Saturday, April 29, 2017

20 Million People Could ‘Starve to Death’ in Next Six Months

IPS News

Urgent action is needed to save the lives of people facing famine in North Eastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, the UN leading food and agriculture agency’s chief on April 28 warned. “If nothing is done, some 20 million people could starve to death in the next six months.” Story here.

Africa is no stranger to famine. 
70 children who died of malnutrition 
are buried in this mass grave in the 
east - 2011 . Photo by Oxfam.

The grisly truth about B.C.'s grizzly trophy hunt

by David Suzuki
Grizzly bears venturing from dens in search of food this spring will face landscapes dominated by mines, roads, pipelines, clearcuts and ever-expanding towns and cities. As in years past, they'll also face the possibility of painful death at the hands of trophy hunters. Story here.

US Forest Service photo.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Methane regs won't kick in in Canada until 2020 despite new report


Ottawa won’t revisit delaying cuts to a troublesome greenhouse gas despite a report published today that claimed its emissions could be much worse than previously thought. Story here.

Cyclist tells people NOT to ride the Trans Canada Trail


With much of the trail following the shoulders of busy highways, Edmund Aunger says the trail is dangerous and should not be promoted as a tourist attraction. Story here.

A cyclist take a break on a much safer section of the Trans Canada Trail in Manitoba. PinP photo.

Pipeline leaks more than 70 thousand litres of crude oil onto Oklahoma farmland

Nation of Change
Plains All American Pipeline has been behind at least 25 pipeline incidents in the state of Oklahoma since 2004, with more than half of them due to corrosion. Story here.

Hog Watch Manitoba Revived Following Proposed Expansion of Hog Industry

Portage La Prairie – Hog Watch Manitoba, a group formed in 1999 to monitor the hog industry in the province, is being reconvened due to public concerns. A steering committee has met in Portage La Prairie to make plans for the group’s current work. Many people have expressed alarm at plans by the Pallister government to lift the moratorium on new hog barns, imposed by the previous NDP government in 2006. They fear the Premier’s move to “reduce red tape” will lead to more pollution, threatening our waterways and even human health.

  • Will government do away with rules preventing the spreading of manure on fields in the winter? Winter spreading has been shown to result in more waste escaping into surface water. In 2007, the Clean Environment Commission found that hog wastes spread on fields as a nutrient, “constitute the most serious environmental sustainability issues facing the industry.”
  •  Hog Watch wants the government to explain what has changed since 2007 that would justify a relaxation of regulations now.
  •  Hog Watch will ask for meetings with cabinet ministers most directly involved with the proposed changes and seek assurances that rules protecting the public and the environment will be preserved.

Hog Watch Manitoba was originally formed through a coalition of environmental groups, farmers, friends of animals, social justice advocates, trade unionists and scientists concerned about the industrialization of livestock raising in Manitoba.

For further information contact:
  Vicki Burns - 204-489-3852 email  ,
  Fred Tait – 204-252-2153  or
 Janine Gibson - 204-434-6018

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Seeding in jeopardy in parts of Manitoba, Canada

The Western Producer

Farmers in certain areas of southern Manitoba need four to five weeks of ideal weather or they won’t be planting a crop this spring. Story here.

Flooded farm fields near Portage La Prairie,  Manitoba. PinP photo.

Monday, April 24, 2017

A Salute to Heroes


Message body

Sunday, April 23, 2017

First Nations Elder Loses Patience With the Modern Food System.

"Look at this, our food is laced with poison - exactly what we had been saying. Our industrial world is killing us. No wonder people are dying. The cost of doing mass production is our souls and health of our nations."

This is Dave Daniels, Elder on Long Plain First Nation, Manitoba and specialist in wild plants and herbal medicines. 

He was reacting to a recently-released finding by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. In studies conducted in '15 & '16, the federal food watchdog discovered traces of glyphosate, "a probable carcinogen," (World Health Organization) in almost 30% of food samples tested.

To better understand Mr. Daniel's story and his anger, please watch the video, below.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Wilder Fires and Rising Waters, Climate Impacts Coming to America's Door

Common Dreams

Pair of new studies show how American climate refugees will 'reshape' population landscape of the nation. Story here.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Help The "Bumblers!" Take Part in the "Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count!" PLEASE READ ON!

Meet the Yellow-banded Bumble Bee. It is one of six wild bee species determined to be “critically at risk” in Canada. Continent-wide, as many as one-third of bumble bee species are in decline.These are important pollinators whose disappearance would not only be a blow to natural biodiversity of species, but to the production of food for us and other living creatures, as well.
Want to be part of the solution? Help Friends of the Earth by taking part in “The Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count.” Just click here to find out how. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

'Payout Time': Exxon Seeks Waiver From U.S. Sanctions to Drill in Russia

Common Dreams

"Exxon applied for waiver from sanctions on Russia. Among departments who must approve: State Department, run by company's ex-CEO" Story here.

Climate change causes glacial river in Yukon to change direction


Glacier retreated so much that its meltwater switched course, in an event not documented in modern times. Story here.

The Kaskawulsh glacier from which the river in question used to flow - in a different direction. 2014 Photo by Gstest

Province of Manitoba, Canada amending big pile of manure regulations

Winnipeg Free Press

The Pallister government plans to amend regulations governing the safe disposal of hog manure in Manitoba. It released a discussion paper Thursday, kicking off a 45-day public consultation period. Story here.

Monday, April 17, 2017

What’s Changed on the Ground Since the Mount Polley Mine Disaster?


Highland Valley Copper Mine, Logan Lake, BC

Not enough, say critics, who call for a judicial inquiry into the state of mining regulation in BC. Story here. 

Imperial Metals: drop your mine project in BC's Clayoquot Sound. PLEASE SIGN PETITION!


The company responsible for the worst mining disaster in Canadian history wants to build a new open-pit copper mine in the heart of the pristine rainforests of Clayoquot Sound. PLEASE SIGN!

Clayoquot Sound - Vancouver Island. Photo by Adam Jones, Ph.D.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Slice of Greenland ice melts into oblivion


news network
Eastern Greenland. Photo by Algkalv 

Coastal glaciers in terminal decline as Greenland ice runs into the ocean and threatens to raise sea levels by the end of the century. Story here.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Chronicling the Misdeeds of my Member of Parliament. (Opinion)

by Larry Powell

While he has never gotten my vote, Robert Sopuck managed to climb aboard the tide of rural populism in 2010, becoming a loyal team player for Stephen Harper and MP from the Dauphin/Swan River/Neepawa riding, where he remains to this day. He's a member of the Conservative Party of Canada which I've lovingly re-named, "The Cynical Party of Canada."

Sopuck's latest transgression (now making the rounds on social media), captures him insulting the Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May in the House by suggesting she can't handle numbers. The Speaker ordered him to apologize (which he did sullenly and reluctantly). 
Above is the newspaper ad Sopuck is running at Easter. (So much for separation of church and State.)

This is the same MP who:

  •  has supported in the House, the brutal practise of "shark-finning" where sharks (often endangered species) are harvested for their fins only & thrown back alive into the ocean:
  •  spoken in favour of the asbestos industry, arguing the product is safe:
  •  refused to attend an important election forum in his riding on child poverty (which all other candidates attended):
  •  labelled as "anti-semitic" those who campaign for justice for Palestinians: 
  • posted a video from a Commons Committee hearing, showing him browbeating a hapless Environment CA scientist into "admitting" that climate change was really no big deal in CA because we "contribute so little," and:
  • Posted another video of him hunting in the Yukon. The title? "The Making of a Legend." 
    His latest insult of Elizabeth May is just another in a long line of incidents depicting a man with a Messiah complex who thinks he can behave like a jerk and still get re-elected. Maybe in the next campaign, we need to show him that he cannot.

    Really Bob, is this the way Jesus would behave? You had better watch out, because He is coming back, you know! Let's hope it's not in your lifetime, tho. Hasn't He suffered enough already?

    Glyphosate Grabs Headlines Again - and Not in a Good Way.

    by Larry Powell
    A field of durum wheat. (Wikimedia Commons)

    The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has detected the weedkiller glyphosate in almost thirty percent (29.7%) of food products it tested over the past two years. 

    The foods were; fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, grains, beverages, beans, peas, lentils, soy beans and children’s food. While small amounts were found in all of the food groups tested, the CFIA concludes, levels were only high enough to be of concern to human health in 1.3 percent, overall. The grain tested (wheat and barley), had more Glyphosate above the acceptable standard (3.9%)  than any other food group. 

    Less than one percent (.2% - .6%) of bean, pea, lentil and juice samples tested above the acceptable limit. While traces of the herbicide were found in all food groups tested, none of the fruits, vegetables, soy products or infant food were found to exceed the acceptable limit. 

    The agency says, where levels were unacceptable, it has taken action by notifying the manufacturer or importer, requested corrective action, conducted further sampling or recalled products. It did not specify.

    A pie chart displayed on the agency’s website shows that most of the sample in all food categories, contained no detectable levels, at all. 

    Glyphosate is the most widely-used herbicide in the world, sold largely under the brand name, Roundup. While its findings have since been challenged, a branch of the World Health Organization has concluded the product “probably causes cancer in humans.”

    Thursday, April 13, 2017

    The Unbearable Cost of Drought in Africa

    UN News Centre

    A poor rural community in Tanzania after the failure of the rains, facing drought and food insecurity. Photo - Wikimedia Commons.
    Nearly 50 per cent of all emergency food assistance to Africa is due to natural disasters, with advancing droughts significantly threatening both livelihoods and economic growth. Story here.

    Wednesday, April 12, 2017

    From extreme drought to record rain: Why California's drought-to-deluge cycle is getting worse

    Los Angeles Times
    California's climate has long been dominated by cycles of intense dry conditions, followed by heavy rain and snow. But never before in recorded history has the state seen such an extreme drought-to-deluge swing. Details here.

    Water rages under a bridge in Nevada City, California in January. Photo Credit - California Department of Water Resources

    Tuesday, April 11, 2017

    Global Warming Could Thaw Far More Permafrost Than Expected, Study Says

    Research says more than 40 percent of the frozen tundra could un-freeze if global temperatures continue to rise, scientists. Story here.

    An exceptionally warm summer in 2004 triggered this 300m long slump associated with thawing permafrost at a national preserve in Alaska. NPS climate change response.

    Follow China’s example, shut down ivory factories and shops, UN agency urges countries

    UN News Centre
    Applauding the Chinese Government’s closure of many of its ivory factories and retail outlets, the United Nations environment wing has called on other countries and territories to follow China’s example and improve the survival prospects for elephants across the world. Story here. 

    An Asian elephant in a park in India. Photo credit - Wikipedia.

    Sunday, April 9, 2017

    How climate change could make air travel even more unpleasant

    The Washington Post

    Flight turbulence could increase significantly under climate change, a study warns, potentially upping the risk of injury — or at least flight anxiety — for future airline passengers. Furthermore, fuel and maintenance costs for carriers could rise. Story here.

    Photo credit: Riik@mctr

    Saturday, April 8, 2017

    Review of pork industry wouldn't be hogwash

    Winnipeg Free Press
    In case you hadn’t noticed, the province has gone hog wild for changes to the pork industry. Story here.

    Popular Farm Pesticide Found in (US) Drinking Water

    Eco Watch

    Machinery sits ready to plant another field of "neonic" seeds in Manitoba. PinP photo.
    After evidence of pesticides killing off pollinators surfaced in 2016, scientists went on a quest to see if pesticides were seeping into anything else. Now, in an unprecedented study, the U.S. Geological Survey and University of Iowa reported findings of neonicotinoids—a class of pesticide used to kill off insects—in treated drinking water, marking the first time these chemicals have ever been identified. Story here.
    In Canada, the propensity of "neonics" to get into ground and surface water has been known for some time. Please read "New Studies Show Farm Chemicals Are Affecting More Than Bees. Bird Populations are Declining, Too. Is modern agriculture's hold on nature becoming a death grip?" 

    Friday, April 7, 2017

    Last-ditch attempt to save world's most endangered porpoise gets go-ahead

    Two vaquitas (Phocoena sinus) - a critically endangered porpoise species endemic to the northern part of the Gulf of California. It is considered the smallest and most endangered cetacean in the world. Photo credit - NOAA.
    Funds approved for plan to round up last 30 vaquitas into protective 'sea pens.' Story here.

    Wednesday, April 5, 2017

    Climate change impacting ‘most’ species on Earth, even down to their genomes

    Three recent studies point to just how broad, bizarre, and potentially devastating climate change is to life on Earth. And we’ve only seen one degree Celsius of warming so far. Story here.

    Some moose populations in Canada are doing well while others 
    are threatened by habitat loss & degradation. PinP photo.

    Tuesday, April 4, 2017

    Why are fire seasons longer? People.

    High Country News

    New research finds illegal campfires, cigarette butts and other accidental ignitions have nearly tripled the (US) wildfire season. Story here.

    Coconino National Forest, Arizona. 
    Jonathan Horn photo.

    Lyme disease is set to explode and we still don’t have a vaccine

    New Scientist
    A new prediction says 2017 and 2018 will see major Lyme 
    disease outbreaks in new areas. This could lead to lifelong 
    consequencesso where's the vaccine?  Story here.

    Monday, April 3, 2017

    Donald Trump’s attack on fresh water should be a wake-up call for Canadians

    The Hill Times

    The recent release of the Canadian budget is a real opportunity for our current government to send a message to the rest of the world - that, despite the current political climate, we take our environment seriously. Story here.

    Lake Superior, Minnesota. EPA photo.

    Sunday, April 2, 2017

    How the BC government is failing endangered rainforests

    Sierra Club of BC

    “The scope and scale of the ancient rainforest destruction in this incredible watershed (north Vancouver Island) is unimaginable.” Story here.

    Bugaboo Crk. Another, earlier example of clearcutting in BC.

    Saturday, April 1, 2017

    Site C Dam Threatens Canada's Largest World Heritage Site: UNESCO

    Sierra Club BC

    Wood Buffalo National Park. Photo credit: UNESCO -  Vincent Ko Hon Chiu 
    Canada has failed to protect its largest World Heritage Site. Based upon a process initiated by Sierra Club BC, UNESCO visited the Peace River Valley in the fall of 2016 to investigate how the Site C dam endangers Wood Buffalo National Park. UNESCO strongly criticizes Canada for exposing the park to danger. Story here.

    Trump sued over Keystone XL pipeline

    Nation of Change

    "We cannot stand by and allow oil and gas companies to ruin our climate and pollute our land, water and sacred cultural sites." Story here.

    Man handed hefty fine for killing grizzly bear in northern Manitoba

    Winnipeg Free Press
    On Wednesday, Carl Brown Jr. of South Carolina was found guilty of killing an animal that is protected under The Endangered Species and Ecosystems Act. Story here.

    Photo by Brocken Inaglory.

    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...