Sunday, August 30, 2015

GMOs, Herbicides, and Public Health

New England Journal of Medicine

The science and the risk assessment supporting the Enlist Duo decision are flawed. The science consisted solely of toxicologic studies commissioned by the herbicide manufacturers in the 1980s and 1990s and never published. Story here.

RELATED:"A Canadian Senior Citizen's Open Letter to the Minister of Agriculture"

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Canadian Senior Citizen's Open Letter to the Minister of Agriculture

Dear Minister Ritz,

I am a senior citizen (a scientist & a retired Professor from the University of Toronto). I am writing to you concerning your statements last April at an international conference in Saskatchewan (“Feeding the Global Middle Class”), regarding GMOs. You were quoted as saying (in the Western Producer): “Industry slow to defend GMOs”.

A  ground sprayer at work in Manitoba. PinP photo.

Actually, in my opinion, and in the opinion of tens-of-thousands of independent scientists globally: GMOs should be banned (& not DEFENDED!). The reason is simple: GMOs were “created” through a massive fraud in the United States about 25 years ago, then “exported” globally by a transnational cartel, and have never been tested adequately for safety in the food-chain.

Is This What Climate Change Looks Like?

The water tower in my home town is barely 
visible in smoke said to have spread all the way from Washington State, about 2,000 kilometres away! PinP photo.

Cover Up? TTIP Negotiators Outed for Secret Talks With Big Tobacco

Common Dreams
Forced by freedom of information request, officials release documents scrubbed of all content and names. Story here.

Latvia, Greece Win "Opt-Out" From Monsanto GM Crop

Manitoba Co-Operator

Monsanto's MON810 is only GM crop grown in EU. Story here.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ahead of Australia Visit, Naomi Klein Brands PM Abbott a 'Climate Villain'

Common Dreams.

Countering the idea that she peddles 'dangerous ideas,' the author and activist replied: 'Are they? I think they are safe...I think Tony Abbott has the real dangerous ideas. Story here.

Human ‘Super Predators' Destroying Our Own Sustenance: Study


Human beings have evolved into unsustainable "super predators" that kill adult fish and animals at many times the rate of natural hunters, says an extensive study published Thursday. DETAILS HERE.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Bayer: Withdraw Your Neonicotinoid Pesticides From the Market. PLEASE SIGN PETITION!

+ Us
The bee-harming pesticides we've been fighting for years are worse than we imagined. Research suggests that neonicotinoids aren't just decimating bee colonies -- they're hurting birds too. Please sign!

The Purple Martin - an insectivorous species 
considered particularly vulnerable. PinP photo. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Forests of the World Are in Serious Trouble, Scientists Report

The Washington Post
PinP photo.
The planet’s forests are vital to us all. For one thing, without them, global warming would be a lot worse. Details here.

A World on Fire: July Was Hottest Month Ever Recorded

Common Dreams

Record set for hottest month of the year puts 2015 on track to be hottest year ever recorded... and the consequences are mounting. Story here.

PinP photo

Why the Government of Canada Must Lead in Health Care - But Does Not.

Canadian Medical Asn. Journal
For much of the last decade, Canadian federal health policy has been conspicuous by its absence. Story here.

State of Emergency Declared as Wildfires Create 'Unprecedented Cataclysm' in Washington State

Common Dreams

Four other states also fighting massive blazes, including drought-stricken California. Story here.

RELATED: "The Great Wildfire Debate Lights Up Editorial Pages in Manitoba."

Hey, US Congress, Quit Blaming The EPA!

The Gold King mine accident (the one that turned this Colorado river orange) is on you, too. Story here.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Mostly Smaller Crops Expected in Canada

Manitoba Co-Operator
PinP photo.
CNS Canada –– Statistics Canada will release its first survey-based Canadian crop production estimates for 2015-16 on Friday, and figures for most major crops are expected to be down compared to last year. Story here.

The Great Wildfire Debate Lights Up Editorial Pages in Manitoba.

Photo credit - APTN. (A version of this letter was published yesterday in the Neepawa Press.)
Dear Editor, 

I'm afraid there's been a misunderstanding.

My recent letter in the Neepawa Press, "It's time to wake up and smell the smoke," has brought quite a negative response from friends and others.

The misunderstanding is over the "link" that I drew between wildfires and manmade climate change. My critics apparently think such a link was my own creation! Nothing could be further from the truth! I was merely the messenger!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Notorious Insecticides Found in Half of Sampled Streams in US

Common Dreams
PinP photo.

Scientists Seek Review of Glyphosate, Allege ‘Flawed’ Regulations

Manitoba Co-Operator

Reuters — U.S. regulators have relied on flawed and outdated research to allow expanded use of an herbicide linked to cancer, according to a column published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday. Story here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

'Flash' Drought Scorches Southern U.S.

While most attention has focused on the lingering drought in California, a "flash" drought has spun up in the past few weeks across much of the South, from Texas to the Carolinas. STORY HERE.

Overfishing and Climate Change Conspire to Intensify Ocean Threats

Millions of people and billions of dollars depend on healthy oceans, but human actions create complex interactions that endanger oceans. Story here.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Study Shows Canadian Corporations Abuse Investment Treaties, Bully Governments Into Environmental Backtrack
Canadian investors have exploited a controversial mechanism in international investment treaties to challenge public interest regulations in 24 different countries, according to a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). Story here.

A Huge El Niño Could Devastate Southern California

Los Angeles Times

It started in October 1997 in Mexico, when a hurricane fueled by El Niño slammed into Acapulco, causing massive flooding and hundreds of deaths. Details here.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Untouchable: The Climate Case Against Arctic Drilling

Common Dreams

A new reality is setting in in the region – a reality of a changing climate, and the scramble of Big Oil to move in where sea ice is disappearing. Story here.

+ Us
This is Shell's dream. The Canadian government just gave it permission to drill for oil off Nova Scotia's cost — and the company doesn't need to cap an oil blowout for 21 days. Please sign!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Fresh Food Fuels Change in Manitoba, Canada.

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

People are food insecure when they do not have access to, or enough money to buy safe and nutritious food, preventing them from enjoying a healthy diet.  Food insecurity is a major concern for many low-income Winnipeg families. Story here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Monday, August 10, 2015

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Alberta Earthquakes Tied to Fracking, Not Just Wastewater Injection

Inside Climate News

While most fracking-related earthquakes in the U.S. are pegged to wastewater injection, Canadian scientists believe fracking itself is to blame in Alberta. Story here.
If you liked this one, here's another: "Is the "Dubious Duo" of Fracking & Earthquakes More Common in Canada Than we Know? PinP Wonders..."

Canada Falls Far Short of Pope Francis’ Call for Ecological Justice.


Canada is a prime example of a country that is putting short-term economic interests above what is needed to achieve a livable future for all who dwell on Earth, our common home. Story here.

Bernie Sanders is Drawing Big Crowds -- But How Long Will They Stick Around?

Los Angeles Times

The Summer of Sanders — as in Bernie, the Vermont socialist and long-shot presidential hopeful — has featured big crowds flocking to hear the U.S. senator’s fist-shaking message: 8,000 in Dallas, 10,000 in Madison, 11,000 in Phoenix. Story here.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Documents Just Leaked From the Trans-Pacific Partnership Talks Spell Bad News For Our CBC.

Some Of Us

If the TPP passes, Crown corporations like the CBC could be required to operate entirely for profit. And worse -- this move could force the CBC to be privatized.

The mission of the CBC is to tell the bilingual and multicultural story of Canada – and if this deal passes, its only goal will be corporate profit.

Canadian politicians are extremely vulnerable to public pressure right now as they head into one of the longest election campaigns in Canadian history -- let's make sure our CBC is protected and not sold off for profit.

Sign the petition to Prime Minister Harper and the Party Leaders: Scrap the TPP and save the CBC!

The leaked document from Wikileaks shows that CBC, Canada Post and other Crown corporations could be forced into operating solely for profit if the TPP deal is passed.
Harper was gunning to pass the secretive and extreme TPP deal before the election was announced so he wouldn't have to answer to voters on the campaign trail. But last week's talks in Hawaii stalled out and public opposition is growing by the day. Harper has been busy making cuts to the CBC and other crown corporations for years, and honestly, we've had enough.

These institutions represent an essential part of the fabric of this country. We have no idea if this provision will make it into the deal's final text -- but we can't afford to wait and find out if Harper tries to unilaterally rubber stamp the TPP deal.

Call on Harper and Party Leaders to protect the CBC and our Crown corporations from terrible trade deals.

Harper called the election a whole month early because he thinks money is all it takes to hold on to power. Conservative MPs spent the days before the writ dropped on a corporate spending spree -- literally spending $4 billion to help secure votes.

Right now, we desperately need a publicly funded national broadcaster free from corporate influence. We need an alternative to Americanized corporate channels, one that gives Canadian writers, actors, producers and broadcasters have a place to grow and develop a national consciousness. The CBC used to excel at this and even now, crippled by successive funding cuts, it punches far above its weight.

At SumOfUs, we have been fighting for the CBC for years. And with the coming election, now is our chance to say loud and clear that we don't want a Canada without a fully funded public broadcaster. That means no corporate influence and no selling it off to benefit private interests.

More information:

Analysis of Leaked TPPA Paper for Ministers' Guidance on SOEs, Professor Jane Kelsey, Faculty of Law, University of Auckland, 28 July 2015

Friday, August 7, 2015

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Nature Studies: Restoring Natural Habitats is Expensive - But it's Worth Every Penny

The Independent
A Monarch butterfly in Canada. PinP photo.
If the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, then it seems the price of wildlife in modern Britain is going to be eternal management. Details here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

How Wildfires and Climate Change Can Affect Your Health


As an ER doctor in Yellowknife who often sees patients for respiratory ailments, I've taken a special interest in the rash of climate-induced wildfires this summer. Story here.

Cry Me a Tailings Pond, Canada


The United States has its Clean Power Plan. Canada has the tar sands. Story here.

In Victory for Animals and Their Defenders, Judge Strikes Down Idaho 'Ag-Gag' Law

Common Dreams

Banning the filming of factory farm operations is an unconstitutional violation of both free speech and equal protection clauses, says federal judge. Story here.

If you liked this story, how about this one?  "Farm Sanctuary: A Haven From the Animal Holocaust"

Bombshell Study Reveals Methane Emissions Hugely Underestimated

Common Dreams

Findings throw EPA emissions database and countless other fracking studies into question. Story here.

California’s Largest Fire Is Moving At An ‘Unprecedented’ Rate


Wildfires continue to rage in California, where the largest of the 21 blazes covered 65,000 acres Tuesday morning and has killed at least one person. Details here.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Farm Sanctuary: A Haven From the Animal Holocaust

Common Dreams

There are mornings when Susie Coston, walking up to the gate of this bucolic farm in her rubber boots, finds crates of pigs, sheep, chickens, goats, geese or turkeys on the dirt road. Sometimes there are notes with the crates letting her know that the animals are sick or injured. The animals, often barely able to stand when taken from the crates, have been rescued from huge industrial or factory farms by activists. Story here.

GreenParty of Canada Candidate Kate Storey Ready to Hit The Campaign Trail in a Key Riding in Rural Manitoba.

GRANDVIEW. Green Party candidate Kate Storey (above) kicked off her campaign in Grandview on Sunday. “I am ready and happy to take on the challenge of this longer campaign.” said Ms. Storey. I look forward to using the time to get out to more communities and talk to more people in Dauphin Swan River Neepawa.”

“The Green Party has attracted more stellar Canadians - with personal reputations that command respect across Canada -- than any other party.  I am proud to represent the Green Party beside candidates like MP Elizabeth May,  broadcasters Claire Martin and Jo-Ann Roberts and Olympic mayor Ken Melamed.”

“Canadians deserve a government that delivers on long-term and sustainable jobs, a sustainable and expanded public health system, genuine security, and leadership globally in confronting the climate crisis,” said Ms. Storey. “Canadians deserve MPs who put Parliament ahead of party, setting aside hyper-partisanship for citizenship.”

“Elected Greens  give Canadians the kind of respectful, effective, hard-working government they deserve. More Green MPs in a minority Parliament will have influence and clout, working across party lines. Greens believe in A Canada That Works – Together.”
Kate Storey, Green Party of Canada

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Prime Minister of Canada Tells Another Big One!

Harper kicks off marathon campaign with a big lie! Does he really expect us to believe that taxpayers won't be on the hook for tens of millions of dollars due to this, the longest campaign in over a century - one that he is solely responsible for? The fact that we ordinary Canadians will apparently be responsible for half of the cost of all the attack ads we will be suffering through between now and Oct. 19th, makes me nauseous! I truly hope voters won't forget this when election day rolls 'round! (PinP)

Massive B.C. coal mines are about to get a new owner. Why some are worried about Glencore’s record

THE NARWHAL Coal mine at Tumbler Ridge, B.C.  Jeffrey Wynne ,      If the sale goes through, the company will inherit a contamination proble...