Showing posts from September, 2013

A Mine, a Movement And a Town Divided

The Tyee In Mexico, local resistance to Canadian mining companies is growing as the industry booms. Full story here. Related:  CONFLICT DOGS CANADIAN MINING ABROAD

Save the Bees! Let Home Hardware and Lowe's Know You Won't Take it Anymore!

Larry, Home Depot and Lowe’s still haven’t committed to stop selling the pesticides that are killing the bees  -- and now it’s time to up the pressure. A new report by our allies at Friends of the Earth reveals that  more than half of the “bee-friendly” home garden plants sold at stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s actually contain bee-killing pesticides called neonics -- with no warning to consumers! Nearly 125,000 of us have asked Home Depot and Lowe’s to stop selling pre-poisoned plants and bee-killing pesticides. But so far, neither company has responded. Now, we need to up the buzz to protect the bees.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     PLT photo

Soil: Our Climate Ally Underfoot (Video)

Keystone XL's Ugly Toll on America's Endangered Species

Huffington Post Much of the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline has rightly been focused on the staggering damage it'll do to our climate. Details here. Western Prairie Fringed Orchid.  Photo Credit - US Fish & Wildlife Related story:  Unsung Victims of the XL Pipeline :  

Beyond the Birds and the Bees

The Xerces Society Effects of "neonic" insecticides on agriculturally important beneficial insects. Details here. Unidentified pollinator. PLT photo. 

Apple Turnover - How This "Supercool" Tech Giant Plays Fast & Loose With the Environment

George Monbiot Apple offers 21st Century technology – with 19th Century ethics. Full story here.

Writer Knocks Manitoba Government for "Disgusting" Response to Arsenic Issue

Dear Editor: Complacency about water safety thrives in Manitoba. What are we putting into our water ? PLT photo We are putting toxic waste (poison) into our water.   Toxic = dangerous, immediate or long term effects.  In the absence of scientific research, no one should  simply claim those products are safe and acceptable, then  allow them to be discarded into a water source. There is absolutely no legitimate government interest fulfilled, by allowing arsenic, lead and other contaminants  into a water source. Yet, that is exactly what is happening! The town of Virden, Manitoba, for instance,  has been issued  a  licence by the province   to dump arsenic taken from the  water treatment plant, into a  surface water  source, which downstream, enters into the Assiniboine River. The questions then that need to be answered are: Why does government, the province of Manitoba  condone and permit such a disdainful action? Why ar

Wake Up! Make Agriculture Truly Sustainable - UNCTAD

United Nations Conference on Trade & Development The world needs "a rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based and high external-input-dependent industrial production towards mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems."  Full story here.

Climate Change: IPCC Cites Global Temperature Rise Over Last Century

The Guardian More than half a trillion tonnes of carbon have been burned since the industrial revolution, according to an IPCC report. Full story here. PLT: What doesn't get burned, gets spilled!

Protest Song - Save BC's Wilderness

Rachelle Van Zanten - My Country (Official Video) from Taylor F. on Vimeo .

Environmental Report Details Extent of Contamination in the Quebec Runaway Train Disaster

(The Toronto Star) There was never doubt that the deadly train derailment in Lac-Mégantic caused an environmental disaster, but a report made public this week by Quebec's ministry of the environment details the extent of the devastation to the soil, river and lake near the disaster zone. Details here. Related: "Have Our Servants Become Our Masters? "

Water is Our Most Precious Resource

by John Fefchak Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined. Water is the life blood of all living things. It just seems we have so much fresh water in Canada, we don't  look after it, as we know we should. (U.S. and Canada need to  reduce algae bloom on Lake Erie, WFP 29 Aug) It is clear that governments have ignored the basic principles of water stewardship for too many years in the pursuit of narrow economic interests. Lake Winnipeg has become a horrid reminder of devastation, that we are  leaving our children and their children to bear alone. Now Lake Erie has a sickness that has returned. So many of our Lakes have become diseased. The name of this disease is 'human complacency.' Slime on a Lake Winnipeg beach near  Gimli. PLT photo.

Food Crisis Fears Prompt UN Wake-Up Call to World Leaders

UN Conference on Trade & Development Wake up before it is too late: Make agriculture truly sustainable now for food security in a changing climate. Full story here. Read Guardian story here.

Family From Turtle Mountain in Southwestern Manitoba Says Crop-Dusting Spray Made Them Ill

CBC Radio Woman says she had allergic reaction to pesticide sprayed on canola field. Details here. A "crop-duster" similar to the one said to be involved in this latest incident. PLT photo. Related:  Family Believes it was Poisoned by Crop Spray Are Crop Sprays Making Us Sick?

CDC Study on Superbugs Does Not Reflect Well on Factory Farming Methods

Centers for Disease Control -  Threat Report 2013 This report, Antibiotic resistance threats in the United States, 2013,  gives a first-ever snapshot of the burden and threats posed by the antibiotic-resistant germs having the most impact on human health.  Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year... Details here. Related:  CDC Reveals Scary Truth About Factory Farms and Superbugs Could Antibiotics Actually be Killing You?

World 'Not On Track' To Prevent Warming - UN Climate Official

Huffington Post Appealing directly to the world's voters to pressure their politicians into taking tougher action against the buildup of greenhouse gases, a top climate official with  the United Nations says, international leaders are failing to fight global warming. Details here. A brooding skyline in Manitoba, CA. PLT photo.

Help Coming for the Greater sage-grouse

Larry, It took nearly two years of legal wrangling, but it looks like the federal government is finally prepared to introduce emergency protections for Canada’s endangered Greater sage-grouse. The announcement, made this morning, is a welcome breath of fresh air to a case that’s been mired in secrecy, delays and procedural roadblocks. In fact, our efforts may well have helped set another important legal precedent. To our knowledge, this is the first time Ottawa has explicitly stated its intention to introduce emergency protections for an endangered species. Thank you. None of this would have been possible without you.  Thanks to your support, we were able to bring forward a series of legal challenges that have forced the federal government to act. But as I told CBC’s  The National  (10 p.m. local), we know all too well that the devil will be in the details and that our work is far from done.  We’re still waiting to learn  when  the emergency order will be implemented and 

Dangers Pesticides Pose To Workers Force Farmers To Look For Alternatives

Fox News Latino California's $2.3 billion strawberry industry edging toward non-chemical alternatives to pesticides.  Details here. Organic strawberries in Manitoba. PLT photo

Wilderness Committee: Tanco Mine Disaster Risk in Manitoba, Canada

Manitoba Wilderness Committee According to an engineering report filed with the Manitoba government on August 30,  an underground mine is on the verge of collapse under Bernic Lake in eastern Manitoba.   Details here.

Food Waste Harms Climate, Water, Land and Biodiversity – New FAO Report (Story & Video)

Food and Agriculture Organization - United Nations Discarded cucumbers. PLT photo Rome - The waste of a staggering 1.3 billion tonnes of food per year is not only causing major economic losses but also wreaking significant harm on the natural resources that humanity relies upon to feed itself, says a new FAO report. Full story here.

Environmentalist Can't Believe Government Response To His Campaign to Condemn Arsenic Releases Into a Creek Near His Home in Virden, Manitoba

Below is the response from the Government of Manitoba to a complaint by John Fefchak that arsenic was being released into the water supply of his hometown, Virden, Manitoba.  (Please read)  Keep Arsenic out of the Water at Virden, Manitoba, Canada! An Open Letter to Manitoba's Minister of Conservation (Environment) ==== Dear Mr. Fefchak: September 13, 2013 Thank you for your e-mail of August 15, 2013, to the Honourable Gord Mackintosh, Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship regarding the discharge of arsenic from the Town of Virden Water Treatment Plant. I have been asked to respond to your letter on his behalf. It is not accurate that the practice of discharging minute amounts of arsenic constitutes a violation of provincial legislation. It is permitted by the Town of Virden ' s Environment Act licence. Your assertion that arsenic is a pollutant is incorrect in this context, as the discharge of arsenic does not affect the natural, physical, chemi

Small Islands Make Big Statement on Climate Change

The Vancouver Sun Tiny Pacific nations have been battered by floods, cyclones and rising seas. Details here.

G20 Agreement to Reduce Greenhouse Gases Vital to Tackle Climate Change – United Nations

UN - New York The United Nations environment agency today welcomed an agreement signed by world leaders at the recent Group of 20 (G20) Summit to reduce the emission of potent greenhouse gases, adding this is a vital contribution in efforts to combat climate change. Details  here.

Canadian PM Offers Obama Carbon Reductions for Keystone Approval

Inside Climate News Prime Minister Stephen Harper has sent a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama formally proposing "joint action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas sector," Full story here.

Contamination Cases Renew Fears Over Globalized Food Supply

ALJAZEERA AMERICA A recent spate of contamination outbreaks highlights safety challenges of transnational food distribution. Details here. Organic veggies, grown and eaten safely in Manitoba, Canada. PLT photo.

Global warming? No, Actually We're Cooling, Claim Some Scientists

The Telegraph A cold Arctic summer has led to a record increase in the ice cap, leading experts to predict a period of global cooling. Full story here. Please also read: "Is Global Warming Really Slowing Down?" 

Have Our Servants Become Our Masters?

by Larry Powell There was a time when coal, oil and natural gas served us well; powering our vehicles, heating and cooling our homes, generating our electricity and keeping our industries going. While they may still be doing all of those things, there’s been a huge, even sinister shift over the generations since the industrial revolution of the 19 th century. The  Lac - Mégantic  Disaster.  Edmonton Journal photo World populations have skyrocketed, along with our expectations. Our lust for more and more of the things these fossil fuels can give us - electronic gadgets, power boats and quads - has turned into a life-threatening addiction.  Conservation and moderation are now dirty words. Consumption is the new religion – with no thought for tomorrow.  Sadly, even our schools and churches are doing little to counter this kind of mindset! Parents  are even drilling it into their children, at home.  Make no mistake. Fossil fuels, which once served us well,

Environmentalists Say Alberta Government Keeping Them Out of Oilsands Hearing

Edmonton Journal Alberta environmentalists argued in court Thursday that the provincial government is keeping them out of hearings on a proposed oilsands development at least partly because of their concerns about the industry. Details here.  

Are Weeds Healthier Than Farmed Veggies?

Mother Jones Here's why you might consider replacing that romaine salad with dandelion greens. Full story here. Please also read; Dangerous Ditches -  Manitoba’s “war on weeds” comes complete with powerful herbicides, questionable spraying practices and collateral damage.

Population Growth Increases Climate Fear

San Francisco Chronicle "The combination of climate change and 9 billion people to me is one that is just fraught with potential catastrophes," said… Full story here.

Golden Rice: No Silver Bullet

Organic Consumers Association The biotech industry is trying to revive Golden Rice in the consciousness of the public, even though it still remains a largely theoretical product. In the absense of any real news on a crop that hasn't gained traction in more than a decade, the move looks more like an act of desperation than a legitimate defence of biotechnology. Details here.

Is Global Warming Really Slowing Down?

Mother Jones Skeptics say global warming is over. They're wrong. Full story here.

No Thanks to Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper And His "Wrecking Crew," Resurrection of the Priceless Experimental Lakes Area Again Looks Promising

The Province of Manitoba is distributing this news release on behalf of the Government of Manitoba and the International Institute of Sustainable Development. News Release September 2, 2013 MANITOBA TO HELP ENSURE CONTINUED OPERATION OF EXPERIMENTAL LAKES AREA WITH LONG-TERM FUNDING TO IISD, FRESHWATER RESEARCH  - - - ELA Research Invaluable in Saving Lake Winnipeg:  Premier The Manitoba government is providing the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) ongoing, secure funding as the organization takes over operation of the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA), Premier Greg Selinger announced today.  The new, more than $6 million, six-year agreement includes $900,000 to be dedicated to funding freshwater research and technology at the ELA.   "The ELA will be invaluable to helping us solve the complex issues surrounding the health of Lake Winnipeg and basin waterway challenges," said Selinger.  "Stable long-term funding is critical for the nationally and

Bayer Sues EC for Saving Bees

Sum of +  Us Larry, Wow.  Bayer has just sued the European Commission to overturn a ban on the pesticides that are killing millions of bees  around the world. A huge public push won this landmark ban only months ago -- and we can't sit back and let Big Pesticide overturn it while the bees vanish. Bayer and Syngenta, two of the world's largest chemical corporations, claim that the ban is "unjustified" and "disproportionate." But clear scientific evidence shows  their products are behind the massive bee die-off that puts our entire food chain in peril.  Just last month, 37 million bees were discovered dead on a single Canadian farm. And unless we act now, the bees will keep dying.  We have to show Bayer now that we won't tolerate it putting its profits ahead of our planet's health.  If this giant corporation manages to bully Europe into submission, it would spell disaster for the bees. Sign the petition to tell Bayer and Syngenta to drop the

New Studies Show The Oceans Are Acidifying at the Fastest Rate in 300 Million Years. Should We Be Concerned?

Washington Post The results, published this week in Nature Climate Change , aren’t exactly encouraging: “Our analysis demonstrates that the groups studied -  corals, molluscs, echinoderms, crustaceans and fishes   - are all impacted negatively, albeit differently, even by moderate acidification.” Details here.