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Emissions from natural gas wells may travel far downwind E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 02 May 2015 15:42
Emissions from Natural Gas Wells May Travel Far Downwind
APRIL 30, 2015
Faye Levine 301-405-0379
Lee Tune 301-405-4679
active-wells.png (820×433)
New UMD study sees steep rise in ethane accompanying the rise in fracking
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Emissions linked to hydraulic fracturing, the method of drilling for natural gas commonly known as “fracking,” can be detected hundreds of miles away in states that that forbid or strictly control the practice, according to a UMD study published in the journal Atmospheric Environment. The study is among the latest data presented in the ongoing debate over fracking’s long-term effects on the environment.
The team used years’ worth of hourly measurements from photochemical assessment monitoring stations (PAMS) in the Baltimore, Md., and Washington, D.C., areas to identify the sources of organic carbons in the region’s air. Starting in 2010, the data didn’t seem to make sense.
How Forest Fragmentation Threatens Biodiversity E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 01 May 2015 09:17





Zion National Park. Photo credit: Joe Parks / Flickr



Zion National Park. Photo credit: Joe Parks / Flickr

The U.S. currently has 59 national parks, protecting more than 210,000 square miles of land with several more public lands being preserved on state and local levels. Very few national parks are large enough to contain ecosystems. Problems such as greenhouse gases,climate change, industrial fumes, the extent of land development and their environmental impacts were not envisioned when most of their borders were first enacted


The physical boundaries of these public lands are not enough to protect their ecosystems from exterior influences. The National Parks are not islands. They have intimate connections to our lives. They are sources of clean air, clean water and untouched forests that thousands of species, including our own, depend on. New studies reveal that our public lands are too fragmented and small to sufficiently protect the biodiversity of the U.S.

A recent studyHabitat Fragmentation and Its Lasting Impact on Earth’s Ecosystems—on habitat fragmentation came to some startling conclusions for our country’s ecosystems, many of which our public lands were enacted to protect and conserve. The study conducted by some of the leading ecologists in the world focused on long term habitat fragmentation experiments in several different continents. They discovered that 70 percent of the existing forestlands in the world are within .5 mile of the forest’s edge, making them susceptible to suburban, urban and agricultural influences that continue to intrude further into forests everyday. These influences were found to reduce diversity of life by 13 to 75 percent in all areas studied, with the percentage increasing the closer the habitat to the edge. In fragmented habitats, within 20 years nearly half of all species are lost and this downward trend continues over time.

The leading author of the study, Dr. Nick Haddad of North Carolina explains, “Large public lands like national parks are critical for conservation, but not sufficient. Larger connected areas of land need to be conserved. The scope and scale of land needed to protect and preserve a variety of biodiversity is well beyond the area that the national parks encompass. Ideally, it would be great to enlarge national parks, but more realistically the size needed to protect biodiversity should connect other protected areas in conjunction with national parks.”

Haddad used the Yellowstone to Yukon corridor as an example. He states, “The 1,800 miles of lands stringed together consist of several national parks and other protected lands, creating a superhighway for wildlife to flourish. With human population increasing and the resources those increases call for, there is a greater need for more conservation against these pressures. We need to take advantage of the parks and other public lands, think outside their boundaries to create resilience and resist the negative changes of a shrinking wilderness.”

A co-author of the paper published on Habitat Fragmentation, Clinton Jenkins, also published a paper on April 2, U.S. Protected lands mismatch biodiversity priorities. Many areas with high concentrations of biodiversity in the U.S. are inadequately protected and conserved, especially when it comes to protecting unique species to specific geographical areas. “Most species are very small and endemic to very small geographical areas. These rare, narrowly distributed species, most often fish, reptiles, amphibians, are often overlooked when it comes to conservation,” said Jenkins.

The study found that the most endemic rich states in the continental U.S. exist in the southeast and despite consisting of 10.8 percent of the land area of the country, only 7.8 percent of the country’s land easements exist in these regions. Some priority areas cited are the middle to southern blue ridge mountains of North Carolina, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Florida panhandle and Florida keys among several others. According to the paper, habitat loss is the primary threat to the survival of a species, and the lands being conserved in the U.S. are not geographically configured to distribution of endemic and vulnerable species.


Jenkins states, “It is a biological defined trend that heavily fragmented habitats are too small to thrive in the long term. Multiple strategies to connect these priority areas need to be implemented such as better land management and more incentives to private landowners for conservation. Financial resources are most often directed to the most convenient areas to conserve or where the funding originated rather than what makes the most sense in protecting biodiversity. By redirecting the financial resources available to conservation to connect endemic rich areas large enough to protect ecosystems, it will make it much cheaper and easier to maintain those areas.”



Last Updated on Friday, 01 May 2015 09:23
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 01 May 2015 07:50

Share this Victoria May Day Schedule

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Join us for a March and Rally with speakers

Invite and Join the Facebook Event

May 1st is set aside in most countries around the world as International Labour Day.  The Victoria May Day Committee together with CUPE Locals, International Solidarity groups, IWW and the Work Less Party of BC continues to work towards a meaningful marking of this occasion and its importance to the international working class. 

May Day celebrates the social and economic achievements of the international labour movement and promotes social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights.

Share links http://vmdc.ca or the Facebook event

This year we will be gathering at the Tourist Info Office @ 4:00pm,
812 Wharf Street and Government St with live music, information and march to Centennial Square for food starting at 5pm

Music:  Nedjo Rogers, Art Farquharson, John Shaw.





Moussa Magassa

UVic Human Rights Office


Abbas Mohammadi

Worker’s Communist Party of Iran longtime, activist in labour and human rights.

Carlos Flores

Canadian Union of Public Employees and member of the Central American Support Committee.

Tyson Strandlund

Young Communist League

Roisin Lyder

Student at University of Victoria




Event Following Centennial Square Festival and March

7pm FRIDAY, MAY 1st
2994 DOUGLAS ST, Victoria


Guest Speakers: 
Javier Dómokos Ruiz, Consul General of the republic of Cuba in Toronto &
Merli Vanegas, Consul General of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Vancouver.

Campaign Against Glyphosate Steps Up in Latin America E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 06:40


Glyphosate spraying of illegal drug crops has caused environmental damage in Colombia’s rainforest. Credit: Public domain

BUENOS AIRES, Apr 28 2015 (IPS) - After the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared glyphosate a probable carcinogen, the campaign has intensified in Latin America to ban the herbicide, which is employed on a massive scale on transgenic crops.

In a Mar. 20 publication, the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reported that the world’s most widely used herbicide is probably carcinogenic to humans, a conclusion that was based on numerous studies.

Social organisations and scientific researchers in Latin America argue that thanks to the report by the WHO’s cancer research arm, governments no longer have an excuse not to intervene, after years of research on the damage caused by glyphosate to health and the environment at a regional and global level.

The U.N. at 70: A Time for Compliance E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 27 April 2015 11:52

By Dr. Joan Russow and Lori Johnston



Dr. Joan Russow is Founder of the Global Compliance Research Project, and Lori Johnston (Yamasi) is Chair of the Southeast  Indigenous Peoples' Center.

If states comply with these many instruments, the global community will have more respect for the rule of international law, and more faith in the United Nations, including for the compliance with and implementation of the SDGs. Credit: UN Photo/Joao Araujo Pinto

If states comply with these many instruments, the global community will have more respect for the rule of international law, and more faith in the United Nations, including for the compliance with and implementation of the SDGs. Credit: UN Photo/Joao Araujo Pinto

VICTORIA, British Columbia, Canada , Apr 27 2015 (IPS) - At key anniversaries of the U.N., there have been calls for compliance with international instruments.

In 1995, Secretary-General Boutros Boutrous-Ghali indicated support at the 50th anniversary of the U.N., in San Francisco, and, at the 55th Anniversary, Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged states to sign and ratify international instruments.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 April 2015 17:16
Nepal disaster; the need for prevention and adherence to the precautionary principle – a message that must be heeded by the global community. E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 27 April 2015 11:22
By Joan Russow, Global Compliance Research Project
When earthquakes happen, there is always a question of how they could have been prevented.  Nepali journalist Kunda Dixit, emphasized there has been post-disaster relief instead of preventive measures.  In Nepal,  many of the measures did not happen because lack of funds.  http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/04/nepals-predictable-tragedy/391496/ 
In other parts of the world, however, preventive measures are not taken because of  vested economic interests. 
Even when there is almost scientific certainty that fracking has been linked to earthquakes, precaution is ignored.
Tailings Ponds Pose a Threat to Chilean Communities E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 27 April 2015 07:08

By Marianela Jarroud

The Ojancos tailings dam abandoned by the Sali Hochschild mining company, which spilled toxic waste after the late March thunderstorm that caused flooding in northern Chile. The waste reached the Copiapó river and the water supply on the outskirts of the city of Copiapó. Credit: Courtesy Relaves.org

The Ojancos tailings dam abandoned by the Sali Hochschild mining company, which spilled toxic waste after the late March thunderstorm that caused flooding in northern Chile. The waste reached the Copiapó river and the water supply on the outskirts of the city of Copiapó. Credit: Courtesy Relaves.org

SANTIAGO, Apr 21 2015 (IPS) - Chile lives under the constant threat of spillage from tailings ponds, which became even more marked in late March after heavy rains fell in the desert region of Atacama leaving over two dozen people dead and missing and thousands without a home.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 April 2015 07:23
15th Annual Earth walk for peace and the PLanet E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 25 April 2015 06:11


Join this year's
Earth Walk for Peace and the Planet

Saturday, April 25, 11:00 am
Gather at the Legislature Lawns
Victoria, Coast Salish territory

Join the parade led by Samba du Soleil to Centennial Square, for live music including Marimba Mufaro, speakers and festivities! Bring your banners, signs, flags and flowers. Drums, noisemakers, puppets and people younger and older are welcome and encouraged to participate!
Together, let's proclaim our commitment to a peaceful world that respects ecological systems and the communities they sustain!
All Welcome! 

Join and Share on Facebook
Last Updated on Saturday, 25 April 2015 13:19
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 23 April 2015 10:32

 Canadians have a choice when it comes to fighting global warming, but true change can't be achieved by tar sands expansion






APRIL 14, 2015

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 April 2015 10:40
Why is Harper Selling Canada's Fresh Water Supply to French Companies? E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 23 April 2015 09:38

by Maud Barlow, national Chair, Council of Canadians

Posted: Updated: 


Prime Minister Harper has just signed the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and Canadians who care about our freshwater heritage should be deeply concerned for three reasons.

First, the massive increase in beef and pork exports that have been negotiated will put a terrible strain on our water supplies. Beef producers can now export close to 70,000 tonnes of beef to Europe and an undisclosed but higher amount of pork. Meat production is highly water intensive. It takes over 15 million litres of water to produce one tonne of beef, for example.

Bt Brinjal Fails Two Years Running Risks Spreading Disease E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 20 April 2015 09:21

by Dr Mae-Wan Ho

Bt brinjal varieties planted all over the country die from disease prematurely or fail to fruit, and fail to protect against target pest; a moratorium must now be imposed as a matter of utmost urgency to prevent the spread of new disease to indigenous varieties




Bt brinjal force-commercialized in 2014 resulting in disastrous crop failures

Genetically modified (GM) Bt brinjal was introduced to Bangladesh and rapidly approved for commercial growing despite widespread protest. Brinjal (eggplant or aubergine) is one of Bangladesh’s most important crops both for home consumption and export, making the cultivation of Bt brinjal a huge environmental, health and economic risk. More seriously, the region is a centre of origin and genetic diversity for brinjal, and should be protected from genetic contamination according to the UN Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. India had imposed a moratorium on its cultivation after fierce opposition from civil society groups, top scientists, state governments, as well as citizens and environmental organizations. The cultivation in Bangladesh has drawn similar controversy, with 100 civil society organisations writing to the country’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in protest (see [1] Don’t Grow Bt BrinjalSiS 61). A pilot scheme for commercial cultivation was introduced in 2014, and brought disastrous results, with at least 9 out of 20 farmers reporting crop failures ([2] Bangladeshi Bt Brinjal Pilot Scheme FailedSiS 63).

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