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The flood goes on

Charles-Antoine Carra Auteur Lareau - Charles-Antoine Carra

Homes close to Lake Champlain and the Richelieu River have been affected by the spring flooding with hundreds of disaster victims being ordered to evacuate the area. To date, 2,000 homes have been affected and 500 families evacuated. This number would have been even higher if it were not for certain people insisting on staying in their homes so that their property was not left to the flooding, which has been plaguing the area for nearly two weeks now. A total of 58 municipalities were hit hard by the floods. It has also hurt agriculture. Around the Richelieu River, almost 40% of farmland has been flooded to an extent not seen in the past 100 years. Damage for farmers will be substantial since the sowing season has to be put off (April and May is the sowing season for most Lire la suite…

My good old oil tank

Charles-Antoine Carra Auteur Lareau - Charles-Antoine Carra

Do you remember the old Petro-Canada publicity campaign in the late eighties? A woman asks a gas-station attendant why his gas station is renovating, and why are they changing the tanks when they are “still good”… The attendant replies sensibly, in a comforting tone, “Because, Madam, it’ll be too late when they start leaking”. The woman instantly understands what’s at stake, and turns back to her daughter, looking tenderly at her and with a sudden confidence in the future. Now, the eighties being what they were, they were a bit short on subtlety, but the message was clear: “We cannot accept an oil company contaminating the ground.” This summer was a particularly bad one when it came to soil contamination by oil. First, the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico… then, closer to home, Canada Steamship Lines in Ste-Catherine, Lire la suite…

Smoke gets in your eyes…

Charles-Antoine Carra Auteur Lareau - Charles-Antoine Carra

When a lovely flame dies, smoke gets in your eyes… Everyone knows this popular standard, most famously sung by Nat King Cole. We think of the soft crackling and romanticism of a roaring fire with its surrounding warmth, but there is another side to it. As the cold weather begins, we should be more aware of this. But can the pleasant smell of burning wood be so harmful? Well, it is. Winter smog in urban areas is largely caused by wood heating during the winter. This smog can result in a number of cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, and cause and aggravate asthma and emphysema symptoms. An old wood stove by itself emits as much pollution (calculated in terms of particles) as four recently EPA certified stoves (the certification standard now mandatory for wood stoves). Moreover, the ambient air in the Lire la suite…

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