Heather Libby

Thu, 2013-04-11 17:05Guest
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INFOGRAPHIC: 13 Oil Spills in 30 Days: The Dirty Business of Moving Oil

by Heather Libby. Originally posted at tkctcktck.org

Moving oil is a dirty business, and never has that been more clear than this past month. In the past 30 days the global oil industry has had 13 spills on three continents. And it's not just pipeline leaks - oil has spilled offshore and on, at train derailments and during routine maintenance. In North and South America alone, they've spilled more than a million gallons of oil and toxic chemicals - enough to fill two olympic-sized swimming pools. 

How bad has it been? Here's an infographic I made of all the oil spills, leaks and transport derailments in the past 30 days.

Wed, 2012-09-05 13:52Guest
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What If TV Weathercasters Told The Truth About Climate Change?

This is a guest post by Heather Libby.
 
It's been a pretty epic summer. Not really for me (mostly I've been working) but for the planet. You've probably noticed, but the weather outside is getting pretty…freaky. 
 
The USA is in the middle of its worst drought in twenty years (and in some states, since the Dust Bowl). There's an ongoing famine in the Horn of Africa, and food shortages in the Sahel. There've been floods and landslides in BC, the UK, Nigeria and Japan. There were days where a months worth of rain fell in less than 24 hours in southern Russia. In Siberia, there were forest fires so large, it's estimated they've burned nearly 100,000 square KM since June (even making my home Vancouver's air hazy for several weeks earlier this summer). I made a map of all the extreme weather events I knew about for my job at TckTckTck, which you can see here if you'd like to know more/get depressed.
 
I'd expected to hear more about these extreme weather events in the news, and in my ideal world, they'd even include a little context about why they were happening. But nearly all the news and weather reports I watched said the same thing: 
“Tragic disaster.” 
“Isolated event.” 
“We can never know what is causing this.”
 
 
In response, I collaborated with my friend Kai Nagata on creating some smart, eco and socially conscious web videos. As you can imagine, I found our first one, 'WeatherGirl Goes Rogue', very therapeutic:
Thu, 2011-12-08 12:37Guest
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Will Durban Climate Talks Leave Us On the Wrong Side of History?

Guest post by Heather Libby of TckTckTck.org, originally published on Huffington Post.

Whatever happens, the next 48 hours will change the world.

The Durban climate negotiations dance on a wire. Sway but a little, and everything falls.

For the past ten days scientists, politicians, faith leaders, health leaders, artists and unions have formed an urgent choir calling on the negotiators to act. Our partners in the TckTckTck alliance have sung, danced, protested and marched. In solidarity, 400,000 (and counting) people worldwide have signed the latest Avaaz call to action urging the European Union, Brazil and China to take these negotiations forward.

And yet, here we are. Not much further than we started last week.

Over the past few days, I've traveled to speak to people directly affected by climate change. I’ve visited both the OccupyCOP17 assembly and the Kennedy Road informal settlement (home of the Abahlali baseMjondolo shack dwellers movement).

The faces of climate change do not take shuttle buses from pristine hotels. They do not sit in air-conditioned plenary rooms and eat catered food. As you can see in this video, their reality is much different.

Wed, 2011-09-28 11:10Guest
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Tar Trek: Two BC Teenagers Take on the Tar Sands [Video]

This is a guest post by our friend Heather Libby.

In my job at TckTckTck, I spend a lot of time worrying about the Alberta tar sands. I've read hundreds of articles, watched dozens of films and worked on my fair share of infographics about them. I could spend hours listing out all of the reasons why the tar sands are such a dangerous operation. And if after all that, you still didn't believe me, I'd tell you to visit them for yourself.

This summer I had the pleasure of meeting seventeen-year-old students Liam and Daniel as they prepared to spend their summer vacation in Fort McMurray doing just that. When polarizing discussions around the tar sands began to dominate the media earlier this year, Liam and Daniel convinced their parents to allow them the space to make up their own minds. The best way to do that, as Liam wisely says in the film “is to see them for ourselves.”

During their time in Fort McMurray, Liam and Daniel toured an active tar sands operation and met with working residents. They talked to a doctor at the Fort McMurray hospital treating locals and workers. They stopped off in Calgary to speak with Andrew Nikiforuk, author of a defining book about the tar sands and its impacts on Canada. The resulting 10 minute film of their experiences is equal parts thoughtful, earnest, playful and honest. Don't believe me? Watch it yourself: 

Mon, 2011-08-29 20:17Emma Pullman
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New Infographic Shows how Keystone Pipelines are ‘Built to Spill’

TransCanada claims their pipelines are the safest in the continent. And the State Department seems inclined to agree having released their Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Keystone XL pipeline last week. They find that the pipeline poses “no significant impacts” to the environment, and advise the project move forward.

So what about the 12 spills along the Keystone I line in its first year of operation? Since commencing operation in June of 2010, the Keystone I pipeline has suffered more spills than any other 1st year pipeline in U.S. history.

In addition to a nasty spill record, the proposed Keystone XL will cross one of the largest aquifers in the world – the Ogallala – which supplies drinking water to millions and provides 30% of the nation’s groundwater used for irrigation. Pipeline construction will also disrupt 20,782 acres, including 11,485 acres of native and modified grassland, rangeland and pastureland, and pipeline construction will threaten sensitive wildlife and aquatic species habitats.

According to the EPAcarbon emissions from tar sands crude are approximately 82% higher than the average crude refined in the U.S. Given the extremely toxic nature of tar sands bitumen and the fact that Keystone is TransCanada's first wholly owned pipeline in the U.S., it seems reasonable to look to TransCanada's performance with Keystone I for clues on how it would manage Keystone XL.

And the clues are telling.

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