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Showing posts from June, 2017

New research warns, the world’s most widely-used family of insecticides, can decimate bee populations.

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 Chemical companies, who helped fund the study, believe it provides a loophole they can use to support their case for their continued use. by Larry Powell Bumblebees forage on chives in a Canadian garden.  A PinP  photo. It was the first, large-scale field trial of its kind in Europe. It looked at ways that two kinds of “neonics," (clothianidin and thiamethoxam) may affect tame honeybees and two wild bee species in the UK, Hungary and Germany.   Its findings were published yesterday in the journal, Science. In the UK and Hungary, honeybee colonies located near crops of “oilseed rape” (also called “Canola”) treated with clothianidin and planted the previous year, had almost one quarter (24%) fewer workers in the spring. ( Thiamethoxam didn’t hurt them.) As Richard Pywell, an ecologist at the UK-based Centre for Ecology & Hydrology,  puts it, “We’re showing significant negative effects at critical life-cycle stages, which is a cause for concern

Planet in Peril. Famine in Africa. Sea-Level Rise in Atlantic Canada. (Video)

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Deadline 2020: Just Three Years, Say Experts, Before Global Tipping Point

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Common Dreams "Should emissions continue to rise beyond 2020, or even remain level, the temperature goals set in Paris become almost unattainable," they write. Story here. A wildfire in Alberta. 2016. Wikimedia Commons.

These NASA Images Show Siberia Burning Up

CLIMATE CENTRAL Siberian wildfire season is off and running with multiple blazes searing the boreal forest and tundra. It’s the latest example of the vast shifts happening to the forests that cover Siberia and the rest of the northern tier of the world as climate change alters the landscape. Details here. RELATED Arctic’s Boreal Forests Burning At ‘Unprecedented’ Rate Alaska Entering New Era for Wildfires Alberta Wildfires Costliest Disaster in Canadian History

Ten million tons of fish wasted every year despite declining fish stocks

ScienceDaily Industrial fishing fleets dump nearly 10 million tonnes of good fish back into the ocean every year, according to new research. Story here.

A Plant in Government

George Monbiot Another deadly tree disease threatens these islands, but the government will do nothing to keep it out. Details here.

Almost all of the 29 coral reefs on U.N. World Heritage list damaged by bleaching

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Science There was good news and bad news for the world's coral reefs last week. Story here. A bleached reef off Hawaii. Photo by NOAA.

Record high temperatures grip much of the globe, more hot weather to come – UN agency (Story & video)

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UN News Centre Extremely high May and June temperatures have broken records in parts of Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the United States, the United Nations weather agency reported today, warning of more heatwaves to come. Story here.

Deadly Heatwaves Could Threaten Nearly Three-Quarters of World's Inhabitants

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Common Dreams New study released as "unusually early" heatwaves grip large swathes of globe. Details here. PinP photo.

Moss study reveals widespread climate change in the Antarctic

Science Media Centre of Canada. Moss from additional sites on the Antarctic Peninsula has allowed scientists to get a clear picture of the ecological changes the region underwent over the past 50 years. Details here.

Keep the Hives Alive! (Video)

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Angry Oceans...the Second in a Series Looking at the Impact of Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise on Atlantic Canadians. (Video)

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RELATED: Episode One: " Angry Oceans. How Sea Level Rise is Impacting the World, including Atlantic Canada. (Story & Audio Podcast) "

We can’t fight climate change if we keep lying to ourselves

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Nation of Change - Chris Hedges The inability to see what is in front of our eyes replicates the blindness of all past civilizations that celebrated their eternal glory at moments of precipitous decline. Details here. Recent wildfires in Portugal have incinerated more than 60 people in their homes and cars.  Nsandre  photo.

UN urges 'reboot' of drought responses to focus more on preparedness

UN News Centre Investing in preparedness and building the resilience of farmers is fundamental to cope with extreme drought, because responding to such situations when they hit might be too late, the head of the United Nations agricultural agency said today. Story here.

Wildfires used to be rare in the U.S. Great Plains. They’ve more than tripled in 30 years

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                                                        The Washington Post     West Texas - 2011.  Staff Sgt. Eric Harris The grasslands of Great Plains have seen one of the sharpest increases in large and dangerous wildfires in the past three decades, with their numbers more than tripling between 1985 and 2014, according to new research.  Story here .

Chip in to help us save the bees.

+SumOfUs Fighting for people over profits The battle is on: A historic ban on bee-killing pesticides is on the table. But we’ve just learned that politicians in the European Parliament will try to stop it -- before member states even get the chance to vote! PLEASE DONATE HERE.

It’s high time for a global ban on bee-killing pesticides

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+SumOfUs The European Commission is poised to propose a game-changing law to protect bees and other pollinators. The new ban on bee-killing pesticides would go far beyond current protections, banning three deadly neonics from fields all across Europe. PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION. PinP photo.

62 dead in central Portugal forest fires

CBCnews Heat from fires so intense, crews having trouble approaching flames. Details here.

Help preserve land – our 'home and future' – UN urges on World Day to Combat Desertification

The UN News Centre With hundreds of millions of people around the globe directly affected by desertification – the degradation of land ecosystems due to unsustainable farming or mining practices, or climate change – United Nations agencies have called for better management of land so that it can provide a place where individuals and communities “can build a future.” Story here.

Female elk can learn to avoid hunters with age

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EurekAlert Strategies include moving less, and favouring safer areas when near roads. Story here. Elk in Jasper Nat'l. Park, Canada.  PinP photo.

Catastrophe of Aral Sea shows 'men can destroy the planet,' warns UN chief Guterres

UN News Centre United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres paid a recent visit the Aral Sea – once the world's fourth largest inland sea, that has now shrunk to about a quarter of its original size due to human mismanagement  Story here.

Changes for Manitoba's hog industry would lower standards (LETTER)

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(Brandon Sun,13 June) It's a funny thing how industries that are in trouble invariably take out full-page ads in the newspapers to proclaim their virtue in search of public approval. Such is the case with Saturday's ad by the Manitoba Pork Council featuring chairman George Mathison. Chairman Mathison, referring to the "red tape reductions" proposed by the province, emphatically proclaims that "None of the proposed changes will lower environmental standards." Come now, George - that really is a bit of a stretch.

Churchill residents fear skyrocketing costs as flooded rail line closed indefinitely

Winnipeg Free Press First, the grain shipments shut down, shuttering the Port of Churchill. Then the blizzards hit, dumping 60 centimetres of snow in just three days last winter and forcing town authorities to call a state of emergency.  Story here.

U of M climate change study postponed due to climate change

Winnipeg Free Press The University of Manitoba's multi-year, multi-million dollar climate change study has been put on ice for a year -- because of climate change itself. Details here.

Hog Watch Manitoba (HWM) Calls for Safer Barns After Thousands of Animals Die in Another Fire.

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WINNIPEG: HWM, a citizens’ group which monitors the industry in the province, calls the blaze “horrific.” Three thousand, five hundred pigs perished when two barns burned to the ground near New Bothwell last week. It’s just the latest in a series of similar incidents in the province that have left thousands more hogs dead over the past decade. The barns are not equipped with the same fire walls or alarm/sprinkler systems that most other buildings must have. And HWM fears that plans by the Pallister government  to remove what it calls “impractical and costly” fire prevention regulations in barn construction, will only make a bad situation even worse.How can these changes make the situation better?   “Although the thousands of pigs that have died in barn fires are not someone’s pet, they are all sentient beings that have the capacity to suffer fear and pain” says Vicki Burns of HWM. “If there were horrific fires like this in animal shelters like humane societies, the pub

Angry Oceans. How Sea Level Rise is Impacting the World, including Atlantic Canada. (Story & Audio Podcast)

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by Larry Powell NEEPAWA, MB:   Even tho I live in a little landlocked town on the Canadian prairies, I’ve long been fascinated with the role our oceans play in the evolution of manmade climate change. And, as a science writer, I also do lots of research, trying to keep on top of the issue.  So, when I learned that  “The Science Media Centre of Canada,”  was sponsoring a “webinar” on climate change and sea level rise, I jumped at the chance to take part. (A webinar is a live, online event, a bit like a modern day teleconference.) So I tuned in and listened eagerly as four leading experts, three Canadians and an American, laid out in ways that were at once matter-of-fact and alarming, how the phenomenon of rising ocean levels is impacting our planet.  Please read on, listen to the podcast below, or both! Predictions surrounding rising sea levels around the world and the threat they pose to millions of coastal dwellers are sounding mo

Epicentres of Climate and Security (Video)

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Weaver crashes B.C. Hydro media briefing, chastises Hydro over Site C

VANCOUVER SUN The largest, most expensive project in B.C. history continued to degenerate into a political mess Wednesday, after B.C.’s Green party leader crashed a media briefing on the proposed $9-billion Site C dam and publicly rebuked top B.C. Hydro officials for misleading numbers. Story here.

Climate action opposites: Canada vs United Kingdom

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NATIONAL OBSERVER Horizon Project. Alberta tar sands. Photo by "Beautiful Destruction." Two nations. Opposite tactics, opposite results. As the United Kingdom racks up climate wins, Canada might want to be taking notes.  More here.

Countries agree on decisive and urgent actions to restore marine world to health as Ocean Conference concludes

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Universal agreement on need for measures to reverse ocean deterioration. Details here.

As climate change intensifies, here’s what could happen to Falkland Islands

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NATIONAL OBSERVER Port Stanley, Falkland Islands. Photo by  Tom L-C . The melting of ice in Antarctica due to a warming climate threatens to upend the economic livelihoods of Falkland Islands residents, says its representative to Canada. STORY HERE.

Over 60 wildlife species at risk in Canada's changing North

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CNW a CISION company Some populations of Lake Sturgeon (above), a large, very long-lived species affected by historical  overfishing, are now on the endangered list (COSEWIC). US Fish & Wildlife photo. Atlantic Walrus and Eastern Migratory Caribou are at risk of extinction. So concluded the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), which met recently in Whitehorse. The number of Canadian northern wildlife species considered to be at risk now stands at 62. Details here.

Do Marine Reserves Provide a Buffer Against the Ravages of Climate Change? Yes, say experts!

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by Larry Powell An international team of scientists  is calling for more marine reserves  as a way to lessen the impact of manmade climate change.  The researchers believe, even if greenhouse gases are reduced in order to meet targets set out in the Paris Climate Accord, life on Earth will still face “serious stress and damage.” So more still needs to be done.  A blue rockfish in the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary.  NOAA Photo Library Marine reserves are areas of ocean where fishing and development are declared illegal.  They’ve been shown to result in greater biodiversity, density, mass and size among fish and other marine life living there.  Yet only a very small percentage of the world’s oceans have been set aside for this purpose. The team suggests, well-managed marine reserves would help people adapt to “five prominent impacts” of climate change. These are; ocean  acidification, sea-level rise, worsening storms, the distribution of marine life and decreas