Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Manitoba communities brace for possible major spring flooding

Manitobans are no strangers to floods. Here, campers make the most of soggy 
conditions in Neepawa, 2014. PinP photo.

The City of Brandon is already preparing for potential spring flooding. Story here.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

'Dante's Inferno' in Chile: Destructive Fires Rage in Record Heat

Records tumble in infernos in Chile. Details here.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Mongolia: Lethal livestock plague now hitting endangered antelope, warns UN agency

UN News Centre
The international pledge to eradicate a devastating livestock disease affecting mostly sheep and goats has taken on new urgency in the wake of a mass die-off of a rare Mongolian antelope, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Story here.

Mongolian antelope. 
Image from Wikipedia.

Manitoba rewrites hog barn regulations

The Western Producer

Manitoba is removing “impractical and costly” regulations in an effort to revive its hog industry. Story here.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Trump administration backs off plan to scrub climate pages from EPA website

The Washington Post

The Trump administration on Wednesday backed away from plans to take down some climate-change information from the Environmental Protection Agency’s website, which employees said had been planned for this week. But political appointees are exerting more oversight over the agency’s scientific communications. Details here.

One of the last Obama-era climate reports had a troubling update about the rising seas

The Washington Post

A Mexican beach. PinP photo.
new report, released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on the last day of Barack Obama’s presidency, presents a series of updated estimates for future sea-level rise, both in the United States and worldwide. It suggests that, under extreme future climate change, global sea levels could rise by more than eight feet by the end of the century — one of the highest estimates yet to be presented in a federal report.  Details here.

With the Rise of Trump, Is It Game Over for the Climate Fight?

YaleEnvironment360 - Bill McKibbon

PinP photo.
Donald Trump’s ascension to the presidency is a stunning blow to hopes for avoiding the worst impacts of global warming. But a broad-based, grassroots movement committed to cutting emissions and promoting clean energy must continue and intensify – the stakes are simply too high to give up. Details here.


CPAWS Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society

Are human animals "loving our parks to death?" PinP photos.
For almost a decade CPAWS has observed a significant shift in Parks Canada’s approach to managing our national parks, away from their legislative first priority of protecting nature, towards a more tourism and marketing focused agenda which is putting wildlife and wilderness in our national parks at risk. Details here.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Climate change will hurt crops more than it helps them, study suggests

The Washington Post

A new study from institutes around the world, reaffirms the idea that high temperatures could seriously harm the production of some of the world’s most important food crops. Story here.
PinP photo.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

On the climate change frontline: the disappearing fishing villages of Bangladesh


Kutubdia’s islanders don’t have much of a carbon footprint – most don’t have regular electricity. But they are facing the reality of a changing climate, and soon tens of millions of their fellow Bangladeshis will be at risk. Story here.

A common scene in Bangladesh. Photo by Liftarn.

Dirty industries spend more on politics, keeping us in the fossil age.

by George Monbiot
Alberta tar sands - photo by "Beautiful Destruction."
Make America Wait Again. That’s what Donald Trump’s energy policy amounts to. Stop all the clocks, put the technological revolution on hold, ensure that the transition from fossil fuels to clean power is delayed for as long as possible. Story here.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Species On The Move

As climate change impacts habitats around the world, species are on the move, trying to adapt — and survive. Story here.
Polar bear mother and cubs. photo by Alistair Rae.

New Tar Sands Pipelines Are Incompatible With Paris Climate Goals


New research released Thursday reveals disturbing new evidence on how locking-into new long-lived tar sands production undermines global efforts to address the global climate crisis far beyond Canada's borders. "Trudeau's pipeline decisions will lead directly to suffering…Story here.

The Term "Climate Change" has Already Disappeared From the Whitehouse Website! HELP!

Explore. Enjoy. Protect.
Larry -
This is what we're up against. The minute Trump took office, he scrubbed every mention of Climate Change from whitehouse.gov.
Donate monthly
His new energy "plan" will make your blood boil:
President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan...
We must take advantage of the estimated $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, especially those on federal lands...
The Trump Administration is also committed to clean coal technology.
We are mobilizing and launching an emergency grassroots campaign to stop Trump from derailing everything we've worked for.
I need you to make a monthly donation before midnight tonight so we can fight back before it's too late. Will you help?
Thank you,
Michael Brune
Michael Brune
Executive Director
Sierra Club
P.S. -- If you have recently become a monthly donor, THANK YOU. We have had an outpouring of support and are still processing donations.

Last year’s snow season in the Swiss Alps was 38 days shorter than in 1970

Climate change is already thawing ski slopes from Utah to Bolivia; now, Europe may be the next to lose its powder. Story here.
The former ski resort, of Tunetschalp in Switzerland. Photo by Curran2

Friday, January 20, 2017

Impending extinction crisis of the world’s primates: Why primates matter

The endangered yellow-tailed woolly monkey (Oreonax flavicauda) Photo by Platyrrhinus
Nonhuman primates, our closest biological relatives, play important roles and offer unique insights into many human societiesStory here.

Trumps Despicable War on Mother Earth has Begun.

Friends of the Earth Logo

Dear Larry,

Donald Trump has been President for only a few hours. But he’s already started attacking our environment.
One of his first acts was to take down the White House’s website on climate change and replace it with an “energy plan.” The plan says Trump “is committed to eliminating” the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the US rule. Rumors are flowing that approval of Keystone XL and Dakota Access could be next. 

This is just the beginning. Trump has announced his intentions. If we let him get away with it, what’s next? Gutting the EPA? Drilling for oil on our public lands in the Arctic?

We need to join together NOW and send a message to Trump: every action he takes to destroy our planet will be met with fierce resistance.
Standing with you,
Ben Schreiber,
Senior political strategist,
Friends of the Earth Action

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Guardian view on Trump and global warming: the right fight - Editorial

Historic flood - Red River Valley, Manitoba., 1997. Gov't. of MB photo.
The president-elect should understand that America needs to shoulder global responsibilities, and that in doing so America will benefit by owning the technologies of the future. Story here.

Ontario Stops Nestlé in its Tracks


Huge news -- the government in Ontario, Canada just issued a moratorium to block Nestlé 
from sucking up water from a small community experiencing drought conditions! Thanks 
to tireless work from grassroots groups and with support from over 168,000 SumOfUs members 
who spoke out, submitted public comments and donated to blanket the airwaves with radio ads, 
corporate giant Nestlé has been stopped in its tracks. 

But the fight to stop Nestlé from bullying local communities isn’t over.
The state of Michigan is weeks away from deciding on a plan to charge Nestlé just $200 
for a permit to double the amount of groundwater it can take to bottle and sell at a 
massive profit. Residents in Evart, Michigan need your help to stand up to Nestlé once again.

Our original email from last month:
Nestlé's at it again. This time, it 
wants to suck up 100M gallons of 
groundwater in a tiny U.S. town 
for just $200.
How can the government hand 
over its water for pennies so a giant corporation can profit? Tell 
the state of Michigan to reject 
this ridiculous deal.
Nestlé's about to lock down another massive corporate giveaway of precious fresh water -- unless we can pressure the U.S. state of Michigan to stand up to the water bottling behemoth.
Only miles away from Flint, Michigan -- where the local government switched the water supply and poisoned the community's water to save a few bucks -- the Michigan water authority is considering letting Nestlé double the amount of groundwater it takes to bottle and sell for profit.
The cost to Nestlé? $200 a year.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Foundation Controlled by a Wealthy Religious Leader Gets Millions of Taxpayer Dollars From Canadians.

by Larry Powell

Am I missing something? Or is it not just as scandalous that the Aga Khan Foundation gets our tax money, as it is that Trudeau has no ethics? (Justin is a politician. That's what politicians do.) But why in the world should a rich, religious leader born in Switzerland and who lives, God-knows-where, get welfare from we ordinary Canadians? The policy of separating affairs of state from affairs of religion is a sensible, time-honoured tradition which seems to have been thrown out the window here. Does anyone know just what Nizari Ismailism is anyway? The Foundation bills itself as a non-profit group which helps the poor. Fair enough.

His Highness, Aga Kahn 1V

But why does His Highness need a foundation (more importantly, why do we) when he could be turning over his personal riches directly to the less fortunate himself? I would personally feel more comfortable if we were to help our own poor, without filtering our tax money through a third party as non-transparent as this one, thanks very much.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Are the billionaire American Koch brothers playing climate politics in Alberta?


It’s a well-known fact that Charles and David Koch — owners of the second-largest private company in America — have been funding climate change denial in the U.S. for decades. Story here.

World’s Last Intact Forests Are Becoming Increasingly Fragmented

Clearing in the boreal forest, Canada. PinP photo.
Intact forest landscapes (IFLs), or vast stretches of unbroken forest wilderness, are some of the most important ecosystems in the world. And they are under threat. Story here.

Acclaimed Canadian author lays out dirty back story of fossil fuel industry and government

Jessica Ernst, the biologist who on Friday, lost a split decision in the Supreme Court of Canada over suing the Alberta Energy Regulator, is no ordinary person. Story here.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Two richest Canadians have wealth equal to 11 million poorest

David Thomson (l.) and Galen Weston Sr. (r.) are as wealthy as the poorest 30 per cent of Canadians, combined, Oxfam calculates. Story here.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Mercury-tainted soil found upstream from Grassy Narrows First Nation


Reporters with the Toronton Star and volunteers from Earthroots took soil samples from behind an old paper mill, 100 kilometres upstream from Grassy Narrows, which revealed significantly elevated levels of mercury. Story here.

Climate change: The potential impacts of collective inaction

Nation of Change

Such irresponsible, reckless behaviour adds grist to the mill of those both inside America and throughout the world. Story here.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Another Blatant Conflict-of-Interest is Ignored on Our National Airwaves. Has CBC Radio's "The House" Let Us Down Again?

by Larry Powell

Will the CBC ever learn?

More than five years ago, the radio program "The House," interviewed their "go-to" guy on just about everything; corporate apologist and big-shot business tycoon Derek Burney (l.), a former Canadian ambassador to the U.S. and adviser to Brian Mulroney.  He sang the praises of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline (extremely controversial even then) and railed against the "violent emotion" being used by environmentalists to oppose it. He never gave, nor was he asked to give, examples of what he meant by violent. Neither did he nor the CBC ever mention that he (Burney) was then (and may still be, for all I know), a director of Trans Canada Pipelines, proponents of the project! It was only after I made a formal complaint to the CBC ombudsman that they apologized for the "oversight." 

Fast forward to this morning and, lo and behold, the same program interviewed the same Derek Burney! This time, in a spiel reminiscent of Nazi-appeaser Neville Chamberlain (the UK's PM at the start of the Second World War), Burney laid out his own blueprint for "getting along" with the incoming Trump administration. Once again, no mention of Burney's business interests! 

Do you suppose Burney just might have an ulterior motive here? Perhaps he doesn't want us to do anything that would rock the boat, or move Trump off his position of support for what is likely still one of Burney's pet projects, the Keystone XL pipeline?

In this age of fake news and rampant conflicts-of-interest, surely the CBC can do better. 

Ya think?


Friday, January 13, 2017

Europe should expand the ban on bee-harming pesticide, say campaigners


The threat posed to bees by neonicotinoid pesticides is greater than perceived in 2013 when the EU adopted a partial ban, new report concludes. Story here.
PinP photo
Please also read how the EPA is disgracefully bowing to pressure from industry in the fight to protect bees, here.


Add your name and tell President-elect Trump: NO dangerous Bayer-Monsanto merger!

On Wednesday, President-elect Trump sat down with Bayer CEO Werner Baumann and Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant at Trump Tower and had a “productive meeting” on “the future of the agriculture industry”1 and the pending merger between the two companies.2

Trump has heard from the CEOs. Now we need you to make your voice heard. Add your name and tell President-elect Trump: NO to the dangerous Bayer-Monsanto merger >>

Farmers hurt by Yancoal’s divide and conquer strategy

Trevor Herriot’s Grass Notes
Saskatchewan is already well known for its potash mining and now another massive, multi-billion dollar project could soon be developed north of Regina.  Story here.

Exxon's Potential Climate Fraud

Dear Reader,

It could be the biggest case of corporate fraud in history.
Exxon knew about climate change as early as the 1970s. It’s been lying for decades about the greatest environmental crisis the planet has ever faced. It secretly funded a campaign of denial to discredit the work of climate scientists. And it may have committed fraud in the process.
If that weren’t bad enough, Donald Trump has now nominated Exxon’s own CEO, Rex Tillerson, to Secretary of State -- one of the most powerful positions in his administration. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

We can't let Rex Tillerson become the next US Secretary of State.

Explore. Enjoy. Protect.
Donate to help stop Tillerson
Credit: William Munoz/CC BY 2.0
We can't let Rex Tillerson become our next Secretary of State.
Dear Larry -
It's on: ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, whose dubious credits include close ties to Vladimir Putin, sanction-defying business deals with Iran, and millions in donations to climate-change denial groups, is, after yesterday's Senate confirmation hearing, one step closer to becoming Secretary of State.

Tillerson's countless conflicts of interest and relationships with dictators and oligarchs make him the most dangerous cabinet pick in recent memory. His record at ExxonMobil -- corruption schemes, human rights abuses, investor fraud -- paints a terrifying picture of America's diplomatic future.

Turbulent times ahead for air travel?

Scientists are now discovering that climate change and air travel could be having huge impacts on each other. Story here.

PinP photo.

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...