Monday, June 29, 2015

Scientists oppose GMO Biocolonization of Costa Rica

Agro Pages

Personalities from the eco-scientific and organic agriculture environments are speaking up against the letter from the American Embassy, in which the Costa Rican government is put under pressure to adopt transgenic seeds. Story here.

Exxon Mobil, BP Suspend Canadian Arctic Exploratory Drilling Program in Beaufort Sea

Wall Street Journal
CALGARY—An oil industry consortium including Exxon Mobil Corp. and BP PLC has suspended its Canadian arctic exploration program in the Beaufort Sea, citing insufficient time to begin test drilling before its lease expires in 2020. Story here.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Alberta's New Climate Plan Seen as a Meaningful First Step

inside climate news

Tar sands' carbon emissions will continue to rise, but the province's new government signals a change in direction. Story here.

Pope Francis Recruits Naomi Klein In Climate Change Battle

The Guardian

Social activist ‘surprised but delighted’ to join top cardinal in high-level environment conference at the Vatican. Story here.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

GM Wheat No More Pest-Resistant Than Ordinary Crops, Trial Shows

The Guardian
GM wheat designed to repel aphids is no more effective at repelling the bugs than standard varieties a major field trial has revealed. Story here.

Friday, June 26, 2015

It's Worth Defending

Larry --

Our coastlines, our drinking water, our national parks -- we love these things, and defending them is no easy task, especially in the era of the Harper Conservatives.

The current government has been giving away our natural resources to foreign multinational corporations at an alarming rate, and has pushed for the reckless and unsustainable expansion of the oilsands and other high-polluting industries.

But I have good news for you.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Civil Society Reacts: Papal Encyclical for Climate Action


NGOs have today welcomed Pope Francis’ strong moral case for people and leaders to tackle climate change delivered in today’s historic Papal Encyclical. Story here.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Near a Fracking Center, Drinking Water Has More Chemicals and Carcinogens

inside climate news

One of the largest analyses of water quality of aquifers near fracking sites examined samples from 550 wells across the Barnett Shale near Dallas. Story here.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Numbers Show Threatened Bittern is Booming Again

BBC News

One of the UK's most threatened birds - the bittern - is returning to England and Wales, according to conservationists. Story here.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Huge Toxic Algal Bloom Shuts Down West Coast Fisheries


Commercial and recreational fisheries up and down the West Coast have been forced to close as a result of a massive toxic algal bloom, which scientists are describing as one of the largest in history. Story here.

Pope Francis Slams GMOs and Pesticides for Environmental and Social Damage

Sustainable Pulse

Pope Francis slams both GMOs and pesticides in a draft of his major environmental document that was leaked Monday. He has also called for the financing of independent and interdisciplinary research to study GMOs. Story here.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Pope, the Economy and the Case for Climate Action

World Resources Institute

This week Pope Francis issues his long awaited Encyclical on Climate Change. The Pope’s message should galvanize support for climate action for the Catholic community and well beyond. It will speak not only to the 5,000 Catholic Bishops, nor only to the 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide, but to all people of goodwill who are open to the moral context of climate change. Story here.

North Korea Says It Faces Worst Drought in a Century

(BBC News)

North Korea says it is facing its worst drought in a century, sparking fears of worsening food shortages. Story here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The World is Off Course to Prevent Two Degrees C of Warming, says Energy Agency

The Washington Post

In a major report to be released Monday, the Paris-based International Energy Agency — which provides independent energy analysis and has 29 member countries, including the United States — will state that current national commitments to cut greenhouse gases are still insufficient to keep the world below two degrees Celsius of warming above preindustrial levels. Story here.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Explosive Intervention by Pope Francis Set to Transform Climate Change Debate

the guardian
The Koch Bros. fertilizer plant in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada. PinP photo.

The most anticipated papal letter for decades will be published in five languages on Thursday. It will call for an end to the ‘tyrannical’ exploitation of nature by mankind. Could it lead to a step-change in the battle against global warming? Story here.

Butterflies: Out of the Blue

the guardian
One of the many species of swallowtail butterflies in North America. PinP photo.
Large blue butterflies were driven to extinction in Britain just 30 years ago, but now they're making a comeback, thanks to some loving care from conservationists. Story here.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

China Syndrome

George Monbiot

We should stop recycling the old “Yellow Peril” myth. The people most hostile to action on climate change are American and British (& Canadian? PinP), not Chinese. Read more.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Canada’s New Trade Deals Good for Canadian Corporations, Bad for African Democracy

By Yves Engler -

Sometimes what is good for business can be bad for people. Most Canadians understand this and cherish their right to protest "bad deals" and to elect new governments willing to reverse so-called "business-friendly" policies. This is called democracy. Story here.

Alberta’s Oil Sands Take a Hit as Scientists, Academics Call for Halt to Development

Rainbow Lava - Canadian tar sands. 
Tailings contain a host of toxins including bitumen, naphthenic acids, cyanide, phenols and metals such as arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead and zinc. Photo Credit - Beautiful Destruction.
Alberta’s oil sands producers have suffered another hit to their reputation, as a group of prominent scientists and academics called for a moratorium on further development due to environmental concerns. Story here.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Africa on Threshold of Triple Energy Win for People, Power and Planet


Renewable energy is at the forefront of the changes sweeping Africa, and a “triple win” is within the region’s grasp to increase agricultural productivity, improve resilience to climate change, and contribute to long-term reductions in dangerous carbon emissions. Story here. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Seeding 2015: The Never-Ending Story

Manitoba Co-Operator

PinP photo
Close to a million Manitoba acres could get reseeded and 90 per cent of them were canola. Story here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A Promising Organic Opportunity in Manitoba!

Dear Readers, 

I'm taking the unusual step of placing an ad on this blog - for a very good reason. The property advertised here (a 6-acre rural site near the Town of Roblin, in west-central Manitoba), holds wonderful promise for anyone interested, either in starting up or expanding an existing organic operation.

See Google map here. 

This location is roughly midway between Dauphin, MB and Yorkton, SK and not far from major recreational centres such as Duck Mountain Park, Asessippi Ski Resort and Lake-of-the-Prairies.

I inherited the property from my parents many years ago. I sold it in 2013, for health reasons. My efforts to find a buyer who would continue our tradition of organic market gardening on the site, were not successful. The buyer at the time, who simply wanted a quite place to live, is now selling it again. 

I would personally like nothing more than to see someone passionate about organic production, take it over and carry on a tradition I had observed for many years. 

The organic movement needs to expand and thrive! Here is a chance for someone who feels the same, to begin an exciting new career in a beautiful location. The farmers' market in nearby Roblin is booming, as are ones in Yorkton, Dauphin and Winnipeg.

If you are interested, please check out the realty company ad here. 


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Air Pollution at the Forefront of Global Health

The Lancet

Air pollution and the associated health risks have been addressed for the first time by the World Health Assembly (WHA) in a landmark resolution passed on May 27, 2015. Story here.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Climate Deniers Lose Another Argument as Global Warming 'Pause' Proved False

Common Dreams

'Our new analysis suggests that the apparent hiatus may have been largely the result of limitations in past datasets,' says NOAA. Details here.

Late Frost and Blizzard Put Chill on Seeded Fields on the Canadian Prairies

Laura Rance - Winnipeg Free Press
This year could go down in Prairie folklore as the year farmers seeded and seeded -- and then seeded some more. Story here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Manitoba Renews Support For Manure Management Financial Assistance Program

Government of Manitoba

Funding for the Manure Management Financial Assistance Program (MMFAP) has been renewed for another year to help ensure all eligible farmers have an opportunity to make improvements that will benefit their operations and the environment, Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced today.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

‘It Is Climate Change': India’s Heat Wave Now The 5th Deadliest In World History

A searing and continuing heat wave in India has so far killed more than 2,300 people, making it the 5th deadliest in recorded world history. Story here.

The Government of Manitoba Defies Conventional Wisdom - Increases Highway Speed Limit. Climate Change? Who Cares? (Editorial)

by Larry Powell
In an age when the ravages of climate change are making themselves increasingly evident, the Government of Manitoba has raised the speed limit on most of the Trans Canada west of Winnipeg, to 110 KPH. 

Have the poor souls flunked out of "Climate Change 101?" If they hadn't, they would surely know that higher speeds will only result in more fuel consumption, something an enlightened government should be trying to avoid. (Every 9th grader now knows, or sure as Hell should, that our now out-of-control burning of fossil fuel is what is driving the climate crisis we are now all faced with.)

On its website, Natural Resources Canada has a simple warning: "Avoid high speeds. Most cars, vans, SUVs and pick-up trucks operate most fuel efficiently when travelling between 50 and 80 km/h. Above this optimal speed zone, vehicles consume increasingly more fuel the faster they go." 

Obviously the expediting of human traffic and cargo is more important to this government than the catastrophic climate change now facing present and future generations. Could it be that Greg Selinger and his crew are actually trying to "Out-Harper" the Harperites in their appalling environmental illiteracy?

Food, Water, Health, Life: United Nations Experts Warn of Threats Posed by Secret 'Trade' Deals


'All draft treaty texts should be published so that Parliamentarians and civil society have sufficient time to review them and to weigh the pros and cons in a democratic manner,' say officials. Story here.

Related: Free Trade: Pathway to Prosperity - or Back Road to Corporatism?

Monday, June 1, 2015

Warmer Oceans Will Make Typhoons More Intense

While the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be relatively quiet, thanks to the influence of a healthy El Niño, the typhoon season in the northwest Pacific has been jam-packed so far, even for an area that normally sees the highest tropical cyclone activity and a large proportion of the strongest storms. Story here.

The Arctic may be sea-ice-free in summer by the 2030s

  Nature Communications                                                 Photo by Patrick Kelley   The Arctic could be sea-ice-free during th...