Friday, July 30, 2010

Oil Industry Safety Record Blown Open

• Suzanne Goldenberg,, 29 July 2010

The National Wildlife Federation says....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Canada Tries to Peddle Questionable Beef Overseas

Monday, July 26th, 2010 - Council of Canadians
One of the Harper government’s main...

EDITOR'S NOTE: Once again, Harper-Dearest lets trade trump human health and safety! l.p.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Depleted Uranium Weapons Behind Rise in Cancer

Global Research, July 27, 2010

A research study on the cause of...

Nasty, Poisonous Plant Causes Burns, Blindness

Winnipeg Free Press - By: Melissa Martin - 27/07/2010

Aggressive species could spread across Canada...

Photo courtesy of
Manitoba Co-Operator

Monday, July 26, 2010

Innovation of the Week: Reducing Food Waste


In some parts of...

(Photo credit:
Catherine Njuguna)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Climate Change Causes Larger, More Plentiful Marmots, Study Shows

Implications for Many Creatures That Hibernate
ScienceDaily (July 22, 2010) —

Could populations of these "gophers" (Richardson's
ground squirrels),
be about to explode, too?)
l.p. photo

Oil Devastation Found at Major Gulf Breeding Site

ScienceDaily (July 22, 2010) — A Cornell Lab of....

Raccoon Island,
Louisiana Coast

ACTION ALERT: Demand That Canada Support UN Right to Water Resolution

EDITOR'S NOTE: Let's get behind movements like these and stop this grinning jackass in his tracks! l.p.

Updated July 6, 2010

After years of hard work, there has been a breakthrough in our right to water work at the United Nations.

Several countries are prepared to support a resolution on the right to water which is likely to be voted on at the end of July. Council of Canadians Chair Maude Barlow, and Blue Planet Project Organizer Anil Naidoo have been speaking to international delegations urging countries to support the resolution.

Unfortunately, Canada appears to be obstructing the process. It will be crucial that we get as many letters to the Canadian government over the next few days demanding that Canada support the right to water.

Please join us in sending the email below to Stephen Harper.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Groups Seeking Ban on Toxic Pesticide Go to US Federal Court

NEW YORK - July 22 -
Outlawed in homes and gardens, pesticide is still sprayed on food crops
Crop-duster photo by l.p.
EDITOR'S NOTE: In case you think chlorpyrfos (Lorsban) is a problem only in the US, think again! It is used extensively on grain crops on the Canadian prairies and made a Swan Valley family very sick a few years ago. Read their story here. "Family Believes it was Poisoned by Crop Spray " l.p. Why no lawsuit here?

Glacial Melt and Ocean Warming Drive Sea Level Upward

John Mulrow and Alexander Ochs, with Shakuntala Makhijani - Worldwatch Institute - Jul 22, '10
The average sea level...

Peter Hollinger

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

British Meat and Dairy Are Destroying Rainforests

By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent - 20 Jul 2010

Huge swaths of rainforest…
British dairy herd,
courtesy of Superstock

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Global Warming Slowly Kills Red Sea Coral

ScienceDaily (July 16, 2010) — In a pioneering...
Photo courtesy
of Google Images

Winnipeg's Mosquito Wars Need More Data

Winnipeg Free Press - By: Staff Writer - 17/07/2010

EDITOR'S NOTE: Please note the refreshingly restrained and thoughful comments from readers at the bottom of this story! We need more intelligent exchanges like these, rather than the vitriol such topics usually bring! l.p.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


July 13, 2010

Manitobans will be among the first in the world to actively test Toyota's new Prius plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHV), Innovation, Energy and Mines Minister Dave Chomiak announced today, as the province took delivery of the new car, teaming up with Manitoba Hydro, the University of Manitoba and Toyota Canada to put it through its paces.

"Our climate, previous experience with plug-in hybrid technology and Manitoba's abundant hydro electricity made this province a fantastic choice for these trials," said Chomiak. "These trials will help position Manitoba to adopt this greenhouse gas-reducing technology early. Having electrically powered vehicles would make Manitoba more fuel self-sufficient. It could also create opportunities for Manitobans to develop related products and services as well as expertise in researching and developing components for electric vehicles."

"Toyota is grateful to have such important partners join us as we work together to gather invaluable real-world impressions and feedback," said Toyota Canada Inc. managing director Stephen Beatty. "We're not surprised since Manitoba has already shown great vision in planning for a more sustainable future for personal transportation."

"This project will help the province prepare for what a transition to electrically powered vehicles might mean for the grid," said Manitoba Hydro president and CEO Bob Brennan. "Manitoba has an existing plug-in infrastructure for block heaters and a population familiar with plugging vehicles in during cold weather. We also have a source of electricity to charge vehicles that is 98 per cent renewable from clean hydroelectricity, which is important if electric vehicles are to have the maximum impact in reducing harmful greenhouse-gas emissions."

The PHV test project will enable Manitoba and its partners to understand how electric vehicles work in the province's climate and assess the impact it will have on the electric grid, Chomiak noted. In this project, a Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid vehicle will be shared by the province, Manitoba Hydro and the University of Manitoba for one year. The vehicle will be driven by various drivers under a variety of scenarios and data will be gathered by logging devices installed by Toyota. The partnership will provide the province and the manufacturer the opportunity to work directly with and learn from each other, providing a major auto manufacturer with a unique understanding of cold weather issues, the minister added.

The province has already gained significant experience over the past year with 10 PHVs that went through after-market conversion here in Manitoba. The results of the first year of those tests were also released today.

Hybrid vehicles that use gas combustion assisted by electricity are a common sight on Manitoba's roads. This PHV represents the next step in the technology and it operates primarily on electricity with gas combustion as a back up. The vehicle can be plugged in and charged at home at night and used to commute to work the next day.

The consumer version of the Prius PHV is expected to be available to the general public in 2012. More information about consumer test-drive events is available at

- 30 -

Deadly Summer for Canada Geese Who are Culled, Beaten to Death in the U.S.

By: Ciara Byrne, The Canadian Press - Jul. 14-2010

TORONTO - It's been a….

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Waltzing at the Doomsday Ball

By Joe Bageant - Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico

Capitalism is dead, but we still dance with the corpse...

BP oil Spill: Barack Obama's Investigation Hears of 'Friction'

Susanne Goldenberg - The Guardian - New Orleans - July 13th - 2010

• Commission told Transocean should have...

Friday, July 9, 2010

One Year After Ontario Ban: Over 80% Decline of Most Common Pesticides in Surface Waters

Christine Lepisto Berlin - treehugger

In April 2009, it became...

Pesticide Ban a Big Win for Italian Honey Bees

By Larry Powell
If you enjoy this blog, please consider 
donating to the author to keep it going. 
Just click on the link below.
Thanks! - Larry

ROBLIN, MB Jul 8 -2010
I began worrying the other day about my last story on this topic "Are Pesticide Regulators on the Take?".
In it I raised some hard questions about the behaviour of those who are supposed to protect you, me and our environment from harmful pesticides in Canada.

A mounting body of evidence shows several such products are killing valuable pollinating insects like bees, essential to the production of many of our food crops.

Their populations are crashing alarmingly in many regions of the world, including Canada.

Yet our politicians and "regulators" party on, allowing bee-killing poisons to continue in heavy use, as if none of this was going on.

Still, I worried, had I been too harsh? Too provocative?

Then, the other day, I read something which made me wonder if I had been harsh enough!

According to The European Media Research Centre (EMRC), both the health and numbers of honey bees in Italy rebounded dramatically last year. It was the very first year the Italian government suspended the use of a particularly nasty family of pesticides (neonicotinoids), used to treat corn seed. In contrast, oceanic amounts continue to be used with reckless abandon in Canada ("the true North strong and free").

The EMRC describes itself as an independent, non-profit organization which provides journalistic content for many TV stations. It researched and published the story a-year-ago this summer. True to form, our "industry-friendly" media here in North America apparently saw fit not to report it widely, if at all, on this side of the ocean!

I then contacted both the President of the National Union of Beekeepers in Italy, Francesco Panella and Moreno Greatti of the Department of Plant Biology and Protection at the University of Udine, to verify the accuracy of the story. (Both were quoted in it.)

Panella confirmed that in Piedmont, his region of northern Italy, the bees developed "very well" in the spring of 2009 and this past spring, too. There, only "neonic-free" corn seed was planted.

Despite lawsuits from the chemical industry, the Italian government has prevailed and kept the suspension in place.

Pesticide container disposal 
site in western MB. PLT photo
And, Panella added, industry warnings that the suspension would result in drastically reduced yields, have not materialized.

He says there were modest losses to pests, but only in areas where mono cropping was common. In places where crop rotations were used, "there was no damage, and no need for chemicals!"

For his part, Prof.
Greatti (r.)told me, "In North Italy, where the corn is the most important crop, the bees did not die in 2009, and the same thing happened this year (second year of ban)."

Corn itself will produce without pollinators. But, in research described by some as "pivotal," Prof. Greatti has shown that bees ingest the poison by sipping dew from the corn leaves or grasses along fields planted with the treated seed.

So, just how much longer can Ag Canada and Health Canada keep their heads buried in the sand, ignoring this mounting evidence?

Keep in mind, the Government of Manitoba also has the power to suspend the use of pesticides, if it had the political will. Obviously, it does not, choosing instead to act as an agent for rich and powerful corporations like Bayer Crop Sciences, the brains behind neonicotinoids.

How much longer are we prepared to let these government agencies act as handmaidens to the chemical industry instead of protecting the interest of we, the people like they are supposed to?

"Great article. Thanks for bringing awareness. Yes chemicals are poisoning everything. We should go back to the old ways and half the population would not be so fat and so sick. Pollenation is the essence of agriculture and horticulture. By the way love the photo used. Rated up. Keep writing." mrspleats, Toronto, CA

"Thanks, Larry, keep up the good work. I used to have sprays on 2 sides of my 1& 1/2 acres, but now the pasture on the other 2 sides was converted to corn & soybeans, and I can't overwinter honeybees. They are too weak from sprays to make it through the winter. To me, 'chemical farmers' aren't farmers, they are killers."
=== Andrea Fox wrote on July 14, 2010, 12:39PM : "Larry, GREAT story, I am so glad to hear about Piedmont's success. Finally a positive story that there is hope against CCD! If anyone in the region published a paper on the 2009 season, perhaps we could share the data with our legislators--U.S. and Canada. Maybe that would help them better understand what we're facing." -Andrea

Ag Input Sales Slump Due to Heavy Rains on Prairies

Manitoba Co-Operator - Staff - 7/8/2010
New estimates show...

EDITOR'S NOTE: Climate change? Naah! That's just hooey! l.p.

Big farm rig.

l.p. photo

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

UK Inquiry Into "Climategate" Scandal Vindicates Researchers

.......but also finds lack of openness

Associated Press Writer

LONDON (AP) -- An independent report into….

Monday, July 5, 2010

Protecting the Urban Forest

Wpeg. Free Press July 2- 2010

Winnipeg's canopy of trees, its urban forest, is….

Leaked G20 Documents: Canada Won't Cut Extra Subsidies for Fossil Fuels

Clare Demers - Pembina Institute

Despite the Harper….

EDITOR'S NOTE: Shame on you, Harper! You are doubtlessly the worse Prime Minister my country has ever known! l.p.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Louisiana Calls on BP to Fund Mental Health Programs

by Sasha Chavkin - 
ProPublica, July 1, 2010

As Louisiana officials….

Whale Killing - We Were Heard!

Dear friends,

We did it! The proposal to legalise whale killing went down in flames in Morocco -- and our campaign helped to tip the balance.

In a few short weeks, we built the biggest whale-saving petition in history, signed by an extraordinary 1.2 million of us worldwide, and delivered it directly to key delegates at the International Whaling Commission meeting. In the end, the 24 year old whaling ban was upheld.

The pro-whaling lobby tried to use political favours to win a so called 'compromise' that amounts to a quota for hunting whales, but as tension grew in the closed-door talks, our massive petition became a top story on the BBC’s world news, and we worked with friendly negotiators and other allies to put pressure where it was most needed and draw greater global attention.

The Australian environment minister Peter Garrett received our petition for like-minded governments in front of the world's media and said “Thank you very much Avaaz. It is a great pleasure to be here and accept this petition ... I believe the people of the world’s voices need to be heard. I certainly hear them today."

The U.S. delegation greeted us saying -- “Avaaz! We saw your billboard at the airport!” and delegates were overheard excitedly discussing our giant real-time petition counter outside the meeting as it blew far past the million mark.

After the meeting, one European negotiator told us: "We've managed to keep the ban in place...I've been checking the petition online. I was very impressed by how fast the numbers are rising and seeing people signing from across the world.”

This is an important victory for whales -- and for global people power -- together we demonstrated that international decisions can be shifted by a little bit of well-placed effort from a lot of people everywhere.

But winning this battle won’t guarantee the whales’ safety yet -- Japan’s “scientific” whaling fleet is already sailing out of harbour through IWC loopholes to kill hundreds of whales.

To win for good, we’ll need to campaign to strengthen and reform the IWC, and to mobilise in countries with pro-whaling governments like Japan -- where the Cabinet knows Avaaz and we have changed environmental policy in the past.

We can do it if enough of us chip in just a small amount a week. We’ve now reached 6,000 regular donors -- if we get to 10,000 we can start funding campaigning in Japan and other key nations now. Click here to become an Avaaz sustainer and make it happen:

Over its short lifespan, our movement has exploded through a simple democratic idea: that people power can stand up and win against powerful special interests. Whether it be protecting whales, countering corruption, supporting authentic democracy movements or fighting for a global climate deal, we are coming together to bridge the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want.

Now, if enough of us chip in just a small amount for Avaaz’s member-funded campaigning, together we’ll have the strength to win even more victories. Click here now to donate --

With hope,

Ricken, Alice, Paul, Mia, Ben, Luis, David, Graziela, Milena and the whole Avaaz team is a 5.5-million-person global campaign network
that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people shape global decision-making. ("Avaaz" means "voice" or "song" in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 13 countries on 4 continents and operates in 14 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz's biggest campaigns here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

This message was sent to To change your email address, language, or other information, click here. Want to leave this list? Click here to unsubscribe.

To contact Avaaz, please do not reply to this email. Instead, write to us at or call us at +1-888-922-8229 (US).

'Balanced' Ecosystems Seen in Organic Agriculture Better at Controlling Pests, Research Finds

ScienceDaily (July 1, 2010)

There really is...

Editor's note: "See interesting footnote below from the Organic Food Council of MB. l.p.

Late Blight Update

There have been three additional confirmed cases of late blight in commercial conventional potato fields in the province this week. One case is in the central region, one in the western region and one is near Winnipeg. The Disease Severity Values (DSVs) for late blight risk have gone over the threshold values in many parts of the province, which increases the risk of infection. With widespread rains and very moist conditions, areas with low DSVs could also have localized high-risk spots (such as low spots, areas near tree lines, etc).

With the high moisture in fields in many parts of Manitoba, the risk of late blight is high. To help prevent late blight, organic potato and tomato producers in high-risk areas must follow a five-day spray schedule using approved copper products, making sure to always follow label directions. If the disease is found in an organic potato or tomato field, there is no cure and it is recommended that the plants be destroyed as soon as possible. Available options are flaming and/or disking to bury infected plants. Constant monitoring of susceptible crops in both commercial and home garden situations is essential to keep on top of late blight.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Deep-Sea Mining Adds to Fears of Marine Pollution

By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor - the Independent - 2 July'10
Concerns about....

(photo from NOAA,
Ocean Explorer)

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...