Kevin Grandia

Kevin Grandia is a researcher and writer on environment and human rights issues. He is the president of Spake Media House Inc., a consulting firm that brings online power to nonprofits, campaigners, and advocacy groups.

Climate & Energy

Koch brothers could make $100 billion on Keystone XL pipeline deal

Koch Industries owns more than 2 million acres of land in Northern Alberta, the source of the tar-sands oil that will be pumped via the Keystone XL pipeline.

Less than 1 percent of tar-sands environmental infractions penalized

A new report out today finds that enforcement of environmental infractions by companies in the Alberta oil sands are 17 times lower than similar infractions reported to the United State’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The report [PDF], authored by the environmental nonprofit Global Forest Watch, looked at more than 15 years of data on recorded environmental mishaps by oil sand’s companies, tracking the follow-up actions taken and the final verdict on fines. The findings are shocking and come at a very inconvenient time for government and industry supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline project that would greatly increase tar sands processing and shipments to …

Kelloggs killing last Sumatran tigers for cheap processed snack food

The Sumatran tiger is awesome. It’s one of the most beautiful creatures in the world, and there are less than 400 left in the wild. To give you an idea of how fast this creature is being wiped out, I remember only a couple of years ago writing that there were only 500 Sumatran tigers left. Now there is less than 400. The Sumatran tiger is being killed by poachers to a certain degree, but the much bigger problem lies in the cereal you eat and those shitty little processed snacks that just make us all fatter. No kidding, these tigers …

Major Norwegian Pension Fund Drops Tar Sands Investments

Citizens and community leaders converging this weekend in Northern Alberta for the annual “Tar Sands Healing Walk” will likely be quite happy with news that another major European financial institution is dropping their investments in Canada’s tar sands. Norwegian financial services giant, Storebrand, issued an update saying that the company has divested it’s financial interests in 13 coal extractors and six companies heavily involved in oil sands extraction. This follows on the heels of Dutch bank Rabobank announcing four days ago that they have instituted a “no-loan” policy to any company involved in so-called “extreme” fuel extraction, mainly tar sands …

[Infographic] Debunking the Economic and National Security Myths Around Keystone XL Pipeline

Today, billionaire clean energy philanthropist Tom Steyer held a press conference to debunk the myths that the Keystone XL pipeline will lead to major economic growth and national security. Keystone is an “export pipeline” that would transport toxic tar sands from Alberta down to a tax-free zone in Texas and out to foreign markets. In other words, the EU, China and Latin America get the oil, the foreign-owned oil companies get the profits and North Americans are left cleaning up oil spills and shouldering the pollution burden from extracting and refining the dirty tar sands. It’s a complicated issue for sure, so I’ve tried …

United Airline’s Top Customers Call Company Out Over Climate Pollution Misdeeds

Some of United Airline’s most valuable and loyal customers are calling out the company today over its prolonged fight to stop new regulations aimed at reducing global climate pollution emissions from the airline industry. And these aren’t your everyday frequent fliers we’re talking about, twenty are members of United’s Global Services flyer program – a privilege bestowed by invite to only the most elite of the elite frequent flyers. Billionaire investor and United Global Services member, Tom Steyer, clean technology expert and six-million miler, Michael Walsh, and million + miler Frank Loy, joined together on a press call today with the Flying Clean Alliance, a coalition …

New Aussie Report Predicts More Drought from an ‘Energetic Climate’

Record heatwaves, droughts, bushfires, rainfall, coastal erosion can all be expected in Australia in the near-term, reports the country’s Climate Commission. According to this esteemed group of climate scientists, the increased extreme weather events are courtesy of man-made climate change. I must admit what really stood out to me after reading the Climate Commission’s most comprehensive evaluation of climate change’s effects on Australia was the report’s use of the seemingly non-descript term energetic climate. It’s not that the facts aren’t important. People need to know the number of record heat days has doubled since 1960; heavy rainfall is increasing globally, …

Major Scientific Group Drops Tar Sands Research

(Re-published with permission from DeSmog Canada) The Helmholtz Association of Research Centres, a major German scientific body with more than 30,000 researchers and US$4.4 billion in annual funding, has dropped out of a joint Alberta tar sands project over fears that the project was damaging the institution’s reputation.  In April 2011, the Province of Alberta invested $25 million to form the “Helmholtz-Alberta Initiative” that would study ways to deal with leakage from the toxic tailings ponds that are a by-product of tar sands mining operations. The HAI was also tasked with finding ways to upgrade the energy extracted from bitumen and lignite coal in …

Australia’s Plan to Nuke the Great Barrier Reef

A recent green light could see radioactive uranium shipped right over one the greatest natural wonders in the world. Ever scuba dived? Or even just put a mask to your face in knee-deep water and looked under the surface at all the brilliant fish and creatures that make a tropical reef their home? It is brilliant, and one of those moments you never forget. Now the largest and most well-known of these reefs, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of the province of Queensland, is under threat of becoming a shipping route for uranium  — the radioactive substance used …

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