Monday, June 30, 2014

Half of Emperor Penguins Could be 'Wiped Out by End of the Century' Due to Melting Sea Ice

The Independent 

Global warming is melting sea ice so fast that more than half of Antarctica’s population of Emperor penguins are set to be wiped out by the end of the century, according to alarming new research saying they should be listed as an endangered species. Details here.

The Next Breadbasket

National Geographic Magazine
She never saw the big tractor coming. First it plowed up her banana trees. Then her corn. Then her beans, sweet potatoes, cassava. Within a few, dusty minutes the one-acre plot near Xai-Xai, Mozambique, which had fed Flora Chirime and her five children for years, was consumed by a Chinese corporation building a 50,000-acre farm, a green-and-brown checkerboard of fields covering a broad stretch of the Limpopo River Delta. Details here.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

"P in P" Promotes Canada's Chief Bee-Killer (CBK) - Ted Menzies, to CHIEF BIRD KILLER (CB&BK), as Well!

by Larry Powell
Menzies (above) was a Conservative MP for about 10 years before being appointed early this year as President and CEO (AKA CBK) of Croplife Canada, an industry organization representing chemical giants like Bayer. Bayer makes "Neonicotinoids," the world's worst family of bee-killing pesticides. CropLife is in the midst of a major lobbying and public relations campaign to prevent Canada from adopting a ban on the pesticides, action the European Union took more than a year ago.

Dear old Ted will be based in Ottawa, where lobbying his old government buddies will come easy. This will help ensure that both the already fat bottom lines of the "Agri-Biz" corporations he now represents and the slaughter of our precious pollinators will continue! 

Meanwhile, the Sierra Club Canada Foundation has asked the Ethics Commissioner to examine Menzies' appointment under the Conflict of Interest Act.

According to John Bennett, National Program Director of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation, “A cabinet minister went directly to the board room of CropLife, the pesticide industry’s lobbying arm. We are advised that this could constitute a conflict of interest under the Act and should be investigated.” 

Please also read: "New Studies Show Farm Chemicals Are Affecting More Than Bees. Bird Populations are Declining, Too." 

New Tests Find Bee-Killing Pesticides in Over Half of “Bee-Friendly” Plants From Garden Centers Across U.S. and Canada

Friends of the Earth
Washington, D.C. – Many “bee-friendly” home garden plants sold at Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart have been pre-treated with pesticides shown to kill bees, according to a study released today by Friends of the Earth and allies. Details here.
PLT photo.

Related: Meet Canada's Chief Bee-Killer (CBK) - Ted Menzies

Friday, June 27, 2014

Is Ottawa Bedding Down With Crooked Bankers? (Letter)

Dear Editor,

Crooked bankers of the world, rejoice! 

Wikileaks has revealed that negotiators from 50 countries, including Canada, have been meeting in back rooms, cooking up ways of making it even easier for these financial titans to fleece their customers, everywhere!

It's all part of the ('til now) super-secretive "Trade in Services Agreement" (TISA), a massive deal that would affect the way the big banks are allowed to do business, world-wide.

According to the confidential draft text, TISA would "further deregulate global financial services markets." 

Not only that, it would prevent these nations, including Canada, from ensuring that sensitive customer data remains in the country of origin! I'm no financial whiz. But, if we want to keep our precious banking records secure, this can't be good!

Why is all of this happening? According to the text, "To assist the expansion of financial multi-nationals – mainly headquartered in New York, London, Paris and Frankfurt – into other nations by preventing regulatory barriers."

Have we learned nothing from the past? Weak to non-existent regulations, deception and conflict of interest in 2008 allowed crooked financial marketeers, mainly in the 'States, to commit countless crimes against their customers, burst the financial bubble worldwide and force many ordinary citizens into ruin. These disgusting crimes have gone pretty much unpunished to this day. 

Wikileaks notes that the draft was supposed to have been kept secret, not just during the negotiations, but for five years after the TISA enters into force! This kind of secrecy borders on the criminal. It is more befitting of a tin pot dictatorship than a western democracy!

So why does Prime Minister Harper seem so willing to play fast and loose with Canada's reputation as a sound and safe place to bank, by flirting with the notion of actually perpetuating and expanding an already failed, discredited system of "deregulation?" 

Maybe we should ask him this when he comes 'round, wanting our vote!

Larry Powell 
Neepawa, Manitoba.
RELATED: "Greed Kings of 2014: How They Stole from Us"

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

See What Yes Is Doing (Video)

'The Ground's Wet Enough Without My Tears:' Rain Keeping Farmers From Seeding

Winnipeg Free Press
Good weather for ducks. PLT photo.

MELITA, Man. - Up to 400,000 hectares of farmland could go unseeded in Manitoba this year because soggy conditions and relentless rain are making it impossible for farmers to get on their fields. Details here.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

US Administration Takes Steps to Aid Bees

New York Times:
The White House announced new initiatives on Friday to promote the health of honeybees and other pollinators, which have suffered enormous losses in recent years. Details here.

So Much Polar Ice Has Melted That Maps Have to Be Redrawn


When people discuss immediate victims of climate change, they list endangered species and island dwellers… yet never cartographers. WON’T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CARTOGRAPHERS? Full story here.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Wikileaks Leak Shows Data Sovereignty Threat

A leak of documents from the Trade in Services Agreement negotiations show Australia and other negotiating parties (including Canada) would be prevented from ensuring sensitive customer data remains in the country of origin. Full story here.

Please also read: 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Council of Canadians Opposes Northern Gateway Pipeline

The Council of Canadians opposes the Northern Gateway pipeline and stands in solidarity with the many First Nations and frontline communities opposed to this destructive project. The Harper cabinet approved the pipeline, but Indigenous, environmental and citizens’ organizations in B.C. are vowing to do everything they can to stop the project. Full story here.

This Isn’t Over - Declares Environmental Group. We Can Still Stop Enbridge.

The Sierra Club

The federal government has just approved Canada's Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, subject to the 209 conditions set out by the Joint Review Panel last year. Details here.

Harper Approves the Gateway Pipeline

Dogwood Initiative


By now I’m sure you’ve heard the federal cabinet has approved
Enbridge’s Northern Gateway proposal for B.C.’s north coast.

Yes, the news is saddening and far from surprising, but you and 

I both know this fight is far from over.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Holding Power to Account - a Postmortem

by Larry Powell

As its name implies, the conference promised a lot. 

"Holding Power to Account. Investigative Journalism, Democracy and Human Rights." 

Big concepts. Big ideas. 

And it delivered. 

I am thankful to have been part of it.

More than three hundred people from 15 countries attended the event this past weekend, sponsored by the CBC and University of Winnipeg.

They heard Adrienne Arsenault, a foreign correspondent with CBC TV's flagship newscast, The National, tell a terrifying tale about an assignment she was on in an African nation.

Friday, June 13, 2014

PinP Declares Manitoba's Minister of Agriculture a Liar.

by Larry Powell

Manitoba's Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Ron Kostychyn, (r.) is a liar.

Way back in September of 2012 (over 1 1/2 years ago), Kostyshyn  promised me he would read a peer-reviewed article I had written. Entitled "Field of Nightmares."  It appeared in the well-respected Canadian journal "Alternatives - Canada's Environmental Voice." It documented much of the research which has been done, linking the popular herbicide "Roundup" to adverse effects on the health of livestock, wildlife, crops and even humansIt also placed the official position of the Government of Canada on the record, which was, it was "aware of the research, but, it did not raise immediate risk concerns that would have triggered regulatory action.”

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Manitoba Honeybees Hit Hard Over Winter

The Manitoba Co-Operator
Honeybee on flower. Larry Powell P in P photo.
Manitoba’s beekeepers are feeling the sting of high winter losses, coupled with the pain and expense of overseas bee imports. Details here.

Manitoba's Corn and Honey Producers Try to "Talk Things Out" About Bee Deaths.

Manitoba Co-Operator

Corn harvester in Manitoba.                                                      Beekeepers at the Fort Whyte Centre in 
Winnipeg, MB. 
PLT photos.
Keeping bees at bay when it comes to corn planting isn’t always possible, 
but good communication goes a long way. Details here.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Reject Northern Gateway, Scientists Urge Canadian PM in Open Letter

Globe and Mail

A letter signed by hundreds of scientists from around the world is urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reject a federal panel report recommending approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline. Details here.

Diesel vehicles in oil sands operations contribute to regional pollution

EurekAlert Wildfires, cigarette smoking and vehicles all emit a potentially harmful compound called isocyanic acid. The substance has been l...