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.)

Massive B.C. coal mines are about to get a new owner. Why some are worried about Glencore’s record

THE NARWHAL Coal mine at Tumbler Ridge, B.C.  Jeffrey Wynne ,      If the sale goes through, the company will inherit a contamination proble...