Tag Archives: environmental history

Historical Roots: Sandy, Skeletons, and Elm City

      No Comments on Historical Roots: Sandy, Skeletons, and Elm City

By Jeffers Lennox Having spent four years living in Halifax, I’ve experienced my share of Nor’easters. During my MA year, a huge snowstorm forced the university to close on the day scheduled for my first comprehensive exam.  The entire class considered this a divine gift. Having now returned to the east coast after two years in Montreal and two years… Read more »

London’s Great Smog, 60 Years On

      3 Comments on London’s Great Smog, 60 Years On

When did the modern environmental movement begin? Did one event mark its beginning? Earlier this year we commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, which is often identified as bringing about the environmental movement. While this book’s importance is without question, focusing on it as the birth of environmentalism ignores the importance of urban environmental problems, from unsafe drinking water to severe air… Read more »

Hurricane Sandy: A Teachable Moment

      No Comments on Hurricane Sandy: A Teachable Moment

By Dagomar Degroot As this is published, so-called “Frankenstorm” hurricane Sandy is flooding large swaths of the American east coast. The deaths of more than sixty people in the Caribbean will likely represent this historic storm’s most direct and poignant toll. However, as reports of devastation come in from across the most densely populated regions of the United States it… Read more »

The Historical Roots of Today’s Climate of Apathy

      1 Comment on The Historical Roots of Today’s Climate of Apathy

By Dagomar Degroot In recent weeks widespread outrage over the publication of Kate Middleton’s topless photos has existed in strange parallel with a decidedly muted response to a shocking acceleration of Arctic melting. While every day brought new stories of royal indignation and litigation to the front pages of major newspapers, concern over the plight of our increasingly topless planet… Read more »

The Raccoons

      7 Comments on The Raccoons

By Daniel Macfarlane The Raccoons “Run with us – we got everything you need!” Does that line from a certain theme song jog any memories for Canadians between the ages of about 20 to 40? What about Ralph, Melissa, Cedric? If not those names, then surely Bert or Cyril Sneer? The theme song, and the aforementioned characters, are from The… Read more »

Active History and the Importance of Place

      No Comments on Active History and the Importance of Place

By Andrew Watson Stories bring places to life, and places attach special meaning to stories. Every story takes place somewhere, and every place has a story to tell. Historians, especially ‘Active’ historians have a responsibility to tie the stories we tell to the places where they unfolded. The evidence historians uncover and the insight historians apply to that evidence combine… Read more »

The History of Oil Pipeline Spills in Alberta, 2006-2012

By Sean Kheraj Late Thursday evening on June 7, 2012, the Sundre Petroleum Operators Group, a not-for-profit society, notified Plains Midstream Canada of a major oil pipeline failure near Sundre, Alberta that spilled an early estimate of between 1,000 and 3,000 barrels of light sour crude oil (~159-477 cubic metres) into Jackson Creek, a tributary of the Red Deer River…. Read more »

Active History on the Grand: Heritage Trees in Ontario

I think that I shall never see, A poem as lovely as a tree. – Sergeant Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918) While many of us may be familiar with the designation of built heritage properties under the Ontario Heritage Act, recently municipalities have been using the Ontario Heritage Act to designate individual trees as heritage trees.  Municipalities like Burlington, Pelham, Thorold, Cambridge,… Read more »

A Town Called Asbestos Part III

      No Comments on A Town Called Asbestos Part III

In the third installment of this five-part NiCHE EHTV series, Dr. Jessica Van Horssen explores the growth of the asbestos mining industry in Quebec during the Second World War and the post-war period. In particular, she unearths the history of the adverse health effects of exposure to asbestos and the corporate and Canadian government initiatives to keep this information secret,… Read more »