Friday, 19 July 2013

Organophosphates: A Common But Deadly Pesticide

National Geographic
The pesticides blamed for killing at least 25 children in India are widely used around the world, including North America, and health experts have raised safety concerns about this class of chemicals in the past. Full story here.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Chilean Court Sides With Indians, Blocks Mine Until Barrick Gold Keeps Environmental Promises

WashingtonPost

A Chilean appeals court ruled against the world’s largest gold mining company on Monday, favouring Chilean Indians who accuse Barrick Gold Corp. of contaminating their water downstream and creating more doubts about the future of the world’s highest gold mine. Full story here.

One Step Forward, Two Back for Canada’s Parks: CPAWS’ 2013 State of Canada’s Parks Report.

Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society (CPAWS)

In the run-up to Canada's Parks Day on the 3rd Saturday in July, the CPAWS is releasing is 5th annual report on how Canada's parks are faring. Full story here.





A magnificent vista in Jasper National Park, 
Alberta, Canada. PLT photo.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Confirmed: Fracking Triggers Quakes and Seismic Chaos

Mother Jones


Major earthquakes thousands of miles away can trigger reflex quakes in areas where fluids have been injected into the ground from fracking and other industrial operations, according to a study published in the journal Science on Thursday. Details here.

Don't Give Up Yet! The Bees Still Need Us!

Larry, 
Last month, 50,000 dead bees were discovered littering a parking lot in Oregon.

PinP photo  
Then last week, a shocking 37 million bees were reported dead across a single farm in Ontario.

After years of research, scientists have finally figured out what’s causing the massive bee die-offs all around the world, from China to the UK: It’s a class of dangerous pesticides called neonics. And here’s the wildest thing -- even though we know they’re killing the bees, in most parts of the world, neonics are still in widespread use.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Manitoba Rolls Out Red Carpet For Noisy "Quad" Machines! - an editorial

PLT: So…I see the Government of Manitoba is going to "improve amenities" in Duck Mountain Provincial Park. That's nice. It's a great place. Apparently those improvements will make the park "more environmentally friendly to lakes and rivers." Sounds good, so far, right? 

But hold on a moment. 

One of those amenities, reads the government press release, will include "trail upgrades" for ATVs (all terrain vehicles)! ATVs?  Aren't those the same noisy, dangerous and polluting machines that too many irresponsible people use to invade quiet wildness, rip up the back country and harass wildlife with? Sounds like the same, to me. I don't even understand why these offensive inventions are allowed in the parks in the first place. That we should actually pamper and roll out the red carpet for them to boot, makes about as much sense as allowing logging there. 

Oh, I forgot. Logging is still allowed in "The Ducks," too, isn't it? 

Ahhh…wilderness. Wasn't it wonderful?


But this isn't just me saying this. A few years ago, a working group made up of people from a wide range of interests; cottagers, tourism and First Nations, found that skyrocketing use of ATVs in the park was "negatively affecting" many trails there through rutting, rendering many impassible!

You tell me how these latest government "amenities" will do anything but increase the kind of abuses documented by that group! ATVers already have thousands of kilometres of trails in other places. Why do they need more in the park? Maybe it's time to bite the bullet and go elsewhere, guys! Leave the park for those of us who want a bit of peace and quiet that's in such short supply in this modern age. Either that or get off your duffs and try hiking, backpacking or cross-country skiing, instead. It just may do wonders for your heart and your soul. You could be pleasantly surprised!

Trees: Our Life-Savers Are Dying

theguardian
For centuries we've treated forests poorly. Yet we're only just learning how crucial trees are to our survival. Details here.
Making way for more farmland in Manitoba, CA. PLT photo. 

Assessing the dwindling wilderness of Antarctica

Nature Antarctica. Aerial photo by Astro_Alex. Less than 32% of Antarctica is made up of areas that are free from human interfere...