Friday, 30 April 2010

Officials Tour Spill Area, Criticize BP’s Response

HOUSTON CHRONICLE - April 30, 2010

WASHINGTON — As oil began...



Dr. Erica Miller, with Tri-State
Bird Rescue and Research,
treats a Northern Gannet bird,
covered in oil from the massive spill. (AP)

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Empty Skies Proved That Airports Cause Pollution, say Researchers

By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor and Phil Boucher - the Independent - Thurs. 22 April'10

Scientists have used...

British Airways planes
parked at Heathrow.

Big Oil Fought Off New Safety Rules Before Rig Explosion

Marcus Baram - Marcus@huffingtonpost.com

As families mourn...

Monday, 26 April 2010

New Peril in Oilpatch

by Frances Russell - Winnipeg Free Press - Apr 21 - '10

The Alberta oilpatch recently took two more giant steps toward...

GM Crops Go to US High Court

Environmental Laws on the Line
Matthew Berger - WASHINGTON, 26 Apr (IPS)

The U.S. Supreme Court will...

Thursday, 22 April 2010

News Release: Manitoba Supports Sustainable Agriculture Practices says Struthers ...






Manitoba News Release
............................................................
April 22, 2010
- - -
Over 180 Projects Approved
For 2009-10 and 2010-11

The Manitoba Sustainable Agriculture Practices Program (MSAPP) has completed its first intake of applications for beneficial management practice (BMP) incentive funding for the 2010-11 fiscal year, Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Stan Struthers announced today.

"The MSAPP is a incentive-based program announced by the province in 2008 to encourage producers to adopt and implement BMPs to help reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change," said Struthers "The MSAPP is part of our commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2012 to help achieve its climate change objectives and transition to a low-carbon and green economy."

To date, over 180 sustainable agriculture projects have been
approved with Manitoba producers eligible for payments of over $2 million. Many different projects from every region of the province have been approved including funding for reduced GHG emissions from manure storage, reduced tillage, manure land application, perennial cover for sensitive land, spring fertilizer application, and improved pasture and forage quality.

When complete, it is expected these new projects will provide environmental benefits for both the individual participant and for all Manitobans. The investment in these projects will continue to provide improvements in air, water and soil quality by reducing nutrient and pathogen loss to the environment, preventing soil erosion and improving biodiversity and wildlife habitats, said Struthers.

The total GHG reductions from the actions taken so far by Manitoba producers are estimated at 82,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent over the life of the program to approximately 59,000 tonnes in 2009-10 and 23,250 tonnes in 2010-11. GHG emissions from agriculture soils fluctuate from year to year because the types of crops grown affect the amount of fertilizer applied as well as the amount of crop residue returned to the soil after harvest.

For many years, prior to the introduction of the MSAPP, Manitoba producers adopted and implemented BMPs. These included but were not limited to:
- conservation tillage;
- cover crops;
- organic farming;
- effective nutrient management;
- manure management, handling and proper storage; and
- shelterbelts and riparian buffers

The MSAPP has seen an overwhelming response from agricultural producers in Manitoba, said Struthers, adding the program is cost shared with producers and the positive response demonstrates the value Manitoba producers place in making their operations more environmentally sustainable. The MSAPP will run until March 31, 2012.

- 30 -

World Will Completely Miss 2010 Biodiversity Target

John Mulrow | Apr 22, 2010 - Worldwatch Institute

Species classified by...

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Jury Tells Bayer to Pay Ark. Rice Farmers $48M

TOM PARSONS - Source: AP News - Apr 15, 2010

Jury awards Ark. farmers $48M in lawsuit...

Bolivian President Blames Capitalism for Global Warming

COCHABAMBA, Bolivia, April 20, 2010 (ENS)
Bolivian President Evo Morales said capitalism is to...

Pres. Morales - (Photo courtesy ABI)

Texas Water Wars

By Billie Greenwood - Allvoices - Fort Stockton : TX : USA - Apr 20, 2010

“Right of Capture” sparks new battle over endangered Rio Grande...

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Shacks May be Iced

By: Sean Ledwich - Wpg. Free Press - 20/04/2010

St. Clements seeks ban after fishers leave 'pigsty'...

EDITOR'S NOTE: Our assault on Mother Earth goes well beyond the climate change we are causing with our greenhouse gas emissions. Scandalous! l.p.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Trade deal to eliminate right to save seeds?

Canadian Biotechnology Action Network - Apr. 19 - 2010

Trade deal to eliminate right to save seeds?

MEDIA RELEASE – For Immediate Release

April 19, 2010

Trade Justice Network releases secret draft of Canada-European Union free trade agreement, makes demands of Canadian and European governments

Ottawa, April 19 – As the third round of Canada-European Union free trade negotiations commence the newly formed Trade Justice Network today publicly released the draft text of the proposed Canada-European Union Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) – the most significant bilateral trade negotiation since the NAFTA. The network is raising serious concerns about the agreement’s potential impact on public and environmental policy, and public services in both Canada and Europe, among other issues, and has outlined a set of demands that must be met before negotiations are allowed to continue.

Controversial provisions in the draft text would open Canada’s telecommunications sector to full foreign ownership, stop municipal governments from implementing local or ethical procurement strategies, and require a burdensome necessity test for prudential financial measures designed to help governments mitigate or avoid banking and financial crises. The text also presents a direct attack on Ontario’s Green Energy Act, and it would virtually eliminate the rights of farmers to save, reuse and sell seed, providing biotech, pharmaceutical, pesticide, seed and grain companies powerful new tools to essentially decide who should farm and how.

Canadian negotiators have also included a controversial investor-state dispute mechanism like the one in NAFTA. The Chapter 11 dispute process has allowed and encouraged large multinationals to sue North American governments for compensation against public health and environmental policies that limit corporate profits.

The Trade Justice Network has outlined a list of 11 demands that its members feel must be met in any trade deal with Europe. These include: a comprehensive impact assessment of the deal on the economy, jobs, poverty, gender, human rights, farmers, culture and the environment; a fundamental protection for public services and expansion of social policy; a recognition of and protection for the right to use public procurement as an economic development tool, and of the right to regulate in the public interest based on the precautionary principle; a commitment to strengthen labour and environmental protections and make them as binding, if not more binding, than investor guarantees, and a recognition of the primacy of Indigenous Rights over corporate rights in Indigenous lands, territories and waters.

The Trade Justice Network will hold a series of public forums over the course of the week to further discuss the proposed trade deal while official negotiations are taking place in Ottawa. Forums are scheduled to take place in Ottawa (April 19), Montreal (April 20) and Toronto (April 21).

For more information on the public forums (times and locations), or to learn more about the Trade Justice Network and read the civil society declaration on the CETA, visit: www.tradejustice.ca.

A full copy of the consolidated draft negotiating text has been posted on the Trade Justice Network website as well and is now available.

-30-

For more information: Stuart Trew, Council of Canadians (647) 222-9782; Angelo DiCaro, Canadian Auto Workers (416) 606-6311.

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
coordinator@cban.ca
www.cban.ca

Your actions worked! MPs voted for Bill C-474! (it will now be studied by the Agriculture Committee.)
For more updates and action http://www.cban.ca/474
Donate today http://www.cban.ca/donate

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Critics of GM Crops Vindicated Over Time

by Laura Rance - Winnipeg Free Press - Apr. 17-2010
A GM canola field in Manitoba. l.p. photo
Multinationals control seed supply...

NASA Sees Rapid Spread in Greenland Ice Loss

A new international study finds that ice...
=====

EDITOR'S NOTE: Look at the surveillance photos on this site and see what you think.
Has NASA been "photo-shopping" again? I DOUBT IT! This is real, folks! l.p.


Thursday, 15 April 2010

News Release Bill C-474







Dear Friend,

Thank you very much for your support of my Private Members Bill (PMB), C-474 - An Act respecting seeds regulations (analysis of potential harm). I have taken the liberty of providing you with my news release on this issue.

Sincerely,

Alex Atamanenko, MP
BC Southern Interior

NDP Agriculture critic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

APRIL 15, 2010

HISTORIC NDP GMO Bill PASSES CRUCIAL VOTE

Law would protect farmers by ensuring export markets are considered before GMO approval

OTTAWA – A private members bill to protect farmers by calling for an analysis of potential harm to export markets prior to approving new genetically engineered seeds has passed second reading in the House of Commons. Bill C-474, proposed by New Democrat Agriculture Critic Alex Atamanenko (BC-Southern Interior), will move to committee for further study.

“Despite intense lobbying efforts by the biotech industry and the Conservative government to nip this bill in the bud, the opposition parties voted instead to protect the economic interests of farmers,” said Atamanenko. “I couldn’t be happier that Parliament has made this historic decision.”

This is the first time a bill to change the rules on GMOs has passed second reading in the House.

Atamanenko believes that the government‘s science-only approach to how GMO’s are regulated is irresponsible because it completely ignores market considerations.

“It was the government’s lax regulatory process that allowed GE Triffid flax to shut out Canadian flax exports from its key markets and hurt farmers,” explained Atamanenko. “For the first time, Parliament has a chance to seriously consider a regulatory mechanism that will ensure farmers are never again faced with rejection in our export markets because we allow the introduction of GE technologies that they have not approved.”

- 30 -

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

A Somber "Global Warning" for Manitoba

by Larry Powell

An environmental think-tank is warning that the province of Manitoba faces more frequent and severe droughts and floods, due to climate change.The Winnipeg-based International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), singles out Lake Winnipeg, already besieged by a number of environmental problems, as being particularly vulnerable to further damage as a result of these changes.

It is believed to be the first time such a research group has so clearly stated a link between global warming and such obvious consequences as the massive, frequent and catastrophic flooding which has occurred on the Red River over the past century or so.

The Institute has done what it calls "a prairie-wide cumulative stress analysis" of prairie water resources. It finds a significant part of southern Manitoba, including much of the Red River Valley (the Red flows into Lake Winnipeg), suffers from a high demand for water, a high risk of damage to water quality and, despite the catastrophic flooding events, an actual shortage of supply!

And, even with more frequent ands severe rainstorms, the IISD predicts problems for agriculture due to increasing drought and negative water quality impacts. This is because these irregular and extreme storms will produce heavy nutrient loads and longer periods of low flow in streams and rivers. (Nutrients such as phosphorous have, for years, been lending to huge growths of algae In Lake Winnipeg. The algae, in turn, clog the lake and rob it of oxygen, harming fish life.)

Increasing problems brought on by climate change, adds the IISD, will also bring increasing tension over the widespread practice by farmers of digging drainage ditches on their land to get rid of excess water. It says such drainage conflicts with the idea of adapting to climate change by storing runoff water for use later.

In an interview with the Winnipeg Free Press, the Institute's lead researcher on the project, Dr. Hank Venema, said, "It's in the agricultural industry's best interests not to do this, (drainage) given the nature of climate-change projections. But those guys are under extreme pressures to squeeze profits out of increasingly small margins," he told the paper.

The Institute is also critical of short-term measures like government money for drainage projects, flood protection and even disaster assistance after flooding, when it might have been better used for long-term management and governance of watersheds.

The study suggests there should be a major shift away from what it calls our present "hard path" approach to water management. This places the emphasis on big, expensive water projects, which are centrally managed, to meet whatever the demand might be.

The Institute calls instead for a "soft path" philosophy, which would develop more evenly distributed, relatively small-scale energy sources. Traditionally, "soft-path" systems stress conservation and the careful managing of the demand side.

Despite this gloomy and uncertain era of climate change we are now living through, the Institute sounds this note of optomism in its summary;

"We propose that Manitoba is now on the cusp of a new era of water policy (the Adaptation Era), where the nature of climate change impacts makes the rationale for reintegrating across the land-water divide obvious. Increased awareness that 
climate change exacerbates Lake Winnipeg eutrophication will reinforce high-level political commitment to an integrated response."

Friday, 9 April 2010

Tar Sands Operations Killing More Than Ducks

Shared by: F. Los on April 9, 2010 - thegreenpages.ca

Edmonton - An information request has forced the Alberta government….

A flock of Canada Geese over open pit mining operations. There's considerable debate whether wildlife
is effectively being kept separate from the mining operations & ponds of toxic water. beautifuldestruction.ca

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Canada's Hemp Acres on the Rise

Phil Franz-Warkentin - 4/7/2010 Corrected, April 7 (Resource News International)

Canadian farmers are...


Manitoba hemp crop.
l.p. photo
Please also read
"Save the Earth. Time to Substitute Hemp for Oil."

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Manitoba Supports First-of-its-Kind Hemp Processing Plant in Gilbert Plains: Struthers

GILBERT PLAINS—The Province of Manitoba is providing $500,000 to Plains Industrial Hemp Processing in support of a new, innovative project designed to process hemp, Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Stan Struthers announced here today.
A Manitoba hemp crop.
l.p. photo

"The Province of Manitoba is committed to funding innovative agricultural initiatives and projects," said Struthers. "This hemp processing project is a first of its kind in Canada and we are proud that it will be located here in Manitoba."

Plains Industrial Hemp Processing currently manufactures
several hemp-based products such as hemp pellets, animal bedding and insulation.

"Once Plains Industrial Hemp Processing builds its new hemp fibre processing plant, it will have the capacity to process up to 18,000 metric tonnes of hemp per year," said Struthers. "Not only will this create jobs for local residents but it will give young people a reason to stay in our rural communities and provide opportunities for farmers to diversify."

The provincial funding of $500,000 is provided through the Rural Economic Development Initiative.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Our Obsession With Stuff Is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities and Our Health

Free Press, Simon & Schuster / By Annie Leonard / Apr 4 - '10
A dump in Alaska. National Geographic.

The White House Egg Roll v. Gulag Ag

CounterPunch Diary - By ALEXANDER COCKBURN - Apr 4 '10

Editor's note: More death by fire at a factory farm. l.p.

Grounded Ship: 3km Oil Spill on Great Barrier Reef

The Sydney Morning Herald - MARISSA CALLIGEROS - Ap 4 '10

Editor's note: The slow death of our planet continues. l.p.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Coal-Fired Plants Gulp 1.5 Trillion Gallons of Water and We're Left to Drink the Dirty Backwash

AlterNet / By Jeff Biggers

In many respects, some folks might use more water flicking on their lights, than chugging...

Raw Sewage May Hit Rivers, Winnipeg Warns

By: Staff Writer - 4/04/201 - Winnipeg Free Press

Swollen river levels coupled with some moderate precipitation have led to a high…

Renewable Energy Catches on in Red America

Amanda Friedman - OnEarth Fe 28 - '10

Kern County, California, went Republican by….

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Canadian Court Slams Trump Climate Advisor in Successful Libel Case

DESMOG CLEARING THE PR POLLUTION THAT CLOUDS CLIMATE SCIENCE Dr. Andrew Weaver, Nobel Prize-winning scientist & BC Green Party ...