Wednesday, 17 June 2009

The War over Eco-Certified Wood

When it comes to buying nature-friendly wood, two stamps of approval vie, with vast forests at stake. Which will win out? Big timber firms back the one critics call greenwashing. A Tyee special report. (Just click on headline.)
By Christopher Pollon
Published: June, 2009

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

The Fight for Pollution Controls at a Manitoba Wood Products Plant

- by Larry Powell
Battle lines are drawn again between environmentalists, the Government of Manitoba and a subsidiary of an American logging giant over the same issue which flared up in the mid-'90s; the pollution abatement equipment at the wood products plant of Louisiana Part of LP's log by Larry
Pacific Canada Ltd. in the Swan Valley of western Manitoba. That equipment has been shut down since early this year. That's because the provincial government granted "LPs" request to do so, at least temporarily.
The environmental group, "Concerned Citizens of the Valley," fought long and hard when "LP" first opened its plant in 1995, to force it to install the equipment in the first place.
Now, several years later, is that struggle going to prove to have been in vain?
Members of "Concerned Citizens" have regrouped to make sure it will not.
Manitoba has instructed its Clean Environment Commission to hold a "hearing" into the matter in July and recommend whether the controls should remain shut down, permanently.
But "Concerned Citizens" worry the format of the hearing will not really be democratic. While it will hear from expert witnesses, it will not allow members of the public to cross-examine those witnesses.
Meanwhile, the group warns that increased levels of toxic substances have been escaping from the plant since the shutdown, posing unknown health risks to residents of the area.
(See announcement of hearings in post, below.)

Louisiana Pacific Strandboard Plant Air Emissions Public Meeting dates announced

----- Original Message -----
From: Johnson, Cathy (CON)
Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 9:11 AM

The dates for the public meetings regarding Louisiana Pacific Strandboard Plant Air Emissions have been set.

For more information on the place and time and registration procedures just click on headline.

Cathy Johnson

Secretary, Clean Environment Commission

305-155 Carlton St.

Winnipeg, MB R3C 3H8

(204) 945-7091

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Caribou, Reindeer Numbers Show Dramatic Decline

ScienceDaily (June 12, 2009) —
Caribou and reindeer numbers worldwide have plunged almost 60% in the last three decades. Click on headline for full story. Also please read a related story by clicking on the "endangered species" category of this blog.

Reindeer. Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Green Party of Manitoba Believes Now is the Time to Bring "CAFOs" to an End.

News Release - June 13 - '09
In light of the current outbreak of H1N1 influenza, or Swine 'Flu, the Green Party of Manitoba is calling for an immediate halt to the development of any new confined animal feeding operations, or "CAFOs," in the province. Large numbers of hogs and chickens are fed in these facilities, also referred to as "factory farms." The Government of Manitoba has allowed the development of many such operations, especially in the southeast and central areas.
While it has placed a freeze on any new developments in these regions, vast areas of the province are still eligible for new ones. It is a style of industrialized agriculture which has for years, drawn growing concern from around the world.
The Green Party leader, James Beddome says, "The preponderance of scientific evidence implicating such operations in the spread of serious infectious diseases, is just too convincing to allow them to multiply."

Not only that, Beddome adds, "Operations housing both hogs and chickens in close proximity, already up and running in parts of Manitoba, (notably the RM of Hanover) pose a potentially dangerous combination. These must be phased out as soon as possible."
The Green Party's spokesperson on food security, Larry Powell, notes that several huge hog and chicken "CAFOs" also operate near the small Mexican town where the Swine 'Flu outbreak apparently began. Some local people there believe a virus from those barns infected the little boy who became the first known victim.

Powell says "Premier Doer seems not to be aware of the body of medical research and scientific evidence pertaining to this issue."
For example;

• The World Health Organization, Canadian Public Health Association, American Public Health Association, Canadian Medical Association, and American Medical Association have, for years, all raised alarms about the public health risks of "CAFOs."

• In 2006, research teams from the Universities of Iowa and Wisconsin, with help from the Centres for Disease Control, warned that pigs play an important role in the transmission of the 'flu virus back and forth from animals to humans. Their study found that farmers, veterinarians and meat processors exposed to hogs in their jobs, ran a greatly increased risk of coming down with H1N1, the flu strain involved in the current outbreak.

• In 2007, another research team with the (U.S.) National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences concluded, "Because 'CAFOs' tend to concentrate large numbers of animals close together, they facilitate rapid transmission and mixing of viruses. There is a concern that increasing the numbers of swine facilities adjacent to avian facilities could further promote the evolution of the next pandemic."

Beddome says, "Since the current outbreak is still cropping up disturbingly in unexpected places in Manitoba, steps such as the ones I'm suggesting, are essential as a precaution against a full-blown pandemic which some medical authorities say is not only possible, but probable in the future.
But more steps should also be taken. These could include improved bio-security measures at "CAFOs" and stepped up-medical monitoring of people involved in their operation.
"The government must also be mindful of any economic hardships these policy changes might have on the industry. So it should consider appropriate financial aid to any operators adversely affected by them."
Beddome concludes, "Manitoba should also provide assistance and encouragement to smaller, straw-based, organic, family livestock farms in this province as well as the establishment of new ones."
Please also read "H1N1 - The First Legal Action Targets a Pig Farm."
Hello Larry;

Great release; one can only echo the valid info and realize that in many cases (if not all)that Pandemics and outbreaks stem from concentrated operations. No doubt that these present operations have to be curbed. The Moratorium and Bill 17 did nothing to prevent the previous existing operations from polluting. Business as usual. Our Governments of the day far and wide don't operate even with a minimum of any Conscience !


Joe Leschyshn

Thursday, 11 June 2009

PERU: ‘Police Are Throwing Bodies in the River,’ Say Native Protesters

By Milagros Salazar - Interpress Service
LIMA, Jun 8 (IPS) - There are conflicting reports on a violent incident in Peru’s Amazon jungle region in which both police officers and indigenous protesters were killed.
Click headline for details.

Natives set up a road block at the
entrance of the Amazonian town
of Yurimaguas, northern Peru.

Peruvian lawmakers have voted not to
ease restrictions on lumber harvesting
in the Amazon rain forest,
days after it sparked clashes between
police and indigenous protesters,
killing dozens of people. (AFP/Ernesto Benavides)

China Alone Could Bring World to Brink of Climate Calamity - US official

The Guardian UK - Business as usual in China would lead to 2.7C rise by 2050 even if all other countries slash emissions...
Click headline for the full story.

The second-largest ice sheet in the Arctic - Canada's Milne sheet, has collapsed.

This animation shows the sheet rapidly receding, losing almost half its mass.