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Showing posts from March, 2015

Subsidies to Industries That Cause Deforestation Worth 100 Times More Than Aid to Prevent it

the guardian Brazil and Indonesia paid over $40bn in subsidies to industries that drive rainforest destruction between 2009 and 2012 - compared to $346m in conservation aid they received to protect forests, according to new research. Story here.

Canada May Have to Pay Hundreds of Millions of Dollars After Losing a Case Under NAFTA.

by Larry Powell Will it be even harder for us to protect our own environment now? It all began about a decade ago when “Bilcon Inc.,” a US company controlled by the Clayton family of Delaware, applied to expand a basalt mine and marine port in Digby County, Nova Scotia. (Basalt is a common rock used in road construction, concrete and other products.) But the site, which would cover over 150 hectares , happened to be in a key breeding area for vulnerable marine animals, including an endangered whale species. After the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans expressed concern that the rock-blasting associated with the operation might adversely affect the environment, a Joint Review Panel (JRP) was appointed to look into it. The company labelled this development as "rare, costly and time-consuming," but it went ahead anyway. The Panel conducted lengthy public hearings, calling a host of witnesses. Many expressed concern for tourism, air and water quality, t

Antarctica Recorded Its Hottest Temperature On Record Last Week

CLIMATEPROGRESS The coldest place on Earth just got warmer than has ever been recorded. Story here.

Keystone & Beyond. Tar Sands & the National Interest in the Era of Climate Change.

inside climate news The Keystone has already divided the nation on the fundamental questions of how we should respond to climate change and what our energy future should look like. Story here.

It is Time to Stop Monsanto's Poisoning of the Public With Cancer Causing Roundup

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Ross Eade - OpEdNews PinP  photo For this (UN) Agency to label an agent "probably" carcinogenic, there has to be sufficient and convincing evidence of carcinogenicity. Story here.

Blogger Takes Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada to Task Over His Latest "War Games." (Letter)

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Dear Editor, Sad, isn’t it?  Canada’s days as an honest broker are over. The Harper government has transformed my country from a kinder, gentler peacekeeping nation, into a wanna-be petro-state that takes sides, “smites” its enemies, sows seeds of hatred based on culture, religion or gender and intimidates those whose views differ from its own.  After all, by Harper's definition, I’m a “radical” because I oppose the tar sands and donate to “subversive” organizations like the David Suzuki Foundation. Apparently so, too are First Nations people who are trying to fight Harper’s draconian legislation which directly threatens their land, water and air.  Harper may be backing off parts of his "anti-terrorist" Bill C-51 which threaten so many of our civil liberties. But only after repeated warnings from many informed people, including former Prime Ministers and Chief Justices. And the fact those parts were there in the first place, is revealing.

Project Shows Link Between Healthy Soils and Healthy People

Manitoba Co-Operator - Laura Rance A unique project is improving nutrition and incomes through better farming practices. Story here.

Cancer Risk From Malathion Low For Winnipeggers, Says Canadian Scientist

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CBC News John McLaughlin is 1 of 2 Canadian scientists involved in WHO study on malathion. Story here.

TransCanada’s Other Massive Pipeline Plan

Common Dreams TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has been front and center in a heated continental energy and climate debate for over four years now – and President Obama is sounding more and more like he is poised to make the right decision and reject the pipeline that would carry high carbon, high risk, high cost bitumen through North America’s heartland. Story here.

Monsanto Seeks Retraction for Report Linking Herbicide to Cancer

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Manitoba C0-Operator Monsanto, maker of Roundup, wants an international health organization to retract a report linking the product’s chief ingredient to cancer. Story here.   A crop-duster on the way to a spray-field. PinP photo. (Likely payload? Roundup!)

Manitoba Wildlife Officers Seek Leads in Illegal Moose Hunting Cases

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CBC News PinP photo. Officers released graphic photos of moose remains along highways in province's northwest. Story here.

Canadian, U.S. Agencies Approve Genetically Engineered B.C. Apples as Safe

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Winnipeg Free Press The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada have approved non-browning Arctic Apples for commercial sale in Canada. Story here. Everyone bow down to the gods of bio-tech!  They have saved us  from a fate worse than death -  the browning apple! PinP photo.

Journalism as Subversion

by Chris Hedges - OpEd News  The assault of global capitalism is not only an economic and political assault. It is a cultural and historical assault. Global capitalism seeks to erase our stories and our histories. Its systems of mass communication, which peddle a fake… Story here.

Bark Beetles Are Decimating Our Forests. That Might Actually Be a Good Thing.

MotherJones They gobble up trees and send politicians into a frenzy. But do the bugs know more about climate change than we do? Story here. Related:   Only “Heroic Efforts” Will Spare Earth’s Mighty Boreal Forest From the Worst Ravages of Climate Change - Experts.   

Malathion Can Kill Insects And Glyphosate Can Kill Weeds But They Can Also Give You Cancer: WHO

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TECH TIMES A "crop-duster" sprays a crop near Neepawa, Manitoba. PinP photo. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), reveals that the malathion insecticide and glyphosate herbicide are potentially carcinogenic. Story here. Related: " Field of Nightmares.  Ottawa continues to embrace the widespread use of Roundup on Canadian farms by letting corporate seduction trump scientific evidence."

Is the "Dubious Duo" of Fracking & Earthquakes More Common in Canada Than we Know? PinP Wonders...

by Larry Powell PinP  has learned that, years before “fracking” was blamed for a significant earthquake in northern Alberta early this year, a whole series of somewhat smaller quakes was happening in the Horn River Basin of northeastern BC, where fracking reached a peak some four years ago.  Researchers  representing the Geological Survey of Canada and the BC Oil and Gas Commission   reviewed seismographs from the area from 2002 to 2011. They conclude there is a “high likelihood of a physical relationship” between the quakes and the fracking. They detected only 24 local quakes in the Basin in ’02 and ’03,  before fracking began.  But, by 2011,  when fracking peaked,  that number had jumped to 131. And so had the magnitude - from 2.9 (on the Richter scale)  before fracking,  to 3.6  afterward. Then this past January, Alberta’s energy regulator blamed fracking for an earthquake in the northern part of that province, near Fox Creek.  According to the CBC,  it was “ of 4.4 m

City of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to Review WHO Report on Malathion

CBC News A World Health Organization agency says that the insecticide is 'probably carcinogenic' to humans. Story here.

Why Keep Fossil Fuel in the Ground. (Video - go full-screen)

Arctic Sea Ice Hits All-Time Winter Low

National Journal New data show how climate change is rapidly-changing the polar region. Story here.

Vanuatu: UN Finds ‘Extensive’ Loss of Agriculture; Full Scale of Damage Still to be Revealed

UN News Centre The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization ( FAO ) today called for emergency support for farmers in Vanuatu, where the vast majority of crops have been destroyed by Tropical Cyclone Pam. Story here.

Officials Blame Climate Change for 'Worse Than Worst Case Scenario' in Vanuatu

Common Dreams 'For leaders of low-lying island atolls, the hazards of global warming...is a catastrophe that impinges on our rights—and our survival,' says Pacific Island leader. Story here.

Antibiotics Are No Longer Making Pigs Bigger

Mother Jones For decades, it's been thought that low, regular doses of antibiotics help livestock grow big—thus increasing meat producers' profits. So common is the practice of lacing farm animals' feed with the drugs that an astonishing four-fifths of all antibiotics in the United States now go to livestock. Story here.

A Breathtaking Ode to the Beauty and Importance of the Imperiled Songbird, and What it Will Mean if we Lose Them. (Video-go full-screen)

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Produced by SongbirdSOS Productions Inc.    The full show will be aired on CBC TV's The Nature of Things on March 19 at 8pm.

Canadian Climate Skeptic in the News Again.

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A well-known Canadian climate-denialist, Tim Ball (above), appears on a list of about 24 people asked to block the release of a new documentary film. The award-winning website, Inside Climate News, has exposed secret e-mails from another denialist, Fred Singer, an American. In them, Singer seeks advice from a group of pundits and scientists, including Ball, on how to keep the film “Merchants of Doubt,” from being shown to the public. The film shows how these individuals go about trying to convince government and the public that climate science is not real and that human activity is not the driving force behind climate change. Ball argues on his blog, for example, that water vapour, not carbon dioxide, is the most important greenhouse gas. It is not known whether Ball supplied the kind of advice to Singer that he asked for.  Singer has ties to both the fossil fuel and tobacco industries. 

United Nations Responding to ‘Devastating' Impact of Tropical Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, Pacific Region

UN News Centre The United Nations announced today that it is taking all necessary steps to respond to the catastrophic impacts of a devastating tropical cyclone that affected most of Vanuatu over the past two days. Story here.

'Merchants of Doubt' Author on the Origins & Persistence of Climate Denialism

Inside  climate  news Naomi Oreskes discusses the network of pundits and scientists who have delayed action on climate change, and how they did it. Story here.

Some Facts About Alberta's Tar Sands Tailings Ponds

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The Canadian Press Alberta tar sands. Photo credit - Beautiful Destruction. EDMONTON - Here a few facts about Alberta's oilsands tailings ponds: Story here.

Dozens Feared Dead After Cyclone Pam Hits Vanuatu

BBC The death toll from a category five tropical storm that has hit islands in the South Pacific could run into the dozens, the UN's relief agency says. Story here.

Only “Heroic Efforts” Will Spare Earth’s Mighty Boreal Forest From the Worst Ravages of Climate Change - Experts.

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by Larry Powell   Like a giant green scarf,  the boreal forest  embraces the globe. It's home to a cold but living, breathing community of plants, animals and humans. Marked by mountains, over a million lakes and other waterways, muskeg and human settlements, it sprawls over the vast expanse of the northern hemisphere. Every third tree on the planet (mostly evergreen) is found there, making it one of Earth's largest remaining ecosystems. One-half of this immense, wooded habitat is found in Russia. One third of it is here in Canada, where it occupies more than half of our entire land mass. The rest is shared by Alaska and Scandinavia. Part of the "boreal plains" of western Canada. A PinP photo.                              An Important Gathering - an Ominous Conclusion Every two or three years, the International Boreal Forestry Research Association (IBFRA) meets to assess the overall health of the region.  Delegates include government and univer

Be Afraid (Video)

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Demolition of Mount Agassiz Underway

Manitoba Co-Operator Parks Canada is seeking public feedback in efforts to determine the future of the former Riding Mountain ski hill in Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba.   Story here.

Ag Canada Developing Plan for "Judicious Use" of "Neonics," a Bee-Killing Pesticide

Western Producer Agriculture Canada and the crop protection industry are developing a plan to wean canola growers off neonicotinoid seed treatments. Story here.

A Bucket of Whitewash for Amanda Lang

iPOLITICS Let’s recap. Amanda Lang gets paid a bushel of money to talk at events sponsored in part by a big bank — the one her boyfriend works for. She then invites the bank’s president on her TV show to crap on a story broken by her CBC colleagues about that bank and the Temporary Foreign Workers Program while, at roughly the same time, she goes AWOL and disses the story herself in The Globe and Mail without warning her bosses. And it was no big deal. Not, apparently, according to the CBC’s in-house ‘review’ of events. Story here.

Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground to Stop Climate Change

George Monbiot - The Guardian. In the fourth piece in the Guardian’s major series on climate change , George Monbiot argues that once coal, oil and gas are produced, they will be used. And yet, after 23 years of UN negotiations there have been almost no steps taken to stop the production – rather than the use of – fossil fuels. Story here.

In Florida, Officials Ban Term ‘Climate Change’

Florida Center for Investigative Reporting. The state of Florida is the region most susceptible to the effects of global warming in the US. But you would not know that by talking to officials at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection... Story here.

Plans for an Immense Canal Could Spell Catastrophe in Nicaragua and Elsewhere.

Common Dreams Group of scientists says massive earth-moving project already underway threatens irreversible harm. Story here.

Tech-Savvy Indian Women Farmers Find Success With "Sim Cards."

INTER PRESS SERVICE MAHABUBNAGAR, India:  “My profits have increased from 5,000 to 20,000 rupees (80-232 dollars) each season,” declares  a smallholder farmer participating in a mobile technology scheme to create awareness among rural women. Story here.

Crime In North Dakota’s Oil Boom Towns Is So Bad That The FBI Is Stepping In

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Climate Progress Canadian pump jacks work the same geological  formation as North Dakota.  PinP photo. High levels of crime in North Dakota’s oil fields have prompted the FBI to set up shop in the region.   Story here.

Infrastructure Boom Threatens World's Last Wildernesses

the guardian Spread of new roads in developing nations is a greater danger than the dams, mines, oil well or cities they connect, as they open up untouched habitats to poachers, illegal loggers and land speculators, study says. Story here.

Canadian Government Pushing First Nations to Give up Land Rights For Oil And Gas Profits

The Guardian Harper government organized private meetings between oil firms and Indigenous chiefs to try and gain support for oil and gas pipelines and other investments located on their lands, documents reveal. Story here.

Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?

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National Geographic We live in an age when all manner of scientific knowledge—from climate change to vaccinations—faces furious opposition. Some even have doubts about the moon landing. Story here.

Some California Farmers Will Get no Federal Water, Meaning Fields Could go Unplanted

Winnipeg Free Press SACRAMENTO, Calif. - For a second straight year, the federal government said Friday it won't send any of its reservoir water to the Central Valley, forcing farmers in California's agricultural heartland to again scramble for other sources or leave fields unplanted. Story here.

Residents of São Paulo – Brazil’s "Failing" Mega-City - Struggle as Water Taps Run Dry.

the guardian Many residents are hoarding water in their apartments – and some are even drilling homemade wells – as they prepare for possible rationing. Story here.

World's Largest Bee-Killing Corporation Threatens to Sue an Advocacy Group Trying to Save the Precious Pollinators! PLEASE DONATE!

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Sum    of + us Honeybee. PinP photo. We've just received a letter from a major corporate agribusiness firm threatening legal action unless we stop our campaign to save the bees.  The letter came from a contractor for Bayer, one of the biggest producers of bee-killing pesticides in the world-- which means we could be facing a long, drawn out legal fight against corporations with incredibly deep pockets. PLEASE HELP!   CONTRIBUTE HERE !

Alberta in Talks on Climate Policy With Eye to Keystone Approval

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BloombergBusiness Sunlight breaks this tailings pond at the Alberta tar sands down into a rainbow spectrum. Pond contains toxins including bitumen, naphthenic acids, cyanide, phenols and metals such as arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead and zinc.  Photo credit - Beautiful Destruction. Alberta is in talks with other Canadian provinces and U.S. states to cooperate on climate and environmental policies as it seeks to improve the reputation of its oil sands and win approval of TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone pipeline.  Story here.

As Antarctica Melts Away, Seas Could Rise Ten Feet Within 100 Years

Common Dreams Based on rapid thawing, continent has become 'ground zero of global climate change without a doubt,' says geophysicist. Story here.