Showing posts from April, 2012

The Big Secrets of Canada's Big Banks

                                   Cdn Centre for Policy Alternatives - Apr 30 '12 David MacDonald   Estimating government support for Canadian banks during the financial crisis. Read full story here. PLT: Please also read: "How Ethical are Canada's Ethical Funds? Conscientious Investments and the Tar Sands Connection."  

Environmental Rules Should be Better, Not Easier

Science Matters by David Suzuki   Few people would argue against making environmental review processes and regulations more efficient - as long as they're effective. But changes announced in the recent federal budget don't do that. Instead, they make it easier for the federal government and industry to push through projects that could harm the environment and the economy, and limit the ability of ordinary Canadian citizens to have a say in matters of national importance. Big Boggy Creek, MB, a possible future "drain" for sewage effluent. PLT photo Based on the budget announcement you'd think delays and duplication in the environmental review process are the biggest issues. They're not. As the Pembina Institute points out , the equivalent of one major oil sands mine has been approved in each of the past five years, and the pace is increasing. Some people, including former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed, suggest we'd benefi

The May 2012 Insurrection

Adbusters , 26 Apr 2012 Hey you dreamers, strikers and new left redeemers out there, for thirty-one magical days beginning this Tuesday, May 1, we take the plunge and strike! Details here. Occupy Winnipeg Oct.  2011 PLT photo

Climate Change Denial Should be a Deal-Breaker

By Andrew Mitrovica, The Ottawa Citizen April 26, 20 My brother, Jerry, is a genius. He will, I’m sure, be upset that I have publicly described him as such. But, brother, it’s true. Details here.

Today's Chuckle

(That's Harper in Black!) PLT

First Nations Resist Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline With Cross-Canada Freedom Train

Alexis Stoymenoff - Vancouver Observer - Apr 28th, 2012 The Yinka Dene Alliance departs on Monday for a nationwide journey on the Freedom Train, to storm Enbridge's AGM in opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline. Details here.

Crews Race to Contain Raging Grass Fires - Roblin Area has its Own, Close Call

By: Melissa Martin - Wpg. Free Press - Apr. 29'12 Plumes of smoke loomed over the southern Manitoba horizon on Saturday, as grass fires blossomed across the bone-dry prairie. Details here. Above, Roblin's volunteer fire department gains the upper hand with a grass fire east of the west-central Manitoba town, after it burned dangerously close to buildings on Saturday. (PLT photos.)

'Agent Orange Corn' Debate Rages As Dow Seeks US Approval Of New Genetically Modified Seed

Posted: 04/26/2012 Huffinigton Post WASHINGTON -- A new kind of genetically modified crop under the brand name of "Enlist" -- known by its critics as "Agent Orange corn" -- has opponents pushing…. details here. ===== PLT: Rest assured, Canadian "regulators" will be slavering at the prospect of rubber-stamping this Frankenfood here, as well!

The RM of Shell River Will be Told About New Technology for Waste Disposal. Will it Listen?

Dear Editor, I'd like to extend a challenge to my local government, the Rural Municipality of Shell River.  (Please read earlier story here.) I'd like you to prove to myself and my community that you are living in the 21st century and determined to be the best that you can be. So far, you've been moving quietly ahead with plans to build a major, new, earthen sewage lagoon, using technology that is, at least, decades-old. An expert in the field of waste treatment and water pollution, Prof. Bill Paton of Brandon University, says such lagoons "Do not perform well in Manitoba's climate. I have not found any Manitoba lagoons that meet effluent license requirements. Many of them also leak to groundwater!" And a former potato farmer I have talked to, Al Baron, says he had to abandon his farm near Carberry years ago when expansion of a nearby lagoon contaminated his land, making it unfit to carry on as a producer. You didn't

Report Highlights Hidden Costs of Factory Farms

Sarah Schmidt, Postmedia News  Apr 24, 2012 OTTAWA — Poultry waste fed to cattle, pigs pumped with growth-promoting antibiotics, and mounds of manure dumped in ditches. Details here.

Apple - Introducing Coal! (Greenpeace Video)


Canadian Pasture and Shelter-Belt Program to Wind Down (Co-operator,April 19) (Letter)

On the chopping block to save money, but not a murmur about the gold-plated Pension Plan that the MP’s have saved for themselves. Well, it's apparent that Gerry Ritz, born in 1951, never had to deal with the dry and wind years of the 1930’s, when never-ending dust clouds,  grasshoppers, and no rain settled on the prairies.  The settlers of those years knew if they were to survive,  changes had to be taken in their farming  methods and stop their land base from being blown  away.  The tree and shrub belts were a beginning, but  also a challenge, as the scarcity of water, even for themselves and livestock, resulted in many  failures and setbacks. But eventually, conditions improved and the trees and shelter belts began  to flourish. And they were successful.  For not only to help prevent the loss of precious topsoil, shelter belts became a refuge and a haven for wildlife, a nesting area and food for birds. Yes, with modern farming methods and  large machinery, the

Jellyfish Populations on the Rise in Coastal Ecosystems

By Nathan Planetsave - April 23, 2012   Jellyfish populations are growing in the majority of the world’s coastal ecosystems, according to a new study from the University of British Columbia. Details here.

Pacific Islands Face Severe Water Threat, UN Says

Bangkok, 23 April 2012 – Climate change will exacerbate water stress in Pacific Islands, particularly small islands that rely on seasonal rain for their freshwater needs, according to a report released by the UN Environment Programme today. Details here

Will the Rural Municipality of Shell River Brush Aside Better Technology in Favour of Another Sewage Lagoon?

by Larry Powell  Is Council Withholding Crucial Information? Shell River surrounds the Village of Roblin, in west-central Manitoba. It's where my wife and I live, on a peaceful, rural acreage. In mid-March, the RM quietly sent in a drill truck to test the soil less than a mile upwind of half-a-dozen rural acreages, including our own, with a view to building a new sewage lagoon. (Read earlier story, with photos, here.) Test results, we were told, would be known in a couple of weeks. So, on April 13th, almost a month later, my wife and I appeared before Council. Well, no, we were told, we couldn't have the test results yet because, according to Deputy Reeve Joe Senderewich, who chaired the meeting, "They were not yet official!" We weren't sure if that meant they didn't know, or weren't telling us! Now, after another 10 days and at least one "in-camera" meeting, we understand via the grapevine, that Council may make those res

Stop the Mass Death of Bees! Tell EPA & USDA to Ban Bayer's "Neonic" Insecticides!

Organic Consumers Asn. PLT photo  Commercial beekeepers have filed an emergency legal petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend use of a pesticide that is linked to massive honey bee deaths. The legal petition, which specifies Bayer's neonicotinoid pesticide clothianidin, is backed by over one million citizen petition signatures. Click "Go!" to add your voice. Take Action Now! PLT: An open challenge to Canadian about similar action here?

Ocean Acidification Definitively Linked to Oyster Failure

By Nathan - Planetsave On April 13, 2012 The collapse of a commercial oyster hatchery in Oregon has now been linked definitively to an increase in ocean acidification. Details here.

Canadian Researchers Open a Door to Saving Threatened Bats

Bat Conservation International. Dear supporters, A research team led by the University of Winnipeg in Canada recently confirmed that the Geomyces  Courtesy of "Bats About Our Town." destructans fungus that causes White-nose Syndrome in North America originated in Europe, where it is still found but does not  cause mass deaths of bats. This suggests that European bats may have faced WNS sometime in the past and the bats that survived evolved to have immunological or behavioral resistance to the disease. This research also demonstrates that the WNS fungus was almost certainly carried, inadvertently, by humans from an infected European cave to North America. Since it was first reported on the muzzles of little brown bats in New York’s Howes Cave, WNS has killed more than 5.7 million bats, according to federal biologists. This new evidence that humans can carry and spread the fungus reinforces the need for targeted closures of caves used by bats, as we

How the European Commission is Responding to the Sahel Food Crisis

European Union - Europa - Apr 12 2012 1. How big is the food crisis in the Sahel in 2012? This is one of the biggest humanitarian crises in the world today. Details here.

Harperites Chop Trees in Latest Austerity Revelations!

By: Jennifer Graham, CP SASKATOON - Canada's agriculture minister is defending the government's decision to put a pasture program and a shelterbelt tree program on the chopping block to save money. Details here. PLT shelterbelt photo. PLT: Trees are the latest declared "enemies" of the Harperites. What's next? Motherhood?

How the Big Energy Companies Plan to Turn the US & Canada Into a Third-World Petro-State

Alternet Apr '12                        Will North America become not just the next boom continent for energy bonanzas, but a new energy Third World? Details here. Geese fly over an open pit mine in the Alberta tar sands. Courtesy of Beautiful Destruction

Surface Water Strategy is Imperative

By: Henry Venema 04/4/2012 - Winnipeg Free Press What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, all of southern Manitoba was in various stages of panic as forecasts revealed just how bad the 2011 flood might be.  Details here.                                 Shellmouth dam - flood of 2011. PLT photo PLT: I defer to your expertise on this topic, Dr. Venema. But I do have a question for you, if you read this. Did the IISD itself not (prophetically), a few years ago, come out with a report(s), warning of increased extreme weather such as floods and droughts on the Prairies, DUE TO ANTHROPOGENIC CLIMATE CHANGE? You do not mention this in your article, this time. Is this not rather significant? Such climate change is caused by humans, burning too many fossil fuels, is it not? Have you and the Institute given up on reminding the public that this is a fact of life? I'm sure what you suggest in your article is valid - managing our surface waters in a sustainable way

Texas Tornadoes Spark Climate Change Discussion (Video)

PLT: Right! Seeing loaded semis hurtling through the air is not that unusual, is it? Only in the fevered brain of a climate-denier!

Harperites Cast a Long Shadow Over Canada's Natural Places

EcoJustice  Last week, our Finance Minister stood up in the House of Commons and made good on the rumours. The federal government is going to use the budget to change Canada’s environmental laws and speed up approvals          Jasper Nat'l. Park PLT photo   for “major economic projects” – including Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline and other industrial development. Details here.

Organic Growers to Appeal Court Loss Against Monsanto

Manitoba Co-Operator    Non-GMO plaintiffs wanted company to waive any future patent claim. Details here.

Federal Budget a Disaster for the Environment, MPs Say

John Size, Staff   The federal budget dealt a massive blow to the environmental movement and will result in protests across the country, two opposition MPs say. Details here.