• What an exciting two weeks! Two lawsuits been filed in New Brunswick courts against shale gas development, one by the New Brunswick Anti-shale Gas Alliance and a second one by eighteen New Brunswickers, but the Supreme Court has handed down a decision on a land claim by the Tsilhqot'in First Nation in BC that could have wide-ranging implications for New Brunswick, where territory was never ceded to the Crown by aboriginal peoples. Could this mean more cautious, transparent, accountable development of our natural resources on Crown land (forests, shale gas, oil pipelines) that would have to include aboriginal peoples in NB fully?
  • Conservation Council announces 2013 eco-heroes

     

    For Immediate Release

    April 22, 2013

    http://www.conservationcouncil.ca/conservation-council-announces-2013-eco-heroes/

     

    Fredericton – The Conservation Council of New Brunswick will present its annual Milton F. Gregg Conservation Awards in Fredericton on Saturday, April 27th.

     

    The award for lifetime achievement will be presented to Alma Brooks, a Maliseet grandmother and long-time activist for the Wulustuk River, also known as the Saint John River.

     

    Charles Theriault who uses the power of film to engage New Brunswickers on the threats facing our forest and people will receive the award for environmental activism.

    The Taymouth Community Association will be recognized for their organization's work over 10 years since they purchased the community school and transformed it into a centre of community capacity building, local economic initiatives and social cohesiveness.

     

    The recipients will be honoured on the evening of Saturday, April 27th at the Conservation Council's annual fundraiser and awards nights. This year, CCNB is excited to announce an Eco-Soirée with popular Acadian indie-folk trio, Les Hay Babies. The special event will be held at Memorial Hall, UNB, Fredericton, beginning at 7:30pm.

     

    The Gregg Conservation Award winners are selected by CCNB's Board of Directors from nominations submitted by their membership. The Milton F. Gregg Conservation Awards have been presented annually by the Conservation Council since 1981.

     

    Tickets to the event are available for purchase online, at Conserver House (180 Saint John St, Fredericton), Westminster Books, True Food Organics or by emailing forest@conservationcouncil.ca.

     

    -30-

     

    Contact: Celine Delacroix, Executive Director, 506 458-8747

  • Édition spéciale du NB Naturalist bientôt disponible!


    Nous sommes heureux de vous informer que nous publions un numéro spécial de notre magazine, le NB Naturalist, sur la Nature, la Biodiversité et les Changements Climatiques. Le magazine est gratuit et prêt à être envoyé par la poste d'ici la fin du mois de novembre.  Nous aimerions le rendre disponible dans toute la province, veuillez nous faire savoir si vous êtes intéressés à contribuer à la distribution dans votre région. L'édition est entièrement traduite. Veuillez remplir le formulaire ici : https://goo.gl/forms/IdGVeuUJQOwBqj8o2.Si vous avez des questions, n'hésitez pas à nous contacter: 506-459-4209

     

     

     

    Vol 44 No 3 Nov 2017 P1 3

     

  • Falls Brook Centre as you know is a registered charity and demonstration centre, committed to finding and promoting practical solutions to today's sustainability challenges. We are dedicated to the goals of inspiring people to work together using environmentally sound practices to create thriving local communities. What does this look like? Highlighting local economies, renewable energy options, and economically and ecologically sound land management techniques that work on the quarter-acre to 5,000 acre scales. On the ground, this is all about education aimed at all ages and addresses. If this sounds like something you could be a part of, I encourage you to visit our website and social media pages and consider becoming a Board member to make a real difference in the lives of New Brunswickers.

    http://fallsbrookcentre.ca/wp/get-involved/volunteer-opportunities/

  • First Response to NB Business Council Report on Shale Gas

    [In response to Shale Study Finds Opportunities for NB and report comissioned by the New Brunswick Business Council: nbbc-cenb.ca/en/blog/shale-study-finds-opportunities-for-nb]


    Fredericton NB - The communications committee for the alliance of community groups opposed to shale gas asked Jim Emberger for a first response to the NB Business Council Report on Shale Gas.

    Jim Emberger, a resident of Taymouth NB and a retired software developer says: “The most striking point is that this report proves that if you pay a consulting firm they will produce a positive report for you regardless of how weak and conditional the conclusions are. “

    "Below are my first comments to the questionnaire that was used, the supporting data they used, the conclusions that were drawn, and their review of current regulations and their lack of assessment of costs incurred by road damage” Mr. Emberger continues.

    On the questionnaire and subsequent conclusions:

    Right off the bat, there was a response rate on their questionnaire of 16% and they calculate the report has an 11% margin of error on those few points where the report can even make a comment, because of the small response rate. I’m not a pollster or statistician, but I wouldn’t want to bet the farm on that foundation.

    On the supporting data:

    The report uses some outdated data to support some of its statements. On the outlook of unproven technically recoverable gas, it cites a 2010 EIA report showing 1,931 trillion cubic feet in North America – the source of the famous 100 years of natural gas comment. However, the EIA recently revised that figure downward by 42% in the US, meaning at best a 24-year supply.

    I don’t have figures on Canada itself, but it is undoubtedly similar. The revisions mirror the actual production figures recently calculated for 65,000 shale wells by Canadian energy analyst David Hughes (Drill, Baby, Drill Can Unconventional Fuels Usher in a New Era of Energy Abundance – David Hughes, 2/13)

    The real life accounting of wells by David Hughes, (also Deborah Rogers and Art Berman and others) show that existing shale plays peak in about 4 years on average, with individual wells depleting by 79% to 95% in three years. Entire plays deplete at an annual average of 30% to 50%. So despite drilling thousands of new wells, terminal decline starts rather quickly and it is inconceivable that shale plays will last anywhere near the 6-25 years mentioned in the report. Remember that shale gas is barely a decade old, and that the figures used for longevity are based on conventional gas wells. Virtually all plays older than 5 years are in decline.

    The report also cites consulting firm IHS CERA for predictions about how much royalty money will flow by the year 2030. Unfortunately, IHS CERA has one of the worst records of long term predictions anywhere. It’s long term predictions for oil from their reports of the early 2000’s stated that oil production would soar to millions of more barrels a day, and that we would now be paying between $30 and $40 a barrel. Instead, the price has been $100 a barrel or more for many years, and supply has not increased since 2005.


    The use of GDP as a measure of benefits is flawed as things like road repair, environmental clean-up and legal action would all increase GDP, while actually illustrating negative consequences for NB citizens.


    The Conclusions:

    The figures for Full time equivalent jobs (FTE) per well based on a One Well model can be misinterpreted. One cannot simply take the figure of 21.5 FTE jobs per well and multiply it by the number of wells to get how many people will be employed. Most jobs are portable, meaning that a few drilling crews go from well to well, thus not increasing the number of employees, only the FTE statistics.

    Since they did not explain the one-well model in the paper, I may have misinterpreted it, but it is something that the press should question.

    The report also supports our contention that except for a few geologist type jobs, most jobs for NB’ers would be truck driving and security type jobs.

    The conclusions note that gas companies have many existing relationships with existing suppliers and trained employees. This confirms what we have been saying about the benefits to NB.


    Regulatory review:

    They compared NB to BC, Alberta, Colorado and Arkansas. First, BC and Alberta’s gas plays are in the boondocks generally – many miles from anywhere. Alberta, as noted by the report, is new to shale and is only now addressing new regulations for it. For example, they do not currently require testing of water wells for a frack.

    Arkansas, one of the first shale plays, has been playing catch-up, as production started with few regs. Correspondents from there have told us to stop shale before it starts, because regulations always lag damages.

    Colorado – the only long-term health study from the Univ. of Colorado showed the states regs to be inadequate to protecting public health. As extraction moves into populated areas, friction between local governments and state government is increasing.

    Geologically, none of these areas resemble NB. Pennsylvania is probably the closest analogue, but was not considered. The main point continues to be that all those areas continue to have widespread problems despite a variety of regs.

    Road repair paid for by companies?

    It is interesting to note that the report claims the cost estimate for road damage cannot be determined yet, but that the government regulations “contemplate” that companies will be responsible for these costs. We haven’t found any direct reference to this in the new government rules. Furthermore, shale oil and gas income from royalties have been shown in other jurisdictions to be way less than the costs incurred by accompanying road damage.

    For example, since 2009, Arkansas has taken in approximately $182M in royalties but estimates its road damage from drilling to be $450M. This is not surprising, as it takes over 1,000 loaded trucks to bring one gas well into production, plus 350 loaded trucks per year formaintenance, and another 1,000 loaded trucks for each additional frack.

    -30-
  • Do you know an individual or organization that has demonstrated excellence in land conservation in our province? Nominations for the 2018 Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Excellence in Land Conservation are open until Monday, October 1, 2018.

    Successful nominees will have a significant impact on land conservation in New Brunswick through leadership, direct action, and long-term involvement as well as other significant contributions. Eligible nominees may include any individuals or organizations involved in stewardship, volunteerism, donation of lands, or building effective partnerships and must meet at least one of the following criteria:
    • An individual or entity who has contributed in a sustained manner over a significant period of time;
    • An individual or entity who has contributed significantly in a relatively short amount of time;
    • A donor of funds or property;
    • A volunteer, steward and/or member of the Nature Trust of New Brunswick;
    • A corporate or community partner of the Nature Trust of New Brunswick;
    • An individual who contributed significantly in the past and should be recognized posthumously.

    Click here to download the nomination form!

     

    For more information, visit: www.naturetrust.nb.ca/wp/blog/2018-lg-award-nominations or contact Danielle Andrus, Communications Manager, at danielle.andrus@ntnb.org or (506) 457-2398.

    2018 LG
     
  • We are thrilled to let you know that we are publishing a special edition of our magazine, the NB Naturalist, on Nature, Biodiversity and Climate Change.The magazine is free, and is ready for mailing by the end of November. We would like to make it available across the province, please let us know if you are interested in helping with the distribution in your region. The edition is fully translated. Please fill in the form here: https://goo.gl/forms/IdGVeuUJQOwBqj8o2.

    If you have any questions, please contact us: 506-459-4209

     

    Vol 44 No 3 Nov 2017 P1 3

     

  •  

    The UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) comes to an end next year. What have we accomplished in Canada to support the Decade? What challenges did we face? And where do we go from here? It was these questions that shaped the discussion at a national ESD workshop I attended at the Canadian Commission for UNESCO annual meeting recently. In general, the workshop provided an interesting discussion, although it was a bit too much of listening to ourselves talk and not quite enough of concrete action items for my liking.

     

    Perhaps one of the most thought-provoking comments included the best definition of ESD – more often called sustainability education here in NB! – that I have ever heard. Here it is: ESD is about figuring out the kind of future we want and then preparing people with the skills, knowledge, and values they need to make that future a reality.

     

    The workshop helped me think about our various ESD initiatives in New Brunswick in terms of international priorities and those in other provinces. UNESCO has developed three priorities for ESD internationally; these have been adopted provincially in Manitoba. Should we in NB be focusing on these priorities also? The priorities are:

     

    • All schools have an ESD or sustainability plan by 2015,
    • Faculties of Education incorporate ESD into their teachers’ education programs, and
    • Vocational education (e.g., community collges) re-orient their programming to help us move from a “brown economy” to a “green economy.”

     

    There is research underway internationally that may help our cause here in the province. We, as “believers” know that ESD improves the quality of education. However, research is needed to demonstrate this to non-believers. This research is being undertaken by a number of countries working together to explore the links between ESD and quality education and to find qualitative and quantitative data to support these links.

    This workshop was attended by 29 representatives from organizations across the country. The official minutes can be found here.

 © 2018 NBEN / RENB