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Pick a day…any day…

July 23, 2012

Hey kids,

Let’s pick a random day in the newspapers – say…like today (July 23rd ) – and let’s sit with a coffee and see what’s happening on the environmental front.

1.     Toronto is under yet another heat alert! With more than 70% humidity, the humidex temperature is 43C.

Climate destruction and Justin Beiber…any connection?

2.     In a Rolling Stone article examining the “statistics of global warming”, we have had (as of May), 327 consecutive months where the temperature has been above the global average for the last 100 years. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719

3.     Monarch Butterflies are going to be moved from the category of “species of concern” to the lower category of “species at risk”, as its population continues to dwindle due to loss of habitat (deforestation) and climate change.

3.a.  For the first time ever, some Monarchs are flying as far north and as far west as Edmonton, in search of food and habitat.

4. The Mayor of Krymsk (near the Black Sea) was arrested this week when he was accused of not adequately warning the residents about the “rain flood of the century” that killed 171 people.

4.a. That “month’s-worth-of-rain” (90mm) Scarborough got last Sunday afternoon backed up sewers all along South Scarborough. There is now an investigation to see whether the City was at fault. (“What do you mean our sewer system can’t drain a month’s worth of rain that falls in less than two hours?! That is outrageous!”)

4.b.Beijing got 6” (150mm) of rain last Saturday night. Records say it was the worst storm in decades. The city was totally flooded and roofs collapsed under the weight of the rain. So far, no one there has blamed the politicians…

5. Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford, got a new Cadillac Escapade SUV from his brothers for his birthday. Happy Birthday, Rob!

6. It is too hot to move the African elephants from the Toronto Zoo to their new retirement home in California.

7. BC premier Cathy Clarke said yesterday that she had some “concerns” that she needed addressing with Stephen Harper and the other premiers before “BC” would approve the $5.5 billion pipeline that will move billions and billions of dollars worth of Alberta’s tar-sands oil to the BC coast for shipping to China and India and Japan.

8. Today’s forecasted daily temperatures for various cities in the US:

34C – Baltimore, Atlanta, Houston

35C – Salt Lake City, Washington DC.

36C – Dallas

37C – Chicago

39C – Wichita

40C – St. Louis

9. World-hotspot-of-the-day: Baghdad @ 50C.

10. From the lifestyles section (G&M): 1 in 10 deaths are attributed to “inactivity”. (1-in-3 in North America.)

10.a. The French, and the English, are eating North American-style hamburgers in record numbers.

11. In a study of World Bank, IMF, UN, and central bank records, the Tax Justice Network reported that $32 trillion ($32,000,000,000,000) from the world’s richest are currently deposited in international tax-free tax havens. (Note of comparison: Canada’s 2012 federal budget is set at $237 billion – about 137 times smaller…)

Well kids, that’s a day-in-the-life of the planet according to the Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail (our two largest newspapers).

I have to say, the elephant story was my favorite.

Imagine… its too hot to move elephants…

And in case you are wondering, only the butterfly story made it to the front-page (Toronto Star: ¼ of a column (and inside), right side, below the fold.)

The rest of today’s front page was about the usual: shootings, student protests, and who won this year’s British Open golf tournament…

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