Showing posts from June, 2018

Ex-Nasa scientist: 30 years on, world is failing 'miserably’ to address climate change

The Guardian James Hansen, who gave a climate warning in 1988 Senate testimony, says real hoax is by leaders claiming to take action. More here.

Britain's biggest butterfly threatened by rising seas

The Guardian New charity warns Britain’s largest butterfly could be lost within four decades as rising seas turn its habitat into saltmarsh. More here. Another kind of  swallowtail in Manitoba, CA. A  PinP  photo.

Wood Buffalo: Canada’s largest national park and its people in peril

The Narwhal American White Pelicans at the  Rapids of the Drowned, Wood Buffalo Park. Photo by Ansgar Walk. International officials are warning the Canadian government not enough is being done to protect the Peace-Athabasca delta — one of the world’s largest freshwater inland deltas — from the ravages of ongoing industrial development. More here.

Deepwater Horizon disaster altered building blocks of ocean life

The Guardian Oil spill disaster reduced biodiversity in sites closest to spill, report finds, as White House rolls back conservation measures. More here.

In a High-Stakes Environmental Whodunit, Many Clues Point to China

The New York Times  The largest  Antarctic   ozone hole  ever recorded on September 24, 2006. NASA. Last month, scientists disclosed a global pollution mystery:  a surprise rise in emissions of an outlawed industrial gas  that destroys the atmosphere’s protective ozone layer. More here.

Palm oil ‘disastrous’ for wildlife but here to stay, experts warn

The Guardian The deforestation it causes is decimating species such as orangutans and tigers - but the alternatives could be worse, finds authoritative report. More here.

Pikas in Peril

UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA Photo by  Rémi Bigonneau UBC scientists say mammal threatened by climate change. More here.

BP Canada spews thousands of litres of toxic mud during offshore drilling incident near Halifax

NATIONAL OBSERVER BP Canada has spewed out 136,000 litres of a toxic mud into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Halifax during deepwater offshore exploratory oil drilling, a federal regulator says.  More here.

The Natural Gas Industry Has a Leak Problem

The New York Times Fracking in the Bakken formation of North Dakota.   Photo by  Joshua Doubek The American oil and gas industry is leaking more methane than the government thinks — much more, a new study says. Since methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, that is bad news for climate change. More here.

Canadian scientists discover Neonics are being ingested by free-ranging animals

Science News. A pair of wild turkeys in Manitoba. A PinP photo. Researchers at the University of Guelph, Ontario have found residues of the insecticides in the livers of wild turkeys, providing evidence that this common agrochemical is being ingested by free-ranging animals. More here.

Canadian study finds a pesticide-free way to combat mosquitos and West Nile

UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO Researchers at the University of Waterloo may have discovered a new, pesticide-free way to limit mosquito populations in some area and reduce the spread of the West Nile virus. Story here. A more detailed version of this study can be found here.

Toxic legacy of Giant Mine found in snowshoe hares

TheNarwhal Researchers find arsenic levels in animals living near mine 20 to 50 times greater than those living away from it. More here.

African Swine Fever could be in Germany in 4 years

PIG PROGRESS A research team has concluded that the viral disease - often considered the most deadly of all hog infections - spreads west at a speed of around 200 km per year. More here. The ear of an infected hog. ASF causes a condition called petechia - red or purple splotches due to bleeding into the skin. Photo credit - USDA RELATED: "In Hogs We Trust" - Part 3 - The consequences of animal diseases, worldwide.

Diversion tactics: how big pharma is muddying the waters on animal antibiotics

The Guardian Antibiotic use on farms is a major cause of human drug resistance. Yet slick social media campaigns – funded by the multi-billion-dollar industry – are confusing and complicating the issue. Story here. A Canstock Photo image.

Hog Watch Manitoba Exposes the Heavy Hand of Government. (An audio podcast interview)

  Alon Olamel Onebird, host of the program "Rogue Primate" on CKUW - University of Winnipeg Radio - interviews Ruth Pryzner of Hog Watch Manitoba, about the tactics being used by our provincial government in order to secure the financial success of big hog corporations.

Greenpeace Film (on ocean pollution) to be shown at special Winnipeg Screening

Larry, Never has our blue planet been more under threat.  And never before have we had a better sense of what's at stake. Come watch the latest film that will captivate and motivate you to join a global movement working to save our oceans. Greenpeace Canada is sponsoring a special Winnipeg screening of BLUE  — the critically-acclaimed and award-winning documentary film which takes you deep into our planet’s threatened oceans and seas.  This one-night-only screening is an on-demand event.  It only takes place if 50 tickets are sold. Reserve your spot now  — and portion of ticket sales will go towards supporting Greenpeace's vital work to protect our oceans and the planet.  WHAT: Special screening of BLUE — an award-winning documentary film WHEN: Monday 25th June, 7pm WHERE: Cineplex Odeon McGillivray Cinemas ( 2190 McGillivray Blvd, Winnipeg, MB, R3Y 1S6 ) HOW: Tickets are $14.50 and you can order yours here

Environmentalists accuse B.C. government of fudging the numbers to log some of the world's biggest trees

NATIONAL  OBSERVER Environmentalists have accused the B.C. government of lying about the amount of majestic, centuries-old trees left standing in the province. Story here. An 800 year-old Douglas-fir near  Port Alberni,  BC Photo by  Gillian (EverySpoon)

This is Giant Mine

TheNarwhal  Giant Mine - 2008. Photo by  WinterCity296  WinterforceMedia This gold mine was once so dangerous that it killed a toddler who ate snow two kilometres away. Canada’s second-largest environmental liability is inside Yellowknife city limits — and intrinsically tied to the city’s history and future. The federal government has now inherited the billion-dollar cleanup effort that could span a century. More here.

Climate change is wiping out the baobab, Africa’s ‘tree of life’

Ameenah Gurib-Fakim  - the Guardian The trees are a scientific wonder, once capable of living for thousands of years, but now becoming endangered species. Story here. Boab trees. photo by ChatDaniels

Three trillion tonnes of ice lost from Antarctica since 1992

Nature Research Press Antarctic ice. Photo by Greenpeace The Antarctic Ice Sheet lost about 3 trillion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017. This figure corresponds to a mean sea-level rise of about 8 millimetres. While it could take a thousand years for a total "meltdown," all of Antarctica’s ice sheets, contain enough water to raise global sea level by 58 metres. So they're a key indicator of climate change and driver of sea-level rise. See video, below. RELATED: Antarctic ice melting faster than thought, studies show.

Firestorm: How Wildfire Will Shape Our Future - a new book by Edward Struzik

The Science Writers and Communicators of Canada is pleased to announce the winners of this year's book awards for books published in 2017.   The winner in the general audience category  is  Firestorm: How Wildfire Will Shape Our Future by Edward Struzik . A summary. For two months in the spring of 2016, the world watched as wildfire ravaged the Canadian town of Fort McMurray. Firefighters named the fire “the Beast.” It acted like a mythical animal, alive with destructive energy, and they hoped never to see anything like it again. Yet it’s not a stretch to imagine we will all soon live in a world in which fires like the Beast are commonplace. A glance at international headlines shows a remarkable increase in higher temperatures, stronger winds, and drier lands– a trifecta for igniting wildfires like we’ve rarely seen before. This change is particularly noticeable in the northern forests of the United States and Canada. These forests require fire to maintain healthy

Opposition Member of Parliament accuses Canada of buying 'lemon' from Kinder Morgan after estimated size of oil spill multiplies by 48 times

NATIONAL OBSERVER The "Kinder Morgan police" arrest those who protest against the project. Photo by Mark Klotz NDP MP Nathan Cullen is accusing the Trudeau government of buying "the biggest lemon in Canadian history," after a dramatic revision of the estimated size of an oil spill that occurred right before it announced a $4.5 billion deal to buy the pipeline involved in the incident. More here.

Ocean Conservation Is an Untapped Strategy for Fighting Climate Change

WORLD RESOURCES INSTITUTE Mangroves in Benin. Such vegetation provides an important  buffer from the ravages of ocean storms and currents. Photo credit - Ji-Elle.  The ocean contributes  $1.5 trillion annually  to the overall economy and assures the livelihood of  10-12 percent of the world’s population. But there’s another reason to protect marine ecosystems—they’re crucial for curbing climate change. More here.

Taxpayers Still Shelling Out Billions Annually in Fossil Fuel Subsidies

EcoWatch The world's richest countries continue to subsidize at least $100 billion a year in subsidies for the production and use of  coal ,  oil  and  gas , despite repeated pledges to phase out  fossil fuels  by 2025. More here. Alberta's tar sands.  Photo by  Howl Arts Collective

A "Goldilocks World" for Disease? Climate Change Threatens to Make Things "Just Right" for a Dangerous Bug in Even More of Canada!

by Larry Powell The culprit is the common wood tick (D. variabilis), also known as the American dog tick. Its range already sprawls across central and eastern North American, from the Gulf of Mexico to southern Canada. It carries diseases that make both people and animals sick. These include the human ailments of Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever and a parasitic disease that kills domesticated cats. The common wood tick,  also American dog tick. (Dermacentor variabilis)  Benjamin Smith - USA. But the present range of the ticks may be nothing compared to what the future might hold.   A Canadian research paper just published in  ScienceDirect , predicts climate change could actually shrink the southern reaches of the tick’s range. But overall, the news is not good. The climate could well become “just right” for the bug, in an area of this continent that is, by 2070, larger by half than it is now! This could include a northward expansion in Canada.  The

Oil may be Canada's past, but we cannot let it be our future

David Suzuki - The Guardian Pipes loaded on a train in Manitoba. A  PinP  photo.  There's a lot of fear around abandoning an industry that has been an economic driver for decades - yet the rest of the world is moving on. More here.

Underreporting of toxic waste at American hog farms prompts inquiry

The Guardian Testing of 55 North Carolina lagoons showed large discrepancies in levels of key pollutants compared to what was self-reported. More here. Hog lagoons in Iowa.  Photo credit - USDA

Japan kills pregnant whales in the name of "research," Video. (Viewer discretion advised.)


In Hogs We Trust - Part V

                 GUARDIAN LINK;  This is hardly the first body of research pointing to the hazards of red meat consumption. As the respected Worldwatch Institute concluded some years ago, "The amount of meat in people’s diets has an impact on human health. Eaten in moderation, meat is an important source of iron, zinc, and three vitamins. But a diet high in red and processed meats can lead to a host of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer." So our ruling politicians can hardly plead ignorant of the downsides. And now, even less so. This newest study in the Journal Science, the most comprehensive of its kind yet, takes a step beyond past findings. "Most strikingly, impacts of (even) the lowest-impact animal products typically exceed those of vegetable substitutes, providing new evidence for the importance of dietary change." The research concludes that meat and dairy provide only18% of the calories and 37% of the