Friday, 30 January 2015

Bee Decline Could Cause Malnutrition In Developing Countries - Study.

ClimateProgress

Residents of developing nations may soon be struggling with yet another challenge -malnutrition fueled by the decline of pollinators around the world. Details here.

Bumblebees on chives.
PinP photo.

Why Is the 'Climate President' Approving More Oil Drilling?

CommonDreams

Something doesn't compute here. Story here.

More Than Half of Africa’s Arable Land ‘Too Damaged’ for Food Production

INTER PRESS SERVICE

A report by the Montpellier Panel – an eminent group of agriculture, ecology and trade experts from Africa and Europe – says about 65 percent of Africa’s arable land is too damaged to sustain viable food production. Story here.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Killing Ragheads for Jesus

OpEdNews - Chris Hedges

"American Sniper" lionizes the most despicable aspects of U.S. society -- the gun culture, the blind adoration of the military, the belief that we have an innate right as a "Christian" nation to exterminate the "lesser breeds" of the earth, a grotesque hyper-masculinity that banishes compassion and pity, a denial of inconvenient facts and historical truth, and a belittling of critical thinking and artistic expression. Many Americans, especially white Americans trapped in a stagnant economy and a dysfunctional political system, yearn for the supposed moral renewal and rigid, militarized control the movie venerates. These passions, if realized, will extinguish what is left of our now-anemic open society. Story here.

A New "Monster" Plant is a Looming Concern for Farmers on the Great Plains of the US (and Canada?).

AgroNews
Prairie farmers may have a new problem on their hands - "Weed palmer amaranth," a formidable threat to crops which seems to scoff at attempts to control it with herbicides. Story here.
Fred Springborn of Michigan State University stands next to palmer Amaranth, 
a large and aggressive weed new to that state. Photo credit - MSU.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

The Dirty Politics of Climate Change

Kenneth Eade - OpEdNews.com

I've got good news for everybody! Guess what? Climate change is not a hoax! But here's the other news-- Story here.

'Nauseating' Praise for Dead Saudi King Exposes Hypocrisy of West, Say Critics

CommonDreams

Western leaders' responses to King Abdullah's death serve as a reminder that Saudi Arabia, with its wealth and geopolitical influence, is a perpetual exception to the west's emphasis on human rights. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper praised him as a 'strong proponent of peace' in the Middle East. Story here.

Province of Manitoba, Canada Promises New Supports for Smaller Farmers and Processors

The Co-Operator
A small organic market garden in Manitoba. PinP photo.
The report says support to grow food-processing sector must extend to all sizes of players. Story here.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Nearly 7 Million Litres Of Drilling Waste Spills From North Dakota Pipeline

ClimateProgress

Almost 3 million gallons of saltwater drilling waste spilled from a North Dakota pipeline earlier this month, a spill that’s now being called the state’s largest since the North Dakota oil boom began. Story here.

Food Diversity Under Siege From Global Warming, U.N. Says

Reuters

Climate change threatens the genetic diversity of the world's food supply, and saving crops and animals at risk will be crucial for preserving yields and adapting to wild weather patterns, a U.N. policy paper said on Monday. Story here.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Kate Storey Selected to Run Again for the Green Party of Canada in Dauphin – Swan River - Marquette.

Onanole, MB.  by Larry Powell - Green Party of Canada.


“It’s time to end ‘top-down’ politics in this country,” Storey declared, as a group of dedicated supporters voted unanimously to again endorse her this weekend as their party’s choice in the federal election later this year. "Vote Green and give your MPs the ability to actually represent the people for a change,” she declared.

If elected, Storey promised to dedicate herself to fight against the scourges of climate change, and for the principles of social justice and democracy.

Kate Storey, candidate, Green Party of Canada.
Dauphin - Swan River - Marquette.

She and her husband, Doug have been operating an organic farm near Grandview for years. They’ve become living examples of how sustainable agriculture can succeed in a sea of industrial farms, where genetic modification, pesticides and monoculture are increasingly compromising the quality of our food and the very survival of precious pollinators, such as honeybees. 

Storey comes to the candidate’s job with a wealth of political experience, having run both federally and provincially on previous occasions.

“I may not win,” she declares, “but I’ll be bringing an important message to you during the campaign which would otherwise be lost in the now familiar, but cynical clamor of the ‘old-line parties.'”


Radical Shift in Agriculture Critical to Making Future Food Systems Smarter, More Efficient

UN News
Climate change and increasing competition for natural resources have essentially rendered the agriculture model of the past 40 years unsustainable, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has stressed, calling for a ‘paradigm shift’ in food production. Story here.
Combining wheat in Manitoba. 
Larry Powell - PinP photo.

Richest 1% to Have More Than Rest Of Humanity Combined

CommonDreams

New Oxfam report shows the scale of global inequality is "simply staggering." Story here.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

The Sale of Monsanto's Toxic Weedkiller is Banned in the Netherlands!

SumOfUs
The government of the Netherlands just took a huge step to protect its citizens and banned Monsanto’s super-toxic pesticide Roundup – and it's time more countries did the same. Sign here.


PinP photo.

Join Dr. Vandana Shiva in Telling President Obama to Protect Seed Freedom and Food Democracy

Center for Food Safety
President Obama will be meeting with the Indian  Prime Minister on January 25 and 26. In response, activist, author and physicist, Dr. Vandana Shiva has written an open letter to the President and the Prime Minister on seed freedom and food democracy. She urges the two leaders to renounce the patenting of life and to stop pursuing “harmonization” of seed patenting laws which would further extend corporate control of our seeds and food.  Click here to sign.
Organic fava beans. Will they be next? 
PinP photo.

"CHASING ICE" Captures Largest Glacier Calving Ever Filmed - OFFICIAL VIDEO


PinP - This video is 12 years old. I guess the deniers would have us believe this kind of
shit never happens, or at least hasn't happened since?



Saturday, 17 January 2015

Honeybee Health and Colony Collapse Disorder - A Manitoba Beekeeper Tells it Like it is.


by Larry Powell

NEEPAWA, Manitoba - A veteran beekeeper whose operation produces almost half-a-million kilograms of honey per year on the Canadian prairies, Tim Wendell (l.), has learned the hard way, just how big a threat "neonicotinoids" pose to operations like his. "Neonics" are now the most widely used group of insecticides in the world. They are either sprayed on crops such as corn, soybeans and canola, or used to treat their seeds. 

Tim Wendell, above, his wife Isabel 
and a seasonal staff of about 30 keep 
more than 3,000 hives in Manitoba and 
Saskatchewan, south of the Town of 
Roblin. PinP photo - 2009.

On a recent speaking engagement, he told audiences in Neepawa, he lost one "bee yard" himself a couple of years ago. It was next to a field which had been planted 4 or 5 years straight to corn treated with "neonics." 

He estimates, of the 40 thousand bees in that colony, perhaps only 5 thousand were left. And they were "very disorganized - no longer a community." He says government tests confirmed the chemical had gotten into the wax, pollen, soil and water in the yard. No "neonics" were found in the remaining bees, however. But Wendell does not believe that's surprising. That's because the chemical affects their ability to navigate. So those ingesting it simply get lost, never to be seen again!

He is believed to be one of the few, or perhaps the only beekeeper in Manitoba who has found direct evidence that the "neonics" have contributed to the "colony collapse" syndrome in this province. Beekeepers in Ontario and Quebec reported huge losses in 2012, due to the same problem. 
(r.) A healthy hive. 
PinP photo.

Wendell gets upset at "greedy" multinational corporations who make such harmful products, and their shareholders. He says such companies have become unaccountable - so powerful they actually help governments get elected. "We don't need to treat every seed to keep pests at bay," he says.

Much of Manitoba's honey comes from bees who forage on canola crops. Wendell believes, since "neonic-treated" canola seeds are much smaller than corn, the danger to bees is probably much smaller. 

But he is critical of methods used by commercial pollinators, who truck their bees long distances to pollinate food crops for others. Such methods are used widely in the U.S. and in Alberta and the Maritimes in Canada. Such practices weaken the bees by subjecting them to poor nutrition and stress.


But Wendell also admits he and his colleagues may, themselves be contributing to the poor state of honeybee health. The "Varroa destructor," a parasitic mite, for example, is a huge problem for beekeepers everywhere. So, he places chemical strips or "miticide" patches in his hives to combat them, because he feels he must. But he believes the strips, themselves can be harmful, even deadly to the bees. So he uses them as sparingly as he can and is testing out other, more natural treatments that 
won't put his bees at risk but still control the mites.

Interviews with Wendell, along with his recent slide presentation to the Neepawa Rotary Club, are now being aired in rotation on NACTV (Community access). Just go to "Schedule and Programs" and check out the next "Coffee Chat!" 

Friday, 16 January 2015

Computer Modelling Shows Climate Change Will Affect Wheat Yields

Manitoba Co-Operator
A combination of multiple computer models of weather’s impact on wheat warns of a six per cent dent in world wheat production for every degree Celsius in temperature increase. Story here.

Wheatfield. 
Larry Powell - PinP photo.

Honeybee Health and Colony Collapse Disorder. A Manitoba Beekeeper Tells it Like it Is.

by Larry Powell

A veteran Canadian beekeeper whose operations produce almost half-a-million kilograms of honey per year, Tim Wendell (l.), has learned the hard way, just how big a threat "neonicotinoids" pose to operations like his. "Neonics" are now the most widely used group of insecticides in the world. They are either sprayed on crops such as corn, soybeans and canola, or used to treat their seeds. 









Tim Wendell, above, his wife Isabel and a seasonal staff of about 30 tend 
to over 3,000 hives in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, south of the Town of 
Roblin. PinP photo.

On a recent speaking engagement, he told audiences in Neepawa, MB, he lost one "bee yard" himself in 2012. It was next to a field which had been planted 4 or 5 years straight to corn treated with "neonics." 

He estimates, of the 40 thousand bees in that colony, perhaps only 5 thousand were left. And they were "very disorganized - no longer a community." He says government tests confirmed the chemical had gotten into the wax and pollen of the colony, along with the nearby soil and water

He is believed to be one of the few, or perhaps the only beekeeper in Manitoba who has found direct evidence that the "neonics" have contributed to the "colony collapse" syndrome in this province. Beekeepers in Ontario and Quebec reported huge losses in 2012, due to the same problem. 


Wendell gets upset at "greedy" multinational corporations who make  such harmful products, and their shareholders

And he is critical of methods used by commercial pollinators, who truck their bees long distances to pollinate food crops for others. Such methods are used widely in the U.S. and in Alberta and the Maritimes in Canada. Such practices weaken the bees by subjecting them to poor nutrition and stress.


But Wendell also admits he and his colleagues may, themselves be contributing to the poor state of honeybee health, worldwide. He says he places "miticide" chemical strips in his hives to help combat "Varroa destructor" parasites which have, for years, been attacking honeybees around
the world. Otherwise, he believes, his bees would face huge losses. But Wendell also realizes he must use the strips sparingly because they may themselves be harming the bees. And, if they are overused, they may even be making the mites themselves, immune. He has therefore been searching for and trying more natural treatments that won't put his bees at risk but still control the mites.

Interviews with Wendell, along with his recent slide presentation to the Neepawa Rotary Club, are now being aired in rotation on NACTV (Community access). Just go to "Schedule and Programs" and check out the next "Coffee Chat!" 

Hottest Year on Global Record Was Canada's Coolest in 18 Years

CBC News
Despite that, the country was 0.1 C warmer than 'average.' Story here.

Three Major Oil Companies Give Up On Arctic Exploration

True Activist

As the price of oil continues to drop, oil companies are having less of an incentive to spend their resources extracting oil from new and difficult places. Story here. 

Environmental Degradation Puts Life on Earth at Risk, say Scientists

theguardian
Humans are ‘eating away at our own life support systems’ at a rate unseen in the past 10,000 years, two new research papers say. Story here.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

It’s Time to Ban Bee-Killing Pesticides. Please Sign Message Encouraging Ontario, Canada to Press on With Efforts to Restrict Them!

David Suzuki Foundation

On November 25, the Ontario government became the first government in North America to announce a plan for regulations to restrict the use of seeds treated with neonicotinoid pesticides. Story here.

Great Canadian Migrations


PinP; Any similarity this commentator bears to David Attenborough, the famous naturalist of BBC TV fame, is purely intentional!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

With Wall Street Holding the Strings, Republican-Controlled U.S. Congress Moves to Deregulate Big Banks

Common Dreams

Just weeks after taking over both houses of Congress, the Republican party is already aggressively moving to weaken legislation aimed at reining in big banks and protecting the public. Story here.

Trade Secrets

Monbiot.com

Why will no one answer the obvious, massive questions about TTIP? Story here.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Answering for America’s Madness

by Ann Jones 

TomDispatch
Americans who live abroad — more than six million of us worldwide (not counting those who work for the U.S. government) — often face hard questions about our country from people we live among. Europeans, Asians, and Africans ask us to explain everything that baffles them about the increasingly odd and troubling conduct of the United States.  Polite people, normally reluctant to risk offending a guest, complain that America’s trigger-happiness, cutthroat free-marketeering, and “exceptionality” have gone on for too long to be considered just an adolescent phase. Which means that we Americans abroad are regularly asked to account for the behavior of our rebranded “homeland,” now conspicuously in decline and increasingly out of step with the rest of the world.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Leave Most of Canada's Tar Sands in the Ground if You Want to Meet Climate Targets - Study.

The Globe and Mail

As U.S. President Barack Obama and a Republican-led Congress spar over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, a new analysis of worldwide fossil-fuel reserves suggests that most of the Alberta oil the pipeline is meant to carry would need to remain in the ground if nations are to meet the goal of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius. Story here.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Paving Path Towards Climate Goal, Denmark Sets World Record for Wind Power

Common Dreams
Wind turbine - Saskatchewan, Canada. Larry Powell PinP photo.
'It shows that we can reach our ultimate goal, namely to stop global warming,' said climate minister. Story here.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

#SaveTheBees Campaign Update...

The Sierra Club Canada Foundation will be undertaking a cross-country speaking tour as part of our #SaveTheBees campaign.How can you help? Find out here.

Australia Is Burning, and Climate Change Is Making It Worse

Inside Climate News
It’s summertime in Australia, which means the fires are raging. Every year, the continent’s sweltering temperatures and dry conditions create a toxic combination for bush fires that can threaten homes and lead to injuries and deaths. This season’s wildfires are particularly damaging, destroying the largest amount of territory in more than three decades. The Insurance Council of Australia yesterday declared a catastrophe for regions near Adelaide in South Australia. Story here.

Related: Emissions for Power Sector Jump as Carbon Tax Ends in Australia


Tuesday, 6 January 2015

All Forms of Life Are Sacred

OpEdNews - Chris Hedges
Fowl on an organic farm in Canada. (Someone once said, 
"Livestock raised on organic farms each has one bad day in its life. 
For those raised in animal factories - every day is a living hell!") Larry Powell PinP photo.
The battle for the rights of animals is not only about animals. It is about us. Once we desanctify animals we desanctify all life. And once life is desanctified the industrial machines of death, and the drone-like bureaucrats, sadists and profiteers who operate them, carry out human carnage as easily as animal carnage. There is a direct link between our industrial slaughterhouses for animals and our industrial weapons used on the battlefields in the Middle East. Details here.

Climate Change Plan Should be Priority for Political Parties in 2015 Election

the Hill Times

All federal political parties face a spotlight glare on climate, says columnist David Crane. Which will be willing to offer real and clear choices on our energy-environment future, with credible policies to back their plans up? Story here.

Monday, 5 January 2015

2014 Was The Hottest Year On Record Globally By Far

Climate Progress
The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has announced that 2014 was the hottest year in more than 120 years of record-keeping — by far. NOAA (the US weather service) is expected to make a similar call in a couple of weeks and so is NASA. Story here.

The Fight to Save Canada's Legendary Peel Watershed Continues

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
PHOTOGRAPH BY PETER MATHER, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
The Yukon Government has announced that it will appeal a decision in the lawsuit concerning the Peel Watershed launched by a Yukon First Nation, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and the Yukon Conservation Society. Story here.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Leonardo DiCaprio (UN Messenger of Peace) at the Opening of Climate Summit 2014



Will Climate Change Kill Outdoor Hockey In Canada?

University of Washington Conservation
Youngsters skate on an outdoor rink in Manitoba. 
Larry Powell PinP photo.
Take anything from Canadians, anything at all—anything except hockey. Story here.

The Wreck of the Kulluk

The New York Times
In 2005, Royal Dutch Shell, then the fourth-largest company on Earth, bought a drill rig that was both tall, rising almost 250 feet above the waterline, and unusually round. Story here.

PinP: This is not an easy read, but well worth the time and effort. An epic and disturbing tale of folly at sea.



Friday, 2 January 2015

Federal Tax Relief Program for Some Cattle Producers in Western Canada - Another Price to Pay For Climate Change Inaction?

By: The Canadian Press
PinP photo.
EDMONTON - The federal government is giving some livestock producers in Western Canada a bit of tax relief. Producers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and B.C. who faced forage shortfalls due to extreme weather will be allowed to defer tax on their cattle sales for 2014.  Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says eligible producers in designated areas can defer income tax on the sale of their breeding livestock for one year in order to help replenish that stock.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Pope Francis’s Edict on Climate Change Will Anger Deniers and US Churches

The Guardian
Pontiff hopes to inspire action at UN meeting in Paris in December after visits to Philippines and New York. Story here.