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Showing posts from January, 2018

Tragic tanker sinking lays bare the true risk Kinder Morgan poses to British Columbia

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Dogwood Leaving an ocean of fire, and the largest oil spill since 1991 in its wake, MV Sanchi exploded and then sank to the bottom of the Pacific on January 14. As two of Asia’s most powerful countries stood by — BC got a firsthand look at just how easy it is to sink an oil tanker. More here. World Maritime News photo.

Flooding in Paris Becomes More Recurrent

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NDP urges Trudeau government to avoid ‘embarrassing’ climate research ordeal

 NATIONAL OBSERVER Canada's New Democrats are pressing the Trudeau government to take urgent, "ambitious" action to save a group of environmental research networks that may soon run out of funds. More here.

NAFTA tribunal exceeded its jurisdiction when it made determination on what a Canadian environmental assessment panel can decide, groups say

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Ecojustice Environmental groups are in court today to help Canada challenge a landmark arbitral award brought under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Chapter 11 provision by American corporation, Bilcon . More here. The quarry in question.   Photo credit:      ISDS                        PLATFORM

Conserving honey bees does not help wildlife

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Science Media attention focused on saving embattled, tame (managed) honeybees may be misguided. That’s because the tame kind can negatively affect thousands of wild pollinator species. Story here. Bumblebees on a sunflower. PinP photo. RELATED:  Pesticide increases probability of bumblebee extinction.

Humans take up too much space -- and it's affecting how mammals move

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ScienceDaily Study found that human-modified landscapes shrink mammal movements by up to half. Story here. Moose in Riding Mountain National Park,  Manitoba, Canada. PinP photo.

World's Oceans Last Year Hit Hottest Temperatures Ever Recorded... 'By Far'

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COMMON  DREAMS Experts say the data indicates that humans must urgently "reduce the heating of our planet by using energy more wisely and increasing the use of clean and renewable energy." Story here. Coral reefs.  A Wikimedia photo.

Fox Creek quakes linked to volume and location of hydraulic fracturing

folio Study is the first to identify specific factors causing seismic activity in Alberta’s Duvernay play. Story here.

Unique oil spill in East China Sea frustrates scientists

Nature The lighter petroleum that spilled has never before been released in such massive quantities in the ocean. Story here.

Sparrows in the oilpatch are changing their love songs

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NATIONAL OBSERVER    PinP photo. Some birds have been forced to change their tune as a result of noise pollution from oil and  gas drilling, new research  from the University of Manitoba has found.  More here.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Ghost Cat Gone: Eastern Cougar Officially Declared Extinct

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EcoWatch Say good-bye to the "ghost cat." This week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially declared the eastern cougar ( Puma concolor couguar ) to be extinct and removed it from the endangered species list.  Story here. Photo credit - Pexels.

In Hogs We Trust - Part 111.

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by Larry Powell  (Warning, the words and images in this story are graphic.) We all know that farm animals can get sick. But how many of us are aware of just how damaging animal epidemics can be - whether on the other side of the world or on our own doorstep? They can and do cause huge economic losses and harm to the health of animals and humans, alike. And, there’s ample evidence that, for generations, the model we’ve been using to raise animals in confined, crowded conditions, only magnifies the problems. So why is the Manitoba government    prepared to risk even more of the same by massively expanding pork production in a province with an already-large industry? I hope this part of my series will move you, the reader, to ask, “How much worse must things get, before we change course?”   Losses suffered globally due to diseases of livestock, are staggering. As the Nairobi-based International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) notes, "Some of the most lethal bugs

There's a 'crisis looming' for Canadian climate research, scientists warn

NATIONAL OBSERVER Canada can’t become a world leader in climate change research without putting its cards on the table, say hundreds of scientists in a new open letter. Story here.

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

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NATIONAL OBSERVER If it seems as if the weather's getting weirder, you're not wrong. More Here. Quebec, 2017. Wikimedia.

Richest 1% bagged 82% of global wealth created last year, poorest half of humanity got nothing:

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 Oxfam "Alphonse." A dumpster-diver in Vancouver, Canada. A Wikimedia photo. Author unknown. (Ottawa) Eighty two per cent of global wealth generated last year went to the richest one per cent, while the 3.7 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity saw no increase, according to a new Oxfam report. Story here.

Human Activity Fouls Continental Waterways - study

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U.S. National Academy Sciences A Wikimedia photo. Across North America, streams and rivers are becoming saltier, and freshwater bodies, more alkaline, all thanks to human activity. According to a new study, salty compounds like road de-icers and fertilizers, which make their way into rivers, are significantly changing the salinity levels of the waters in the United States and southern Canada. Researchers analyzed the data recorded at 232 U.S. Geological Survey monitoring sites across the country over the past 50 years. It's the first study to simultaneously account for multiple salt ions — such as sodium, calcium, magnesium and potassium — in freshwater across the United States and southern Canada. The results suggest that salt ions, damaging in their own right, are driving up the pH of freshwater as well, making it more alkaline.

2017 One of Hottest Years on Record, and Without El Niño

 inside climate  news Nine of the 10 warmest years on modern record have been since 2005. This was the warmest without El Niño's influence, and it was marked by climate-related disasters. Story here.

340 Billion Gallons of Sludge Spur Environmental Fears in Canada

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Bloomberg "Rainbow Lake" - Alberta tar sands. Photo credit - "Beautiful Destruction." Amid the bogs and forests of northern Alberta, in the heart of the Canadian oil patch, lie some of the largest waste dumps of the global energy business. Story here.

To Save Oceans and Planet, Greenpeace Backs Plan to Create Largest Protected Area on Earth

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Common  Dreams Mt. Herschel, Antarctica. Photo by  Andrew Mandemaker. "We are in desperate need for governments to come together and do what is best for these amazing ecosystems." More here.

The Snowy Owl is Placed on the "Vulnerable" List.

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by Larry Powell A "Snowy" swoops down on its prey (probably a lemming). Photo credit - Government of Quebec. The beautiful Snowy Owl, like so many other wild creatures on Earth, faces an uncertain future. The  “Red List,”  a British agency, has just put the graceful, white bird of prey on the “vulnerable” list for the first time. It has drastically downgraded earlier estimates of 200 thousand individuals, worldwide, to as low as 10 thousand.  Snowy Owl numbers have proven hard to judge since they fluctuate so widely, depending on the availability of food. Factors in their decline may include illegal hunting, collisions with vehicles and power lines and climate change, which can affect the availability of prey. So the agency’s prognosis is a somber one.  “This species faces a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future.”  Snowy Owls nest in the Arctic, but have a range that spans the northern hemisphere.”  A conservation spe

Warming ocean water is turning 99 percent of these sea turtles female

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ScienceNews Rising temperatures are skewing population ratios toward extreme imbalance. Story here. Photo by Karla

The (US) Centers for Disease Control gets list of forbidden words: Fetus, transgender, diversity

The Washington Post The Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “fetus” and “transgender” — in official documents being prepared for next year’s budget. More here.

New York City sues five oil giants for causing climate 'tragedy'

NATIONAL OBSERVER Five years ago, Superstorm Sandy ripped through the most populous city in the United States, spreading destruction fueled by climate change. Today, New York City's mayor said it was time to "break the cycle" by suing the culprits — fossil fuel companies. Story here.

As Climate Crisis Intensifies, $300+ Billion in Damages Makes 2017 Costliest Year Ever

Common Dreams Experts say this "historic and unprecedented year of disastrous extremes" reinforces "the fact that climate change is a threat to our health, and also a threat to our economy." More here.

Scientists warn of vanishing oxygen in oceans, including Canadian waters

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NATIONAL OBSERVER A Mexican beach. PinP photo. Almost two dozen marine scientists from around the world have issued a warning about an often-overlooked side effect of climate change and pollution. Story here.

New Study Showing Ozone Recovery Hailed as Model for Tackling Climate Crisis

Common Dreams "We see very clearly that chlorine from CFCs is going down in the ozone hole, and that less ozone depletion is occurring because of it." More here.

Corals are severely bleaching five times as often as in 1980

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ScienceNews Bleached coral off Florida.  U.S. Geological Survey Warming tropical waters are largely responsible, researchers say . Story here.

Are some Manitoba media stifling dissent on the hog barn issue? One activist speaks out.

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John Fefchak of Virden (L.) has been a critic of the hog industry for years. An Air Force veteran now in his eighties, he writes many letters to the editor. They're often in a losing cause, and often at odds with the "pro-hog" editorial stance of many mainstream media. But neither circumstance nor time have deterred him. His letters drive home the wrong-headedness of politicians who "cheerlead" for an industry with so many downsides, including a propensity to pollute our precious waterways. Below is John's latest letter, telling of his experiences with the Sun, a daily newspaper in Brandon, Manitoba.   (PinP) ======= Is The Brandon Sun Newspaper Applying a Double Standard? On Nov. 14th, 2017, the Sun published yet another story about yet another hog producer complaining of being "hard done by." This after the Pallister government had already passed legislation recklessly slashing health and environmental protections, in order to pave t

Twenty-five percent of the earth could see a permanent drought by 2050

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Nation of Change If Earth’s temperature goes up by 2 degrees Celsius by 2050, more than one-quarter of the world would live in a state of drought. Story here. Parched ground in the southern US. 2011. Photo by Aljazeera English.

'Bomb Cyclone' Forecast to Hit East Coast. (US & Canada)

LIVE SCI=NCE Just when you thought the weather couldn't get worse, the Washington Post hits us with "bomb cyclone." That's right, forecasters suggest this "bomb" will make the U.S. East Coast unbearable for many. Story here.