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Showing posts from April, 2014

Antimicrobial Resistance: Global Report on Surveillance 2014

WHO Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi. Details here.

Climate Change: Don't Wait Until You Can Feel it

ScienceDaily Despite overwhelming scientific evidence for the impending dangers of human-made climate change, policy decisions leading to substantial emissions reduction have been slow. New research shows that even as extreme weather events influence those who experience them to support policy to address climate change, waiting for the majority of people to live through such conditions firsthand could delay meaningful action by decades. Full story here.

Only With Political Will Can we Avoid the Worst of Climate Change

David Suzuki  It's fitting that the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was released during Earth Month . Details here.

U.S. Schoolchildren Exposed to Arsenic in Well Water Have Lower IQs

Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. In Maine study, rates of contamination exceed WHO and EPA guidelines. Details here. Related: Keep Arsenic Out of the Water in Virden, Manitoba - an Open Letter to the Minister of Environment.

Does El Niño Plus Global Warming Equal Global Temperature Records This Year and Next?

Climate Progress An El Niño appears increasingly likely this year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). If it starts relatively quickly, then 2014 could well be the hottest year on record. But if it is a strong El Niño, then 2015 would likely break all previous global records. Details here. ========= In January of 2011, I wrote the following here on PLT in a post I entitled: Is Canada's Flagship TV Newscast Telling the Whole Story of Climate Change? Both La Niñas (cooling trends) and El Niños (warming ones), have been scientifically shown to be behaving strangely in recent years, with the onset of global warming. In the early ‘90s, several El Niños were recorded, but with no  La Niñas in between! The IPCC describes this occurrence as "highly unusual and very unlikely to be accounted for solely by natural variability.” In a research paper in 1996, Dr. Trenberth noted this same event was “ the longest on record…and

Biologist Tyrone Hayes Battles One of the Biggest Agribusinesses in the World (Podcast)

CBC Radio - The Current. Hayes has spent his career studying the effects of one particular herbicide - Atrazine - on frogs. When he presented the maker Syngenta with results that he said showed sexual abnormalities in frogs, Dr. Hayes says the company tried to launch a campaign to discredit his work. Listen here.

Government of Manitoba, Canada to Introduce Legislation That Would Protect Children From Synthetic Chemical Lawn Pesticides

Gov't of Manitoba First-of-its-kind Legislation in Canada would offer Synthetic Chemical Pesticide-free Zones  On School, Daycare, Hospital Grounds:  Minister Mackintosh To mark Earth Day, Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh outlined proposals today that would protect children and reduce their exposure to potentially harmful synthetic chemical pesticides.

Earth Week: Bark Beetles Change Rocky Mountain Stream Flows, Affect Water Quality

ScienceDaily If you guessed that trees are all that's being affected by the recent infestation of the pine bark beetle, guess again. Full story here.

Researchers Rethink 'Natural' Habitat for Wildlife

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Science Daily Bull moose with budding antlers.  PLT photo. Protecting wildlife while feeding a world population predicted to reach nine billion by 2050 will require a holistic approach to conservation that considers human-altered landscapes such as farmland, according to researchers. A new study finds that a long-accepted theory used to estimate extinction rates, predict ecological risk and make conservation policy recommendations is overly pessimistic. The researchers point to an alternative framework that promises a more effective way of accounting for human-altered landscapes and assessing ecological risks. Full story here.

As Canada Dawdles, Denmark Shows the World How to Stop Mass-Medicating Animals

The Saskatoon Star Phoenix Unlike Canada, Danish farmers must record every single dose of antibiotic they use. Details here.

‘Extreme Levels’ of Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide Found in Soy Plants

EcoWatch A new study led by scientists from the Arctic University of Norway has detected “extreme levels” of Roundup, the agricultural herbicide manufactured by Monsanto, in genetically engineered (GE) soy. Full story here. Related:  Field of Nightmares  -  Ottawa continues to embrace the widespread use of Roundup on Canadian farms by letting corporate seduction trump scientific evidence.

Another Showdown with PM Harper. Can you Chip In $5 Today?

Forest Ethics ForestEthics Advocacy and a group of concerned citizens are seeking legal counsel to knock the Kinder Morgan pipeline project in B.C. right off its tracks. Full story here.

Unnatural Gas

Winnipeg Free Press Towering flames atop oil wells break the inky darkness in the badlands on North Dakota's Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. The flares of natural gas set grass fires on the prairie where Theodora Bird Bear's ancestors hunted buffalo and create a driving hazard on rural roads. Full story here.

Canadian Economy Will Lose Billions to Climate Change: TD Bank

thestar.com By 2050, as much as $43 billion could be sapped from the Canadian economy because of natural disasters. Full story here.

Free Trade: Pathway to Prosperity - or Back Road to Corporatism?

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by Larry Powell As globalization reaches a frenzied pace, free trade agreements  (FTAs)  between nations are coming thick and fast, too.  Now, a knowledgable source with impressive credentials is sounding the latest cautionary note about "CETA,"   the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement which  Prime Minister Harper and the European Union signed ,  in principle last year.  Howard Mann PhD (1988): London School of Economics. Master of Laws LL.M. (1984): London School of Economics. Bachelor of Civil Law (1982): McGill University.  Senior International Law Advisor to the IISD. Photo credit – Sue Danahy, Ottawa A  Canadian expert in international law, Howard Mann, (above)  is lending an important new voice to a now-familiar chorus  of alarm about " CETA,"  in particular.    For decades, large corporations have been using provisions within existing free trade agreements to sue sovereign nations who pass certain laws protecting the enviro

Grain, Trains and Autocrats: Farmers Pay the Price for Dismantling Wheat Board

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Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives There is a direct correlation between the loss of the farmer-elected Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) and the current rail transportation boondoggle. Details here.

Strong Support Shown for Bees! More Needed!

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Wow! In just a week, enough of us chipped in to fund the world's first people-powered study on what's killing our bees. Let's build on this and create a massive global offensive to take on the chemical companies -- pledge below: Dear friends,  Billions of bees are dying , and it's causing an environmental holocaust that threatens all of us. Most scientists agree  pesticides are to blame, but pesticide companies are funding junk science  that gives politicians an excuse to delay taking action. If enough of us pledge,  we could launch a people-powered, totally independent study  that finally challenges big pharma. Click to pledge what you can:  $3      $5      $10      $20      $40 Pledge another amount .   Right now,  billions of bees are dying . Already, there are nowhere near enough honeybees in Europe to pollinate the crops, and in California -- the biggest food producer in the US -- beekeepers are losing 40% of their bees each year.  We're in the

Manitoba’s First Glyphosate-Resistant Weed Confirmed

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Manitoba Co-Operator The good news is, the weed was found at only two sites out of 283 surveyed last fall. Details here. Artist; Paul Hoppe

Is Fear a Useful Tool in Communicating Climate Change Issues?

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Lk. Manitoba - 2011 - PLT photo. Listen to this excellent debate on CBC Radio's, The Current , here.

Canadians Turn Up The Heat Against The Northern Gateway Tar Sands Pipeline

Climate Progress Residents of Kitimat, B.C. — the last stop of the proposed pipeline’s route — voted no to the pipeline’s construction… Full story here.

Rex Does it Again!

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In the wake of the latest, earth-shattering reports from the IPCC about the grave implications of climate change and the need for drastic and immediate, remedial action to prevent further disaster, (see 2 recent blogposts, below) Rex Murphy chooses the passing of Canada's previous Finance Minister as the topic for today's "Cross-Country Checkup" on CBC Radio. As if that topic, as sad, tragic and newsworthy as it was, had not been exhaustively covered already.  As many of us will know by now, Rex gets paid to speak to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), to tell them what they want to hear. Rex Murphy caricature courtesy  of By the Bay Art Studio If Rex's climate-denying bias is the reason behind this blatant oversight, perhaps it is time for him to step down and make way for someone more objective and capable of better news judgement.  PLT

Climate Panel Stunner: Avoiding Climate Catastrophe Is Super Cheap — But Only If We Act Now

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Climate Progress Sunset over Manitoba. PLT photo. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has just issued its third of four planned reports. This one is on “mitigation” — “human intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases.” Details here.

A Prayer for Earth Day

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Logging our dwindling forests. PLT photo. Forgive us, oh Lord, for the profound harm we mortals are inflicting on Thy sacred creation, Mother Earth. Our reckless burning of fossil fuels is contributing to catastrophic climate change which, as we speak, is attacking many parts of Thy planet, upon which Thou hast so graciously permitted us to dwell.  Bestow upon us all, oh Lord, the eco-wisdom we will need to radically change our behaviour, so that we no longer threaten just our own kind, but the lowly wild creatures with which we also share the humble home you have so graciously provided for us all. Help us to avert and lessen the dangers we have so thoughtlessly created,  which now threaten the very safety, security and survival of future human generations - our children and our grandchildren.  Forgive us, oh Lord, for we know not what we do.  In Jesus name. Amen. PLT Get involved with Earth Day, (April 22nd)  here!

Greener Consumers Part of the Big Plan For Manitoba Hydro

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Winnipeg Free Press Utility set to ratchet up domestic conservation. Details here. PLT photo

Q Essay: We Need Another Dose of Inconvenient Truth

Check out Jian's message  here. 

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: Canada Used to Be Our Moral Paradigm

COMMONSENSE CANADIAN “I wished [Americans] were more like Canadians…until you elected Stephen Harper,” quipped Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at a recent Vancouver event. Full story here.
Council of Canadians. The Council of Canadians is applauding the transfer of the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) to the International Institute of Sustainable Development but continues to decry the Harper government’s abdication of its responsibility for fresh water protection. Details here.

Health Professionals Worldwide Demand Urgent Climate Action Following IPCC Report

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Eco Watch TRANSFORMING GREEN Health and medical organizations from around the world are calling on governments to respond to the major health risks described in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s recent Second Working Group reporting , ‘Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation,’ which was released on Monday. Details here.

Sharp rise in FAO Food Price Index

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Food & Agriculture Organization Weather and Black Sea tensions push prices to ten-month highs. Details here. Blight, spawned by torrential rain, destroyed  this & many other "backyard"  tomato crops in western Canada  a few years ago. PLT photo.

Tar Sands Emissions Linked to Serious Health Problems in Alberta

RSN   reader supported news In a landmark report to Alberta’s energy regulator, a panel of experts has concluded that odors from a controversial tar sands processing plant are linked to human health impacts. Full story here.

Experimental Lakes Area Research Station Officially Saved

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CBC News Deal launches 'fresh new chapter' in life of research station near Kenora in northwestern Ontario.  Details here.   Dear Larry, I’m delighted to share some good news with you! It was  announced yesterday  that a final agreement  was made to transfer operation of the Experimental  Lakes Area (ELA) to the International Institute for  Sustainable Development (IISD). We applaud the  IISD and the Governments of Ontario and Manitoba  for creating a new home for the ELA.