Showing posts from November, 2018

Researchers say Canada’s race to conserve marine biodiversity may backfire

Laurier Canada’s race to meet biodiversity conservation targets could jeopardize the very goal it is trying to achieve.  More here. Aerial view of the Bunsby marine park. West coast of Vancouver Island. Bc. Photo by  Kiwican

A cautionary tale even the "Commander-in-Chief" should understand. (Video)



New Canadian research sheds light on how a disease deadly to certain animals, mostly in the wild, is spread. The answer seems to lie beneath their feet!

by Larry Powell It's a terrible ailment called  chronic wasting disease (CWD). A moose in Riding Mountain National Park, Canada. A PinP photo. Canada's Food Inspection Agency describes it as "a progressive, fatal disease of the nervous system of cervids (deer, elk and moose)." It is blamed on a prion , or abnormal protein, which is also linked to mad cow  disease in cattle, scrapie in sheep and CJD in humans. But CWD is the only disease in this group which spreads through the environment. It's been common in North America for years and, to a lesser degree, south Korea. Here in Canada, it has long been ravaging free-roaming animals in Saskatchewan and Alberta. More recently, it has been detected on a farm which raises red deer in Quebec and even among domesticated reindeer in northern Europe. Up 'til now, at least, some experts have considered CWD pretty much unstoppable. But a new study by a team of four researchers at the U

Climate correction: when scientists get it wrong

PHYS ORG  A few weeks ago, AFP joined news outlets around the world in covering the release of a major academic paper, warning that our oceans were warming dramatically faster than previously thought. There was one problem. It was wrong. Read more  here.  Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) are small schooling fish that can be found on both sides of the North Atlantic. A NOAA photo.

Climate-heating greenhouse gases at record levels, says UN

The Guardian/WM0 Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are far above pre-industrial levels. Details  here. Air travel is the fastest-growing source of emissions.
The story below appears in the latest issue of the Manitoba newspaper, "The Express Weekly."

Palm Oil Was Supposed to Help Save the Planet. Instead It Unleashed a Catastrophe.

The New York Times A decade ago, the U.S. mandated the use of vegetable oil in biofuels, leading to industrial-scale deforestation — and a huge spike in carbon emissions. Story here. A palm oil concession in Sumatra. Photo by Hayd.

Newfoundland record oil spill shows risks of offshore drilling, regulatory board says

 Details here

Killing Plants Is the Fastest Way to End the World

TRUTHOUT A Manitoba corn crop ruined by a freak summer frost. A PinP photo. A  recently-published study has found that “climate change and human activity are dooming species at an unprecedented rate.” Story here.

The 'new abnormal' — California megafires explode with off-the-charts fury

The National Observer California is on the burning edge of climate breakdown. Story here.

Humanity Sleepwalks as Earth Burns.

--> by Larry Powell This is the Ashcroft Reserve fire in BC in 2017. That was the worst year ever for wildfires in that province - until this year!  Photo by Shawn Cahill. As I write this, human bodies incinerated beyond recognition, are being pulled from the ruins of wildfires in California. More than a thousand people are either missing or confirmed dead, with property damage set to top several billions of dollars. Smoke from the fires has now enveloped San Francisco. President Trump blames "poor forest management,"and, after first threatening to withhold it, finally grants emergency aid. His critics take him to task for his lack of empathy for the victims. After visiting the fire zones, he continues, disgracefully, to deny the role manmade climate change is surely playing here. But what's worse, his absence of a heart (which has been evident for some time), or his actual  policies  which have shown him to be

Oreo maker linked to destruction of orangutan habitat in Indonesia

Greenpeace Photo by  Evan-Amos Oreo products found on Canadian supermarket shelves list palm oil as an ingredient, the cultivation of which in Indonesia is a major driver of orangutan habitat loss Story here.

Is Warming Bringing a Wave of New Diseases to Arctic Wildlife?

YaleEnvironment360 Rapid warming and vanishing sea ice in the Arctic has enabled new species, from humpback whales to white-tailed deer, to spread northward. Scientists are increasingly concerned that some of these new arrivals may be bringing dangerous pathogens that could disrupt the region’s fragile ecosystems.  Details here. White-tailed deer feed on hay-bales in Manitoba. A PinP photo.

Ragweed may expand its range northward with climate change

Science Daily Hay fever allergy. Photo by championswimmer. A new predictive model developed by ecologists and climate scientists suggests that climate change may allow common ragweed to extend its growing range northward and into major northeast metro areas, worsening conditions for millions of people with hay fever and asthma. Details here.

The Olympics vs. the Wild Creatures of the Rainforests.

Rainforest Action Network  The Borneo file-eared frog ( Polypedates otilophus ). Photo by Charlels J. Sharp. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are likely built on the backs of endangered species. That’s because the very timber being used to build the Olympic venues is being sourced from Indonesia’s rainforests. So much for being “one of the most sustainable Olympics yet!” Details here.

Denying solutions is the new climate change denial

Clean Energy Canada A new form of denial has risen from the ashes of the old: denying the solutions that empower us to minimize climate change. Details here.