Stephen Leahy

Stephen Leahy is an environmental journalist based in Uxbridge, Ontario.

His writing has been published in dozens of publications around the world including New Scientist, The London Sunday Times, Maclean's Magazine, The Toronto Star, Wired News, Audubon, BBC Wildlife, and Canadian Geographic.

For the past few years he has been the science and environment correspondent for Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS), a wire service headquartered in Rome that covers global issues, and its Latin American affiliate, Tierramerica, located in Mexico City.

Stephen Leahy graciously allows Straight Goods to reprint his articles. However, he earns very little compensation for his valuable work. His solution is Community Supported Journalism.

If you'd like to invest in environmental journalism, contributions can be made safely and easily via PayPal or Credit Card online or by mail:
Stephen Leahy, 50 Enzo Crescent, Uxbridge, ON L9P 1M1

Please contact Stephen if you have any questions. This article previously appeared on the InterPress Service wire. Website:

Jul 292013

The walk is not a protest but a spiritual procession to heal the land and the people.

by Stephen Leahy

The words 'this is just wrong' echoed in my mind walking 14 kilometers through the barren, industrialized landscape in the heart of the Alberta tar sands last Saturday. Wrong on such an overwhelming scale and in so many dimensions, the only parallel that comes to mind is the destruction to the land wrought by a major war.

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Jul 082013

Native elders to lead a spiritual gathering ito heal land, air, water and the web of life.

by Stephen Leahy

FORT MACMURRAY, July 1, 2013 — Native elders from all over North America will lead people past lakes of tailings wastewater and massive infrastructure of the tar sands industry along the Athabasca River in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Organisers say the event, dubbed the Healing Walk, will be a spiritual gathering focused on healing the land, air, water and all living things harmed by the expansion of what is already the world's largest industrial project.
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Jun 272013

Obliged to report emissions, Canada lowballs, omits leaks.

by Stephen Leahy

Scientists warned last week that failure by Canada, the US and other industrialized countries to act on their promises to reduce climate-heating emissions has put us on the very dangerous path to 4C of global warming. So concluded an update at the UN climate treaty talks in Bonn, Germany that ended last week.
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Jun 242013
Fort McMurray floods.

Fort McMurray flood highlights tar sands' threat to Mackenzie River Basin.

by Stephen Leahy

Record flooding in the heart of the Alberta tar sands dramatically illustrates their threat to Canada's 'Serengeti', the Mackenzie River basin. Only days before this week's flooding in Fort McMurray, a panel of international science experts warned that the nearly 200 square kilometres of toxic wastewater lakes near rivers like the Athabasca pose a direct threat one of the world's most important ecosystems.

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May 272013
Arctic ice is melting rapidly.

Some see profit where most see catastrophe.

by Stephen Leahy

UXBRIDGE, Canada, May 16 2013 (IPS) – Many eyes are turning north to the Arctic, some in horror at the rapid decline of a key component of our life support system, others in eager anticipation at the untapped resources beneath the vanishing snow and ice.

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May 202013

Harperites reluctantly transfer Experimental Lakes Area to Winnipeg think tank.

by Stephen Leahy

After a solid year of Canadian public, researchers, and international science community outrage, the Harper government finally yielded and agreed to transfer the world-renowned Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) to a non-profit organization. And then — and then! — the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans tried to take credit for the May 10 announced signing of a crucial Memorandum of Understanding with the Winnipeg-based International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

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May 092013

Emissions losses in tranmission estimates climb from negligible to nearly ten percent.

By Stephen Leahy — This is the first part of a two-part series on methane emissions in British Columbia.

Methane emissions from British Columbia's natural gas industry are likely at least seven times greater than official numbers — blowing BC's Climate Action Plan out of the water. Natural gas is nearly all methane, and since methane is such a powerful climate warming gas, these unreported emissions mean the total CO2 equivalent emissions for the entire province are nearly 25 percent higher than is being reported.

The province's legislated climate plan is to reduce CO2 equivalent emissions (CO2e) 33 percent below 2007 levels by 2020. The booming natural gas sector may make that target an impossibility.
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May 062013
No Sugar For Me.

Grand Challenges Canada stimulates and funds new approaches to health care.

by Stephen Leahy

UXBRIDGE, Canada, April 30, 2013 (IPS) — One, two or more of the 102 newly launched out-of-the box ideas to improve global health could be world-changing breakthroughs.

It might be someone’s idea to create a test strip you touch with your tongue to see if you have a deadly disease. Or a mobile phone game to prevent HIV. Or the idea that untreated human waste from slums could be turned into marketable products.

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Apr 292013

Oil giant responsible for 2010 Gulf blowout retrenches in fossil fuels.

by Stephen Leahy

BP’s decision comes as the renewable sector reaches new heights. Renewable energy sources — water, wind, solar, biomass — account for nearly 15 percent of US electrical generation. Only one new coal power plant has been built in recent years and another 150 planned coal plants have been cancelled.
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Apr 252013

Harperites tried to terminate world-renowned research station.

by Stephen Leahy

Canada's crown jewel of environmental research may yet survive the Harper government. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced yesterday the province would work with Winnipeg's International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) to keep the world-renowned Experimental Lakes Area open. The 45-year-old freshwater research facility in northern Ontario considered unique in the world was closed March 31 over protests from the scientific community and the public.

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