Showing posts from 2023

Giant Sequoias Are in Big Trouble. How Best to Save Them?

YaleEnvironment360 by Jim Robbins A  Daniel G Rego  photo. California’s ancient sequoias — some of which have stood more than 1,000 years — are facing an existential threat from increasingly intense wildfires linked to climate change. But federal efforts to thin forests to reduce fire risks are drawing pushback from conservation groups. Story here.

GOOD NEWS! Some mangrove forests are rapidly expanding

  Royal Society Journals A mangrove forrest, close up. Photo by Jeff Kelleway        The expansions are occurring on low-lying islands of the Great Barrier Reef, creating new habitats and protecting coastlines from storms and sea level rise.  They're also capturing carbon and helping tiny islands grow.  Mangroves of the Howick Islands in the northern Great Barrier Reef have been mapped for the first time since 1974. The new maps show that the mangrove forests have extended at rates of up to five metres a year, adding over 10,000 tonnes of new biomass.   Watch video, below.

Diesel vehicles in oil sands operations contribute to regional pollution

EurekAlert Wildfires, cigarette smoking and vehicles all emit a potentially harmful compound called isocyanic acid. The substance has been linked to several health conditions, including heart disease and cataracts. Scientists investigating sources of the compound have now identified off-road diesel vehicles in oil sands production in Alberta, Canada, as a major contributor to regional levels of the pollutant. Their report appears in ACS' journal  Environmental Science & Technology . Story here.

Opposition persists to proposed sand mining project in southeastern Manitoba

MOTHER CORP NEWS Silica sand. Photo by  ರವಿಮುಂ Springfield councillor says survey results will be shared with council, provincial election candidates. Widespread opposition persists in southeastern Manitoba to an Alberta-based company's proposed plan to mine for pure silica sand in the rural municipality of Springfield, two local councillors say. Story here.

Critical Concerns about Manitoba’s Minerals Strategy

                                MiningWatch CANADA Last week, the Government of Manitoba released the Critical Minerals Strategy: Driving Sustainable Growth. For years, Manitoba’s environmental community has been raising the alarm about the short and long-term implications of mining on the environment and the health of mining-adjacent communities. There is a need for a more thoughtful and detailed strategy that meaningfully addresses the environmental concerns and interests of the public and Indigenous communities.  DETAILS HERE.



Canada burns - Canada’s relentless battle with record heat and devastating wildfires

Jamie Sandison - Canada's National Observer My analysis of data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals a staggering revelation — more than 150 monthly temperature records have been broken across Canada this year. Details here.

Danielle Smith Rips Off the Mask

The Tyee Alberta Premier, Danielle Smith. Her combative, gaslighting persona was put away for the election campaign. It was back this week.  Details here.

Climate change more than doubled the likelihood of extreme fire weather conditions in Eastern Canada

World Weather Attribution During May and June 2023 Canada witnessed exceptionally extreme fire-weather conditions, leading to extensive wildfires that burned over 13 million hectares. Story here.

Extreme heat in Canada, US, Europe and China in July 2023 made much more likely by climate change

WORLD WEATHER ATTRIBUTION Following a record hot June, large areas of the US, Canada, Mexico, Southern Europe and China experienced extreme heat in July 2023, breaking many local high temperature records. Details here. Please also read;  Climate crisis made spate of Canada wildfires twice as likely, scientists find

Being a child in this climate is daunting. Are we doing enough to help?

National Observer “There is no rain in our community. We walk for more than eight hours every day to get water,” Drought forced Dawele*, 14, from Ethiopia, to drop out of school.she explains. “Because of this, I couldn’t attend class and was forced to drop out. I love mathematics and want to be a teacher, but now I don’t know what my future will be.” Dawele is just one of 15 million people in the Horn of Africa who can no longer go to school because of severe drought.   STORY HERE.

Greenhouse gas emissions at ‘an all-time high’ causing unprecedented rate of global warming - global scientists

EurekAlert - Peer-Reviewed Publication MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY Human-caused global warming has continued to increase at an “unprecedented rate” since the last major assessment of the climate system published two years ago, say 50 leading scientists.          STORY HERE .


AUG 2019 Dear Yellowheadians,  Earlier this summer, in a letter in the Crossroads, I complained about a huge multi-million dollar roadbuilding project on Highway 21, south of Shoal Lake. While I wasn't crazy about the noise or the violation of my personal space, that's not why I'm writing this.  Here’s why. The United Nations warned some time ago that the construction sector needs to cut back on its huge carbon footprint “yesterday” if we are to meet our obligations under the Paris Climate Accord. Yet, either out of ignorance, apathy or downright defiance, a steady stream of diesel trucks rumbled through Shoal Lake for weeks, from dawn to dusk, right past my living room window.  Scant months ago, the Parks and Wilderness Society reminded us that world biodiversity (the variety of plant and animal life on Earth) is declining faster now than at any other time in human history. Yet that did not stop the trucks from making hundreds of round trips a day, hauling copious loads of

Contamination of the marine environment by Antarctic research stations:

EUREKA ALERT Monitoring marine pollution at Casey station from 1997 to 2015   Please also read;  Black carbon footprint of human presence in Antarctica

New research method determines health impacts of heat and air quality

Peer-Reviewed Publication UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO Even moderate temperature increases can cause more emergency hospital visits and deaths. Story here.

Is Earth ready for some sunblock?

 MOTHER CORP News Big ideas for slowing climate change — and big risks, too



New research finds that more than 90% of global aquaculture faces substantial risk from environmental change

Peer-Reviewed Publication UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA - SANTA BARBARA Many of the world’s largest aquatic food producers are highly vulnerable to human-induced environmental change, with some of the highest-risk countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa demonstrating the lowest capacity for adaptation,  a landmark study  has shown. Read another version here. Please also read; Toxic Tides , the tragedy of fish farming everywhere.

Letters: Winds of change turn against pork industry

The Manitoba Co-Operator - by Vicki Burns Manitoba hog producers would do well to pay very careful attention to California’s Prop 12 and the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding it. Story here.

El Niño is back. Here's what it means for Canada

CBC NEWS Milder winter likely ahead, and more severe weather too, expert says.  

Manitoba, federal governments pledge nearly $3M for study on sustainable aviation fuel facility.

CBC News Azure Sustainable Fuels Corporation's processing facility planned for near Portage la Prairie, Man. Story here.

Increased risk of extreme rainfall due to warming

Journal:  Nature Climate warming is causing a decrease in snowfall and increase in rainfall at high altitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, and is predicted to increase the risk of extreme rainfall, suggests a study published in  Nature .  The intensity and frequency of extreme precipitation events is expected to increase as global warming continues to affect the planet. Of particular concern are extremes in rainfall, which often cause more damage than similar snowfall events due to their instantaneous runoff, increasing the risk of floods, which can cause infrastructure damage and landslides. Precisely how increases in global temperature will affect extreme rainfall events remains unclear.  To assess how climate change might be driving a shift in precipitation patterns, Mohammed Ombadi and colleagues combined data from climate observations from between 1950 and 2019 with future projections, up to 2100, taken from Earth system models. Their results suggest that warming is causing an incr

Manitobans deserve transparency, not unsubstantiated environmental claims from their pork sector.

Hog Watch Manitoba - June 23rd, 2023.      Hog Watch Manitoba, a non-profit, advocacy group,  says it believes a recent claim by Manitoba Pork about how much water it is using, needs more proof.            In a newspaper ad, the industry organization declares, “Hog farms today require 40% less water per kilogram of pork produced, compared to fifty years ago.”          Larry Powell of Hog Watch says this doesn’t tell the whole story.        "Even if consumption per unit has gone down, what does it matter when that figure is surely being eclipsed by rising animal numbers? There are well over three times as many pigs on Manitoba farms now as there were half-a-century ago.      "Not only that, the use of slurry, which has been spread on vast farm fields in this province for decades, is more than 80% water. It's been on the increase since the nineties.      " A University of Manitoba study concluded that pigs produced  346 thousand tonnes of dry manure in 2007 alone.  Sinc

Manitoba's beautiful Duck Mountain under threat from logging

  Please read  this related article from more than a decade ago.

Writer condemns the wisdom of allowing factory farms to proliferate in Manitoba

  Letter to the editor. "The entire pork industry in Manitoba is facing a difficult time. That includes the hog farmers as well as the processors," GM Cam Dahl of MB Pork told the Brandon Sun, 17 June,2023.   Without the benefit of taxpayers’ dollars (read: government support), the Manitoba hog industry (not farming) would have collapsed many years ago.  Born and raised on a farm, I appreciate the proper raising and care of swine. Pigs produced in a factory-type situation however, live in conditions that are far removed from achieving humane animal stewardship status.  Bad ideas and poor operating principles are very costly for the animals, our environment and society.  It was some 24 years ago that the Filmon Progressive Conservative government unfurled the red carpet and opened Pandora’s box for the hog Industry to come into Manitoba. Now, since being elected in 2016, the Pallister and Stefanson regimes—through their Red Tape Reduction Act—have taken the cue to further expa


Xaletto® The future-oriented straw bedding concept PureLine products Pig production on straw that meets the animals’ needs and is still profitable – is that possible? Yes! With the sustainable and animal-friendly Xaletto ®  straw bedding concept, both piglet rearing and pig finishing are profitable, either in closed houses or in ventilated barns with open-air run. Xaletto ®  is the result of a collaboration between Big Dutchman, the feed producer Bröring and an experienced farmer. Prerequisites for the success of the Xaletto ®  concept include: a well-adjusted ventilation concept an ideal feeding concept optimal water management labour-saving straw management

The Arctic may be sea-ice-free in summer by the 2030s

  Nature Communications                                                 Photo by Patrick Kelley   The Arctic could be sea-ice-free during the month of September as early as the 2030s even under a low emissions scenario — about one decade earlier than previously projected — suggests a study   published in  Nature Communications . 

United in Science: We are heading in the wrong direction

Geneva, 13 September 2022 (WMO) - Climate science is clear: we are heading in the wrong direction, according to a new multi-agency report coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which highlights the huge gap between aspirations and reality. DETAILS HERE.

Substance or showmanship? What's the key to success at the polls? According to the "At Issue" panel - the answer might surprise you! (Letter)

Dear Editor, And here I thought there were things governments could do to make our planet safer from the ravages of manmade climate change - offer subsidies to those who give us cleaner energy alternatives, or regulations to those who pollute.  Then, those of us who want to save our earthly home from climate catastrophe, can simply vote for the Party that seems most likely to do these things. The “At Issue" panel on CBC TV reminded me just how wrong I was, when they recently discussed the topic of Alberta, now facing epic wildfires amidst an election campaign. The guest panelist from Alberta thought “Danielle,” (Premier Danielle Smith) was “generally acting as a Premier” in the face of the crisis. (I wonder if she knows him as “Jason?”) The other panelists generally thought the way the Premier was handling things would probably be seen as "a plus,” too. Never mind that, it wasn't that long ago that Smith considered the science of climate change, “unsettled,” or now descri

Crab populations are crashing. Could losing their sense of smell be one of the important reasons why?

University of Toronto Thayne Tuason took this shot at Ocean Shores WA in 2020. He labelled it, "dungeness crab die off..."  and commented, "Some people might contend they were just "molting", but these crabs looked mostly dead to me and not just a bunch of empty shells as would have been the case if it was them naturally shedding their exoskeleton.      A new U of T Scarborough study finds that climate change is causing a commercially significant marine crab to lose its sense of smell, which could partially explain why their populations are thinning. Story here.

Oil Company Gave $200K to Group Accusing Pipeline Opponents of Taking Secret Money

DeSmog Blog Alberta-based Indian Resource Council quietly received funding from CNRL, corporate documents reveal. Details here.

No room for error on water

Letters - Winnipeg Free Press I wish to add to the comment made by Karen Lalonde (“Project a risk to aquifers,”  Letters , Feb. 28) that “there are other companies in Manitoba producing silica sand but not going through aquifers to attain it.” While this is true, this statement implies that drinking water is not affected by traditional silica sand mining methods. In the case of the Wanipigow Sand Mine, Canadian Premium Sand will use massive amounts of groundwater to wash their sand before exporting it. That groundwater presently drains to Lake Winnipeg, the Manigotogan and the Wanipigow rivers via fish-bearing creeks and underground springs. Four communities obtain their drinking water from the Wanipigow and Manigotogan rivers, and many cottagers along Lake Winnipeg use wells. In fact, the whole ecosystem well past the mine’s boundaries will likely be affected. A mine can’t take millions of gallons of water out of a watershed without affecting life. Four years after Canadian Premium Sa

Toward the Creation of a Canada Water Agency

Executive summary Bighorn Country, Alberta Eastern Slopes  Photo by Aerin Jacob The Prime Minister has directed the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, with the support of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Minister of Natural Resources and the Special Representative for the Prairies to create a new Canada Water Agency (CWA) to work together with the provinces, territories, Indigenous communities, local authorities, scientists and others to find the best ways to keep our water safe, clean and well-managed. The Prime Minister also directed the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada to “develop further protections and take active steps to clean up the Great Lakes, Lake Winnipeg, Lake Simcoe and other large lakes.” These two commitments are being addressed in an integrated manner. To support this effort, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) released a public discussion paper in December 2020: “Toward the Creation of a Canada Water Agency”. The

DDT Pollution Dumped off Los Angeles Coast Has Not Broken Down Decades Later, Scientists Find

Eco Watch The  pollution  is even worse than earlier feared. Story here. RELATED: Research Suggests Our Past, Prolific Use Of The Insecticide DDT May Still Be Contributing To A Scourge Of Modern-Day Diseases Related To Obesity.

Steinbach-area ag consultant becomes new leader of Manitoba Green Party.

         CBC News Janine Gibson takes over from lawyer James Beddome, who led the party for fifteen years.  Story here.