Thursday, December 31, 2009

Niger Delta Farmers Welcome Shell Court Ruling

Published on : 31 December 2009 - By Sophie van Leeuwen

A Dutch court ruled on Wednesday it had the...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Four Anti-Mountaintop Removal Activists Arrested at Home

Published by Sparki, Dec. 30th'09

Iran is not the only place where government agencies are...

Mountaintop removal coal mine in southern WV encroaching on a small community. Photo by Vivian Stockman Ohio Valley Coalition

Anti-Mining Activist Assassinated in El Salvador

Mon. 21 Dec '09 - CISPA - Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador

Demand an investigation and...

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.

Arctic Melt Top Weather Story of Decade, if Not Century: Enviro Cda's Phillips

Wed Dec 30'09 - By Pat Hewitt, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - The big Arctic melt of...

Good News for Bees (At Least American Ones): Judge Bans Chemical

Contact: Josh Mogerman
Bee-toxic Movento pulled from market for proper evaluation.
Honey bee hive. l.p. photo
NEW YORK (December 29, 2009) – A pesticide that could be dangerously toxic to America’s honey bees must be pulled from store shelves as a result of a suit filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Xerces Society. In an order issued last week, a federal court in New York invalidated EPA’s approval of the pesticide spirotetramat (manufactured by Bayer CropScience under the trade names Movento and Ultor) and ordered the agency to reevaluate the chemical in compliance with the law. The court’s order goes into effect on January 15, 2010, and makes future sales of Movento illegal in the United States .
“This sends EPA and Bayer back to the drawing board to reconsider the potential harm to bees caused by this new pesticide,” said NRDC Senior Attorney Aaron Colangelo. “EPA admitted to approving the pesticide illegally, but argued that its violations of the law should have no consequences. The Court disagreed and ordered the pesticide to be taken off the market until it has been properly evaluated. Bayer should not be permitted to run what amounts to an uncontrolled experiment on bees across the country without full consideration of the consequences.”
In June 2008, EPA approved Movento for nationwide use on hundreds of different crops, including apples, pears, peaches, oranges, tomatoes, grapes, strawberries, almonds, and spinach. The approval process went forward without the advance notice and opportunity for public comment that is required by federal law and EPA’s own regulations. In addition, EPA failed to evaluate fully the potential damage to the nation’s already beleaguered bee populations or conduct the required analysis of the pesticide’s economic, environmental, and social costs.
Beekeepers and scientists have expressed concern over Movento’s potential impact on beneficial insects such as honey bees. The pesticide impairs the insect’s ability to reproduce. EPA’s review of Bayer’s scientific studies found that trace residues of Movento brought back to the hive by adult bees could cause “significant mortality” and “massive perturbation” to young honeybees (larvae).
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), bees pollinate $15 billion worth of crops grown in America . USDA also claims that one out of every three mouthfuls of food in the typical American diet has a connection to bee pollination. Yet bee colonies in the United States have seen significant declines in recent years due to a combination of stressors, almost certainly including insecticide exposure.
“This case underscores the need for us to re-examine how we evaluate the impact of pesticides and other chemicals in the environment,” said Colangelo. “In approving Movento, EPA identified but ignored potentially serious harms to bees and other pollinators. We are in the midst of a pollinator crisis, with more than a third of our colonies disappearing in recent years. Given how important these creatures are to our food supply, we simply cannot look past these sorts of problems.”
The court decision is available at
More information on threats to honey bees at
# # #
The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.3 million members and online activists, served from offices in New York , Washington , Chicago , Los Angeles , San Francisco and Beijing .
Josh Mogerman
Senior Media Associate
Natural Resources Defense Council
Midwest Program
Editor's Note: This is good, but perhaps not great news. For one thing, it is a US decision. It will obviously not be binding in CA, where the stuff has been on the market since last summer. If we could each let our respective MPs/MLAs know about our concerns, maybe our reluctant regulators in this country could do something similar. Besides, the nastiest chemical known to bees, at least up until "Movento," the neonicotinoid family, continues to be used with abandon, in North America! 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.

Science left behind in Copenhagen Coverage

Dec. 30 '09 Comment: By thegreenpages contributing editor Fraser Los

After all the late-night hand-wringing by bleary-eyed world leaders, the Copenhagen climate conference...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Canada Successfully Destroys Parody Websites

Climate Policy Remains Deplorable - by The Yes Men

The government of Canada has used...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Greenpeace Will Keep up Pressure on Global Warming

Associated Press Writer

JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- Greenpeace will keep up...

Maple Syrup Output at Record High: StatsCan

MB Co-Operator - 12/24/2009
Canada’s production of maple syrup...

(Above) A sugar bush in Manitoba. These Manitoba maples are the workhorse of producers here. But the "industry" on the Prairies is so small in does not even warrant a mention in Stats Can figures. However, as a Manitoba producer myself for many years, I can attest that the product itself is just fine! l.p.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Escape from Copenhagen

Worldwatch Institute - by Christopher Flavin on Dec. 23, '09

President Obama's speech in Copenhagen last Friday included a ...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Poem For Stephen

– by Larry Powell

‘Twas the night before Christmas
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.

Hope this thaw lasts 'til May!”

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?

Tarsands Pollution Exceeds Official Estimates: Study

The Canadian Press - Bob Weber Dec. 7'09

EDMONTON – An independent study suggests pollution from...

Canada geese fly over an open pit of the tar sands
Courtesy of BeautifulDesruction

Seed Behemoth Monsanto Stumbles Into Antitrust Trouble

16 Dec 2009 - by Tom Philpott - Grist
Crop sprayer - l.p. photo
Even as it bombards the airwaves and magazine ad pages to tout its commitment to “sustainable agriculture,” GMO seed giant Monsanto...

BC Wilderness Committee Calls for Climate Action

Ken Wu Speaks out for Old Growth at Copenhagen Climate Talks

Wilderness Committee campaigner Ken Wu is in Copenhagen, drawing attention to the value of our remaining ancient forests on Vancouver Island for storing carbon. This past week he joined hundreds of thousands of protesters calling for Canada’s government to take real action on climate change.

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.


by CHARLES CAMPBELL - Dogwood Initiative

Enbridge can't hide the fact that their Northern Gateway

pipeline and tanker project has been delayed yet again.

Could Dogwood supporters have anything to do with it?

Read More . . .

A Billion People's Water at Risk From Melting Ice - Al Gore

AFP. Posted December 14, 2009. At UN climate talks Monday, Gore warned that record melting...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Youth and Indigenous People Escalate Protests Inside the UN


Echoing the words of Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed (We will not...

Climate Justice - Take Action for People & the Planet

Council of Canadians reporting from Copenhagen...


Manitoba News Release

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 -

Global Protests Demand Action on Climate Change

COPENHAGEN (AFP) - Hundreds of thousands of activists across...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Can Wind Power the World?

Thu May. 19, 2005 - Mother Jones

Two Stanford researchers have put out a new scientific study suggesting that the potential for wind-driven energy is actually many times....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Canada's Trade Trumps Environment

Winnipeg Free Press - By: Frances Russell - 9/12/2009
AB tarpond, courtesy

Canada should be setting climate change policy...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Greenhouse Gases Imperil Health, E.P.A. Announces

NY Times - John Broder - Dec. 7-'09
WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency has paved the way for regulation of carbon.....

EPA to Strengthen Oversight of Pesticide’s Impact on Children and Farmworkers


WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to strengthen…

(Editor's note: Perhaps our Canadian regulators could listen and learn....l.p.)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tarsands Adding Carcinogens to Athabasca River: Study

CBC - De 7'09
A study of water quality at 60 sites along the Athabasca River and its tributaries makes it clear...
Climate demo - Regina SK
Summer - '09 (l.p. photo)

Hog Industry on the Ropes

by Elecia Chrunik - THE SASQUATCH - Dec/Jan '09

The Canadian hog industry is in trouble. Supply is...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Canada Must do More to Confront Climate Crisis - Science Matters

R. Turgano on December 4, 2009

By David Suzuki with Faisal Moola.

People who deny the reality of human-caused global warming are wetting their...

Larry's Letter to the Free Press Re;"ClimateGate"

Dear Editor - I must say I wasn't surprised when I read "The View from the West" recently, called "Climate Skeptics Turn up the Heat;" especially considering where it came from. It came from Ken Green, a "scholar" from that oh-so-scientific body, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).
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.

Larry Powell
Roblin MB

Warm Weather Puts Winter 'Lifeline' for Northern Manitoba Communities at Risk

Chinta Puxley, CP - 6/12/2009
WINNIPEG - The cost of everything from milk to gas in northern..
(Ed's. note: This wouldn't be climate change would it? Naaah! That's just bunk!)

(Ice Road photo courtesy
of Google Images.)

UN Hits Back at Climate Skeptics

BBC News 5 - Dec 2009

The UN's official panel on climate change has hit back...

Popular Herbicide Affects Sexual Development in Frogs, Research Finds

ScienceDaily (Dec. 5, 2009) — The controversy surrounding the unintended effects of...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Canada's Image Lies in Tatters

George Monbiot - Guardian UK No. 30-'09
It is now to climate what Japan is to whaling...

(Editor's note: One right-wing blogger has called this story "a flatulent sermon." Really? I think it's bang on! l.p.)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

US gives Shell Green Light for Offshore Oil Drilling in the Arctic

Conservationists say the decision by the Obama administration to allow drilling in the Beaufort Sea repeats Bush era mistakes...

Federal Funding for Farmers' Markets

Winnipeg Free Press - By: Staff Writer - 28/11/2009

The federal government will spend...

(l.p. photo)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Going Green Means Having Fewer Kids

By Emily Badger, Posted Oc. 19'09 - Alternet

There are already just too many people on the planet. What are we supposed to do about it?....

Climate Rage

By Naomi Klein - November 11th, 2009 - Published in Rolling Stone

One last chance to save the world—for months, that's how the United Nations summit on climate change....

The Story of Stuff (Video)

Watch this amazing video, "The Story of Stuff - How the World Works."

It pretty much tells it all. l.p.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Genetically Engineered Crops = Increased Pesticide Use

November 2009 - Charles Benbrook, Ph.D. 
Chief Scientist - 
The Organic Center

Genetically-engineered corn, soybeans, and cotton now account for...

Millions of indigenous people continue to farm and raise animals the ancient way, the organic way.

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.

Learn more about indigenous peoples in the Americas and their contribution to sustainable agriculture here!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Activists Target "World of Coca-Cola"

Nov.25-'09 - By Matthew Cardinale - IPS
ATLANTA, Georgia, Nov 24 (IPS) - Activists from the U.S. and Colombia are targeting the World of Coca-Cola museum, located...

Climate Destroyer Shut Down by Activists in Indonesian Rainforest

Nov.25 - '09 - Greenpeace

With just 12 days before the critical UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen, our activists are taking...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mankind Using Earth's Resources at Alarming Rate

Nov. 24, 2009 - Agence France Presse

WASHINGTON - Humanity would need five Earths to produce the resources needed if everyone lived as profligately as Americans...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Antarctic Ice Loss Vaster, Faster Than Thought: Study

Monday, 23 November 2009 - the Independent - UK

The East Antarctic icesheet, once seen as largely unaffected by global warming, has...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Manitoba Extends Stubble-Burning Permit Requirement

Staff - MB Co-Operator - 11/19/2009
"Unusually late" autumn weather has led Manitoba's agriculture department to extend the requirement...

Photo courtesy of

The War on Soy: Why the 'Miracle Food' May Be a Health Risk and Environmental Nightmare

By Tara Lohan, AlterNet. Posted No. 21, 2009.
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, November 20, 2009

The Tragedy of Drive-'Thrus'

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.

New Trends Report: Fuel Economy Increases as CO2 Decreases

November 20, 2009 - EPA
Report tracks a five-year upswing in fuel efficiency

WASHINGTON - For the fifth consecutive year, EPA is reporting an increase in fuel efficiency with a corresponding decrease in average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for new cars and light duty trucks. This marks the first time that data for CO2 emissions are included in the annual report, “Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 through 2009”.

“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:


Note: If a link above doesn't work, please copy and paste the URL into a browser.

Statisticians Reject Global Cooling

By SETH BORENSTEIN - The Associated Press - Oc 26-'09

WASHINGTON — Have you heard that the world is
now cooling instead of..

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Biotech Crops Cause Big Jump in Pesticide Use-Report

Tue Nov 17, 2009 - By Carey Gillam

KANSAS CITY, Nov 17 (Reuters) - The rapid adoption by U.S. farmers of genetically engineered corn, soybeans and cotton has promoted...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Why Bees Vanish

ISIS Press Release 16/11/09

A film that tries to get to the bottom of
the mystery of the disappearing bees with some success

Sam Burcher
l.p. PinP photo
The Vanishing of the Bees [1] 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).
Box 1
What you need to know about bees
The UK bee economy is worth £165 million annually [3]. The British Beekeeping Association (BBKA) estimates that it would require 30 million humans to take over the job of pollinating British crops. DEFRA (The Department of Food and Rural Affairs) claim that CCD has not yet hit the UK. However the BBKA’s survey says that thirty three percent or one in three of the UK’s 240 000 beehives were lost in the winter and spring of 2008. This compares to a previous annual average of five to ten percent losses. Buglife-The English Conservation Trust - has published a report which says that neonicotinoids do damage honeybee health. Buglife, ISIS, The Soil Association and The Pesticides Action Network (PAN) have all called for a suspension of all products containing neonicotinoids in outdoor environments [4]. Worldwide bees pollinate some ninety commercial crops including fruits, vegetables and alfalfa, a major food source for cattle. In China, in the province of Sichuan, pear trees have been pollinated by hand after the overuse of pesticides in the 1980’s wiped out the honeybee population. In the USA
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 [5]. 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 [6] (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 [7] (see Requiem for the Honeybee SiS 34).

Big Pharma plays a big part in bee decline

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 [8]. 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 [9]. 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
Bayer’s discretion.

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Transnationals Contribute To HUNGER

Farmers provide SOLUTIONS
Press release - La Via Campesina (Rome, 15
th 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, November 15, 2009

APEC Leaders Douse Hopes on Climate Pact

Sun Nov 15

SINGAPORE (AFP) - Asia-Pacific leaders on Sunday buried hopes a key UN meeting next month would forge...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Monsanto Wins Legal Battle, May Lose War

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION - By: Laura Rance - 14/11/2009

A few farmers in Ontario are learning the hard way after being found guilty of infringing on Monsanto's...

Manitoba's Green-Energy Projects are Sucking Wind

Winnipeg Free Press - By: Mary Agnes Welch - 14/11/2009
High hopes for wind die down....

Links Between Oil Activity, Alberta Quakes Studied

CALGARY (CBC) - Fri Nov 13 - A Calgary scientist is looking for links between oil and gas activity and...

Did Big Oil Win the War in Iraq?

By Antonia Juhasz, AlterNet. Posted November 14, 2009.

As U.S. and British oil companies sign contracts with the Iraqi government, is it time to declare Big Oil...

Burying Carbon Dioxide in Underground Saline Aquifers: Political Folly or Climate Change Solution?

TORONTO , Sept. 23 /CNW/ - Multi-billion dollar programs backed by the Alberta and Canadian governments to bury....

Friday, November 13, 2009

Important Forum on GMOs

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009, Ottawa 7-9 PM

The Canadian Biotechnology Action Network Expert Lecture Series presents:

Unsafe Genetically Modified Corn?
Canada's lack of assessment for
Monsanto's "SmartStax" GM corn

Come and hear what the experts have to say about the problems with Canada's regulation of GM foods.

Featuring preeminent scientists:

Dr. Michael Hansen, Consumers Union, US
Dr. Ricarda Steinbrecher, Federation of German Scientists
with Dr. Peter Andree, Carleton University, on Canadian regulation
Moderator: Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network

Tuesday, December 1st 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Saint Paul University Amphitheatre, Ottawa
223 Main Street (side door off parking lot)
Suggested Donation $10. Everyone Welcome. Wheelchair Accessible.

This event will be web broadcast at

  • There is stark disagreement on how to assess the safety of Monsanto’s new eight-trait GM corn called “SmartStax”.
  • Health Canada did not assess “SmartStax” corn for human health safety because it does not classify “SmartStax” as a “Novel Food” - this is because they have already approved the eight GM traits individually in separate crops.
  • Does Health Canada need to assess the safety of this stacked trait GM food? Is Health Canada contradicting the UN international Codex food safety guideline?
  • For more information: Lucy Sharratt 613 241 2267 ext. 6 ·
Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)
Collaborative Campaigning for Food Sovereignty and Environmental Justice
431 Gilmour Street, Second Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K2P 0R5
Phone: 613 241 2267 ext.6
Fax: 613 241 2506

Join the Global Rejection of GE Wheat!

Donate today to support the campaign

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Feds' Biofuel Fund Backs Sask. Ethanol Maker

MB Co-Operator - N0.11'09
A federal biofuels incentive fund has followed through on...
(This will be the largest "wheat-ethanol" plant in North America.) Please also read "Bursting the Ethanol Bubble."

Wheatfield photo by l.p.

First Turbine Lowered Into Bay of Fundy

NOVA.SCOTIA (CBC) - Nov. 12'09

A turbine that will test the potential of tidal power was installed...

Shooting Itself in the Foot, Brazil Spreads Concrete Through the Rainforest

Stephanie Brault - Council on Hemispheric Affairs
Depletion of the Amazon Rainforest is not a new concern...

Deforested area for
agricultural in State
of Mato Grosso, Brazil.
(flickr photo by leoffreitas)

Earth's Worst Climate Change Laggards. Guess Who?

USA Coal VS Canada Tar Sands? - America's dirty little secret

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.”

The Arctic may be sea-ice-free in summer by the 2030s

  Nature Communications                                                 Photo by Patrick Kelley   The Arctic could be sea-ice-free during th...