Showing posts from November, 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 chim

Belo Monte Justice Now! Please Sign Petition (Video)

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 w

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

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

the COMMONSENSE CANADIAN 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.

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.

Arctic 30 Day 59: Global solidarity protests

Greenpeace 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!

Some +Us 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.

Blame Canada’s Carbon Complacency for the Philippine Typhoon

CommonSenseCanadian 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.

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. Related: Bursting the ethanol bubble.

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

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

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

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. Larry 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

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?"

Typhoon Haiyan: What Really Alarms Filipinos is the Rich World Ignoring Climate Change

The Guardian Now that Haiyan has battered the Phillipines, the political elites at the UN climate talks will again leave poor countries to go it alone. Full story here. Please also read:   Typhoon that devastates Philippines linked to climate change.

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

CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION ALERT            PLEASE SEND, SHARE, LIKE, FORWARD! By ClimateArk a project of Ecological Internet, November 10, 2013 TAKE ACTION to have top scientists fully assess climate risk and feedbacks:

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Called Threat to Oil Industry

CBC Alberta freedom of information document shows industry looking for weak regulations. Details here.

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.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reached New Highs In 2012: WMO

Huffington Post Atmospheric volumes of greenhouse gases blamed for climate change hit a new record in 2012, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said on Wednesday. Details here. Please also read:  Greenhouse Gases in Atmosphere Reach Record High, Says UN Agency

Moratorium on Fracking Announced by Newfoundland Government

St. John's Telegram Reviews, public consultations needed before policy developed, minister says. Full story here.

A Global Ban on Left-Wing Politics?

That’s what the new rules being smuggled into trade agreements are delivering. By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 5th November 2013 Remember that referendum about whether we should create a single market with the United States? You know, the one that asked whether corporations should have the power to strike down our laws? No, I don’t either. Mind you, I spent ten minutes looking for my watch the other day, before I realised I was wearing it. Forgetting about the referendum is another sign of ageing. Because there must have been one, mustn’t there? After all that agonising over whether or not we should stay in the European Union(1), the government wouldn’t cede our sovereignty to some shadowy, undemocratic body without consulting us.  Would it?

A Century of Scientific Discovery That Brought Life and Death

The Guardian It's 100 years since Fritz Haber found a way to synthesise ammonia – helping to feed billions but also to kill millions, and contributing to the pollution of the planet… Details here.

Climate Change Report Predicts Warming Will Only Make Human Ills Worse

Huffington Post Many of the ills of the modern world — starvation, poverty, flooding, heat waves, droughts, war and disease — are likely to worsen as the world warms from man-made climate change... Full story here. Floodwater blocks access to a rural home near  Yorkton, Saskatchewan, CA - 2011. PLT photo

Canadians Head to Parliament Hill to Lobby for Carbon Fee and Dividend

Citizens Climate Lobby.  In mid-November, as climate leaders gather in Warsaw, Poland for the 19th meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, citizens from across Canada will be lobbying for Carbon Fee and Dividend on Parliament Hill. Full story here. Storm clouds near Regina. PLT photo

Help Save The Bees

We are writing to ask you to send an email to Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency calling for a ban on neonicotinoids pesticides.  You may have seen media reports over the summer describing the critical situation of beekeepers. It is estimated that 40% of the bees in Ontario and Quebec were killed in 2012 and early reports from 2013 are looking just as bad. So bad in fact the Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency has posted this statement: “(we’ve)   determined that current agricultural practices related to the use of neonicotinoid treated corn and soybean seed are affecting the environment due to their impacts on bees and other pollinators”.  PMRA went on to invite public comment on the use of neonicotinoids and we are passing the invitation on to you, please let them know what you think! Just  click here , fill in the form and click “send”.