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Showing posts from November, 2014

Harper Government Destroys Farmer Control Over Seed

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National Farmers Union Organic hemp. Is it next?  Larry Powell PinP photo. The National Farmers Union (NFU) is sounding the alarm with the passing of Bill C-18, the Agriculture Growth Act omnibus bill yesterday in the House of Commons. “Farmers must now contend with UPOV ’91. UPOV ’91 is one of the most farmer-unfriendly mechanisms we have ever seen,” exclaimed Jan Slomp, NFU President. Story here.

Alberta Pipeline Spills 60,000 Litres Of Crude

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The Canadian Press RED EARTH CREEK, Alta. - The Alberta Energy Regulator says close to 60,000 litres of crude oil have spilled into muskeg in the province's north. Story here.

Tanzania Government Denies Plan to Evict Maasai for Lion Hunting

Bloomberg News Tanzanian Natural Resources Minster Lazaro Nyalandu said reports are false that the government would evict 40,000 ethnic Maasai from traditional lands being sold to rich Middle Eastern investors. Story here.

Canada's Process to Protect Endangered Species is Failing, Study Finds

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CBC News Marmot. Photo credit: Quirks  and Quarks  86% of country's at risk species stay at same risk level or have deteriorated over time. Story here.

Stop Tanzania From Kicking the Maasai Off Their Land! PLEASE, PLEASE SIGN!

      SUM       of    + US                   Fighting for people over profit. Sign the petition to Tanzania's President. President Kikwete: keep your promise to the Maasai people and cancel the deal that would kick them off their ancestral land to make way for a Dubai-owned hunting reserve, and guarantee permanent rights to their lands in writing.   CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION !

It's Time to Ban GMOs

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Filipino Farmers Protest Government Research on Genetically Modified Rice

Inter Press Service Jon Sarmiento, a farmer in the Cavite province in southern Manila, plants a variety of fruits and vegetables, but his main crop, rice, is under threat. He claims that approval by the Philippine government of the genetically modified ‘golden rice’ that is fortified with beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, could ruin his livelihood. Story here.

A Vision for Nature

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by George Monbiot                                                                                  Pine grosbeaks in Manitoba, CA. PinP photos by Larry Powell. As governments tear down the rules that defend our wildlife from extinction,  here’s a positive attempt to stop the wreckage. Story here.

Canadian Author Donates Prize Money To Fight Tar Sands Pipeline, Inspires Outpouring Of Cash

Climate Progress The North American anti-pipeline movement just received a significant injection of financial and psychological energy, and it started with a book award. Story here.

Ontario Takes Tough, Timely Action to Reduce Harm From Neonicotinoid Pesticides

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David Suzuki Foundation Swallowtail butterfly. Larry Powell PinP photo. The Ontario government announced a plan today to protect bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects from the harmful effects of neonicotinoid, or neonic, pesticides. In a discussion paper posted to the Ontario Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) registry , the government outlined a strategy to reduce the use of neonic-coated seeds in the province by 80 per cent by 2017. Story here. Related: "Canada's Biggest Province, Ontario, Acts to Protect Bees While The Federal Government Twiddles Its Thumbs" 

Obesity-Related Cancers on the Rise, Especially in Developed Countries

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United Nations News Centre A veggie basket from an organic farm in Manitoba, CA.  Larry Powell  PinP  photo. A healthy diet can help to alleviate risk factors for a range of chronic diseases linked to obesity.  Details here. Related: "R esearch Suggests Our Past, Prolific Use of the Insecticide DDT May Still Be Contributing To A Scourge Of Modern-Day Diseases Related To Obesity."

The Canadian Province of Manitoba Makes Largest-Ever Land Donation to Protect Iconic Lake Manitoba Wetland

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Flood Control, Water Quality, Carbon Storage,  Wildlife to Benefit:  Minister Mackintosh Photo credit - Town of Gladstone.  A Lake Manitoba wetland about five times the size of Birds Hill Park called Big Grass Marsh has been donated by the municipalities of Lakeview and Westbourne for conservation, making this the largest such land donation in the province’s history, Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh announced today.  This is the largest conservation agreement of its kind in Canada.

A Former Federal Scientist in Canada Pleads His Case Against Roundup to the Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose

Robyn O'Brien Last week, Dr. Thierry Vrain, a former scientist with the federal government in Canada, reached out after watching an interview I did with Dr. Ray Seidler, a former senior scientist at the EPA.  Story here.

Canada's Biggest Province, Ontario, Acts to Protect Bees While The Federal Government Twiddles Its Thumbs

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The Sierra Club TORONTO – The global campaign to ban neonicotinoid pesticides took a big step forward in the province of Ontario today. The provincial government -- using its own pesticide control legislation -- will reduce the use of neonicotinoid pesticides by 80%. Details here. Honeybee hive.  Larry Powell PinP photo. Related: " PinP Declares Manitoba's Minister of Agriculture a Liar."

Farm Leaders on the Canadian Prairies Peg Water Damage in the Billions

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Manitoba Co-Operator   A sodden farm field near Neepawa, Manitoba.  Larry Powell PinP photo. Farm leaders from Manitoba and Saskatchewan hope a new lobby group of stakeholders from both provinces can bring some long-term solutions to excess water problems that have led to billions of dollars in damages. Story here. Related:  "Manitoba makes $1M available to compensate farmers flooded last summer."

Climate Change Overview

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The World Bank Flood refugees in Manitoba. Climate change is a fundamental threat to development in our lifetime. If we do not confront climate change, we will not end poverty. The sooner we act, the better chance we have of addressing it at a lower cost. Story here.

Keystone XL's Silent Role as a Forest-Killer

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The New York Times - Andrew Nikiforuk An intact bit of  Boreal forest in Ontario. Larry Powell PinP photo. ENVIRONMENTALISTS typically fret about the prospect of adding monstrous new amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere if the Keystone XL pipeline is approved, and for good reason. Less attention is paid to the vast stretches of boreal forest already laid bare by tar sands development. In this opinion piece in the New York Times, preeminent Canadian journalist Andrew Nikiforuk poses this disturbing question…. how much more must we lose? Story here.

Contamination Nation - Disaster Lurks on the Shores of Canada's Great Slave Lake - Global News Video (Pardon the Ad)

What's In Our Water? Flame Retardants, Anti-Microbial Nanosilvers And Synthetic Estrogen

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                                       International Institute for Sustainable Development               Experimental Lakes Area wraps first research season under new management A (pristine?) lake in Manitoba, Canada. Larry Powell PinP photo. OTTAWA & WINNIPEG – What’s in our lake water? As we learned this year, increasingly the answer includes flame retardants and anti-microbial nanosilvers from our clothes and baby products, synthetic estrogen and other hormones from flushed pharmaceuticals, and mercury from coal plants. 

Save Endangered Grizzly Bears from Canada's Jumbo Ski Resort! PLEASE SIGN!

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Care2Petitions Jumbo Glacier Resorts is planning to build a 5500 bed ski resort with hopes to attract between 2000 and 3000 tourists per day. Although Jumbo Glacier Resorts has stated they examined the affects its resort will have on the area Grizzly Bear population and determined there will be little impact; they are using scientific data that is over 15 years old!  PLEASE CLICK  here to sign !

Taps Run Dry in São Paulo Drought, But Water Company Barely Shrugs

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Washington Post A dam  which supplies water to 45 percent of Sao Paulo. (Getty Images)  ATIBAIA, Brazil — Seen from a micro-light aircraft, flying low near this small town in Brazil’s interior, the scale of the water crisis blighting São Paulo, a megalopolis 40 miles away, was frighteningly clear. Four of the five reservoirs in an interlinked system that supplies 6.5 million people, more than a third of its metropolitan population, were vividly depleted. Caked red banks of exposed earth showed just how low the water levels had fallen.   Story here.

Saving the Planet, One Meal at a Time

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OpEdNews - Chris Hedges A feedlot near Dauphin, Manitoba, CA. PinP photo. My attitude toward becoming a vegan was similar to Augustine's attitude toward becoming celibate -- "God grant me abstinence, but not yet." But with animal agriculture as the leading cause of species extinction, water pollution, ocean dead zones and habitat destruction , and with the death spiral of the ecosystem ever more pronounced, becoming vegan is the most important and direct change we can immediately make to save the planet and its species.  Details here. Related  "Overgrowth."

Leaked Documents Reveal Shady Tactics Behind PR Push For Even Bigger Canadian Pipeline

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ThinkProgress With the debate still raging over Keystone XL, the company behind the pipeline is already hard at work promoting a PR strategy for its larger and entirely Canadian pipeline, Story here.

Tribe: Keystone Vote is an "Act of War!"

THE HILL The president of a South Dakota-based Native American tribe says it will be an “act of war” if Congress authorizes construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Details here.

$ 25 Million GMO and Pesticide Safety Study Launched in London

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Sustainable Pulse A disposal site for pesticide containers in Manitoba, Canada. Larry Powell PinP photo. The World’s Largest Study on GMO and Pesticide Safety has been launched by Factor GMO in London, UK. Story here. Related: CBC TV SCIENCE |  Pesticide poses DDT-like threat -  Neonicotinoid pesticides may be killing off bees and affecting our air, water and food chain.

I'm Going on Strike - Against Walmart

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I'm going on strike to stand up for my rights. Can you help by donating to the Walmart worker strike fund? I’ve got a big announcement: this Black Friday, I’m going on strike. I work at Walmart in Racine, WI. I’ve worked at Walmart for 14 years, but I recently had my hours cut and my health insurance benefits taken away. Now I don’t know what I’ll do if I have to see a doctor. And I’m not alone.

Conservationists Concerned After Catch Limit Increased for Bluefin Tuna

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Winnipeg Free Press Greenpeace photo A Halifax ecology group says it's disappointed with a decision today by an international agency to increase catch limits for the endangered western Atlantic bluefin tuna. Details here.

Genetically-Engineered Corn Developers Sue Hawaii County to Halt Voter-Passed Law

The Associated Press  HONOLULU, Hawaii – Two leading developers of genetically-engineered corn have sued Maui County to stop a new law banning the cultivation of genetically modified organisms. Story here. Related: " Island of Maui Defies Monsanto, Passes Ban on GMO Farming "

Beddome is Back!

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The Former Leader of the Green Party of Manitoba, James Beddome, is Elected Again at Successful AGM, and Policies Passed to Protect Manitobans from the Energy East Pipeline November 15, 2014 (Winnipeg, MB) Beddome at a protest against water privatization by the City of Winnipeg a few years ago.  Larry Powell PinP photo. The Green Party of Manitoba (GPM) elected a new Executive Council at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) today, including the election of former Party Leader James Beddome back to his former position after stepping down a year prior. Beddome received approximately 68 percent of the votes cast by individual GPM members, with challenger, organic farmer Kate Storey receiving 32 percent. “I am excited to once again serve as Green Party of Manitoba Leader. Frankly, I missed politics too much, and I look forward to leading the Party into the next election when we will elect Green MLAs to the Manitoba Legislature.  I want to congratulate Kate Store

G20 Countries Spending $88 Billion a Year to Subsidize Climate Disaster

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by  Common Dreams Global governments spend more than double what energy companies invest to find new regions for oil and gas drilling, despite climate change risks, report finds. Story here. Pumpjacks in a Canadian oilfield,  where hard-working taxpayers  dole out some $1B-a-year  to  "poor,  impoverished" oil  corporations.   Larry Powell -  PinP photo.

Back-To-The-Future Agriculture: 'Farming Like the Earth Matters'

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Common Dreams Larry Powell  P in P photo It is easy to forget that once upon a time all agriculture was organic, grass fed, and regenerative. Story here.

It’s Official – Russia Completely Bans GMOs

EARTH - WE ARE ONE. Russia has been considering joining the long list (and continually growing) of anti-GMO countries   for quite some time now. It does so after a group of Russian scientists urged the government to consider at least a 10-year moratorium on GMOs to thoroughly study their influence on human health. Story here.

Obama, Chinese President Agree to Landmark Climate Deal

Los Angeles Time - Reflecting the urgency and scale scientists have called for to cope with climate change, the U.S. and Chinese presidents laid out ambitious new targets Wednesday to cut pollution in a deal that negotiators hope will inspire similarly dramatic commitments from other countries. Story here.

Who Pays the Price for Canada's Dirty Tar Sands?

Natural Resources Defence Council -  Shame, Canada Native communities near the Alberta tar sands are beset by health problems. And the giant industrial operations that extract the world’s filthiest fuel are producing millions of gallons of toxic sludge a day—a dirty legacy that’s leaking into the once-pristine Athabasca River. Can anything get the Canadian government to pay attention?  -  Watch Videos

Absolute Power in the Hands of Just One Man

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Frances Russell - National Newswatch There is only one word to describe Party Of One, award-winning journalist Michael Harris’ massive and powerfully written biography of Canada’s 22nd prime minister. Story here. Harper depiction by P in P

Controversial French Scientist Defends GMO Research

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The Western Producer Regina, SK - French scientist  Gilles-Éric Séralini  says attempts to discredit him and his research into GMOs and pesticides are negated by the fact his work continues. Story here.

Alberta Says Farm Weather Disaster up to $589M in Crop Hail Insurance Payouts

By: The Canadian Press EDMONTON - Extreme weather has prompted Alberta to declare this year an agricultural economic disaster, paving the way for up to $589 million in crop and hail insurance payments to producers. Story here.

Freedom Isn't Free, Someone Had to Pay For it.

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Remembrance Day - a Poem Submitted by John Fefchak,  a  Veteran.  (CWO retired)  Virden, MB (below).   ======== He was getting old and paunchy And his hair was falling fast, And he sat around the Legion, Telling stories of the past.

Union of Federal Scientists, Professionals to Campaign Against Harper Tories

The Canadian Press OTTAWA - The union representing scientists and other professionals in the federal public service is abandoning its tradition of neutrality in elections to actively campaign against Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Details here.

Go Figger

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The Next Steps for an Organic Planet Are Yours To Take

by Mark 'Coach' Smallwood  -  CommonDreams  I walked 160 miles to promote regenerative organic agriculture that can save our soil and reverse global warming. Here's what comes next. Story here.

This Week in "The Fraser Institute is Embarrassing Itself" News

PRESS PROGRESS Too busy to keep up to speed on the Fraser Institute's problems this week? Here's a review of everything that has gone wrong for Canada's "data driven" right-wing think tank -- all from just this past week. Story here.

Island of Maui Defies Monsanto, Passes Ban on GMO Farming

Bloomberg The measure puts a temporary moratorium on the farming of genetically modified crops in Maui County.   Story here.

Health Canada Has 100,000 New Reasons to Rethink Approval of Controversial Pesticides

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Today at 8:43  AM OTTAWA – More than 110,000 people have told Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) not to register flupyradifurone, Bayer's latest bee-killing pesticide. Over the past three weeks, Sierra Club Canada Foundation, David Suzuki Foundation and SumOfUs.org spearheaded a campaign to inform the public of the opportunity to submit formal comments to the PMRA. "We shared the facts about flupyradifurone, and the response has been incredible," said Paul Ferris, of SumOfUs.org. “Over 110,000 Canadians sent a clear message to PMRA: Protect the bees.” The PMRA proposed approving flupyradifurone in September, initiating a mandatory comment period that ended November 3, 2014. Flupyradifurone has the same “mode of action” as bee-killing neonicotinoids: both types of pesticides attack the nervous systems of insects. 

On The Importance Of Appreciating Animals

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Arianna Huffington - The Huffington Post You can tell a lot about people from their screensavers. Mine is a picture of gazelles: Details here. Pelican at  Prince Albert Nat'l. Park, CA.  P in P photo.

Here Comes The Sun

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Larry This morning  activists climbed Leduc #1, the oil Derrick that started western Canada's oil boom 70 years ago, at the Edmonton Energy Discovery Centre. They hung a banner that read :  “Go Solar: 100% Climate Safe",  sending a clear message to the Alberta government that it’s time to transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy – for the sake of our climate.  They also set up a small solar panel atop the derrick, using its energy to power a sound system playing music proclaiming the power of the sun.   Help us get the message to Premier Jim Prentice, tell Alberta to go solar!

Confessions of a Former Climate Change Denier

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by Kasra Hassani - Canadian Science Writers' Association I, a scientist with a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology, was a climate change denialist. Wait, let me add, I was an effective climate change denialist: I would throw on a cloak of anecdotal evidence and biased one-sided skepticism and declare myself a skeptic. Good scientists are skeptics, right? I sallied forth and denied every piece of evidence that was presented to me, for a relatively long time.  Details here.   Photo  via  Shutterstock.

'Leaders Must act', Urges Ban, As New UN Report Warns Man's Impact on Climate May Soon Be 'Irreversible'

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UN News Centre Citing “clear and growing” human influence on the climate system, a United Nations report issued today has warned that if left unchecked, climate change will increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems. Story here. Historic flooding in Manitoba,  Canada, 2011.  A premonition?

Crisis Fuelled Resurgence of Horse-Drawn Carriages in Cuba

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INTERPRESS SERVICE HAVANA, Oct 30 2014 (IPS)  -  Up and down the streets  of towns and cities in Cuba go horse-drawn carriages  with black leather tops and large back wheels,  alongside more simple carts,  operating as public transportation.  Story here.

Fossil Fuels Must End By The End of the Century - United Nations.

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CBC News AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change releases its 4th, final climate assessment volume. Story here. Please also read:   "Sleep-deprived UN panel adopts landmark climate report." Check out the IPCC report, here.

Task Force on Systemic Pesticides - A Must-Watch Video!

At Least One California Town Is Now Bone-Dry As Megadrought Continues

AlterNet A poor, rural community in California's agricultural belt has run out of water. Story here.