re: Fast action needed on Clear Lake zebra mussels, Lake expert warns.(Brandon Sun, 24 Nov.)
Saturday, November 25, 2023
Friday, August 11, 2023
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.
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 gravel from a mine which has, for years, been transforming a beautiful stretch of the Birdtail Valley west of here, into an ugly hub of commerce.
Yet my letter was met with a deafening silence. Why? I have no idea. But one very disturbing possibility has come to mind since. Could it be that many simply do not believe that climate change is real; that we humans are behind it; or that its consequences are already widespread, deadly and getting worse?
A study by UBC seems to raise the chilling possibility that this is, indeed, the case. It finds that school curricula in at least a few places in Canada, including Manitoba, present the science as not being settled yet! It pains me to say this, but - if this is what is being taught - it's a lie! The science is settled! There’s an overwhelming and longstanding consensus among the world’s top climatologists. We humans are altering the nature of our atmosphere by the amount of fossil fuels we're burning. This is trapping heat close to the earth’s surface. And, if we do nothing, the only home we have could morph into a place that’s not just inhospitable, but downright deadly, even for the healthiest among us! Ironically, the month just past, when the road construction was at its peak, was globally, the warmest July on the human record!
So, would Planet Earth have been spared from a worst-case scenario had my "least favourite" road project not gone ahead? Of course not! But are we doomed to that worst-case scenario if every community in the world barges ahead with “business as usual,” as mine, sadly, is doing? Absolutely!
Shoal Lake, MB.
Monday, October 12, 2020
The following letter appeared in the Saturday, Oct. 10th edition of the Winnipeg Free Press, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo added by PinP.)
|Sows like this spend much of their lives in tiny steel cages.|
Re: Changes needed to protect farms, animals (Opinion, Oct. 5)
As a former executive director at the Winnipeg Humane Society, I feel compelled to respond to Bill Campbell’s op-ed on the need to protect farms and animals. After starting at the Humane Society in 1994, I quickly came to learn that some of the most egregious suffering imposed on animals by humans occurs in the industrial barns of today’s animal agriculture.
I am not speaking of the few remaining family farms, but rather the large industrial-style buildings that house thousands of animals in small confined spaces with no access to the outdoors. These operations treat the animals more like cars on an assembly line, as they do not allow the animals to fulfill natural instincts and limit their movement severely. In short, the millions of animals raised for food in Canada are enduring lives of chronic suffering due to the very conditions that are allowed under our laws.
Anyone can check the facts by looking at the Animal Care Act of Manitoba. At first glance, it’s reassuring to see that animals shall not be confined with inadequate space, unsanitary conditions, or without opportunity for exercise. But just move down to the next section and you will see the list of animals that are exempted from the above requirements, and agricultural uses of animals are at the top of the list.
So, recent moves to bring in “ag-gag” laws are by no means aimed at bringing further protection to animals, but rather to keep the barn doors tightly locked so the public will not be able to see how the pigs and chickens providing food for us are actually living. In my view, industrial animal agriculture is unethical and, as a society, we should be working to ensure that animals raised for food are treated humanely as living creatures, not assembly-line parts.
Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Earlier this summer, in a letter in my community newspaper, the Crossroads, I complained about a huge multi-million dollar roadbuilding project south of Shoal Lake, in southwestern Manitoba.
|A convoy of dump trucks streams past my window.|
And, scant weeks after the Parks and Wilderness Society informed us that biodiversity (the variety of plant and animal life on Earth) is declining faster than at any other time in human history, the trucks were making hundreds of round trips a day, hauling copious loads of gravel from a mine which, for years, has been transforming a beautiful and once-natural stretch of the Birdtail Valley west of here (below), into an ugly hub of commerce.
I asked an employee of the gravel mine what the future holds. He speculated that, now stocks are depleting at the present site, expansion to the north might be in the works.
|The Birdtail just upstream (north) of the mine.|
Rumour has it the mine will be expanding in this direction.
(All photos by PinP.)
Of course not.
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Is relentless industrial development threatening the beautiful Birdtail River? Lucrative highway contracts have brought an explosion of noise and congestion to a picturesque valley in western Manitoba. (Letter)
If ever there was an example of just how numb we've become to the planetary crisis we all face, it’s surely playing out in plain sight right here, right now, in Shoal Lake. As many of my neighbours will already know, big dump trucks have been lumbering by in front of our homes for about a week now. Beginning before dawn, they sometimes become a steady stream that lasts much of each day, coming and going, until about dusk.
|One of the many trucks working on the project|
in question, ready to be loaded at the mine.
|The mine in full operational mode, fall, 2018. PinP photos.|
Monday, April 29, 2019
|A chlorothalonil molecule.|
Image by Jynto.
Saturday, April 27, 2019
These are dark days for science.
|A Gov't. of New Brunswick photo. 2019.|
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
(See B.G. story, here.)
Governments’ honour system has led to the approval of a new barn
Wim Verbruggen publicly asserted in the Sun that I, acting on
Governments’ job is to regulate the hog industry by putting the
Sunday, January 7, 2018
Saturday, September 9, 2017
I find your conclusion that God loves the victims of such storms, cries out for further explanation.
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