Monday, August 30, 2010

City of Moose Jaw Fined $55,000 for Violation of Fisheries Act

News Release - Gov't. of CA
MOOSE JAW, SK. - The City of..

EDITOR'S NOTE: Bravo! But just a moment! Who will be pleading guilty now that this same hypocritical federal government is allowing mining companies to pollute pristine Canadian lakes with their poisonous tailings? l.p.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Fate of New Orleans Hangs in an Uncomfortable Balance With Mother Nature

Sunday 29 August 2010 - by: Olga Bonfiglio, t r u t h o u t
Hurricane Katrina demonstrated…

One of the many disturbing
scenese after the tragedy.
(Nat'l. Geographic photo)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Stop the Tar Sands Pipeline

Natural Resources Defense Council's Save BioGems News, Au 25, 2010

In northeastern Alberta, the lush forests, sedge meadows and freshwater lakes of the Peace-Athabasca Delta attract more than a million birds every year.

Manitoba geese photo by l.p.

These undisturbed wetlands are critical nesting grounds for tundra swans, snow geese, whooping cranes and countless ducks, but they are slowly being poisoned by tar sands oil extraction taking place just south of the delta.

Tar sands oil development has already contaminated rivers and lakes with toxic discharge, created vast waste ponds and worsened global warming pollution. Now, plans for a new trans-boundary pipeline that would bring tar sands oil from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast is moving forward, paving the way for additional mining and drilling in the boreal forest. Not only would the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline destroy even more habitat for millions of migratory birds, it would do nothing to lead the United States toward cleaner forms of energy production.
» Call on President Obama to oppose the tar sands pipeline.

Suburban Sprawl and the Decline of Social Capital

22 August 2010 - by: Anthony DiMaggio, t r u t h o u t
Why Long Commutes Are Bad for the American Body and Mind (P.S. Canadian, too? l.p.)

Please also visit this link and read about the tragedy of this huge, new subdivision that was supposed to be a progressive, green addition to Winnipeg.

Waverly West construction.
Wpg. Free Press photo

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Future of Air Quality at a Big Manitoba Wood Products Plant is Now in the Hands of the Minister

Au 24-2010 - by Larry Powell

Important recommendations on what the Manitoba Government should do about controlling pollution from a big wood products plant in the province, are now in the hands of the Minister of Conservation, Bill Blaikie.

Louisiana Pacific Canada's OSB mill near Swan River. Photo by Larry
The Clean Environment Commission, an "arms-length" advisory agency, began last year to look into the merits of a government decision almost 20 months ago, to allow "temporary" closure of pollution control devices at Louisiana Pacific's "oriented strandboard" plant in the Swan Valley of western Manitoba.

Certain toxic emissions have apparently been escaping into the air around the plant, near the Village of Minitonas, since that time. The Commission will recommend that the devices should either be started up again, or closed permanently.

The agency says it submitted its report to Blaikie on Aug. 16th, but, he was away, so wouldn't have seen it until he got back on the 23rd. Cathy Johnson of the Commission says she believes the Minister could possibly release it "in early September."

It will be up to him to make the final decision on the recommendations.

Please also read my earlier story: "The Great Debate Over Air Quality in the Swan Valley Reaches a Climax."

On Harper's Northern Tour

Au 24-'10 - Below is my letter to the Winnipeg Free Press (now published, Au 27.) l.p.

Dear Editor, I find media coverage of Prime Minister Steven Harper's current tour of the north, appalling. If I heard the CBC correctly this morning, our Prime Minister is "putting emphasis on science" in his approach to northern development!

An emphasis on science?

The sad fact is, this so-called leader of ours has been spitting on science and scientists ever since he came to power. He has been appointing "climate-denying" oil and gas toadies as his "science advisers" while being nothing but criminally negligent in his approach to the crisis of global warming.

As our "True North" melts around the people and creatures living there, Harper parades about, peddling "Arctic sovereignty" as some kind of opiate we can all use to avoid the harsh reality of climate change.

No doubt Harper has a greedy eye on the petroleum bonanza that lies beneath melting permafrost and the ocean's surface, now made more accessible with quickly disappearing sea-ice.
While this approach might extend the supply of this unsustainable energy source, it will also surely guarantee that global warming will do nothing but worsen, with consequences I personally would rather not think about.

Apparently the media tagging along with him see themselves as little secretaries, faithfully recording his every utterance while turning a blind eye to the changing world around them.

I just hope they didn't get wet in the deluge of rain or blown away by the 100 K winds which were supposed to hit Churchill while they were there!

Larry Powell
Roblin MB

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Great Way to Blow a Day

By: Laura Rance Wpg. Free Press - 21/08/2010

Folks eating it up at farmers' markets.
Farmers' market
photo by l.p.

High-Yield Agriculture Slows Pace of Global Warming, say FSE Researchers

Louis Bergeron - Stanford News Service - 2010

Advances in high-yield agriculture…..

EDITOR'S NOTE: I do not always agree with stories I post here. This is a case in point. But what I think is secondary. I would love to hear your comments on this study. Might there be something to it? Or is it just a piece of "agri-biz" propoganda? l.p.

Outrage at UN Decision to Exonerate Shell for Oil Pollution in Niger Delta

John Vidal, environment editor, 22 August 2010
• Oil giant blamed for 10% of 9m barrels leaked in 40 years

Photo courtesy of
Crossed Crocodiles

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill Spawns Biofuels Industry Opportunism

by Dave Levitan - May 6th, 2010 SolveClimate
Producers tout the ethanol alternative to oil, but similar problems abound.
Cornfield photo
by l.p.

Three Pillars of a Food Revolution

19 Au '10 by: Anna Lappé, YES Magazine

As marketers learn to fake...

Cattle feedlot
l.p. photo

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Canadian Food Inspection Agency Watching for British Cloned Cow Genetics

Manitoba Co-Operator - Staff - 8/19/2010

A claim that Canadian farms are importing...

cow photo by l.p.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Emissions From Alberta Tar Sands Rise, Not Fall, as Canada Claims!

Susan Casey-Lefkowitz’s Au'10

SWITCHBOARD Natural Resources Defense Council Staff Blog

The latest "line" from Canada is...

Liquid mine wastes
are a major liability
of oil sands mining.
Photo: David Dodge,
Pembina Institute.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pavlovsk Seed Bank Faces Destruction

John Vidal, environment editor - 8 Aug 2010 The Guardian
'Priceless collection' in Russia was never registered so does not officially exist, say developers

Russian president Medvedev has ordered an inquiry into the station being turned into private housing. Photograph: Frans Lanting/Corbis

Mankind is Using up Global Resources Faster Than Ever

By Louise Gray -
 - 16 Aug 2010
The growing world population and increasing consumption have pushed the world into ‘eco-debt’ a month earlier this year, according to the latest statistics on global resources.

Climate Change Debate Rises with Pakistan Floods

By Zofeen Ebrahim - KARACHI, Pakistan, Aug 16, 2010 (IPS)

"If this is not...
Please also read: "Is Climate Change a Four-Letter Word?"

Uncovering the Lies That Are Sinking the Oil

Truthout - 16 Au '10 - by: Dahr Jamail and Erika Blumenfeld

The rampant use of...

Fields Soaked Near Winnipeg and Manitoba's Interlake; Farmers Try to Stay Afloat

By: Jen Skerritt and Matt Preprost - Winnipeg Free Press - 16/08/2010
CBC photo
Yields, quality to take a hit....

Could Zero Tillage Prove to be a Boon for Developing-World Farmers?

By Abby Massey - Worldwatch Institute
In agriculture, sometimes less...

Canadian wheat field
l.p. photo

Saturday, August 14, 2010

More Drilling, More Disasters, (Including Canada) Unless We All Do Our Part

Science Matters - By David Suzuki

The Gulf of Mexico disaster is...

Photo by Calgary Herald

Lightning Strikes Over Winnipeg Spark Sky-High Damages

By: Lindsey Wiebe Wpeg. Free Press - Posted: 14/08/2010
FRIDAY morning's downpour lit...

Climate Leader Dies

Professor Stephen Schneider
Climate scientist at Stanford University – passed away on July 19. Steve was a tireless, dedicated author contributing to all four IPCC assessment reports. The scientific community will deeply miss this great leader.
Read more ...(pdf)

Is the News Coming From the Gulf Too Good To Be True? Unfortunately, Yes

AlterNet - Au 1o-2010
Thad Allen may be struggling to find the oil, but that's not because it's all gone.
Bird in oil spill.
Seattle Weekly

Mosquito Wars: Politics, Economics or Science?

by Bill Paton - Prof. of Biology, Brandon University, for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives - 8/12/10

Heated debates are….

Costs of Oil Reach Far Beyond What We Pay at the Pump

08/12/10 - by: Mark Engler - Truthout

This might be an opportune...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tar Sands Toxins Growing Rapidly

Globe & Mail - Au 10-2010

Volume of arsenic, lead increased 26 per cent in last four years, Environment Canada says.
AB tar pond by
Beautiful Destruction

Russia's Agony a "Wake-Up Call" to the World

By Stephen Leahy - Inter Press Service
VIENNA, Aug 11, 2010 (IPS)

Food prices soar in the face of Russia's record heat wave.
Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Greenland Ice Sheet Faces 'Tipping Point in 10 Years'

• Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent
•, Tuesday 10 August 2010
Scientists warn that temperature rise of between 2C and 7C would cause ice to melt, resulting in 23ft rise in sea level!

A view of Jakobshavn Glacier (Sermeq Kujalleq),

the most dynamic glacier in Greenland. Photo courtesy of
Science Poles

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The U.S. Peddles GM Seeds and Pesticides to Poor Mexican Farmers; Impoverishes Communities

By Jill Richardson - Alternet - Au 6'10
The author takes a trip to Mexico to see the 'green revolution' firsthand -- and what she finds is shocking.

Crop sprayer
photo by l.p.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Is Climate Change a Four-Letter Word?

by Larry Powell

If it isn't a "dirty" topic, why then do so many people seem to prefer to walk on hot coals rather than talk about it?
I happen to be one who believes climate change is not only real and affecting us now, but is caused by the way we live on this earth as humans.

But don't take my word for it. That is exactly what the world's best scientific minds have been telling us for years. But nobody seems to be listening; or, even worse, refusing to hear!

And what about the skyrocketing number of deadly storms, both around the world and here on our own doorstep ? I've either been seeing them in the news, a lot, or experiencing them, first hand. Haven't you?
 Trees brought down by the storm in the Vosges forest, France De. '99
I have sometimes tried to get people to tell me what they believe might be behind all this weird weather.

(I'm usually met with stoney silence or a noncommittal mumble.)

After all, the experts have also been telling us for years that, yes, climate change will not only bring more of these storms but more serious ones, too.

And it is!

Floods, droughts, blizzards, tornadoes, hurricanes, monsoons, mudslides, wildfires and heat waves are now everywhere. (But, I hear you saying, they always have been. Yes, that's true. But there are now more and more of them and they are getting worse.)

They are inflicting death, destruction, hunger and heartache on increasing numbers of people at new and disturbing levels.

But is this just happening in faraway, exotic places? Not really.

Often, we needn't look any further than the next town or the next farm!

Just ask the folks who keep track of such things, such as the Worldwatch Institute; Or, for that matter, the old-timer next door who is seeing conditions he/she has never seen in his/her lifetime, or the northern outfitter or First Nation's resident who've been forced out by forest fires, or a farmer suffering from crippling crop or pasture losses thanks to unprecedented rainfall.

In other words, these patterns are, at the very least, consistent with the climate change theory, are they not?

If they were not, I'd be skeptical myself!

As a matter of fact, there are precious few scientists any longer who do not subscribe to the idea of climate change. And most of these "deniers" are either poorly qualified, connected to the oil and gas industry, plain liars or all three!

Another significant group within the climate science community is not quoted very often, even now, in this supposed age of awareness about the issue.

But they are not the skeptics. Far from it. They believe our planet's plight is far more grave than the picture generally presented to the public. They're predicting certain parts of the earth will be uninhabitable before this century comes to a close. These will include places where the only haven from fatal heat stroke will be in buildings equipped with air conditioning. While such a convenience is common to those of us who live in the west, it is far from it in "developing" countries where the vast majority of mankind lives.

Climate data have been showing for some time now that this latter group's predictions may, alarmingly, be closer to reality.

Of course, it would be unscientific of me to single out climate change as the reason behind any given "severe weather event" which our planet might experience.

But on the other hand, just how scientific is it for the "climate deniers" to keep insisting that none of this is due to climate change?

And just how much longer can outfits like the Canadian Chamber of Commerce continue to obstruct meaningful action on climate change, clinging to the argument that fixing the problem will somehow inflict serious harm to the economy?

Just recently, the Chamber unleashed its misguided forces against the Climate Change Accountability Act, which would set significant targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. Already approved by a combined opposition in the Commons, the Act still needs approval in the Senate.

Incredibly, the Chamber's President, Perrin Beattie, (r.) has been warning of dire consequences for Canadian workers and their families because meeting the emission targets would somehow chase economic activity and jobs to other countries!

Does Mr. Beattie actually listen to his own rhetoric? He has rolled out this campaign in the midst of catastrophic flooding that has caused unknown economic damage to Canadian farmers, flash floods and sewer backups which have devastated homes, families, vehicles and other property in Yorkton, Saskatoon, Medicine Hat, Maple Creek, several communities in Manitoba, and washed out highways and rail lines, forcing detours which have cost the transportation industry millions.

Then there are the record heat waves in Ontario (and now in Manitoba) and tornadoes in Saskatchewan and Ontario.

And don't forget the unprecedented relief packages Ottawa and the provinces have put together for flood-ravaged farmers and beleaguered homeowners in several regions.

Meanwhile, 2010 is shaping up as the worst year ever for hail, flood and tornado damage in Saskatchewan . There, insurance claims have already topped $100,000,000. And, as if God had something to do with it, the Regina Leader Post has described the damage as being "of biblical proportions."

Add to that the more recent forest fires raging in BC (some in vast pine forests killed and made tinder-dry by beetles which are now thriving due to global warming); floods in Pakistan which have claimed over a thousand lives and affected almost 14 million others; deadly, record heat and wildfires in Russia and on and on.

Sounds to me, Mr. Beattie, this smacks more of human suffering and economic damage caused by climate change, rather than efforts to reduce it!

Dinosaurs like the Chamber are part of the reason we continue to endure stinking oil spills like the one in the Gulf of Mexico and more recently now in Michigan. These have shamefully harmed so much of the natural world, not to mention the livelihoods and even the mental health of ordinary folk who make their living, both from the sea and elsewhere.

People like Mr. Beattie would have us believe, moving away from energy sources heavy with greenhouse gases, to cleaner, more sustainable supplies, would somehow cause "serious harm" to our economy!

I'm sure glad, Mr. Beattie, that our present system isn't causing any such harm!
(Sarcasm intended.)
And hats off, by the way, to Canada's Global National News Network and its anchor, Kevin Newman. Newman is the first journalist in this country I've seen who actually has had the courage to show the ever-more-obvious linkages between destructive storms and the scourge of climate change!
COMMENTS: AndyMathison: "I'm afraid Mr. Beattie & his ilk only kowtow to the status quo citing economic doom & gloom should petroleum supremacy be challenged....even in the face of unrelenting climate disasters!"
"Great resource thanks Larry!"
Drew Fenwick, Manitoba

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...