Friday, November 24, 2006

The Alcan question: aluminum or hydro?

Konrad Yakabuski in The Globe & Mail takes an in-depth look at the background to this story . . . which started when
In 1950, British Columbia's government gave Alcan the right to reverse the flow of the Nechako River, flood 125,000 acres of land and displace about 200 members of the Cheslatta nation so that the company could build the 900-megawatt Kemano station. The electricity was meant to supply Alcan's Kitimat aluminum smelter, located some 80 kilometres away and boasting an annual capacity of 277,000 tonnes.
Since then there has been much water through the turbines:
Things were still humming in the late 1980s, when Alcan won the approval of B.C.'s Social Credit government to build a $1.3-billion addition to Kemano—increasing power capacity by more than half—on the understanding the company would eventually build a much larger smelter to use the electricity and create hundreds of jobs in Kitimat. Sadly, this is where promises began to be broken and Kitimat's once-bright future—it was designed for 50,000 people but is home to fewer than 10,000—began to dim.
The rest of the story

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Provide shelter for winter birds: Chickadee

Those of you who've seen my Backyard Birds page will know of my interest in the feathered flyers. Winter - a tough time for birds - is almost upon us and here's something you can do to help them along:

Give Shelter to Wintering Birds

And, as No.2 in my Cariboo birds series, here's a common bird that will benefit from your assistance:

Birds from a Cariboo Deck
No.2 - Black-capped Chickadee