Wednesday, May 30, 2018

International organizations slam Trudeau for pipeline support


One of the many protests against the Kinder Morgan pipeline in Vancouver. Photo by William Chen.
Groups say prime minister’s stance on tar sands negates attempt to position Canada as a global climate leader. Story here.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Special Investigation: How the common agricultural policy promotes pollution - the View From Europe.

The Ecologist.
Almost a trillion Euros in taxpayers' money is handed to EU farmers as part of the Common Agricultural Policy. The money is supposed to leverage environmental practices. But an international team of investigative journalists, today publishing with THE ECOLOGIST, has found the cash actually feeds significant pollution. More here.

Nipah virus outbreak in India 'definitely a concern,' Canadian scientist says

CBC news
Much is unknown about the virus that is spread by bats, but here are some answers. More here.

RELATED: "In Hogs We Trust. Part 3 - the magnitude of disease in the livestock industry."

'It’s wrong to stink up other people’s lives': fighting the manure lagoons of North Carolina

The Guardian
Pigs outstripped people in Duplin county long ago - but now the residents are fighting back. More here.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Canada should ban bee-killing neonics in 2018!

A PinP photo.
Europe will ban neonics by the end of the year. We need parallel action to protect bees in Canada! More here.

Human race just 0.01% of all life but has eradicated most other living things

The Guardian

A clearcut at Bugaboo Creek, B.C.
Groundbreaking assessment of all life on Earth reveals humanity’s surprisingly tiny part in it as well as our disproportionate impact. More here.

RELATED: "The Sixth Extinction - an Unnatural History," a book review.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Climate change on track to cause major insect wipeout, scientists warn

A PinP photo.
Insects are vital to ecosystems but will lose almost half their habitat under current climate projections. Story here.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Climate change puts city's ash trees at greater risk from killer insect, researchers say

Winnipeg Free Press

Winnipeg's ash tree canopy may be in more imminent danger than anticipated from an invasion of destructive insects because of significant changes to the city's climate. More here.

Trees in Pennsylvania killed by the emerald ash borer. Steven Katovich, USDA Forest Service

One-Third of Protected Areas 'Highly Degraded' By Humans, Study Finds

A traffic jam on the road to the famed Lake Louise in Jasper National Park, Canada. PinP photo.
A study published in Science Friday presents what authors call a sobering "reality check" on global efforts to protect biodiversity—one third of all conservation areas set aside as wildlife sanctuaries or national parks are "highly degraded" by human activities. More here.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Salmon with side effects: Aquacultures are polluting Chile's rivers with a cocktail of dissolved organic substances


Salmon farming in Reloncavi Estuary, Chile. Photo by Pablo Rodríguez
Tasty, versatile, and rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids: salmon is one of the most popular edible fish of all. Shops sell fish caught in the wild, but their main produce is salmon from breeding farms which can pollute rivers, lakes and oceans. Just how big is the problem? Scientists are working to answer this question by examining the dissolved organic compounds which enter Chile’s rivers from salmon farms. They warn that these substances are placing huge strain on ecosystems and are changing entire biological communities. More here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Scientists struggle to explain a worrying rise in atmospheric methane

The Economist
A PinP photo.

In the past decade methane levels have shot up, to the extent that the atmosphere contains two-and-a-half times as much of the gas as it did before the Industrial Revolution. More here.

Leaked report warns Cambodia's biggest dam could 'literally kill' Mekong river

The Guardian

A narrows in the Meykong - Laos. Photo by Hector Garcia.
Government-commissioned report says proposed site is the ‘worst possible place’ for hydropower due to impact on wildlife. More here.

RELATED: "Mekong - a River Rising."

Monday, May 14, 2018

Investors urge fossil fuel firms to shun Trump's Arctic drilling plans

The Guardian
The Porcupine herd on its home range - the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge. It's feared the decision last year by the U.S. Senate to allow oil drilling there will disrupt and endanger the herd, considered the largest and healthiest on the continent. Photo by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. 

Oil extraction in Alaskan wilderness area would be an ‘irresponsible business decision’, trillion-dollar investors say. More here.

RELATED: "Oil drilling threatens yet another caribou herd" - by Larry Powell.

Friday, May 11, 2018

The race to save Arctic cities (in Canada & elsewhere) as permafrost melts

In Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, a good home is hard to find. More here.

NASA Earth Observatory images by Jesse Allen, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.
The walls of this immense Siberian crater are more than 85 meters tall in places. Batagaika Crater has formed as rising temperatures have thawed the permafrost in Siberia. Warmer summers and shorter winters are causing the frozen layer cake of ice and soil to collapse (or “slump”) and erode away in much of the Arctic. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Modern, U.S. Family Farm Pastures its Pigs.

A behind the scenes look at the Rodale Institute Organic Hog Facility with Farm Manager Ross Duffield. More here.

Alien Waters: Neighbouring Seas Are Flowing into a Warming Arctic Ocean

Yale Environment 360
Drift ice in the archipelago of Svalbard. Photo by AWeith 
The “Atlantification” and “Pacification” of the Arctic has begun. As warmer waters stream into an increasingly ice-free Arctic Ocean, new species — from phytoplankton to whales — have the potential to upend this sensitive polar environment. More here.

Beavers do 'dam' good work cleaning water

A PinP photo.
Beavers could help clean up polluted rivers and stem the loss of valuable soils from farms, new research shows. More here.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Has Canada made itself vulnerable to a catastrophe on the scale of the Deepwater Horizon?

An investigation by Joel Ballard indicates there is reason to believe that's exactly what Canada has done. More here.

The Deepwater Horizon. 
Photo by the US Coast Guard.

Monday, May 7, 2018

China-backed Sumatran dam threatens the rarest ape in the world


The plan to build a massive hydropower dam in Sumatra as part of China’s immense Belt and Road Initiative threatens the habitat of the rarest ape in the world, which has only 800 remaining members. More here.

Photo by Tim Laman

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Agroecology: A better alternative in Sub-Saharan Africa


Two "big rigs" ready to begin work in western Manitoba. PinP photo.
Agroecology is a better alternative than large-scale agriculture, both for the climate and for small farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to researcher. This agricultural model preserves biodiversity and safeguards food supply while avoiding soil depletion. More here.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Satellite Reveals Troubling Retreat of Patagonian Glaciers (Video)


The right-wing government of Manitoba, Canada, “chops” a valuable tree-growing facility

The provincial government is selling a massive tree-growing operation near Hadashville that produces and stores seeds for every type of tree grown in Manitoba. More here.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Just Say NO to 285 new hog factories in Manitoba!


Letter to the Editor
Virden Empire-Advance
May 3, 2018 01:57 PM
Rural people could wake up one morning to find a factory hog barn next door, and there will be nothing they can say or do about it if the hog industry gets its way and the Pallister government passes Bill 19, The Planning Amendment Act.
Bill 19 gives local councils and planning districts the “choice” to get rid of the mandatory conditional use approval process for large livestock operations, along with all the legal protections the public currently has. In so choosing, municipalities give away the ability to set conditions such as requiring manure storage covers and shelterbelts to attempt to control odour and require development agreements to make the hog factory pay for road building and maintenance, instead of taxpayers.
All municipalities will have to review their zoning by-laws and decide within one year if they want to control large factory hog and poultry operations, cattle and sheep feedlots on behalf of the people they are supposed to protect from harm or open the municipality to uncontrolled and unlimited livestock growth. Bill 19 changes the rules so that 25 people have to make formal objections to get a Municipal Board review. Immigrants and permanent residents are disqualified from participating. Imagine not being able to say anything about decisions that could harm your investment in a home, farm and community.
Livestock operations would merely have to get a Provincial manure storage permit and water rights licence to get building. These processes are secret and “business information” is private, protected by law. So, nobody will be able to find out if provincial officials and industry are doing things right. Last fall, many rules were weakened. For example, almost all of the oversight of the construction of manure storages was given to the engineers building them in the name of “red tape reduction”. Provincial regulators allowed manure storages to be built in high water tables, flood plains, marsh and ground water sensitive areas. This practice will get worse.
The last “line of defense” for rural people against inadequate and weakened provincial regulations are local councils who put the interest of their constituents first. Those who truly care about what happens to people’s health, quality of life and homes, non-industrial farmers livelihoods, animal welfare and our air, water and environmental health.
Why is this Bill before the legislature? Because a 2017 internal advisory brief to cabinet identified “public conflict” and “public pressure” as impediments to the hog industry getting what it wants – 285 more pig factories so that Maple Leaf and HyLife Foods can increase their profits by exporting 95 per cent of Manitoba produced pork while leaving rural people to suffer the consequences.
Why would any intelligent farmer want to invest in an industry where hog finisher producers lost money in eight out of the past nine years? Manitoba Pork Council’s numbers, not mine.
Councils and rural people must raise their voices now, loud and clear against Bill 19 before it’s too late.
Ruth Pryzner
Alexander, Manitoba

Transit union head says city of Winnipeg uninterested in grants for electric buses

The Winnipeg Free Press
The union that represents Winnipeg Transit staff says city hall is missing out on an opportunity to access loans and grants to electrify the transit fleet. Story here.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Diseases spread by ticks, mosquitoes and fleas more than tripled in the U.S. since 2004

The Washington Post
A wood tic - Manitoba, CA. PinP photo.
The warmer weather of spring and summer means the start of tick and mosquito season and the diseases they transmit, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, West Nile and Zika. More here.

Pollution from Canadian refineries an ‘embarrassment’ compared to U.S.


The Irving Oil Refinery in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada. Photo by Cusack5239
Sarnia’s Imperial Oil refinery emitted 10 times more fine particulate matter, seven times more carbon monoxide and 49 times more sulphur dioxide than the Detroit plant. More here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Melbourn's water supply at risk due to "collapse" of forests caused by logging.

The Guardian

Logging in Australia. Photo by Peter Campbell
Tree-felling helped trigger ‘hidden collapse’ of mountain ash forests, ecologists say. More here.

Even familiar birds at risk of extinction, new study finds



A White-crowned sparrow. Photo by Wolfgang Wander
The 2018 State of the World’s Birds report, which provides a comprehensive look at the health of bird populations globally, has found that the extinction crisis has spread so far that even some well-known species are now in danger. More here.

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...