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December 20, 2011

What's missing from our winter coverage? Tell us your story ideas!

Dominion Stories

What do you think Canadians need to know about? Post your story ideas and links below. We'll consider links for the Dominion's twice-monthly feature, Fortnight in Review, and we'll send journalists to this discussion for suggestions and story ideas.

If you like a story that someone else has suggested, add your support, and any additional feedback.

Thanks for adding to the dialogue!



I think it would be

I think it would be interesting to know if a robocalls kind of thing has taken place in other OECD countries (or, perhaps even more interestingly in countries that are officially democratic but not allied to the US, like venezuela) and if so what the repercussions were.

Ontario Solar

Would really like to see a first hand account of this:

and some analysis on how that energy plan actually breaks down.


for Month in Review


UNDER EMBARGO until 00:00 GMT 07 February 2012

Wapichan people in Guyana showcase community proposal to save tropical forests on their traditional lands

Georgetown, 7 February: The indigenous Wapichan people of Guyana, South America, will make public today a locally-made digital map of their traditional territory alongside a ground-breaking community proposal to care for 1.4 million ha of pristine rainforest for the benefit of their communities and the world. The territory’s rich variety of rainforests, mountains, wetlands, savannah grasslands and tropical woodlands are the homeland of 20 communities, who make a living from small-scale farming, hunting, fishing and gathering, which they have practised over the whole area for generations. The same area, located in the South Rupununi District, south-west Guyana, has an outstanding abundance of wildlife, including endangered species such as giant river otters, jaguars, and rare bush dogs as well as endemic species of fish and birds, like the Rio Branco Antbird.

The grassroots proposal comes at a crucial time because the entire Wapichan territory in Guyana, like many other parts of the Amazon basin and Guiana Shield, is threatened by mega road and dam projects as well as external plans for logging, mining and agribusiness development. In common with many indigenous peoples across Guyana and South America, the communities are vulnerable to land grabs and marginalisation because they lack secure legal title over much of their traditional lands.

The Wapichan people have responded to these threats by mapping their customary land use as part of a long-standing campaign to have their rights to their traditional lands legally recognised. The mapping project has been carried out by Wapichan communities under the leadership of their former and existing Toshaos (community leaders) who have been assisted by their own community-based organisations. As Mr Kid James of South Central Peoples Development Association (SCPDA) said,

"Mappers from our own communities have used GPS technology to map the location of key livelihood, spiritual and cultural heritage sites that hold deep importance to our people and sustain our way of life. After ten years of painstaking work, we are very proud of the end result. We are now keen to share our territorial map with government authorities to show how we occupy and use the land according to custom and how we are attached to our territory."

Building on the mapping work and community research to document traditional knowledge and customary resource use, the Wapichan organised more than 80 community consultations, workshops and public meetings between 2008 and 2011 to draw up collective proposals to promote sustainable land use, support local livelihoods and protect Wapichan territory against harmful development. The proposals are contained in a detailed territorial plan titled Thinking Together for Those Coming Behind Us, that elaborates the customary laws for caring for the land and contains more than 40 community agreements to secure community land rights, safeguard and sustainably use valuable livelihood resources and conserve important cultural heritage and wildlife sites under community controlled reserves. Toshao Haibert Wilson, Chairperson of the South-Central District Toshaos Council, said,

"All of our communities have worked together within the frameworks of Guyana’s Amerindian Act and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to document traditional land use and practices and to put forward our own proposals for securing and caring for this beautiful land we call Wapichan wiizi."

Patrick Gomes, Chairperson of the South Rupununi District Tosahos Council, said,

"Our land use agreements in our plan have been validated by the communities and include a proposal to establish a large Wapichan Conserved Forest in the eastern and southern parts of our territory as well as numerous plans to protect our sacred sites and local sites important for fish, game animals and wildlife. Our plan also contains agreements made among our villages on common title boundaries and proposed title extensions. Community rules and principles for dealing with external developments affecting our lands, including rules relating to our collective right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), are also included in our document."

Wapichan leaders emphasise that securing their rights over their forests would bring important co-benefits for the regional and global climate and would facilitate implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and related human rights instruments, as well as environmental treaties signed by Guyana. Anglelbert Johnny, Toshao of Sawari Wa’o Amerindian Village, said,

"Recognition of our rights to control and manage our traditional territory would be one of the best ways of helping Guyana to fulfil its commitments to tackle climate change and meet its obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity, which aims to conserve and sustainably use biological resources."

The hope is that the public presentation and sharing of the community map and innovative territorial plan will foster dialogue with the government and international organisations on ways to help the Wapichan realise their vision for their homeland. Patrick Gomes said,

"We call on the government and national and international allies to help us take this plan forward: let us work together to have our land title extensions recognised in full and let us put our community agreements to work for the benefit of the Wapichan people, all the citizens of Guyana and the international community."

# # #

Date of Launch: Tuesday, 7 February, 2012

Venue: Umana Yana, Kingston, Georgetown, Guyana

Time: 14:30 – 16:00 hrs


Mr Kid James, South Central Peoples Development Association (SCPDA) – Tel: +592 617 4519 (mobile); Email:

Toshao Patrick Gomes, South Rupununi District Toshaos Council - Tel +592 687 4923 (mobile)

federal data show power plants are biggest source of the gases b 


Dennis Baker
penticton bc canada V2A1P9



How do we get there from here?

Think globally, and this is a global idea. 
7 Billion humans generate vast quantities of excrement.
I believe this excrement is capable of providing all human electrical demands.
Right now hydrogen is perceived as a negative by product, of Nuclear Energy, when it should be the product, as the Pentagon has considered.


reference info

The cover sheet and abstract must be submitted by Friday, April 30, 2010 by 4:00 p.m. (Eastern) to the following email address:

Large scale conversions sites are intended to replace fossil fuel powered electrical facilities
the Primary Source of Carbon Emissions.
Since this is a potential monopoly of a global best practice technology, I can date this back to the following (deleted from the net) submission to the Environmental Assessment Panel

Nuclear Fuel Waste Management and Disposal Concept

Public Hearings


MARCH 27, 1996 

9:00 a.m. - 5:20 p.m. VOLUME 8 
3rd Floor Auditorium 
4900 Yonge Street 

TORONTO, Ontario  

Presentation by Mr. Dennis Baker

(Quote from text)
"One direction of research that could be selected by the Atomic Energy Control Board is the transformation of nuclear waste into a useful form of energy.
The radiolitic decomposition of organic materials generates hydrogen gas.
Hydrogen gas is a very useful energy course; burns clean with water as the emission by- product. Humans generate a phenomenal amount of organic waste. The United Nations is very concerned about oceanic contamination by organic waste. Human organic waste could be treated to prevent methane generation, then exposed to nuclear waste to generate hydrogen gas. The potential solving of three issues with one action."
I welcome your guidance.
Dennis Baker


Wolf Lake; and nuclear waste storage

2 other stories that need alternative coverage:

The old growth red pine forest at Wolf Lake  - recognized internationally as par of less than 2% of remaining old growth red pine forest in the world, but here in Ontario at risk from mining interests (and slim ones at that).  Check out for  primer.  Friends of Temagami is another good source.

Secondly, needs some deeper coverage.  No mention here of the Ontario First Nations who have said 'no way' to nuclear waste on their land.  And no mention of the far future - and how we can balance possible benefits in the short term to a risk that will continue so far into the future,future generations will be left dealing with it under conditions we have no way of predicting.

Our missing winter

The cold snap has arrived, but not long ago in Saskatoon it was 7 degrees above zero.   In northern Ontario, snowmobile trails and ski trails are just opening.   Ice fishing used to begin in mid November.  Now, ice conditions are still dodgy in January, and might last 2 months, if lucky.

Despite these changes, climate change is not top of mind for most people.

I'd like to see a story on the effect of our lost winters - on our culture, our lifestyles as Canadians, and on our wildlife and crops...

Top 25 underreported stories of 2010-2011, from SFU report

NewsWatch Canada, a research group from Simon Fraser University, recently released the Top 25 Underreported stories for the year of 2010-2011. 

Here a link to the full report (a summary is available in the first few pages):

Hope that helps!

Where do we go from here?

After the disaster in Durban, what is the grassroots going to do about climate change?   What are the projects/organizations/direct actions that are offering some hope and direction for climate justice?