A Dutch court ruled on Wednesday it had the...
Thursday, 31 December 2009
Wednesday, 30 December 2009
Mountaintop removal coal mine in southern WV encroaching on a small community. Photo by Vivian Stockman Ohio Valley Coalition
Editor's Note: The atrocious record of Canadian mining companies abroad just keeps getting worse.
Led by our Prime Minister, that killer of justice and democracy, Canada just keeps racing to the bottom. Just how far will we sink? l.p.
To read a version of my latest story about pollinators, please go to the online version of "Sasquatch" Saskatchewan's newest, alternative magazine - here.
Tuesday, 29 December 2009
Monday, 28 December 2009
Media audiences across the world took notice as...
Sunday, 27 December 2009
JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- Greenpeace will keep up...
Thursday, 24 December 2009
Sunday, 20 December 2009
Thursday, 17 December 2009
and all through the land
global warming was here. \
It was grand! It was grand!
Cars would start!
Ice would melt!
Folks wore their light clothes,
while up through their chimneys
mere wisps of smoke rose!
On the air one could hear
mindless broadcasters say
"It's eleven degrees.
But up at the pole it was not Santa's day.
Two of his reindeer had just passed away.
Dasher and Dancer had sadly drowned
while playing with mates confined to the ground.
There was a river they could normally cross.
But its ice had grown thin in the tenuous frost.
The two were not helped by the fact they could fly.
And the cold, clear water is where they did die.
The great bears of the north had met similar ends.
Just as learn-ed scholars did indeed portend.
Christmas day dawned, but alas, 'twas not white!
Lawns were brown, fields were black. It just didn't seem right!
The skis and toboggans the kids had received were soon tossed aside
just like old Christmas trees.
"The moon on the crest of the new-fallen snow gave the luster of midday to objects below."
A decade from now when these words are intoned
will their image be real - or merely a poem?
EDMONTON – An independent study suggests pollution from...
Canada geese fly over an open pit of the tar sands
Courtesy of BeautifulDesruction
Ken Wu Speaks out for Old Growth at Copenhagen Climate Talks
Ken spoke at the conference on climate change in Copenhagen on Monday, December 14, about Vancouver's forests and their effect on the environment. He based his most recent information on a report issued by the Sierra Club, ‘State of British Columbia’ Coastal Rainforest: Mapping the Gaps for Ecological Health and Climate Protection’ released Sunday, which noted that industrial logging over the decades has decimated old-growth tracts to below the level needed to preserve species.
Decades of "industrial logging" have reduced vast tracts of old-growth coverage to below the 30 per cent per ecosystem mark -- the amount needed to preserve species. More than two million hectares of rainforest ecosystems on BC’s coast, mostly on Vancouver Island and the south coast, are now below that critical limit.
Logging removes BC’s carbon-storage capability, and also contributes to the province's greenhouse-gas emissions, through heavy equipment and the release of carbon dioxide when trees are cut. Logging on Vancouver Island alone has caused the release of 370 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. With climate change so important to face, we need more effort put into protecting our remaining old-growth forests.
Saturday, 12 December 2009
Echoing the words of Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed (We will not...
December 8, 2009
- - -
Manitobans Asked For Input To Guide Action to Protect Environment
Manitobans are being asked for their views on the best way to reduce the impact of plastic bags on the environment, Conservation Minister Bill Blaikie announced today.
"We want to hear what Manitobans think and we want to work with shoppers, vendors and bag manufacturers," said Blaikie.
Manitoba was the first province in Canada to ban plastic bags in liquor stores and the second to set targets for packaging.
Plastic bags are regulated as service packaging under the Packaging and Printed Paper Stewardship Regulation, passed in December 2008. The Guideline for Plastic Bags under the regulation establishes a target to reduce the use of plastic bags by 50 per cent within five years.
Next spring, Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba (MMSM) will launch a new industry program to manage packaging and printed paper including plastic bags. To meet the reduction target, the guideline requires industry to undertake measures to reduce demand for plastic bags and encourage use of reusable bags.
Manitoba's current multi-material recycling system diverted more than 70,000 tonnes of household recyclables this past year.
To strengthen plastic bag management and complement MMSM's planning, the public and interest groups are invited to participate in consultations that will focus on the following proposals:
- plastic carry-out bags sold and distributed in Manitoba contain a minimum of 25 per cent post-consumer recycled material, increasing to 50 per cent within five years;
- all larger stores that distribute plastic bags have take-back programs for recycling plastic bags;
- all plastic bags sold or distributed in Manitoba be imprinted with a message reminding users to recycle or reuse the bag; and
- all compostable or biodegradable plastic bags sold or distributed in Manitoba be required to meet national or international standards and be certified as such.
"All Manitobans have a responsibility in protecting our environment," said Blaikie. "Your views will help to shape the new packaging program as it rolls out."
Information related to the consultation is posted here.
- 30 -
Friday, 11 December 2009
Thursday, 10 December 2009
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to strengthen…
(Editor's note: Perhaps our Canadian regulators could listen and learn....l.p.)
Monday, 7 December 2009
Climate demo - Regina SK
Sunday, 6 December 2009
R. Turgano on December 4, 2009
By David Suzuki with Faisal Moola.
In it, he predictably jumped on the "ClimateGate" bandwagon, harrumphing about how the science supporting human-caused global warming has now been tainted by the leaking of those memos from the climate centre in East Anglia, UK. Apparently we are now all supposed to turn our backs on the massive body of knowledge amassed by the world-renowned climatologists, meteorologists and glaciologists of the International Panel on Climate Change, and embrace the message of the AEI instead!
Considering the Institute was founded on a partnership of top executives of leading business and financial firms, just what do you suppose that message might be; That we should turn away from dirty energy sources such as coal and tar sands and embrace cleaner, greener alternatives? Ya think?
I sincerely hope that readers realize that Mr. Green works for the same outfit as David Frum, once a right-hand-man to the climate criminal, George Bush and Newt Gingrich, ex-Republican Speaker of the House of Representative and now an "analyst" for Fox News. Given that context, I hope you'll give the newspaper column in question the consideration it so richly deserves.
Saturday, 5 December 2009
Friday, 4 December 2009
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Courtesy of Eco-Driver Manitoba
Saturday, 28 November 2009
Conservationists say the decision by the Obama administration to allow drilling in the Beaufort Sea repeats Bush era mistakes...
Friday, 27 November 2009
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Genetically-engineered corn, soybeans, and cotton now account for...
Nov. 26 -'09 - Organic Consumers' Asn.
4,200 Years of Farming on the Colorado Plateau
On the Colorado Plateau farming has been an unbroken cultural tradition for at least 4200 years. The Navajo, Zuni, Apache, Hopi, Paiute and Tewa have cultivated the most diverse annual crop assemblage in the New World north of the Tropic of Cancer.
The Wayana's Cultivated Eden
The farming system of the Wayana society of French Guyana is based on diverse and flexible cultivation, with characteristically high biodiversity. Organic agriculture and permaculture form a rich, biologically complex system of food production, complimented by wildcrafting, fishing, and hunting. In Wayana, there is no artificial separation between cultivated and wild areas, which is the basis for what we call permaculture.
The Milpa System and 20,000 Varieties of Corn
Few regions in the world have an organic farming system as sustainable and productive as the traditional milpa or "three sisters" organic corn fields of Mexico and Central America. The Mayan milpa tradition is the planting of heirloom varieties of corn in mounds or raised beds, intercropped with biologically complimentary species such as beans and squash, fertilized through natural processes, weeded, harvested and hulled by hand and tended individually. The ancient milpa tradition, in fact, has produced traditional varieties that are healthier and more pest-resistant than modern chemical and water-intensive hybrid and GMO varieties. There are over 20,000 varieties of corn in Mexico and Central America. In southern and central Mexico approximately 5,000 varieties have been identified. In one village in Oaxaca, researchers have identified 17 different micro-environments where 26 varieties of corn are growing. Each variety has been cultivated to adapt to elevation levels, soil acidity, sun exposure, soil type, and rainfall. Unfortunately Monsanto's genetically engineered corn - forced on Mexico by the Bush, Clinton, and Obama administrations - has begun to contaminate traditional Mexican corn varieties, while industry and consumer-induced global warming has spawned drought, pestilence, flooding, and killer hurricanes.
Andean Terraced Potatoes, With Thousands of Varieties
In the Andean region of South America, generations of farmers have domesticated thousands of potato varieties. Today, farmers cultivate up to 50 varieties on their farms. In the biodiversity reserve of the Chiloé archipelago in Chile, local people cultivate about 200 varieties of native potato. They use farming practices transmitted orally by generations of mainly women farmers. A long list of cultural and agriculture treasures from the Inca civilization has been carefully preserved and improved over centuries to guarantee living conditions over 4000 meters above sea level. Although grassroots opposition has stopped Monsanto's attempted invasion on the Andes and other regions of the Americas with its genetically engineered potatoes, constant vigilance and struggle will be required.
One of the most important and sustainable features of Andean agriculture is the terracing system used to capture water and prevent soil erosion. Terraces allow cultivation on steep slopes and in different altitudes. From a range of 2800 to 4500 meters, three main agricultural systems can be found: maize is cultivated in the lower areas, potato mainly at medium altitudes. Above 4,000 meters the areas are mostly used as rangeland, but can still be cultivated with high altitude varieties as well. In the high plateau, around Lake Titicaca, farmers dig trenches (called "sukakollos") around their fields. These trenches are filled with water, which is warmed by sunlight. When temperatures drop at night, the water gives off warm steam that serves as frost protection for several varieties of potato and other native crops, such as quinoa.
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Nov.25 - '09 - Greenpeace
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Monday, 23 November 2009
The East Antarctic icesheet, once seen as largely unaffected by global warming, has...
Saturday, 21 November 2009
Photo courtesy of ChrisD.ca
Vegetarians aren't the only ones who should be concerned; there's soy in just about...
Soy fields encroachinig
on the Amazon jungle.
Courtesy of Mongabay
Friday, 20 November 2009
A favourite spot for millions of North Americans - the "Drive-thru." Often with their motors running, occupants eat/drink in their vehicles, even tho they could just as quickly (esp. when it's busy) park, actually turn off their motors & be waited on in the comfort of the restaurant. Estimates on the number of tonnes of greenhouse gasses needlessly produced in this way, are not available. l.p.
Report tracks a five-year upswing in fuel efficiency
“American drivers are increasingly looking for cars that burn cleaner, burn less gas and won’t burn a hole in their wallets,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “We’re working to help accelerate this trend with strong investments in clean energy technology – particularly for the cars and trucks that account for almost 60 percent of greenhouse gases from transportation sources. Cleaner, more efficient vehicles can help reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, cut harmful pollution, and save people money -- and it’s clear that’s what the American car buyer wants.”
For 2008, the last year for which EPA has final data from automakers, the average fuel economy value was 21.0 miles per gallon (mpg). EPA projects a small improvement in 2009, based on pre-model year sales estimates provided to EPA by automakers, to 21.1 mpg.
The report confirms that average CO2 emissions have decreased and fuel economy has increased each year beginning in 2005. Average CO2 emissions have decreased by 39 grams per mile, or 8 percent, and average fuel economy has increased by 1.8 mpg, or 9 percent, since 2004. This positive trend beginning in 2005 reverses a long period of increasing CO2 emissions and decreasing fuel economy from 1987 through 2004, and returns CO2 emissions and fuel economy to levels of the early 1980s.
The report also provides data on the CO2 emissions, fuel economy and technology characteristics of new light-duty vehicles including cars, minivans, sport utility vehicles, and pickup trucks.
The latest CO2 emissions and fuel economy values reflect EPA’s best estimates of real world CO2 emissions and fuel economy performance. They are consistent with the fuel economy estimates that EPA provides on new vehicle window stickers and in the Fuel Economy Guide. These real world fuel economy values are about 20 percent lower, on average, than those used for compliance with the corporate average fuel economy program under DOT.
More information on the trends report: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fetrends.htm
Note: If a link above doesn't work, please copy and paste the URL into a browser.
Thursday, 19 November 2009
KANSAS CITY, Nov 17 (Reuters) - The rapid adoption by U.S. farmers of genetically engineered corn, soybeans and cotton has promoted...
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Monday, 16 November 2009
A film that tries to get to the bottom of
the mystery of the disappearing bees with some success
The Vanishing of the Bees  is the cinematic equivalent of “Watch with Mother” about the importance to the planet of the honeybee. It patiently unravels the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) implicated in the mass disappearance of honeybees from their hives across the world. Bees have one of the most important jobs in nature. Without their busy pollination of plants and flowers we would lose one in every three bites of the food that we eat (see Box 1).
approximately one third of hives have collapsed over the last two years. These losses are attributed to CCD and account for the loss of around 800 000 colonies in 2007 and a staggering 1 million colonies in 2008. A Steering Committee has been set up to monitor the progress of CCD . Bee losses have also been reported around the world in Argentina, Brazil, France, Italy, Germany, Greece and Spain.
Bees are big business, and their industry, worth billions of dollars, is teetering on the brink of collapse. In the USA, commercial beekeepers transport hives around the country so that the bees can pollinate apples, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, oranges and pumpkins. The annual Californian almond bloom demands almost all the commercial bees to pollinate the nut harvest. Since CCD has decimated the native bee population, the importation of bees from Australia to pollinate food crops has become the norm. The prime suspect in CCD is the introduction of a relatively new class of pesticides called neonicotinoids  (see Mystery of Disappearing Honeybees SiS 34). Neonicotinoids are systemic pesticides that remain in the leaves, pollen and nectar throughout the plants lifecycle. The link to CCD was first noticed in France where honeybee losses were observed and honey production dropped from 40 000 to 25 000 tons between the years 1995-2001. These events occurred after a particular neonicotinoid called imidacloprid was applied as a seed dressing to sunflower crops  (see Requiem for the Honeybee SiS 34).
Bayer CropScience, the manufacturer of neonicotinoids with silly names such as “Gaucho” and “Poncho” say that imidacloprid is safe. Despite this, Gaucho is now banned in Italy, France,
Germany and Slovenia, but not in the USA, Canada, or the UK. In 2008, the American Beekeepers Federation officially refuted bad beekeeping practices being blamed for the
decline of the honeybee by bringing a civil law suit against Bayer, which is still ongoing. They are not alone. A German organization called Coalition against Bayer Dangers is suing
the company for marketing dangerous pesticides and thereby causing the mass death of bees all over the world . An annual turnover of nearly 800 million Euros makes neonicotinoids one of Bayer's most important products. "This is the reason why Bayer, despite serious environmental
damage, is fighting against any prohibitions," says Coalition spokesman Philipp Mimkes. Bayer AG, the parent company of Bayer CropScience is responsible for the development of the drug heroin (diacetylmorphine) which was sold as an over the counter cough medicine under the Bayer trademark up until World War I . Concern about the relationship between the chemical corporations and the environmental agencies is described in the film as, “The fox guarding the hen house.” For example, the only scientific research submitted to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the safety of neonicotinoid sprays was done by Bayer’s own toxicologist. This research took the form of a three day trial of imidocloprid, which was fed to the bees in a sugar solution. No tests were required on the bee brood in its developmental stage, or on the pollen, or on honey, and the results of the feeding trial were revealed at
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Press release - La Via Campesina (Rome, 15th of No.'09)
Nursing a baby in a wellness clinic. (The Nestle corporation has a long and dubious history of discouraging women to breast-feed, so they can peddle their own baby formula and pad their bottom line.)
La Via Campesina is appalled by the arrogance of the private sector and especially Nestlé in pretending to...
Sunday, 15 November 2009
Saturday, 14 November 2009
Friday, 13 November 2009
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Deforested area for
agricultural in State
of Mato Grosso, Brazil.
(flickr photo by leoffreitas)
Influence wielded by coal-producing states - 25 of them - is the big reason the U.S. is a climate-change laggard
Jeffrey Sachs - Sachs is a professor of economics and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
TAR SANDS - Canada's Mordor - Council of Canadians
“To me, the tar sands are Canada’s Mordor. The air is foul, the water is being drained and poisoned and giant tailings ponds line the Athabasca river” – Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians Chairperson and Senior Advisor on Water to the President of the UN General Assembly
Canada's Sorry Climate Change Policies - Sierra Club Canada
“Under Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative government, Canada has become an international pariah at climate change summits.”