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Showing posts with the label pollution

When corporate interests trump the human right to clean drinking water - a case of concern in Manitoba, Canada.

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by Don Sullivan - Canadian Dimension  Don Sullivan (above) is the spokesperson for What The Frack Manitoba, the former director of the Boreal Forest Network and special adviser to the government of Manitoba on the Pimachiowin Aki UNESCO World Heritage site. He's a research affiliate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and a Queen Golden Jubilee medal recipient. Two corporations, both Alberta-based, are in the midst of seeking Government of Manitoba approval to build and operate silica sand mines and processing facilities that would extract and process some 2.6 million tonnes of silica sand per year.  Story here. RELATED: "Is Manitoba's Brokenhead River about to become a dumping ground for an Alberta-based sand-mining company?"

World’s soils ‘under great pressure’, says UN pollution report

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The Guardian A  seeder at work in Manitoba, CA. A PinP photo. Soils provide 95% of all food but are damaged by industrial, farming, mining and urban pollution.  Story here.

Air pollution from farms leads to 17,900 U.S. deaths per year, study finds

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 The Washington Post A lagoon waste management system for a 900 head hog farm in Georgia.  Photo by Jeff Vanuga, USDA The first-of-its-kind report pinpoints meat production as the leading source of deadly pollution. Story here.

Deaths From Fossil Fuel Pollution Much Worse Than COVID-19

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Below 2C The Koch fertilizer plant in Brandon, Manitoba, CA has, since at least 2004, been listed by "Climate Change Connection" as the worst "large final emitter" in this province. “LFEs” are industries or landfills which spew at least 50 thousand tonnes of C02 equivalent into the air annually. Latest figs. show the Koch plant released almost 800 thousand tonnes in 2018. (A PinP  photo.) More people die every year from fossil fuel pollution than have died from COVID-19 since the outbreak in early 2020. According to new research, 8.7 million died prematurely in 2018—more than 18% of the entire global death toll for the year. And while the daily media coverage of the pandemic is on every news feed 24/7, pollution-caused deaths remain largely unnoticed. Details here.

THREE WEBINARS THAT SPEAK THE TRUTH ABOUT MANITOBA'S HOG INDUSTRY

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PRODUCED  BY HOG WATCH MANITOBA Learn about the impending disaster of antibiotic resistance.  The heartbreak of having a factory barn as a neighbour.  And the explosion of toxic algae in our lakes.   JUST CLICK HERE AND FOLLOW THE LINKS.

Fertilizer runoff in streams and rivers can have cascading effects, analysis shows

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Science Daily A river in west-central Manitoba, Canada. A PinP photo. Fertilizer pollution can have significant ripple effects in the food webs of streams and rivers, according to a new analysis of global data.  Story here.

As South Africa clings to coal, a struggle for the right to breathe

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YaleEnvironmnt360 A small coal Mine, Highveld, South Africa.  A Sierra Club photo. Close ties between the ruling elite and the coal industry have helped perpetuate South Africa’s dependence on the dirtiest fossil fuel for electricity. But now residents of the nation’s most coal-intensive region are suing to force the government to clean up choking air pollution. Story here.

The role we humans play in the continuing decline of Earth's biosphere knows no boundaries. Sadly - an essential part of human life - food production - remains part of the problem.

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by Larry Powell   A thick blanket of smoke again darkens skies over northern India. Every year, farmers light large numbers of small fires between September and December—after the monsoon season—to burn off rice stalks and straw leftover after harvest, a practice known as stubble or paddy burning. (A NASA satellite image.)  Details here. Smoke from burning stubble hovers over a small town in southwestern Manitoba, CA. Nov. 2020. A PinP photo. Canada is no stranger to the same practise. While "stubble-burning" in this country did not approach that of India's (at least not this year), numerous such fires were still common again this fall over the eastern prairies (See above) and in past years (below). Stubble-burning in Manitoba - circa 2005. Photos by PinP. Wildfire smoke (see brown) over the Canadian prairies last year. A NASA photo. Smoke from several large wildfires in Canada (now proven to be more severe, frequent and prolonged thanks to manmade climate change) was so

Pollution and pandemics: A dangerous mix. Research finds that as one goes, so goes the other -- to a point.

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ScienceDaily A highway project in Alberta. A PinP photo. Are we setting ourselves up for the spread of a pandemic without even knowing it? Story here.

The Government of Manitoba robs its rural citizens of their local autonomy to serve its political friends and big business. (Opinion)

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        by Larry Powell  The Premier of Manitoba, Brian Pallister. A Gov't. photo. The lengths to which the Pallister government is going to enable the unfettered exploitation of Manitoba's resources and massive expansion of its hog industry, should now be clear for all to see. For the past few years, it’s been rolling out, at significant taxpayer expense, the truly draconian measures it’s now taking, to make this happen.  While the writing has been on the wall, only now are the worst fears being realized. They expose this government’ naked contempt for the democratic rights of rural Manitobans who have the audacity to point out that these goals are misguided - that the emperor has no clothes. Late last year, the Municipality of Rosser, near Winnipeg, rejected a bid for a gravel mine (euphemistically called a limestone aggregate quarry). The politically well-connected owner of the construction company proposing the mine (who made a substantial contribution to the Conservative P

Could a million freshwater turtles help clean up some of Australia's polluted rivers? A team of scientists believes, they could!

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by Larry Powell The freshwater turtle, Emydura macquarii. Credit: Claudia Santori. For well over a century,  invasive freshwater fish from Europe - carp (originally from China) - have been released, either deliberately or accidentally from fish farms, into Australian waterways. The fish, now widely regarded as pests, are thriving.  Their habitat includes rivers flowing through the Murray-Darling Basin of New South Wales. Those vast waterways support, through irrigation and other means, about 40% of agricultural production for the entire country - not to mention vital aquatic eco-systems and drinking water for about three million people.  Baby Emydura macquarii. Credit: Tom Burd. By contrast, the clock is ticking for Australia's native freshwater turtles. The new study says the most common species has declined by up to 91 percent in the past 40 years. It blames urbanization, which damages their habitat and makes the turtles more vulnerable to mass die-offs from disease. The

There is at least 10 times more plastic in the Atlantic than previously thought

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Science News  "Seal trapped in plastic pollution"   by  tedxgp2   Scientists measured 12-21 million tons of three of the most common types of plastic in the top 200 meters of the Atlantic. By assuming the concentration of plastic in the whole Atlantic is the same as that measured at 200 meters deep, the scientists estimated there is around 200 million tons of three of the most common types of plastic alone. Compare this to the previously estimated figure of 17 million.  Details here.

Agriculture replaces fossil fuels as largest human source of sulfur to the environment

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PHYS ORG A PinP photo. Historically, coal-fired power plants were the largest source of reactive sulfur, a component of acid rain, to the biosphere. A new study shows that fertilizer and pesticide applications to croplands are now the most important source of sulfur to the environment. Details here.

Is Manitoba's Brokenhead River about to become a dumping ground for an Alberta-based sand-mining company?

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by Don Sullivan Kayakers on the Brokenhead River. A Wikimedia photo. The Brokenhead River begins in the wetlands of Sandilands Provincial Forest, located in Southeastern Manitoba. It ultimately drains 200 kilometres later into Lake Winnipeg. Most of the river is navigable by canoe or kayak. This meandering river is now under threat. It might very well become a toxic dumping ground for CanWhite Sands Corp (CWS) of Alberta. Last month, CWS  filed a proposal under Manitoba's Environment Act, for approval to construct a silica sand processing facility near Vivian in Southeastern Manitoba. The closing date for commenting on this proposal is August 25th, 2020.  If you have concerns, you have between now and then to express them, here.  Once the processing facility receives government approval, CWS intends to submit a second application. This would be for both the mine, where the sand will be obtained and for the methods the company will use to extract it. The splitting of a

Brazilian meat giant trucked cattle from deforested Amazon ranch

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The Bureau of Investigative Journalism An Adobe photo. This article exposes the brazen culpability of the global beef industry for the fires ravaging the Amazon each year. Please open this "must-read' story here!

World's biggest meat firm, JBS, caught red-handed. (Video)

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The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

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

Urgent changes needed to reduce environmental costs of ‘fast fashion’

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Nature Reviews Earth & Environment . Stefan Müller (climate stuff) from Germany Fundamental changes to the fashion business model, including an urgent transition away from ‘fast fashion’, are needed to improve the long-term sustainability of the fashion supply chain, argue Kirsi Niinimäki and colleagues in a Review published in  Nature Reviews Earth & Environment . The fashion industry is the second largest industrial polluter after aviation, and accounts for up to 10% of global pollution. However, the industry continues to grow, despite rising awareness of the environmental impacts, in part owing to the rise of fast fashion, which relies on cheap manufacturing, frequent consumption, and short-lived garment use. The authors identify the environmental impacts of the fashion supply chain, from production to consumption, focusing on water use, chemical pollution, CO 2  emissions and textile waste. For example, the industry produces over 92 million tonnes

NASA images show fall in China pollution over virus shutdown

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PHYS.ORG Nitrous oxide levels over China. Jan. 1st, 2020 (l.). Feb. 25th, 2020. Nasa images. NASA satellite images show a dramatic fall in pollution over China that is "partly related" to the economic slowdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, the space agency said. Story here.

Full impact of mysterious Brazil oil spill remains unknown

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BirdLife International Last summer, an oil spill of unknown origin hit Brazil’s northeast coast – just as migrating shorebirds arrived in the area. Our Partner SAVE Brasil has been campaigning for action and striving to measure the impact on birds - but more support is urgently needed.  More here.