David William Schindler OC, D.Phil., FRSC, FRS (born August 3, 1940) is one of the world’s leading limnologists. He holds the Killam Memorial Chair and is Professor of Ecology in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. Schindler was born August 3, 1940 in Fargo, North Dakota and grew up in Minnesota lake country. He holds dual citizenship in Canada and the USA. After completing his bachelor’s degree in zoology from North Dakota State in 1962 he studied aquatic ecology at Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar. He worked first under Nikolaas Niko Tinbergen. But it was while working under Charles Sutherland Elton, one of the founders of ecology, who also established and led Oxford University’s Bureau of Animal Population, that he began formulating an interdisciplinary ecosystem approach to study water and ecology. Dr. Schindler was an assistant professor in the Biology Department at Trent University from 1966 to 1968. From 1968 to 1989, he founded and directed the Experimental Lakes Project of the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans near Kenora, Ontario. This long-term study of freshwater is part of Schindler’s large body of scientific work which has influenced public policies regarding the protection of freshwater including the regulation of toxins and the limitation of eutrophication (excessive algal blooms) and acid rain in Canada, the USA and Europe.

This post, my new delicious entries, a Google Map in the making, and a considerable contribution to wikipedia article (above)  and related articles on world renowned limnologist David W. Schindler are in response to the Calgary Herald article (2010-08-30) by Deborah Yedlin criticizing Schindler’s science.

A report by Erin N. Kelly, David W. Schindler, Peter V. Hodson, Jeffrey W. Short, Roseanna Radmanovich, Charlene C. Nielsen entitled “Oil sands development contributes elements toxic at low concentrations to the Athabasca River and its tributaries” was published 2010-08-24 in the prestigious and influential journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in which the team of scientists show that the oil sands industry releases the 13 elements considered priority pollutants (PPE) under the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act, via air and water, to the Athabasca River and its watershed.

“Contrary to claims made by industry and government in the popular press, the oil sands industry substantially increases loadings of toxic PPE to the AR and its tributaries via air and water pathways. This increase confirms the serious defects of RAMP (11–13), which has not detected such patterns in the AR watershed. Detailed long-term monitoring is essential to distinguish the sources of these contaminants and control their potential impacts on environmental and human health (13). A robust monitoring program to measure exposure and health of fish, wildlife, and humans should be implemented in the region affected by oil sands development (38, 39) (Kelly et al).”

The scientific journal The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America is second only to the Journal of Biological Chemistry in the list of Top Ten Most-Cited Journals (All Fields), 1999-2009. Journals are ranked by total citations, based on papers published and cited in Thomson Reuters-indexed journals between January 1, 1999 and April 30, 2009 [*].

Yedlin has her finger on the pulse of the business world in general and the oil industry in particular but she is not a scientist. David W. Schindler is.

As I began to search out material to add to the paltry wikipedia entry I found mention of c. 250-300 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals.  He has nine honorary doctorates from universities within Canada and the United States. The list of provincial, national and international awards is lengthy.

I began to hear his name associated with best practices in the early 1990s when my husband was working on his MA then his PhD where terms like the ecosystem approach and water resource management were part of our everyday conversations. In recent years I have consulted his work to understand the Wabano Lake phenomenon.

The oil industry in Alberta is currently under attack by a well-orchestrated Rethink Alberta campaign which reminds me of the anti-sealhunt ads, posters, postcards. Nervous investors may reconsider placing money in funds associated with industries under heavy scrutiny by major companies and major campaigns. Many are convinced that the oil industry is immune to these attacks and will continue with business as usual, pushing for lax regulations and publicly-funded financial incentives to move ahead as fast as possible with expansion. Indeed potential customers for oilsands oil include governments of countries like Korea, Japan, China who my not be swayed by public outcry over dirty oil.

There is a crisis of confidence in science, or at least in big science. Yet more than ever we need legitimate scientific knowledge claims to guide public policies particularly in those areas in which industry and the market fail us the most, in matters related to the environment.

To be continued

Links

Experimental Lakes Area

A Timeline of Selected Events

1940 Schindler was born August 3, 1940 in Fargo, North Dakota.

1958 Charles S. Elton’s book entitled The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants was published by the University of Chicago Press. Schindler was influenced by his early reading of this book when he was a studying under limnology professor, Gabriel Comita at North Dakota State University in the summer of 1958(?). Schindler argues that Elton’s book is better written and more useful than Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (Zagorski 2006-05-09).

1961-1963 John F. Kennedy was President of the USA.

1962 After completing his bachelor’s degree in zoology from North Dakota State in 1962 he studied aquatic ecology at Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar. He worked first under [“Niko” Tinbergen]. But it was while working under [Sutherland Elton] that he began formulating an interdisciplinary [ecosystem approach] to study water and ecology.

1963 Lester (Mike) Pearson was Prime Minister from 1963 to 1968.

1963-1969 Lyndon B. Johnson was President of the USA.

1966 Schindler received his doctorate from Oxford University.

1966 Canadian government created the Freshwater Institute (FWI) to study the Algal blooms that were plaguing Lake Erie. The predecessor of the FWI was the Central Fisheries Research Station of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada. Established in Winnipeg in 1944, the station was moved to London, Ont, in 1957 and then back to Winnipeg as the FWI in 1966. New laboratory and office facilities were opened in 1973. The FWI provides facilities for fisheries and environmental research in inland and Arctic waters as well as for the non-research activities of the region, such as fish and marine mammal management and protection in the Arctic; Arctic oceans management programs; protection of fish habitat in the prairies and the Arctic; and the management of federal harbours (FWI).

1966 Fisheries scientist Waldo Johnson proposed to pollute several small lakes intentionally.

The Canadian government set aside lakes in northern Ontario called the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA). I am not sure of the exact location of these lakes but they appear to be to the south of HWY 17, East of Hwy 71 in the Dogtooth Lakes area which is in or near the Provincial Park by that name. See maps here, here and here.

1966-1968 Schindler was an assistant professor in the Biology Department at Trent University.

1968-06 Schindler, D. W. 1968-06. “Feeding, Assimilation and Respiration Rates of Daphnia magna Under Various Environmental Conditions and their Relation to Production Estimates.” Journal of Animal Ecology. 37:2:369-385. British Ecological Society.

1968 Pierre Trudeau became Prime Minister of Canada and remained in office until 1979. He was re-elected Prime Minister in 1980 and remained in office until 1984.

1968 Schindler was at the Freshwater Institute, Fisheries Research Board of Canada in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

1968 Schindler was invited to head  the Experimental Lakes Project of the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans near Kenora, Ontario. He conducted conducting experiments on whole ecosystems to directly test the effects including eutrophication of nutrient inputs, acid rain, climate change and other human insults on boreal aquatic ecosystems. His work has been widely used in formulating ecological management policy in Canada, the USA and in Europe. The Experimental Lakes Area was set aside for large-scale, whole-lake experiments. This had never done before. The project included a stellar staff of senior scientists. The Eutrophication Section was headed by well known ecologist Jack Vallentyne, who had recruited a group of about 15 senior scientists from around the world. Schindler was “one of the two or three youngest members of the group, and it was just a terrific environment for a young scientist to be in (Zagorski 2006).”

1968 Early stages of the oil sands development.

1969 Schindler was part of a team that studied Lake Winnipeg.

1969-1974 Richard M. Nixon was President of USA.

1973 The United States Congress passed the Endangered Species Act considered to be the most comprehensive and powerful piece of environmental legislation (Orians 1993).

1973

Dr. David W. Schindler separated Lake 226 with a a giant shower curtain and “treated one half with carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous and the other half with carbon and nitrogen only (7). Aerial photographs captured the dramatic results: the phosphorous-treated half of the lake had become green and murky because of algal blooms, whereas the other half of the lake remained clear. Pictures can speak a thousand words, and the stark contrast of the two sides of Lake 226 caught the public’s eye and policymakers’ collective ear (Zagorski 2006-05-09).”1974-05-24 “In a now-famous experiment (Science, 24 May 1974, p. 897), the team divided Lake 226 with a plastic curtain and added phosphorus to one half. When it turned a distinctive murky green, they had their answer. It was an aerial photograph from this experiment that largely persuaded policymakers to phase out phosphorus from detergents. “I think that’s the single most powerful image in the history of limnology,” Elser says. When Schindler took the results— and the photo—to government hearings in Canada and the United States, he put ELA on the map as a hub of innovative,policy-relevant research.”

1974 Gerald R. Ford was President of the USA from 1974-1977.

1976-1988 In the Experimental Lake Area Schindler tackled one of the most contentious issues of the day, acid rain. In a series of experiments conducted between 1976 and 1988, researchers added sulfuric and nitric acid, pollutants that lead to acid rain, to Lake 223 and others.

1977 James Carter was President of the USA from 1977-1981.

1979 The Department of Fisheries and Oceans took over the management of Freshwater Institute and the Experimental Lakes which meant that departmental officials not scientists were in charge. This eventually changed the direction of research. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans focused on marine not freshwater and Experimental Lakes Project suffered from chronic underfunding.

1979-1990 Margaret Thatcher Prime Minister of UK.

1980 Since 1980, “Canada’s total energy production has increased by 87 percent, while its total energy consumption has increased by only 44 percent. Almost all of Canada’s energy exports go to the United States, making it the largest source of U.S. energy imports. Canada is consistently among the top sources for U.S. oil imports, and it is the largest source of U.S. natural gas and electricity imports. Recognizing the importance of the energy trade between the two countries, both participate in the North American Energy Working Group, which seeks to improve energy integration and cooperation between Canada, the U.S., and Mexico (EIA).”

1981 “Atmosphere-Biosphere Interactions: Toward a Better Understanding of the Ecological Consequences of Fossil Fuel Combustion.” Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources (BANR)

1981 Schindler was head of the Committee on the Atmosphere and the Biosphere “Atmosphere-Biosphere Interactions: Toward a Better Understanding of the Ecological Consequences of Fossil Fuel Combustion.” National Academy Press.

1981 Ronald Reagan was President of the USA from 1981-1989.

1982 Schindler was President of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography.

1984 Schindler was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award of the American Institute of Fisheries Biologists,

1984 Schindler was awarded  the Frank Rigler Award of the Canadian Limnological Society.

1984 Brian Mulroney was Prime Minister of Canada from 1984 to 1993.

1983 Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC).

1985 G.E. Hutchinson Medal of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography,

1986 “A publication by (Moon et al 1986)  indicated that Suncor permitted effluent discharge of oil and grease to the Athabasca River at 420 kg per day (Moon et al 1986).  Sometimes, operation problems resulted in excessive effluent discharge into the river (Moon et al 1986) In addition to water-born effluents, the two oil sands extraction plants (Suncor and Syncrude) emitted massive amounts of particulates in the atmosphere. Particulates mass emissions from the Suncor powerhouse stack ranged from 547 to 780 kg per hour; the Syncrude Canada main stacks mass emissions ranged from 713 to 1067 kg per hour (Moon et al 1986)  cited in (Chen 2009-02).”

“This study examined trace metal levels in scalp hair taken from 122 children and 27 adult residents of three small northern Alberta (Canada) Indian villages, one of which is situated close to the world’s first tar sands oil extraction plants. The three communities studied were: Fort McKay (the exposed village), Fort Chipewyan (also in the tar sands ecosystem but distant from the plants), and Garden River (not in the tar sands ecosystem). Inductively coupled argon plasma emission spectroscopy was used to determine hair sample metal content. Nineteen metals were included in data analysis. Children from Fort McKay had the highest average hair lead, cadmium and nickel levels. Chromium levels were approximately equal in hair from Fort McKay and Garden River children, and significantly elevated above levels found in the hair of Fort Chipewyan children. Children from Garden River showed highest hair levels of eight metals: vanadium, aluminum, iron, manganese, barium, zinc, magnesium and calcium. Fort Chipewyan children had the highest hair levels of copper, but the lowest levels of all other metals. Among adults, hair lead, nickel and cadmium levels were highest in Fort McKay residents, while phosphorous and vanadium were highest in hair from Garden River residents. Bioaccumulation of lead, cadmium, nickel and chromium in hair from Fort McKay residents may be related to exposure to extraction plant pollution. Plant stack emissions are known to contain appreciable amounts of lead, nickel and chromium. Spills into the Athabasca River, until recently the source of Fort McKay drinking water, have been reported from plant wastewater holding ponds, known to contain elevated levels of lead, nickel and cadmium. An increased number of significant metal—metal correlations in hair metal levels for Fort McKay children suggests a richer source of multiple metal exposure, relative to children in the other two communities (Moon et al 1986).”

1988 Schindler was awarded the Naumann-Thienemann Medal of the International Limnological Society,

1989 Schindler left the Experimental Lakes Project which he had founded and managed since 1968.

1989-90 Schindler was a federal member of the Alberta Pacific Review Panel.

1989 Robert Hecky replaced Schindler as Director of the Experimental Lakes Project.

1989 George H. W. Bush President of the USA 1989-1993

1989-present “Dr. Schindler holds the Killam Memorial Chair and is Professor of Ecology in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta.  He has studied the effects of climate warming, alien fish stocks, airborne contaminants and other human impacts on freshwaters of the Rocky Mountains.

1990 The U.S. Congress passed major amendments to the Clean Air Act that helped reduce acid rain (Science, 6 November 1998, p. 1024).

1990 Environmentalist, specialist in biosphere pollutants and water chemistry, David William Schindler received an honorary D.Sc. from the University of Victoria (1990).

1992 Dr. David Schindler  received the Stockholm Prize, aquatic science’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize, for research studies carried out by the Freshwater Institute (FWI) at the Institute’s Experimental Lakes area field station in northwestern Ontario.

1993 Jean Chretien was Prime Minister of Canada from 1993 to 2003.

1993 Bill Clinton was elected as President of the USA and remained in office until 2001.

1993 Schindler was awarded the Manning Award of Distinction for Innovation in Science.

1994 Schindler was awarded the first Romanowski Medal of the Royal Society of Canada.

1996 The Canadian federal government tried to shut Experimental Lakes Project and Director Robert Hecky resigned in protest.

1998 Schindler was awarded the Volvo Environment Prize.

1997 The Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program (RAMP) is a joint environmental monitoring program that assesses the health of rivers and lakes in the oil sands region of northeastern Alberta. The RAMP Regional Study Area (RSA) is defined by the northeastern Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. The RAMP RSA is bounded by the Alberta-Saskatchewan border on the east, the Alberta-Northwest Territories to the northeast, the Wood Buffalo National Park to the northwest and various demarcations including the Athabasca River and Cold Lake Air Weapons Range to the south. Within the Regional Study area is the Focal Study area and this area is defined by the watersheds in which oil sands development is occuring or will occur as well as portions of the Athabasca and Clearwater rivers found within the RSA. RAMP has focused on these main aquatic systems: The Athabasca River and Peace Athabasca delta. Tributaries to the Athabasca River including the Steepbank, Clearwater -Christina, Hangingstone, Ells, Tar, Firebag, Calumet, Muskeg, MacKay Rivers as well as several smaller tributaries Wetlands and lakes occurring near current and proposed oil sands developments (Isadore’s Lake, Shipyard Lake, McClelland Lake and Kearl Lake. Acid sensitive lakes in northeastern Alberta. Regional Lakes important to fisheries (RAMP website).

1997-2009 Dr. Hans Peterson founded the Safe Drinking Water Foundation  (SDWF), a small non-profit foundation that specializes in helping aboriginal communities with their water problems and in educating students about protecting freshwaters. In 2010 Schindler chaired the board of directors of the Safe Drinking Water Foundation.

1991 Schindler was awarded the first Stockholm Water Prize.

2000 Schindler was awarded the NSERC Award of Excellence in Research.

2000-2003 Schindler was a member of Environment Canada’s Science and Technology Advisory Board.

2001-01 George W. Bush was elected as President of the United States.

2001 Schindler was nominated as membership of the Royal Society of London in 2000 and named as Fellow in 2001 (FRS).

2001 Schindler was awarded the Environment Canada’s Vollenweider Lectureship.

2001 Schindler was awarded the Canadian Nature Federation’s Douglas Pimlott Award for Conservation.

2001 Schindler was awarded the National Science and Engineering Research Council’s Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, Canada’s highest scientific honor.

2003 Paul Martin was Prime Minister of Canada from 2003 to 2006.

2003 Schindler received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal.

2003-05 Schindler received the Killam prize, awarded for outstanding career achievements.

2004-01 Schindler was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada.

2004 Schindler was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

2004 Schindler was elected as one of 100 Edmontonians of the Century, in honour of Edmonton’s centennial year.

2005 Schindler chaired Alberta Environment’s 2005 review of Lake Wabamun.

2005 Schindler was awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal.

2005 The RAMP report claimed there was no negative impact of the Oil Sands development on the regional water system.

2006 Stephen Harper was elected as Prime Minister of Canada.

2006 “Canada is a net exporter of oil, natural gas, coal, and electricity. It is one of the most important sources for U.S. energy imports. Canada is consistently the top supplier of oil imports to the United States. Canada produced 19.3 quadrillion British Thermal Units (Btu) of total energy, the fifth-largest amount in the world. In 2006, the largest source of energy consumption in Canada was oil (32 percent), followed by hydroelectricity (25 percent) and natural gas (24 percent). Both coal (10 percent) and nuclear (7 percent) constitute a smaller share of the country’s overall energy mix (EIA).”

2006 Schindler was a member of the Alberta Government’s Environmental Protection Committee.

2006 Schindler was awarded the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement “In recognition of his discoveries, made through interdisciplinary experimental research and ecological hypothesis testing, that contribute to understanding how anthropogenic stressors affect the health of freshwater ecosystems.”

2006 American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Ruth Patrick Award.

2006-05-09 Schindler and Donahue published their findings in the The National Academy of Sciences of the USA on “An impending water crisis in Canada’s western prairie provinces.”

2006 Dr. John O’Connor, a physician working in Fort Chipewyan, reported a high number of cases of cholangiocarcinoma, a rare form of bile duct cancer, as well as high rates of other cancers (Chen 2009-02).

2007-03-22 At the University of British Columbia guest speaker Dr. Schindler presented his paper entitled “Western Canada’s Freshwater Supply in the 21st Century” in which he argued that Canada’s western prairie provinces (WPP) will experience severe water shortages as a result of natural drought, climate warming, damage to natural drainage patterns and human demands for water.

2007-11 Kevin P. Timoney’s report, “funded by the Nunee Health Board Society evaluated environmental contaminants in the area surrounding Fort Chipewyan. From 2001 to 2005, concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) rose within the sediment around Lake Athabasca. The report indicated that the treated drinking water in Fort Chipewyan was safe, but described high levels of arsenic, mercury and PAHs in fish, which is the main diet of many people in Fort Chipewyan, especially members of its Aboriginal communities  (Chen 2009-02).”

2008 Schindler was appointed to the Alberta Order of Excellence.

2008 Schindler co-authored the book entitled The Algal Bowl: Overfertilization of the World’s Freshwaters and Estuaries with J.R. Vallentyne. In it they describes in accessible language the causes of algal blooms and ways that this excessive production could be avoided and even reversed.

2008-10-26/28 Schindler was a guest speaker along with other internationally distinguished scientists  specializing in Lake Winnipeg’s watershed issues who presented at a conference at the University of Winnipeg entitled The Red Zone: Currents, Chemicals and Change Symposium held in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

2008 An anonymous donor endowed the $1 million David Schindler Professorship in Aquatic Science which will ensure that Trent University will be able to attract and retain the finest faculty in perpetuity.

2008(?) Schindler served on the Board of Directors of the provincial Safety, Security and Environment Institute.

2008(?) Schindler chaired the International Review Committee for the Alberta  Ingenuity Water  Research Center.

2009-05 Schindler received the Royal Canadian Institute’s Sandford Fleming Medal for public communication of science.

2009-02 Alberta Health Services (AHS) released a study entitled Cancer Incidence Cancer Incidence in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta 1995-2006 by Yiqun Chen. The study found that cancer rates in Fort Chipewyan were 30% higher than expected and that community residents had a much higher likelihood of suffering from rare auto-immune diseases than other Albertans.

2009-12-03 Schindler, David W. 2009-12-03. “Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity Issues in the Canadian Boreal Biome: The Cumulative Effects of Human Disturbance and Changing Climate.” IAP: The Global Network of Science Academies

2010-08-24. A report by Kelly, Erin N. Kelly, David W. Schindler, Peter V. Hodson, Jeffrey W. Short, Roseanna Radmanovich, Charlene C. Nielsen entitled “Oil sands development contributes elements toxic at low concentrations to the Athabasca River and its tributaries.” was published in the prestigious and influential journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

2010-01-12 Schindler presented IAP Conference on Biodiversity in London.

Academic and Honorary Degrees

  • B.Sc. North Dakota State University (1962)
  • D. Phil. Oxford University (1966)
  • D.Sc. (Honorary) North Dakota State University (1978)
  • D.Sc. (Honorary) University of Victoria (1990)
  • D.Sc. (Honorary) Athabasca University
  • D.Laws. (Honorary) Trent University
  • D.Sc. (Honorary) Brock University
  • D.Sc. (Honorary) University of Winnipeg
  • D.Sc. (Honorary) University of Lethbridge (2006)
  • Awards and Honours

  • Fellow of the Royal Society (2001)
  • Douglas H. Pimlott Award for Conservation, Canadian Nature Federation (2001)
  • NSERC Award of Excellence (2000)
  • ASTech (Alberta Science and Technology) Award for Outstanding Leadership in Alberta Science (1999)
  • Distingushed Member, International Water Academy, Oslo, Norway (1999)
  • J Gordin Kaplan Award for Excellence in Research, University of Alberta (1999)
  • Co-recipient, Volvo Environment Prize (1998)
  • Walter Bean-Canada Trust Award for Environmental Science (1996)
  • First Romanowski Medal, Royal Society of Canada (1994)
  • Manning Distinguished Achievement Award (1993)
  • First Stockholm Water Prize, Stockholm Water Foundation (1991)
  • Naumann-Thieneman Medal, International Limnology Society (1989)
  • Hutchinson Medal, American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (1985)
  • Frank Rigler Award, Canadian Society of Limnologists (1984)
  • Outstanding Achievement Award of the American Institute of Fisheries Research Biologists (1984)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1983)
  • Service in the International Scientific Community

    Selected Webliography

    David W. Schindler.” wikipedia article.
    Stokstad, Erik. 2008-11-28. “Canada’s Experimental Lakes.” Science Magazine. vol. 322.
  • AB. Members Profile David W. Schindler. Alberta Order of Excellence.
  • IAP. 2010-01-12. “Profile on David W. Schindler.” IAP Conference on Biodiversity. London.
  • McGill University Water 2010. Profile of David W. Schindler.
  • Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). Profile David W. Schindler.
  • Trent University News Release. 2008-05-21. “Trent University Announces David Schindler Endowed Professorship in Aquatic Science.”
  • University of Alberta Department of Biological Sciences. “Profile of David W. Schindler.
  • Zagorski, Nick. 2006-05-09.”Profile of David W. Schindler.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
  • Selected Publications
  • Kelly, Erin N.; Schindler, David W.; Hodson, Peter V.; Short, Jeffrey W.; Radmanovich, Roseanna; Nielsen, Charlene C. 2010-08-24. “Oil sands development contributes elements toxic at low concentrations to the Athabasca River and its tributaries.”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Schindler, David W. 2009-12-03. “Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity Issues in the Canadian Boreal Biome: The Cumulative Effects of Human Disturbance and Changing Climate.” IAP: The Global Network of Science Academies
  • Schindler, David W. Donahue, W. F. 2006-05-09. “An impending water crisis in Canada’s western prairie provinces.” 103:19:7210–7216. The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.
  • Tilman, D.J. Farglione, B. Wolff, C. D’Antonio, A. Dobson, R. Howarth, D. Schindler, W. Schlesinger, D. Simberloff, and D. Swackhamer. 2001. “Forecasting agriculturally-driven global environmental change.” Science 292: 281-284.
  • Schindler, D.W. 2001. The cumulative effects of climate warming and other human stresses on Canadian freshwaters in the new millennium. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 58: 18-29.
  • Schindler, D.W. 2000. “Aquatic problems caused by human activities in Banff National Park.” Ambio 29: 401-407.
  • Wilhelm, F.M. and Schindler, David W. 2000. “Reproductive strategies of Gammarus lacustris (Crustacea: Amphipoda) along an elevation gradient.” Functional Ecology. 14: 413-422.
  • Hudson, J.J., W.D. Taylor and David W.Schindler. 2000. “Phosphate concentration in lakes.” Nature 406: 54-56.
  • Wilhelm, F.M., B.R. Parker, D.W. Schindler and D.B. Donald. 2000. Seasonal food habits of bull trout from a small alpine lake in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Trans. Amer. Fish. Soc. 128: 1176-1192.
  • Campbell, L.M., D.W. Schindler, D.B. Donald and D.C.G. Muir. 2000. Organochlorine transfer in the food web of subalpine Bow Lake, Banff National Park. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 57: 1-12.
  • Hudson, J.J., W.D. Taylor, and David W. Schindler. 1999. Planktonic nutrient regeneration and cycling efficiency along a trophic gradient of temperate lakes. Nature 400: 659-661.
  • Schindler, David W. 1999. From acid rain to toxic snow (Volvo Environmental Prize Lecture). Ambio 28: 350-355.
  • Donald, D.B., J. Syrgiannia, R.W. Crosley, G. Holdsworth, D.C.G. Muir, B. Rosenberg, A. Sole, and D.W. Schindler. 1999. Delayed deposition of organochlorine pesticides at a temperate glacier. Environ. Sci. Technol. 33: 1794-1798.
  • McNaught, A.S., David W. Schindler, B.R. Parker, A.J. Paul, R.S. Anderson, D.B. Donald and M. Agbeti. 1999 Restoration of the food web of an alpine lake following fish stocking. Limnol. Oceanogr. 44: 127-136.
  • Wilhelm, F.M. and D.W. Schindler. 1999. Effects of Gammarus lacustris (Crustacea: Amphipoda) on plankton community structure in an alpine lake. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 56: 1401-1408.
  • Blais, J.M., David W. Schindler, D.C.G. Muir, D.B. Donald and B. Rosenberg. 1998. Accumulation of persistent organochlorine compounds in mountains of western Canada. Nature 395: 585-588.
  • Schindler, David W. 1998. Replication versus realism: the need for ecosystem-scale experiments. Ecosystems 1: 323-334.
  • Schindler, David W. 1998. A dim future for boreal waters and landscapes. BioScience 48: 157-164.
  • Schindler, David W. 1997. Widespread effects of climatic warming on freshwater ecosystems. Hydrologic Processes. 11: 1043-1067.
  • Leavitt, P., R.D. Vinebrooke, D.B. Donald, J.P. Smol, and David W. Schindler. 1997. Past ultraviolet radiation environments in lakes derived from fossil pigments. Nature 388: 457-459.
  • Schindler, David W. and P.J. Curtis. 1997. The role of DOC in protecting freshwaters subjected to climatic warming and acidification from UV exposure. Biogeochemistry 36: 1-8.
  • Schindler, David W., P.J. Curtis, S.E. Bayley, B.R. Parker, K.G. Beaty and M.P. Stainton. 1997. Climate-induced changes in the dissolved organic carbon budgets of boreal lakes. Biogeochemistry 36: 9-28.
  • Schindler, David W., S.E. Bayley, B.R. Parker, K.G. Beaty, D.R. Cruikshank, E.J. Fee, E.U. Schindler and M.P. Stainton. 1996. The effects of climatic warming on the properties of boreal lakes and streams at the Experimental Lakes Area, Northwestern Ontario. Limnol. Oceanogr. 41: 1004-1017.
  • Schindler, David W., P.J. Curtis, B. Parker, and M.P. Stainton. 1996. Consequences of climate warming and lake acidification for UV-b penetration in North American boreal lakes. Nature 379: 705-708.
  • Kidd, K.A., David W. Schindler, D.C.G. Muir, W.L. Lockhart, and R.H. Hesslein. 1995. High toxaphene concentrations in fish from a subarctic lake. Science 269: 240-242.
  • Carpenter, S.R., S.W. Chisholm, C.J. Krebs, David W. Schindler, R.F. Wright. 1995. “Ecosystem experiments.” Science. 269: 324-327.
  • Schindler, David W., K.A. Kidd, D. Muir, and L. Lockhart. 1995. “The effects of ecosystem characteristics on contaminant distribution in northern freshwater lakes.” Sci. Tot. Environ.160/161: 1-17.
  • Kidd, K.A., David W. Schindler, R.H. Hesslein and D.C.G. Muir. 1995. “Correlation between stable nitrogen isotope ratios and concentrations of organochlorines in biota from a freshwater food web.” Sci. Tot. Environ. 160/161: 381-390.
  • Schindler, David W., K.G. Beaty, E.J. Fee, D.R. Cruikshank, E.D. DeBruyn, D.L. Findlay, G.A. Linsey, J.A. Shearer, M.P. Stainton and M.A. Turner. 1990. “Effects of climatic warming on lakes of the central boreal forest.” Science. 250: 967-970.
  • Schindler, David W., K.H. Mills, D.F. Malley, D.L. Findlay, J.A. Shearer, I.J. Davies, M.A. Turner, G.A. Linsey and D.R. Cruikshank. 1985. “Long-term ecosystem stress: The effects of years of experimental acidification on a small lake.” Science. 28: 1395-1401.
  • Committee on the Atmosphere and the Biosphere. 1981. “Atmosphere-Biosphere Interactions: Toward a Better Understanding of the Ecological Consequences of Fossil Fuel Combustion.” National Academy Press.
  • Schindler, David W. 1977. “Evolution of phosphorus limitation in lakes: Natural mechanisms compensate for deficiencies of nitrogen and carbon in eutrophied lakes.” Science. 195: 260-262.
  • Schindler, David W. 1974. “Eutrophication and recovery in experimental lakes: Implications for lake management.” Science. 184: 897-899.
  • Schindler, D. W. 1968-06. “Feeding, Assimilation and Respiration Rates of Daphnia magna Under Various Environmental Conditions and their Relation to Production Estimates.” Journal of Animal Ecology. 37:2:369-385. British Ecological Society.
  • Selected Awards and Honours

  • Alberta Order of Excellence (2008)
  • Co-recipient, Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement (2006)
  • Officer of the Order of Canada (2004)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (2004)
  • Killam PrizeCanada Council for the Arts (2003)
  • Elected Foreign Member, Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (2003)
  • Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, Office of the Governor General of Canada (2002)
  • City of Edmonton, Award of Distinction (2002)
  • Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences (USA) (2002)
  • Environment Canada, EcoLogo/Natural Marine Environmental Award (2002)
  • R.A. Vollenweider Lectureship, National Water Research Institute (2001)
  • Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (Canada) (2001)
  • Award of Excellence, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (Canada) (2001)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society (2001)
  • NSERC Award of Excellence (2000)
  • Co-recipient, Volvo Environment Prize (1998)
  • First Romanowski Medal, Royal Society of Canada (1994)
  • First Stockholm Water PrizeStockholm Water Foundation (1991)
  • Hutchinson MedalAmerican Society of Limnology and Oceanography (1985)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1983)
  • Rhodes Scholarship, 1962-1966
  • References

  • AB. Members Profile David W. Schindler. Alberta Order of Excellence.
  • Kosowan, Gene. 2001-07-03. “Schindler named royal fellow.” University of Alberta Express News.
  • McGill University Water 2010. Profile of David W. Schindler.
  • Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). Profile David W. Schindler.
  • Trent University News Release. 2008-05-21. “Trent University Announces David Schindler Endowed Professorship in Aquatic Science.”
  • University of Alberta Department of Biological Sciences. “Profile of David W. Schindler.
  • Zagorski, Nick. “Profile of David W. Schindler.”
  • Related Reading
    Elton, Charles S. 1958. The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants. University of Chicago Press.

    Yedlin, Deborah. 2010-08-31. “Athabasca water study misses bigger picture.” Calgary Herald.

    Chen, Yiqun. 2009-02. Cancer Incidence Cancer Incidence in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta 1995-2006 . Alberta Health Services (AHS).

    Moon J, Smith TJ, Tamaro S, Enarson D, Fadl S, Davison AJ et al. “Trace metals in scalp hair of children and adults in three Alberta Indian villages.” Sci Total Environ 1986; 54:107-125.

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    Draft! My Google Map entitled Oil Sands, delicious, papergirls, EndNote, YouTube, Draft!

    See also

    Places of interest:
    MacKay River: In the story on The difference is spelling of McKay in Fort McKay and MacKay River is confusing. Is McKay River (known locally as Red River) the same river as MacKay River? Where is Devon?

    National Geographic suggests the potential worth of the Alberta oil sands is $80 trillion.

    See also

    Notes

    Bitumen is basically oil-soaked sand.

    Timeline

    1965 Karl Clark, a patient chemist, took 45 years to perfect a hot-water process in which bitumen frothed to the top and sand settled to the bottom. He used his wife’s washing machine. In 1965 the Great Canadian Oil Sands Company (now Suncor) ran the first commercial application of Clark’s hot-water process producing 45,000 barrels a day. In order to create the mine to feed the hot-water process, thousands of trees were bulldozed (Nikiforuk 2008).

    1976 The Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) founded in 1976, has been Canada’s private sector leader in the promotion of international trade and investment liberalization. The members of the CCCE include the chief executive officers of 150 leading Canadian corporations. These companies collectively administer close to $3.0 trillion in assets, have annual revenues of more than $650 billion and account for a significant majority of Canada’s private sector investment, exports, training and research and development.

    1997 Among other initiatives, the CCCE organized and hosted the first-ever APEC (Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation) CEO Summit in 1997, during which it received His Excellency Jiang Zemin, then-President of China.

    2002 Suncor began producing oil at MacKay River in 2002, while Firebag stages 1 and 2 began producing oil in 2004 and 2006 respectively. The sequence and timing of additional stages of Firebag and a potential expansion of the MacKay River facility will be considered as part of a review of oil sands growth projects.

    2006 “In 2006, more than 100 of Canada’s public companies were acquired by foreign interests. The list includes some of the oldest and most well-established companies across a broad spectrum of industries – everything from hotels to retailing, to metals and mining. And the trend continues. I sometimes worry that we may all wake up one day and find that as a nation, we have lost control of our affairs. I think we ought to have a vigorous debate about the extent to which it matters whether or not ownership of our economy resides in Canada. I believe that ownership matters a lot. It matters not only for economic reasons but, more importantly in my opinion, for our own sense of self-esteem and pride in our country. My concern is not rooted in any chauvinism or in any antipathy towards foreign investment. Far from it. I happen to believe that globalization is a very positive development and that trade and investment across borders is to be encouraged. Canada benefits mightily from being “open for business” and we mustn’t do anything to change that. My concern stems from the fact that the world is awash with capital and that the consolidation trend in many industries will inevitably continue. We are a small country with a relatively small population. Canadian companies typically are not of a size to be global players. All too often, decisions affecting the future of important firms and the communities that they sustain are made solely with a view to the short-term financial consequences. I find it particularly bothersome that so many of our natural resource companies – which I would argue represent unique and irreplaceable assets – are now owned elsewhere. So what are some actions that we might consider taking? Well, what if we were to consider the feasibility of adopting ownership restrictions for certain sensitive sectors of our economy that would be similar to those that now apply to our financial institutions? After all, I would argue that it is a demonstrable fact that public policy regarding the ownership of our banks and insurance companies has served the country well; there is no shortage of competition in the financial services sector and the services available to Canadians are as comprehensive and as affordable as exist anywhere in the world. Securities regulation is another area where some useful debate could be undertaken. Many feel that Canada now has the most bidder-friendly environment in the world and that this may not always be in our country’s best interests. Under our rules, shareholder rights plans – also known as takeover defenses or “poison pills” – fall away after a very short 60 or 90 days, leaving the target company’s board with far too little time in which to explore alternatives. I believe that it is important for us as Canadians to have companies based here that are global leaders (D’Alessandro 2007-05-03).”

    2005-11-18 “CEO Mission to China Builds on Canada’s Strategic Partnership with the World’s Largest Emerging Market.” Seventeen senior business leaders representing a wide swath of the Canadian economy will arrive in Beijing on Sunday for a five-day mission to further the development of stronger trade and investment ties between Canada and the People’s Republic of China. Organized by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), the mission marks the first purely private sector visit to China by a broadly based group of chief executives from among Canada’s largest enterprises. “Since the Council several years ago designated China as a country of the highest strategic importance, we have continued to seek opportunities to build an ever-broader foundation of mutual trust and fruitful bilateral cooperation.” The mission is led by Mr. d’Aquino and Richard L. George, Chairman of the CCCE and President and Chief Executive Officer of Suncor Energy Inc. Other participants include the CEOs of AGF Management Limited, Bentall Capital LLP, Brookfield Asset Management Inc., Canadian Oil Sands Limited, CanWest Global Communications Corp., Enbridge Inc., Harvard Developments Inc., Palliser Furniture Ltd., Pengrowth Management Limited, Petro-Canada, Polygon Homes Ltd., Power Corporation of Canada and Yanke Group of Companies. The CEO mission to China follows the recent establishment of the Canada-China Strategic Partnership by the Right Honourable Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada, and His Excellency Hu Jintao, President of the People’s Republic of China. The Partnership, which was announced during President Hu’s visit to Ottawa in September, represents a watershed in relations between Canada and China, encompassing a wide range of bilateral and international areas. China is Canada’s second-largest trading partner, after the United States. The Canadian and Chinese governments have pledged to double bilateral trade within five years, to about $60 billion a year by 2010. The Canadian CEOs will spend three days in Beijing followed by two days in Shanghai. The agenda includes meetings with senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Commerce, the National Development and Reform Commission, China International Capital Corporation, the China Securities Regulatory Commission and CITIC Group. “The emergence of China as a world economic power is opening up huge trade and investment opportunities for Canada,” Mr. d’Aquino said. “The Canadian Council of Chief Executives is committed to working closely at home and abroad to transform opportunity into success.” The CCCE, founded in 1976, has been Canada’s private sector leader in the promotion of international trade and investment liberalization. Among other initiatives, the CCCE organized and hosted the first-ever APEC (Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation) CEO Summit in 1997, during which it received His Excellency Jiang Zemin, then-President of China. The members of the CCCE include the chief executive officers of 150 leading Canadian corporations. These companies collectively administer close to $3.0 trillion in assets, have annual revenues of more than $650 billion and account for a significant majority of Canada’s private sector investment, exports, training and research and development. In addition to Mr. d’Aquino and Mr. George, the members of the CCCE’s Executive Committee are: Honorary Chairman A. Charles Baillie; and Vice-Chairmen Dominic D’Alessandro, Paul Desmarais, Jr., Jacques Lamarre, Gwyn Morgan and Gordon Nixon, the chief executives respectively of Manulife Financial, Power Corporation of Canada, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., EnCana Corporation and Royal Bank of Canada.

    2009-09-01 “In a blockbuster [tentative] deal, privately owned Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. said PetroChina International Investment Co. Ltd. will buy a majority stake in its operations for $1.9 billion, marking the largest venture by China in the Canadian oilsands to date. [This is still to be reviewed by federal Industry Minister Tony Clement under the Investment Canada Act to evaluate the transaction’s net benefit to Canada.] Athabasca Oil Sands said the state-owned firm, one of the world’s most valuable oil and gas companies, will acquire a 60 per cent working interest in the MacKay River and Dover oilsands projects. “This deal shows that the biggest energy company in the world has chosen Athabasca as their partner,” chief executive and president Sveinung Svarte said in a conference call Monday. ” They clearly told us that’s because they like our assets the best and, obviously, they (the oilsands) are the crude oil story.” The two in-situ projects sit on approximately five billion barrels of bitumen that have yet to be developed, and are part of Athabasca’s almost 10 billion barrels of bitumen reserves. The play is one of the largest in the Athabasca region:about 121,400 hectares. “The reason we chose PetroChina over other some of the other bids was, obviously, their financial strength,” chairman Bill Gallacher said. “But also their technological capabilities related to heavy oil and(steam assisted gravity drainage), which we believe will benefit our project both efficiency-wise and production-wise (O’Meara 2009-09-01.”

    Who’s Who

    Bill Gallacher is Chair of the privately-owned Calgary-based Athabasca Oil Sands Corp which made a blockbuster deal with state-owned PetroChina International Investment Co. Ltd. -one of the world’s most valuable oil and gas companies- who will acquire a 60 per cent working interest for $1.9 billion in the MacKay River and Dover oilsands projects which Athabasca Oil Sands Corp will continue to operate, marking the largest venture by China in the Canadian oilsands to date. company said the projects, which it will continue to operate, will cost between $15 billion and $20 billion to develop. It has filed for provincial approval for both projects and intends to file an application for the first 35,000-barrel-per-day phase of MacKay River at the end of the year [. . .] Athabasca Oil Sands said it had notified federal and provincial officials on the proposed Chinese investment, which would make the foreign entity a majority stakeholder in the oilsands projects. Gallacher did not anticipate any issues to arise from the Competition Bureau on the deal. (O’Meara 2009-09-01.”

    Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), the mission marks the first purely private sector visit to China by a broadly based group of chief executives from among Canada’s largest enterprises. The (CCCE) founded in 1976, has been Canada’s private sector leader in the promotion of international trade and investment liberalization. The members of the CCCE include the chief executive officers of 150 leading Canadian corporations. These companies collectively administer close to $3.0 trillion in assets, have annual revenues of more than $650 billion and account for a significant majority of Canada’s private sector investment, exports, training and research and development. Among other initiatives, the CCCE organized and hosted the first-ever APEC (Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation) CEO Summit in 1997, during which it received His Excellency Jiang Zemin, then-President of China. “Many of our members have friendships and commercial relationships in China stretching back years and in some cases decades,” said CCCE Chief Executive and President Thomas d’Aquino.

    Thomas d’Aquino is “President and Chief Executive of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. He has been described by Peter C. Newman as “the most powerful influence on public policy formation in Canadian history”, and listed by historian Jack Granatstein as one of the 100 most influential Canadians of the twentieth century. A prolific writer and speaker, he has worked as special assistant to the Prime Minister, special counsel on international trade law and international advisor on strategic business problems (Northern Edge).”

    David Stewart-Patterson is the “CCCE’s Executive Vice President. He is also the author of Post Mortem: Why Canada’s Mail Won’t Move, described by the Financial Post as “rather like reading a less gentle version of one of Studs Terkel’s oral histories”. A former journalist, he has worked as parliamentary correspondent for The Globe and Mail‘s Report on Business and as business editor for CTV’s Canada AM (Northern Edge).”

    Northern Gateway project The multi-billion dollar proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Project to transport 400,000 barrels of oil sand production involving a new twin pipeline system running from the oilsands in Alberta, to a new marine terminal in Kitimat, British Columbia to export petroleum and import condensate. In 2005-04-14 Enbridge CEO Patrick D. Daniel announced that Enbridge had entered into a memorandum of understanding with PetroChina International Company Limited to cooperate on the development of the Gateway Pipeline and supply of crude oil from Canada to China. Daniel noted that the agreement with PetroChina was built on the favourable environment for trade between Canada and China which was cultivated by [former] Prime Minister Paul Martin, and the efforts of [former] Alberta Premier Ralph Klein to stimulate Chinese interest in the oil sands.” The project was shelved in 2006 when the market cooled. By 2009 as China’s thirst for energy and need to secure supply has increased perhaps the Northern Gateway Project might be reconsidered ( (O’Meara 2009-09-01).”

    Enbridge Enbridge Inc. is involved in energy transportation and distribution in North America and internationally. As a transporter of energy, Enbridge operates, in Canada and the U.S., the world’s longest crude oil and liquids transportation system. The Company also has international operations and a growing involvement in the natural gas transmission and midstream businesses. As a distributor of energy, Enbridge owns and operates Canada’s largest natural gas distribution company, and provides distribution services in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and New York State. Enbridge employs approximately 4,000 people, primarily in Canada, the U.S. and South America. Enbridge’s common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange in Canada and on the New York Stock Exchange in the U.S. under the symbol ENB. Information about Enbridge is available on the Company’s web site at http://www.enbridge.com. Enbridge proposed the Northern Gateway Project and is involved in internal pipeline inspection and invests heavily in innovative leak detection technology. Enbridge has a computer system that can electronically monitor pipelines 24/7 from the Enbridge operations control centre. They also promise to put in safety control valves and leak detection systems to provide a strong safeguard for the environment.”

    Andrew Nikiforuk published Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent with Vancouver-based David Suzuki Foundation-Greystone Books in 2008 in which he argues that, “Canadian taxpayers, who made $150 million [Canadian] in royalties from mining activities between 1966 and 2002, have spent more than $4 billion tidying up scores of contaminated sites…” (2008:100)..

    Webliography and Bibliography

    D’Alessandro, Dominic. 2007. “How can we preserve Canadian ownership?Perspectives: 8.

    d’Aquino, Thomas and David Stewart-Patterson. Northern Edge: How Canadians Can Triumph in the Global Economy.

    Gelsi, Steve. 2009-09-01. “Energy stocks fall hard as broad market weighs.” MarketWatch. Issue:

    O’Meara, Dina. 2009. “China’s $1.9B Alberta oilsands deal: PetroChina partners with Athabasca Oil Sands.” Calgary Herald.

    RTTNews. 2009. “PetroChina To Acquire 60% Stake In Two Athabasca Oil-Sands Projects For US$1.7 Bln – Update.”

    Nikiforuk, Andrew. 2008. Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent. Vancouver: David Suzuki Foundation-Greystone Books.

    Ross Levin, a NYC hedge fund analyst with Arbiter Partners, who calls himself a “passive speculator in securities” met Lionel Lepine, a member of the Athabaskan Chipewyan First Nation whose family and friends living on the contaminated watershed upriver from the oil sands’ effluence are suffering from unprecedented numbers of cancerous tumours.

    read more | digg story

    A number of recent stories intersect here: Harper’s apology for past treatment of Canada’s First Nations, the pollution of the Athabaskan River north of the oil sands, the impatient development of nonrenewable resources, the meteoric rise of oil commodities market directly caused by irresponsible speculators playing with volatile, unpredictable hedge funds that play havoc with the market making a fortune for some while destroying economic, social and ecological environments all around them.

    In a rapid visit to the local library yesterday I grabbed Jake Bernstein’s How the Futures Markets Work. Although it is quite old for the fast-paced risk management industry, there are certain fundamentals that ring true. He briefly traced the history futures contracts leading to the volatile environment where agricultural futures were replaced by the less predictable currency markets. Of course, his book was written long before the meteoric rise of private equity funds.

    My concern remains with the absent ethical component on trading floors. Ethical responsibilities are as elastic as the regulations that govern the centuries old practice of hedging. In the period of late capitalism and the emergence of risk society, the cost of destructive unintended byproducts have created havoc in ways that far exceed the commodities/service value. The road to profits and impatient money, is paved with casualties.

    Berstein’s facts of market life are telling. He encourages simple methods and systems which require few decisions and little mental conflict. Too much thought is not conducive to successful trading. Too much analysis costs lost opportunities. Keep systems simple. Control your emotions. Practice caring less so that you remain more objective. Don’t ask why. Knowing why may hinder you more than it will help you. Patterns are the best indicators available (What feeds into a “pattern” however is not a science). Timing is what makes money in the futures market (Bernstein 2000:282-3).

    In other words, futures’ gurus encourage young hedge fund analysts to not think too much about factors such as displacement of peoples, the degradation of living conditions and the way in which they unwittingly contribute to making vulnerable ecologies and peoples even more vulnerable. Their gurus tell them to not think about the impact of their actions. They are told to not ask why the prices of essential commodities like fuel and food that they are playing with, are pushing certain groups into unimaginable levels of social exclusion. In the end groups at-risk to health degradation are always those least able to protect themselves. How convenient that the gurus do not factor in these social issues. They are entirely absent from finance reports.

    But then a lot of information is purposely not included in financial and business reports. Bernstein argues that the simpler systems that take fewer things into consideration will lead to more profits. Yet when he lists off all the potential factors in operation in even a simple fundamental analysis, it is not at all simple. It begins with the highly complex. The algorithms involved may appear to be simplified through the use of databases that seem to generate accurate, objective hard facts. In reality, the accuracy of any query depends on what was fed into it.

    Futures trading, also known as commodities trading, the final frontier of capitalism, became a popular speculative and investment vehicle in the US in the 1960s (Bernstein 2000:1). These financial instruments offer unlimited profit potential with relatively little capital. Speculators are drawn to the possibility of quick money or what I like to call impatient money. The great wealth accumulated from speculative financial instruments has spawned careers in brokerage, market analysis, computerized trading, computer software and hardware, accounting, law, advertising which themselves subdivide into more recent opportunities such as those related to risk-management.

    While gurus such as Bernstein argue that gambling is for anyone but speculation is for professionals, the chaos and unpredictability of the current global economy have been linked to a growing culture of gambling in futures trading rather than level-headed professionalism. Gamblers create risk simply by placing a bet; professional speculators “transfer risk from the hedgers to the speculators” and it therefore called risk management instead of gambling.

    “It rained last night so the price of soy beans will be down today.” Although the basis of fundamental analysis in economics is supply and demand, the actual fundamental analysis of specific markets that might generate accurate price predictions are complicated as numbers of factors overlap and massive quantities of data need to be considered. The simple equation involves how much of a commodity or service are buyers willing to pay at a given time and place. There used to be a correlation between price and consumption. Factors that impact on price of commodities include the state of the economy (local, regional, national and international – inflationary, recessionary with rising or falling employment), availability of alternate products or services, storage possibilities, weather, seasonality, price cycles, price trends, government subsidies, political influences, protectionist attitudes, international tensions, fear of war, hoarding, stockpiling, demand for raw materials (sugar, petroleum, copper, platinum, coffee, cocoa), currency fluctuations, health of the economy, level of unemployment, housing starts. Most technical systems are not effective in making traders money.

    In spite of this there is still a persistent belief that there is an invisible hand that guides market correcting imbalances like a living organism or finely-tuned machine.

    “Markets work perfectly as they respond to the multiplicity of forces that act upon them. It is our inability to find, parse, and correctly weight the impact of these factors that limits our results and success of our fundamentally based forecasts (Bernstein 2000:162).”

    The bottom line is that wealth disparities continue to intensify and that these inordinate extremes of wealth and poverty destabilizes society. These distorted economic relationships deprive us of any sense of control over economic forces that threaten to disrupt the foundations of our existence. National governments have been either unwilling or unable to deal effectively with this situation in which we live where the deplorable superfluity of great wealth exists alongside the acute suffering of those living in miserable, demoralizing and degrading abject poverty even in countries like Canada.

    Social equality is an entirely impracticable chimera. Even if equality could be achieved it could not be sustained. Wages and income should be unequal and should correspond to different efforts, skills and capacities. However, equal justice for all is not only necessary but urgently needed.

    As long as those involved in the financial and energy industries remain in denial of their role by hiding behind economic and ideological polemics and simply dismissing concerns from others there can be no productive change. A fresh look at the problem should involve people like Lionel Lepine who are directly involved with decisions, along with experts from a wide spectrum of disciplines. There will not be a voluntary ethical turn so for now we desperately need public policies that will regulate industries.

    Selected Timeline of Critical Events

    1710 The first modern organized futures exchange began with the Dojima Rice Exchange in Osaka, Japan. The Japanese feudal landowners began to use certificates of receipt against future rice crops. As these futures certificates became financial instruments in the general economy the value of the certificates would rise and fall as the price of rice fluctuated. The Dojima Rice Exchange emerged as the world’s first futures market where speculators traded contracts for the future delivery of rice or “certificates of receipt.” The Japanese government outlawed the practice when futures contracts (where delivery never took place) began to have no relationship to the underlying cash value of the commodity leading to wild and unpredictable fluctuations (Bernstein 2000:30).

    1848 The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was formed as a price risk occurred in the grain markets of Chicago.

    1865 The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) organized trading of futures contracts.

    1919 – 1945 The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) traded futures in eggs, butter, apples, poultry and frozen eggs (Bernstein 2000:70).

    1960s Futures trading, also known as commodities trading, the final frontier of capitalism, became a popular speculative and investment vehicle in the US in the 1960s (Bernstein 2000:1).

    1970s There was increasing volatility in international currency exchange rates as the Bretton Woods agreement began to break down. Business people transferred risk of volatility in international markets by hedging with speculators willing to take the risk. Futures markets began to expand into foreign currencies as fluctuated wildly competing against each other and the US dollar.

    1972 The total volume of futures contracts trading was 18 million and the top ten most actively traded future contracts were agricultural futures (Bernstein 2000:71).

    1974 The US Congress passed the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Act and established Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to protect participants in the futures market from fraud, deceit and abusive practices such as unfair trading practices (price manipulation, prearranged trading, trading ahead of a customer), credit and financial risks, and sales practice abuses (Bernstein 2000:32). Individual nation states have similar regulating bodies.

    1982 Futures trading in the US was self-regulating and anyone in the business had to become a member of the National Futures Association (NFA).

    1986 The total volume of futures contracts trading was 184 million and the T bonds were among the most actively traded future contracts (Bernstein 2000:71).

    1990 The price of crude oil rose dramatically when Hussein invaded Kuwait.

    1999 The most actively traded future contracts were interest rates, futures, stock index futures, energy futures, currency futures and agricultural futures (Bernstein 2000:72).

    2000 The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) trades futures in livestock futures, currency futures, interest rate futures, stock index futures (Bernstein 2000:70).

    2000 More than 90 foreign futures exchanges emerged with the ever-increasing demand for new financial instruments “to hedge against fluctuating interest rates, changing foreign exchange rates and institutional securities portfolios (Bernstein 2000:46).

    2008 Calgary has a high percentage of young millionaires with lots of disposable income. There are also c.4000 homeless people in Calgary, the oil capital of Canada. c. 40% of the homeless are working poor who are unable to afford housing.

    Webliography and Bibliography

    Bernstein, Jake. 2000. How the Futures Markets Work. New York Institute of Finance.