Sunday, 30 November 2014

Harper Government Destroys Farmer Control Over Seed

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

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.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

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

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


Friday, 28 November 2014

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



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.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

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

ClimateProgress
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

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

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.

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

Flood Control, Water Quality, Carbon Storage, Wildlife to Benefit:  Minister Mackintosh
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.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

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

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. 

Monday, 24 November 2014

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

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.

Climate Change Overview

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

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.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

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

                                      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. 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

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

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!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

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

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

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

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.

Monday, 17 November 2014

$ 25 Million GMO and Pesticide Safety Study Launched in London

Sustainable Pulse
A disposal site for pesticide containers in Manitoba, Canada. Larry Powell PinP photo.

I'm Going on Strike - Against Walmart







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

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.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

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!

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 Storey on a well run campaign. I look forward to continuing to work with her on Executive Council and as a candidate in the next provincial election,” said Beddome.

In addition to the election of a new Executive Council, organizational and policy amendments were dealt with.

Notably, the GPM passed a policy affirming opposition to the Energy East Pipeline, and requiring that in the event the pipeline is approved that the GPM would protect Manitobans by requiring companies to pay into a provincially administered contingency covering the potential liabilities from spills. Converting decades old natural gas pipelines, to carry diluted bitumen parallel to existing operational natural gas pipelines, as is proposed, presents a huge risk in the event of spill or explosion, and further contributes to climate change.

“Greens understand that a responsible economy does not promote short term gain at the expense of severe and debilitating long-term pain. We need action on climate change immediately! The current Manitoba Government has no credibility in dealing with climate change. This decades old government promised to reduce emissions 6 percent below 1990 levels. They even passed a law promising to do it, but we all know what they do with promises they enshrine into law,” stated Beddome.

-30-
Read related posts here.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

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

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'

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.

Friday, 14 November 2014

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?

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Absolute Power in the Hands of Just One Man

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

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Controversial French Scientist Defends GMO Research

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.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

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.



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.



Saturday, 8 November 2014

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


The Next Steps for an Organic Planet Are Yours To Take

by
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

PRESSPROGRESS

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.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

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.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

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

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

On The Importance Of Appreciating Animals

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.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Here Comes The Sun

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. 
icarusshot1.jpgThey 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

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 

Sunday, 2 November 2014

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

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

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.

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."