or collecting shells.
Can you imagine life in Nova Scotia without these things?
No, neither can I.
When we open our eyes, we see that more and more of us are losing access to our shores, as land that the public has enjoyed for generations is being sold to the highest bidder.(more…)