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The Bulletins are a constantly updated source of information, mainly from newspapers, about environmental and cultural developments around the planet.

The Bulletins have been going since the summer of 2001. I posted a few pages of them and gradually amassed a backlog of four cardboard boxes of clips and snippets, mainly from the Montréal Gazette, but also from the New York Times and various magazines and books. I didn’t have time to get to them. In the summer of 2005, Sam Solomon, soon to enter his last year at Bishop’s College in the eastern townships, came to the rescue, posting chronologically and by category maybe a three-inch stack of them. Sam was the editor of the college paper, and since graduating has gone on to a career in journalism. He is now the managing editor of The National Review of Medicine, a Montreal-based on-line news magazine for Canadian doctors.

There still remained approximately 45 inches to go. In March of the following year, 2006, I addressed the Protected Areas course of Dr. Karen Richardson at the geography department of McGill University, and I must have been in good form, because three of the students volunteered to further whittle down the towering stack. Alexandra Rainsford, an exchange student from Australia, immediately tackled a telephone-book-thick pile of them, and was soon followed by Erin Duggan, a senior from Massachusetts. These brave girls were immersed in their respective heaps until the end of May, when they departed into the “real” world, Alexandra to join her boyfriend in Hong Kong and to look for work as a teacher, and Erin to work for a mining monitoring N.G.O. in Fairbanks, Alaska. That summer, Nina Berryman took on the remainder. Nina was assisting a professor who was measuring the biosphere/atmosphere interface– the gases being emitted and absorbed by a bog that had pitcher plants– and was going to be looking for an environmental job in the fall.

There were still hundreds of bulletins to be redacted, and another box had accumulated by the time I returned to Karen Richardson’s class in March of 2007. This time five students volunteered as interns. Marylise Lefèvre, a thirty-year-old French woman from a small village in the Val d’Oise, near Paris, had a lot of hand-on experience in field biology and was finally getting around to getting her academic credentials. She had been an intern with the wildlife services of Kenya and Uganda in wildlife management in their national parks, then helped habituate mountain gorillas to tourists in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda’s southwest corner, then helped with the release of captive-bred California condor chicks in Big Sur, California, then helped reintroduce to the wild chimps that had been poached from the wild. Many were destined for zoos or pets stores in the West and were confiscated at the airport in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo. Then she went to the Morocco to set up the protocol for releasing Houbara bustards, the species used for falconry, at the desert ecology field station in Irashidia. Then she went to the State University of New Paltz and studied with the legendary bird of prey expert, Heinz Meng, and from there she transferred to McGill. This summer, after handing in her bulletins, she is tracking migratory Atlantic Salmon for the Atlantic Salmon Federation on the Rivière Saint Jean, in remote eastern Quebec. She is catching salmon returning to spawn (see the Dispatch on the Caspedia River on the Gaspé Peninsula) and estimating their numbers and implanting “acoustic tags,” computer chips that will enable their movements at sea to be monitored. A prize catch herself, Marylise hopes to return to the Dispatches in the fall. Some of her bulletins are in French, gleaned from Le Monde and other sources.

Jennie Creed and Terri Alderfer also did superb jobs redacting their stacks. Jennie is trying to land a job in conservation in Africa, and Terri is interning at Philadelphia style magazine and planning to be a journalist. Then Emilie Doran tackled a bunch more. Emilie tells she is “French-American, a ‘third-culture kid’ of sorts, having lived in Europe, the Middle East, Canada, and Central America. I am a recent McGill graduate, I hold a BA Hon in Latin American/Caribbean Studies, and I am currently pursuing a Diploma in Environment, also from McGill University. My interests include wildlife conservation, sustainable development, music, volleyball, snorkeling, and backpacking/travelling adventures.” Here is a photo of her – which there will hopefully be of all our interns from now on.

At the end of each bulletin, the source and date, if available, appears, along with the initials of its redactor, i.e. ED for Erin Duggan, AR for Alexandra Rainsford, SS for Sam Solomon, NB for Nina Berryman, ML for Marylise Lefèvre, JC for Jennie Creed, TA for Terri Alderfer, EmD for Emilie Doran, and AS for moi.

To the reader: you can scroll the categories, and do a search for the ones you’re interested in, or just start reading.

Format for Bulletins is as follows:
Bulletin text
Redactor’s initials
Source
CATEGORY and subcategories as needed

Categories:

Addiction
Animal Awareness
Animal Behaviour
Arachnids
Archeology
Arctic
Bactericide
Biodiversity
Biodiversity Conservation
Birds
Biodiesel
Burkina Faso
Canada
Cannabis
Carbon Footprint
Congo
Connections and disparities
Consumerism
Consumption
Corporations
Crime
Cults
Cultural Diversity
David Suzuki
Deforestation
Diabetes
Disparities
Ecoterrorists
Ecotourism
Ecomartyrs
Energy
Environmental Awareness
Ethnic conflict
Evolution
Extinction
Fiction
Fish
Food for thought/Musings
Foundations and Grants
Gender
Geology
Globalization
Global warming
Gore, Al
Human Personalities
Human Rights
Health
Hydroelectricity
Immigrants
Infectious diseases
Insects
Kinship
Languages
Literacy
Literature
Lives of the naturalists
Mammals
Media
Mineral Consumerism
Mining
Modern grid
Modern culture
Mushrooms
Music
Nature
Neuroscience
Nutrition
Oceans
Oil
Ozone
Paleoanthopology
Paleontology
Paper Industry
Pesticides
Poaching
Pollution
Pope
Population
Quebec
Religion
Rainforest
Sexual Slavery
Slavery
Somalia
Solutions
Survival tips for the traveler
Tourism
Traditional Culture
Traditional People
Trees
Uganda
USA
Waste
Water
Women’s Rights

Addiction
China opened a clinic for internet addiction in Beijing. One psychiatrist there estimates that “up to 2.5 million Chinese suffer from internet addiction,” but one Renmin University (Beijing) professor claims that those people had addictive personalities and thus would otherwise have been addicted to something else if they had not become addicted to the internet.
SS
Audra Ang, Associated Press – July 4, 2005
ADDICTION
Modern Culture
Internet

The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry published a report revealing details about internet addiction, its causes, and its consequences. The internet may serve as a “tonic for people with inner conflicts …[and] psychological distress rooted in their personality.” Some significant consequence of internet addiction appears to be a worsening of social relationships, and greater rates of “paranoia, depression, irritability, impulsiveness, anxiety, phobias,” and more.
SS
Ian MacLeod, Canwest – June 15, 2005
ADDICTION
Modern Culture
Internet

Researchers have developed a possible agent to block addictions to drugs such as nicotine and marijuana: a synthetic peptide that interacts with the receptors that excite the cells responsible for signaling pleasure. The effects have only been tested on rats thus far and researchers are concerned that the peptide could block natural highs as well. No side effects have been noted yet.
ED
Janet French, The Gazette, Montreal.
ADDICTION – cannabis, tobacco
Animal Awareness
Philosophers and biologists share views on the origins of morality. Humans inherited their moral rules from social animals like monkeys. More controversially, these moral rules have had to be shaped by emotional patterns also visible in non-human primates. For instance, consolation (which requires empathy) is a common trait of great apes and humans but is absent in monkeys. Social animals practice a certain social order with rules in which hostilities within the group is managed to keep the community stronger when facing danger or attacks by other groups. These traits are the common precursors of human moralities.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – j10 –24 March 2007 – Nicholas Wade
ANIMAL AWARENESS
Animal Behaviour
Contrary to the popular belief that a genetic bound links moms to their offspring, the reality is not so evident in the natural world. A mom will defend her kids to death, yes– but not all of her kids. It has been observed in pandas, emperor penguins, hens and eagles: mothers often give birth to two but she really meant to spend the energy on one, the other is a spare just in case something bad happens to the ‘chosen one’.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – j10 –13 May 2006 – Natalie Angier
ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR
Parenting

Arachnids
Males and females jumping spiders need UV light to be “turned on,” according to a study published in Science. UV lights make the markings on the spider’s body glow, which stimulates courtship.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A20 – 26 January 2007
ARACHNIDS

Archaeology

Radiocarbon dating suggests that the dispersal of modern Homo Sapiens was more rapid than previously thought. This means that there was less contact with Neanderthals, about 6,000 years. These changes in theory can lead to a breakthrough in our understanding of this time period in prehistory.
ED
John Nobel Wilford, The Gazette, Montreal, February 23, 2006, p. A4
ARCHAEOLOGY – Paleontology

The oldest moccasin to date was found in a forested area inhabited by the Athapaskan people. It is from circa AD 560. Most clothing and footwear discovered are not more than a couple centuries old.
ED
Tom Spears, The Gazette, Montreal, February 22, 2006 – p. A9
ARCHAEOLOGY – Athabaskans

A Vancouver Island sea cave may support a new theory of human migration to the Americas. Discoveries of an ancient mountain goat’s bones inside the raised sea cave have added weight to the theory that the first human migration to the Americas happened more than 16,000 years ago, at least 40 centuries earlier than most textbooks teach. Researcher Majid Al-Suwaidi says that until you actually find your arrowhead or human skull, there’s always going to be people who say you aren’t proving anything. You’re just showing that the environment was OK, but that doesn’t mean humans traveled down there.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal. October 17, 2003
Randy Boswell
ARCHAEOLOGY
Paleo Migration
During the 1991 Gulf War, U.S. bombs destroyed or damaged some of the 10,000 archeological sites throughout Iraq. U.S. and Iraqi archeologists are concerned that another assault will ruin yet more of humanity’s treasures. Archaeological sites are scattered throughout Iraq, many unmarked or unexcavated.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal. January 27, 2003
Elizabeth Neuffer
ARCHAEOLOGY
Destruction of cultural heritage
A Russian discovery of a 30,000 year old encampment in Siberia is being hailed as ironclad proof Stone Age humans were living in Arctic environments at least 10,000 years earlier than previously believed. The latest evidence seriously bolsters the case humans crossed the Bering land bridge, which once connected Asia and North America, well before the end of the last ice age.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal.
Randy Boswell, Canwest News Service
ARCHAEOLOGY
Paleo Migration

The remains of those taken from the northern end of the Queen Charlotte Islands, native peoples known as Haida Gwaii, were reburied in Old Massett on Graham Island. The repatriation brings to an end, almost, an eight-year campaign by the Haida to have their ancestors brought home. The bones had spent 100 years packed away in the Field Museum of Natural History, where they were taken after anthropologists scooped them up many years ago.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal.
ARCHAEOLOGY
Native People
A Toronto architect has found distinctly man made structures in Nova Scotia that archeologists world wide are agreeing could be an ancient Chinese fortress.
ED
Randy Boswell, The Gazette, Montreal, p. A14
ARCHAEOLOGY

Arctic

A warming Arctic Ocean and melting polar ice caps are changing the conditions in Inuit lands. These delicate and interconnected ecosystems of the Arctic are showing signs of unbalance. Sea ice is becoming dangerously thin, and migration patterns are changing, introducing never-before seen creatures in the north, such as dolphins, finches, and robins.

EmD

The Gazette. Beth Duff-Brown (Associated Press). April 16, 2007.

ARCTIC
Global Warming

90 percent of lead accumulated in Devon Island snow and ice in the past decade was generated by human activities. This pristine Arctic island is subjected to a massive lead burden, a potent neurotoxin. This shows that lead contamination is not yet over.
ED
Margaret Munro, The Gazette, Montreal, February 6, 2006 – p. A11
ARCTIC – air pollution
Lead

A federal permafrost specialist says methane, one of the most potent gases associated with global warming, is bubbling out of mud volcanoes on the floor of the Beaufort Sea. Scientists do not know how much is being released, if the rate of release is increasing, or what the impact will be on the atmosphere. Polar ice has been shrinking at a rate of about 74,000 square kilometers annually for the past 30 years, and Arctic ice is withdrawing so fast that some scientists predict that by 2050 it may be non-existent in summer. There is little anyone can do for the animals and other life forms that will be stranded as Arctic temperatures climb.
TA
Margaret Munro, Canwest News Service, The Gazette, Montreal, March 8, 2006
ARCTIC – Global Warming

A University of Calgary geology professor discovered a sulphur-spewing spring in the High Arctic. The secrets to its existence could help scientists searching for proof of life on other planets because there is life within the ice and beneath the ice, which could lead to uncovering what rests below the ice-covered surface of Jupiter’s second moon, Europa.
TA
Renata D’Aliesio, Canwest News Service, The Gazette, Montreal, June 14, 2006
ARCTIC – Extraterrestrial Life

Bactericide

Triclocarbon is an antibacterial compound that has been used in soaps and cosmetics for years. Half a million kilograms of it are produced each year. John Hopkins scientists have detected it in sludge at a wastewater treatment plant. This sludge is often spread on agricultural land and Triclocarban might persist in the soil and accumulate in crops. Little is known about its effects but it is inadvertently being spread on fields and no one knows the impacts it might have.
JC
The Montreal Gazette, May 27, 2006
BACTERICIDE
Waste

Biodiesel
If Quebec Environment Minister Thomas Muclair has his way, Montreal city buses will be running in 2004 on an environmentally friendly mixture of conventional diesel fuel and biodiesel made of vegetable oil, recycled cooking oil and animal fat. MTC buses do not have to be adjusted in any way to burn biodiesel.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal. May 28, 2003
Levon Sevunts
BIODIESEL

The sustainability of EU green fuel targets has been called into question. The EU agreement to use 10% biofuel for transport by 2020, which aims to cut CO2 emissions, may have the unintended consequences of accelerating rainforest destruction in South East Asia. Plant-based fuel use is expected to increase by at least 10 times before 2010, increasing pressure on tropical forests and peat lands.

EmD

The Gazette. Bruno Waterfield (London Daily Telegraph). April 27, 2007. A3.

BIODIESEL

Rainforests
Biodiversity

Israeli scientists have discovered an ancient ecosystem containing eight previously unknown species in a lake inside a cave near the city of Ramallah, where they were sheltered from the outside world for millions of years. The species discovered were of the crustacean and invertebrate variety and were found 100 metres below ground in a limestone quarry, where some similar to scorpions and shrimp inhabit an underground lake. Unlike most animals, the newly discovered species live in a small, independent, self-sustaining ecosystem.
TA
Aron Heller, Associated Press, The Gazette, Montreal, June 2, 2006
BIODIVERSITY – New Species
A new species thought to have vanished 60 million years ago was found 400 meters below in the Coral Sea off the Chesterfield Island, near New Caledonia. This living fossil is 12 cm long and is half shrimp half lobster with big eyes.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – 20 May 2006
BIODIVERSITY
New species

Picobiliphyte. That’s the name of a new species of algae discovered in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans and Greenland Sea. Located at the bottom of the food chain, this new species may be crucial for supporting life in the Arctic.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A9 –12 January 2007 – Charlie Fidelman
BIODIVERSITY
New species
Oceans

While researching the scalloped hammerhead shark, scientists discovered a new species of shark. Referred to as the “cryptic species,” it is only different from the scalloped hammerhead at the mitochondrial DNA level. The new species is believed to be at risk of extinction as it is only known to exist off the coast of South Carolina.
NB
The Gazette, Montreal, June 17, 2006, p. J11
BIODIVERSITY
New Species
Sharks

The WWF states that the Bluefin tuna is at risk of extinction and calls for a ban on all catches of the fish. According to WWF, catches are 40% larger than the legal quota, and fishing has expanded to the western Mediterranean, which is one of the last breeding areas for the species.
NB
The Gazette, Montreal, July 5, 2006, p. A15
BIODIVERSITY
Extinction
Marine Life
Tuna Fish

The Mekong River in Laos has recently become more popular with foreign tourists. Kayaking down the river reveals temples in an ancient town. Previously the area has been difficult to travel to as a result of Chinese authorities. Such areas are threatened by the construction of future damns upriver. Unlike other touristic areas, the Mekong has working markets that are not just tourist traps. The Mekong historically has evaded colonists’ attempts of commercialization, but some people are worried today, especially as development upriver seem to be affected local species diversity.
NB
Joshua Kurlantzick, The Gazette, Montreal, April 18, 2006, p. K1
BIODIVERSITY
Scientists discovered an untouched paradise full of previously undocumented species in one of Indonesia’s most remote provinces. They saw mammals hunted to near extinction, and new species of flora and fauna. The area is protected because of small population in the area, national fighting, and its remote access.
ED
Robin McDowell, The Gazette, Montreal, February 8, 2006 – p. A19
BIODIVERSITY – New species

The snakehead fish, an introduced invader from Asia, has reappeared in Maryland. The fish hasn’t been seen in the area since 2002 when the state of Maryland had to poison a pond in Crofton to prevent snakeheads from wriggling away. The fish has been known to breathe out of water and scoot short distances over land. Authorities will drain the five-acre lake to ensure no more snakeheads are there. Native fish will be captured first and reintroduced when the lake fills again. Experts say that if released into a pond, the snakehead instantly becomes the top of the food chain and can clean out a pond of native fish.
AR
David. A. Farenthold, The Gazette, Montreal, April 29 2004
BIODIVERSITY
Introduced Species

A new species of whale has been discovered, as long a s a city bus in the Indian Ocean and Sea Of Japan. Caught by whalers off the coast, the skeleton, blubber and various organs were sent to biologist Tadasu Yamada at the national Science museum in Tokyo for analysis. Caught years ago, the cadavers have been examined by scientists and have now gone public with the assertion that this is a whole new species of whale. Estimates of the number of the Earth’s species yet to be discovered vary widely but are all high.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal. November 20, 2003
Tom Spears, Canwest News Service
BIODIVERSITY
New Species
Whales

Japanese scientists say a new species of whale is found, called Balenoptera omurai. The scientists said the whale differed from other species in a jawbone, DNA and baleen.
Japan conducts research whaling, and the new findings result partly from that pursuit.
AR
The New York Times, November 20, 2003.
James Gorman
BIODIVERSITY
New Species
Whale

McGill University PhD student Sara Lourie found a new species of seahorse in the deep waters of the Flores Sea off Indonesia. As one of the world’s leading seahorse experts, Laurie proclaimed it the world’s 33rd species of seahorse, in an article published in the Taiwanese journal Zoological Studies.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal. May 10, 2003
John Mackie, Canwest News Service
BIODIVERSITY
New Species
Coral Reefs

The state of Maryland has declared victory over its war on snakeheads. After a final round of tests this month at a rural Maryland pond found no trace of the fish, the Maryland wildlife officials said they plan to ask the state to tighten standards and scrutiny of snakeheads and other predators.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal
BIODIVERSITY
Introduced Species

Hunters journey to Kyrgyztan to pursue rare mountain goats and so-called Marco Polo sheep, along with Siberian antelope, wolves and pheasants
AR
(No date, author or source)
Hunting
BIODIVERSITY

Biodiversity Conservation

Conservationists are designing wildlife corridors in the Rockies that allow animals to roam and reproduce. A highway running through Banff National Park and its associated development could prove to be an environmental disaster. Zoologist Paul Paquet doesn’t want to remove the roads but to mitigate their effects. He wants to create a sustainable environment from the Yukon to Yellowstone Park (Y2Y). Participants of the Y2Y designed overpasses and underpasses to help animals cross the roads safely. They are trying to achieve the goal of functional connectivity between wildlife habitats.
JC
Cornelia Dean, The Montreal Gazette, May 27, 2006
BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
Wildlife Corridors
Maasai tribesmen have gained access to Amboseli National Park to provide their cattle grazing land and water. These domesticated animals will now compete with the mega-fauna the park currently aims to protect. Ongoing droughts already force wildlife into human settlements in search of water, creating conflict. Allowing the Maasai into the area could exacerbate tensions.
ED
Rodrique Ngowi, The Gazette, Montreal, February 15, 2006 – p. A16
BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION – protected areas
Maasai

Number of Spiny Softshell Turtles remaining in Quebec: less than 100. Number of acres of Spiny Softshell Turtle habitat protected by NCC-Quebec: 400. Number of baby turtles successfully hatched through recovery program in 2003: 56.
SS
The Globe & Mail, Toronto – June 24, 2005
BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
Reptiles and amphibians
Endangered species

Percentage of Canada’s tall grass prairie remaining today: less than 0.5%.
Number of plant and animal species found in the tall grass prairie: more than 50%.
Number of acres of the tall grass prairie protected by NCC and partners: 15,000
SS
The Globe & Mail, Toronto – June 24, 2005
BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION

Percentage of Canada’s threatened and endangered species found in “Carolinian Canada,” in the far south of Ontario: 33%. Number of species lost from this area since European settlement: more than 45. Number of acres protected in this area by NCC: more than 15,000.
SS
The Globe & Mail, Toronto – June 24, 2005
BIODIVERSTIY CONSERVATION
Endangered species

Three rare pygmy elephants were decapitated in Malaysia in a seven-month period. Herds of the elephants, whose habitat is being destroyed by commercial farming, are sometimes responsible for destroying crops. The killers face five years in jail and a fine, under wildlife protection laws. The pygmy elephant lives only in the rainforests of Borneo Island.
SS
Associated Press, reproduced in The Gazette, Montreal – June 12, 2005
BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
Endangered species

Agreement on protecting the Giant Sequoia National Monument in California has been reached, but just how to do this is an ongoing question. The national forest is home to a wide array of plant life and rare animal species. Art Gaffrey is the supervisor of the 1.2 million acres forest and his goal is to return the forest to something resembling its condition before loggers and ranchers denuded much of the area, beginning in the mid-19th century. Plans to have prescribed burns to remove underbrush, small trees and downed logs that feed forest fires, are accompanied by plans to permit the cutting of trees up to 30 inches in diameter, to allow more light to reach the forest floor and provide breaks to slow fires. Environmentalist groups oppose the removal of any trees, maintaining that controlled fires, not logging, is the soundest and most natural way to reclaim the forest.
AR
The New York Times, June 11, 2003.
John M. Broder
BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
Forest Conservation
Sequoias

A global crisis meeting to save the great apes from extinction opens in Paris this week as conservationists warm that gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans are disappearing even from two dozen protected areas in Africa and southeast Asia. The gathering will see the United Nations launch a $25 million appeal, their biggest ever to save the great apes, which will be used to implement the Great Apes Survival Project in 23 countries where apes survive. Under the greatest threat are orangutans of Sumatra and Borneo. Their untouched habitat will shrink by 99 percent by 2030 at the current pace of human expansion, experts say.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal
Steven Edwards, Canwest News Service
BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
Primates

Scientists have for the first time created a healthy clone of an endangered species, offering powerful evidence that cloning technology can play a role in preserving and even reconstituting threatened and endangered species. The clone, a cattle-like creature known as a Javan banteng, native to Asian jungles was grown from a single skin cell taken from a captive banteng before it died in 1980.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal.
Rick Weiss
BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
Genetic Engineering
Cloning

London’s Darwin Centre houses a collection of over 22 million creatures from all over the world. Rich in historical material dating back to the 15th century, it contains Darwin’s collection as well as others such as Carl Linnaeus, Sir Charles Lyell, Alfred Russel Wallace and Captain James Cook. The so-called ‘Spirit Collection’ houses samples of all these creatures so that scientists can classify them and understand evolutionary relationships among them. The centre opened as part of a long term plan to make Natural History Museum’s entire collection of over 70 million species accessible to the public
AR
Bijal. P. Trivedi. National Geographic
BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
Inventory of Species

Thousands of tadpoles raised in the Toronto Zoo and other faraway locations have been released in Puerto Rico in hopes of saving a critically endangered species of toad unique to the Caribbean island. Their new home is a man-made pond in a forest on the island’s south coast where the only known wild colony of 300 to 400 toads remains.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal
BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
Amphibians
Puerto Rico
Birds

In an effort to reconnect with their ancestors, Kazakh hunters gather in the shadow of the Tien Shan mountains each year for the winter hunt. A fox is released from a wooden crate in the valley, is spotted, and the hunters huddled on a hill release the golden eagles they have been holding on their leather-gloved forearms. The eagles chase the animals, and eventually most foxes are hunted down and killed. Kazakhs say the eagle is a symbol of statehood and independence and are happy to know that this rare bird has survived millennia.
TA
Maria Golovnina, Reuters, The Gazette, Montreal, March 19, 2006, p. A11
BIRDS – Eagles
There is indeed an advantage in having a bigger brain. Scientists Louis Lefebvre and Daniel Sol studied 236 birds for which they measured of body mass, mortality rates and brain size. They found that birds with bigger brains have greater survival chances. Interestingly, big brains cost a lot in evolutionary terms because they take longer to develop and only allow shorter reproducing times compared with those of smaller birdbrains. The advantage though, is greater adaptability to a changing environment. At the top are corvids and parrots, the smartest birds in the class, while pheasants and pigeons score the lowest in brain size proportionately to their body. Now researchers need to find what advantage there is in having smaller brains. There must be one, otherwise only big brains would be present on earth.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A6 – 22 January 2007 – Kazi Stastna
BIRDS

From 15 individuals left in 1938, whooping cranes are now numbering 237 in their wintering grounds of Texas Costal Bend. This recovery success is due to legislation measures and public education.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A3 – 6 January 2007 – Lynn Brezosky
BIRDS
Conservation

Bird feeders are helping whole bird communities to survive winter and birdwatchers are helping scientists to notice changes in bird populations. Nearly 2,000 Canadians take part in the feeder watch program over the winter. Their observations contributed to document bird range expansion as a result of global warming.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A3 –29 January 2007 – Cheryl Cornacchia
BIRDS
Global warming

The Royal Ontario Museum put on a display of over 2000 birds that have died as a result of lights left on in Toronto city buildings. Birds are attracted to the lights inside the buildings and either die of exhaustion from circling them, or simply crash into them. The display included 89 species, some of which are threatened. Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) is a group of volunteers who have collected over 32,000 dead or injured birds in Toronto since 1993. The group estimates between 940,000 and 9.4 million birds die every year from flying into buildings. These numbers could easily be reduced if lights were turned off at night.
NB
The Gazette, Montreal, Thursday, March 9, 2006
Tara Brautigam
BIRDS

Brazil has 228 species of birds that do not live in any other country, the highest record world wide. Brazil has 1,752 species, which is the third largest number of any country. 120 of these species are threatened with extinction. According to Brazilian Veja magazine, the number of bird watchers in the US has grown 150% in the last 10 years, and tourism continues to grow in Brazil.
NB
December 2005/January 2006
BIRDS

Canus, the 39 year old whooping crane who died last year, is returning home to Fort Smith, N.W. T. Canus, named after the two countries, Canada and the Unites States, is regarded by scientists and environmentalists on both sides of the border as a symbol of international co-operation on conservation. Canus is responsible for the production of many offspring, and was involved in a captive breeding program which has now produced over 180 of the rare bird species.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal. April 15, 2004
Ed Struzik
BIRDS
Cranes

Moves to protect Canada’s vast boreal forests will be the topic of discussion at the 12th World Forestry Congress. Conservationists hope to reach agreement with industry on how to set aside some parts of the forest and agree on management policies for other areas. Threats to Canada’s boreal forest come from mining, logging and farming. The 2 million square miles of woodland and wetland are home to many species of birds and animals, not
AR
The New York Times, September 23, 2003
James Gorman
BIRDS

A tug of war is going on over the final resting place of a 39 year-old whooping crane between the United States and Canada. When he was just a few months old the injured crane, Canus, was rescued by two Canadian Wildlife Service scientists. At that time just 42 whooping cranes like him were left in the world. Described as a remarkable bird by both countries, Canus sired, grandsired and great-grandsired 186 whooping cranes.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal. February 10, 2003
BIRDS
Cranes

Peter Matthiessen’s book, The Birds of Heaven, tells of his journeys to five continents in search of the planet’s 15 species of cranes, 11 of them endangered.
AR
New York Times, Book Review. April 20
BIRDS
Cranes

The loon has changed very little from hespoeronis, “an aquatic bird that existed 100 million years ago,” according to The Spokseman Review (Spokane, Washington).
SS
Michael Kesterton, The Globe & Mail, Toronto
BIRDS

An international tussle over the carcass of a legendary whooping crane that helped bring the endangered species back from the brink of extinction has ended with a decision to send it home to Canada. Canus, the 39 year old crane will be in a tiny museum in the North West Territories not far from where he was born. Canus produced 186 descendants. The agreement made in 1993 by the International Whooping Crane Recovery team gave the museum the rights to bring him home after he died.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal
Canwest News Service
BIRDS
Cranes

United States authorities want to give individual states more flexibility in dealing with Canadian geese. The bottom line is to reduce their numbers by a third over the next 10 years. The populations of resident geese have been climbing four to six percent per year. To cull their numbers by up to 800,000 birds a year will mean everything from gassing, poisoning and shooting to shaking eggs and destroying nests.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal
BIRDS
Canadian Geese

Research into chickadee flocks shows that they have developed a complex social hierarchy, which tend to be made up of mated pairs and having a dominant male.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal
BIRDS
Chickadees

Huge flightless birds living in the rain forests of New Guinea emit a penetrating, booming noise at a lower frequency than any other bird, so low humans at times cannot hear it say researchers at the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society. The New Guinea cassowaries can grow to 1.5 meters tall and weigh as much as 57 kilograms.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal.
Guy Gugliotta
BIRDS
Vocalizations

After twenty years of study, scientists have discovered the bar-tailed godwit holds nature’s record for endurance flying. The bird migrates from Alaska to New Zealand each year without stopping, a 12,400km journey completed in six days and six nights. Maori folklore states that it was the godwit flying over the Pacific that made them take to their war canoes to find land, journeying from Polynesia to the shores of New Zealand 1,000 years ago.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal.
Tom Peterkin
BIRDS
Godwit

Burkina Faso

Norbert Zongo était un journaliste au Burkina Faso, le pays des hommes intègres, dit-on. Pourtant il a été assassiné dans sa voiture en 1998 alors qu’il enquêtait sur un meurtre compromettant le frère cadet du chef d’Etat. Le chauffeur du premier aurait été torturé, puis assassiné dans les bureaux même de la sécurité présidentielle. Norbert Zongo a collaboré dans la création de plusieurs journaux mais il a aussi écrit un livre, « le Parachutage » où il dénonce les dirigeants corrompus de l’Afrique. La réédition de son livre cette année va sans doute aider la veuve de Norbert, Geneviève, qui a perdu son emploi auprès du syndicat libre des cheminots. Un journaliste, dit-elle, doit critiquer et ne pas défendre le pouvoir.

ML
Le Monde – France – pages 34-35 – 17 Mars 2007
BURKINA FASO
Literature

Canada
There are dual claims to Hans Island, a tiny, barren rock between Canada’s Ellesmere Island and Greenland, a self-governing territory under the Danish crown. This issue is highlighted as the most tangible and odd sovereignty challenge facing Canada in the far North. The United States and the European Union differ with Canada on the status of the Northwest Passage through the Arctic Archipelago. Canada considers it part of its internal waters, while others see it as an international strait open to all. Canada’s role in the North may come down to one question: How much oil and gas lies beneath the ice?
TA
Adrian Humphreys, Canwest News Service, National Post, date unknown
CANADA – Northwest Passage

Cannabis
A Montreal facility is manufacturing Cesamet, a drug that replicates the active ingredient in marijuana. Cesamet was approved for sale in the US last week, 25 years after it was first authorized in Canada. Cesamet is primarily used for nausea and vomiting in cancer treatment, it is also effective at treating acute pain. Valent Pharmaceuticals International of Costa Mesa, California produces the drug almost exclusively in Ville St. Laurent.
JC
Peter Hadekel, The Montreal Gazette May 26, 2006
CANNABIS

Carbon Footprint
Quebec Premier Jean Charest participated in the annual World Economic Forum whose theme was “the shifting power equation” in reference to the rise of the BRIC economies: Brazil, Russia, India and China. At the same time, the United Nations is trying to get organized on the issue of environment. On this Charest admits that his personal carbon footprint is important but he is proud to say that Québec has had a leadership role on the issue of greenhouse gases reduction and sustainable development.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A16 – 24 January 2007 – Kevin Dougherty
CARBON FOOTPRINT
Congo
In December 2006, Joseph Kabila was elected during the first democratic election in more than 40 years in DCR. In spite of this and nearly a year of peace, riots exploded in Kinshasa resulting in the evacuation of 1000 people and the shutting down of schools.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A16 – 23 March 2007
CONGO

Connections and Disparities

Even if the life span difference between black and white Americans has decreased from 7.1 years in 1993 to 5.3 years in 2003, the gap disfavouring the black Americans is still troubling. A study using the U.S. National Vital Statistics System data found that homicide, HIV, perinatal death along with kidney disease and bloodstream infections are all factors reducing the life expectancy of black to 72.7 years compared to 78 years for whites. This inequality is a direct result of social inequalities and access to health care.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A23 -22 March 2007
DISPARITIES
Connections and Disparities
Population

Echoing a common complaint about the G8’s 2005 summit, the Canadian Council on Africa has declared that Africa needs more than just money. The Canadian private sector must become equally involved in establishing links in Africa, in training the African private sector, and in providing expertise, investment, and contracts to Africa.
CONNECTIONS AND DISPARITIES
SS
Aileen McCabe, Canwest – June 15, 2005
Africa

As the wealth of stockholders plummets and corporate controversy derails companies, CEOs barely notice the backlash – their salaries remain very high. The median compensation of USA’s largest 100 companies was $33.4 million. Poor boardroom performance, overall substandard earnings of the companies, and employee layoffs did not deter directors from awarding large bonuses to the top ranking employees.
CONNECTIONS AND DISPARITIES
ED
Gary Strauss and Barbara Hansen, USA Today, March 31, 2003 – p. B1
Consumer capitalism – corporations

The World Economic Forum held in Davos included world politicians, business types, and human rights activists. The diverse groups productively discussed the business case for human rights, putting forward ideas that would benefit human rights causes and developing countries while protecting the interest of ‘wicked’ multinationals and politicians.
CONNECTIONS AND DISPARITIES
ED
Payam Akhavan, The Gazette, Montreal – p. A11
Globalization

The average annual salary of the US baseball player is 5.3 million dollars (in the lead is A. Rodriguez with a $25.2 million annual paycheck). On the other end of the spectrum, the average annual salary of the Cuban national team is 240 dollars.

CONNECTIONS AND DISPARITIES
EmD

Consumerism
Consumerism in the U.S. increased. Americans increased their credit card use. Despite warnings for the need for energy reduction people took out more car loans. Congruently, debts increased.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – 8 May 2007
CONSUMERISM

Average prices for mink, beaver, and other furs jumped by 30 to 40 percent as fur regained popularity among younger generations. The boom is also caused by the expansion of fur markets, a hot economy, and a re-imaging of fur as the “ultimate eco-fabric”.
ED
Lynn Moore, The Gazette, Montreal, February 21, 2006 – B1
CONSUMERISM
Capitalism – fur

Children are migrating to electronic toys quickly, parents willingly purchase these pricey items, and toy makers struggle to keep up with demand. Nonetheless, over seventy-five percent of the toys at the American International Toy Fair will have microchips. As the cost of microchips decreases, toys are more affordable, but some hot items still remain over $200.
ED
Anne D’Innocenzio, The Gazette, Montreal, February 9, 2006, p. B7
CONSUMERISM – capitalism
Electronics

All purchases are discretionary after the procurement of essentials – food, shelter, and clothing. Yet Canadians have a burn rate of $100 cash in three to four days. And by 2005, the Canadian saving rate dropped to negative numbers, people are unconsciously spending money that could pay off debt or put into their RRSP on frivolous purchases and brand names.
ED
Stephanie Whittaker, The Gazette, Montreal, February 6, 2006 – p. B1
CONSUMERISM
Capitalism

An e-mail describes the medical benefits of drinking water, such as decreasing joint pain and reducing risk of colon and breast cancer. Also, it elaborates on Coca-Cola’s properties that make it both a hazardous material and an excellent cleaner of metal objects.
ED
Chase Twichell, e-mail care of www.ausablepress.com, September 27, 2003
CONSUMERISM
Capitalism – Coca Cola

Children and sexuality are no longer taboo, images only seen by child pornographers. Ad campaigns feature children sexually clad and adults shaved to look like children. Sexualizing pre-pubescence is not new, but its mainstream imagery is.
ED
Lorrayne Anthony, The Gazette, Montreal, January 27, 2003 – p. D3
CONSUMERISM
Capitalism
Advertising

Dix Mille Villages collaborate with village artisans in India to offer fair trade goods to the middle class and combat poverty in developing countries. The organization appeals to bourgeois overcoming shopper guilt and it generates income for women artisans worldwide.
ED
Mike Boon, The Gazette, Montreal, p.A7
CONSUMERISM
Capitalism
Coffee

Consumption
By 2010, half of the kids in North and South America will be overweight, a study warns. But it’s not too late. The number of overweight children worldwide will increase significantly by the end of the decade. Obesity has become a global epidemic. British surgeon Phillip Thomas said the obesity levels in children are so severe that this generation will be the first to have a lower life expectancy than their parents.
JC
Associated Press, The Montreal Gazette, March 7, 2006
CONSUMPTION
Obesity

The Vatican has sided on the political and scientific issue of genetically modified foods. They say they hold the answer to world starvation and malnutrition.
ED
Richard Owen, The Statesman, Siliguri, August 2, 2003 – p. 2
CONSUMPTION– GM food

Split tomatoes, dirty salad, and tough beans made Equiterre’s organic produce baskets disappointing. More satisfying and with better variety are the baskets prepared by Les Jardin des Anges. They are delivered year round, have a assortment of normal and exotic produce, and the baskets are delivered to your front door.
www.jardindesanges.com
ED
Lesley Chesterman, The Gazette, Montreal
CONSUMPTION – organic food

The classic watermelon, an American summer ritual, is becoming extinct, replaced by a seedless, tasteless variety. Most farm stands and grocery stores sell varieties engineered to eliminate the seeds because people want to eat faster and more attractively.
ED
David Margolick
CONSUMPTION
Food plant breeding

Budgeting, splurging, and secret spending habits… A 2005 poll shower that 25 percent of adults had severe disagreements with their partners about finances. People have different ideas about finances and spending, and money. These different types of attitudes about money often depend on upbringing, personality, and relationships.

EmD

Susan Schwartz. The Gazette. April 30, 2006. A16.

CONSUMPTION
Corporations
Automated telephone services deter human – human customer service contact much to our chagrin. We dislike these automated services because we rarely have black and white, questions to be answered or simple tasks to complete. Humans, we find, are more reliable. An organization, Get Human, fights back by posting the codes to get through large companies’ automated services and speak to an operator.
ED
Josh Freed, The Gazette, Montreal, March 4, 2006 – p. A7
CORPORATIONS
Modern communication
Crime
Wilburt Coffin was convicted and executed for the deaths of three hunters in the Gaspé in 1956. He maintained his innocence until death and doubt still exists about his conviction. Controversy over Coffin’s hanging galvanized opposition to capital punishment, resulting in the banning of the death penalty in Canada. Coffin’s case has received a lot of attention and has been the topic of song lyrics and books.
ED
Marian Scott, The Gazette, Montreal, February 11, 2006 – p. A3
CRIME – Gaspé
Cults
Self-declared prophet and cult leader Claude Vorhilon has brought the newspaper Le Droit to court for a libel suit. He has convinced 60,000 followers of the Raëlian he is the son of a French mother and an alien father. The defamation lawsuit is part of a greater legal quest by the Raëlians for legitimacy. They want a ban on future negative reports and a declaration by the court that their faith is a true religion.
ED
Allison Hanes, The Gazette, Montreal, September 27, 2005 – p. A8
CULTS
Cultural Diversity
Richard Desjardins, famous for his documentary L’Erreur Boréal, in which he exposed and denounced the destructive forestry practices of Québec, performed at the sixth Montréal’s annual spoken words Festival “Voix d’Amériques”. Desjardins is a renowned singer and songwriter, but he will be presenting and commenting on his new film: Le Peuple Invisible. This time, Desjardins tackles the situation of the Algonquin nation of Québec. The Algonquins number only 8,000 people and depend on the forest.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – j3 – 27 January 2007 – Pat Donnelly
CULTURAL DIVERSITY
Music
Québec

Molefa Moleja, a priest of the South African Edumisweni Apostolic Church of Christ, leads his people through the principles of the bible. His congregation of followers resembles the conventional Pentecostal movement within Christianity, which emphasises the authority of the bible and the direct experience and healing with God through baptism and prayers. However, the South African members of this church also venerate their ancestors and believe in witchcraft and magic. Despite the biblical injunction, they still perform animal sacrifice to increase their chance of physical healing and cast away bad luck. Such beliefs may be an alternative to absent or failing health care institutions.
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The Gazette, Montréal – h8 – 27 January 2007 – Terry Leonard
CULTURAL DIVERSITY
Ancestor worship
Kinship
Syncretism

In his new novel, the Virgin of Flames, Chris Abani, the Nigerian-American writer narrates about search for cultural identity in Los Angeles city. He offers a reflection on how people fight to maintain their own individuality in the fast pace of a city that constantly reshapes itself.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – J3 -3 February 2007 – Ian McGillis
CULTURAL DIVERSITY
Nigeria

Larger-than-life roadside renderings of everything from sausages to enormous muskies transform what would otherwise be a sense of non-place along stretches of highway in Canada. These “Big Things” often correspond with local industry and help travelers discern meaning from the local landscape.
TA
Anne Marie Owens, Canwest News Service, The Gazette, Montreal, June 5, 2006
CULTURAL DIVERSITY

In honor of the anniversary of Genghis Khan’s unification of Mongolia in 1206, the Mongolian capital is covered in images of Genghis Khan. Such attention may seem shocking to westerners who affiliate the man with bloodshed and terror. In the West, it is often overlooked that Genghis Khan outlawed the kidnapping of women, guaranteed diplomatic immunity to ambassadors, granted religious freedom to all people, and his empire introduced gunpowder and paper to the West. DNA testing has revealed that 16 million men living in Eurasia are descended from a single person who lived in the 1200’s, presumed to be Genghis.
NB
Richard Spencer, The Gazette, Montreal, July 12, 2006, p. A13
CULTURAL DIVERSITY
Kinship

Diners have been part of American cultural identity and here are few for which it is worth making a detour: The Moody’s Diner in Waldoboro, Maine has exquisite walnut pie. The Miss Port Diner in Port Henry, New York was so popular it had a band a baseball team named after it. The Blue Benn in Bennington, Vermont is a vegetarian-friendly diner with “better than sex” chocolate brownies. To fine more amazing diners, go to www.roadfood.com.
NB
The Gazette, Montreal, Saturday, June 17, 2006, p. K7
CULTURAL DIVERSITY
USA

Kenneth Briggs, author of “Double Crossed: Uncovering the Catholic Church’s Betrayal of American Nuns,” write that the total number of nuns has declined from 179,954 to 68,634 from the years 1965 to 2005. He states that the reason for this decline has to do with the backlash of repression towards liberated nuns in the 1960’s from the church hierarchy. Briggs does not think there is much weight in the argument that the number of nuns has declined as a result of growing feminism and secularism. Another problem he notes, is that nuns are not necessarily promised the retirement security they would need to be comfortable committing themselves to the church.
NB
Richard Ostling, The Gazette, Montreal, Saturday, June 17, 2006, p. K7
CULTURAL DIVERSITY
Extinction

When Boris visited China, he was not expecting to find the attitude towards communism that he did among the Chinese people with whom he conversed. It was not so much a defense of Chinese communism that he found, but more a “patient refusal to accept my glib assumptions of the superiority of western pluralism, “which was a “defense not so much of the system but of China itself.” He experienced the impressive extent to which most Chinese people have respect for authority and fear of disorder. Boris admits that China is proving that free-market capitalism and democracy do not have to go hand in hand, but also states that there are two things China lacks that the US has which make it such a powerful country: hard power (military) and soft power (cultural protection abroad).
NB
Boris Johnson, The Gazette, Montreal, May 6, 2006, p. B5
CULTURAL DIVERSITY
China

Olga Alexandrovna Romanov was the last grand duchess of Russia, but passed the last chapter in her life in a humble home in southern Ontario before she died in 1960. A glass bowl that she received for her duties as a nurse in the battlefield during the First World War is expected to be sold for $200,000 Canadian. Locals remember her as unassuming and ordinary, wearing rubber boots and buying canned food at the grocery stores; a woman who cared more about her freedom than her finances.
NB
Randy Boswell, The Gazette, Montreal, March 29, 2006, p. A15
CULTURAL DIVERSITY
Russian Aristocracy

David Suzuki
The journalist Dan Gardner accused David Suzuki of going too far in his quest aiming to alarm people about the terrifying consequences of global warming. David Suzuki has distorted, he said, some critical nuances of the Stern report that forecasts the economic effects of climate change. The revered Canadian ecologist uses the most dramatic figure stating that global warming will generate 20% loss for the global economy, while ignoring to mention in his discourse that lesser economic impacts of 5% are also possible.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A23 -3 May 2007 – Dan Gardner
DAVID SUZUKI

Deforestation
A satellite-assisted survey of Quebec’s northern forests revealed that an area of almost one million square kilometers, or about 60 percent of Quebec, has been logged. The data can help to provide information to the government in the implementation of forestry recommendations. 30 Quebec-based companies were invited to asses the data, but all declined.
ED
Lynn Moore, The Gazette, Montreal, February 10, 2006 – p. B1
DEFORESTATION – boreal

BBC News reports that the Amazonian rainforest deforestation rate has been halved, and the amount of illegal logging reduced.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4189792.stm, August 2005
SS
DEFORESTATION
Amazon rainforest
Diabetes
The Kahnawake First Nation, in collaboration with Health Canada, has successfully implemented the Diabetes Prevention Project in their schools. The Type 2 diabetes rate has not increased in 21 years as a result. The success occurs even though increased incomes lead to more eating out and sedentary lifestyles in front of electronics.
ED
Michelle MacAfee, The Gazette, Montreal – p. A9
DIABETES
Native Americans

Ecoterrorists
A fugitive US radical environmentalist, charged with setting fire to logging and cement trucks in 2001, has been arrested in Vancouver by the FBI.
AR
The Gazette
ECOTERRORISTS
Ecotourism
Peter Phillips, the former head of Newmount Gold Corp., operates a 9,400-acre game farm called Makulu Makete in South Africa by the Botswana border. The reserve’s goals include the rehabilitation of the savannah ecology of the area and the conservation of indigenous plant and animal life.
AS
www.makulumakete.com
ECOTOURISM
Conservationism
Ecomartyrs
Two new ecomartyrs have given their lives in the effort to save tropical rainforest, joining the roll of honor that includes Dian Fossey and Chico Mendes (for whom I coined the term ecomartyr—a deliberating grating hack-journalism artifact designed to heighten the reader’s indignation: not only were these people murdered, now they’re being called ecomartyrs). But their deaths have attracted very little notice. The vogue for saving the rainforest has come and gone, but the destruction continues. Bruno Manser, a 47-year-old Swiss activist who devoted 12 years to trying to save the Penan tribe, a small tribe of nomadic hunter-gatherers who live in the rainforest of Sarawak, in northeastern Borneo, was last seen on May 22nd, 2000 and presumed to be dead. He was setting out to climb a 7,000-foot limestone pinnacle called Batu Lawi to dramatize the plight of the Penan, whose way of life is being extinguished by commercial logging, the cash economy, Coca Cola, television– the usual Western toxins. Or he may have gone to the mountain in despair, to commit suicide because he realized that the Penan were history, his efforts useless. In l990, Manser wrote: “Each morning at dawn the gibbons howl and their voices carry great distances, riding the thermal boundary created by the cool of the forest and the warm air above as the sun strikes the canopy. Penan never eat the eyes of the gibbons. They are afraid of losing themselves in the horizon. They lack an inner horizon. They don’t separate dreams from reality. If someone dreams that a tree limb falls on a camp, they will move with the dawn.”
AS
To learn more, read Simon Elegant’s September 3, 2001 cover story in Time Asia. Also see http://www.earthisland.org/borneo/news_bruno.html for further information.
ECOMARTYRS
The other ecomartyr is a 36-year-old Brazilian activist named Ademir Alfeu Federicci and
nicknamed Dema. He was shot in the head by an unknown assailant in front of his wife and children on August 21st, 2001, apparently because he vociferously opposed a hydroelectric dam that the Brazilian government plans to build on the Xingu River, in southern Amazonia, and because he had been making a huge stink about the illegal logging that is going on in the region. Like Chico Mendes, who was the president of the rubber-tappers’ union, Dema was the president of a union of small agricultural workers.
AS
For more information, contact Tonya Hennessey at Greenpeace, tonyah “at” bb.sfo.us.gl3
ECOMARTYRS

Energy

Nigerian rebels pledge to choke off oil. Easing supply fears have pushed oil prices lower. Armed militants vowed to cut daily oil exports from the West African nation’s troubled delta region by another million barrels by the end of March because OPEC will keep output levels intact.
JC
Montreal Gazette, March 7, 2006
ENERGY
Oil
Nigeria

The Charest government decides to go ahead with the Rupert River diversion project. The project will flood 400 km² and greatly affect the local Cree people. The project will create a maximum of 4000 employments for 6 years and generate an estimated 532$ million in Québec. However, for the first time in history, an aboriginal group will financially truly benefit from such a project. For the next 50 years the Cree communities will receive from the government an annual $70 million plus a portion of the benefit from electricity sales. Part of this money will be invested in a Cree heritage fund ensuring long-term financial benefits. In spite of these financial incentives, the three Cree communities the most affected by the project will loose spiritual connection to their land. Money can’t buy everything.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A1 – 12 January 2007 – Mike King
ENERGY
Cree
Hydroelectricity
Native people
Rupert River

Fidel Castro denounced U.S. President Bush for encouraging the use of biofuels and in particular ethanol derived from corn or sugar cane. The Cuban leader forecast that over 3 billion people in the world would starve to death if Bush goes on with his policy. Biofuels are now considered as the best alternative to dwindling oil reserves, but they have a negative side. Brazil and the U.S. together produce 70% of the world’s biofuels and Bush is now planning for mandatory biofuel content five times greater than the present amount. In order to achieve this plan, Castro points out that 320 million tonnes of corn would be needed. This would take away space to grow food for people. He finds it obscene that corn should be grown to fuel cars in the rich countries, when people are starving in Africa.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – B7 – 30 March 2007 – Isabel Sanchez
ENERGY
Biodiesel
Castro

Jathopha curcas, a shrub-like woody plant, was used for generations as fencing for protecting crops of poor villagers in Zimbabwe. Now, thanks to the Mudzi Jatropha and Cassava project, funded by CIDA, the Canadian International Development Agency and implemented by Edit trust, a Zimbabwean NGO, the seeds of the shrub are put to good use. Jatropha seeds are processed to make oil, soap and fuel, and cassava, another drought resistant plant, provides nutritious food and allows local people to make enough profits fromn growing it to send their kids to school.
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The Gazette, Montréal – A13 – 29 May 2006 – Ian Jones
ENERGY
Biodiesel
Zimbabwe

The two countries U.S. and Brazil, which happen to be the two biggest producers of ethanol, signed an accord to share technology for alternative fuel production and reduce their respective reliance on oil imports from Venezuela. However, Brazil is leading the example: thanks to its ethanol production, Brazil has replaced 40% of gasoline consumption. Moreover, 70% of Brazilian vehicles can run on both gasoline and ethanol.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – C6 – 10 March 2007 – Roger Runningen and Catherine Dodge
ENERGY
Hydro-Quebec is planning on investing $25 billion in new dams to generate 4500 megawatts of electricity, with 1000 megawatts as export sales to Ontario and the US. The dams will create 70,000 person-years of construction jobs. It is said the project would save Quebecers money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Environmentalists are skeptical about both of these points. Potential rivers for damming include La Romaine on the lower north shore and rivers in Nunavik.
NB
Kevin Dougherty, The Gazette, Montreal, May 5, 2006, p. A1
ENERGY
Hydropower

The Co-founded of Greenpeace states that nuclear power is the only large-scale, cost-effective energy source that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, given the growing demand for energy. Wind and solar energy have their place in reducing greenhouse gases, but they are simply too intermittent to act as a substitute for coal. He states that nuclear energy is actually one of the least expensive energy sources, and is actually safe (Chernobyl did not have a containment vessel). He also states that nuclear energy does not actually produce that much dangerous waste, as used fuel has less than one-thousandth its radioactivity after 40 years and 95% of the potential energy in the waste can actually be used again as fuel. Moore also states that many other types of facilities are much more vulnerable to terrorist attach than nuclear plants (which have two-meter thick reinforced concrete containment vessels). Lastly, he concludes by saying that the 103 operating plants in the US currently avoid the release of 700 million tons of carbon-dioxide annually.
NB
Patrick Moore, The Gazette, Montreal, April 29, 2006, p. B5
ENERGY
Nuclear Power

After a copper mine and smelter closed in Murdochville in 2002, new life was brought to the town with the construction of 60 turbines to produce wind power. Murdochville is 1,000 kilometers east of Montreal and is currently Canada’s largest winder power project, generating enough electricity to power 12,000 homes. New jobs have been created and new families are moving to the area. Currently HydroQuebec will pay 6.5 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity produced by wind, and in the past 20 years, the cost of producing wind has dropped by 80% in real dollars. Quebec is the second largest producers of wind energy in Canada and soon it is predicted is will soon surpass the number one producer, Alberta. Worldwide, Canada is the 14th largest wind energy producer, with less than one half percent of its energy coming from wind. Some concerns about wind farms include that fact that local communities may not receive their fair share of the economic benefits, and after initial construction they are limited employment.
NB
The Gazette, Montreal, Saturday, April 1, 2006, B1
ENERGY
Windmills

More than 1 million people have been displaced for the Chinese Yangtze River Three Gorges Dam. The world’s longest dam (2.3km) also flooded 1,000 archaeological sites and over 24 hectares of agricultural land. The 660km long lake that will form behind the dam will further threatened Yangtze dolphin, Chinese sturgeon and finless porpoise. The energy derived from the gigantic structure is expected to reach 85 billion kilowatt per hour by 2009, which represents only 2% of China’s electricity need by 2010. However, project managers say the dam will help control the Yangtze’s deadly floods that have killed hundred of thousands in the past. Environmentalists fear that the huge lake forming behind the dam will become a waste pool for China’s largest urban centre of Chongqing despite newly build sewage treatment plants.
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The Gazette, Montréal – B7 – 19 May 2006 – Edward Cody
ENERGY
Hydropower
Dams

Change your light bulbs for the compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). They’ll make your energy bill almost 4 times cheaper and help reduce our dependence on coal and fossil fuel. For those still nostalgic of the incandescent rays, the famous bright and coiled CFLs are now coming in various shapes and colours to give an old-fashioned feel. The only problem, when the long-lived energy-efficient bulb is retired, it is considered hazardous waste containing phosphorous powder and mercury. Thus, you can’t just trash it or recycle it.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – B3 – 24 March 2006 – Cheryl Cornacchia
ENERGY
Light bulbs

Expansion of the Eastmain powerhouse and the diversion of the Rupert River into the Eastmain pose serious threats to the environment, the health of the Rupert and the Eastmain and the Cree who depend on its fish, but the controversy surrounding the projects is dampened down by the context of high-energy prices and global warming. The dam will negatively affect Cree communities’ livelihood, but the power it will generate will sell at the cheap rate of five cents a kilowatt- hour, which is two cent less than the current electricity market price.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – B1 – 31 January 2007 – Peter Hadekel
ENERGY
Hydropower
Rupert River

Will a 62km² wind farm, 130 turbines strong, ever rise on the shores of the Nantucket Sound ? The project idea was born in 2002 and $325,000 has been spent in lobbying while politicians with vested interests in the oil business are trying to get the project nixed.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – Juliet Eilperin
ENERGY
Wind power

Zenn electric minicars are to be produced in St. Jerome, 60 km north of Montreal. Although the Zenn (Zero Emission No Noise) meets all federal highway regulations, British Columbia is the only province so far where the vehicle can be legally licensed. Feel Good Cars, the Toronto-based company that manufactures the cars, has not yet sold any Zenns in Canada, although they have orders from France and the United States.
TA
Mike King, The Gazette, Montreal, April 14, 2006, p. A1
ENERGY
Electric Cars

Environmental Awareness
The Canadian largest survey on the subject of climate change reveals that Québec has surpassed British Columbia as the most environmentally conscious province. Quebecers, regardless of their age class, wealth and education levels, are the most environmentally aware and the most determined to make changes in order to reverse the effects of global warming.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A4 – 23 March 2007 – Michelle Lalonde
ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS
Québec

Ethnic Conflict
Australian-led forces, who came to East Timor in the midst of a bloody transition from Indonesian rule in 1999, are back to keep the peace in the capital of Dili. It’s a sad departure from 2002, when East Timor declared independence after a period of UN oversight and a generous infusion of international aid. East Timor is an extreme case, a neglected territory where violence and deprivation became routine for many people during 24 years of harsh Indonesian occupation. Some observers believe the UN left East Timor too soon and retained too much authority for too long. The tensions between old independence fighters and those perceived to be sympathetic to Indonesia were never resolved, and they have flared up in the recent violence.
TA
Christopher Torchia, Associated Press, The Gazette, Montreal, June 1, 2006
ETHNIC CONFLICT – East Timor
An Israeli couple used a stroller to bring firecrackers and small explosives into one of Christianity’s holiest sites in Nazareth. The explosions started riots in the street and six people were injured. The attack was not nationalistic but did underline the tensions between Jews and Palestinians.
ED
Associated Press, The Gazette, Montreal, March 4, 2006 – p. A27
ETHNIC CONFLICT

Over 35,000 children were abducted by rebel militia in the Congo during Africa’s First World War. Since 2003, the country has demobilized about 11,000 youths and made it illegal for rebels to have children soldiers. The boys, changed by their experiences, are put into interim camps to help ease their transition back into childhood and family life.
ED
Edmund Sanders, The Gazette, Montreal, December 18, 2005 – p. IN4
ETHNIC CONFLICT – Congo

Evolution
Humans have transformed the archipelago of the Galapagos Islands through the introduction of alien species. Scientists have tried to eradicate the invasive species such as goats, donkeys, cats and pigs. Scientists are making progress in the protection of threatened species in this region on uninhabited islands but are losing ground in inhabited areas. Alien species have driven native species into extinction because native species have never faced competition before.
JC
Juliet Eilperin, The Montreal Gazette, March 4, 2006
EVOLUTION
Galapagos
Introduced Species

Extinction
The survival of the human race depends on its ability to find new homes elsewhere in the universe because there’s an increasing risk of disaster destroying the earth, the visionary particle physicist Stephan Hawking said. He said life on earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster such as global warming, nuclear war, or dangers not yet thought of.
JC
Sylvia Hui, Associated Press
EXTINCTION
Human Race

North Atlantic right whales were nearly driven extinct by whaling, but they don’ t have to be concerned about hunters anymore, they are threatened by ship strikes which are hindering their ability to recover in numbers since whaling days. Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts have discovered that whales don’t respond to recorded ship noises, but when the alert signal was sounded, the whales responded by heading towards the surface, straight into oncoming ships.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal. December 21, 2003
EXTINCTION
Whales

A lone turtle living in a lake in Hanoi could be the last of its kind, wildlife experts fear. The Asian giant softshell turtle is extremely rare and is presumably at the risk of extinction.
The Times, October 13, 2003
EXTINCTION
Turtles

Harvard researchers say that habitat destruction by illegal loggers could mean the extinction of orangutans within 10 to 20 years. Orangutans live only in Indonesia and Malaysia. While the government of Indonesia has a commitment to protect the orangutans, the loggers return when the police leave.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal. September 30, 2003
EXTINCTION
Primates
Indonesia

In the past 80 years, two thirds of the 91 known forest-dependent species of birds in Singapore have become extinct. Researchers predict 42 percent of animals species in Southeast Asia could become extinct by the end of this century. Stronger enforcement against illegal logging and poaching and economic incentives are needed to retard the rate of extinction.
ED
Kristin Kovner – p. 4
EXTINCTION

Southern Alberta’s Ord’s Kangaroo rat population is under threat. A two year study beginning will try to determine why the population dips perilously close to extermination every winter, from an estimated 3,000-5,000 each summer to around 500 the following spring. University of Calgary biologist Darren Bender believes that it is the loss of the rat’s habitat in the Middle Sand hills that is responsible for the declining numbers. The Ord’s Kangaroo is one of six endangered animal species in Alberta.
AR
Grady Semmens, Canwest News Service
EXTINCTION
Rodents

Fiction
In his latest novel “Returning to Earth”, Jim Harrison, often referred as the Mozart of the plains for the quality of his writing, reflects on the world of death and mourners. In his fiction, a 45-years-old man diagnosed with an incurable degenerative disease chooses to die before the illness consumes him. Then, Harrison describe the feelings and memories of the wife who tries to let go of her husband at the same time she realizes she needs to relinquish her grown up children. In spite of these sad events, the novel is full of happiness. The characters facing either side of death are remembering the times of their life that made it all worthwhile and unforgettable.
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The Gazette, Montréal – J7 – 10 March 2007 – Omar Majeed
FICTION

Fish
Banned chemicals found in the Potomac River (West Virginia) are suspected to cause sexual mutation in smallmouth bass. The pesticides and banned fungicides found in the water can stimulate oestrogen production in male fish as well as the production of immature eggs in fish testes.
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The Gazette, Montréal –A25 – 20 January 2007 – David Ochami
FISH
Pollution

Food for Thought/Musings
“I don’t think you can live with the flat, metallic lakes, the brooding firs and pines, and the great expanses of grey rock that stretch all the way from Yellowknife to Labrador, with the naked birches and the rattling aspens, with the ghostly call of the loon and the haunting cry of the wolf, without being a very special person.”
SS
Pierre Berton, Quoted by Michael Kesterton, The Globe & Mail, Toronto
FOOD FOR THOUGHT/MUSINGS

When fascism comes to America it will be in the form of Americanism. Take, as an example, former Louisiana Governor, U.S. Senator, and noted radical Huey Long.
AS
FOOD FOR THOUGHT/MUSINGS

The ecologist’s apologist creed: I have desecrated my right to be here and that of others.
AS
FOOD FOR THOUGHT/MUSINGS

“History is the passion of sons who wish to understand their fathers.”
Late Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini
AS
FOOD FOR THOUGHT/MUSINGS

“Where do you go if you’re young and the world comes to an end? Do you go into history?”
AS
Isabelle, a Montreal first-grade student, Montreal Gazette
FOOD FOR THOUGHT/MUSINGS
Foundations and Grants
Just got a call from Mervin Roberts, who is pushing eighty and works as a consultant for a philanthropic institution called Maine Coastal Resources, which was thinking of making a grant to a leper colony in the Amazon where some Franciscan monks had reported that 4000 destitute lepers were “eating garbage.” Roberts went down to check it out before the grant was finalized.
It turns out that I visited the colony, which is seven miles from the city of Manaus, in l976 and devoted a few paragraphs of my book, The Rivers Amazon, to it. Roberts had read the book before going down and had called me to see if I had any contacts or suggestions. Everything was as I had described it, he reported, except that the Franciscans who were running the colony had left, and so had all the lepers except for three. It was, as he described it, a “depressed leper colony.” With the advent of the new sulfa drugs, he explained, most lepers can be treated so that within six months they are no longer contagious and can return to the general population, which is what the other 3997 lepers had apparently done. Other healthy Amazonians had moved into the abandoned compound with their families because there was electric power “to run their boob tubes,” Roberts went on. “This place doesn’t need American help. The people are better off than they are in many parts of America.” So this is good news for Maine Coastal Resources, I said to Roberts. It doesn’t have to make the grant. “I suppose,” he said, “but I’m furious with the Franciscans. It didn’t pan out. That’s why these benevolent organizations have to be so careful before they send out the cheques.”
AS
FOUNDATIONS AND GRANTS
Gender
One in every 2000 babies is born an intersexual, with genitalia that are neither male nor female. Mrs. Hartman of Hackensack, NJ gave birth to such a child. The doctors did not know at birth whether her child was a boy or a girl. Deciding to raise the child as a girl, the child underwent feminizing surgeries. By age 4 the child, Kelli, began to tell her mother that she was actually a boy named Max. In the near future the mother and child are going to have to decide whether to take hormones to either shape Kelli into a woman, or turn her into a man.
AR
The Gazette, Montréal – 31 July 2004 Ruth Padavuar
GENDER
Intersexual
Prince Manvendrasinh Gohil is the only son and heir to the fortunes of the former Rajpipla principality, in Gujarat state. However, he learned through a newspaper ad, which his parents placed, that he was disowned from his parents. The motivation for this was that he recently came out to his parents. Homosexual relationships are illegal in India.
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Peter Foster, The Gazette, Montreal, June 28, 2006, p. A18
GENDER
Homosexuality

Aida Melly Tan Abdullah was abused by her husband who secretly took a second wife but refused to give her a divorce. After countless unsuccessful court rulings, she was so frustrated with the legal system in Malaysia that she studied Islamic law, known as Shariah to fight for her own rights. After attracting nation-wide attention she obtained a divorce in 2002. While Malaysia was once considered the most progressive Muslim country in regards to family law, it has since digressed and is getting worse according to some critics. Women are discriminated against in legal issues regarding family, inheritance as well as their fundamental liberties. Law are getting stricter against women’s favor as political parties fight for the support of conservative Muslims. Under Islamic law, Muslim men can have up to four wives, can divorce their wives simply by stating the words (or texting them via cell phone), “I divorce you,” three times, can avoid child support simply by moving to another state, and two states allow men to marry off their daughters without their consent. Wives on the other hand, have to prove their divorce case in court if their husbands do not want a divorce. Sisters of Islam is a women’s group that campaigns for Shariah reforms and deals with an average of 700 Shariah court cases a year from women who want divorces or child support.
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Eileen Ng, The Gazette, Montreal, June 23, 2006, p. h10
GENDER
Women’s Rights

One in every 2000 babies is born an intersexual, with genitalia that are neither male nor female. Mrs. Hartman of Hackensack, NJ gave birth to such a child. The doctors did not know at birth whether her child was a boy or a girl. Deciding to raise the child as a girl, the child underwent feminizing surgeries. By age 4 the child, Kelli, began to tell her mother that she was actually a boy named Max. In the near future the mother and child are going to have to decide whether to take hormones to either shape Kelli into a woman, or turn her into a man.
AR
Ruth Padavuar, The Gazette, Montréal, July 31, 2004
GENDER
Intersexual

“Busted” is an all-women private detective agency in Atlanta. The intention of its founder, Jeanene Weiner, was not to limit it to women, but then she found how helpful it was to have women detectives. She finds that clients are more comfortable talking to women (especially male clients), and she believes women are more curious and observant than men, important qualities in the trade. The agency is three years old and is the only all-female private eye agency in the US.
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Harry Mount, The Gazette, Montreal, June 18, 2006, p. A9
GENDER
Marriage
Geology
Avalonia is the name of the rock that was driven away by tectonic forces from the super continent Gondwana 480 million years ago. Researches found that this rock forms part of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, New England, Carolina, the British Isles and even France and Spain. When Avalonia split again, it allowed the formation of the Atlantic Ocean.
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The Gazette, Montréal – 25 May 2006 – Randy Boswell
GEOLOGY
Plate tectonics

The American side of Niagara Falls is predicted to dry to a trickle in about 1,000 years, says University of Wisconsin scientist Steven Dutch. He also predicts that the Hudson Bay will shrink dramatically due to its shallow sea bottom rebounding from the last Ice Age. When the Canadian Falls finally recedes past Goat Island – the rock that splits the course of the Niagara River and creates two separate, 50-metre cascades – the American falls will cease to exist, and there will only be a single falls, predicts Dutch.
TA
Randy Boswell, Canwest News Service, The Gazette, Montreal, May 26, 2006
GEOLOGY

Globalization
The International Monetary Fund is experiencing a budget crisis, as Asians are building up foreign currency reserves and Argentina and Brazil have paid back their loans early. Donor governments are less likely to launch aid initiatives with the World Bank’s help because of skepticism over President Paul Wolfowitz. It’s not that the underlying forces of globalization have gone limp; it’s that nobody wants to invest political capital in global institutions.
TA
Sebastian Mallaby, Washington Post, The Gazette, Montreal, May 8, 2006
GLOBALIZATION

Global Warming

Scientists are sure that sea levels will rise as a result of global warming. At least one quarter of the houses within 500 feet of the United States coast may be lost to rising seas by 2060. Though most of the country’s ocean beaches are eroding, few coastal jurisdictions consider sea level rise in their coastal planning, and fewer incorporate the fact that the rise is accelerating. Some of the rise – scientists argue over how much – is because of natural temperature variation, but much of it results from warming; as water warms, it expands, occupying more space. Warming also melts inland glaciers and ice sheets, sending torrents of fresh water into the oceans – causing sea levels to rise.
TA
Cornelia Dean, Science Times, The New York Times, June 20, 2006
GLOBAL WARMING – Oceans
Unusual warm temperatures for January in Montréal and region are disturbing the migration, hibernation and also breeding behaviour schedule of many animals. Canada geese, for instance, delayed their migration south and racoons are forgetting to hibernate. Unusual warm temperatures are tricking animals and their behavioural responses that could have negative impact on their metabolism and survival in the long run. Other species such as the opossums and fox squirrels are moving up north welcomed by the nice weather. This range expansion could trigger unforeseen competition with the species already present in the north.
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The Gazette, Montréal – A16 – 6 January 2007 – Cheryl Cornacchia
GLOBAL WARMING

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced the results of a 1,000 worldwide scientists-reviewed report that gives a gloomy picture of the consequences of global warming. By 2080, 1.1 to 3.2 billion people will starve and suffer water shortage while 100 million others will experience devastating floods. Tropical disease such as malaria and pest species will proliferate, while the natural habitat of polar bears and other arctic life will vanish by 2050.
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The Gazette, Montréal – A1- 11 March 2007 – Seth Borenstein
GLOBAL WARMING

Al Gore went to Congress for the first time after his presidential run defeat of 2000. This time, Al Gore brought more than half-million messages from citizens urging for governmental action against global warming.
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The Gazette, Montréal – A19 – 22 March 2007
GLOBAL WARMING
Al Gore

Al Gore and David Suzuki talked in front of nearly 5,000 people during a conference organized by the Youth Action Montréal coalition. Both felicitated Québec in its leading role in raising awareness about environmental issues. The two public figures also stressed the importance of sustaining media exposure around the issue of global warming, fearing that that the concerns and efforts accomplished so far vanish as soon as media loose interest, as they did back in 1988.
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The Gazette, Montréal – A4 – 23 March 2007 – Michelle Lalonde
GLOBAL WARMING
Al Gore
David Suzuki

Environmentalists denounced the plan presented by the Canada’s Conservative Environment Minister, John Baird. They said that the measures planned to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2012 are not satisfactory. Not only is the carbon emissions limit set by this new plan weaker than the one imposed by Kyoto, but also it will allow companies to easily achieve the target and even increase their emissions as long as their overall business grows faster than the pollution they create.
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The Gazette, Montréal – A15 – 5 May 2007 – Mike de Souza
GLOBAL WARMING
Canada

Newly elected Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper appears to follow U.S. president Bush’s position on global warming. Canada is the only signatory country that has openly abandoned its Kyoto target. The Canadian Conservative government argues that it would be impossible to met its pledge at Kyoto to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 6% below 1990 levels by 2012.
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The Gazette, Montréal – A3 – 2006 – Mike de Souza
GLOBAL WARMING
Canada

Canadian Environment Minister Rona Ambrose said that Conservative government had to give up on its Kyoto commitment because it was impossible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are rising 35% above the planned target rate. She added that only if all the lights and all the agriculture industry were to shut down could the unrealistic target be reached.
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The Gazette, Montréal – A12 – 12 May 2006 – Mike de Souza
GLOBAL WARMING
Canada

Canadian Environment Minister Rona Ambrose is stopping a plan that allowed the government to invest in initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions abroad. As a result, private investors, whose business depends on the emissions trading market, moved nearly CA$1 billion investment and technology overseas.
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The Gazette, Montréal – A11 – 15 May 2006 – Mike de Souza
GLOBAL WARMING
Canada

Canada’s forests store 12 times more carbon than is emitted by the world annually. The 1000km- wide boreal forest line that stretches from the Labrador to the Yukon retains 47.5 billion tons of carbon. Conserving old and intact forests, ForestEthics says, is the key to counteract climate change. Such forests are 50% more efficient at storing carbon than younger replanted forests. Yet, each year logging activities in Canada remove more carbon than is emitted through the exhaust pipes of Canadian drivers.
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The Gazette, Montréal – A15 – 10 May 2007 – Don Butler
GLOBAL WARMING
Forest

The Centre for Health and Global Environment of Harvard Medical School discussed the health implications of climate change as laid out in the second section of the United Nations report. Rise in temperatures and intensification of extreme natural events will result in wide and sudden disease outbreaks. They warned that an old estimate of 150,000 deaths directly related to global warming is too conservative. Global warming is affecting the air, the forests and the water ecosystems on which we all depend to survive. Thus, the excess deaths generated by climate change will be much greater.
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The Gazette, Montréal – A16 – 30 March 2007 – Mike de Souza
GLOBAL WARMING
Health

Scientists say that Mars is also experiencing global warming, even more intensely than Earth. When the dust-covered planet is swept by storms, the dirt particles prevent the sun’s rays from reflecting back into space, and heat is trapped in Mars’ atmosphere. As a result the planet experiences temperature fluctuations ranging from -87ºC to +5ºC.
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The Gazette, Montréal – A16 – 30 March 2007 – Mike de Souza
GLOBAL WARMING
Mars

Efforts to slow global warming will have no discernible effect on hurricanes for the foreseeable future – reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and adequately preparing for future disasters are essentially separate problems. The number and scale of disasters worldwide has been rising rapidly in recent decades because of changes in society, such as the continuing development of coastal regions, not global warming. Because of the way that greenhouse gases behave in the atmosphere, even emissions reductions far more rapid and radical than those mandated under Kyoto would have little or no effect on the behaviour of the climate for decades.
TA
Roger Pielke Jr. and Daniel Sarewitz, The Gazette, Montreal, September 27, 2005
GLOBAL WARMING – Scoffers

United States President George W. Bush met with author Michael Crighton in 2005 because he loves his latest novel, State of Fear, the plot of which surrounds a scientist who discovers climate change is a hoax cooked up by malevolent environmentalists. Early in his presidency, Bush pulled the plug on the Kyoto Protocol and now hypes hydrogen fuel cells and pays little attention to other alternative energy research. Although the Canadian Liberals took climate change seriously, Stephen Harper’s government has dismissed the Kyoto Protocol.
TA
Dan Gardner, Canwest News Service, The Gazette, Montreal, May 28, 2006
GLOBAL WARMING – Scoffers

Increased tourism results in greater carbon dioxide output. Cost effective vacation trips allows for more tourists to visit natural places but these travels cost a lot in terms of carbon footprint generated by plane rides and air conditioned hotel rooms. Not less than 1.1 billion tourists expected in 2010 and 1.6 billion in 2020 will contribute to flood famous beaches as global warming progresses.
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The Gazette, Montréal – A19 -22 March 2007
GLOBAL WARMING
Tourism
Environment Canada documents state the threats of global warming and encourage Tories to act on the matter. The document sites a rise in infectious diseases, food-poisoning outbreaks, flooding coastlines, crumbling roads, buildings and sewage systems as some of dangers that Canada needs to prepare for. The document states that glaciers are already retreating in the Rocky Mountains, sea levels and climatic zones are changing, and of “paramount concern” is the fact that permafrost is melting at faster rates.
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Mike de Souza, The Gazette, Montreal, June 29, 2006
GLOBAL WARMING

A team of Russian and American researchers have recently concluded that the thawing of permafrost could release 500 billion metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere, a process that would only enhance global warming. In general, permafrost has been ignored in previous climate change research. The area that could be affected is 25 meters deep and two thirds the size of Alaska.
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The Gazette, Montreal, June 25, 2006, p. J11
GLOBAL WARMING

Todd writes about the state of the world we have created for the next generation, where babies must have their kiddy pools in the shade and must be lathered in sun block; a world where the roar of rush hour traffic is common place, and where nature is ever threatened; a world where Glacier National Park will have no more glacier by 2030 and where the Arctic Ocean will have no more permanent ice by 2080. Todd hopes that every father can teach their children to be stewards of the earth, wishes that more political leaders and oil companies listened to the words of Elizabeth Kolbert, and hopes that it is in fact, not too late for their children.
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Jack Todd, The Gazette, Montreal, June 17, 2006, p. A2
GLOBAL WARMING

Premier Jean Charest announced that he expects oil companies to absorb the carbon tax necessary to pay for a greenhouse gas reduction plan over the next 6 years. Charest stated that Hydro-Quebec and Gaz Metro absorb the cost of their energy efficiency plans and the oil companies should do the same. However, the Quebec vice-president of the Canada Petroleum Products Institute rebutted that these companies slide these costs into rate increases.
NB
The Gazette, Montreal, June 16, 2006, p. A1
GLOBAL WARMING

Aubin writes about the realistic benefits of Quebec joining the alliance set up among northeastern states that are fed up with Bush and are taking their own actions against climate change. The alliance focuses on stabilizing carbon-dioxide levels at 10% below the 2005 level by 2019 (a goal less ambitious than Kyoto) mainly through cutbacks in the generation of electrical energy. However Quebec produces only 1.5% of its greenhouse gases from electricity generation since most is produced from hydro-power. Therefore, joining this alliance would be more for political reasons that environmental. Instead, Quebec needs to focus is reductions in areas such as agriculture, industry and transportation, which contribute much more heavily to the province’s carbon-dioxide generation.
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Henry Aubin, The Gazette, Montreal, May 4, 2006, p. A21
GLOBAL WARMING

Based on data that has been collected since the mid 1800’s, it now appears that wind speeds have decreased over the Pacific Ocean as a result of global warming. The wind pattern has a significant effect on ocean currents, climate and the marine food chain. The slowdown matches predictions of climate change models that link global warming to increased man-made greenhouse gas concentrations, and models that only consider natural processes do not predict a slowdown of wind currents, such as has been observed. The wind currents have decreased 3.5% since the mid 1800’s and may reduce another 10% by 2100.
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Malcolm Ritter, The Gazette, Montreal, May 4, 2006, p. A15
GLOBAL WARMING
Wind Patterns

Albrecht SchulteHostedde is studying flying squirrel reproductive fitness. More specifically, he is studying the long term effects of climate change on reproductive fitness. His work is especially significant in that flying squirrels are indicator species for the health of local ecosystems.
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Tom Spears, The Gazette, Montreal, March 21, 2006, p. A14
GLOBAL WARMING

A “major ecosystem shift” has occurred in the Arctic waters. Grey whales, walruses and diving seabirds are being replaced by more southern fish species that are moving northward. Both commercial fishing and indigenous hunters are being affected. Thinner ice is also making hunting more difficult for indigenous peoples. Mother walruses have also been reported to be abandoning their pups with thinner ice conditions.
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Margaret Munro, The Gazette, Montreal, March 10, 2006, p. A14
GLOBAL WARMING
Oceans

2006 marks the inaugural year of Greenland’s polar bear quota. In the past, Inuit hunters have killed about 250 bears out of a population of 7,500, but now the limit for Greenlanders will be 150. The quota was put in place to protect the bears from climate change that threatens their Arctic habitat.
ED
Jan M. Olsen, The Gazette, Montreal, February 23, 2006 – p. A19
GLOBAL WARMING
Mammal – Polar Bears

Polar Bears, evolutionary the newest bear species, have to struggle with pollutants invading their bodies and the effects of climate change. The melting ice cover and shorter seasons of ice mass have limited their habitat and shortened their hunting season. The entire species could potentially vanish due to climate change.
ED
Brian Payton, The Gazette, Montreal, February 15, 2006 – p. A19
GLOBAL WARMING
Mammal – polar bear

The warm winter is problematic for businesses and events that need snow and cold for survival. Ice fishing cabins stand unrented, ski hills have bad conditions and have closed some days, Montreal’s Fête de Neiges was cancelled, and maple sugar production could suffer.
ED
Alana Coates, The Gazette, Montreal, February 6, 2006 – p. A6
GLOBAL WARMING – ice

New research suggests that carbon dioxide emissions also pose potential risks to the oceans. The oceans have absorbed vast amounts of carbon dioxide released in the industrial age and have measurably changed, chemically and biologically, as a result. More than 100 oceanographers and other scientists assessed the issue at a meeting in Paris in May, and concluded that he effects are already occurring, negatively effecting corals and other calcifying organisms, with disrupt marine food webs.
AR
The New York Times, July 20, 2004
Andrew C. Revkin
GLOBAL WARMING
Marine effects

Affordable air-conditioning saves lives and many of thousands that died in the heat of France’s brutal summer could have been saved by century old technology.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal. August 29, 2003
GLOBAL WARMING

Power companies in several European countries have asked for rules to be relaxed governing the temperature of water they pump back into rivers from their cooling systems because of the heat wave that continues on the continent. French and German nuclear reactors are located along riverbanks to ensure sufficient supplies of cooling water. Governments generally impose limits on the temperatures of water that is poured back into rivers after cooling reactors to protect the environment and river life. In Germany two states agreed to lift the permitted water temperature 2 degrees, from 28 degrees Celsius, to 30 degrees Celcius.
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The New York Times, August 12, 2003
John Tagliabue
GLOBAL WARMING
Electricity

Canadian scientist Jan Veizer’s new research suggests that the force behind climate change over the past 545 million years has been “galactic cosmic ray flux” – the varying intensity of thermal energy from the sun and stars – rather than carbon dioxide levels in Earth’s atmosphere. Veizer and Israelis scientist Nir Shaviv, found that peak periods of cosmic ray activity consistently coincided with lower global temperatures. He emphasized that unprecedented carbon dioxide emissions in modern times may eventually ‘overtake’ cosmic rays as a chief factor in climate change.
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The Gazette, Montreal. July 3, 2003
GLOBAL WARMING

Few Canadians act to cut greenhouse-gas output, even though between 1998 and 2001 the federal government spent $30 million trying to convince Canadians to care about climate change. In fact, Canada’s total greenhouse-gas emissions rose from 690 million tones in 1998 to 730 million tonnes in 2000. The question arises as to whether future spending on Kyoto initiatives will be any more effective. Michael Gareau, Environment Canada’s manager of public education and outreach for the Climate Change Action Fund, says that while the government told people to reduce emissions, it did not provide enough concrete programs and financial incentives to actually help them cut the energy used to run their homes and cars.
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The Gazette, Montreal. May 20, 2003
GLOBAL WARMING
Canadian Policy

Al Gore harshly criticized the Conservatives’ new environmental platform, a strategy supposedly focused on reducing GHGs and improving air quality. Gore described it as being a “complete and total fraud” and “designed to mislead”, and David Suzuki was noted as saying that it wasn’t enough.

EmD

CanWest news Service/Agence France Presse/Canadian Press. April 29, 2007. A1, A6.

GLOBAL WARMING

Al Gore
Canadian Policy

A thorough study undertaken by scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics reveals that the 20th century, contrary to the alarmism of the environmentalists, was neither the warmest century in the past millennium nor the one marked by the most severe weather. The study was funded in part by NASA and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Belief that the globe is warming faster than ever before is the result of examining variations in temperature over too short a time span, the study suggests.
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The Gazette, Montreal. April 26, 2003
Lorne Gunter, Canwest News Service
GLOBAL WARMING

President Bush has been denounced by mainstream scientists, deserted by his progressive friends in industry and sued by seven states over his abandonment of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on global climate change. Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain has made a speech stating he regarded environmental degradation in general and climate change in particular as just a devastating in their potential impact as weapons of mass destruction and terrorism.
AR
New York Times, Editorials. March 1, 2003
GLOBAL WARMING
Kyoto Protocol
United States Policy

Global warming is forcing species around the world to move into new ranges or alter habitats. This could disrupt ecosystems. In some cases, species’ ranges have shifted 60 miles or more in recent decades. Some species are also being pushed into areas of higher threat from human factors.
ED
Andrew C. Revkin, January 2, 2003
GLOBAL WARMING – range shift

Babies born to mothers who suffered the full brunt of the 1998 January ice storm had lower IQ scores and took longer to speak, a study by researchers at McGill University and the Université de Montréal reveals.
AR
The Gazette, Montréal
Peggy Gurran, University Life Reporter
GLOBAL WARMING
1998 Ice Storm

The term “global warming” is simply not frightening enough to inspire people to act. In fact, many Montrealers even welcome the idea of a warmer climate. Some alternative terms that might be more intimidating include: “global harming,” “global planetary plague,” “defective international epidemic syndrome (DIES),” “sick universe virus (SUV),” or “satanic planet syndrome.”
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Josh Freed, The Gazette, Montreal
GLOBAL WARMING

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his cabinet approved the Kyoto Protocol and will put it into effect within 90 days. The United States and Australia are the only industrial nations that aren’t ratifying the treaty and the United States is the biggest carbon-dioxide polluter contributing one quarter of global emissions. Critics say that the United States could be hurt by Russia’s decision to ratify the treaty as European nations will have to pay for pollution controls to reduce their emissions whereas the United States does not. European countries may try to punish U.S. companies with tariffs on U.S. goods.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal.
GLOBAL WARMING
Kyoto Protocol
United States Policy

The government needs to cut more than $1 billion from existing climate change programs in the next five years in order to deliver part of its “made in Canada” solution for reducing greenhouse gases. The money will be reallocated to give tax credit to bus pass users. A Greenpeace spokesman states that there is little else that the government has mentioned besides the bus pass incentive about how to actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The spokesman also said that the new budget is more of a “climate change catastrophe” than anything else.
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Mike de Souza, The Gazette, Montreal, p. A7
GLOBAL WARMING

While carbon dioxide is not a pollutant when occurring naturally in the environment, the same does not hold true for unnatural emissions. How human-induced climate change and how natural-climate change fluctuations affect glaciers is complicated, but we should never stop researching them in the name of science and human welfare.
AR
Letter to The Gazette, Montreal
Dylan Perceval-Maxwell, Montreal
GLOBAL WARMING

The entire Pacific archipelago nation of Tuvalu is literally vanishing as we speak.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2219001.stm
GLOBAL WARMING
Oceans

British researchers have evidence that global warming has cut the frequency and duration of common cold season. This would be one incidence where a warming global climate would reduce, instead of spread, infectious disease.
ED
Tom Spears, The Gazette, Montreal – p. A14
GLOBAL WARMING
Health

A friend of mine named Kenny who runs a beautiful heifer farm in Orwell, Vermont, and is keenly observant of the weather and the seasons, told me that last April started as the latest spring on record and ended as the earliest. Due to the lingering heavy snowcover, followed by weeks of no rain and record heat, which probably had something to do with global warming and brought out the leaves and flowers weeks ahead of time and messed with the timetables of the returning birds. This provides anecdotal support for Dr. Terry Root’s chapter about the disruptive climate change-related effects on bird migration at the onset of spring and fall, in the latest report of the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change.
AS
GLOBAL WARMING

As part of the strategy to spread the word on climate change, Desiree McGraw, a long-time green activist will be bringing Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth presentation to Montreal. The former American Vice President has been training people (1000 so far, mostly Americans) to adapt his slideshow for smaller, local groups. McGraw is one of the twenty Canadians chosen to learn, modify, and present An Inconvenient Truth. She has adapted it to connect on a personal level and has provided a translation into French.

EmD

The Gazette, Michelle Lalonde. April 16, 2007

GLOBAL WARMING

Al Gore
Germany has proposed to go beyond EU targets of CO2 reduction, and cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent within 13 years. This objective will make it the most energy-efficient country in the world. Plans to reach the ambitious target will include enlisting industry’s help, as well as the promotion of incentives to change domestic travel from plane use to rail transportation.

EmD

The Gazette. Agency France-Presse. April 27, 2007. A3

GLOBAL WARMING

Germany

An international study published in the April 26th Issue of Science, has revealed that destructive global warming occurred 55 million years ago. Volcanic activity caused the release of greenhouse gasses and raised surface water temperatures. History could be repeating itself: as Earth temperatures increase, melting polar ice caps and changing weather patterns are considered by scientists as evidence of global climate change.

EmD

Agence France Presse. April 27, 2007. A3

GLOBAL WARMING

A UN report on climate change was allegedly watered-down by officials from a handful of countries who offered no scientific evidence for their changes. It went from being a summary made for policy-makers to one made by policy-makers to delay calls for urgent action. This emphasizes the need to ensure that the final document be based on the best science.

EmD

The Gazette. Mike de Sonza (CanWest News Service). April 16, 2007.

GLOBAL WARMING

Politics

Within the next few years, China is expected to surpass the U.S.A. to become the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG). Official Chinese targets aim to increase energy efficiency and drop industrial pollutants by 10% between 2006 and 2010. However, the matter of other countries having polluted their way to development, and America and Europe’s high per capita pollution are still a concern.

EmD

The Economist, in The Gazette. April 30, 2007. A17.

GLOBAL WARMING
China

Health

Mothers who take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, SSRIs, such as Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft, during the second half of their pregnancy are six times more likely to give birth to babies with persistent pulmonary hypertension. 99% of mothers would deliver without a problem, so the probability of complications is low. The possibility of the effect of the drug on a fetus can only be observed after the medicine is on the market and in use because for ethical reasons you can’t test medications on pregnant women.
ED
Stephanie Nano, The Gazette, Montreal – February 9, 2006, p. A15
HEALTH

Human Personality
Sharing secrets is a bonding experience. But knowing other people’s secrets also empower us. Interestingly women share more secrets than men do. Why? Women tend to be more verbal and talk more, psychologist Mary Harsany says.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – D1 – 15 January 2007 – Monique Polak
HUMAN PERSONALITY
Secrecy

Human Rights
Ivory Coast produces 70% of the world’s cocoa. It also has a disturbingly high number of child labourers working to grow that cocoa. One study showed that 388 of 500 surveyed children in Oumé district were either temporary or permanent cocoa plantation workers. American politicians, foreign aid groups, and the International Labour Organization have all been working towards ending the practice of child labour that is so prevalent in Ivory Coast and neighbouring Ghana, another major cocoa producer. The impoverished region will need aid, say officials, in order to hire adult workers to farm the land.
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Todd Pitman, Associated Press – July 4, 2005
HUMAN RIGHTS—child labour
Hydroelectricity
Hydro-Québec announced a 5.3-per-cent rate hike. This article reviews the cost of the raised prices for individual home owners and businesses as well as asks experts about their views on the huge price increase. The consensus is divided between whether or not the increase will help conservation.
ED
The Gazette, Montreal, March 4, 2006 – p. A3
HYDROELECTRICITY – Hydro-Québec

Immigrants
The term “Londonstani” refers to South Asian youth living in London. Journalist Gautam Malkani was afraid the term would be altered from one of pride to one of insult after the July 7th bombings in London that killed 53 commuters and four bombers, three of whom were of Pakistani descent. Malkani’s fear prompted him to turn the term into the title of a book about the life of troubled Asian youth in London. The book, geared toward the kids who “normally play their PlayStation,” was a huge success. Malkani notes that Asian youth seem to have become more assertive and aggressive in the early ‘90’s. Criticism of the novel is that it is too conventional and at times cliché.
NB
Jill Lawless, The Gazette, Montreal, July 8, 2006, p. j6
IMMIGRANTS

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Los Angeles, New York, Montreal, and other major cities to fight against proposed immigration reform in the United States. Protestors said that they “wanted to prove to people that the United States depends on us.” The multi-city protest, called A Day Without Immigrants, brought several U.S. cities to a standstill to protest against legislation that would crack down on 12 million illegal workers in the country. Hispanics are now the largest minority group in the country, with 1.1 million to 1.2 million new migrants, both legal and illegal, entering the United States each year.
TA
Cox News Service, The Gazette, Montreal, May 2, 2006, p. A2
Sheldon Alberts, Canwest News Service, The Gazette, Montreal, May 2, 2006, p. A3
IMMIGRANTS
Infectious Diseases
Avian flu reached Nigeria and the Middle East, killing wild birds en masse. Officials have done little to stop the spread despite citizens’ pleas.
ED
Associated Press, The Gazette, Montreal, February 15, 2006 – p. A17
INFECTIOUS DISEASES – avian flu

There have been reports of pet birds being destroyed in Abu Dhabi and other regions are temporarily prohibiting the import of wild birds destined for pet trades. These are defensive measures against the spread of avian flu, a potential pandemic that has thus far infected 120 people since 2003. Most cases of the flu originate from human to poultry contact and experts have not reached a consensus regarding migratory birds spreading the disease.
ED
David Bird, The Gazette, Montreal, October 30, 2005 – p.B8
INFECTIOUS DISEASES – Avian flu

Polio has returned after an outbreak in Nigeria reached Yemen. Children have received vaccinations against polio because Yemen had been polio-free for four years. As a result, one fourth of all polio cases in 2005 occurred in the poor region of Hudaydah, Yemen.
ED
Paul Garwood, The Gazette, Montreal, October 5, 2005 – p. A16
INFECTIOUS DISEASES – Polio

Insects
As though the big ice storm in Quebec in 1998 didn’t cause enough problems, this lingering effect appears to be at least as frustrating a challenge for some people in the Montréal area. Carpenter ants have flourished in the “wet, rotting conditions” created by fallen trees and branches.
SS
The Gazette, Montréal – A1 – 9 June 2005 – Susan Semenak
INSECTS
Ice Storm of l998

Robert Hall from the University of Missouri is a forensic entomologist. The species and size of the larvae maturing in murdered human bodies can help identify the location and time of death. These two pieces of information are sometimes crucial to solving crime cases. Evidence provided by these insects haved help convict or clear people and have even been useful in civil cases.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A3 – 6 January 2007 – Claudia Dreifus
INSECTS
Law
Kinship
A new term, “adultescence”, describes adults who choose to live with their parents because of the benefits of housing and economic support. The number of twenty-somethings living with their parents in Canada has reached 41 percent over the last two decades. This could have long term effects on society.
ED
Misty Harris, The Gazette, Montreal, February 20, 2006 – p. A10
KINSHIP
Languages
Knowing two or more languages delays onset of senile dementia for about 5 years. Crosswords and other similar mental games are similarly helpful in delaying memory loss.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A9 –12 January 2007
LANGUAGES
Alzheimer

Engineers at the language Technology Research Centre in Gatineau, Quebec, are developing a translator software that will distinguish and pick the proper contextual meaning for a word with multiple definitions and will accurately transcribe expressions. They are first working on translating French Québécois idioms into English but plan to expand from Spanish, German, Chinese and Finnish translation into English.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A16 – 27 January 2007 – Dave Rogers
LANGUAGE
Québécois

Graham Fraser asserts in his new book that bilingualism is failing in Canada.
But in Montreal exchanges between individuals often occur in two languages. He argues that there has been a remarkable adoption of French by Montreal Anglophones. The author cites many instances where bilingualism hasn’t been a complete failure, such as parents lining up to get their children into French immersion schools in B.C.
JC
The Montreal Gazette, March 7, 2006
LANGUAGES
Quebec

Few non-francophones ever grasp the fine art of swearing in Québécois because it sounds closer to prayer than profanity. To swear in Québécois, you must stop thinking sexually and start thinking spiritually, using religious words like calisse! (chalice!) and tabernac! (Tabernacle!). Only Quebec has kept religion at the core of it’s swearing. An Internet dictionary called the “Swearasaurus” lists major curses for more than 150 languages – and all except Quebec French use mostly sexual slurs.
TA
Josh Freed, The Gazette, Montreal, May 27, 2006
LANGUAGE – Swear Words
The English language does not have an equivalent to the Yiddish machetunim, meaning the members of a spouse’s extended family. Despite the large vocabulary of English, it lacks many words that are common in other languages that describe specific family relationships. Latin has distinctions between maternal and paternal uncles (avunculus and patruus), as does Swedish (morbror and farbror). On a similar note, in the last 200 years, more than 80 suggestions have been made for the pronoun of unknown gender. “thon” served this purpose and was printed in Webster’s Dictionary until the 1960’s.
NB
Howard Richler, The Gazette, Montreal, March 18, 2006, p. J8
LANGUAGE
Words

It is common for twins to speak their own language, but Luke and Jack Ryan, at 4 years old, have created a language incomprehensible to anyone but themselves and are incapable of speaking in English sentences. In an attempt to break the habit, they have been sent to school.
ED
Paul Stokes, The Gazette, Montreal, March 4, 2006 – p. A26
LANGUAGE – kinship

The European Union has decided to recognize Irish Gaelic as an official language of the EU. One reader, Michael Helfield, parallels Irish Gaelic’s suppression at the hands of a colonial power to that of the Sioux language of the American plains. Helfield advocates the preservation of aboriginal languages and the recognition of those languages as not only valid but as valuable.
SS
Michael Helfield, letter to the editor, The Gazette, Montreal — June 15, 2005
LANGUAGE
Language extinction

In 2021 half the languages spoken in the world are under threat, according to UNESCO. In Africa alone, 250 languages could be lost forever of 1400 languages spoken by 700 people or more, with another 500 on decline. The danger of language extinction appears to be most serious in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Sudan. A language is in danger when spoken by fewer than 30 % of its children. Over the past several centuries, languages have died at an increasing rate, especially in the Americas and Australia. One bright sidenote is Cornish, a language extinct in l777, which is now back from its near-dead in the eighteenth century, spoken by 1000 people currently as their second language.
UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger of Disappearing
http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.php-URL_ID=7856&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html
http://www.cornish-language.org/
LANGUAGE
Language extinction

Malapropism are common in everyday language. A large amount stem are spoken by children, such as backyarden and frontyarden, and a rainbrella. Yet adults have spoken them too. More often then not, francophones speaking English slip up.
ED
Howard Richler, The Gazette, Montreal
LANGUAGE – words
Malapropisms

The world’s foremost phonetician, Peter Ladefoged, passed away. He worked on Hollywood sets, with police and forensics, and in remote villages worldwide documenting endangered languages and examining speech patterns. He wrote the widely used book, A Course in Phonetics.
ED
Margalit Fox, The Gazette, Montreal
LANGUAGE
Literacy
55% of Canadians cannot properly read and follow the instructions on medication labels. Seniors score the worse: 90% of them are misreading the instructions. Deficiency in “health literacy” leads to problems such as dosing errors, misinterpretation of blood glucose scores for diabetics and overlooking warning labels. Contrary to our U.S. neighbours, no health literacy test exists in Canada. How can we solve this puzzling glitch? Prescriptions need to be worded in simpler terms or pharmacists ought to teach people how to read labels.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A14 – 27 January 2007 – Sharon Kirkey
LITERACY
Health

Literature
Can the argument between evolution and creationism be extended to the field of literature? David and Nanelle Barash argue for a Darwinian interpretation of literature and art, attempting to explain why art has evolved as it has. But, in a letter to the editor, Billy Toufexis of Pierrefonds, Quebec took exception to such a concept, calling it a “simplistic” and “dehumanizing” idea that cheapens not only artists but also human existence as a whole.
SS
The Gazette, Montreal – June 5, 2005
LITERATURE
Darwinism

The International Parliament of Writers opens its website. The journal Autodafe, appearing in eight languages, adds a multilingual Internet site christened www.autodafe.org, which serves as a relay and an extension of the publication¹s initiative. A wide selection of writings published in the review Autodafe is available on the site in four languages (French, English, Spanish and Portugese), and original articles in French and English will also be inserted regularly. The site’s three captions respond to its aim of addressing current world affairs, literary efforts and issues
dealt with by writers today:
-Writings of authors giving their perspectives of given social or political situations, such as violence or the death penalty in the United States, the Basque dilemma, the Zapatista movement in the Mexican province of Chiapas, war in the Balkans, contemporary Russia, etc…
-Interviews with authors from all points of the world such as Afghanistan, Congo-Brazzaville, Cuba, Algeria, China and Iraq, who are being hosted in Asylum Cities and whose individual experiences strike a singularly common note with those of their colleagues.
-Analyses and thoughts on literary creativity, on its link to the society that produces it and on the current status of cultural activities and the examples of censoring currently practiced in the world.
Autodafe.org provides more general coverage of the International Parliament of Writers and the Asylum City network. The Parliament’s history, a complete description of the Asylum Cities program, a list of cities and regions that are members of the network, as well as a presentation of writers hosted there and selections of some of their works are included on the site. The site also houses a “Bookstore” section containing unpublished literary works that have been censored throughout the world. The editorial section of Autodafe, both the publication and the Internet site, is intended to provide the following:
-reactivate exchange—nowadays injured not only by censorship but also by the hegemony of the
media—between writers of the five continents.
-to make known contemporary literary works that are difficult to obtain because they appear in minor
languages, are excluded because of a lack of funding, or are censored by political or religious powers.
-to give the opportunity of self-expression, not only to individuals but also to peoples and experiences struck mute, to vanishing cultures, to endangered languages.
The international journal Autodafe is published through a partnership of nine editors including Agra in Athens, Asa in Porto, Anagrama in Barcelona, Denoël in Paris, Feltrinelli in Milan, Pangloss in Moscow, Serpent’s Tail in London, Seven Stories Press in New York, and Ikusager in Vitoria, in the Spanish Basque country.
AS
Issue number two can be accessed at: http://www.autodafe.org/autodafe/autodafe_02/autodafe_02.htm.
LITTERATURE
Human rights
Lives of the Naturalists
S.J. Gould is dead. Among the theories, discoveries, and ideas credited to his name: punctuated equilibrium (evolutionary change is not slow and steady, but advances rather in sudden spurts and spasms followed by long periods of sameness); ontogeny and phylogeny; the thesis that not every feature of an organism exists for some adaptive purpose (cf. spandrel in architecture); the structure of evolutionary theory.
AS
LIVES OF THE NATURALISTS

David Suzuki has written an autobiography touching on features of his childhood, such as his time spent in internment camps in B.C’s interior during World War II. Later in his childhood he moved to Ontario. He was bullied as a child for being Sansei, a grandchild of immigrants, and being unable to speak Japanese. He has always had a sense of being an “other”. As an adult he has tried to warn an international audience about looming environmental disasters. Through his television show he has educated the public about the fight to save the Amazon Rainforest, and to end clear-cutting on B.C’s Queen Charlotte Islands. As a university professor he spoke out against the potential abuse of genetic research. He says that after he dies his hope is that his grandchildren will say his life work has helped the world become a better healthier place.
JC
Lisa Fitterman, The Montreal Gazette, May 27, 2006
LIVES OF NATURALISTS
David Suzuki
Mammals
Canada has declining herds of woodland caribou. The government needs to act to protect them to ensure their survival. This species could disappear from Alberta with in the next decade. Their decline is evident in provinces from the Yukon to Newfoundland. The Caribou are extremely vulnerable to industrial landscape pressures. A report by CPAWS calls for connected protected areas to be developed and for governments to change land use policies. Newfoundland, Alberta and Manitoba have initiated plans to help the caribou. Part of the challenge is garnering public support.
JC
John Cotter, The Montreal Gazette, May 29, 2006
MAMMALS
Caribou

World’s oldest known beaver was swimming around 164 million years ago in China. This beaver, now extinct, seems to be an amalgam of animals. Finding mammals that existed during this period is rare because mammals didn’t take over as a dominant group until 100 million years after Little Castorocauda luxtrasimilis went swimming. It is the largest known Jurassic early mammal, and the first known to have lived in water.
JC
Tom Spears, The Montreal Gazette, February 24, 2006
MAMMALS
Beaver

Translocated lynx individuals from Canada have helped the dwindling Colorado lynx population to rebound. However, despite some new evidence, the state of New Mexico does not recognize the lynx as a native species and permits the cat’s hunt. A court case is underway to decide on the lynx’s fate in New Mexico.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A29 – 13 May 2006 – Randy Boswell
MAMMALS
Cats

How deep underwater can emperor penguin go? 1,650 feet or 500 meters. Interestingly, a team of scientists found that the energy spent by the penguins during their fish hunting dives was minimal. That is, they spent the same amount of energy racing after their prey 500 meters below than they would if they just were handed the food. How can they do it? They decrease their heart beats by two or three times its normal rate, thereby minimizing energy loss.
ML
Wildlife Conservation® – June 2005 pages 38-42
MAMMALS
Penguins
Death

The Atlantic Walrus, whose range used to span over Nova Scotia and Massachusetts, has been declining in numbers at an alarming rate. Unsustainable hunting in Greenland appears to be responsible, but scientists fear that lack of a management plan for the species, added to global warming effects, will only make things worse. COSEWIC, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, is pushing for a Special Concern status for the species.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A12 – 29 May 2006 – Dene Moore
MAMMALS
Walrus
Bruno was part of the reintroduction program of bears into Northern Italy. The bear crossed the Italian border into Germany and was shot by government-sanctioned hunters. This was the first wild bear seen in Germany since 1835. The Environment Minister of Germany who gave permission to kill the bear has received death threats.
NB
Roland Losch, The Gazette, Montreal, June 27, 2006, p. A12
MAMMALS
Bears

Canada’s leading polar bear expert, Ian Stirling, challenges Tim Flannery’s claim that polar bear will be extinct around the year 2030. While Stirling states that climate change poses a serious threat to polar bear, they will not disappear in this time period. Stirling argues that polar bear will only disappear when there is no year-round ice coverage, and this will only happen for “thousands and thousands of years.” While Stirling challenges Flannery’s statement about extinction, he has studied the effects of climate change on the species. The Hudson Bay polar bear population, which he has studied for decades, has decreased in weight by 15 to 20% and has 20% fewer individuals.
NB
The Gazette, Montreal, April 29, 2006, p. A18
MAMMALS
Bears
Polar Bears

Bridgitte Bardot stated she is appalled by Canada’s seal hunt and calls for “the massacre” to stop. The 71-year-old French actress said she may never return to Ottawa on account of the hunt.
NB
Bruno Shlumberger, The Gazette, Montreal, March 23, 2006, p. A10
MAMMALS
Seals

Ottawa has set the 2006 harp seal hunt limit to 325,000 animals, which is similar to the limit that has been set for the last three years. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans state in response to concerns about ice conditions for hunting, that they are not ideal but not unprecedented in the area. The International Fund for Animal Welfare says the quota is “unbelievable.” Currently, the harp seal population off Canada’s east coast is 6 million, triple what it was in the 1970’s. The industry of seal hunting is valued at about $16 million a year. For the years 2003 to 2005, the quota was set at 975,000. In the early 1990’s hunters killed about 60,000 animals a year, but that number has been rising. Baby seals (less than 12 days old), known as white coats are illegal to hunt, and most seals are hunted when they are about 25 days old.
NB
The Gazette, Montreal, Thursday, March 16, 2006, p. A14
MAMMALS
Seals

Luna, the solitary male orca who has lived off the coast of Vancouver since 2001, was killed by the propeller of a tugboat. Luna sometimes damaged equipment of fishermen, upsetting them and rumors began that some fishermen wanted to harm Luna. However, the death of Luna appears to be completely by accident. The Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation believed Luna (known by them as Tsux’iit) was the spirit of their deceased chief. The federal government had a $10,000 stewardship program with the First Nation to keep the whale away from boats.
NB
The Gazette, Montreal, Saturday, March 11, 2006, A12
MAMMALS
Whales

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service developed a new plan to protect the Florida panther, which is federally listed as endangered. At the same time, opponents are questioning authenticity of the distinction between the Florida panther and the common cougar. Genetics tests show they are more similar than previously thought, this could change the needs to protect this predator.
ED
Peter Whoriskey, The Gazette, Montreal, February 26, 2006 – p. A23
MAMMALS – Big cats

Elephants in Uganda with the equivalent of pachyderm post-traumatic stress disorder, are taking revenge on humans for the breakdown of elephant society. The stress is remnant from witnessing the slaying of family members or being orphaned in the 1970s and 1980s. To protect themselves, humans are shooting ferocious gangs of elephants but this perpetuates the problem.
ED
Roger Highfield, The Gazette, Montreal – January 6, 2006, p. A22
MAMMALS – elephant poaching
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

A new species of dolphin has been identified. The Australian Snubfin Dolphin (Orcaella heinsohni) was confirmed as a new species by observations made by scientists in Queensland, Australia and by a genetic study in La Jolla, California. Isabel Beasley (of James Cook University’s School of Tropical Environmental Studies and Geography), one of the two Australian researchers) pointed out that the Australian Snubfin Dolphin is at risk of accidentally being caught in fishing nets because they live in such shallow waters. Beasley also noted that the dolphins were under threat from “the effects of coastal development.”
SS
Associated Press – July 6, 2005
MAMMALS—dolphins
Endangered species

Thought you were special? Well, think again. Macaque monkeys have been found to have in their brains something called Broca’s area, which had been thought for a long time to set humans apart from other primates in our ability to speak and express sophisticated ideas.
SS
Peggy Curran, The Gazette, Montreal – July 4, 2005
MAMMALS—primates

A research study claims to have proved that dolphins have culture, which is defined in this case as “a behaviour that is acquired by imitation and passed on in a population.” Behaviours are, of course, consistent from one generation to the next of any species, but the distinction is that some species learn behaviours because they are genetically predisposed to do so, whereas others—like the dolphins in question—do so because they observe the conduct other members of their community. The study found that a group of dolphins near Australia had passed on to its children (exclusively from mothers to daughters) the practice of using a sea sponge as a protective tool during foraging by wearing the sponges on their noses. It had been previously believed that only primates passed on cultural practices.
SS
Rob Stein, The Gazette, Montreal – June 29, 2005
MAMMALS—dolphins
On June 5, 2005, a grizzly bear killed a jogger in Canmore, Alberta. Isabelle Dubé, a Quebec-born mountain biker, was jogging with 2 friends when they were attacked by the bear. The bear was identified as the same one that had been removed from the area just a week before the attack. In this first encounter, officials were able to tranquilize the grizzly and transport it to a location inside Banff National Park. The bear was being monitored after having been fitted for a radio collar, but was nevertheless able to leave the park. Fish and wildlife officers killed the grizzly later in the day that Dubé was attacked.
SS
Robert Remington, Canwest; and Alex Dobrota,
The Gazette, Montreal – June 7, 2005
MAMMALS—bears

Canada has increased its quota of baby harp seal skins to record levels. The clubbing of baby seals, as young as twelve days old, caused a global outcry from animal rights activists and environmentalist in the 1970’s successfully shutting down the US and European markets and forcing a virtual collapse of the hunt. New markets emerging in Russia, Ukraine and Poland have fueled the revival of the industry, raising the price paid for a top grade skin to similar prices of the 1970’s. The revival is made possible because the seal population was allowed to replenish during the long hunting slump, tripling in numbers since 1970.
The federal government will allow the killing of up to 350,000 baby harp seals, or one in three born. Tougher hunting rules and regulations will try to put to an end the inhumane actions of the 1970’s such as clubbing very young seal pups and then skinning them alive. Seal hunting is worth about $39 million annually to the Newfoundland economy.
AR
Clifford Krauss, The Gazette, Montréal, April 5, 2004
MAMMALS
Seals

Winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, author J.M. Coetzee’s new novel, Elizabeth Costello, raises the question: By raising billions of animals a year in often squalid conditions before brutally slaughtering them for their meat and skin, are we all complicit in ‘a crime of stupefying proportions?’ Coetzee thinks that history will one day “judge us harshly as it judges the Germans who went about their ordinary lives in the shadow of Treblinka.”
AR
The Gazette, Montreal. October 14, 2003
MAMMALS
Vegetarianism

How often do porcupines do it? Very carefully and very often. Improbable as it seems, a porcupine copulates every day, 365 days a year, whether it is in breeding season or not.
AS
Natalie Angier, The New York Times, 7/10/01
MAMMALS

A male insect-eating mammal known as an almiqui, native to Cuba but believed for years to be extinct, has been found in the island’s eastern mountains. The creature looks like a brownish woolly badger with a long, pink-tipped snout and can measure up to about 19 inches.
AR
MAMMALS
Cuba

It is believed that a series of domestication events that took place in East Asia that have lead to the dog becoming mans best friend. Initially, dogs would have adopted humans as a protector, provider and best friend. In return the early wolf-like animals helped humans hunt. After that, the dogs followed where humans went, including migrating to the Americas. Living with humans and sharing the environment for thousands of years also caused dogs to develop some of the same genetic health problems, from cancer to night blindness. Researchers are now mapping the dog genome, as it is closer to the human genome than the mouse. From this researchers hope to learn the genetic basis for many diseases that affect both dogs and humans.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal
Paul Recer
MAMMALS
Dogs

The two-part documentary “The Rise of the Dog” and “Dogs by Design” follows the history of the first domesticated animal and its proliferation around the world. It explores the theory that the explosion of breeds has made dogs the most varied species on the planet.

EmD

The Gazette, by David Krouke (L.A. Daily News). April 22, 2007

MAMMALS

Dogs

Japan intensified its efforts to end an 18-year international moratorium on commercial whaling, contending at the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission that nearly 3,000 Minke whales could be safely hunted annually in the seas around Antarctica without threatening that species. Japan threatened to pull out of the organization, created in 1946 to protect whales, if it did not gain concessions.
The New York Times
AR
MAMMALS
Whaling

According to Great Britain’s Daily Express newspaper, Charles Dickens coined the term “polar bear,” which was called a “white bear” before.
SS
Michael Kesterton, The Globe & Mail, Toronto
MAMMALS—bears

The news about the 100 to 400 remaining spirit bears, a recent item in the Montreal Gazette reports, is much more heartening. The 100,000-hectare Great Bear Rainforest has been set aside in British Columbia for this rare white subspecies of black bear, also known as the kermode.
AS
MAMMALS—bears

In an attempt to avert their extinction by a contagious cancer that causes facial tumors, Tasmanian Devils are being relocated to an island off Australia’s coast. There is hope that the disease will be wiped out and that healthy individuals can eventually be reintroduced. However, concerns remain that the relocation will have an unpredictable impact on the island’s ecology.

EmD

The Gazette, Red McGuirk (Associated Press). April 21, 2007
MAMMALS

Marsupials

The slaying of 39 Labrador caribou, some from herds near extinction, is currently being investigated. The mammals are protected under Newfoundland and Labrador’s Endangered Species Act. Efforts towards a Labrador-Quebec Caribou recovery plan have been hindered by the recent slaughters.
EmD

The Gazette. Canwest News Service. May 1st 2007.

MAMMALS

Caribou (n.c.)
Media
When issuing a press release regarding the depiction of Prophet Muhammad in the Danish newspaper Jullands-Postend, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights equated the offensive cartoons and ensuing mayhem and bloodshed. The article accentuates the double standards of the entire incident.
ED
Dan Gardner, The Gazette, Montreal – p. A11
MEDIA

The International Press Institute (IPI) reports that an unprecedented number of journalists, 100 worldwide, were killed in 2006. Of these, 46 victims were in Iraq, 10 in the Philippines, 7 in Mexico, and 5 in Sri Lanka.

EmD

Norman Webster. The Gazette. April 29, 2007. A15

MEDIA

Mineral Consumerism
Less than 1% of the marketed diamonds is funding armed conflicts. However, if one considers smuggled diamonds and deplorably abusive mining labour conditions, it is rather 20% of the diamonds on the market that supports somewhat fraudulous activities. The recent Hollywood flick, Blood Diamond, raised awareness on this issue but awkwardly too late. The central African “diamond wars” denounced in the movie are now finishing and governments are building a system aiming to legitimize the market. This system, the Kimberly Process, although still flawed and inefficient, is a step forward to giving the diamond more legitimacy.
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The Gazette, Montréal – A19 -8 January 2007 – Lynne Duke
MINERAL CONSUMERISM
Conflict diamonds

Mining
Alcan Inc. is the second largest producer of Aluminium in the world and operates in 61 countries. Would it be possible that such a large company distinguished itself through its efforts to put in place sustainable development measures? Indeed, Alcan Inc. was awarded the Prize of Sustainability in 2006 and the World Environment Council’s gold medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development in 2007. Yet, environmentalists are blaming Alcan for “greenwashing” its activity, suggesting that the company whose production has increased by 40% cannot decrease it emissions by 25% at the same time..
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The Gazette, Montréal – C1 -5 May 2007 – Lynn Moore
MINING
Alcan
Aluminium
Noranda, a Canadian mining company, hopes to built an aluminum smelter in Patagonia, Chile. Opponents are afraid that past cases of Noranda not fulfilling their promises of high environmental standards will jeopardize the beauty of the land. Noranda believes they are technologically advanced and can economically help a poor region.
ED
Michelle LaLonde
MINING – aluminum

Modern Grid
On Thursday August 14, 2003 at 4:10.48, the New England power grid shutdown, resulting in a massive blackout. This occurrence was not the first massive electricity blackout, but it is a reminder of the fragility of the system and our growing dependence on its existence.
ED
James Glanz, The New York Times, August 17, 2003 – section 4-1
MODERN GRID – electricity
Modern Culture
French officials warn Canada that although the country has an impressive multicultural policy, it needs to integrate immigrants more into the “Canadian way of life” to prevent the type of disruptions that France experienced with the Muslim riots recently. Toronto is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, and 13% of legislators are foreign born, compared to 11% in Australia and 2% in the US. Currently there are 650 million people in the world that live outside their native countries, and that number is expected to double in the next 30 years.
NB
Hubert Bauch, The Gazette, Montreal, June 15, 2006, p. A13
MODERN CULTURE
Immigrants

Is globalization on the decline, and is this a positive thing for national sovereignty and governmental social programs? Canadian essayist John Ralston Saul believes so, as he writes in his book “The Collapse of Globalism,” published in 2005. Jay Bryan, a columnist for The Gazette (Montreal) disagrees, citing, in essence, the inevitability that globalization and its inherent (in his opinion) economic benefits will win out over nationalism and government regulation, particularly in places like China and India.
SS
Jay Bryan, The Gazette, Montreal — June 19, 2005
MODERN CULTURE—globalization

Leather basketballs are being replaced by “composite” leather basketballs in the NCAA Championships. These composite balls are, in fact, not leather at all. One more example of a synthetic substance (the excrement of oil as Mailer calls plastic) replacing a real one.
AS
http://www.sgma.com/press/2002/press1024423517-10258.html
MODERN CULTURE—denaturalization

Wayne Grady has written a book, “Bringing Back the Dodo,” which suggests that Homo sapiens may be the most domesticated species of all. In the book, Grady brings up topics such as what is a species that originated in subtropical grasslands doing with millions of individuals living in regions where the temperature drops to -20? He touches upon topics such as what is natural and what is unnatural, and how have we adapted our environment instead of adapting to our environment, as Darwin would have suggested? Grady describes the poor state of our Earth, but stays away from doomsday predictions.
NB
Eric Boodman, The Gazette, Montreal, April 1, 2006, p. J5
MODERN CULTURE
Environment
Natural History

These days, children are spending less and less time playing outdoors, and when they are outside, it is rare to find them without the supervision of a coach or parents. The situation has become so bad, that one parenting magazine included tips on how to play backyard games and climb trees. One newspaper columnist has coined the term “nature-deficit disorder.” At the same time, obesity rates are on the rise. There is growing concern about the next generation of environmentalists if children today are more likely to be inside playing video games than exploring outside.
NB
Peggy Crowley, The Gazette, Montreal, March 31, 2006, p. A21
MODERN CULTURE
Children
Mushrooms
The eight-meter tall fossil of a mysterious organism, found on the Gaspé Peninsula, has stumped scientists for 150 years. A US research team has recently determined that the specimen was a “humongous fungus.” Their findings are published in the May issue of Geology.

EmD

Randy Boswell. The Gazette. April 24, 2007. A1.

MUSHROOMS

Music
Sam Gesser received the heritage award from the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. Thanks to Gesser, more than 100 Canadian folk artists were produced on the New York label Folkways. He also brought out to Montréal Janis Joplin, Glenn Gould, Peter Seeger, and Joan Baez to name a few. Before him nobody has distributed Folkways in Canada.
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The Gazette, Montréal – D1 – 26 January 2007 – Juan Rodrigez
MUSIC
Folk music

Nature
Electronic media such as video games are to blame for “nature deficit disorder.” Kids are experiencing virtual nature through their TV and Xbox and are neglecting to go out and experience the wild “live”.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – i4 – 13 January 2007 – Tyler Todd
NATURE
Nature deficit disorder

Quote of the day in the Montreal Gazette, “The subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of the senses and understanding.” (Sir Francis Bacon).
JC
The Montreal Gazette
NATURE
definitions of
Neuroscience
Asymmetric tail wagging in dogs gives clues about how they feel about someone or something. In the 20th issue of Current Biology Italian, scientists revealed their results: when a dog is wagging its tail to the right they feel secure and on familiar ground When the animal is facing danger, the tail wags more to the left. Thus, just like for humans, dogs’ left brain controls the right side of the body and is stimulated by positive feelings like love, feeding and calmness, while the right brain, stimulated by energy expenditure, fear and rapid heart beats, controls the left side of the body.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A3 – 25 April 2007 – Sandra Blakeslee
NEUROSCIENCE
Animal neurophysiology
The word’s first study of chronic déjà vu has begun at University of Leeds. Chronic déjà vu sufferers are constantly overcome with the sensation that something new has happened before and the more novel the event, the more likely they will get sensations of déjà vu. This can be very problematic, and before these people were often misdiagnosed.
ED
Sharon Kirkey, The Gazette, Montreal, February 13, 2006, p. A2
NEUROSCIENCE – déjà vu

To sleep on a decision is a good thing according to researchers at the University of Amsterdam. When presented with complex decisions, participants better selected the best option after sleeping rather than in consciousness. Sleeping, therefore, is not procrastination but an effective tool.
ED
NEUROSCIENCE
Nutrition
Health Canada urges Canadians to replace half of their daily grain intake with enriched white flour that contains folic acid, a preventative against birth defects. Other experts, such as professors at the Harvard School of Public Health, says the benefits of a reduction in whole grain products is unlikely to help more than whole grain products.
ED
Elizabeth Payne, The Gazette, Montreal, March 4, 2006 – p. A12
NUTRITION – health
Oceans
A new small inshore cod fishery for the northeast coast of Newfoundland has just been opened. This commercial fishery is a one-year pilot project. It is the first time in three years there has been a commercial cod fishery in the region. The fisherman said this project would prove if there are fish to be had in the region. Fisheries Minister Hearn said the fishery would be shut down if it were abused. The previous fishery was shutdown in 2003 because of fears that stocks had not recovered enough.
JC
Barb Sweet, The Montreal Gazette, June 9, 2006
OCEANS
Fisheries
Cod

Scientists have successfully equipped narwhals with satellite tags north of Greenland. The tags will record time, depth and water temperature as the narwhals travel through up to 1.5km below sea surface in the frigid waters. Measurements like these are rarely taken in the winter months. Therefore, the valuable information they bring will help monitor the effects of climate change.
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The Gazette, Montréal – j10 -5 May 2007 – Juliet Eilperin
OCEANS
Climate change
Narwhals

Reminiscent of the 15 years-old historic cod fisheries collapse, the Newfoundland fisheries face today the plummeting of shellfish export prices. 700 jobs have already been lost and more are forecasted. Since the ban on cod fisheries in 1992, the industry turned to crab and shrimps. But competitors such as China and Alaska are too powerful and Newfoundland has no other alternative fisheries to exploit.
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The Gazette, Montréal – A12 – 22 May 2006 – Tara Brautigam
OCEANS
Fishing

Paleontologists in Italy uncovered the remains of a 5-million-year-old and 10-meter-long whale. This region of Tuscany where the whale was found was under water at that time.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A23 -22 March 2007
OCEANS
Palaeontology
Whales

Killer whale sightings in western Hudson Bay have increased by 5 times in 20 years. This increase is unexplained, but seems to be correlated with the decrease in sea ice. On the top of the food chain, pumped-up killer whale numbers means no good for other large mammals such as belugas, narwhals, walruses and bowhead whales, on which Inuit people depend. However, it is unclear if the increase in killer whales is a result of global warming or due to the termination of commercial whaling activities since the 1970s.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – 19 January 2007 – Bob Weber
OCEANS
Whales
Global warming
The world’s marine life is in serious trouble. The World Wildlife Fund states that catches of bluefin tuna are occurring at a rate 40% higher than internationally agreed limits. Controls of commercial whaling have been lifted. There are dangerously low levels of anchovy populations in the Bay of Biscay. The Canadian government has reopened small-scale cod fisheries and is allowing “recreational” cod fishing, with the fishermen in charge of catch limit enforcements.
NB
The Gazette, Montreal, July 6, 2006, p. A18
OCEANS
Marine Life

“Deep Sea 3D” is a documentary about the earth’s oceans. 90% of big fish of big fish have disappeared over the last 50 years. The film speaks about the ever-changing balance between predator and prey, and rare footage of spawning of coral reefs, which happens once a year on the 8th day after the full moon in August for only two hours.
NB
Kathryn Greenway, The Gazette, Montreal, May 5, 2006, p. D10
OCEANS

A group of right whales has been sighted in the Bering Sea. This is good news for the species, as it is endangered after almost being hunted to extinction in the 1800’s. in 2004 a group of 17 were seen, and up until then the most that had been seen in one place together was six.
NB
The Gazette, Montreal, April 29, 2006, p. J11
OCEANS
Whales

Pirate fishermen are decimating fish populations. The bandits are too wide-ranging and swift for regulatory agencies to respond. Large-scale extinction are on the horizon if nothing is done, according an assistant professor of biology at kalhousie University. Fikret Berkes, a researcher chair at the University of Manitoba’s Natural Resources Institute, states that cooperative stewardship at multiple levels of authority needs to be implemented. Villy Christensen from the University of British Columbia states that different levels of management have been aware of the situation for over a decade and have practiced this type of suggested cooperation.
NB
Charles Mandel, The Gazette, Montreal, March 17, 2006, p. A10
OCEANS
Sharks
Fishing

The slaughter of sharks – they have suffered a 90% decrease in the last 50 years– has destabilizing consequences for marine ecosystems, as shown by a 2007 Atlantic Ocean study. They are not only being hunted for their flesh but dying en masse as bycatch in nets cast for other fish. Sharkwater is a documentary that emphasizes the need for environmental concern and policy ‘below the surface’. It seeks to rectify the public perception of sharks as a deadly predator, and aims to increase awareness of other keystone species. More info can be found on the website: www.sharkwater.com

EmD

The Gazette. Rob Stewart. April 22 2007.

OCEANS

Sharks

Due to its tendency to get caught in commercial salmon nets, the basking shark was, until 1970, subject to a deliberate eradication program instituted by the Canadian Government. This policy is reportedly to blame for the disappearance of Canada’s longest fish, which has been seen only six times in the past decade.

The Gazette. Dennis Bueckert (Canadian Press). May 1st 2007.

EmD

OCEANS

Sharks

Extinction

A toxic algae bloom from Maine to Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, called a “red tide,” forced the closure of shellfish harvesting in those areas in the summer of 2005. It was the largest in decades, according the AP report. The red tide can poison shellfish and the people who consume them.
SS
The Gazette, Montreal – reproduced from an AP report
OCEANS
Fishing

The Great Turtle Race, between Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast and the Galapagos, aims to raise awareness on leatherback turtles in a creative way. The eleven female race contestants can be monitored online.

EmD

April 16, 2007

OCEANS

Turtles

Oil
Guards foiled the first ever attack on a Saudi oil facility before it caused any damage to the crucial facility. The attack did not affect operations. Suspicions fell on Al-Qa’ida-linked militants, a group that Saudi Arabian officials have been targeting in the past three years.
ED
Hasan Jamali, The Gazette, Montreal, February 25, 2006 – A16
OIL – Saudi Arabia

The world needs 85 million barrels of oil every day. With no insulation (surplus production) against disruption to the production side of the oil market and growing consumer demand, oil prices will continue to rise.
ED
Jay Bryan, The Gazette, Montreal, February 25, 2006 – p. C1
OIL
Hyper-consumption

Iraq’s oil revenues should be used for humanitarian needs, not to pay for the cost of war. How the United States determines to use the oil will effect their worldwide reputation.
ED
Editorial, The New York Times, April 11, 2003 – p. A24
OIL – Iraq

Nigeria, the world’s fifth-ranking supplier of oil to the United States – only has the capacity to produce half of its own supply. The international market, violence in the Niger Delta, and politics have resulted in long lines at gas stations, vandalism, and black markets in Lagos and other cities.
ED
Somini Sengupta, The New York Times, April 11, 2003 – p. A4
OIL – Nigeria

If oil is the lifeblood of the modern economy, the so-called ‘chokepoints’ such as the Strait of Hormuz are the primary arteries. They allow the transportation of millions of barrels of crude oil, yet are so narrow and theoretically could be blocked. Any move to block these conduits would choke energy markets, causing prices to soar for consumers and businesses. While the probability of squeezing a chokepoint remains small, it can’t be discounted in such volatile times.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal. March 12, 2003
Chris Varcoe, Canwest News Service
OIL

Crude oil prices soared as the world waited to see if the United States would invade Iraq. Experts assure that if the USA invades victory will be swift and oil prices will drop like the last invasion in the Middle East during the Persian Gulf War.
ED
Chris Varcore, The Gazette, Montreal, March 10, 2003 – p. A14
OIL – world production and consumption

Militants’ ransom for the nine foreigners they held captive was a greater share of oil wealth for Nigeria. They threatened to continue to wreak havoc on the industry until changes were made. Nigeria is Africa’s top crude producer but remains poor.
ED
Edward Harris, The Gazette, Montreal, p. A7
OIL – Nigeria
Ozone

UV radiation from the sun is expected to be even higher than last summer, when the UV index hit a record high of 11 on June 12. Several factors have attributed to these high UV levels such as, the depletion of the ozone layer, the 11-year sunspot cycle, and global warming.
JC
Marian Scott, The Montreal Gazette, March 27, 2006
OZONE

A coalition of health groups, including the Canadian Cancer Society and seven other health agencies, says it’s safe to go outside briefly without sunscreen. Ultraviolet radiation in modest doses can help prevent Vitamin D deficiencies. Although the health agencies do not recommend hours a day or baking in the sun, a couple of minutes outside the peak UV period, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. will benefit. Evidence is mounting that UV radiation, a known carcinogen, can paradoxically lower the risks of colorectal, prostate and breast cancer.
TA
Sharon Kirkey, Canwest News Service, The Gazette, Montreal, May 26, 2006
OZONE
Solar Radiation
The zero-tolerance policy for sun-exposure may expire soon: new research shows that the sun’s ultraviolet rays benefit some key parts of the body and help reduce risk of some cancers. Vitamin D and skin cancer researchers will meet at the inaugural North American conference on ultraviolet rays to discuss vitamin D and health.
ED
Don Harrison, The Gazette, Montreal, March 2, 2006 – p. A3
OZONE

Ozone levels above the South Atlantic Ocean have doubled since 1977 says a study in Science Express, the online edition of the journal Science. They state the increase is probably due to a doubling of African energy emissions, mostly increasing in the southern part of the continent. As ozone levels rise, so too are hospital admissions and emergency room visits as elevated ozone levels aggravate asthma and other respiratory ailments. Ground level ozone has also been shown to interfere with plant’s ability to produce and store food, reducing yields of farmed soy beans, wheat and cotton.
AR
Jack Kasey, The Gazette, Montréal, May 14, 2004
OZONE

Paleoanthropology
New evidence confirms that humans spread out of Africa 50,000 years ago. A few teeth, stones and tools made of ivory were found near Moscow and were dated 45,000 old. A link was made between these items and a skull from South Africa of the same time frame revealing the direction of the journey our human ancestors took to leave Africa. Modern humans originated in the African rift valley 160,000 years ago.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A21 – 13 January 2007
PALEONANTHROPOLOGY

Paper Industry
The budget of the Conservative party offers advantageous financial incentives to the paper and pulp industries that switch to more environmental practices. For instance, pulp and paper firms recycling one of their wastes, the “black liquor,” by using it as a form of energy source.
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The Gazette, Montréal – A10 – 12 May 2006 – Glen McGregor
PAPER INDUSTRY

Bowater Inc, purchaser of Abitibi-Consolidated Inc., suffered important first-quarter losses. Continued decline in newsprint consumption and weak lumber markets have led to price declines. Fueled by a decrease in newspaper circulation and the growing popularity of the internet, US newsprint consumption has decreased by 26 percent since 1999.

For more information on Bowater, see Dispatch #20 : The Rape of the Cumberland Plateau

EmD

Christopher Donville and Rob Delaney. The Gazette. April 27, 2007. B7.

PAPER INDUSTRY

Paleontology
British scientists claim to have found 40,000-year-old footprints in volcanic ash in Mexico. It had been previously believed that humans arrived in the Americas 13,500 years ago.
SS
Associated Press – July 5, 2005
PALEONTOLOGY
Prehistory of the Americas

A nearly complete skeleton of the sabre-toothed cat Hoplophoneus was purchased by the Canadian Museum of Nature for display in the museum’s new tertiary period exhibit. The Hoplophoneus specimen came from South Dakota where paleontologist Japheth Boyce found it on a ranch owned by his family. The museum also purchased a pair of pygmy camels from the same time period.
AR
The Gazette, Montreal.
George Kampouris
PALEONTOLOGY
Pesticides
Dr. Ron Matsusaki claims he sees abnormally high cancer rates in West Prince Country, P.E.I. due to high use of agricultural chemicals. Health authorities dispute his claims but are looking into the use of agro-chemicals anyways. The province has recently released new legislation to crack down on overusing these chemicals.
ED
Charles Mandel, The Gazette, Montreal
PESTICIDES – health
Poaching
Despite the 1989 ivory ban, elephant ivory is still being confiscated at the U.S. border. In 2004, attempts to import illegal ivory were five times greater at the U.S. border than for other countries. Americans buy the illegal goods through the Internet from China, which feeds the fraudulent trade. However, some ivory can be marketed. It is the case for mammoth ivory, trophies from African countries that have negotiated the practice and for the ivory that pre-dates the ivory ban. This dual market (legal/illegal) is certainly complicating the law enforcement against illegal ivory.
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Wildlife Conservation® – p. 22 – June 2005
POACHING
Mammals
Elephants

Poachers killed Olga, the first ever radio-collared Siberian tiger. She was 14 years old and the most studied tiger. Out of the 23 tiger deaths recorded by the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Siberian Tiger Project, 17 fell under the bullets of poachers, who also destroy the radio collar to avoid to be tracked down.
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Wildlife Conservation® – p. 12 – June 2005
POACHING
Mammals
Tigers

Poetry
Wilma McDaniel, an American poet died at 88. Her work spoke to the people from Oklahoma who restarted their life in central California during the1930s Great Depression. Nicknamed the “biscuits and gravy poet” from one of her poems, she praised folk wisdom. McDaniel had to wait her 50s to be discovered and published.
ML
The Gazette, Montr
Here’s a bulletin forwarded by David Simpson, a freelance environmental editor in Kenya: For the last twenty years, 10,000 bears in China have been imprisoned with catheters draining their gall bladders for ingredients to produce shampoos, aphrodisiacs, and “miraculous” remedies. As well, there is heavy poaching of the black bear in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park, also for their gall bladders, which are sold to Asian agents, who also make monthly stops at local convenience stores to buy ginseng roots as far north as Vermont.
AS
POACHING
Mammals—bears

Pollution

Hundreds of atmospheric scientists are culminating a month long research project about the air quality in Mexico City. The poor air quality in Mexico City is due to many factors: it is surrounded by mountains, the valley contain about 9 million vehicles, oil refineries, a volcano, hundreds of thousands of leaky propane tanks used with cooking stoves, and a population of 20 million people. Effects of current air conditions include lodged particles under contact lenses and in lungs as well as a worsening of allergies, asthma and colds. Research is being done on the secondary pollutants that are created when the suns rays alter emissions that are released into the air, as well as how particles affect cloud formation and rain fall. Although conditions have been improving over the past few years, they are still below basic health standards.
NB
The Gazette, Montreal, Sunday, April 2, 2006
POLLUTION
Air

A recent medical study shows that mercury previously common in some vaccines does not increase the chance of developing autism, as was commonly believed. About 200,000 Canadians live with the disorder today.
NB
Charlie Fidelman, The Gazette, Montreal, p. A7
POLLUTION
Toxic Contaminants
Mercury
Pope
The Pope Benedict XVI wrote a book on Jesus where he draws parallels between the evangelical story and modern day “rape” and “pillage” of Africa by richer consumerism-oriented states.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A16 – 5 April 2007
POPE
Population
“Children of Men” is the must-see movie that shows an apocalyptic world inspired by today’s concerns. An unidentified and incurable pandemic disease prevents childbirth in the world’s human population, whose youngest representative is 18 years old. Terror and war ravage all countries; refugee camps abound and immigrants are caged and treated as if they were brutal criminals. Yet, among this doom and gloom world, an ordinary man, acted by Clive Owen, is trying to bring the only known infant and his mother toward an uncertain safe place.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – D1 – 5 January 2007 – Jay Stone
POPULATION
Disease
Fiction
The perilous population growth rates predicted in the 1970s never became reality. In fact, population growth has dropped from 2.1 percent per year to 1.1 percent per year. We will reach out peak in 2050. This is good news, but problems with the high population of the world will still occur.
ED
Charles Enman, The Gazette, Montreal, February 25, 2006 – A19
POPULATION

A publication supported by the United Nations called “World Resources: Managing Ecosystems to Fight Poverty” advocates stronger environmental protection in order to reduce worldwide poverty. The report claims that foreign aid and debt relief are oversimplified methods of fighting poverty. Many of the world’s poor rely heavily on the environment: 75% of people in poverty live in rural areas and are dependent on the environment for their livelihoods.
SS
Richard Black, BBC News online environment correspondent –
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4199138.stm
POPULATION
Poverty
Conservationism
Modern culture

Primary school teachers in New Delhi have been ordered to find two volunteers for sterilization. The order, given by magistrate Amrit Abhijat, is a new attempt to combat India’s population explosion.
ED
Peter Foster, The Gazette, Montreal, p. A26
POPULATION – India
Quebec
The debate about Quebec’s nationality and sovereignty was kindled after Stephen Harper’s speech in Quebec City on St. Jean Baptiste Day. Harper said the debate was, “a semantic argument that doesn’t serve any real purpose.” Distinction is made between recognizing Quebec as a nation in a sociological sense, and a political sense. Also, that not all nationalists are sovereignist, but all sovereignists are nationalists. Lastly, there is concern about who is truly Quebecois and whether native-born Quebecers extend the definition to Anglophones and immigrants.
NB
The Gazette, Montreal, July 2, 3006, p. A13
QUEBEC
Sovereignty Culture
Nation- Statehood

Rainforest
7000 hectares of rainforest reserve in Uganda will be cut for a sugar plantation in order to enhance the agriculture and industrial based economy.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A19 -22 March 2007
RAIN FOREST
Uganda

Sexual slavery
Worldwide, 10 million of children (17 years old or younger) work in prostitution.
The worst brothels are in Cambodia, Malaysia, Nepal, India and Thailand. Children are often drugged, then kidnapped and forced into prostitution. The AIDS epidemic renders things worse. A myth widely believed in East and South Africa circulates the idea that having sex with a virgin cures from AIDS. As a result, young girls are sold at a higher price and end up dying before they reach 20.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A19 -8 January 2007 – Nicolas D. Kristof
SEXUAL SLAVERY
Human rights

Religion
John Allen Jr., a respected Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter, has finished a book about Opus Dei and sates that they are largely a misunderstood, harmless group. The group exists within the Roman Catholic Church and has fewer than 100,000 adherents. Supporters describe the group as devout, like-minded believers who find salvation in routine, daily work. Critics describe the group as elitist, masochistic and anti-clerical. Allen says that the conception of members self-inflicting pain is a tradition of the past and largely abandoned today. The Da Vinci Code has recently brought Opus Dei into the public eye, but the group has endured criticism long before this popular book hit the printing press. Having been founded in Spain in 1928, it was quickly associated with Facism.
NB
The Gazette, Montreal, Saturday, March 11, 2006, p. H9
RELIGION

Slavery
Rough Crossings, a non-fiction novel by Simon Schama, is about the loyalist response of the colonist’s slaves during the American Revolution. Thousands of slaves deserted the plantations to fight against the revolutionaries. It is a historical account written by an academic scholar. The slaves are the center of Schama’s story which tells of their flight from the plantations; of their perch, temporary for most, but permanent for a few, in Nova Scotia; and of the migration of many others, in a great fleet of sailing ships to Sierra Leone.
JC
Neil Cameron, The Montreal Gazette, May 27, 2006
SLAVERY
Sexual Slavery
Worldwide, 10 million of children (17 years old or younger) work in prostitution.
The worst brothels are in Cambodia, Malaysia, Nepal, India and Thailand. Children are often drugged, then kidnapped and forced into prostitution. The AIDS epidemic renders things worse. A myth widely believed in East and South Africa circulates the idea that having sex with a virgin cures from AIDS. As a result, young girls are sold at a higher price and end up dying before they reach 20.
ML
The Gazette, Montréal – A19 -8 January 2007 – Nicolas D. Kristof
SEXUAL SLAVERY
Human rights

Somalia
Fights between Islamic insurgents and Somali-Ethiopian troops killed 170 people in two days. Despite 14 attempts at peacemaking since 1991, the country remains in a constant civil war. 40,000 people have fled Mogadishu in February 2007 to escape the violence. The African Union troops are insufficient to stabilize peace.
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The Gazette, Montréal – A16 -23 March 2007 – Emmanuel Goujon
SOMALIA

In her latest book “Infidel”, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali refugee and former Dutch parliamentarian, recounts her life as a journey “from a world of faith to a world of reason.” Known for denouncing the abuse of Islamic fundamentalism, the 38-year-old black woman struggled to escape her fate: to marry a man she has never met. She also describes her childhood, going from countries to countries as a refugee, and how different her life as a black Muslim woman was in each country. In the Netherlands, she received death threats because she denounces the abuses done to many Muslim women. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is now a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington D.C.
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The Gazette, Montréal – J3 -10 March 2007 – George Walden
SOMALIA
Women’s right

Solutions
French-language publisher Gallimard has gone green by using the most ecological paper available and by centralizing printing and binding to produce the new Harry Potter book. The paper used is classified as 100% post-consumer fiber, and certified as processed chlorine-free. This paper, Enviro 100, is 3-10% is more costly than virgin fiber paper. Demand for post- consumer paper still represents a small portion of the market; however, it is growing.
JC
Lynn Moore, The Montreal Gazette, September 28, 2005
SOLUTIONS
Paper

Survival Tips for Travelers
I recently recovered from another severe bout of resistant falciparum malaria (I nearly died of blackwater fever, one of its complications, in the Peruvian Amazon in l976) which I picked up in Congo and came down with in the Adirondacks. The minute you get the splitting headache, that means your lariam tablets aren’t doing any good. Don’t ask any questions, just pop three fancidars and a cocktail of the antibiotics kotexin and doxycyline.
AS
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TRAVELERS

Traditional People
“Bio-piracy” refers to acquiring biological resources without giving the country of origin a chance to negotiate some of the profits. Often, the chemicals are discovered by talking to locals who have used the substances for hundreds of years; they deserve recognition, remuneration, and respect. The International Convention on Biodiversity says a country has the right to know if its genetic resources are being accessed but there are no powers to police violators.
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Steven Edwards, The Gazette, Montreal
TRADITIONAL PEOPLE – intellectual property
Trees
The preferred wood for violin bows is something called Pernambuco wood. But there are only 2000 Pernambuco trees left in the world, in northeastern Brazil. For some reason, they aren’t being cultivated. My source, a Montreal violin-maker, doesn’t know why. Maybe they can’t be cultivated.
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TREES
Tourism
An estimated 600,000 Western women have been sex-travelers at least once in the past 25 years. Is this a type of prostitution in which the roles are reversed, or the expression of women’s rights? At any rate, money is involved, and this time the women from rich countries create havoc in poor countries of the Caribbean. The men hired for sex are called ‘beach boys” or “sanky panky” are also becoming professionals at it. They investigate for possible sugar mummies targeting the over 40-years-olds or young but over-weight women and start a seductive game without mentioning money. At the end, the ties will be kept and many Caribbean men use this situation in order to immigrate to Canada. In the end, the person who is being exploited may not be clear.
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The Gazette, Montréal – B3 – 6 January 2007 – Jeff Heinrich
TOURISM
Sex tourism

Traditional Culture
On Siquijor, an island of the Philippines, local herbalists use their knowledge to heal diseases that modern doctors have failed to cure. The traditional healers collect their plants once a year during the 40 days preceding Good Friday. One of them, Endoy, has cured people of diabetes, seemingly incurable rashes, breast cancer, and bloated stomachs. Patients fly in from as far as New Jersey and Denmark to be healed.
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The Gazette, Montréal – h12 -5 May 2007 – Karl Wilson
TRADITIONAL CULTURE
Healing

The German movie, The White Masai, recounts the improbable story of a Swiss woman who falls in love, marries and has a child with a Masai tribe man in Kenya. But this story is no fiction and was based on the bestseller by Corinne Hofmann. Maybe because it really happened, this story allows the viewer to reflect on cultural adaptation and different cultural values.
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The Gazette, Montréal – D4 -16 March 2007 – John Griffin
TRADITIONAL CULTURE
Masai

Traditional People
“Bio-piracy” refers to acquiring biological resources without giving the country of origin a chance to negotiate some of the profits. Often, the chemicals are discovered by talking to locals who have used the substances for hundreds of years; they deserve recognition, remuneration, and respect. The International Convention on Biodiversity says a country has the right to know if its genetic resources are being accessed but there are no powers to police violators.
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The Gazette, Montréal – Steven Edwards
TRADITIONAL PEOPLE
Intellectual property

There are 3 millions Kuchis, a minority in the 25 million strong Afghan population. The Kuchis are being driven away from their traditional nomadic life style. In the past and for more than 3000 years, the Kuchis were distinguished transporters and traders, making business happen between Asia and the Middle East. Today, they are violently discriminated against by the Afghan government and the rest of the population. Moreover, the desert they travel is scattered with land mines dating from the Soviet occupation of 1979-1989.
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The Gazette, Montréal – A13 – 14 May 2006 – Paul Garwood
TRADITIONAL PEOPLE
Nomadic people
Afghanistan
Kuchis

They have roamed and survived in the deep jungle of Columbia, but the Nukak Maku tribe, discovered in 1988, is facing a crisis. The Marxist army of Colombia, which controls over a third of the country, is annexing the tribe’s land. The Columbian government is now asking the Red Cross and UNESCO to help the indigenous people herded into detention camps to preserve their way of life.
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The Gazette, Montréal – A13 – 4 April 2006 – Jeremy McDermott
TRADITIONAL PEOPLE
Nomadic people
Columbia
Nukak Maku tribe

In Southern Niger, Tuareg people are forming rebel groups and attacking villages. They accuse the Malian government of preventing them from leading their ancestral way of life consisting of traveling through the desert as nomads do, ignoring political borders.
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The Gazette, Montréal – B3 – 29 May 2006
TRADITIONAL PEOPLE
Nomadic people
Touareg

Trees
The preferred wood for violin bows is something called Pernambuco wood. But there are only 2000 Pernambuco trees left in the world, in northeastern Brazil. For some reason, they aren’t being cultivated. My source, a Montréal violin-maker, doesn’t know why. Maybe they can’t be cultivated.
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TREES

Uganda
Alice Lakwena was a Ugandan warrior and priestess who founded the Lord’s Resistance Army, got her followers to believe that they would be protected from bullets if they covered their body with special oil. She was like the Jeanne of Arc of the Acholi tribe of northern Uganda, claiming she was hearing god’s messages. She led her troop for a year fight against Ugandan president Musevini but was defeated in 1987. Alice Lakwena died from illness in a refugee camp of Kenya while she was only in her 40s. Her nephew, Joseph Koni, took over the LRA after her arrest and is responsible for doing many atrocities to the children and villagers in northern Uganda.
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The Gazette, Montréal – 22 January 2007 – David Ochami
UGANDA
Cults

U.S.A.
The Environmental Protection Agency released the first comprehensive analysis of the quality of the environment in 2003. They said that the air, water, and land were better protected than 30 years ago but problems remained. The pace of land development increased in the 1990s as conservation efforts increased. Overall, the report has a positive outlook.
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Katherine Q. Seelye and Jennifer Lee. The New York Times, June 24, 2003 – p. A28
U.S.A. – Environment
Waste
Paul-Antoine Pichard, a French photographer, is showing the people who live by picking the garbage dumps in the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, India, Senegal, Madagascar and Mexico. But Pichard did not just take pictures. He lived with the poorest people who eat the food they find in the refuse and dig out recyclable items to sell them. Pichard also raised funds in France and went back to the dumps he visited with medicine.
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The Gazette, Montréal – E4 – 13 January 2007 – Katheryn Greenaway
WASTE
McGill civil engineering student Kealan Gell has co-founded Gorilla Composting, an organization that has brought composting to McGill campus in full force. He discusses the ease of making your own composting with a plastic bin and red worms.
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Chris Barry, Montreal Mirror, February 9 – February 15, 2006 – p. 7
WASTE – compost

Groupe Conporec, Inc., a Montreal waste-management firm, has developed a marketable composting product which can convert organic waste into compost and generate a revenue in the process. This could be the future of reducing landfill waste. Toronto has become one of Conporec’s clients and the company is discussing contracts in Paris, Quebec, and south of the border.
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Mike King, The Gazette, Montreal, October 25, 2005 – p. B1
WASTE – compost
Water
The Jeans factories offer thousands of jobs in Tehuacan, Mexico, but are pouring dangerous chemicals in the rivers irrigating adjacent cornfields. Levi Strauss and Gap buy some of the jeans coming out of these factories.
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The Gazette, Montréal – A20 – 3 May 2007
WATER
Pollution

Private, multinational companies are discovering that they can make more money building big dams and selling bottled water than they can by developing public water systems in developing countries. Sales of bottled water in China have risen 250% between 1999 and 2004, tripled in India and doubled in Indonesia. Activists look towards corporate interests and lobbying campaigns by the World Bank as the incentives for developing countries to agree to build large dam and hydroelectricity projects.
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The Gazette, Montreal, Wednesday, March 22, 2006, A18
WATER

The issue of fresh water accessibility is being approached both at the small scale and large scale. Worldwide, about 1.1 billion people are without clean, drinking water. In Morocco, simply moving water taps closer to villages has a resounding effect on school attendance, bringing female student attendance up by 20% in six provinces. The water minister of Chad believes that poverty can be reduced if Africa invests in large-scale hydroelectric power dams. Other critics state that large dams are not part of the solution because the water rarely gets as far as the really poor areas, where it is needed most. However, others argue that large dams are easier to manage and inspect because there are fewer and they are more centralized.
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Mark Stevenson, The Gazette, Montreal, March 20, 2006, p. A19
WATER

Eighty-four recent cancer diagnoses in Shannon, Quebec may be linked directly to water pollution created by nearby Canadian Forces Base Valcartier. Trichloroethylene (TCE), a known carcinogen, was used by the Canadian Forces to clean munitions for fifty years. Shannon residents are demanding that the Quebec Institute of Public Health conduct a study on the plausibility of their claims that TCE is responsible for the abnormally high cancer rate in the town (200 cases in 3,700 residents).
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Charlie Fidelman, The Gazette, Montreal – June 11, 2005, p. A1
WATER
Diseases

Canada ranks second in the index of best and worst water situations, yet they rank 19th from bottom in the list of efficiency of water use. International conferences such as the World Water Forum look for solutions to a world water crisis.
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Anne-Marie Tobin, The Gazette, Montreal, December 12, 2002 – p. A12
WATER

Eco-activists are concerned that developing countries don’t have the sewage infrastructure or water availability to support a sharp increase in flush toilet use among their populations. Instead, they suggest the use of dry-toilets that may increase the spread of bacteria but can be used as compost. This suggestion has been met with high amounts of criticism.
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Tom Randall, June 20
WATER – toilets

Experts and activists will speak at an environmental conference to be held in Montreal, where fresh water and health are the main themes. The focus is on fresh water as it is inextricably linked to other issues such as health, climate change, energy sources and more. Other speakers at the conference will address issues such as privatization of water supplies, environmental impact of oil and gas exploration, accessibility to fresh water in the third world and Canadian environmental law.
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The Gazette, Montreal
John MacFarlane
WATER

Justin Trudeau has recreated his father Pierres’s canoe trip along the Nahanni River in the Northwest Territories. Justin Trudeau recalled recalls his father describing the Nahanni as ‘being probably the greatest river in Canada’. There are plans to enlarge the park around the Nahanni in the hopes that industrial development on the park’s fringes will be stopped.
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The Gazette, Montreal
Nelson Watt, Canadian Press
WATER
Canadian Rivers

Plant-eating organisms might explain density of algal blooms in Lake Chamolain and Missisquoi Bay.
WATER

Water shortages are one of many problems plaguing the world. The root crisis is overpopulation, which we are doing little to stop. In fact, the Canadian government’s policy is to double the population within the next half century.
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Robert Bériault
WATER

Women’s Rights
About 2,000 men marched in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, to protest against acid attacks that permanently disfigure many women each year. A total of 268 people, mostly women, were attacked with acid last year in Bangladesh, a male-dominated traditional society. Most victims are attacked by spurned lovers, but recently more men and children have been splashed with sulphuric acid in family arguments or disputes over property. Bangladesh’s constitution guarantees equal rights for women, but still the attacks continue, as the chemical is easily obtained from battery shops or jewelers. The protesters included celebrities, teachers and students, who carried placards and banners.
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Julhas Alam, Associated Press, date unknown.
WOMEN’S RIGHTS

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