Showing posts from July, 2014

Two States and Several Canadian Provinces, Including Manitoba, Gear Up A System To Cut Carbon Emissions - Is a Carbon Tax in the Wind?

ClimateProgress Massive highway repair and infrastructure renewal in Manitoba (above),  clearly show the need for some sanity aimed at controlling emissions. PLT photo  Washington State is poised to join California and several Canadian provinces, including Manitoba, in a carbon trading system, according to a Monday memoranda from the governor’s office. Details here.

New Studies Show Farm Chemicals Are Affecting More Than Bees. Bird Populations are Declining, Too.

Is modern agriculture’s hold on nature becoming a death grip?  By Larry Powell Another insectivorous species in decline,  the  purple  martin. Are they becoming "neonic" victims, too? PinP  photo. This summer, the tragedy of dying pollinators took on a new dimension. A team of Dutch researchers found that, in addition to bees, “significant declines in populations of insect-eating birds are also associated with high concentrations of neonicotinoids.” “Neonics,” as they are commonly called, have become the most widely used group of insecticides in the world – and, the most infamous. As well as killing the crop pests they are supposed to, they’ve been implicated in the deaths of billions of honeybees from near and far, for well over a decade. The European Union even clamped a two-year moratorium on their use, last year. Various formulations of the chemical are made by multinational corporations like Bayer CropScience, Syngenta and Monsanto. They’re used as seed dress

Fracking Chemicals Not on Canada’s Pollutant List

Metro OTTAWA – Environmentalists and legal experts are criticizing the federal government’s decision to leave toxic fracking chemicals off a list of pollutants going into Canada’s air, land and water. Full story here.

Disasters Poised to Sweep Away Development Gains

IPS Inter Press Service UXBRIDGE, Canada  - Extreme poverty and hunger can be eliminated, but only through far greater efforts to reduce carbon emissions that are overheating the planet and producing punishing droughts, catastrophic floods and ever wilder weather, said climate activists involved in talks to set the Sustainable Development Goals . Details here.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA US): Climate Change is Getting Worse

The Hill Changes in the earth's climate are increasing at a steady rate, NOAA warned Thursday in a new report.  Read more here. Summer - 2014. This record flood in Brandon, MB shows a single street re-inforced by a dam, holding back water from a major shopping centre consisting of billions of dollars worth of big-box stores and merchandise in Manitoba's 2nd-biggest city. ( PLT photo.) Related: " Global Surface Temperatures Poised To Rise Rapidl y"

Australia Becomes First Developed Nation to Repeal Carbon Tax

Wall Street Journal Prime Minister Tony Abbott pledged to get rid of the tax last year. Full story here. Climate thug Abbott (r.). Credit; Associated Press.

New Provincial Park For Polar Bears in Manitoba?

While talk of jobs and economy have reverberated through the media coverage of our Premiere’s recent throne speech, the province’s significant protected areas announcement has yet to draw the attention it deserves. With the recent discovery of hugely significant polar bear denning areas near Manitoba’s Hudson Bay coast, the province announced a plan to begin consultation on the creation of a provincial park to protect these iconic animals.

Blogger Invites Prominent Tories to Join Greens (Letter)

Dear Editor, As a member of the Green Party, I'd like to invite two prominent Conservatives in my area, Ken Waddell, the publisher of the Neepawa Banner (formerly the Mayor) and Robert Sopuck, my Member of Parliament, to join the "Greens!" I was delighted, Mr. Waddell, to read your recent column, supporting (or, at least inviting a debate on) a guaranteed minimum income, as embodied in the successful "Mincome" pilot project in Dauphin back in the 70s. It so happens my party has endorsed such a policy for years. I actually wrote a paper for the Green Party of Manitoba myself a few years ago, detailing the success of "Mincome" and pointing out what a "win-win" effort it was, enriching the lives of many poor and disadvantaged people in just about every way that counted. And I don't think we need to agonize over how to pay for it. 

Health Study Reveals Alarming Links Between Oil Sands Contaminants and Incidents of Illness in Alberta, Canada

The First Perspective It is the first report of its kind to draw an associations between oil sands produced environmental contaminants and declines in community health and well-being in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta.  Details here.

World Council of Churches Endorses Fossil Fuel Divestment

Fossil Free Geneva, Switzerland - 11 July - The Central Committee of the World Council of Churches ( WCC ), a fellowship of over 300 churches which represent some 590 million people in 150 countries, endorsed fossil fuel divestment this week, agreeing to phase out its own holdings and encourage its members to do the same. The WCC Central Committee is made up of dozens of influential religious leaders from around the world, meaning the decision could resonate far and wide. Full story here.

Solar Has Won. Even if Coal Were Free to Burn, Power Stations Couldn't Compete

TheGuardian As early as 2018, solar could be economically viable to power big cities. By 2040 over half of all electricity may be generated in the same place it's used. Centralised, coal-fired power is over. Full story here. PLT photo.

Kneeling in Fenway Park to the Gods of War

By Chris Hedges  - Truthdig BOSTON—On Saturday I went to one of the massive temples across the country where we celebrate our state religion. Full story here.

Governments and the Climate Crisis - Leadership Failure Bordering Madness.

I wrote this story almost three years ago. I am re-posting it because a flood similar to the "one-in-300 year-kind" we had in 2011 - in Manitoba - is happening again THREE YEARS LATER! I continue to be struck by how little things change. So-called leaders (and ordinary people) remain in a stupor - an unexplained state of mass delusion and denial - approaching our climate crisis from every direction but a rational one.  A number of scenarios outlined below have now changed, but the general sentiment remains. ============ by Larry Powell If a shrink were to examine the brains of North America's political leaders, what do you suppose she would find? What parts of what lobes would be addressing the cataclysmic changes our planet's climate is undergoing? Are the neurons of these leaders' brains actually transmitting, making them aware that Earth is going through a monumental crisis that needs their immediate attention? Or are they somehow

Critics Say More Needs to be Done to Prevent Another (Canadian) Lac-Megantic Disaster

Canadian Press Photo credit - Canadian Press. OTTAWA – Periodic flurries of federal regulation, rule-making and reassurance followed the rail disaster last July that killed 47 people, destroyed dozens of buildings and contaminated waterways in a small Quebec town. Details here.

Can You Say "Climate Change?"

by Larry Powell A sodden farm field near Neepawa, Manitoba. Another "severe weather event," this one a doozy, has just blown through my neck of the woods. Deluges of rain over a huge area of the Canadian prairies, driven by strong winds, have brought flooding, property damage and washed-out roads to scores of communities in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. It left power outages,  dangling live wires,  trees on top of cars, evacuations (including at least one hospital and one care home), flooded basements (including my brother's in Regina) and human misery, galore . Ditches and roads turned into rivers and farm fields into rice paddies. They were all part of a package deal included in slow-moving electrical storms that lasted for an agonizing three days or so, from west of Regina through to eastern Manitoba. The storms were made all the worse due to the extremely wet spring which preceded them. Already sodden ground left few places for the water to go. Waters of the

Manitoba Crop Report

Manitoba Co-Operator Many areas of Manitoba received significant amounts of rainfall over the weekend, adding to the rainfall already received over the past few weeks. Full story here.