Showing posts from May, 2014

Member of Parliament Plays Both Ends Against the Middle. (Opinion)

Methinks my Member of Parliament, Robert Sopuck (above), speaks with forked tongue. The Honourable Mr. Sopuck (Conservative, Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette) recently rose in the Commons to brag about his government's multi-million dollar "national conservation plan." The plan, he promised, "will mobilize action across all regions for stewardship and conservation."  But, alas, in his last mail-out to householders, he sings a different song. In it, he once again "cheerleads" for the re-opening of the long-closed Mt. Agassiz ski resort in Riding Mountain National Park.  This would entirely reverse an earlier plan to remove the aging ski-lift infrastructure and return the site to its natural state. And never mind that the re-opening is opposed on several grounds by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. CPAWS is one of our nation's main watchdogs trying to make sure our parks are managed in a way that leaves their natural heritage

Let's Kill Off the Most Criminal Corporation in the World

Hey wild one, The next issue of  Adbusters , hitting newsstands worldwide in a couple of weeks, is our  CORPO  issue. It asks this one profound question: in the age of Citizens United, can civil society — we, the people — still work up some leverage over corporate power?

Will Free Trade Agreements Allow Chlorinated Canadian Beef to Be Exported to Europe?

EcoWatch The European Union has already banned imports of meat dipped in a bleaching solution which kills all germs and bacteria. Will  the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) allow this same practice - except this time with beef? Details here. Related: Free Trade. Path to Prosperity or Back Road to Corporatism?

This Fracking Zeal Overshadows the Perfect Energy Solution – Solar

TheGuardian The (UK) government ignores the drawbacks to shale gas, while its erratic policies around solar frustrate budding entrepreneurs. Details here.

"Tide is Turning" as Two Oregon Counties Vote Overwhelmingly to Ban GMOs

Common Dreams Ronnie Cummins: "These victories make it clear to agribusiness giants like Monsanto and Dow that the day has come when they can no longer buy and lie their way to victory." Details here.

Coming Clean - Canada to Reduce Unregulated Use of Antibiotics in Farm Animals.

Manitoba Co-Operator. Laura Rance PLT photo Canadian health and veterinary authorities have been discussing the virtually unregulated and poorly monitored antibiotic use in farm animals since the late 1990s. Full story here.

California Drought Will Cost Thousands of Farm Jobs, Study Says

Sacramento | Reuters – California’s drought will cause thousands of workers to lose their jobs and cost farmers in the state’s Central Valley breadbasket US$1.7 billion, researchers said in the first economic study of what may be the state’s driest year on record. Details here.

Cattails for Clean Community Waterways

International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) A PinP photo. WINNIPEG: In 2013, the City of Winnipeg and IISD embarked on a project to turn locally harvested cattail ( Typha ) and native prairie grasses into pellets to burn in a pellet stove located at the Living Prairie Museum, a facility run by the City. This video documents the process of harvesting, processing, pelletizing and burning the plant materials.

Full Episode: Flight of the Bees (Video)

Global TV -   "16x9"  PLT photo. In this episode of 16×9: Honeybees in crisis – dying by the tens of millions. But it may be the human factor – our trust in science – that’s killing the species. Watch video here.

PinP Publisher Larry Powell to Take Part in a World Conference on Investigative Journalism in Winnipeg This Summer.

I am pleased to have been chosen to serve on a panel during the "Holding Power to Account" conference, at the University of Winnipeg, on June 13th, 14th and 15th. The event will explore the importance of the news medias' role in exposing corporate and political wrongdoing. There will be scores of speakers from no less than 5 continents. Among the featured speakers will be Peter Mansbridge, host of CBC TV's The National, Diana Swayne, the CBC's senior investigative correspondent and Carl Bernstein, part of the Washington Post team which exposed the Watergate scandal several years ago.  My panel will provide "a   showcase of co-operative and public radio pioneers and their work in holding the powerful to account." It is scheduled for 2.15 on the afternoon of Sat. June 14th. Please consider attending!

Unprecedented Glacier Melt in British Columbia, Canada Seeps Into Climate Change Concerns

CBC News Some B.C. glaciers losing 22 billion cubic metres of water. Full story here. Further east, the massive  Columbia Icefield in Alberta,  (r.) is receding, too. PLT photo.

Alberta Health Warns of High Levels of Mercury -a Potent Neurotoxin - in Northern Alberta Birds' Eggs

CBC News Alberta Health has issued a health warning about eggs from two northern lakes downstream from the oilsands after they were found to contain dangerous levels of mercury.  Details here. Related:   Manitoba's Declining Wild Berries and Medicinal Plants Found To Be In Sickly Condition; Farm chemicals remain the prime suspect.   First Nations Researchers.  

Quebec Farmers Oppose Release of Genetically-Modified Alfalfa

Montreal Gazette Sale of controversial seed delayed after protests across Canada. Details here.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Reports Honeybee Death Rate There "Too High for Long-Term Survival!"

EcoWatch:  Over the past winter—a season when honeybee hives are most vulnerable—the U.S. lost 23.2 percent of its hive honeybee population. That is lower than the previous winter’s 30.5 percent death rate, but the cumulative impact on honeybee populations over the past eight years poses a major threat to their long-term survival, as well as the country’s agricultural productivity, the USDA said. Details here. PLT photo.

Manitoba's Declining Wild Berries and Medicinal Plants Found To Be In Sickly Condition. Farm Chemicals the Main Suspects - First Nations Researchers.

By Larry Powell A tale that is all too tragic. And familiar  For centuries, the aboriginal people of North America’s great plains have gathered wild berries and plants for food and medicine. Now, members of two First Nations in Central Manitoba have not only observed declines in the abundance of such crops, they have documented unhealthy foliage and severe deformities in many of them. These include chokecherries, raspberries, Indian breadroot, saskatoons, cranberries and hawthorns. Deformed chokecherry in study area. Unhealthy saskatoons. After obtaining federal funding for a detailed study, several band members gathered hundreds of samples in and around Swan Lake, southwest of Portage La Prairie, and Rolling River, southeast of Riding Mountain National Park. The study was done almost three years ago but not made public until now. For years, elders have watched as harvest areas shrink and overall quality declines. Where sage and sweet grass once

Industrial Agriculture: Too Big to Succeed

IPS An estimated one billion small farmers scratching out a living growing diverse crops and raising animals in developing countries represent the key to maintaining food production in the face of hotter temperatures and drought, especially in the tropical regions, says Sarah Elton, author of the book, “Consumed: Food for a Finite Planet.” Full story here. Backyard chickens on a small,  organic farm in Manitoba. PLT photo.

Fracking's Effect on Water Not Properly Monitored, Canadian Report Finds

CBC News Environment Canada commissioned report by international experts. Details here. Related:  Have Our Servants Become Our Masters? Why Fossil Fuels Are No Longer Our Friends. Don't Believe the Harperites! There are Downsides to Free Trade!

The Downfall of the Plastic Bag: A Global Picture

Earth Policy Institute Worldwide, a trillion single-use plastic bags are used each year, nearly 2 million each minute. Usage varies widely among countries, from over 400 a year for many East Europeans, to just four a year for people in Denmark and Finland. Plastic bags, made of depletable natural gas or petroleum resources, are often used only for a matter of minutes. Yet they last in the environment for hundreds of years, shredding into ever-smaller pieces but never fully breaking down. Full story here.