Sunday, February 28, 2016

Unprecedented Scientific Report Says Bees And Other Pollinators Are in Dire Need of Help

The Washington Post

Beekeepers at Fort Whyte Centre, 
Winnipeg, MB. PinP photo.

Until now, most assessments of pollinator health have been conducted on a regional basis, focusing on certain countries or parts of the world. But this week, a United Nations organization has released the first-ever global assessment of pollinators, highlighting their importance for worldwide food and nutrition, describing the threats they currently face and outlining strategies to protect them. Story here.

No New Projects in the Alberta Tar Sands After Current Round, IEA Says


The era of expansion of tar sands/oil sands production may be over—at least for now. In light of price and delivery challenges, the Paris-based International Energy Agency forecasts that projects now being developed will be completed, but no new ones begun. Story here.

Coal Mine Waste in Australia Affects Tadpole Behavior and Survival

Environmental Health News
Tadpoles exposed to coal mine wastewater in Queensland, Australia, had delayed development, hyperactivity and ended up full of toxic metals in their tails and livers, according to a new study. Story here.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Florida Just Flushed Its "Toilet" Lake Onto Its Beaches


Right in time for tourist season, polluted runoff is fouling coasts on both sides of the Sunshine State.  Details here.

WTO Swats Down India’s Massive Solar Initiative


The World Trade Organization delivered a blow to India’s ambitious solar power program on Wednesday at the behest of the United States. So much for all that nice chatter about international climate cooperation back in December. Story here.

NAFTA Wind Energy Dispute With Canada Ramps Up
Wind farm in Saskatchewan. PinP photo.

The three-year dispute between the US-based Windstream Energy company and the Canadian government ramped up this week, as representatives from both sides gathered in Toronto to make their case before an investor-state arbitration tribunal under NAFTA. Story here.

Ottawa Says Some Form of Carbon Pricing is Coming

CBC News

The federal Liberal government remains determined to set a national price on carbon emissions, despite the vocal opposition of Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall. Story here.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Indigenous Peoples of Northern Russia in the Fight Against Big Oil

For generations, the Nenets and the Khanty people have bred reindeer, fished, picked berries and gathered. They travel hundreds of kilometers to come together and conduct sacred rituals at Lake Numto.  It's threatened by an oil company; oil operations would wreck local communities and spell disaster for its wildlife and ecosystems. Story here.

At The Arctic Ice Edge


People power vs. destructive fishing. Please sign petition!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Ottawa Calls For Public Input on Plastic Microbead Ban

Consumers have until March 10 to make their views known, as Environment Canada works out a timetable for eliminating the environmental pollutant. Story here.

Seas Are Rising at Fastest Rate in Last 28 Centuries

The New York Times

The worsening of tidal flooding in American coastal communities is largely a consequence of greenhouse gases from human activity, and the problem will grow far worse in coming decades, scientists reported Monday. Details here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Get Ready For More ‘Weather Whiplash’

Manitoba Co-Operator
Unlike other regions, Manitoba may be able to benefit from climate change. Story here.
These were the soggy fields we drove by on Victoria Day last year, on the Trans Canada Highway west of Portage La Prairie (smack-dab in the middle of planting season): torrential rains most likely made worse by climate change. Does this look like the kind of weather that will "benefit" farmers? PinP video.

Quit Stalling on Organic Waste Pickup, Winnipeg!

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Most major Canadian cities have organic waste pick up, including: Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Hamilton and Toronto. Calgary will start in 2017. If Winnipeg does not move soon on this issue, we will be one of the few large cities in the country not doing our part. Story here.

El Niño Prolongs Longest Global Coral Bleaching Event

Monday, February 22, 2016

El Niño and Climate Change—Contributing Factors in the Dispersal of Zika Virus in the Americas?


In their letter, Isaac I Bogoch and colleagues (Jan 23, p 335)1 anticipated the international spread of Zika virus from Brazil through air traffic. Story here.

Government of Canada Invests $1 Million in Canola Research

Agro Pages

Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay announced that the Government of Canada is investing over $980,000 in research to help drive innovation and profitability in the canola industry. Story here.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Fiji: UNICEF On Stand-By With Supplies and Personnel In Wake of Cyclone Winston

UN News Service

In the wake of Tropical Cyclone Winston that struck the island nation of Fiji Saturday night, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said it is on stand-by to provide emergency supplies and additional personnel to support the Government as it works to determine critical needs. Story here.

Nestlé To Be Sued For Californian Drought Crimes!

Earth. We Are One.

The Story of Stuff Project, a campaign group, has just announced the pursuit of legal action towards Nestlé.  The lawsuit is over the extraction of groundwater in California as Nestlé has been doing, illegally, for its arrowhead brand.  This is considered to be a key contributor to the drought crisis within the state. More here.

Landmark Survey Shows For-Profit Water is a Risky Rip-Off


'Without shareholders expecting profits, public systems are less likely to cut corners on service,' says Food & Water Watch. Details here.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Do Canada's Gigantic Problems Need More Revolutionary Solutions? Does We Need to "Think Bigger?"

by Larry Powell

As governments everywhere, including Canada's, sleep walk through the gathering storm - another epic tropical typhoon (hurricane) is poised to slam into Fiji. Those we depend upon as "dot-connectors," who should be viewing everything through the prism of our climate crisis, continue to act like negligent criminals, believing that our survival depends, not on whether we steer our economy away from one that's addicted to fossil fuels, but how big the deficit should be, whether we should bomb a distant enemy overseas in yet another useless war, or bail out some deadbeat corporation which may or may not need it. 

No deep-thinkers here. 

How about this? 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Manitoba Pork Sector Builds on Hope

Manitoba Co-Operator

Four new barns will be built in 2016. Story here.
This is how many factory barns there were in southeastern Manitoba in 2007. That's when the Clean Environment Commission warned that more industry growth would lead to "a significant increase" in the production of nitrogen and phosphorous, nutrients which contribute to the pollution of waterways. So....just how many are too many?

Lessons From Flint Michigan And The Price of Water Privatization

Common Dreams

U.S. communities are shifting toward keeping their water infrastructure public, and that’s a good thing. But stopping water privatization is only the first step. Details here.

Billions of Bits of Plastic Waste Threaten Humans and Wildlife, Australian Senators Told

Studies have estimated there are now five trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans. These include microplastics, which form as larger pieces break down. Story here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Could a Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) Plant Wipe Out Salmon in Northern B.C? Russian Researchers Fear So.


The pink salmon runs in Aniva Bay, once among the largest largest in the world, collapsed after Shell built its LNG facility on the Russian island of Sakhalin in the late 90s. Story here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Monday, February 15, 2016

Monsanto Launches its Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ Soybeans in US and Canada

Monsanto Company recently announced its commercial launch plans for its Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ soybeans after it received import approval in China. This technology has been highly anticipated by farmers and is now available in the United States and Canada in time for the 2016 season. Story here.

Some Farmers on the Eastern Prairies Call for Return of Canadian Wheat Board

CBC News
PinP photo.
A meeting of Prairie farmers has called for the return of a single-desk system for grain marketing. Story here.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Allegations of Conscripted Labour in Canadian Mine: the Fifth Estate

CBC News 

A Vancouver-based mining company that struck gold in the small East African country of Eritrea is being accused in a B.C. lawsuit of permitting forced labour to be used in the construction of its mine. Story here.

Friday, February 12, 2016

There’s a Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan.

+ Us

Children are being rushed to the hospital with irreversible brain damage. The federal government has declared a state of emergency, and dangerous water contamination is causing residents to go blind, develop skin lesions, lose hair and even their memory -- just from bathing in their own homes. PLEASE SIGN!

Despite the Paris Climate Accord, Embraced by Canada - We Are On Track To Fail Even Harper’s Emissions Target

Canada’s latest biennial climate change accountability report came out this morning, projecting increases in greenhouse gas emissions. Story here.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Nasty Nattering of Climate Change Denier, Rex Murphy

Climate change denier Rex Murphy took to the CBC Wednesday not so much to eulogize Calgary and its economic woes as to slap down anyone opposed to fossil fuel development. More here.

The Lesser Evil

Georges Monbiot

I am starting to hate the European Union. But I will vote to stay in. Story here. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Fusarium Head Blight No Longer Just a Manitoba Problem

Manitoba Co-Operator

Producers across the Prairies need to manage to minimize their risk of fusarium, a serious and costly disease of cereal crops. Story here.

RELATED: "Field of Nightmares." 

After Paris Climate Talks, Canada on Track to Fail Even Harper’s Emissions Target


Canada’s late biennial climate change accountability report came out this morning, projecting increases in greenhouse gas emissions. More here.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Upholding Women’s Human Rights Essential to Zika Response – UN Rights Chief

UN News Centre

Upholding women’s human rights is essential if the response to the Zika health emergency is to be effective, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said today, following the advice to women by some governments to delay getting pregnant due to the possible link between the virus and neurological disorders affecting newborns. Story here.

Free Trade Places the Future of Rice Farming in Japan in Doubt

Rice has been at the centre of Japan’s economy and culture for centuries. But changes are afoot. There is growing concern among Japanese farmers that the country’s rice-producing capabilities are diminishing in the face of international trade pacts such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In fact, all local agriculture is in the spotlight as pressure mounts to increase local imports of overseas produce. Details here.

A Political Voice of Reason Comes From the NDP Amid the "Love-In" Over the TPP.

While the Trudeau government has gone ahead and signed the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, there remains many uncertainties about what's in store for Canada.
The Harper government first negotiated this deal in secret. Now we have the Liberals agreeing to a deal that can'tbe renegotiated! Any concerns or changes raised in future consultations won't matter.
We do know that the TPP will:

Friday, February 5, 2016

TransCanada Dismissed Whistleblower. Then Their Pipeline Blew Up.

TransCanada Corp put “substandard materials” in an Alberta natural gas pipeline that blew up in 2013, Canada’s pipeline regulator said, as it finally responded to a four-year old warning from a whistleblower with a new industry-wide safety order. Story here.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

To Feed the World, Tap Into Organic's Potential: Study

Common Dreams
'It’s not just a matter of producing enough, but making agriculture environmentally friendly and making sure that food gets to those who need it.' Story here.

Scientists Trace Cancer-Linked Pollutant to Alberta's Oil Sands Stockpiles


Dust blown away from stockpiles left over after oil sands upgrading is very likely a key source of a cancer-linked pollutant commonly found in the northern Alberta region, concludes a new peer-reviewed study. Story here.

Neepawa Banner Publishes Controversial Letter Over Religion & Climate Change.

by Larry Powell

 As my letter points out, it's not uncommon for Ken's stories to be embellished with Bible passages. And every single edition of his paper (as seen, below) contains columns by three different writers - all religious. 
In my humble opinion, if we are to routinely subject many other issues in our society to public scrutiny and debate, such as politics, sports and gender identity, why not religion? Why not hold people of faith accountable to their often controversial beliefs and positions, just like everyone else? 

This is all I'm attempting to do here. 

Want to chime in with your own opinion? You know the drill! (Just go to the comments section after this blog post.)

Thank you!

RELATED: "Faith vs. Science. Why Can't We Have Both?"

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: An #UnfairTrade Deal Too Far

International Institute for Sustainable Development
Non-trade provisions in the TPP, such as investment and intellectual property rights, threaten to heighten inequality. It is time for Canada to say; this is a deal too far. Story here.

Oppose the Disastrous TPP #UnfairTrade Deal! PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION!

In just hours, Trade Minister Freeland will sign Canada on to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The TPP is one of Stephen Harper’s biggest legacies. The sweeping "free" trade deal will let corporations sue governments in special courts for laws that might hurt their 'expected' profits, and it could severely damage our access to medication, internet freedom and workers’ rights. In short, it’s a massive corporate power grab. But the TPP must still be ratified by Parliament. So we still have a chance to stop it. PLEASE SIGN HERE.

Damning Report Finds Alberta Failing Aboriginals in Oil Sands Development


The Alberta government’s attempt to balance competing interests in the oilsands region has failed to protect aboriginal rights, lands and health from industrial development, says an unreleased report. More here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Federal Agency Failing to Protect Canadians from Pesticides

cape Canadian Asn. of Physicians for the Environment
A recent report suggests Health Canada’s Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency is failing to protect Canadians and the environment from chemical pesticides. Story here.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Celebrating 20 Years of Campaigning to Safeguard the Great Bear Rainforest


At long last, today we celebrate the culmination of over twenty years of campaigning to safeguard the Great Bear Rainforest. More here.

Organic Producers Could See Net Profit Levels Of Up To $300 Per Acre

Manitoba Co-Operator

Know your cost per bushel, not just per acre, says farm management specialist. Details here.

Hydro Dam Boom Threatens a Third of the World's Freshwater Fish

The spillway of the Shellmouth dam in Manitoba. PinP photo.
Plans to build huge dams in the Amazon, Mekong and Congo could devastate freshwater biodiversity in these tropical river basins, say ecologists. More here.

How Climate Change Could Spread Diseases Like Zika

A female Aedes Aegypti mosquito in the process of acquiring a blood meal from her human host. Photo: CDC/James Gathany
Warmer temperatures could expand the area where mosquitoes can thrive. Story here.

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...