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Showing posts from May, 2020

Canadian Court Slams Trump Climate Advisor in Successful Libel Case

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DESMOG CLEARING THE PR POLLUTION THAT CLOUDS CLIMATE SCIENCE EXONERATED: Dr. Andrew Weaver, Nobel Prize-winning scientist & BC Green Party MLA who Tim Ball disgracefully tried, but failed, to libel & discredit. Climate science denier and  Trump transition team advisor  Dr.  Tim Ball , who a Canadian court earlier derided as incompetent, ill-intended, and apparently indifferent to the truth, has been further rebuffed in the British Columbia Court of Appeal and must now stand libel for a 9-year-old attack against prominent Canadian climate scientist (and outgoing  BC  Green Party leader) Dr. Andrew Weaver (above).     RELATED: COVIDeniers: Anti-Science Coronavirus Denial Overlaps with Climate Denial This blogger has been trying to sound the alarm over this climate rogue, Tim Ball, for years. More than nine years ago, my hometown newspaper, the Roblin Review, published this letter of mine, below, objecting to the space he'd been given in the paper previously. L.

At least 80 million children under one are at risk of diseases such as diphtheria, measles and polio as COVID-19 disrupts routine vaccination efforts

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World Health Organization A WHO photo. Agencies call for joint effort to safely deliver routine immunization and proceed with vaccination campaigns against deadly vaccine-preventable diseases. Story here.

A Major Oil Pipeline Project Strikes Deep at the Heart of Africa

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YaleEnvironment360 In the line of fire? Giraffe in a Ugandan National Park destined for major oil development. Photo by  DrexRockman . Despite the global plunge in oil prices, a major pipeline that would carry oil 900 miles across East Africa is moving ahead. International experts warn that the $20 billion project will displace thousands of small farmers and put key wildlife habitat and coastal waters at risk. Story here.

But it's a dry heat: Climate change and the aridification of North America

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PHYS ORG Photo by Red Charlie Discussions of drought often centre on the lack of precipitation. But among climate scientists, the focus is shifting to include the growing role that warming temperatures are playing as potent drivers of greater aridity and drought intensification. Story here.

'This pandemic is nothing compared to what climate change has in store'

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thejournal.i.e. John Gibbons IMAGINE FOR A moment that our government and others around the world had been given detailed information and warnings about the coronavirus years, even decades before it finally erupted.  Story here. RELATED: What could our post-pandemic world look like? It depends on you and me!

Flooding impacts emergency response time in England

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  Journal:  Nature Sustainability Before:The Drum Bridge, Dunmurry,UK , 2009. After: Photos by  Albert Bridge First responders, such as fire and ambulance services, will likely struggle to reach urgent cases in a timely manner during low-level flooding in England. These findings are reported in an analysis of emergency response time in England under adverse geographic and climate conditions, published this week in  Nature Sustainability .

Global carbon emissions decline during COVID-19

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NATURE RESEARCH -  Climate sciences:  Empty streets are the order of the day now that Covid-19 has forced lockdowns in many places. Daily global CO 2  emissions fell by 17% by early April 2020, compared to mean 2019 levels, as a result of governments’ policies to prevent the spread of COVID-19, suggests a paper in  Nature Climate Change .  Policies implemented by governments to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have had a significant impact on energy demand globally. With much of the world’s population confined to their homes and international borders closed, consumption and transportation rates have fallen. However, the lack of real-time global emissions data has made it difficult to quantify the impacts. Corinne Le Quéré and colleagues reviewed a combination of energy, activity and policy data available up to end of April 2020 to estimate the changes in daily CO 2  emissions compared to 2019. Changes in CO 2  emissions were estimated across six economic sectors — pow

Letter to the Editor RE: Meat-packing sector needs oversight

Published recently in the Winnipeg Free Press. The recent closures of meat packing plants in Alberta, Quebec and several American states due to the Covid-19 pandemic are shedding light on the tremendous expense of this style of massive meat processing operation. The expense borne by the workers at the plants is the greatest of all, their health threatened so severely, even causing death to one Cargill worker in Alberta. However the expense doesn’t stop there as consumers are expected to see meat prices jump , farmers have seen the prices paid for their animals drop by more than 30% and tax payers will ultimately pay the price to help bail out this sector. Several decades ago when the move to close smaller slaughterhouses in favour of building huge single entity plants was happening, the rationale was that there were going to be tremendous efficiencies in doing this. National Farmers Union studies showed that the promised efficiencies of consumers seeing cheaper meat and farmers m

Of pandemics and politicians. (Opinion)

by Larry Powell Politicians need to be judged, not by their words, but their actions. Ontario Premier, Doug Ford has been generally well-received for his press conferences during the pandemic. Sounding good. Saying the right things. But it was under his watch, after all, that inspections of Ontario's personal care homes were slashed to save money. And we all know how tragic and deadly the situation has become within such homes in Ontario and elsewhere. Sadly, Ford's actions are consistent with a neo-liberal agenda that   has dominated the world, notably since the Reagan/Thatcher era. Cut, slash. Get governments "out of the way," Contract out. Lay off. Throw your jurisdictions "open for business" while shrinking public services like education and health. Let the market rule! (Music to the ears of the likes of Mike Harris, former Tory premier of ON. He seems to have done alright assuming the helm of one of the for-profit, private home-care companies in tha

Massive Canadian mines pose transboundary risks

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Science Magazine In 2019, Canada approved an extension of the deadline to start one of the world’s largest copper and gold mines in the headwaters of the transboundary Unuk River ( 1 ). The plan for the Kerr-Sulphurets -Mitchell (KSM) mine is to dig one of the largest human-made holes on earth, erect one of the highest dams in North America, and operate water treatment for 200 years after the mine closes ( 2 ). Mines such as KSM pose long-term risks to downstream water quality, fish, and people ( 3 ). Given that mine contamination is not constrained by political boundaries, U.S., Canadian, and Indigenous governments must urgently engage in collaborative evaluation and regulation of mines in internationally shared rivers. Shortfalls in mine assessments and permitting policies should be addressed. Mine assessments underestimate risk at high environmental cost. Contributing factors include the ecological complexity of rivers, policy shortcomings in weighing environmental risk

Manitoba's Decker Hutterite Colony says, several dead hogs spotted recently on a public roadway, nearby, died of natural causes.

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by Larry Powell Hog carcasses in two dumpsters on a side road near the Decker Colony, northwest of Brandon, Apr. 24th. I spotted these carcasses on April 24th. My initial attempts to phone the colony about this (then accessible by appointment only due to Covid-19), failed. Today, the Colony's Barn Manager, David Waldner, called me back (May 6th). He says the hogs died of natural causes, not disease. In his words, "Hogs die." Sometimes one gets a broken leg, for example, and has to be put down. But most of the animals in the dumpsters, were what he calls "standard mortalities," not the result of disease. He says the company which picks up the carcasses, usually comes about once a week. But, due to mechanical issues, it was delayed. As a result, they sat there for longer than normal. Because of that, he explains, the bodies were bloated. And this likely makes it appear as if there are more than the 20 which he estimates were in the dumpsters.

What could our post-pandemic world look like? It depends on you and me!

by Larry Powell Like everyone else, I’m worried.   But not just about the Covid-19 pandemic.  It’s what the future holds once it ends that scares me, too. Man’s assault on our planet s imply cannot pick up where it left off when the virus hit. It’s true that our economy cannot remain at this level of lockdown forever. But, if we just come “roaring back, full tilt” when it’s over, we’ve lea rned nothing. And civilization as we know it will resume its relentless slide, once again.   So what have we learned? Lives can be saved just by slowing the frantic pace of human activity. Pollutants spewing from industrial plants, ground vehicles, jet planes and ocean vessels have dipped dramatically due to the slowdown forced by Covid. And they’re not just greenhouse gases which are dangerously heating up the Earth, spawning violent storms, rising sea levels and devastating floods (think Fort Mac.) that have gone down, significantly. They’re also the kind that get into your lun