Showing posts from March, 2009

Is the Harper Deregulation Agenda Running Amok?

New Bill threatens Canada’s grain safety and quality: study March 31, 2009 OTTAWA—A controversial bill to change Canada’s grain regulatory system threatens Canada’s grain safety and quality, says a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). "Threatened Harvest: Protecting Canada’s World-Class Grain System" is available from the CCPA website. (Regina Leader-Post photo)

A Question for Premier Doer and Manitoba Hydro

Dam Building Is Booming, But Is it the Right Path to Clean Energy? By David Biello, Yale Environment 360. Posted February 24, 2009. Dam proponents are touting hydropower as renewable energy in an era of global warming. But the human and environmental costs are high. (China's 3-Gorges, the largest hydro dam in the world. Wikipedia photo) (Story Courtesy of Alternet.) (Read more by clicking headline.)

Hamburgers, The "Hummers of Food" in Global Warming?

Courtesy of CHICAGO - When it comes to global warming, hamburgers are the Hummers of ... (Photo by AFP)

Big Cattle Operation Worries Local Resident - by Larry Powell

(See update in newer post.) A long-time resident of the Roblin area of western Manitoba, Ray Spencer, has asked the Manitoba Department of Water Stewardship to look into an intensive livestock operation north of the town, near Boggy Creek. The cattle in question with Langen Lk. in b.g. He says too many cattle (perhaps hundreds) are being fed in a field which slopes directly into Langen Lake, used for years by anglers in the area. Many are members of the local San Clara/Boggy Creek Metis community. The Lake itself was named for Pat Langen, who used to live nearby. Spencer, an angler, hunting guide, retired farmer and former livestock specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, has talked to some of the people who fish there. And they are worried the waste from the cattle is polluting the lake. (r.) He says some even fear the lake, noted for its walleye, may even die in a few years as a result. Another Beasley herd in the area, but away from the lake. Hundreds of Black Angus cattle are w

"Calving" Ice Sheet Worries Top Climate Scientist

by Larry Powell  BRANDON, MB. MAR. 19-'09.   A prominent climate scientist says an unforeseen phenomenon is quickly eroding the Greenland Ice Sheet. David Barber ( PinP  photo - above.) is the Canada Research Chair in Arctic System Science at the University of Manitoba and leader of the largest polar project in the world, studying climate change in the Arctic. Prof. Barber says many scientists have believed the sheet is simply  melting as global warming takes its toll. What is actually happening is, torrents of melt-water on the surface are finding their way down, through fissures, to the bottom. Photo credit - UNEP There, they act as "lubricants," breaking the ice apart and causing it, as he puts it to "calve" many small icebergs into the ocean at a rapid rate. Barber believes the icebergs sliding into the sea in this way, could raise sea levels by as much as six meters. That's enough, he warns, to damage several large coastal cities! He further predi


Sounds like protests and expressions of concern do work, once in a while! But please note the release, below, fails to mention that the government, without consultation, gave the company permission in early January to take its pollution controls offline until June. l.p. ======= Manitoba News Release ............................................................ March 16, 2009 The province is requesting the Clean Environment Commission (CEC) to review Louisiana Pacific's request for permanent alterations to its Swan Valley oriented strand board plant's Environment Act licence. "I have directed the Clean Environment Commission to review Louisiana Pacific's request," Conservation Minister Stan Struthers said. "The CEC will thoroughly examine the plant's proposal and will return with a recommendation on the request." Louisiana Pacific Swan River filed a request on Jan. 19 that its licence be altered to allow for the decommissioning of its regenerative the


Breaking News from Environmental Defense: (Photo courtesy Environmental Defense) Extensive testing by Health Canada scientists has revealed that bisphenol A(BPA), the infamous hormone-mimicking chemical banned from baby bottles in Canada and placed on the Federal List of Toxic Substances late last year, has been detected at significant levels in soft drinks. The study, published in the January issue of the Journal of Agriculture & Food Chemistry' analyzed BPA levels in 72 samples of canned drinks. (Click on headline to read full story.)

It's Global Warming, Stupid!

- by Larry Powell 1997 Red River flood turned St. Adolphe into an island So I hear another flood "of biblical proportions" could be headed Manitoba way! A swollen Red River already has officials in North Dakota and even our province on high alert. Word is this one could be as bad or even worse, (if that's possible) than the one in '97 that brought tragedy and grief to both farmers and small town residents in the flood plain. They called the one back then "the worst of the century," following what had been "the worst blizzard of all-time." (Or was it the other way around?) Whichever the case, it makes me feel like screaming, "It's climate change, stupid!" What is it going to take for you politicians and you, "average Joes" to wake up from your stupor and see the light? (That industry and big polluting corporations do nothing, is no surprise. I expect better of you.) As you watch growing evidence of the climate


This issue has been a pet pee, er, I mean peeve of mine for years! - PLT ======= Courtesy ALTERNET. By Laurie David and Allen Hershkowitz . Posted March 11, 2009 . Each flush of a urinal wastes more than a gallon of water, millions of times each day. It's time to go waterless.

Are We Breeding Ourselves to Extinction?

By Chris Hedges, Truthdig. Posted March 11, 2009. Cutting back on fossil fuels, shutting down our coal plants, and building seas of wind turbines, will be useless unless we nip population growth. All measures to thwart the degradation and destruction of our ecosystem will be useless if we do not cut population growth. By 2050, if we continue to reproduce at the current rate, the planet will have between 8 billion and 10 billion people, according to a recent U.N. forecast. This is a 50 percent increase. And yet government-commissioned reviews, such as the Stern report in Britain, do not mention the word population. Books and documentaries that deal with the climate crisis, including Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," fail to discuss the danger of population growth. This omission is odd, given that a doubling in population, even if we cut back on the use of fossil fuels, shut down all our coal-burning power plants and build seas of wind turbines, will plunge us into an age


THE BOREAL ACTION PROJECT. 205-180 Market Avenue Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R3B 0P7 Susanne McCrea (204) 297-0321 Coordinator For immediate release MARCH 6, 2009 Manitoba’s Louisiana Pacific Plant Takes Pollution Controls Offline Unacceptable in the U.S. Even the neighbours of Louisiana Pacific’s Swan River OSB plant didn’t know the pollution controls had been taken offline, until local resident, Margaret Romak went and knocked on some doors. Louisiana Pacific’s Swan Valley OSB mill, near Minitonas, has been releasing more toxic chemicals into the air since, last January. “I stopped at a house about one mile in each of the four directions from the plant. Not one person knew that this had already been done”, said Romak. “There is something very badly wrong with that. The Province granted “temporary” discontinuation of the RTO pollution control system to LP, in spite of the Clean Environment Commission’s insistence on it as a condition of the company’s operation in the province. “There


Just click here to find out how!


Some 8 years or so ago, natural gas came to Swan River, primarily as an aid to LP because this would be cheaper than the propane that the Company was using to power its RTOs. My recollection is that LP were to use about 88% of the gas initially, per figures provided to the Public Utilities Board. LP put in a bit of money, I think $300,000 or something. The feds were in for about $1.7 million, the province for $1.7 million, and local ratepayers for about $1.7 million. At the time, my calculation was that the three local ratepayers who were not on gas would subsidize the one ratepayer who signed up to the tune of about $1000 each, or $3000. Some absurd estimate of ultimate signup by local ratepayers was presented to the Board, perhaps 8 of 10; it never happened. Bottom line on this issue, if the province allows LP to shut down its RTOs (justifiably or otherwise), this will represent an approximate $5 million subsidy to LP that will be mostly lost. This subsidy occurred un