Sunday, May 26, 2013

The New US Farm Bill is an Economic Disaster

Heidi Moore - The Guardian

Just when you think Congress can't get any dumber, it crafts a $1tn farm bill that harms the poor and promotes unhealthy food. Full story here.
PLT: Thank goodness there are still some people in mass media who tell it like it is!

Millions March Against GM Crops


Organisers celebrate huge global turnout and say they will continue until Monsanto and other GM manufacturers listen…Details here.

Anti-GM Rally in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (Video)

Chile Fines Barrick Gold $16m for Pascua-Lama Mine

BBC News

Chilean authorities have fined the world's largest gold mining company, Barrick Gold Corp. of CANADA, more than $16m for environmental offences. Details here.

PLT: A fine, Canadian "role-model" for the world - poisoning Earth for profit and bling!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Terracide and the Terrarists


Courtesy of Common Dreams

Destroying the Planet for Record Profits. Full story here.

You Need Phosphorus to Live—and We're Running Out

Mother Jones
Pesticide sprayer on a farm in Manitoba, Canada. PLT photo.
Industrial farming has played a part in sucking this critical element out of our soil.

Hungary Won't Tolerate GMO Seeds, Burns 1,000 Acres of Corn


A GMO crop in Manitoba, Canada. PLT photo.
Think you can plant genetically modified seeds with your crop and no one will notice? Better not try it in Hungary, where agriculture officials literally took a scorched-Earth approach to GMO seeds...Details here.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Toronto Star Investigation: Drugged Canadian Horses Slipping Through ‘Inadequate’ Food System

The horse “passport” Canada relies on to keep toxic meat off dinner tables around the world is open to fraud and error, a Star investigation has found, confirming the findings of an international audit. Full story here.

PLT photo.

Suzuki Reveals Shifting Sands of Alberta Fight

an editorial by John Fefchak

As I watched one of David Suzuki's TV programs,"The Nature of Things," I became very upset at what was taking place in northern Alberta with the Tar Sands and what was happening to the land, the animals, the fish, the environment and the people who make their home there. It seemed, surely this can't be taking place in Canada. This has got to be a spoof from a horror film. But it wasn't a spoof. This was and is reality.  

 It has motivated me to submit this letter, for I also believe we must change our ways and take much better care of our one and only planet that we live on.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Is Climate Change to Blame for the Oklahoma Tornado?

Mother Jones
The six least active and four most active tornado seasons have been felt over the past decade–which could show the influence of climate change. Details here.
Related: "Oklahoma Tornado's Climate Change Connection Is 'A Damn Difficult Thing To Predict'"

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Life at Delta Marsh, Manitoba, Canada

Winnipeg Free Press:
Sports and wildlife photographer Fred Greenslade and Free Press photographer Joe Bryksa visited Manitoba's Delta Marsh to capture the wondrous spring migration of various fowl. Details here.
Below; some marsh denizens of our own. PLT.

Stop Corporate Control Over Our Seeds in Canada! Please Sign!

Canadian Biological Action Network
Urgent Action Alert - Deadline Thursday May 23, 2013
The National Farmers Union asks you to submit your letter to stop the significant regulatory changes to Seed Variety Registration in Canada. These changes will: Details here.

Think, Eat, Save! The UN Tackles Food Wastage

UN News Service: According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), every year 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted or lost. This volume of waste is more than the total net production of Sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, 1 in every 7 people in the world go to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of 5 die daily from hunger.  See more at: 

PLT photo.

Time for a Tar Sands Reality Check (Video)

Quebec Area Where Cancer Rates Are 80 Times Higher To Be Studied

Globe and Mail
It’s been more than 15 years since her husband died of a brain tumour, but Candide Bélanger feels she may finally get some answers about why he died. Details here.

Government Should 'Grow Up' On Climate Change, Scientist Says

CBC News
A dozen prominent scientists write letter to Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver. Details here.
PLT; It's hard to imagine a government more insulting or offensive to the human intelligence, one that is less of a pariah on the world stage. Harper must go!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Violent Arctic Storm a Climate-Change 'Harbinger,' Study Finds

Globe and Mail

The Inuvialuit living in the Mackenzie Delta of the Northwest Territories watched incredulously in September of 1999, as a particularly violent storm swept the Arctic Ocean 20 kilometres inland, killing all vegetation in its path and leaving lakes infused with salt water. Details here.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Help Protect Whales From Dangerous Sonar and Explosives

Manitoba Greens Celebrate Climate Scientist's Victory in British Columbia

Green Party of Manitoba
WINNIPEG – Manitoba Green Party leader James Beddome (l.) congratulates new Green MLA Andrew Weaver (below) on his historic win in B.C.’s election yesterday. “Andrew will be a wonderful first Green representative, bringing his strong voice to work for the environment and our planet’s future.”

Andrew Weaver is the first Green ever elected to a provincial legislature in Canada. He defeated the Liberal incumbent in the riding of Oak Bay-Gordon Head. Other B.C. Greens came close to winning seats, with Adam Olsen only 387 votes behind the NDP victor and Jane Sterk placing a strong second to the Liberals in the riding of Victoria-Beacon Hill. The Greens are B.C.’s third political party in terms of popular vote.

“Greens are rising in popularity across Canada,” says Beddome. “Our sound and sensible policies are resonating with voters as everyone learns to think ‘green’. The Green Party of Manitoba looks forward to electing MLAs in Manitoba’s next election.”

James Beddome,
leader of the Green Party of Manitoba
call or text at 204-990-5195

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Monsanto Court Victory Could Have Big Impact on Biotech

Washington (CNN) -- The Supreme Court ruled for agribusiness giant Monsanto on Monday in a patent case that could have an enormous impact on a variety of biotech fields.
The justices unanimously found the world's largest seed producer has intellectual property control over its best-selling "Roundup Ready" soybeans. That means the product cannot be reproduced without paying the company a fee. Details here.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Common Plants, Animals Threatened by Climate Change, Study Says

Los Angeles Times
Richardson's Ground Squirrel. PLT photo.

WASHINGTON -- Climate change could lead to the widespread loss of common plants and animals around the world, according to a new study released Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change. Details here.

We Just Passed the Climate's "Grim Milestone"

Mother Jones

Over the last couple weeks, scientists and environmentalists have been keeping a particularly close eye on the Hawaii-based monitoring station that tracks how much carbon dioxide is in the atmosphere, as the count tiptoed closer to a record-smashing 400 parts per million. Yesterday, we finally got there: The daily mean concentration was higher than at any time in human history, NOAA reported today. Details here. 

Poster designed by PLT.

PLT: Authorities did a "double-check" of the number and announced it was a fraction of a ppm below 400. But I think we all get the idea!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

On World Migratory Bird Day, UN Calls for Greater Protection of Habitats

United Nations News Centre
Yellow-headed blackbird. PinP photo.
As an estimated 50 billion birds commence their annual migrations, the critical staging areas they need to complete these journeys continue to be degraded or are disappearing completely, the United Nations today warned on this year's World Migratory Bird Day. Details here.
Brush-clearing on a Manitoba farm. PinP photos.

Friday, May 10, 2013

'It's Great News' for Experimental Lakes Area

Winnipeg Free Press
The International Institute for Sustainable Development (a Winnipeg-based think tank) will step in to operate experimental lakes. Full story here.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Cicadas are Coming!

The Xerces Society

Everybody has his or her own treasured experience of insects -- a nighttime lit by 
fireflies, the sight of monarchs clustered for the winter…full story here.

PLT: below - Definitely not cicadas, but an unidentified swarm of rather hard-backed, 
flying insects which gathered on a vehicle in my yard on a warm day in April, then died. 
Recognize them? Let me know if you know what they are! Thanks!

Below is a response I got when I posted the last photo on an online bug i.d. website.
"I do believe these are Water Boatmen. As adults these occasionally come flying out of the ponds in which they've spent all their juvenile lives in search of new ponds to colonize. If your vehicle has a smooth reflection to it (or better yet--is some shade of blue or black or green) they could easily have mistaken the sheen of your vehicle for that of a pond. These poor guys probably then proceeded to bake to death very quickly on the hot surface of your car..."

Seven Killed in Bangladesh Garment Factory Fire

Dhaka, Bangladesh (CNN) -- At least seven people died in a fire in a clothing factory in Bangladesh's capital late Wednesday, police and the factory's general manager said. Details here.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Policy and Poverty in Manitoba - Budget 2013

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
It was a welcome change to hear politicians of all stripes talking about poverty in the lead up to the 2013 provincial budget and in the analysis that followed. Unfortunately much of the chatter will serve the interests of politicians more than those most affected by government decisions. Details here.

Ban the Use of Neonicotinoids in Canada

Elizabeth May, Leader, Green Party of Canada
Pollinators, including honeybees, are a central element of our food system and a critical pillar of our ecology. Details here.

Lots of Buzz About Plight of Disappearing Honeybees

Laura Rance - Winnipeg Free Press
The expression "canary in the coal mine" comes to mind when reading a newly-released U.S. government report on the sorry plight of honeybees. Details here.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Adverse Effects of Artificial Flooding

Cheryl Kennedy Courcelles - CBC 
Here we go again, the province has sent out their email, Facebook, Twitter and media announcements that they shall be operating the floodway gates…Details here.

"We aren't the only species on Earth. We just act like it!" Anon

There Is No Point At Which Those Who Accumulate Money Become Satisfied.

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 6th May 2013.
“I never did anything for money. I never set money as a goal. It was a result.”(1) So says Bob…Full story here. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Time for Big Green to Go Fossil Free

Naomi Klein - the Nation
The movement demanding that public interest institutions divest their holdings from fossil fuels is on a serious roll. At last count, there were active divestment campaigns on 305 campuses and in more than 100 US cities and states. The demand has spread to Canada...Full story here.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Bid For UNESCO World Heritage Designation Deferred One Year

Winnipeg Free Press
Mount Fuji in Japan looks like it will get the nod, but the east side of Lake Winnipeg will not — at least not yet. Details here.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Save the CBC From Harper! Please Sign!

Dear Larry,

Prime Minister Harper is using his latest budget bill to seize unprecedented 

power over the CBC. Independent public media is a cornerstone of a healthy democracy, 
and we canot stand by and let the CBC be silenced and controlled for partisan political gain.

We've teamed up with the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting to fight back -- 

Please join us and sign the urgent petition to Free the CBC from political interference
then forward this to everyone.

With hope and respect,

Matthew on behalf of the

----- Forwarded Message -----

Dear Friend,
Free CBC from Political InterferenceJian Ghomeshi, Carol Off, Peter 
Mansbridge and every other journalist and creative person at the CBC 
will be beholden to Stephen Harper if he succeeds in the biggest 
and most sinister media takeover Canada has ever seen.

Please help us to stop Harper by signing the Free CBC 

petition right now.

The Counter-Enlightenment

George Monbiot- the Guardian
How government science advisers misrepresent science. Details here.

Diesel vehicles in oil sands operations contribute to regional pollution

EurekAlert Wildfires, cigarette smoking and vehicles all emit a potentially harmful compound called isocyanic acid. The substance has been l...