Showing posts from 2007

Livestock Casts Its Long Shadow Over Manitoba's Greenhouse Gas Levels

- by Larry Powell Photo by  PinP. Compared to other provinces, Manitoba doesn't produce a lot of greenhouse gases, which cause global warming. (Only PEI, Newfoundland and the northern Territories emit less.) But, when it comes to agriculture, we punch way above our weight. In 2004, (the latest year for which figures are available) virtually one-third of Manitoba's emissions, 32.8%, came from farming. That's the highest percentage of any province in Canada! The national average in Canada that year was just 7%. Back in 1990, Manitoba agriculture produced 4,400 kilotonnes (kt) of emissions in * carbon dioxide equivalents." By '04, that number had grown to 6,350 kt, a whopping increase of 45% (compared to the national average of 23%). Manitoba's growing populations of hogs and beef cattle are said to be behind the numbers. Those numbers are buried in the almost 500-page National Inventory Report - Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada,"


One of our vendor tables. About a hundred people (and two lovable alpacas -r.) turned out at a country residence in west-central Manitoba on Sept. 1st to enjoy "Earth Day Too," a celebration of the growing "eat local" movement. The open-air event attracted eight vendors from the Roblin/Inglis/Grandview area. Their "wares" included fresh veggies, organic meat, free-range eggs, preserves, honey and maple syrup. Restoring a connection between food producers and our customers is critical. The wave of fast and processed foods that is sweeping North America today, bringing with it an epidemic of obesity and disease, must be resisted. The situation has grown so grave that experts are now predicting that we are actually raising a generation that will die before their parents do! I believe that buying local, eating local and making fresh, healthy food more readily available are among the ways of combating this alarming state of affairs. As John Ikerd me

Bursting The Ethanol Bubble

The case against food-based fuel  by Larry Powell Many of us have met interesting people on airplanes. I'm no exception. In 1997, I was returning from Brazil, where, as a freelance reporter, I had covered an environmental conference. Sitting next to me on the flight was Elizabeth May (above), now leader of the federal Green Party . She had been at the same conference, representing the Sierra Club of Canada. Even then, her environmental credentials were impressive As we chatted, I proudly told her how I always burned ethanol gasoline in my car, because it was better for the planet. I felt rather deflated when she informed me that it takes more energy to produce a liter of ethanol (at least the North American kind) than you save when you burn it! Much of the literature I have since read, supports Ms. May's position. David Pimentel(r.). "The most persistent, articulate and scathing critic of the biofuels industry." (columnist) Pimentel, of Cornell Univer

Larry's Submission to the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission

Factory-farmed sows, like the one above, spend much of their lives in tiny steel cages. (Photo courtesy of Farm Sanctuary.)   ___________________________ Hearings have just concluded in Manitoba to determine if this province's hog industry is sustainable. The government instructed the Clean Environment Commission to conduct the hearings after placing a moratorium on new hog barn construction last year. The Commission is expected to make recommendations to the government in several months on whether to continue, or to end that moratorium. The freeze has drawn howls of protest and threats of lawsuits from the hog industry, represented by the Manitoba Pork Council. Larry Powell presented the following views to the Commission on behalf of "Citizens for Family Farms," at a hearing in Dauphin on March 20th. Submission to the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission on the Sustainability of Hog Barn Development. I'd like to thank the Commission for this opportuni