Showing posts from April, 2013

Pollinator Protection - Europe Shows Us How It's Done

Dear Editor,  Oh, to be in Europe, now that they have put us to shame, once again!  Member states of the European Union have just voted to clamp a temporary (2 year) ban on members of that "devil family" of bee-killing insecticides known as "neonicotinoids." It is now illegal to use the stuff anywhere over that entire continent! While Europe has finally seen the light, they're still applied prodigiously on food crops in North America. The seeds of crops such as corn and canola are now shot-full of them before they even go into the ground!

Bee-Harming Pesticides Banned in Europe

The Guardian EU member states vote ushers in continent-wide suspension of neonicotinoid pesticides. Details here. PLT: Below is a comment I left in the comments section following this story in "The Guardian." "Damn straight, the EU did right by banning these chemicals! They are a curse & a threat to both the natural world and the future of many human food crops! As a blogger and journalist, I've written extensively on this topic, chronicling the disgusting and shameful, do-nothing approach of my own Canadian government, which acts more like an agent for Bayer et al than a representative of real people. I'd invite you to read one of my articles on this topic which I wrote some time ago." "Are Canada's Pesticide Regulators on the Take? Canadian Authorities Refuse to Protect Precious Pollinators From Known Toxins. Is Something Crooked Going on Here? "

Should Capital Punishment be Applied in the Bangladeshi Garment Tragedy?

by Larry Powell I don't believe in capital punishment. Never have.  But maybe now is the time for me - and the rest of society- to step back, take a deep breath, and take another look. The profound evil which has been at play in the recent, horrific collapse of the garment factory in Bangladesh - killing hundreds of innocent workers - sinks to such depths of depravity in every aspect, such a re-assessment seems suddenly appropriate. And I'm not sure I'd stop at the owners of the building. Western multinational corporations  have blood on their hands, too, by using such despicable sweatshops to make their clothing, cheap - Wal Mart, Sears, Loblaws (the latter through its "Joe Fresh" clothing line in Canada and the 'States) - they've all filled their boots with more than their share of guilt. And the history of such things, steeped in blood as it has already become over the years, offers no way out for these heartless entities, to somehow claim ign

Canadian Officials Should be Ashamed for Attacking Scientists - BY ELIZABETH MAY   Earlier this week, our Minister for Natural Resources, the Hon. Joe Oliver, went to Washington on what the Canadian media mistakenly insists on calling a "charm offensive." It really cannot be described as having anything to do with "charm"… Details here.

Freedom Isn’t Free, Terrorism Is Pervasive

By Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological Internet Enduring occasional acts of random terror is the cost of living in a free society. Giving up civil liberties does not provide security, but rather enslaves you in a state of pervasive terror. The human family is threatened by systematized eco-terrorism and other assaults by the elite upon the poor far more than by infrequent criminal acts which the courts can and should handle. Full essay here.

Climate Crisis Threatens Canadian Agriculture, We Need an Agricultural Adaptation Plan, Now

Elizabeth  May All around the world, governments are mobilizing resources to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions while adapting to the climate crisis. Everywhere around the world that is except Canada. Details here.

Bangladeshi Outrage - Will Anything Change?

P in P : Will the outrageous tragedy involving the collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh change anything with regard to workers' rights? Of course not. Wasn't it just the other month when a horrific fire claimed over a hundred lives at another similar factory in that same country, with workers locked inside? That sure changed a lot of attitudes and practises, didn't it? While cute little kids dance on Canadian TV, advertising Joe Fresh clothes which are made in these horrific sweat-shops, there is plenty of blame to go around. But greedy, soulless, heartless corporations like Joe Fresh, Walmart and Disney , including their hollow, despicable shareholders, surely must remain at the top of the blame-list.  Instead of improving working conditions and pay for the world's poor, thus allowing them to buy clothing, ethically made in places which pay decent, livable wages, human society is on a downward escalator, on a relentless race to the bottom. As long as

Roundup Could Be Linked To Parkinson's, Cancer And Other Health Issues

(Reuters) - Heavy use of the world's most popular herbicide, Roundup, could be linked to a range of health problems and diseases, including Parkinson's, infertility and cancers, according to a new study. Details here. Related article: Field of Nightmares - Ottawa continues to embrace the use of Roundup on Canadian farms by letting corporate seduction trump scientific evidence. Crop-duster.  PLT photo

Video: Withdrawing From UN Drought Treaty For The Cost Of...

House of Commons April  16, 2013 Elizabeth May:  Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister told this House that Canada legally withdrew from the treaty to combat drought and desertification because it was “ …not an effective way to [use] taxpayers’ money”. The cost of the treaty, $300,000 a year, is roughly equivalent to half the cost of a G8 gazebo or 109 days of the care and feeding of a rented panda, less than 4% of the PMO office budget, a third the cost of shipping an armoured vehicle to India, or two days of government advertising to tell us how happy we should all be with the way the government is spending our money. By what criteria is that spending more effective than pulling our weight in the world to confront drought and expanding deserts? Hon. Julian Fantino:  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to the criteria. That is making Canada's assistance more effective and efficient so we can dedicate those resources to the people most in need. We are

Vancouver Island Declares Itself a GE Free Zone

Society for a GE Free BC 51 municipalities yesterday supported a motion brought forward by Metchosin to make Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities a genetically engineered free zone – Details here. Designed by PLT

You Did It... The ELA lives!

Show Detail Friends, I have big news to share with you on the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA). The e-mails and letters you sent calling for the ELA to be saved, the petitions you signed, the pressure you helped to mount on social media – it has all paid off. Today the Ontario government announced that it will step in to help keep the world-renowned Experimental Lakes Area operating. Public pressure from concerned citizens like you made this happen. Your support enabled the Council of Canadians to join other groups in sustaining a broad and effective campaign over the last several months. Our efforts culminated last month with our urgent '48 Hours to Save the ELA' action alert, in which nearly 4,000 Council members sent messages to Ontario Premier Wynne and Manitoba Premier Selinger calling on them to intervene – and today, they did! You and I must build on the momentum of this victory for the next fight to protect water. We must challenge the Harper Conservative

Black Market in Moose Thrives in Manitoba

Winnipeg Free Press The animal has been wiped out in parts of Manitoba, so why is it easy to get moose meat? Details here. Graham Powell Photography

Huge Response - Break the Grip of Monsanto

Wow -- 35,000 pledges already! Let's reach 45,000 and stop the take over of our food and our politics. Click  here  to pledge now. Dear Avaazers, One mega-company is gradually taking over our food supply -- putting the planet’s food future in serious danger.  But we can turn the tide on Monsanto and other companies that push through policies that prioritise their profits over the public good.  Pledge $4 now to help stop this dangerous domination of our politics and our food: One mega-company is gradually taking over our global food supply, poisoning our politics and putting the planet’s food future in serious danger.  To stop it we need to expose and break up Monsanto’s worldwide grip. Monsanto, the chemical giant that gave us poisons like Agent Orange and DDT, has a super-profitable racket.  Step 1: Develop pesticides and genetically modified (GM) seeds designed to resist them, patent the seeds, prohibit farmers from replanting their seeds year to year, then send u

Prairies Get Ready For Runoff

Manitoba Co-Operator Flood risks rise again in Manitoba, high runoffs expected in Sask. Details here. A swollen Assiniboine, St. Lazare MB,  Spring, 2011. PLT photo. 

Fish Die in Lake of the Prairies in Western Manitoba

(Video by Kirk Lyttle) What caused the fish-kill (or the extent of it) are still unknown. Was it the dramatically-lower lake levels caused when the authorities deliberately "drew them down," in anticipation of serious flooding this spring? Was it lack of oxygen? Or both? Lake of the Prairies formed decades ago with the construction of the Shellmouth dam on the Assiniboine River, near Russell, MB. This year, authorities have drawn its water levels down dramatically, in anticipation of serious flooding this spring. See "then" and "now" shots below, both taken at the bridge which crosses the lake, east of Yorkton, SK. Above, during the record flood on the Assiniboine in 2011. Note the high water levels below the bridge. Below, note the low levels and exposed abutments,  in full "pre-flood" mode this past weekend.  (PLT photos)

VIDEO: Left On The Ice To Rot

Winnipeg Free Press Frank Kenyon wants to sell fish. Not let them die. Details here.

BPA in Most Canadians’ Urine, Effects Unknown

Canadian Press TORONTO – A Health Canada study suggests most Canadians have the chemical bisphenol A in their urine and all have traces of lead in their blood. Details here.

The Tyranny Of The Tar Sands

the - Clayton Ruby In exploiting every last drop of tar sands crude, the government is impoverishing our country, its democratic freedoms and its future prosperity. Full story here.

The Curse of Fertilizer

National Geographic Ducks in a nutrient-rich river. PLT photo If we don’t watch out, agriculture could destroy our planet. Here’s how to grow all the food we need with fewer chemicals. Details here. Related articles: Field of Nightmares -  Ottawa continues to embrace the widespread use of Roundup on Canadian farms by letting corporate seduction trump scientific evidence. Ditches of Destruction  -  Manitoba’s “war on weeds” comes complete with powerful herbicides, questionable spraying practices and collateral damage.

Summer Ice Melt In Antarctica Is At The Highest Point In 1,000 Years, Researchers Say

CANBERRA (Reuters) - The summer ice melt in parts of Antarctica is at its highest level in 1,000 years, Australian and British researchers reported on Monday, adding new evidence of the impact of global warming on sensitive Antarctic glaciers and ice shelves. Researchers from the Australian National University and the British Antarctic Survey found data taken from an ice core also shows the summer ice melt has been 10 times more intense over the past 50 years compared with 600 years ago. "It's definitely evidence that the climate and the environment is changing in this part of Antarctica," lead researcher Nerilie Abram said.

Why Would Anyone Celebrate the Death of Margaret Thatcher? Ask a Chilean

The Nation Never have I witnessed a gap between the mainstream media and the public quite like the last twenty-four hours since the death of Margaret Thatcher. Details here.

Climate change: How a Warming World is a Threat to our Food Supplies

The Guardian Global warming is exacerbating political instability as tensions brought on by food insecurity rise. With research suggesting the issue can only get worse we examine the risks around the world. Details here. Manitoba corn following a freak frost; Aug.'07 PLT photo PLT: As a Canadian, I'm getting quite tired of coverage such as this, concentrating on the US as centre of the universe, then radiating outward in any direction except Canada! The only reference I can find in this entire article to my country is this: "Canada will be a winner, as crops move north." Say what?   I've lived most of my 70+ years on the Canadian prairies & the only crop "moving north" that I'm aware of is a rare disease of canola, purportedly carried north on the wind and thriving due to drought. (Kuz we had drought here, too, last summer!)  As I look out my window this mid-April day, I see mounds of snow with more forecast. And I hear on the

Experimental Lakes Area Closure a Financial Blunder, Say Greens

  Grandview:    The Green Party of Canada calls on the  federal government to keep the  Experimental Lakes  Area (ELA) research station open. Closure of ELA will  cost Canadian tax payers $50 million to decommission  the site while keeping it open would only be $2 million  a year.  “Do the math,” says Kate Storey, of the Dauphin  Swan River Marquette Green Party. “This attack on  science is a financial blunder.” Giving no reasons, the Harper government terminated  funding to the facility, forcing it to close this March.  Concerned citizens  have suggested that the closure is  a vendetta against environmentalists. Research coming  out of the experimental lakes could be inconvenient to  those wishing to ignore the effects of toxins on the water  and on the health of Canadians. The Experimental Lakes station  has operated as a unique,  world-renowned centre for freshwater research in  northwestern Ontario for about half-a-century. Studies  done there hav

Green Party Leader Gob-Smacks the Media Darling of the CBC and National Post

Greens do politics differently (But not in the way that Rex Murphy thinks) By Elizabeth May In his Saturday National Post column , Rex Murphy claimed that Canada’s  Green party has no  goal other than to get me elected as an MP —  and that this has been the case for “two or three general elections.”   Full story here. Rex Murphy caricature courtesy  of By the Bay Art Studio

Alberta’s Bold Plan To Cut Emissions Stuns Ottawa And Oil Industry

The Globe & Mail The Alberta government has quietly presented a proposal to sharply increase levies on carbon production and force large oil-industry producers to slash greenhouse gas.... Details here.

Harperites Undermine Democracy - Columnist

Winnipeg Free Press Canadian democracy is under threat from its own government. Details here.

This Is What Democracy Could Look Like

Murray Dobbin's Blog One of the many things that Hugo Chavez, the charismatic and revolutionary president of Venezuela contributed to the world was his demonstration for people everywhere the difference between democracy and liberal democracy.  Details here.

Dangerous Ditches

Manitoba’s “war on weeds” comes complete with powerful herbicides, questionable spraying practices and collateral damage.  by  Larry Powell Leafy Spurge. Photo Credit;  Idaho Weed Awareness Committee Many governments in North America believe, a good way to ensure successful food production, is to help farmers keep plants out of their fields which can cut into their yields and their profits. To achieve this, potent weedkillers, some with unsettling safety records, are often pressed into service  to destroy these "weeds" in ditches before they can spread to adjacent fields and food crops.  For most lawmakers, this must seem a natural extension of a chemical system of agriculture which has come to dominate the developed - and, increasingly - the developing world, as well. As a result, those who might have liked to chose a different path,  are being increasingly marginalized.  Manitoba is no exception.  According to  an official statement  from the province, "Noxio