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Showing posts from December, 2019

Australia's vulnerable species hit hard by fires

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Science The grim toll on many helpless wild creatures from that countries epic infernos is slowly coming to light.  Story here. Below are some of the species at risk, possibly trapped in the flames. The beautiful Regent Honeyeater, already in diminishing numbers, living in an area threatened by the flames. Photo by Derek Keats, South Africa. The  pouched frog  ( Assa darlingtoni ), a small, terrestrial frog  found in rainforests in mountain areas of south-eastern Queensland &  northern New South Wales. Photo credit - Wikipedia. The endangered Blue Mountains Water Skink.  Taken a month after a bushfire. Photo by Sarshag7

Onward, Christian Fascists

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truthdig - by Chris Hedges The greatest moral failing of the liberal Christian church was its refusal, justified in the name of tolerance and dialogue, to denounce the followers of the Christian right as heretics. By tolerating the intolerant it ceded religious legitimacy to an array of con artists, charlatans and demagogues and their cultish supporters. It stood by as the core Gospel message—concern for the poor and the oppressed—was perverted into a magical world where God and Jesus showered believers with material wealth and power. The white race, especially in the United States, became God’s chosen agent. Imperialism and war became divine instruments for purging the world of infidels and barbarians, evil itself.  Details here.

Canada’s reindeer ‘at risk of extinction’

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T he Narwhal As governments drag their feet on caribou habitat protections, the iconic species engraved on the Canadian quarter is winking out across the country. The year 2019 saw alarming declines and local extinctions of a species Indigenous peoples hold sacred. Story here. "Santa's reindeer" flee a logging truck, somewhere in the boreal forests of Canada.  Please read my own, related story and watch my video, below... Larry Powell. Even our national bird - the Canada jay - is not immune from the ravages of manmade climate change. Save the Wilderness. A music video by Eric Bogle and Larry Powell.

Downstream of Alberta's tar sands, death by cancer comes too often

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Canada's  National Observer Ft. Chipewyan from the air. Photo by Mark S. Elliott. It’s been more than a dozen years since the metaphorical alarm was first sounded, and yet the residents of Fort Chipewyan still don’t know what’s killing them. Story here.

2019 – A Devastating Year in Review

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IPS - INTER PRESS SERVICE By any measure this has been a devastating year: fires across the Amazon, the Arctic and beyond; floods and drought in Africa; rising temperatures, carbon emissions and sea levels; accelerating loss of species, and mass forced migrations of people. Story here. Fires in the Brazilian Amazon - 2018. Photo by Ibama from Brasil.

Jane Fonda and Greenpeace. The environment needs you! (Video)

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A younger Jane....forever a rebel!

How Has This Pesticide Not Been Banned? Opinion.

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The New York Times Government scientists say chlorpyrifos is unsafe. And yet it’s still in use.  Details here. A "crop-duster" sprays a pesticide believed to be chlorpyrifos on a canola crop in Manitoba. Circa 2006. A PinP photo. A related story that may interest you: Thirteen years after the pesticide chlorpyrifos (Lorsban) sickened a Manitoba family, Health Canada is proposing it be severely restricted in Canada. The European Union will ban it in the new year.  by Larry Powell

Depression and suicide linked to air pollution in new global study

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The Guardian Cutting toxic air might prevent millions of people getting depression, research suggests. Story here. Smoke from wildfires in Alberta, two provinces away, blankets Manitoba - 2018. A PinP photo. Here's a related story of mine that you might enjoy.  " Re-thinking extinctions " New research suggests that pollution may be playing a bigger and more ominous role in pushing many of Canada's plants and animals to the brink than earlier thought.   Larry.

Arctic report card - 2019. (Video)

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Blogger supports the embattled climate campaigner, Greta Thunberg. (Opinion)

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Dear Editor, So I guess the bully-boys of the world's petro-states sure have Greta Thunberg on the run now. Apparently their "eyebrows were raised" because the 16 year-old schoolgirl suggested global leaders be put "up against the wall" for their lack of action on our climate crisis. I guess they were terrified Greta was going to unleash her standing armies against the likes of Saudi Arabia's murderous Crown Prince and Brazil's homophobic, rainforest-destroying (and Trump wanna be) President. Apparently Saudi   Arabia, busily killing children in Yemen as we speak (quite possibly with the help of Canadian-made weapons), and Brazil, whose leader fires scientists for telling him the truth - that his policies are committing Brazilian rainforests to death by wildfire - were major hurdles in the way of any meaningful progress at the recently-failed environmental summit. (Canada's own role, I might add, was weak, unconvincing and disgusting.) So, sho

Don't let the forces of "anti-science" win Canada over. Please help!

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, It’s on.  Jason Kenney launched his anti-environmentalist “War Room” this week because he thinks 2020 is going to be the year Alberta starts doubling its oilsands emissions. He’s going to spend $30 million in taxpayer dollars this year to fill the airwaves with  ads to promote the oil industry. We got a taste of what his spin doctors have prescribed with a two-minute video launched on YouTube. It’s ugly — within 20 seconds, it implies babies depend on bitumen sales to live happy lives. You can count on Dogwood  to be a strong voice standing up against Kenney’s propaganda machine, but we need every penny to fight back.  Donate $5, $50, or even $500 today — your gift will make a difference . Jason Kenney is putting the full weight of his government behind this smear campaign. His War Room team wants to  erode the work we’ve done together  building organized opposition to oil tankers for a decade now — and they have $30 million to do it. Don’t let Jason Kenney foo

The Lancet countdown on health and climate change. (Video)

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Fires scorching Bolivia’s Chiquitano forest

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Science magazine Wildfires in the Amazon rainforests of Bolivia. Photo by  List Top 10. The Chiquitano Dry Forest - endemic to Bolivia, highly biodiverse, and considered the world’s best-preserved tropical dry forest -  has lost a staggering 1.4 million hectares to fires since July.  Story here.

Thirteen years after the pesticide Lorsban sickened a Manitoba family, Health Canada is proposing it be severely restricted in Canada. The European Union will ban it in the new year. by Larry Powell

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In the fall of 2006, Loyd Burghart told his story to "Planet in Peril." Burghart, a livestock farmer in the Swan Valley of western Manitoba, said he, his wife, Donna and their four children inhaled fumes from the chemical, Lorsban (chlorpyrifos) which a neighbour had been sparing on a nearby crop. ( Many farmers in that part of the province had done the same that year, in an effort to control a severe infestation of  Bertha Army worms.)  Some time after the incident, Burghart, his wife  and one of their children,  pose by a mother sow and  piglets in their yard.  A PinP photo. The spray had left Burghart's entire family with severe symptoms. He says he, himself, was left writhing with severe pain in his eyes.  It's not immediately known how many other Canadians have suffered in similar incidents. But it's hard to believe this was the only case. ( Burghart was also worried how the chemical might impact the health of his animals and their feed.)

Nitrogen crisis threatens Dutch environment—and economy

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Science Magazine Public domain - by  Sachiho   They're protesting a Dutch high court decision in May that suspended construction projects that pollute the atmosphere with nitrogen compounds and harm nature reserves. The freeze has stalled the expansion of dairy, pig, and poultry farms—major sources of nitrogen in the form of ammonia from animal waste. Also blocked are plans for new homes, roads, and airport runways, because construction machinery emits nitrogen oxides. All told, the shutdown puts some €14 billion worth of projects in jeopardy, according to ABN AMRO Bank. “It has really paralyzed the country,” says a political scientist  Details here.

Marine life, fisheries increasingly threatened as the ocean loses oxygen – IUCN report

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International Union for the Conservation of Nature The Daggernose shark, one of several larger species considered especially vulnerable. A NOAA rendering. The loss of oxygen from the world’s ocean is increasingly threatening fish species and disrupting ecosystems, a   new IUCN report   warns. Ocean oxygen loss, driven by climate change and nutrient pollution, is a growing menace to fisheries and species such as tuna, marlin and sharks, according to the report released today at the UN Climate Change conference in Madrid.

Without drastic and immediate action, climate change will spell less food for the vast majority of Earth's population by century's end. Study. by Larry Powell

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A disastrous 2019 growing season in Manitoba included drought, rain and snow at the wrong times. Both seeding and harvesting of food crops like canola (above) were disrupted, yield and quality reduced. A PinP photo. There are few bright spots in this body of research.  If developed countries don't reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate "promptly," it warns, a "perfect storm" will result. Food such as soy, corn, wheat and rice produced by the agriculture sector and seafood by marine fisheries, will go down for about 90 percent of Earth's population - more than seven billion, by 2100. Most of those affected already live in the most sensitive and least developed countries. As overwhelming as the impacts would be, they wouldn't be universal. A scant three percent of the population would actually experience a food production  increase  over the same period. And, if countries actually make those emissions cutbacks (a &q

Re-thinking extinction

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New research  suggests that pollution may be playing a bigger and more ominous role in pushing many of Canada's plants and animals to the brink than earlier thought. by Larry Powell One of the species at risk, the small white lady's slipper,  Cypripedium candidum.  Photo by Mason Brock. Habitat loss, climate change and invasive species are often referred to as significant players in Earth's calamitous descent into a sixth Great Extinction. While those factors obviously play a part, this new study better recognizes the magnitude of the role played by yet another culprit in the piece - pollution. The authors of the research label contamination of our air, soil and water as a "pervasive, often invisible threat to biodiversity in Canada."  And, up until now, the threat it poses, especially to vascular plants (ones that flower, bear fruit and seed), they suggest, has been underestimated by experts in the field. These include ones who serve on Ottawa