Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Threatened Populations of Caribou and Moose To Be Monitored & Protected in Manitoba As East Side Road Project Moves Forward: Blaikie

Manitoba News Release - Oc 26 '10
Local Residents to Participate in Wildlife Monitoring Program Including Use of Satellite Tracking, Infrared Camera

A high-tech wildlife monitoring program will be part of the environmental-licensing process for the all-season road project from PR 304 near Hollow Water to Berens River First Nation, Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson, minister responsible for the East Side Road Authority, and Conservation Minister Bill Blaikie announced today during an international caribou conference in Winnipeg.

"The wildlife monitoring program will ensure high-quality and meaningful information is available regarding moose and woodland caribou on the east side of Lake Winnipeg," said Robinson.  "As part of the program, local residents and trappers will be hired to collect field data that will help us make responsible decisions as we move forward building this critical link to east-side communities."

The $2.475-million wildlife monitoring program will involve the collection of wildlife distribution and movement data that will assist the East Side Road Authority (ESRA) in examining the potential effects on boreal woodland caribou, moose and furbearers described in the PR 304 to Berens River Environmental Impact Assessment. A variety of techniques will be used including aerial surveys, automated satellite tracking collars, furbearer track surveys and studies using infrared trail cameras.  Local trappers and residents from east-side communities will also gather specific wildlife information and field data. All data will be used to adapt road construction plans where necessary to minimize or avoid potential impacts on wildlife, Robinson said.

"I am very pleased to make this announcement while caribou experts from around the world are in Winnipeg for the 13th North American Caribou Workshop," said Blaikie.                            
"This innovative program demonstrates our commitment to minimizing environmental impacts of the east-side road by incorporating traditional Aboriginal knowledge and scientific research."
The Wildlife Monitoring Study is a three-year program developed by the ESRA in conjunction with Manitoba Conservation and Joro Consultants, an independent wildlife consultant.  The study is designed to collect additional baseline data, assess the expected impact on wildlife species, determine the effectiveness of the proposed mitigation measures and identify other potential mitigation measures, if required.  All monitoring and research conducted as part of the program will be planned and implemented with the involvement of ESRA, Manitoba Conservation, the Eastern Manitoba Woodland Caribou Advisory Committee and various community land-use committees.

"The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the all-season road from PR 304 to Berens River identified the need for wildlife monitoring," said Ernie Gilroy, CEO of the ESRA.  "This program will provide useful baseline information on moose and woodland caribou populations and will help us to ensure the mitigation measures outlined in the EIA are appropriate and, if required, identify any other additional environmental protection measures that should be implemented."

For more information, visit www.floodwayauthority.mb.ca or call the Manitoba Floodway Authority at 945-4900 or toll free at 1-866-356-6355.

- 30 -

Monday, 25 October 2010

At 9 Months, 2010 Still Tied for Hottest Year


By Pat Brennan • The Orange County Register • Oc 25'10 
At the end of its ninth month, 2010 is still...

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Arctic Report Card: Region Continues to Warm at Unprecedented Rate

ScienceDaily (Oct. 22, 2010)  

The Arctic region...
(Credit: iStockphoto/
Erlend Kvalsvik)

Are Business Interests Giving Bad Advice to the Canadian Government on Climate Change?

by Larry Powell
If you enjoy this blog, please consider 
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Just click on the link below.
Thanks! - Larry
                                                                                                      

In 1988, the Government of Canada, under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, created The National 

Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE). 

  In laymen's terms, its duty was, and is, to advise Ottawa on ways of developing this country economically that won't destroy our environment or the hopes of future generations.

Just this month, NRTEE published (at least on first glance) a largely credible report on global warming , entitled "Degrees of Change" in the magazine, Canadian Geographic. It describes it as "The first comprehensive illustration of expected climate impacts published for Canada."

It lists several consequences, "some positive, most negative" which are expected across the country this century, "as climate change brings increasing temperatures and changing moisture levels."

Well, so far, so good. Many of the impacts documented in the report have been foreseen by most climate scientists for some time.

Most reasonable people might also find understandable, I think, the report's prediction that certain recreational pursuits, such as golf, might even benefit from a warming world.

But then, incredibly, the NRTEE adds, and these words lifted off the page for me, another example of a "positive" impact;

"[There will be] greater access to northern oil, gas and mineral resources."

"….greater access to oil, gas and mineral resources…..??"

Now just a moment! Could it be that this distinguished agency, presumably schooled in the climate sciences, is not aware that oil and gas resources are creating the climate crisis we are all facing now?

The International Panel on Climate Change, long recognized as the ultimate authority on the topic, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, said the following in its Fourth Assessment Report in 2007:

"The increases in global atmospheric CO2 since the industrial revolution are mainly due to CO2 emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels, gas flaring and cement production."

Carbon dioxide, of course, is the main greenhouse gas fuelling global warming.

For years now, it has been widely accepted by climate scientists everywhere that man-made emissions from the burning of oil and gas resources have been a leading contributor to our current crisis.

While there is no doubt NRTEE has to deal with "competing interests" in its deliberations, this does nothing less than fly in the face of modern, accepted and conventional wisdom and cannot be allowed to stand!

It is simply wrong-headed and stupid; Surely this is just another "out" Prime Minister Harper will latch onto and use as an excuse to continue in his dishonourable role as climate-denier to the world.

So just who are the people who make up NRTEE?

Several have strong business connections and political ties to the federal government. Could it be that their "pro-business" desire to make money is trumping their will to curb the disastrous consequences of global warming?

Before turning to academia (he now teaches at the University of Calgary), NRTEE's Chair, Robert Page, worked for the Calgary-based TransAlta Corporation. It describes itself as the largest, publicly-traded generator and marketer of electricity and renewable energy," in the country, with revenues into the billions.

According to the corporation's website, TransAlta places heavy emphasis on the development of alternative, renewable energy sources. While it already operates plants which run on gas and coal, it also runs several others on wind and hydro.

But if that Corporation is as committed to renewable energy as it claims, Mr. Page does not seem to have carried that commitment with him now that he heads the Round Table!

There is no mention in Degrees of Change of the importance of replacing conventional energy with alternative or sustainable sources, for example! None!

What his group does do is paint an unfortunate picture of fossil fuel resources, laid bare by melting ice, snow and permafrost, all driven by global warming, as an "opportunity" to perpetuate that very same dangerous cycle of global warming, indefinitely, into the future.

Reading between the lines, NRTEE members certainly seem more determined that we all "get use to" climate change than attack its root-causes.

According to NRTEE President and CEO David McLaughlin, “Adapt and prosper will be increasingly central to Canadian governments, communities, and businesses as these effects become more and more evident.”

So, sadly, a report that might have been a useful public policy tool to eventually help adapt, lessen and even solve our catastrophic climate crisis, has been reduced to a weapon which Captains of Industry can now wave around to justify business as usual.
====
COMMENTS:
mrspleats 
Isn't this always the case special interests we may say. Remember most politicians are not smart and do not know what 's going on so yes they are quick to believe anything from the source that polls the best or sounds the most convincing. Facts have no place.

Rated up

Keep on being a thinker!
 ========
Larry,

Thanks so much for alerting me to this and for your critical analysis. Far too little such analysis exists of the many problematic institutions like NRTEE. Sustainable development, Brian Mulroney's 'environmental' legacy, like the popular nebulous notion of sustainability itself are code words for what lies behind---continued economic (material) growth.

Vere Scott.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

What a Scientist Didn't Tell the New York Times About His Study on Bee Deaths

By Katherine Eban, Fortune - October 8'10
EDITOR'S NOTE: Please read this article carefully. It's yet another sordid tale of corporate dirty deeds and media sloppiness..scandalous in the extreme. Shame on you Bayer CropScience! Shame on you, New York Times! l.p. 




COMMENT:"A chemical company-Bayer-funds the research, and 'surprise'..the conclusion is:  bees are not dying off because of chemicals. Isn't that nice!" Margaret

Manitoba Funds Buy-Local Campaign

Manitoba Co-Operator - Staff - 10/19/2010 

Work on a "Buy Manitoba" branding campaign...

Friday, 22 October 2010

Have We Really Solved the Mystery Behind the Shocking Die-off of Bees?

Grist.org / By Tom Laskawy
The New York Times essentially called it 'case closed' on Colony Collapse Disorder, but there is good reason to be wary about their reporting.
 photo by l.p.
 EDITOR'S COMMENT: My sentiments exactly!  The degree to which media, even of the stature of the New York Times, seem prepared to bend over backwards to avoid singling out the role of pesticides, is truly disturbing. Even the group representing Canadian beekeepers seems engaged in the same game. The Bayers and Monsantos of this world truly do have powerful allies!  l.p.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Federal Government Failing to Enforce Laws in Oilsands

Simon Dyer — Pembina Institute - Oct. 20, 2010
You could be forgiven...


A thick layer of tar & a thin film of oil/bitumen
reflecting a late summer sunset on the Albian Sands Muskeg River Mine tar pond. Photo by beautifuldestruction.ca

Monday, 18 October 2010

Climate Change Hits Home (Video)

Latest Bee Loss Figures Show Canada Doing Better

by Larry Powell  

 The group representing beekeepers in this country says 21 percent of honey bee colonies in Canada were lost over the winter of 2009-10.

The Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA) says, of the 611,972 "over-wintered" colonies, 128,463 were dead or unproductive by spring. 

According to these latest CAPA figures, belatedly released just this past Friday, this represents 1.4x the long-term winter loss rate for Canada. 


The Association describes this as a substantial improvement over the previous three-year period during which losses averaged 32.6%.

CAPA credits beekeepers' effective use of mite control products in the improvement in colony losses. It adds, "extension professionals" also attribute such improvement to a new mite-control product called "Apivar," approved for use last fall.


CAPA tempers its optomitic message with this note of caution, however.

"Though encouraging, it is too early to determine whether this decline in mortality constitutes a sustained improvement in colony health."

 
Among the provinces, Nova Scotia recorded the highest losses, at 41.9%, while nearby Prince Edward Island had the lowest,  just 16.7%.


(My own province, Manitoba, lost 25.6% and the neighbouring province, Saskatchewan, 20.5%.)


One region of the country, Vancouver Island, however, recorded disastrous losses, way worse than the rest of the country. There, beekeepers lost up to 76% of their colonies! Some were wiped out, altogether!


CAPA notes that most beekeepers there used an anti-mite control which the mites may have developed resistance to.

Honeybee Disease - a Breakthrough?

OnEarth By Sharon Levy - October 7, 2010



After years of mystery, a team of researchers has undercovered new...


l.p. photo

Sunday, 17 October 2010

UN Forestry Plan Could Increase Logging, Advocates Warn

15 Oct '10 - by: Stacy Feldman - SolveClimate News 
l.p.photo
Forestry advocates are warning...

6 Revolting Breakfasts That Just Might Kill You Before Lunch

AlterNet / By Brad Reed - October 10, 2010 
From candy cereals to dead pigs piled onto biscuits, Americans start their days with some deadly concoctions. EDITOR'S NOTE" Not to be outdone by our American friends, Canada has now actually allowed Kentucky Fried Chicken to introduce an equally disgusting dish called the Double Down sandwich, into this country! That's progress! l.p. 
(Image, above,
provided by KFC)

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

It's Official: BPA is "Toxic" in Canada

Environmental Defence - 2010 October 13
As of Today, the 
Federal government formally adds BPA to the Toxic Substances List effective immediately

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Invasion of the Shoal Lakes

Wpg. Free Press - Laura Rance - 9/10/10

Overflowing bodies of water swallow up agricultural land in Manitoba

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Important Request

Dear Reader,

Would you like me to notify you via e-mail each time I post a new story here on my blog?


If you would, just email me at;

earthkeeperfarm@yahoo.ca
or
arny68@gmail.com

There is limited capacity for such notification, so please let me know a.s.a.p!


Your email address will be recorded anonymously for this purpose only. It will be removed immediately from the system if you no longer wish to be notified.

Keeper-of-the-blog, Larry Powell.

NASA Study Sees Earth's Water Cycle Pulse Quickening

Freshwater is flowing into Earth's ocean in greater….

"The Water Planet." This photo,
emphasizing the Earth's oceans
is courtesy of
Earth Observatory.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Argentina's "Roundup" Human Tragedy

Wednesday, October 6, 2010 9:15 AM
From:
The Institute of Science in Society - Science Society Sustainability
http://www.i-sis.org.uk

This article can be found on the I-SIS website at
http://www.i-sis.org.uk/argentinasRoundupHumanTragedy.php
========================================================
ISIS Report 06/10/10

Argentina's Roundup Human Tragedy
############################

Ten years of GM soy and glyphosate poisoning have escalated the rates of cancer and birth defects.
Claire Robinson

GM soy a death sentence for humans and the environment

Argentina has become a giant experiment in farming genetically modified (GM) Roundup Ready (RR) soy, engineered to be tolerant to Roundup, Monsanto’s formulation of the herbicide glyphosate. The Argentine government, eager to pull the country out of a deep economic recession in the 1990s, restructured its economy around GM soy grown for export, most of which goes to feed livestock in Europe. In 2009, GM soy was planted on 19 million hectares - over half of Argentina’s cultivated land - and sprayed with 200 million litres of glyphosate herbicide [1]. Spraying is often carried out from the air, causing problems of drift.

In 2002, two years after the first big harvests of RR soy in the country, residents and doctors in soy producing areas began reporting serious health effects from glyphosate spraying, including high rates of birth defects as well as infertility, stillbirths, miscarriages, and cancers [2]. Environmental effects include killed food crops and livestock and streams strewn with dead
fish [2, 3].

One of the first medical doctors to report problems from glyphosate spraying of GM soy was Dr Darío Gianfelici, from Cerrito, Entre Ríos, Argentina. According to Gianfelici, there are two levels of toxic effects from glyphosate: acute effects, such as vomiting, diarrhoea, respiratory problems, and skin rashes; and chronic effects, which take 10–20 years to show up. These include infertility
and cancer [4].

Gianfelici said [4]: “Our town experienced drastic changes before and after soy. I’ve seen people die from cancer at age 30. I have witnessed pregnancy problems and a significant increase in fertility problems. I have seen an increase in respiratory diseases, as has never been seen before.

“GM soy has been a death sentence for humans and for the environment. No money can compensate for the damage that has been caused – the contamination, the deaths, the cases of cancer and malformations.”

Scientists corroborate birth defects & threatened by organised mob

Reports of birth defects in glyphosate-sprayed areas of Argentina gained scientific credibility in 2009, when senior Argentine government scientist Prof. Andrés Carrasco went public with his research findings, fully published a year later [1], that glyphosate causes malformations in frog and chicken embryos at doses far lower than those used in agricultural spraying (see [5] Lab Study Establishes Glyphosate Link to Birth Defects, SiS 48). “The findings in the lab are compatible with malformations observed in humans exposed to glyphosate during pregnancy,” said Carrasco [6], “I suspect the toxicity classification of glyphosate is too low ... in some cases this can be a powerful poison.”

At a recent conference, Carrasco, professor and director of the Laboratory of Molecular Embryology, University of Buenos Aires Medical School and lead researcher of the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET), said a frequent result of malformations in human embryos is miscarriage. He said that it was now not unusual for women in GM soy producing regions of Argentina to have up to five miscarriages in a row [7].

The research findings of Carrasco and his colleagues were not welcomed by some sectors of government and industry. After he announced them, four people from Argentina’s crop protection trade association CASAFE were sent to try to search his laboratory and he was “seriously told off” by Lino Barrañao, Argentina’s science and technology minister [6].

Things took a violent turn in 2010, when an organized mob of thugs attacked people who gathered to hear Carrasco talk in La Leonesa, an agricultural town that has become a centre for activism against agrochemical spraying of soy and rice crops. Three people were seriously injured. Carrasco and a colleague shut themselves in a car and were surrounded by people making violent threats and beating the car for two hours [8]. Witnesses said the attack was organized by local officials and a local rice producer to protect the economic interests behind local agro-industry. Amnesty International has called for an investigation.

Revolutionary ruling bans agrochemical sprays

Based on Carrasco’s findings and other reports of health problems from spraying, the Environmental Lawyers Association of Argentina petitioned the Supreme Court of Argentina to ban the use of glyphosate (see [9] Glyphosate Herbicide Could Cause Birth Defects, SiS 43). But such is Argentina’s dependence on the GM soy farming model that Guillermo Cal, executive director of CASAFE, said [6] a ban would mean “we couldn’t do agriculture in Argentina”. In addition, the cash-strapped Argentine government relies heavily on tariffs levied on soy exports
and is protective of the industry.

No national ban on glyphosate has yet been implemented. But in March 2010, just months after the release of Carrasco’s findings, a lawsuit brought by sprayed residents resulted in a regional court banning the spraying of agrochemicals near populated areas of Santa Fe province [10]. The ruling was revolutionary in that it implemented the precautionary principle and reversed the burden of proof [11]. No longer do residents have to prove that agrochemical spraying causes
harm, but the government and soy producers have to prove it is safe.

Viviana Peralta, a housewife, instigated the lawsuit. She and her family were hospitalized following aerial spraying near her home. Her newborn baby had turned blue and Peralta herself suffered respiratory problems. Peralta said, “When I saw my baby like that, I said [11], “Enough. This cannot go on.” ”

State commission reports birth defects up fourfold in ten years

Shortly after the residents’ court victory, a commission of the provincial government of Chaco state reported that between 2000 and 2009, the rate of childhood cancers tripled in La Leonesa and the birth defects increased nearly fourfold over the entire province [12]. These staggering rises in disease coincided with the expansion of the agricultural frontier into Chaco province
and the resulting rise in agrochemical use. The commission identified the main problem as glyphosate and other agrochemicals applied to “transgenic crops, which require aerial and ground spraying (dusting) with agrochemicals”.

A member of the Chaco commission, who did not want to be identified due to the “tremendous pressures” they were under, said [13], “all those who signed the report are very experienced in the subject under study, but rice and soy planters are strongly pressuring the government. We don’t know how this will end, as there are many interests involved.”

Read the rest of this report here
http://www.i-sis.org.uk/argentinasRoundupHumanTragedy.php

Or read other articles about Glyphosate here
http://www.i-sis.org.uk/SS-glyphosate.php
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Joint Initiative Lays Out Physical Effects of Climate Change on Canada


The physical effects of climate change...