Saturday, August 30, 2014

'Severe... Pervasive... Irreversible": IPCC's Devastating Climate Change Conclusions

Common Dreams
Mystery vapour trails over Neepawa, MB. P in P photo
A draft of the UN panel's synthesis report on the global scientific community's assessment of human-caused global warming offers the starkest and most strongly-worded warning yet of the dangers ahead. Story here.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Province of Manitoba, Canada Announces Additional Moose-Hunting Closures In the West-Central District

Government of Manitoba Release
Declining Population Needs TimeTo Rebuild
P in P photo
Effective immediately, moose hunting is closed to all hunters in the area north of Porcupine Mountain in the Red Deer Lake area of Game Hunting Area (GHA) 12. A ban continues to be in place for all licensed hunting in this area, which was put in place last year.  Moose hunting is now also closed to licensed hunters in GHA 19A, east of Duck Mountain.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Exciting Development: Seralini Study on Toxic Effects of GMOs and Glyphosate Republished

People for Glyphosate Testing

A "crop-duster" sprays chemical on a GMO crop in Manitoba, CA. (PinP photo)
The Séralini study on the long-term effects of GMOs and glyphosate has been republished in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe. Story here.

Canada's Governing Conservatives Use Loopholes To Get Around Mail Rules (& Video)

Brandon Sun 

Manitoba MP, Robert Sopuck, sends partisan letters to Canada's Arctic. Story here.

Below, watch a video which declares MP Sopuck a "legend!"

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Monsanto May Have Just Met Their Match: Beekeepers.

+ Us
Help Mexico's Beekeepers Stand up to Monsanto. Story here.

Evaluating Soybean Varieties for Suitability in Organic Production Systems in Manitoba, Canada.

Manitoba Co-Operator

Organic growers in Manitoba have limited options right now. Story here.

A soy crop in Manitoba, genetically-engineered to resist the herbicide, Roundup. 
An estimated 90% of all such crops are manipulated in this fashion, 
resulting in copious use of such chemicals. P in P photo.

'Severe' Drought Covers Nearly 99.8% of California, Report Says

Los Angeles Times
Drought conditions may have leveled off across California, but nearly 100% of the state remains in the third-harshest category for dryness, according to the latest measurements. Story here.
Puddles of water are all that remain in some areas of the San Gabriel River's West Fork in the Angeles National Forest, revealing the effects of the prolonged drought. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times) 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Meet The First Pacific Island Town To Relocate Thanks To Climate Change


A small town on Taro Island — the capital of Choiseul Province in the Solomon Islands — is planning to relocate its entire population in response to climate change, Reuters reports. It’s the first time that a provincial capital in the Pacific Islands will have done so. More here.

Lac-Mégantic, Canada: Transportation Safety Board (TSB) says no Single Factor to Blame for Derailment

CBC News
TSB report made public more than a year after deadly train accident in Quebec. Details here.

Please also read; "Have Our Servants Become Our Masters?"

Caribou Herd in Crisis as Population Dwindles, Says Inuit leader in Labrador, Canada.

NAIN, N.L. - An Inuit group in Labrador says there's no time to waste in developing a long-term management plan for the George River caribou herd as its population dwindles.

Sarah Leo, president of the Nunatsiavut (noon-AT'-see-ah-voot) government, describes the situation as a crisis.

The Newfoundland and Labrador government said last week that the herd's population has dropped by more than 13,000 over the last two years despite monitoring, research and a five-year moratorium on all hunting.

The herd is now estimated at about 14,200, down from 27,600 in 2012.

The latest estimate comes from a photo census by biologists in Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec in July. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Manitoba Politicians "Missing in Action" on the "Poison Berries" Issue.

by Larry Powell

Back in May, I reported (on P in P, the Roblin Review and Neepawa Press), that wild berries and medicinal plants in central Manitoba had been found by First Nations researchers to not only be declining in abundance, but to be in very sickly condition, as well. While lab tests proved inconclusive, the researchers remain convinced through observation and experience that farm chemicals used on field crops on and near the reserves, are likely contributing factors.

I asked three Manitoba cabinet ministers to comment. (While aboriginal people come under federal jurisdiction, conventional farmers who operate in the vicinity of reserves, do not.) 

Today, more than three months later, not one of these politicians has seen fit to get back to me!

Those I invited to comment were; 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Humans Now Strongest Driver of Glaciers Melting, Study Finds

During the last two decades two thirds of glacial mass loss was due to humans, up from a quarter previously. More here.  


Traffic is bumper to bumper as people clamor to see the sites in Jasper National Park, CA, including the receding Columbia Icefield (r). PinP photos.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Big Farm Groups Adopt the "Ostrich Approach" to Major Environmental Issues.

by Larry Powell

It has been exactly two weeks since I contacted Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP), Manitoba's main farm lobby group, to comment on my story, "New Studies Show Farm Chemicals Are Affecting More Than Bees. Bird Populations are Declining, Too. Is modern agriculture's toxic hold on nature becoming a death grip?" 

(It appeared both on this blog on July 30th and subsequently in the Virden Empire Advance weekly. A number of other publications declined to publish.) 

I reported on new research showing that insecticides, widely used on crops in this province and elsewhere, were associated with declines in populations of birds which eat insects. The chemicals, members of the "neonicotinoid" family, are the same ones which have, for some time, also been linked to large and significant declines in populations of pollinators, especially honeybees. 

Purple Martins. 
Among the "insectivorious" 
birds on the decline. Larry Powell - PinP photo.

The vast majority of conventional farmers, many who belong to KAP, sow seeds treated with "neonics," described as the most widely-used insecticide in the world.

My e-mail asked whether KAP, which describes itself as "Manitoba's general farm policy organization," feels any sense of responsibility for what seem to be escalating problems with the toxicity of the products in question.

I addressed my request to no less than six officials of the farm organization. 

Not one has responded!

I made the same request of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), which claims to be "a voice for 200,000 farm families at the national level." 

Like KAP, CFA did not respond, either!

What are Canadians to make of this; That the producers they represent do not care about the environment? 

I find this hard to believe. I've known many farmers over the years who claim to take their role as "stewards of the land" very seriously, indeed. 

So, are these organizations not doing justice to their members? 

Until they come clean and begin publicly confronting pressing issues such as this, head-on, I guess we'll all just have to keep wondering...


Ex-Staffer With the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) Guilty of Election Fraud in Robocalls Case

The Canadian Press
GUELPH, Ont. - Former Conservative party staffer Michael Sona has been convicted of trying to prevent voters from casting ballots during the 2011 federal election. Details here.

Tell US Department of Agriculture and President Obama to Stop Dow Chemical’s "Agent Orange" Crops

Center for Food Safety
Over a hundred million additional pounds of toxic pesticides associated with cancers and birth defects are coming to a field near you. UNLESS YOU STOP IT! To help, click here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Aboriginal Rights a Threat to Canada's Resource Agenda, Documents Reveal

The Guardian
Canadian government closely monitoring how legal rulings and aboriginal protest pose an increasing ‘risk’ for multi-billion dollar oil and mining plans. Details here.

Photo Credit - Idle No More.

Phosphorus and Freedom - The Libertarian Fantasy

By PAUL KRUGMAN - New York Times - AUG. 10, 2014

In the latest Times Magazine, Robert Draper profiled youngish libertarians — roughly speaking, people who combine free-market economics with permissive social views — and asked whether we might be heading for a “libertarian moment.” Well, probably not. Polling suggests that young Americans tend, if anything, to be more supportive of the case for a bigger government than their elders. But I’d like to ask a different question: Is libertarian economics at all realistic?
The answer is no. And the reason can be summed up in one word: phosphorus.

Will You Chip in Today so We Can Send an Independent Researcher up to Lake Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada to do INDEPENDENT Water Quality Tests?


The results are in! Apparently the residents of Likely, BC are safe to drink the water after 4.5 million cubic metres of toxic material from Mount Polley Mine’s tailings pond poured into their water supply. But when we look a bit closer, we know things aren’t right. Details here.

Related: "Huge Environmental Disaster at a British Columbia Gold Mine Follows Years of Government Warnings"

Monday, August 11, 2014

Global Warming Will Make Algae Worse

Columbus Dispatch
Scientists say climate change is exacerbating toxic-algae problems in Lake Erie and across the country. Details here.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Time For a Hold on New Mine Proposals in British Columbia, Canada

David Suzuki Foundation
British Columbians watched news coverage of the Mount Polley Mine disaster with shock and concern after a collapsed dam released almost 15 million cubic metres of toxic effluent into the salmon-rich Quesnel River systems. In addition to concerns for area residents' immediate health and safety, dead fish are appearing and there are fears the spill could cause harm right up to the Fraser River. Details here.

Please Also read: "Huge Environmental Disaster at a British Columbia Gold Mine Follows Years of Government Warnings." 

Global Warming Deniers Get More Desperate by the Day

By David Suzuki and Ian Hanington.

The Heartland Institute's recent International Climate Change Conference in Las Vegas illustrates climate change deniers' desperate confusion. Details here.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Huge Environmental Disaster at a British Columbia Gold Mine Follows Years of Government Warnings

CBC News
The operator of the Mount Polley mine, Imperial Metals, was warned as recently as a few months ago that levels of wastewater in its tailings pond were too high! Details here.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Protesters' Blockade Halts Work on Eastern Canada's Enbridge Pipeline

“We hope to stay here indefinitely,” says activist. Details here.

How a 20-Year-old Patent Application Could Upend Canada’s Biggest Trade Deal

The Hill Times online

If the pharmaceutical giant succeeds, it will have effectively found a mechanism to override the Supreme Court of Canada and hold Canadian taxpayers liable for hundreds of millions in damages in the process. The cost to the health-care system could be enormous as the two Eli Lilly patents may be the proverbial tip of the iceberg and claims from other pharmaceutical companies could soon follow. Details here.

Please also read: Free Trade: Path to Prosperity - or Back Road to Corporatism? - by Larry Powell

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Emails Show Secrecy on Federal Oilsands Probe in Alberta, Canada.

Proposed answers from Environment Canada to questions about a 2013 oilsands leak triggered emails suggesting the department “limit information” given to media. 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...