Earth’s surface temperatures in 2019 were THE SECOND WARMEST since modern record-keeping began in 1880. Globally, 2019 temperatures were SECOND ONLY TO THOSE IN 2016 and continued the planet’s long-term warming trend. THE PAST FIVE YEARS HAVE BEEN THE WARMEST IN THE PAST 140 YEARS. IMAGE BY NASA.
Urgent action is needed to save the lives of people facing famine in North Eastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, the UN leading food and agriculture agency’s chief on April 28 warned. “If nothing is done, some 20 million people could starve to death in the next six months.” Story here.
Africa is no stranger to famine. 70 children who died of malnutrition are buried in this mass grave in the east - 2011 . Photo by Oxfam.
Grizzly bears venturing from dens in search of food this spring will face landscapes dominated by mines, roads, pipelines, clearcuts and ever-expanding towns and cities. As in years past, they'll also face the possibility of painful death at the hands of trophy hunters. Story here. US Forest Service photo.
With much of the trail following the shoulders of busy highways, Edmund Aunger says the trail is dangerous and should not be promoted as a tourist attraction. Story here. A cyclist take a break on a much safer section of the Trans Canada Trail in Manitoba. PinP photo.
Portage La Prairie – Hog Watch Manitoba, a group formed in 1999 to monitor the hog industry in the province, is being reconvened due to public concerns. A steering committee has met in Portage La Prairie to make plans for the group’s current work. Many people have expressed alarm at plans by the Pallister government to lift the moratorium on new hog barns, imposed by the previous NDP government in 2006. They fear the Premier’s move to “reduce red tape” will lead to more pollution, threatening our waterways and even human health.
Will government do away with rules preventing the spreading of manure on fields in the winter? Winter spreading has been shown to result in more waste escaping into surface water. In 2007, the Clean Environment Commission found that hog wastes spread on fields as a nutrient, “constitute the most serious environmental sustainability issues facing the industry.”
Hog Watch wants the government to explain what has changed since 2007 that would justify a relaxation of regulations now.
Hog Watch will ask for meetings with cabinet ministers most directly involved with the proposed changes and seek assurances that rules protecting the public and the environment will be preserved.
Hog Watch Manitoba was originally formed through a coalition of environmental groups, farmers, friends of animals, social justice advocates, trade unionists and scientists concerned about the industrialization of livestock raising in Manitoba.
Today, Rodrigo Tot and five other brave people from around the world were awarded the most prestigious environmental award in the world, the Goldman Environmental Prize (aka. the 'Green Nobel'). The award recognizes ordinary people like you who do extraordinary things to stand up to corporate power, often risking everything to keep their local communities and ecosystems safe from harm.
In 2016, Peruvian farmer Máxima Acuña won the Goldman Prize for her tireless work stopping extractive giant Newmont Mining from building a gold mine in her backyard. Over 160,000 SumOfUs members have asked Newmont to leave Máxima alone after repeated harassment over the last two years. Together, we raised resources for her support and legal fund. And finally, we all cheered and stood by Máxima as she won the award last year.
Given SumOfUs’ mission is to fight for people over profits, we want to be the first to introduce you this year’s winners. Without further ado, here they are. You can click on their photos to learn more or send them a personal message.
"Look at this, our food is laced with poison - exactly what we had been saying. Our industrial world is killing us. No wonder people are dying. The cost of doing mass production is our souls and health of our nations."
This is Dave Daniels, Elder on Long Plain First Nation, Manitoba and specialist in wild plants and herbal medicines.
He was reacting to a recently-released finding by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. In studies conducted in '15 & '16, the federal food watchdog discovered traces of glyphosate, "a probable carcinogen," (World Health Organization) in almost 30% of food samples tested.
To better understand Mr. Daniel's story and his anger, please watch the video, below.
Meet the Yellow-banded Bumble Bee. It is one of six wild bee species determined to be “critically at risk” in Canada. Continent-wide, as many as one-third of bumble bee species are in decline.These are important pollinators whose disappearance would not only be a blow to natural biodiversity of species, but to the production of food for us and other living creatures, as well.
Glacier retreated so much that its meltwater switched course, in an event not documented in modern times. Story here. The Kaskawulsh glacier from which the river in question used to flow - in a different direction. 2014 Photo by Gstest
The Pallister government plans to amend regulations governing the safe disposal of hog manure in Manitoba. It released a discussion paper Thursday, kicking off a 45-day public consultation period. Story here.
The company responsible for the worst mining disaster in Canadian history wants to build a new open-pit copper minein the heart of the pristine rainforests of Clayoquot Sound. PLEASE SIGN! Clayoquot Sound - Vancouver Island. Photo by Adam Jones, Ph.D.
While he has never gotten my vote, Robert Sopuck managed to climb aboard the tide of rural populism in 2010, becoming a loyal team player for Stephen Harper and MP from the Dauphin/Swan River/Neepawa riding, where he remains to this day. He's a member of the Conservative Party of Canada which I've lovingly re-named, "The Cynical Party of Canada."
Sopuck's latest transgression (now making the rounds on social media), captures him insulting the Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May in the House by suggesting she can't handle numbers. The Speaker ordered him to apologize (which he did sullenly and reluctantly).
Above is the newspaper ad Sopuck is running at Easter. (So much for separation of church and State.) This is the same MP who:
has supported in the House, the brutal practise of "shark-finning" where sharks (often endangered species) are harvested for their fins only & thrown back alive into the ocean:
spoken in favour of the asbestos industry, arguing the product is safe:
refused to attend an important election forum in his riding on child poverty (which all other candidates attended):
labelled as "anti-semitic" those who campaign for justice for Palestinians:
posted a video from a Commons Committee hearing, showing him browbeating a hapless Environment CA scientist into "admitting" that climate change was really no big deal in CA because we "contribute so little," and:
Posted another video of him hunting in the Yukon. The title? "The Making of a Legend."
His latest insult of Elizabeth May is just another in a long line of incidents depicting a man with a Messiah complex who thinks he can behave like a jerk and still get re-elected. Maybe in the next campaign, we need to show him that he cannot. Really Bob, is this the way Jesus would behave? You had better watch out, because He is coming back, you know! Let's hope it's not in your lifetime, tho. Hasn't He suffered enough already?
The foods were; fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, grains, beverages, beans, peas, lentils, soy beans and children’s food. While small amounts were found in all of the food groups tested, the CFIA concludes, levels were only high enough to be of concern to human health in 1.3 percent, overall. The grain tested (wheat and barley), had more Glyphosate above the acceptable standard (3.9%) than any other food group.
Less than one percent (.2% - .6%) of bean, pea, lentil and juice samples tested above the acceptable limit. While traces of the herbicide were found in all food groups tested, none of the fruits, vegetables, soy products or infant food were found to exceed the acceptable limit. The agency says, where levels were unacceptable, it has taken action by notifying the manufacturer or importer, requested corrective action, conducted further sampling or recalled products. It did not specify.
A pie chart displayed on the agency’s website shows that most of the sample in all food categories, contained no detectable levels, at all.
A poor rural community in Tanzania after the failure of the rains, facing drought and food insecurity. Photo - Wikimedia Commons. Nearly 50 per cent of all emergency food assistance to Africa is due to natural disasters, with advancing droughts significantly threatening both livelihoods and economic growth. Story here.
California's climate has long been dominated by cycles of intense dry conditions, followed by heavy rain and snow. But never before in recorded history has the state seen such an extreme drought-to-deluge swing. Details here. Water rages under a bridge in Nevada City, California in January. Photo Credit - California Department of Water Resources
Research says more than 40 percent of the frozen tundra could un-freeze if global temperatures continue to rise, scientists. Story here. An exceptionally warm summer in 2004 triggered this 300m long slump associated with thawing permafrost at a national preserve in Alaska. NPS climate change response.
Applauding the Chinese Government’s closure of many of its ivory factories and retail outlets, the United Nations environment wing has called on other countries and territories to follow China’s example and improve the survival prospects for elephants across the world. Story here. An Asian elephant in a park in India. Photo credit - Wikipedia.
Flight turbulence could increase significantly under climate change, a study warns, potentially upping the risk of injury — or at least flight anxiety — for future airline passengers. Furthermore, fuel and maintenance costs for carriers could rise. Story here.
Machinery sits ready to plant another field of "neonic" seeds in Manitoba. PinP photo.
After evidence of pesticides killing off pollinators surfaced in 2016, scientists went on a quest to see if pesticides were seeping into anything else. Now, in an unprecedented study, the U.S. Geological Survey and University of Iowa reported findings of neonicotinoids—a class of pesticide used to kill off insects—in treated drinking water, marking the first time these chemicals have ever been identified. Story here.
Two vaquitas (Phocoena sinus) - a critically endangered porpoise species endemic to the northern part of the Gulf of California. It is considered the smallest and most endangered cetacean in the world. Photo credit - NOAA.
Funds approved for plan to round up last 30 vaquitas into protective 'sea pens.' Story here.
The recent release of the Canadian budget is a real opportunity for our current government to send a message to the rest of the world - that, despite the current political climate, we take our environment seriously. Story here. Lake Superior, Minnesota. EPA photo.
Wood Buffalo National Park. Photo credit: UNESCO - Vincent Ko Hon Chiu
Canada has failed to protect its largest World Heritage Site. Based upon a process initiated by Sierra Club BC, UNESCO visited the Peace River Valley in the fall of 2016 to investigate how the Site C dam endangers Wood Buffalo National Park. UNESCO strongly criticizes Canada for exposing the park to danger. Story here.