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Showing posts from February, 2018

The exceptional value of intact forest ecosystems

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Nature Ecology & Evolution Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba. PinP photo. As the terrestrial human footprint continues to expand, the amount of native forest that is free from significant damaging human activities is in precipitous decline. There is emerging evidence that the remaining intact forest supports an exceptional confluence of globally significant environmental values relative to degraded forests, including imperilled biodiversity, carbon sequestration and storage, water provision, indigenous culture and the maintenance of human health. Here we argue that maintaining and, where possible, restoring the integrity of dwindling intact forests is an urgent priority for current global efforts to halt the ongoing biodiversity crisis, slow rapid climate change and achieve sustainability goals. Retaining the integrity of intact forest ecosystems should be a central component of proactive global and national environmental strategies, alongside current efforts

'Dirty meat':Shocking hygiene failings discovered in US pig and chicken plants

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   The Guardian Previously unseen government records detail 'deeply worrying' incidents in pork and poultry plants, raising fears of 'dirty meat' entering the UK under a post-Brexit trade deal.  Story here. Photo-Erdei Catalin RELATED:  "In Hogs We Trust"     The Manitoba Story. Part #1   Antibiotics. Part #2 Government subsidies. Part#3 Animal diseases.   

The global footprint of fisheries

ScienceDaily Fishing activity now covers at least 55 percent of the world's oceans -- four times the land area covered by agriculture -- and can now be monitored, in near real time, to the level of individual vessels. More here.

Europe's key animals 'making a comeback'

BBC News Some of Europe's key animals have made a comeback over the past 50 years, a report suggests. More here.

Study confirmed plastic beach debris a danger to wildlife.

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SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY At current rates of plastic production, by 2050 the total mass of plastics in our oceans will outweigh the biomass of fish.  — World Economic Forum. More here. Pieces of plastic that washed ashore after a storm.  Pacific Ocean beach in San Francisco. Source:  Plastic Oceans. Author: Kevin Krejci.

Illegal global trade of pangolins

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Science News A baby pangolin. Pinterest photo - author unknown. Animal traffickers are taking advantage of remote ivory trade routes to smuggle pangolins – one of the world’s most endangered animals – out of Central Africa, a new study has found. Story here.

High levels of microplastics found in Northwest Atlantic fish

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ScienceDaily An Atlantic sturgeon. US Fish & Wildlife Service. New study finds microplastics in the stomachs of 73 percent of mesopelagic (medium-depth) fish caught in the Northwest Atlantic -- one of the highest levels globally. More here.

The value of pollinator species diversity

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Science   An unidentified pollinator in Manitoba. PinP photo. Large numbers of species are needed to support ecosystem functioning. Story here.

Tree rings reveal increased fire risk for southwestern US

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Nature The Pacheco fire in New Mexico. 2011. Photo by John Fowler. Historical record points to climate patterns that could prime the region for an intense fire season. Story here.

Animal health and welfare, two cornerstones of sustainable, responsible and effective food production

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ILRI news Improved animal health and welfare standards can also increase food production in ways that protect the environment and enhance the resilience of livestock producers and systems. More here. Hogs see the sun and get fresh air on an "outdoor"  farm in the UK.  Photo credit - Andy & Hilary.

'Plastic in All Sizes' Found Everywhere in Once Pristine European Arctic

EcoWatch A disturbing amount of plastic   is building up in the once-pristine European Arctic.    More here.

Dams nudge Amazon's eco-systems out of wack

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Science Magazine A dorado, somtimes called mahi-mahi. A Wikimedia photo. Once upon a time, thousands of dorados, a giant among catfish, would swim more than 3000 kilometers from the mouth of the Amazon River to spawn in Bolivia's Mamoré River, in the foothills of the Andes. But the dorado, which can grow to more than 2 meters in length, is disappearing from those waters, and scientists blame two hydropower dams erected downstream a decade ago. As countries seek new energy sources to drive economic growth, a surge in dam construction on the eastern flank of the Andes could further threaten fish migration and sediment flows, scientists warn this week in  Science Advances . The main consequence of proliferating dams is habitat fragmentation. The dorado's disappearance suggests fragmentation is already taking a toll. Barbara Fraser is a freelance journalist in Lima. Full story here.

50+ Groups Back Landmark Effort to Halt 'Out of Control' Factory Farming in Iowa

Common Dreams "Iowa is suffering under the enormous weight of a business that has no respect for the people, environment, animals and future of the state." Story here. RELATED:  "In Hogs We Trust."   Part #1  How the Manitoba government’s return to a deregulated hog industry could actually aggravate a world health crisis. Part #2   The Price We Pay For Corporate Hog$ Part#3  "Animal diseases devastate herds, worldwide."

If the world builds every coal plant that’s planned, climate change goals are doomed, scientists say

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The Washington Post The much-heralded demise of the coal industry may be overstated, a new scientific analysis asserts — finding that if all planned plants were constructed, the world would have little chance of meeting its climate change goals. Story here. Dave Johnson coal-fired power plant,  central Wyoming  Greg Goebel  from  Loveland CO, USA

Protect the neglected half of our blue planet

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nature Maintaining momentum is crucial as nations build a treaty to safeguard the high seas. More here. A ribbon seal in the Bering Sea.  Photo by NOAA.

Revealed: Gaps in polar bear conservation in Canada

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World Wildlife Fund WWF’s first  Polar Bear Scorecard  found that Canada has shown leadership by investing in subpopulation monitoring. But two years into the 10-year, five-nation Circumpolar Action Plan for the Conservation of Polar Bears (CAP) it has not met its goals in identifying critical habitat nor in setting out best practices for tourism operators and for oil spill response. Story here. Photo by  Ansgar Walk

Degeneration nation, 2018. Our darkest hour.

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Common  Dreams A fertilizer plant in Manitoba, Canada. A  PinP  video. Which is more frightening? The destruction of the environment and the climate that sustain human civilization as we have known it? Or the collapse of democracy and the rise of endless war and fascism?  More here.

Can the Great Lakes Become Fishable, Drinkable and Swimmable Again?

EcoWatch As Mark Mattson waited to speak to Canada's minister for the environment, Catherine McKenna, about the  Great Lakes  last December, he could feel the weight of the 184-page report he carried in his shoulder bag. More here.

Iowans fight back against factory barns. So can you!

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Oil Spill From Sanchi May Have Reached Japan

EcoWatch Oil from the stricken oil tanker Sanchi, which exploded and sank in the East China Sea, may have now reached the shores of Japan, according to the country's Coast Guard. More here.

BP Offshore Drill Project Approval Points to Need for Reform

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OTTAWA - Sierra Club Canada Foundation is disappointed, but not surprised, that Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna approved up to seven exploratory drill wells for BP off Nova Scotia yesterday. The leases where BP will be drilling are located 48 km from Sable Island National Park and 71 km from the Gully Marine Protected Area, home to the Northern bottlenose whale and deep-sea corals. "I wish I could say I was shocked, but sadly I'm not," stated Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Program Director of Sierra Club Canada Foundation.  "This project could  result in a massive blow out on the East coast, one  that  we are not prepared nor equipped  to deal with. Even under the best  conditions,  BP says it will take two weeks to cap a well.  That's two weeks  for oil to flow,  threatening whales, fish, birds, and fisheries." The Environmental Assessment Report for the project indicates that in  case of  a spill, oil could  rea

Spill near Vancouver. Is the cosmos messing with Trudeau and Notley?

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NATIONAL OBSERVER Just as the Kinder Morgan pipeline controversy surges to fever pitch over oil spill impacts, a barge near Vancouver has sunk, spilling diesel into the ocean in the territory of the Squamish Nation. More here. A sunken tanker in the harbour at San Juan,  Puerto Rico, 1968.  U.S, Navy photo. RELATED:  Spills are an ocean away — until they’re not

Polar bears are wasting away in a changing climate

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nature Photo by  Andreas Weith Melting sea ice makes it hard for the Arctic predators to consume enough calories to survive. More here.

BC Moves to Block Kinder Morgan

SIERRA   CLUB BC This week we scored another victory on the path to stopping Kinder Morgan’s pipeline and tankers. Story here.

‘Big Five’ in Alberta’s oilpatch suspected of sitting on a $2 trillion liability

NATIONAL OBSERVER The five companies that own most of the oilsands production in Alberta should come clean with the public about the "enormity" of the costs — adding up to nearly $2 trillion in a worst-case scenario — of their pollution, says a new study. More here.