Tuesday, 31 May 2016

35% of Northern and Central Great Barrier Reef Is Dead or Dying

EcoWatch
According to Australian scientists, more than a third of the central and northern Great Barrier Reef has died as a result of mass bleaching in the last three months. Story here.

Scientists Say Canada's Proposed LNG Port Threatens Paris Climate Accord

CommonDreams

The British Columbia project 'will emit at least 11.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year, not including downstream emissions when the gas is burned in Asia' Story here.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

The Great Wildfire Debate Lights Up Editorial Pages in Manitoba Again (Letters)

It all started when I wrote the letter, immediately below right after the Manitoba election in April. It was published in the Neepawa Banner and Roblin Review. It prompted an angry response in "The Review" from Brian Burtnack, which appears right after that. Then, my own response to Mr. Burtnack. 

I've numbered the letters 1,2,3 & 4, putting them in chronological order.

Happy reading!
Larry
=========
-1-
Is Manitoba's New Government Already Failing the Environment? (Editorial)

Dear Editor,

Well, another Manitoba election has come and gone. And we got the change we wanted. 

Or did we?

To me, it still seems like the goal of “evidence-based” policy-making, often promised by politicians of every stripe, remains as elusive as ever.

Take climate change, for example. 

Except for the cranks, the pseudo-scientists pimping for Big Oil, those living on the moon or the stupid, the science is now accepted. It’s settled. Our earthly home is warming dangerously because we’re burning too much fossil fuel. This is already creating conditions that have, for one thing, been making wildfires happen more, come earlier and last longer. (And oh, by the way, as I write this, Fort McMurray is burning.  

Saturday, 28 May 2016

UNESCO Recommends Canada’s First Mixed World Heritage Site

THE GLOBE AND MAIL
The Bloodvein River within the planned heritage site.
Photo credit - Wikipedia.
A massive tract of boreal forest straddling the Ontario and Manitoba borders that is known as the “Land that Gives Life” to the Anishinaabe people is recommended to become Canada’s first mixed World Heritage site. Story here.

My Way or the Highway - the EcoCannabis Car (Video)

Unmanned Solar Boat to Make Solo Trip From California to Hawaii

EcoWatch

The Seacharger, a solar-powered boat built by “a couple of hobbyists” in a garage, will set sail for a solo, 2,000-mile ocean journey from California to Hawaii on Memorial Day. Story here.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Monsanto Ordered to Pay $46.5 Million in PCB Lawsuit in Rare Win for Plaintiffs

Nation of Change

A St. Louis jury has awarded three plaintiffs a total of $46.5 million in damages in a lawsuit alleging that Monsanto and three other companies were negligent in its handling of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, a highly toxic and carcinogenic group of chemicals. Story here.

Blogger Implores His Country to Make (at the Very Least) a Small, Symbolic Gesture in Defence of the Planet

Dear PinP Friends,

In hopes that Canada can make at least SOME SMALL GESTURE in the service of battling climate change, I have forwarded an idea on Fort MacMurray to the Prime Minister, Premier Notley and several officials in government and opposition . It simply asks that the new buildings which will replace the ones destroyed in the wildfire, be built to standards as energy-efficient (& fossil-free) as possible. 

I have handwritten it in hopes it might be given more than a computer-generated response. After sending a surface-mail copy to the PM last week, and sending it out to all via e-mail yesterday (with the letter attached as a .jpg), I have received TWO computer-generated responses - one from the Alberta Minister of Parks, the other from the GPC. I'm going to post updates on responses I get as frequently as I am able, here on FB.

Environmentally yours,
Larry
P.S. Please check the comments section of this story for responses received, so far.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Wildfires in Alberta Will Hurt Economic Growth, Bank of Canada Says

NATIONAL
OBSERVER

The economy will be weaker than expected in the second quarter due to the Alberta wildfires, the Bank of Canada said Wednesday as it kept its key interest rate steady at 0.5 per cent. Story here.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Alberta's on Fire and We Should be, Too

NATIONAL
OBSERVER

The forests around Fort McMurray and the tar sands, the epicentre of Canada’s contribution to fossil fuel extraction and global greenhouse gas production, have been ablaze for many weeks, with a heat and ferocity not seen in living memory. Story here.

Monday, 23 May 2016

World Could Warm by Massive 10C if All Fossil Fuels are Burned

theguardian

Arctic would warm by as much as 20C by 2300 with disastrous impacts if action is not taken on climate change, warns new study. Story here.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Earth’s Health Declining ‘Faster Than Thought’ but Action by Governments Can Reverse Trend

UN News Centre
A clearcut in Canada. Wickimedia Commons.
The environment is deteriorating faster than previously thought, making it imperative that governments act now to reverse the worst trends, says the most authoritative study the United Nations has ever published on the state of the planet’s health.  Story here.

Dear Ontario Government - Please Revisit Your Royalty Regime and Make De Beers Compensate Attawapiskat Fairly. PLEASE SIGN!

+SumOfUs
The De Beers diamond mine 90 km from Attawapiskat paid just $226 in royalties two years ago -- after extracting $2.5 billion in gems since 2007.
  Story here.

Will the Arctic Be Ice-Free Within the Next Two Decades?

EcoWatch

When sea ice melts, the ocean loses its reflective surface and the dark water absorbs more heat. Story here.

Edible Six-Pak Rings Hold Promise for Sea-Life

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Thursday, 19 May 2016

A Third of Birds in North America Threatened With Extinction

CBCNEWS

Gannets at Cape St. Mary's eco-reserve, 
Newfoundland. PinP photo.
State of North America's Birds report finds ocean, tropical birds most threatened. Story here.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

No, the UN Has Not Given Glyphosate a 'Clean Bill of Health'

CommonDreams

News headlines today suggest that a UN report on glyphosate residues has given the controversial herbicide a clean bill of health, but that's seriously misleading. Story here.
RELATED: "U.N. Experts Find Glyphosate Unlikely to Cause Cancer" 

Monday, 16 May 2016

U.N. Experts Find Glyphosate Unlikely to Cause Cancer

London | Reuters — The herbicide glyphosate, sold by Monsanto in its Roundup product and widely used in agriculture and by gardeners, is unlikely to cause cancer in people, according to a new safety review by United Nations health, agriculture and food experts. Story here.
RELATED: "No, the UN Has NOT Given Glyphosate a 'Clean Bill of Health!'" 

Saturday, 14 May 2016

The Arsonists of Fort McMurray Have a Name - Editorial

theguardian - Martin Lukacs
Fossil fuel corporations are causing the climate change fuelling mega-fires – and they should be footing the bill for the devastation. Editorial here.

Mobil's Chief Executive Warned of CO2 From Oil Sands Fuels in 1982

 inside
climate 
 news
Concerned that carbon-heavy fuels would speed up global warming, the CEO put his trust in the United Nations and federal scientists to point the way to solutions. Story here.

Millions of Dead Fish Washing Up on Vietnam’s Shores

EcoWatch

Vietnam has a fish problem and the government isn’t talking about it. Since April, millions of dead fish have been washing up on Vietnam’s shores. Story here.

Friday, 13 May 2016

UK Ministers Reject Plan For 'Emergency' Use of Banned Bee-Harming Pesticides

theguardian

National Farming Union’s application for banned pesticide use on oil seed rape crops is rejected as government rules against neonicotinoids for the first time. Story here.

Extreme Weather is "Face of Climate Change," Says Premier Wynne

NATIONAL
OBSERVER

The premiers of Ontario and British Columbia have both linked the Fort McMurray wildfire with global warming, while defending the importance of Canada's oil and gas industry. Story here.

Green Party Leader Weaver says BC Premier Clark Made 'Utterly Bizarre' Comments About Global Warming

NATIONAL
OBSERVER

Climate scientist and British Columbia Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver says the province's premier is being "utterly bizarre" about global warming in the wake of the Fort McMurray wildfire. Story here.

Stop the Hypocrisy! Stop Bayer’s Bee-Killing Pesticide. PLEASE DONATE!

SumOfUs

Bumblebees on Chives. PinP photo.
Bees are dying by the million -- so what is Bayer, one of the world's biggest producers of bee-killing pesticides, doing about it? Details here.
RELATED: "New Studies Show Farm Chemicals Are Affecting More Than Bees. Bird Populations are Declining, Too. Is modern agriculture's hold on nature becoming a death grip?"

Thursday, 12 May 2016

How Rising CO2 Levels May Contribute to Die-Off of Bees

American Beekeepers Suffer Another Unsustainable Loss of Honey Bee Colonies.

Nation of Change 

Canadian beekeeper Tim Wendell. PinP photo
The Bee Informed Partnership, in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, report losing 44 percent of their total number of colonies managed over the last year—close to the highest annual loss in the past six years. Story here.

NOTE: Latest available figures show Canada in much better shape. According to the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists, colony loss here, nationwide over the winter of 2014-15  was just 16.4%.

5 Images Explain Why the Alberta Forest Fires Are So Hard to Stop

WORLD
RESOURCES
INSTITUTE
Fires are a natural part of many boreal forest ecosystems, but….Story here.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Extreme Forest Fires: a Face of Climate Change.

Greenpeace Canada

The damage is almost unimaginable. Story here.

Why are Fish Suddenly Dying by the Millions?

Nation of Change
A massive fish die-off in Brazil. Ana Perugini Hortol├óndia, Brasil
Over the past several months there has been an alarming number of dead fish and other sea creatures washing up all over the planet. In many places more than 30 tons of fish have washed up dead. Story here.

Global Warming Cited as Wildfires Increase in Fragile Boreal Forest

New York Times

Scientists say the near-destruction of Fort McMurray
last week by a wildfire is the latest indication that
the vital boreal forest is at risk from climate change. Story here.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Fort McMurray and the Fires of Climate Change

The New Yorker

Though it’s tough to pin any particular disaster on climate change, in the case of Fort McMurray the link is pretty compelling. Story here.

'Volatile' Forest Fires Along Manitoba-Ontario Border Force More Evacuations

CBC News

2,800-hectare fire still spreading; 50,000 hectare fire north in Nopiming Provincial Park rages on. Story here.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Pipelines Not The Pathway to Paris Solutions

Times Colonist
PinP photo
Canada’s symbolic signing of the Paris climate agreements Friday was a hopeful and necessary step. Yet symbolism and rhetoric need to be followed by urgent action here at home if we are serious about avoiding a catastrophic four to six degrees Celsius of warming. Story here.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Climate Hawk Mourns for Fort Mac…and Many Others

The
ENERGY MIX

In a remarkable analysis distributed by email Thursday, Dale Marshall, National Program Manager at Environmental Defence, connects the tragedy unfolding in Fort McMurray with climate disasters and dislocations around the world. Story here.

Did Climate Change Contribute to The Fort McMurray Fire?

MACLEAN’S

Smoke  from the Fort McMurray fires has now spread over the eastern Canadian prairies and much of the US. NOAA map.
Experts say forest fires are more frequent, and more intense, due to climate change. Story here.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Destructive Wildfire Near Canada's Oil Sands May Have Been Fueled by Global Warming

SCIENTIFIC
AMERICAN
The devastating natural disaster in Fort McMurray is “consistent” with climate change. More here.

Photo by DarrenRD

Bakken Oil Field In North Dakota Causing a Rise in Air Pollution, Study Says

BILLINGS GAZETTE
An oil and natural gas field in the western United States is largely responsible for a global uptick of the air pollutant ethane, according to a new study. More here.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Mass Evacuation as 'Apocalyptic' Inferno Engulfs Canadian Tar Sands City

A view from the south...

Common Dreams

'There was smoke everywhere and it was raining ash,' says Fort McMurray evacuee. More here.

Is Manitoba's New Government Already Failing the Environment? (Editorial)

by Larry Powell
Well, another Manitoba election has come and gone. And we got the change we wanted. 

Or did we?

To me, it still seems like the goal of “evidence-based” policy-making, often promised by politicians of every stripe, remains as elusive as ever.

Take climate change, for example. 

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Wildfire Destroys Fort McMurray Homes, Most of City Evacuated

CBC News

Alberta has had many severe wildfires over the years. While none has been quite as bad as Fort McMurray, the smoke from this one in 2011 near the Alberta-Saskatchewan border, could be seen from space. (NASA photo.)
Thousands of people are fleeing Fort McMurray as wildfire leaps highway and into city. More here.

Mind the Climate Gap, Mr. Trudeau

NationalObserver


Alberta tar sands. Howl Arts Collective
Last week our new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, galloped onto the world stage to once again promise big cuts in Canada's climate pollution. Will he be able to deliver? Story here.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Large Swaths Of The Pacific Ocean May Actually Suffocate In Just 15 Years

Huffington Post
Photo by William Roger Uzun
Take a wild guess what the culprit is. More here.

Historic Ivory Burn Covers the Sky in Smoke and Ash

CNN

Twelve ivory towers burned in Kenya on Saturday, sending thick plumes of ash and smoke over Nairobi National Park as elephant and rhino tusks smoldered. More here.

Calls for Investigation Grow as ‘Exxon Knew’ Scandal Spills Into Canada

Greenpeace Canada

There is a growing call for the federal government to investigate Imperial Oil, the Canadian arm of ExxonMobil, for its role in the oil giant’s global effort to spread doubt about climate science and delay policy action by governments, even though the company’s own researchers were telling them that global warming was a serious threat and the company was adjusting its operations in the Canadian Arctic to deal with a warming world. More here.

Researchers Say Only Way to Guarantee Enough Food in 2050 Is if the World Turns Vegan

EcoWatch

It is possible to produce enough food to feed a growing population without another tree being felled, according to new research. But there’s a catch. More here.