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Dead Wild Roses: How Equal Do We Want the World? – Dan Ariely

More than you’d think really. Human beings seem to intrinsically value fairness and equality and yet, as of today have constructed societies based on moving as far away as possible from any sort of equitable norm.

Take note of the piece on John Rawls and how using the Veil of Ignorance idea as a cognitive filter for making decisions. I think it is a great idea adding to the list of processes one should go through in making tough decisions in the personal, moral and political sphere.

Filed under: Culture, Education, Ethics Tagged: Dan Ariely, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Henry Mintzberg rightly challenges the myth of a “level playing field” when it comes to our economic opportunities: Let’s level with each other. What we call a “level playing field” for economic development is played with Western rules on Southern turf, so that the New York Giants can take on some high school team from Timbuktu. The International Monetary Fund prepares the terrain and the World Trade Organization referees the game. Guess who wins.

The rules of this game have been written by people educated in the economic canon of the already (Read more…)

Northern Reflections: He’s A Doodle!


Stephen Harper displays two of humanity’s ugliest traits — slander and stupidity. In the past, he made an effort to disguise those traits. But now, with an election on the horizon, he’s taken them out of the closet and allowed them to parade around nakedly. Most recently, he has slandered women who choose to wear niqabs, — most significantly, Zunera Ishag. Gerald Caplan writes:

What he has done – this great (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Leave It In The Ground

The world has much more coal, oil and gas in the ground than it can safely burn. That much is physics.

Watch this compelling, factual argument about how to solve the climate crisis. I first became aware of this straightforward idea after watching Do The Math by run by Bill McKibben. It is MAD lunacy to spend billions of taxpayer dollars exploring for more fossil fuels when the existing known reserves would destroy our climate should it all be burned!

if we and our children are to have a reasonable chance of living stable and secure lives (Read more…)

Carbon49 - Sustainability for Canadian businesses: The New Sustainability Advantage: Book Review

Proactively incorporating sustainability into a business’ core strategy can increase profits by 51 to 81%, according to corporate sustainability expert and author Bob Willard. His book The New Sustainability Advantage and the companion online tools lay out seven strategies and estimate potential returns.

Both sustainability professionals and corporate executives can use this book to help develop their business strategy. Whether you are in a manufacturing business with large factories and complex logistical operation or a consulting firm, each business can get different values from the book. It would be useful for the reader to have an organization and business setting (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Jimbo Prentice Pokes Albertans in the Eye With a Sharp Stick.

Well, this is certain something.  Alberta’s unelected premier, Jim Prentice, better learn to bite his tongue.

Prentice has sparked a bit of a furor by blaming his constituents for the mess the province now finds itself in.

Premier Jim Prentice is facing a social media backlash after telling Albertans to “look in the mirror” to find who is responsible for the province’s current financial woes.

Speaking on CBC’s Alberta@Noon Wednesday, Premier Jim Prentice told host Donna McElligott that “in terms of who is responsible, we need only look in the mirror. Basically, all of us have had the best of (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Podcast: First Nations and the political economy of land


This episode looks at the political economy of land in Canada and the Canadian state’s relationship with First Nations as mediated by land. I’m happy to bring together two guests who deal extensively with these issues and pose challenges to rethink the way land is governed.

My first guest is Hayden King, Anishinaabe from Beausoleil First Nation in Ontario and director of the Centre for Indigenous Governance at Toronto’s Ryerson University. He joined me to discuss his recent piece in the Globe and Mail on land and the institutions that govern it.

My second guest (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: 19 Year Old Non Verbal Autistic Man Evicted From Miramichi Special Care Home Because He Is An Adult

Huge gaps remain n New Brunswick’s adult autism residential care and treatment system. An autism specific residential care and treatment centre and autism specific group home system is needed to bridge those gaps. 

HON. CATHY ROGERS Minister of Social Development HON. VICTOR BOUDREAU Minister of Health HON. BILL FRASER  MLA Miramichi  HON. STEPHEN HORSMAN MLA Fredericton North As an autism advocate for over 15 years in New Brunswick (and father of a 19 year old severely autistic son) I was saddened, though not at all surprised, to read the report by Samantha Magee of the  Miramichi Leader of (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: 19 Year Old Non Verbal Autistic Man Evicted From Miramichi Special Care Home Because He Is An Adult

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: A cunning plan it ain’t #nlpoli

The whole “Paul-Davis-Decisive-Leader” thing doesn’t seem to be working for the provincial Conservatives.

The latest NTV/MQO poll puts the Liberals at 42, the Conservatives at 20 and the NDP at seven,  with 30% undecided.

In October 2014,  it was Liberals 37,  Conservatives 16,  NDP six, and undecided at 40.

In October 2013,  the Liberals were at 35, the Conservatives at 20, the NDP at 12, and the undecided at 32.

You can see the trend there of Liberal growth – up seven points -  while the Conservatives hover around 20.  The undecided is down.  Most of them won’t vote anyway.  And the New Democrats have dropped from 12 to seven.

(Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Gregory Beatty reports on Saskatchewan’s options now that it can’t count on high oil prices to prop up the provincial budget. And Dennis Howlett writes about the need for a far more progressive tax system both as a matter of fairness, and as a matter of resource management: Just a few years ago, the question of tax fairness was relegated to the world of activists and progressive economists. But you know something has shifted when a U.S. president goes on national television and talks about the urgent need to eliminate tax loopholes (Read more…)

Carbon49 - Sustainability for Canadian businesses: WWF Offer Free Tools for Corporate Sustainability Initiatives

Need some help driving your office’s green initiatives? WWF Canada offers free downloadable tools including getting-started guides, spreadsheets, benchmarks, campaign poster templates for green initiatives on energy reduction, paper reduction, waste reduction, travel, procurement, and green team building. I find some of the tools very useful.

As mentioned in an earlier article Employee Engagement Drives Sustainability Strategy, World Wide Fund for Nature’s Living Planet @ Work program aims to make it easier for businesses to make greener choices. The program helps businesses large and small with strategic guidance on green business ideas and best practices and offers tools to (Read more…)

Queer-liberal: Stephen Harper’s taxpayer-funded campaign of lies against marijuana backfiring…

Stephen Harper is being taken to task a lot lately for spending $600 million of taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars on ‘Government of Canada’ advertising that does little more than promote his own partisan interests.

The latest and most blatant example, chock full of lies, paranoia and doubtful science, is the offensive anti-marijuana ad campaign from “Health Canada” released this fall.  You’ll recall how many health care professionals refused to participate in it or lend it credence, rightfully aware the campaign was little more than a political attack on Harper’s main opponent, Justin Trudeau.  I won’t post a link to (Read more…)

Carbon49 - Sustainability for Canadian businesses: From Ground to Store: We Look at Carbon Neutral Wines

When you see a product that says carbon neutral, what does it mean? I recently enjoyed a bottle of Italy’s number one selling wine in Canada, Santa Margherita’s Pinot Grigio. Each bottle has a green label that says “Carbon neutral from ground to store. Measured and offset with Carbonzero”. It is produced in Italy, imported into Canada by Lifford Wine, and certified by Carbonzero as carbon neutral. I investigate its Italian supply chain and production, shipping to Canada, and sales and consumption in Canada to learn what it means to be carbon neutral.

Carbon neutrality, or having a (Read more…)

Carbon49 - Sustainability for Canadian businesses: Four Green Initiatives Employees Are Sure to Embrace

Who wouldn’t want to work in an engaging office environment? An engaged workforce makes a happier workplace and promotes a culture of collaboration and creativity, as numerous studies show. Corporate green initiatives are some of the best ways to engage employees. Here are four ideas that are simple to run and cost little to implement.

Donate Old Cell Phones

A great way to encourage your employees to be more eco-friendly is through a cell phone donation program. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Amnesty International are just two of the many organizations with programs that allow people to easily (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Is America About to be Stabbed in the Back by Its Own Defence Contractors?

It’s one thing when an outfit like RubberMaid gets bought out, packed up and moved overseas.  It’s another thing when what have been considered “strategic industries” go the same route.

Imagine if Lockheed or Raytheon decided to open start-up, mirror operations in, say, China to build and supply high-tech wizardry to the Chinese military. Sound preposterous?  It shouldn’t.  It’s happened before.  During WWII, certain US companies maintained their involvement with German companies producing key products for the Nazi war effort.

Aviation Week reports that momentum for something similar is building today.

U.S. companies are trying to replicate themselves in (Read more…) . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Is America About to be Stabbed in the Back by Its Own Defence Contractors?

Susan on the Soapbox: Mouseland (why do people vote against their self-interest?)

“All the laws were good laws. For cats.”—Tommy Douglas

The other day I called Telus to cancel my campaign phones and internet service. Groan. After listening to canned music for 17 minutes I was transferred to a customer service rep. He took my information, argued with me when I wouldn’t give him my email address, and finally transferred me to the cancellation department…where I was put on hold. Groan. After listening to canned music for 6 minutes the cancellation rep came on the line.

She was a lovely woman who follows politics closely. We had (Read more…)

Carbon49 - Sustainability for Canadian businesses: The Greenest Companies Consistently Outperform Markets

Apple, BMW, LG, HP, Coca-Cola, and Walmart are among the 187 companies cited by non-profit Carbon Disclosure Project for doing the most to combat climate change. These green warriors also outperform the Bloomberg World Index. Five Canadian companies made this elite group. I find out how their stock prices compare to the S&P/TSX Index.

The recently released CDP 2014 report is covered by media around the world but, sadly, passed by all major Canadian publications. I find informative coverage by Bloomberg, Forbes, and CNBC. A few key quotes:

Bloomberg: “If acting on climate change hurts the economy, (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Jon Lefebure Takes on the Tax Issue

Here is Jon Lefebure’s pushback on Taxation, the dominant theme of Election 2014 in North Cowichan Municipal Election.  

Jon Lefebure


Taxes, we all wish we they weren’t neces­sary, but they are. We have to main­tain our infra­struc­ture, roads, pipes, build­ings, or they will fail. We have to invest in our com­munity or we stand to lose our oppor­tun­ity to build a diverse, sus­tain­able economy.

We have driven tax increases down over the last 3 years from 3.85% to 3.05%. We have worked hard to get our house in order and my goal is to be (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Jian Ghomeshi Has Left The CBC Building-But Why?

Richard Hughes-Politically Speaking

Jian Ghomeshi has been fired, resigned, was forced to resign, chose to leave of his own free will or just what the hell has really happened?

Arguably Canada’s top broadcaster does not just bolt as it appears. Was he pushed?

The social media may reveal more but for now this is the story being released.

Here is the CBC’s release, so far.


CBC’s relationship with Jian Ghomeshi, host of the cultural affairs radio show Q, has ended, the network announced Sunday.

“The CBC is saddened to announce its relationship with Jian Ghomeshi has come to an (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Tony Burman comments on the increasing recognition of the dangers of inequality even among corporate and financial elites: (I)t is significant that the policy debate among many decision-makers seems to be changing. Rather than the nonsense about “the makers versus the takers,” there is increasing focus on the notion that income inequality could be a key factor in why overall economic growth has been sluggish in recent years.

There has always been a “common sense’ element to this argument. The wealthy tend to save a larger percentage of their income because they (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Imploding media, a failure to communicate.

It takes a while to digest the sale the other day of Canada’s English-language Sun newspapers to Postmedia. All you can say for sure is that the newspaper market in Canada continues to implode. Postmedia President and CEO Paul Godfrey provided the answer at the announcement of the $316 million purchase of 175 English-language newspapers and Sun’s major printing plant in Toronto. He said it all when saying the best part of the deal was the acquisition of and related websites.

Sun newspapers are no stranger to Paul Godfrey. He used to be publisher of that newspaper chain. (Read more…)

DeSmogBlog: Confirmed: California Aquifers Contaminated With Billions Of Gallons of Fracking Wastewater

After California state regulators shut down 11 fracking wastewater injection wells last July over concerns that the wastewater might have contaminated aquifers used for drinking water and farm irrigation, the EPA ordered a report within 60 days.

It was revealed yesterday that the California State Water Resources Board has sent a letter to the EPA confirming that at least nine of those sites were in fact dumping wastewater contaminated with fracking fluids and other pollutants into aquifers protected by state law and the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

The letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Center for Biological (Read more…)

In This Corner: Ode to the bridge to somewhere: a mini-memoir

I went for lunch today with my old pal Bruce Miller. I chose the Original Joe’s on 102 Avenue because a) it’s relatively cheap and good (I always have a wrap, which is enough food for today’s AND tomorrow’s lunch), and b) I wanted to see the gaping hole where the old metal bridge used to be.

If you’ve lived in Edmonton for any time, chances are you went over the 102 Avenue bridge. I can’t imagine how many thousands of times I went over that bridge, mostly as a kid. It was sort of my gateway to the world, (Read more…)

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Environmental regulation: better than a pound of cure

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

This post was originally posted on

‘Streamlining environmental regulatory review’ and ‘reducing the regulatory burden on industry’ are among the hottest buzzwords from the federal and BC provincial governments. 

As the Mt. Polley Mine tailings lake breach that occurred on Monday, August 4 demonstrates, however, deregulation of industrial activities that impact the environment is a gamble that can have devastating outcomes for local communities and the environment.

A salmon caught from the Fraser River after the Mt. Polley tailings pond spill. Xaxli'p, Sek'wel'was & Tsk'way'laxw First Nations have closed all fishing activities due (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Environmental Law Alert Blog: Environmental regulation: better than a pound of cure

DeSmogBlog: Subsidy Spotlight: Paid to Pollute and Poison

This is a guest post by Paul Thacker, on assignment with Oil Change International. Cross-posted with permission.

A wife and mother of two from Venice, Louisiana, Kindra Arnesen says her life can be divided into two chapters: before April 20, 2010, and after. On that evening, an oil well located several miles off the coast of Louisiana discharged large bubbles of gas which traveled a mile to the surface before igniting, destroying the oil rig and killing eleven men. Thus began the worst marine oil spill in history and America’s largest environmental disaster, with hundreds of millions of gallons of oil (Read more…)