Monday, December 30, 2013

2014: The Year of Living Consciously

Murray Dobbin -

Two of the big storms hitting Canada in the last year were not just terrifying and incredibly damaging -- they were a little spooky. Details here.

Please also read: "Have Our Servants Become Our Masters? Why fossil fuels are no longer our friends."

Climate Change is Always the Issue (letter)

Winnipeg Free Press
Get serious. Whenever we discuss fossil fuels, climate change is the issue. Details here.

Flooding in Manitoba - 2011
(PinP photo)

Secret Memo Casts Doubt on Claims by the Government of Canada Concerning the Closure of Government Libraries

Andrew Nikiforuk - THE TYEE
Goal stated is 'culling' research, not preserving and sharing through digitization. Full story here.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Canadian Government Slashes Funding For Water Protection

More than $100 million in cuts are underway at the federal department in charge of protecting Canada’s water and oceans, despite recommendations from top bureaucrats that it needs to increase spending for both environmental and economic reasons. Full story here.

Solar Activity Not a Key Cause of Climate Change, Study Shows

Science News

Climate change has not been strongly influenced by variations in heat from the sun, a new scientific study shows. Full story here.

Stop Bayer From Killing Bees!

Sum of + Us
Bayer is suing Europe to overturn the ban on bee-killing pesticides -- so we're joining the legal battle to stop them.Larry,
Bayer is suing Europe to overturn the landmark ban on bee-killing pesticides -- and we're excited to announce we're joining the legal battle to make sure Bayer fails.
Europe's bee-saving ban has only just gone into force, but Bayer is fighting in the courts to overturn it. If Bayer wins, it will be a huge setback for the bees -- and so we're asking the European Court of Justice to let us join in the case and defend the ban.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

China Rejects Over Half-a-Million Tons of US Corn After Finding an Unapproved Genetically Modified Strain

Winnipeg Free Press
BEIJING, China - China has rejected 545,000 tons of imported U.S. corn found to contain an unapproved GM strain, the country's product safety agency announced Friday. Details here.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Outsourcing is Short-Sighted

Winnipeg Free Press

My initial impression upon reading your Dec. 16 editorial Gear Canada to create new jobs was that the writer was indulging in sarcasm. Sadly, as I read on I realized that the message is that manufacturing and agricultural jobs are better off going off-shore, allowing goods to crisscross continents and oceans before landing on our plates or stores. Details here.

Legal Expert Warns Canada-EU Trade Agreement Could Damage Sovereignty

International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

The draft agreement "will provide foreign investors into Canada with the most investor-friendly set of corporate rights ever drafted by the Canadian government into a treaty. " Full story here.
IISD legal expert, Howard Mann

Saturday, December 21, 2013

We Need a Mandatory Ban on Sub-Therapeutic Doses of Antibiotics for Livestock—in the US (and Canada! PLT)

Organic Consumers Association 

More than 36 years ago the U.S. Food & Drug Administration acknowledged there was a problem with the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms. In March 2012, the courts forced the FDA's hand. Finally, last week, the  FDA announced a plan to curb the routine use of sub-therapeutic doses of antibiotics to treat and fatten up livestock on factory farms. But the mostly voluntary, loophole-riddled “plan” falls far short of what scientists say is needed to stop the spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs that now pose a real and widespread danger to public health. Details here. 

Related: "Food and Drug Administration in the US Moves To Phase Out Widespread Use Of Antibiotics In Meat"

Friday, December 20, 2013

Chemicals Causing Cancer and Infertility Found at Fracking Sites

Huffington Post

Hormone-disrupting chemicals linked to cancer, infertility and a slew of other health problems have been found in water samples collected at and near hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," sites in Colorado, according to a new study published in the journal Endocrinology this week. Details here.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Gateway Pipeline Recommendations Ignore Citizens - PLEASE TAKE ACTION!

Make your voice heard

David Suzuki Foundation

PipelinePhoto Marco Guada via Flickr
Many people are upset by the Joint Review Panel’s recommendation to go ahead with the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. However, don’t despair over the holidays -- this is far from over. This recommendation does not mean the pipeline will be built.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Freedom for the Arctic 30!


Hi Larry,

Big news! The Arctic 30 have been granted amnesty.

Earlier today the Russian government agreed to amend an amnesty bill to include the Arctic 30, and just now the bill was officially adopted by their parliament. This means legal proceedings against them will be halted and they should be home soon.

I can almost hear the collective sigh of relief, but the Arctic 30 have said they’re not celebrating. They’ve all spent two months in jail for a crime they didn’t commit, and faced criminal charges that were absurd. As Pete Willcox, captain of the Arctic Sunrise, said: “There’s no amnesty for the Arctic.”

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Manitoba Doing Better Than Most in Conserving Woodland Caribou

Winnipeg Free Press
A study to see how well Canadian jurisdictions are responding to Ottawa's’s National Recovery Strategy for Caribou gives Manitoba a medium grade. Details here.

A Greenpeace Cartoon for the Season

What Would "Madiba" Have Done?

by Larry Powell

Prime Minister Harper's attendance at the funeral of Nelson Mandela has conjured up some fascinating scenarios for me.

While South Africa's repression of its black people will live on in infamy, Canada's treatment of our own indigenous people has hardly been exemplary, either. 

So, if Mandela, who so famously led his people out of bondage, were Prime Minister of Canada, what would he do here? 

Would he be; 
  • slashing grants to native organizations? 
  • refusing to hold a public inquiry into murdered and missing aboriginal women? 
  • passing legislation (using closure) which leaves traditional native territories vulnerable to disruptive and polluting projects?
  • rubber-stamping expansion of the tar sands which has, for years, been sickening the people of the Fort Chipewyan First Nation, downstream with rare cancers and other diseases? 
  • cheerleading massive pipeline projects that cross pristine wilderness and fragile marine ecosystems on the doorstep of First Nations settlements?
  • allowing "fracking" projects on traditional native territories and elsewhere (you know, the kinds that poison groundwater, turn tap water into something flammable and even trigger earthquakes)? 
  • and allowing Members of Parliament like Rob Anders (see comment, below) to remain in his government? 
If my questions sound rhetorical, it's because they are.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Arctic Sea Ice Increases Dramatically.

The Independent
The bad news is: it's still half the level is was in the 1980s.  Details  here.

Canada's Gabriel Resources Gold Plans Suffer Setback in Romanian Parliament

The Independent

A parliamentary vote in Romania has rejected revisions to a new mining law that would have allowed Gabriel Resources, a Canadian mining company, to create Europe’s largest open cast gold mine in a Transylvanian village. Full story here.

Good news! You created a lot of buzz...

Sierra Club Canada

Dear Larry,

Thank you for being part of our campaign to help save the bees! I didn’t need to tell you how important the bees and other pollinators were to our ecosystem and food supply--you understood the situation was dire, took action and made a difference.
So here are the numbers: Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) comment period on neonicotinoid pesticides closed this past Thursday, December 12th having received 10,241 comments from YOU (via the Sierra Club Canada website). Pat yourself on the back – you deserve it.
Obviously we cannot rest on our laurels as there’s much more to be done, but it’s important to take a moment and be proud of our accomplishments to date.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Another Canadian Mining Company "Does its Dirties" to a Sovereign Country - Shame!!!

Dec 11 at 3:08 PM
Infinito Gold is threatening a $1 billion lawsuit against Costa Rica for rejecting a toxic, open-pit gold mine after massive protests from local citizens.
Tell Infinito Gold to drop its lawsuit against Costa Rica.
Sign the Petition
Dear Larry,
Infinito Gold, a Canadian mining company, just slapped Costa Rica with a $1 billion lawsuit because the nation decided to protect its rainforests rather than host an open-pit gold mine.
Costa Rica’s rainforest is lauded as one of the most beautiful in the world, and is home to many endangered species, including the green macaw. Officials considered approving the gold mine, but the use of toxic chemicals such as cyanide -- which often leaks into and pollutes nearby lakes and rivers -- was far too great a risk to allow the project to move forward.
A subsidiary of Infinito Gold has announced that a massive lawsuit against Costa Rica is “imminent”, so we need to act now. If thousands of us stand together against this toxic mine, we can show Infinito that Costa Rica and other countries that are defending their natural resources will not be silently bullied by corporate power. 

NAFTA Environmental Body Asks Ottawa to Respond to Oilsands Waste Concerns

The Canadian Press 

A North American trade body has asked Ottawa to respond to allegations that it has failed to enforce its own laws when it comes to oilsands waste known as tailings. Full story here.

Exploration Company to Lose Drilling (Fracking) Licence Near Newfoundland's Gros Morne Park

InfoTel Multimedia

An oil exploration company says it will lose its licence next month to drill wells near Gros Morne National Park in western Newfoundland. Details here.

Ottawa to Designate Crude Oil as Highly Dangerous

The Globe and Mail
The federal government will, for the first time, designate crude oil a highly dangerous substance and introduce tougher safety and testing measures for shipping oil by rail. Details here.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Food and Drug Administration in the US Moves To Phase Out Widespread Use Of Antibiotics In Meat

Huffington Post

Citing a potential threat to public health, the Food and Drug Administration moved Wednesday toward phasing out the use of some antibiotics in animals processed for meat. Details here.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Another Canadian Mining Company Faces Criminal Allegations

A subsidiary of the Canadian mining company, Gabriel Resources, is under investigation in Romania for money laundering and tax evasion. According to The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP)Romanian prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC). It holds a license to exploit the largest open-pit gold mine in Europe. The project has been stalled in recent years amid widespread protests throughout eastern Europe, mainly from people concerned about its environmental impact.

These photos show the kind of environmental mess created by mining which has gone on in the area since the time of the Romans. (l.) An old mine machine crumbles into dust. (r.) Acid rock leakage seeps from a drainage pipe. Gabriel says it will clean things up because it is committed to "responsible mining and sustainable development."  (Photos by Gabriel Resources.)

The proposed mine is no stranger to controversy. Thousands of Romanians have been protesting in recent months against what they believe is an environmentally risky project, possibly plagued by political corruption, as well. Mine officials have said little publicly, except to claim they are not the direct targets of the investigation.

RMGC has also strongly denied accusations against it in Romania that it falsified certain maps of the area. It has launched a defamation suit to counter the accusations but does not elaborate on them further.

The parent company, Gabriel Resources, is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. It owns over 80% of RMGC, the rest by the State of Romania. Gabriel believes it can still extract more than US$24 billion dollars worth of precious metal at the ancient mine site in an environmentally responsible way, creating thousands of jobs at the same time.

(OCCRP is an investigative reporting agency designed to help residents of Eastern Europe and Central Asia "better understand how organized crime and corruption affect their lives.")

(My e-mail to Gabriel Resources, requesting further comment and clarification, has gone unanswered.) l.p.

Related: "Gabriel Resources Gold Plans Suffer Setback, as Romanian Parliament Rejects Mining Law"

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Harperites Approve Yet Another Tarsands Mine, Thumbing Their Noses at Mother Earth and First Nations People.

The Canadian Press 

Shell Canada's Jackpine oilsands mine expansion plan has received the go-ahead from Ottawa, despite the environment minister's view that it's "likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects." Details here.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A New Study Hints at Further Trouble Ahead for Earth's Embattled Forests

by Larry Powell

Trees around the world, including places like Canada's boreal forest, are dying from drought induced by our changing climate - and have been for years. This has been recognized in peer-reviewed studies, including one by a team of experts at the University of Quebec, published in the respected journal, NatureClimateChange, two years ago.
The Canadian Rockies. PLT photo
But a more recent study, this one reported in the Canadian Journal of Forest Research suggests further trouble ahead, this time in another eco-system. This time, a team of US researchers analyzed the relationship between growth and climate on the six most abundant subalpine tree species (growing on the higher slopes) in California's Sierra Madre mountains - and how that relationship evolved for well over a century. 

In an e-mail to PLT, one of the researchers, Christopher Dolanc of the University of California, Davis, states, "Increasing drought-stress may eventually stunt their growth. Two of these species, mountain hemlock (l.) and western white pine, are common in mountains in Canada."

The study concludes, "Although predictions of future precipitation trends are uncertain, drought stress appears to already be increasing. If this trend continues, radial growth is likely to be inhibited for most or all species in our study. Trees growing where snowpack is deep may be least likely to suffer reduced growth."

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Farm Groups on the Canadian Prairies Want Ottawa to Penalize Railways for Grain Shipment Backlog

Winnipeg Free Press

Prairie farm groups frustrated by delays in shipping grain this fall want the federal government to do more to penalize rail companies that don't deliver crops in a timely way. Details here.

Surplus grain stored on 
Manitoba field. PLT stock photo.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

PLT Slams Manitoba for its Blasé Attitude Toward Arsenic

by Larry Powell

Why is the Government of Manitoba clinging to its monumentally callous practise of releasing arsenic into the environment?

After all, the deadly nature of the poison is hardly a deep, dark secret.

Have Premier Selinger and his Minister responsible for the environment, Gord Mackintosh, never heard of the Borgias? They're the infamous Italian family who rose to power in the Church, using arsenic to murder people for their money and property. And that was way back in the middle ages. 

Known even then as "The King of Poisons," a single dose the size of a pea was said to dispatch a victim with "violent abdominal cramping, diarrhea, vomiting and shock." 

Has no one with our provincial government ever read the classic, groundbreaking book, "Silent Spring?" It was written back in the 60s, but has well stood the test of time. In it, its highly-respected author, Rachel Carson reminded the world that arsenic found in chimney soot in England two centuries before, was carcinogenic. It caused cancer. Carson wrote further, "Epidemics of chronic arsenical poisoning involving whole populations over long periods are on record. Arsenic-contaminated environments have also caused sickness and death among horses, cows, goats, pigs, deer, fishes and bees." 

Yet the Manitoba Government will not budge from its decision to allow the Town of Virden, in the southwest, to release arsenic it has captured from the town's drinking water supply into Gopher Creek, a tributary of the Assiniboine River. That river, in turn, flows through many communities downstream, including Brandon and Winnipeg.

The government has stubbornly dismissed repeated pleas by a concerned resident of the area, John Fefchak, to find a method of disposal for this "captured" arsenic other than simply dumping it back into the environment. Sadly, his repeated letters-to-the-editor on this issue, seem to be falling on deaf ears. The province continues to cling to the outdated notion that the arsenic levels involved are so small, there is no cause for concern - that "the solution to pollution is dilution!"

This assumption is, at best, just plain unscientific.

For example, an American molecular toxicologist, Joshua Hamilton, recently stated that those who ingest only 10 parts per billion (ppb) over a lifetime, an incredibly tiny amount, "increase their risk of disease substantially." (Manitoba’s water standards allow 10 ppb each day. Virden has yet to meet that standard.)

And, in 2011, a team of American university researchers reported the results of a study of almost 12 thousand men and women in Bangladesh. It found a relationship between arsenic exposure and death from heart disease, "at a much lower level of exposure than previously reported."

Even Health Canada, not always the staunchest defender of the public health, saw fit to cut back some time ago on the amount of arsenic it allows in drinking water. 

Meanwhile, Manitoba, by contrast, maintains an attitude respecting this deadly poison which can only be described as strangely cavalier.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Will Typhoon Haiyan Change World Attitudes? Don't Hold Your Breath! (Letter)

Dear Editor,

You have to wonder how many more monster storms it's going to take before the world takes meaningful action on climate change. Just one example is Haiyan, the "super-typhoon" which devastated vast areas of The Philippines this month. It was the biggest storm to hit land, ever! 

A poor Filipino man living and working right here in my home community of Neepawa apparently lost as many as 30 members of his family in this horrible tragedy. As the storm was raging, his country's Chief Climate Negotiator was making a tearful appeal at a UN conference in Poland. He pled for an end to the "madness," of climate change. He asked that we turn away from our addiction to fossil fuels, which is the root-cause of it all. 

Many climatologists remain reluctant to link any single storm, including this one, to climate change. But they have repeatedly warned that warmer oceans brought about by rising global temperatures, stoke the ferocity of both wind and waves during what they call these "severe weather events." As a result, the waves hitting the shore in The Philippines were more like a tsunami than a surge, the wind more like a thousand tornadoes than a typhoon.

Sadly, neither that brave negotiator's plea for change, nor the hunger strike he began at the time, seem likely to make a dent on a world community bent on maintaining a society fuelled by hydrocarbons, and little else. 

Japan has backed away from its targets for greenhouse gas reduction, saying they are just not realistic. Our own Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq, has simply added to Canada's shameful litany of lies and deception over the years, by proclaiming at the same UN conference, that a carbon tax wouldn't be effective (even thought the preponderance of evidence points to the contrary). And Australia, a nation which has suffered so severely from the effects of climate change itself, has just elected a Conservative government, which has vowed to repeal an existing carbon tax there.

Yet, even as I look out my window and watch the semis rolling by as unrelentingly as ever, I can't afford to give up! After all, as an older person, I  have surely contributed to this mess, myself. So it is now up to me to help fix it.  

And, damn it, with your help, we will!

Larry Powell
Neepawa, Manitoba, CA
(A version of the above has now been published in the Roblin Review and Neepawa Banner.)

P.S. I'd like to thank fellow members of the Green Party of Manitoba for supporting my resolution at our recent Annual General Meeting in Winnipeg. The Party agreed to extend heartfelt and deepest sympathies to the many surviving family members and friends of victims killed by the typhoon.  
We also adopted a resolution calling on the Government of Manitoba to "substantially increase" its pledge of $200 thousand dollars to the Filipino relief effort. The resolution noted, "If this provincial government can afford to pay a wealthy corporation like Ikea some $8 million to set up shop in Winnipeg, it can surely be more generous to a country so devastated by this super-storm. We mustn't forget that many Filipinos live and work here in Manitoba, giving to this province's economy and social life. It's time that Manitoba gave back to the Philippines."

Friday, November 22, 2013

Climate Change Driving Weather off the Charts

Earth Policy Institute

The world is literally moving off the charts. With the global average temperature up over half a degree Celsius since the 1970s and with more warming in store, we are starting to witness weather anomalies so severe we need to update our metrics and extend our graphs. Details here.

UN Court Orders Russia To Release Greenpeace Crew and Ship

Huffington Post

BERLIN (AP) — A U.N.-mandated tribunal has ordered Russia to immediately release a Greenpeace ship and its crew in return for a 3.6 million euro ($5 million) bond. Details here.

Green Party of Manitoba Searches for a New Leader

by Larry Powell - GPM member
James Beddome, leader of the Green Party of Manitoba for the past five years, (above, centre) has resigned. Beddome told the Party's recent Annual General Meeting in Winnipeg, he was leaving with regret, but that it would be unfair to carry on due to the increasing duties required by his law career. As he put it, "The interests of my (law) clients must come first." 

He did make it clear, however, it was not his intention to break his ties with the party. On the contrary, he added, it was "quite likely" he would continue to serve one way or another, even as a candidate. 

I met this dedicated young man with a ready sense of humour, at a public event in Brandon a few years ago. It was both educational and fun as we tried to convince a sometimes reluctant media to carry our message that the provincial government needed to ban harmful pesticides used on lawns just to make them look good.  

Now, a scant few years later, the NDP provincial government is on the verge of doing just that. 

During his time as leader, Beddome got used to seeing the government adopt Green policies in this way while claiming them as their own.

For example, in 2012, he spoke out strongly against the idiocy of the provincial government licensing the operation of peat-mines in provincial parks. The following year, the province banned the practise.

In a statement, the Party President, Pam Sanford said, "James has left some big shoes to fill. We accept his resignation with regret and wish him well as he completes his law degree."

The party executive is expected to choose an interim leader "in the near future" and set a date for a leadership contest.

Green Party of Manitoba

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Talisman Frackwater Pit in British Columbia Leaked for Months, Kept From Public


A pit storing contaminated fracking water in northeast BC was leaking into the surrounding soil and groundwater for up to six months before owner Talisman formally notified..Details here.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Feeding the Flame of Revolt

OpEd News - by Chris Hedges

New York - I was in federal court here Friday for the sentencing of Jeremy Hammond to 10 years in prison for hacking into the computers of a private security firm that works on behalf of the government, including the Department of Homeland Security, and corporations such as Dow Chemical. Details here.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Arctic 30 Day 59: Global solidarity protests


Hi Larry,
263 cities, 43 countries. Today, thousands of people took their outrage over the ongoing detention of the Arctic 30 straight to the doorsteps of Russian embassies and oil giants Shell and Gazprom. In a massive global day of action people all over the world demanded the release of the Arctic 30 and showed the oil companies that we will not let them get away with the silencing of peaceful protest.

Stop the Bee-Killing Lawsuit Against the EU! - Please Donate!

In just 3 weeks, Bayer could succeed in defeating the bees' best chance of survival -- by overturning Europe's landmark ban on the pesticides that are killing them. Details here.

Bees on sunflower. PLT photo.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Blame Canada’s Carbon Complacency for the Philippine Typhoon


Anyone who thinks that this typhoon is not due to the atmospheric disruption and rising sea levels resulting from our changing climate has their head firmly planted in the comfortable soil of ignorance, ideology or both. Details here.

Friday, November 15, 2013

US Backs Away From Years of Commitment to Producing Ethanol Fuel Additive

Huffington Post

The Obama administration wants to reduce the amount of ethanol in the nation's fuel supply, acknowledging the biofuel law championed by both parties in 2007 is not working as well as expected. Full story here.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Harper and Enbridge Join Forces on Lawsuit

Dear Larry,
Big Oil and the Harper government have officially tied the knot. 
It’s now ForestEthics Advocacy and Co-Plaintiff Donna Sinclair vs. 
the Federal Government, the National Energy Board (NEB) and 
Enbridge Pipelines Inc.
A Federal Appeals Court Judge recently ordered that Enbridge 
could join our lawsuit as a Co-Respondent. In its Motion to 
intervene, Enbridge argued that any delay in its plans to transport 
tar sands crude through its Line 9b pipeline—running from Sarnia 
to Montreal and through Toronto—would hurt its bottom line. In fact, 
they said their economic rights were at stake in describing their 
legal interest in the outcome of this lawsuit.
Enbridge's position couldn't be clearer: Profits trump YOUR 
DEMOCRATIC RIGHT to speak freely about tar sands pipeline 
projects at hearings conducted by the NEB.
Well, we have a message for Enbridge that they can't bury under the 
weight of their hefty financial coffers. And we need your help to 
deliver it.
 Spread the word by sharing this photo of an Enbridge Energy bill 
on Facebook, Twitter, and with your address book contacts. Better yet, 
if Enbridge is your energy service provider, please get out your monthly 
bill and write your own message! You can add it to our Facebook album 
or email it to us and we'll add it for you. We will then send all the pictures 
we receive to Enbridge’s headquarters in Calgary.
The fact that Enbridge has gone to the trouble of joining our lawsuit 
means they're worried. And justifiably so. If we win in the Federal Court 
of Appeal, two things happen:
  1. The new rules that make it so difficult for Canadians to apply to 
  2. participate in NEB public hearings on pipeline projects—not just 
  3. Enbridge Line 9b but all pipeline projects across Canada—get axed.
  4. The NEB hearings process on Line 9b will be re-opened and the 
  5. agency will be required to give everyone the chance to voice his or 
  6. her concerns about this project.
We may be the underdog in this fight but that makes us no less likely to 
succeed, as the legendary story of David and Goliath proves. Canada’s 
best-known constitutional lawyer Clayton Ruby is representing us and 
thanks to your generosity, we’ve now raised $150,000 to offset a number 
of costs related to this suit.
Please take action today! Either share our photo or post your own now 
and let Enbridge know that you will not be silenced!  
Thank you,

Tzeporah Berman
Board Member, ForestEthics Advocacy

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hydro's Nelson River Sturgeon Plan Problematic: Expert

Winnipeg Free Press 

A Canadian expert on lake sturgeon poured cold water Wednesday on Manitoba Hydro’s plans to re-stock the Nelson River with the prehistoric fish after the Keeyask generating station is built. Full story here.

Resurrecting a River


Parched for more than half a century, California’s San Joaquin -- and its salmon -- are coming back. Details here.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It's Business That Really Rules Us Now

The Guardian

Lobbying is the least of it: corporate interests have captured the entire democratic process. No wonder so many have given up on politics. Full story here.

Writers Come To My Defence For My Letter About Fossil Fuels & Climate Change

PLT: It all began back in October when the Roblin Review (a weekly paper printed in Roblin, Manitoba, CA), published  my letter/article which I've dubbed, "Have Our Servants Become Our Masters?" In it, I suggested such fuels had now become a human "addiction" and were no longer our friends because of the role they are playing in climate change, severe weather events and even rail disasters.
Another writer, John Titanich responded, accusing me of being out to kill Canadian jobs with a bunch of "disgusting drivel."
That, in turn, sparked the two letters, below, (also in The Review) plus my own response, here.

Dear Editor,

If John Titanich has a little spare time on his hands, I will suggest that he might learn a lot more from some serious reading, as to what is actually happening and taking place on our planet….earth! 
We are 100 years ahead of schedule right now and if a great many of us do not take heed to the warnings that have been predicted,(and now being realized) there will not be inhabitants on this place, we call home. We have surpassed 350 ppm of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and closing in on 400 ppm. We're too high!
If we don't smarten up and very soon, forget the grandkids future. This will be the crises and folly of our doing. 
Reading "eaarth" Making a life on a tough new planet, by author
Bill McKibben, would be a good beginning.

John Fefchak,
Virden, Manitoba

The Philipine's Chief Climate Negotiator Goes on Hunger Strike to Protest World Inaction on Climate Change (Video)

PLT: Democracy Now captured this brave man's speech (below) at the climate summit in Warsaw. Holding back tears during its dramatic delivery, he took his seat, and wept. Will the world weep with him? One can only hope.

Watch the video here.

Related: "Have Our Servants Become Our Masters?"

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

CLIMATE ALERT! Given Typhoon Haiyan, UN Must Fully Assess Climate Change Risk and Feedbacks


By ClimateArk a project of Ecological Internet,
November 10, 2013

TAKE ACTION to have top scientists fully assess climate risk and feedbacks:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Global Treaty on Mercury Pollution Gets Boost from United States

United Nations Environment Program

The United States has strengthened the international effort to bring down emissions and releases of a notorious heavy metal after simultaneously signing and ratifying the Minamata Convention on Mercury. Details here.

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...