Showing posts from October, 2014

Research Suggests Our Past, Prolific Use Of The Insecticide DDT May Still Be Contributing To A Scourge Of Modern-Day Diseases Related To Obesity.

Is a world-wide ban now the only ethical thing to do? by Larry Powell Did your parents farm In Canada in the years following World War 11 , as mine did? If so, little would they have dreamed of the health dangers lurking within the popular chemical, DDT, which they might well have been spraying on their fields. The product was applied widely (some say indiscriminately) back then to kill bugs that were consuming food crops and forests and spreading human diseases like typhus and malaria. Just as common were assurances from government and industry that “all was well.” But DDT was banned in North America in the 70’s after Rachel Carson exposed it in her book, “Silent Spring” as the culprit in massive die-offs of birds and fish and as a “definite chemical carcinogen.” DDT made a significant resurgence in the early 2000’s, however.  That’s when the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization began promoting programs to control malari

Canada's Farm Protections a Remaining Hurdle to Major Trade Deal: U.S.

Winnipeg Free Press WASHINGTON - Access to Canada's tightly controlled agriculture market is among the main remaining hurdles to a historic 12-country free-trade deal, the U.S. administration said Thursday. Story here.

Livestock Die As The Caribbean Gets Hotter

PARAMARIBO, Suriname, Oct 8 2014 (IPS) - Livestock farmers in the Caribbean are finding it increasingly difficult and expensive to rear healthy animals because of climate change, a situation that poses a significant threat to a region that is already too dependent on imports to feed its population. Story here. A cow skeleton in Canada. PinP photo.

Stop Cruel & Wasteful Fishing Practices - PLEASE SIGN!

Hi Larry, I just wanted to check whether you saw my email from the other day, containing shocking footage from industrial tuna boats? Already an incredible 103,000 emails have gone to Princes and John West, demanding they clean up their tuna. The campaign is taking off - will you add your name too?   For the oceans, Victoria

Spring Heat Wave In Australia Breaks Records Across The Country

CLIMATE PROGRESS Australia’s summer doesn’t start until December, but the country is still baking in a record-breaking spring heat wave. Story here.

Bye Bye Bees? Not If We Can Help It!

Pesticide giant  Bayer wants to introduce ANOTHER bee-killing pesticide  into Canada. We have just one week to convince Health Canada to stand up for the bees. Tell them not to approve this new pesticide! Add your voice Larry -- Pesticide giant Bayer wants our government to approve ANOTHER new bee-killing pesticide  -- and we have just one week to convince Health Canada to stand up for the bees.  If approved, this new pesticide will likely wreak further havoc on our bees, which are already dying in record numbers .  Last winter,  almost 30 percent of Canada's bee colonies were devastated , and strikingly, we lost over half of our bee colonies in Ontario alone. Judging by Bayer's deadly track record, this new pesticide could speed up the complete decimation of the local bee population, which would have catastrophic effects on Canada's food supplies.  The final decision lies in Health Canada's hands, and we have until November 1 to make our voice hear

Confirmed: California Aquifers Contaminated With Billions Of Gallons of Fracking Wastewater

DESMOGBLOG.COM The California State Water Resources Board has confirmed that at least nine sites were dumping wastewater contaminated with fracking fluids and other pollutants into aquifers protected by state law and the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Story here.

Fertilizer Warning: Don’t Pay $12-An-Acre For ‘Foo-Foo Dust’

Manitoba Co-Operator Buyer beware, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency no longer tests fertilizers for efficacy and quality. Story here.

UN Agencies Launch New Joint Initiative Targeting Elimination of Global Food Waste

UN News Centre  Larry Powell P in P photo. The world wastes enough food to feed an estimated two billion people, the United Nations said today.  Story here.

U.S. Tribes To Canada: Please Don’t Allow Tar Sands Pipeline To Pollute Our Waters

CLIMATE PROGRESS The leaders of several Pacific Northwest Native American tribes are asking Canadian regulators not to approve a huge expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline, saying approval would result in a huge increase of oil tankers coming through tribal waters every day, increasing the risk of a devastating spill. Story here.  

There’s a Surprisingly Strong Link Between Climate Change and Violence

The Washington Post Earlier this year, when a study came out suggesting global warming will increase the rates of violent crimes in the United States -- producing "an additional 22,ooo murders, 180,000 cases of rape," and many other crime increases by the year 2099 -- it drew widespread criticism. Story here.

Harper Named World's 'Worst Climate Villain' After Damning Report

Huffington Post Canada does well at many things.  Earlier this year, Canadian cities were listed among the world's top places to live . The country ranks high with the best when it comes to wealth and it's been praised for emerging from the financial crisis in decent shape.  But there's one category in which Canada ranks dead last among industrialized nations: its efforts to combat climate change. Story here.

Foreign Scientists Call on Stephen Harper to Restore Science Funding, Freedom.

CBC News Open letter warns about effects of Canadian science policy on international collaboration. Story here.

Does CETA Offer Any Real Value to Canadian Farmers?

Manitoba Co-Operator. Trade agreements may offer negative outcomes for Canadians. Story here. Related: " Free Trade: Path to Prosperity - or Back Road to Corporatism?"  

These Two World Leaders Are Laughing While the Planet Burns Up

New Republic Meet earth's worst climate villains; Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Story here.

New Canadian Legislation Will Make Absolutely Clear the Right of Farmers to Save Seed - Agriculture Minister Vows

The Co-Operator The government has introduced amendments to its Agricultural Growth Act to make the language around seed saving clearer. Story here.   Larry Powell P in P photo.

Cree Nation Occupies Hydro-Dam in Manitoba

Council of Canadians More than 100 people from the Cross Lake First Nation (Pimicikamak Cree Nation), located north of Lake Winnipeg, occupied the grounds of the Jenpeg hydro-dam last week. Chief Catherine Merrick said the First Nation is taking control of its traditional territory and evicting Manitoba Hydro. Story here.

U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Rise in 2013: Troubling Sign for Climate Goals

Union of Concerned Scientists In a troubling sign, data from the Energy Information A gency released today show that U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose 2.5% in 2013. This increase comes after two years of declining emissions. Story here. Larry Powell P in P photo.

‘It Will Never Be The Same’: North Dakota’s 3.5 Million-Litre Oil Spill One Year Later

Climate Progress One year ago, when more than 20,000 barrels (3,528,000 Litre) of crude oil spilled from a pipeline and soaked a wheat field in Tioga, North Dakota, the public almost never knew about it. After the spill was discovered by a lone farmer, it was not reported for nearly two weeks, and only after reporters from the The Associated Press asked about it specifically. Details here.

Genetic Modification Trails Conventional Breeding By Far

Institute of Science in Society Researchers have created conventionally bred varieties tolerant to drought and low nitrogen soils that can reduce poverty in 13 African countries by up to 9 %, far outperforming anything that genetic modification has achieved  Prof Peter Saunders Please circulate widely and repost, but you must give the URL of the original and preserve all the links back to articles on our website. If you find this report useful, please support ISIS by subscribing to our magazine  Science in Society , and encourage your friends to do so. Or have a look at the  ISIS bookstore  for other publications. A  fully referenced version  of this article is posted on ISIS members website and is otherwise available for download  here

A Government of Canada Report on Deforestation by Oil, Gas Industry Not Out Until After Next Election

        THE  HILL TIMESonline The latest government information about the scope of deforestation by Canada's oil and gas sector - predominantly the Boreal Plain forest destroyed by Alberta oilsands mining and production - will not be published until a year after the next federal election, according to information from the federal Natural Resources department. Story here.

Companies Pulling Out of Canadian Tar Sands Oil

Living on Earth With crude prices sharply down and the future of the Keystone XL pipeline in doubt, energy companies are dubious about investing in oil from the Alberta Tar Sands. OnEarth writer Brian Palmer discusses the problems facing the industry with host Steve Curwood.   Story here .

Organic Consumers Association (OCA) Condemns Approval in the U.S. of Dow "Enlist Duo" Herbicide

Organic Consumers Association The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued final approval this week, over the objections of more than a half-million citizens, of Dow AgroSciences' Enlist Duo, an herbicide made from a combination of 2,4-D (one of the active ingredients in Agent Orange) and glyphosate (the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide).   Story here. Crop-duster. Larry Powell  P in P  photo   Related: New GMOs Doctors Are Warning About .

Agroecology: The Capitalist Elephant in the Room

Our Food Future The benefits of agroecological methods are extremely broad, from the human health benefits of eating food grown in healthy and biologically diverse soils, to drastically reduced input costs for farmers... Story here. Related: The Solution Is the Soil: How Organic Farming Can Feed the World and Save the Planet  A farmers' market on the farm.  Larry Powell P in P photo.

Scientists Mull Change Of Epoch To Reflect Human Impact On The Planet

Huffington Post BERLIN (Reuters) - Scientists from around the world met this week to decide whether to call time on the Holocene epoch after 11,700 years and begin a new geological age called the Anthropocene - to reflect humankind's deep impact on the planet. Story here.

From Cabinet to CropLife: Ted Menzies Avoids Ethical Scrutiny Over New Job as Top Canadian Pesticide and GMO Lobbyist

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Since last Nov., John Bennett of the Sierra Club has been raising the alarm.... Story here. Studies show chemicals which some of  Croplife's  member companies peddle,  contribute to the decline of  insect-eating birds.  (r.) An insectivorous bird, the purple  martin, which is in decline.   P in P  photo.  Please also read: " Blogger Responds to Accusations from CropLife Canada"                            

Canadian Government Memo Criticized Top Biologist For Comments On Alberta Oilsands

Huffington Post One of Canada’s top biologists says he will not stop talking to the media after a government memo accused him of bias and speaking out of turn about the environmental impact of Alberta’s oilsands. Story here.

The Solution Is the Soil: How Organic Farming Can Feed the World and Save the Planet

CommonDreams One man, backed by many, marches on Washington to tell lawmakers and the world that 'there is hope right beneath our feet.' Story here.

NOAA: Record Antarctic Sea Ice Growth Linked To Its Staggering Loss Of Land Ice

CLIMATE PROGRESS NOAA said in a news release Tuesday that “as counterintuitive as expanding winter Antarctic sea ice may appear on a warming planet, it may actually be a manifestation of recent warming.” Details here.

Understanding the Evangelical Mission of Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada.

Andrew Nikiforuk - The Tyee Signs mount that Canada's government is beholden to a religious agenda averse to science and rational debate. Story here.

The Inventors Of A ‘Revolutionary’ Climate Solution Just Won A Nobel Prize

CLIMATE PROGRESS Three men who together helped increase the energy efficiency of lighting systems across the world have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Tuesday. Story here.

Scathing Report Details Canada’s Environmental Shortfalls

The Globe and Mail Larry Powell - P in P photo. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government is not doing enough to reduce carbon emissions, fight climate change and regulate oil and gas emissions, a series of audits from a federal watchdog have found. Story here. Related:   “No Overall Vision:” Scathing New Audit from Environment Commissioner Exposes Canada’s Utter Climate Failure

Feeding the 1 Percent

Grain Since the global food crisis of 2008, there has been a massive wave of private sector investment in agriculture. More money flowing into agriculture means more innovation and modernisation, more jobs and more food for a hungry planet, say the G8, the World Bank and corporate investors themselves. But does it? Story here.

Herbicide Resistance a Global Food Threat

Laura Rance - Winnipeg Free Press Ground sprayer. Larry Powell -  P  in P photo. For decades, the experts have treated the growing problem of herbicide-resistant weeds as something solvable by the next new chemical or biological breakthrough.  Now, more are stepping back and acknowledging it as a symptom of a much bigger issue in agriculture. Story here.

Volcano Shows Japan Needs a Green Revolution

By: William Pesek -  Winnipeg Free Press With the discovery of a 47th body on the slopes of Mt. Ontake, the volcano’s eruption is now Japan’s deadliest in 88 years. It’s impossible not to worry about an even bigger volcanic threat that lies just 90 miles from Tokyo: Mt. Fuji (above). All this has both seismologists and anti-nuclear activists asking anew whether the most earthquake-prone nation in the developed world should be restarting its 48 nuclear reactors....  Story here.

Canadian Scientists Rail Against Imposed Ignorance

OurWindsor.Ca By    Carol Goar From the Montreal Gazette A group of Toronto scientists makes a successful foray into the realm of public  advocacy. Story here.

Efforts Fail to Save Mersey Biodiversity Centre in Nova Scotia, Canada

The Queen's County Advance Lake whitefish.  Image via NYSDEC. The holding ponds used to raise salmon were filled in with gravel by Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans earlier this year. The fish hatchery cannot run without them. Story here.

Good News For St. Lawrence (Canada) Belugas… at Least, For Now

Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society Photo credit: W. Klenner Last week, we had good news (albeit temporary) about one of Canada’s most threatened wildlife species – the beautiful beluga whales of the St Lawrence Estuary. Story here.

How the Effects of Climate Change in Arctic Canada are Shrinking Polar Bears

The Globe and Mail Polar bears are an international symbol of Canada and a barometer for what is happening in the climate-sensitive North. And according to wildlife experts now monitoring the impact of global warming in greater detail, the big bears aren’t as big as they used to be.   Story here .

Becoming Hezbollah's Air Force

Chris Hedges Those who use violence to shape the world, as we have done in the Middle East, unleash a whirlwind. Our initial alliances -- achieved at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dead, some $3 trillion in expenditures and the ravaging of infrastructure across the region -- have been turned upside down by the cataclysm of violence. Thirteen years of war, and the rise of enemies we did not expect, have transformed Hezbollah fighters inside Syria, along with Iran, into our tacit allies. Story here.

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