Monthly Archives: May 2015

  • Leaked report says a ban on bee-killing pesticides will have little impact on industry

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    Filed in Ecosystems, Wildlife & Biodiversity , Environment & Climate , on by Sierra Club Canada

    A leaked report from Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) will make banning bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides a lot easier.

    An economic analysis of the use of neonicotinoids on soy and corn crops shows a very tiny benefit to a very few farmers. Corn growers in some parts of Ontario may be seeing an economic benefit of only 3.6% while soy planters see almost no benefit (0.4%). These numbers are orders of magnitude lower than the doomsday predictions of the agro-chemical industry.

    “Banning neonicotinoid pesticides will have almost no impact on corn and soy production, and the vast majority of farmers will actually make more money not using them,” said John Bennett, National Program Director, Sierra Club Canada Foundation.

    Read the full story and news release on the Sierra Club Canada website: http://www.sierraclub.ca/en/Bee-Math

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  • You, Me, And The Sea

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    Filed in Ecosystems, Wildlife & Biodiversity , Environment & Climate , on by Worldwatch Institute

    You’re going snorkeling along a coral reef. This is biodiversity on over-drive: Every square centimeter is covered with hundreds of little creatures. You see millions upon millions of tentacle-rimmed mouths—each feeding a tiny individual coral polyp—guarded savagely by resident crabs, fish, and shrimp. Right next door, a myriad of other coral species, with added choice residents and predators, sway in the waves. Algae—the sugar-producing pals of corals—grow in and around these polyps, exchanging sugars, oxygen, and other nice things.

    Long story short, even if you spent your entire life only looking at coral reefs, you’d see tens of thousands of species.

    But coral reefs are in danger. Many have died completely. Seventy five percent of the remaining coral reefs are threatened. And why does any of this even matter in the first place? Because without coral reefs, we’re in deep, deep trouble.

    The obvious problem is that losing coral reefs means losing sea turtles, mollusks, and one third of fish species. Less obvious is the danger we are causing our own wellbeing: even though coral reefs cover less than 1 percent of the Earth’s surface, they provide goods and services worth USD 375 billion each year!

    In some countries, one out of four fish catches depends on coral reefs, providing food for tens of millions of people. ... Read More