Friday, February 28, 2014

Ex-Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark Blasts the Current PM for Attacks on Environmentalists

WASHINGTON – Former prime minister Joe Clark says he can’t understand why the Harper government would bar the opposition from a delegation to Ukraine and suggests its combative approach to international issues sometimes hurts the country. Details here.

Canada Agrees to Work to Prevent Fishing in High Arctic

CBC News

Five nations work on deal to block commercial fishing until more studies done. Details here.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Is the Solution to Climate Change in British Columbia? An American Perspective.

There’s something happening north of the border that can give Americans a glimmer of hope. It’s a carbon tax. And it seems to be working fine. Details here.

Related: "Manitoba's Climate Change Chickens."

Council of Canadians Celebrates Federal Rejection of New Prosperity Mine

Council of Canadians

The Council of Canadians applauds the Tsilhqot’in Nation and celebrates the federal decision to reject the contentious Taseko Mines Limited New Prosperity Mine. Details here.

Fish Lk. Environment CA

Fertilizer Limits Sought Near Lake Erie to Fight Spread of Algae

New York Times
A United States-Canadian agency called on Wednesday for swift and sweeping limits on the use of fertilizer around Lake Erie to reduce the amount of phosphorus entering the water and creating a vast blanket of algae each summer, threatening fisheries, tourism and even drinking water. Details here. 
A duck family labours through an algae-clogged
river in Manitoba, CA. PLT photo.

Large Dams of Mining Waste Leaking Into Athabasca River: Study

The Tyee

Polluted water from large man-made lakes of oilsands mining waste is fouling the Athabasca River, says a new federal study. Details here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Climate Impacts ‘Are Very Evident, They’re Widespread’ And ‘We Are Not Prepared’

A vicious plow-wind tore through wide areas of central Manitoba and Saskatchewan in the summer of 2012. It knocked out power and caused widespread damage. PLT video.
The next big report from the world’s leading climate scientists is on impacts, it’s due the end of March, and it isn’t pretty. As the AP summarized the draft report on “Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability” from The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “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.

Canada’s Whale Whisperer: Scientist - Fired by Prime Minister Harper - Will Keep Telling Tales of his Ocean “Colleagues”

Environmental Health News
Scientist Peter Ross has dedicated his life to understanding ocean inhabitants, or as he calls them, his “colleagues.” As one of the world’s leading ecotoxicologists, Ross examined how ocean pollution harms some of the world’s most compelling creatures, including killer whales, .... Full story here.

A dolphin park in Mexico. PLT photo.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Cancer of Growth

The RAM'S HORN - Brewster Kneen

There is a cancer referred to as The Economy which is growing world-wide – in Canada, the USA, Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey, Mexico. It accompanies a notion – nay, ideological fantasy – that growth is a universal remedy for an ailing – or failing – economy. This is profoundly odd since the primary characteristic of cancer is that it endeavours to consume its host. Details here.

The City of Vancouver, CA - another of the 
world's "growth centres." PLT photo.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Could A Climate Scientist’s Defamation Suit Shut Down America's Leading Conservative Magazine?

The National Review has held great influence among Republicans and conservative thought leaders for nearly 60 years, but a lawsuit from a climate scientist could threaten its very existence. Details here.

Canadian Environmental Groups Celebrate Victory in Endangered Species Protection Case

Sierra Club BC
Court rules federal government acted ‘unlawfully’ in delaying recovery strategies for at-risk species. Details here.

Whooping crane. 
US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Trading Water for Fuel is Fracking Crazy

EcoWatch - by David Suzuki

It would be difficult to live without oil and gas. But it would be impossible to live without water. Yet, in our mad rush to extract and sell every drop of gas and oil as quickly as possible, we’re trading precious water for fossil fuels. Details here.
A Canadian waterfall. Quantity? For now
Quality? Not so much! PLT photo.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

U.N. Focuses on Faltering Goals: Water, Sanitation, Energy


The Jangwani slum in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, was flooded during recent heavy rain. Credit: Muhidin Issa Michuzi/IPS
When the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) reach their deadline in 2015, there will still be a critical setback: millions of people in the developing world without full access to safe drinking water, proper sanitation and electricity in their homes. Details here.

16,000 Landless Workers Protest for Agrarian Reform in Brasilia

La Via Campesina

(Brazilia) The ministry esplanade was covered in red yesterday afternoon. Around 16 thousand landless workers participating in the 6th Landless Workers’ Movement National Congress made the 9km journey to the Plaza and back. Details here.

‘Swine Flu’ Strain Returns in US; Dramatic Rise in Deaths of Young Adults, Children

The Washington Post

The H1N1 virus responsible for the 2009 global pandemic is back. State health officials from across the country say the resurgence is resulting in a dramatic rise in flu deaths in young and middle-aged adults and in children this season. Full story here.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Autosaurus Rex: A Story of Dinosaurs

Transparency,Please! Time to Come Clean, Rex! - Sierra Club

Should a CBC radio & TV commentator be
 accepting speaking fees for pro-Tar Sands speeches on the side without publicly disclosing the financial conflict of interest to viewers? Should a national newspaper consider--let alone sign--a strategic partnership with the oil industry (a.k.a. Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers) to produce content? Would such a move render the paper a non-news organization? Should it?

These two stories emerged over the last week and received almost no attention in the media. There has to be a better explanation than Olympic coverage eating up air time.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Kerry: Climate Change is World's 'Most Fearsome' WMD; Slams Deniers as 'Flat-Earthers'

Brandon Sun
A raging stream where none had been before during Manitoba's epic flooding of 2011.  PLT photo.
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Climate change may be the world's "most fearsome" weapon of mass destruction and urgent global action is needed to combat it, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday. He compared those who deny its existence to people who insist the Earth is flat. Details here.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Keystone XL Pipeline: 4 Animals and 3 Habitats in Its Path

National Geographic

Power line impact on the whooping crane just one of the wildlife concerns. Details here.

Will Canada's Experimental Lakes Area Rise From the Dead?

International Institute for Sustainable Development

OTTAWA—The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) welcomes today’s announcement of proposed new regulations that would allow the important scientific research at the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) to continue. 
One of a countless number of freshwater lakes in Manitoba, Canada. PLT photo.
The proposed regulations are published in the Canada Gazette and are entitled “Experimental Lakes Area Research Activities Regulations” and “Regulations Establishing Conditions for Making Regulations under Subsection 36(5.2) of the Fisheries Act.
This step, together with the Ontario government’s regulation proposal notice last month, is of critical importance to allow the operation of ELA by a third party. IISD seeks to ensure that the long-term scientific work to understand Canada’s changing freshwater management challenges continues. 
“IISD continues to negotiate with both Ontario and the federal government, and we are hopeful that a final arrangement regarding legal transfer of the Experimental Lakes Area can be reached in the coming weeks,” said Scott Vaughan, IISD president and CEO.

Friday, February 14, 2014

California Farms Are Slow to Adopt Water-Saving Technology - Higher Food Prices on the Way.


Coming soon to a grocery store near you: higher food prices, because California, which grows more than half of the nation's fresh fruits and vegetables, is in its third consecutive year of getting only about one-eighth the usual amount of water from snow melting in the High Sierras. Details here.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Beijing Smog Makes City 'Barely Suitable' For Life, Report Says

Some Canadian-made pollution from an ethanol plant in Manitoba, CA. PLT photo.
(Reuters) - Severe pollution in Beijing has made the Chinese capital "barely suitable" for living, according to an official Chinese report, as the world's second largest economy tries to reduce often hazardous levels of smog caused by decades of rapid growth. Full story here.

Roundup-Resistant Weeds a Clear and Present Danger

the Manitoba Co-Operator

Canadian farmers are being warned to be careful not to lose their most precious weed-control resource. Full story here.

(l.) A newspaper ad showing the "kinder, gentler" side of present day agriculture. (Sarcasm intended.) PLT photo.

Fossil Fuel Subsidies Dampen Shift Towards Renewables

Wind turbine in Saskatchewan, Canada. PLT photo.
Despite evolving public awareness and alarm over climate change, subsidies for the production and consumption of fossil fuels remain a stubborn impediment to shifting the world’s energy matrix towards renewable sources. Full story here.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Group Wants Lac-Mégantic Contamination Records Made Public

The Gazette
The Canadian province of Quebec is refusing to make public all the information it has about the contamination of the Chaudière riverbed caused by the Lac-Mégantic train derailment seven months ago. Details here.

Related: "Have our Servants Become our Masters? Why fossil fuels are no longer our friends."

Call to Action! Let's Educate Ourselves About Pesticides!

by David Neufeld

Do you pay attention to which pesticides your municipality is using on your local public land – parks, ditches, etc.? This is the time to perk up and speak up. And to share this with your friends.
A disposal site for pesticide containers in Manitoba. PLT photo
Every spring our municipalities publish Public Notices on Pesticides – telling us which insecticides, herbicides and rodenticides they plan on using this summer. The notices are appearing in local papers now – as they do every spring around this time. Some names you’ll recognise – like Malathion, but mostly you won’t know what they’re talking about. Therein lies the problem. Manitoba Conservation gives us 15 days from the date of notice to comment on specific pesticide programs and specific products being used. Of course they don’t give us any links to information on the products - and - they make it difficult for us to comment by only giving us a postal address in the notices. There’s mounting independently-researched evidence on negative side-effects to our water, aquatic life and human health of many of the products used.

I’ve been given permission to circulate the following contact information – so you can choose how to send your message. And please do – at least let the Manitoba Department of Conservation (Environment) know you want to be better informed and have more public involvement in decisions on which products they approve and how they are used in our public spaces. And, copy your municipality’s office with your letter. 

 Manitoba Conservation. Pesticide Section                            204.945.7107.                                                            
 Box 80 – 160 – 123 Main Street,                                                                

Sunday, February 9, 2014

California Drought a "Train Wreck" for Central Valley Farms

SF Gate

California's great Central Valley aquifer and the rivers that feed it, already losing water in the changing climate, are now being drained because of the drought, leaving water levels at…Details here.

Massive Bitumen Seepage in Alberta Continues Unabated

The Tyee
Researchers say energy regulator and industry must do more to explain why. Full story here.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Canada's Carbon Emissions Projected to Soar by 2030

The Guardian  
Tar sands expected to help drive 38% increase in emissions, 
Harper government admits in submission to the UN. Full story here.

                                        Courtesy of Care2

More Unfair Elections Coming Monday in Harper's Canada! Act Now! Sign Petition

Council of Canadians 

At this very moment the Harper Conservatives are shutting down democratic debate on their so-called "Fair Elections Act" and trying to ram the 242-page bill through Parliament only three days after it was tabled. Details here.

Friday, February 7, 2014

7 Environmental Charities Face Canada Revenue Agency Audits

Huffington Post

The Canada Revenue Agency is currently conducting extensive audits on some of Canada's most prominent environmental groups to determine if they comply with guidelines that restrict political advocacy, CBC News has learned. Details here.

PLT rendering

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

We Need GMO Wheat (Please read comment)

New York Times
THREE crops — corn, soybeans and wheat — account for a vast majority of the value of America’s agricultural crop output. But wheat is different in one important respect. Full story here.

Non-GMO wheat. May you live 
long and prosper! PLT photo.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Heed the Warnings in Extreme Weather – or Risk Losing Earth

The Guardian - Anders Levermann is a professor at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and an IPCC lead author
Make no mistake – climate change will hit us hard. We need to clean up the mess before it is too late. 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...