Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

The Canadian Progressive: Groups call on BC and Science World to end LNG promotion

Advocacy groups and concerned citizens have signed an open letter demanding that the British Columbia government and Science World cancel their province-wide community seminars promoting the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.

The post Groups call on BC and Science World to end LNG promotion appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Political Eh-conomy: No to pipelines, yes to Site C?

Peace River Valley

No to pipelines, yes to Site C?

Here’s a piece I wrote for Ricochet after getting riled up by *some* of the arguments against Site C. The full piece is here.

To shift off fossil fuels we’ll need more large scale, public energy infrastructure

As the movement against pipelines rapidly grows, more and more often you can hear the question, “We know what you’re against. What are you for?” The debate over the future of power generation in British Columbia offers some lessons for how to answer this question and not fall victim to a privatized (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: No thanks Uber, I’m not signing your petition

So the ride-sharing app Uber is urging Vancouverites to sign a petition on its site to put pressure on the City to allow Uber to operate. An ad for the petition invaded my Twitter feed and I decided to take a closer look. Here’s the petition with my commentary. Spoiler: no, I’m not signing.

Uber begins by laying out “the situation”:

British Columbia and Vancouver are home to the quintessential winter playground, shining examples of liveable cities, and a launching pad for countless innovators and trailblazers across many industries.

That’s why so many residents are disappointed by Vancouver’s limited transportation (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What Kind of Politicians Ignore THEIR OWN SCIENTISTS?

In BC and Canada, politicians actively ignore the people and their own scientists. Why?

OK, you tell me.

What do you call politicians who ignore their own scientists?

It’s not a trick question.

What if scientists tell their political bosses about the climate impacts of ramping up a mythical $1 trillion LNG industry, then the politicians ignore the warnings so they can go frack ahead anyway?

Ignorant? Stupid? Corrupt? Bought-off by industry? Science-deniers?

I don’t really know. It’s just so irrational.

But are they fit to lead? No.

If it’s all about the mythical job-creation capacity, green jobs create more (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: International Day of Action for Burnaby Mountain and ALL Land Defenders

This is an international day of action, so check the event page to see what’s up in your town, for TOMORROW!

And if there’s nothing at your home, be the change!

Let’s consolidate our recent victories and continue moving public opinion to transitioning to the post-carbon energy infrastructure: wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, rail, transit, energy retrofits, solar roadways, ET3 hyperloop system.

via International Day of Action for Burnaby Mountain and ALL Land Defenders.

August 11, 2014 Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial! (1) June 16, 2014 Hey, BC: Want More Jobs? Dump the LNG and Pipelines! (1) July (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: International Day of Action for Burnaby Mountain and ALL Land Defenders

Politics, Re-Spun: Entitlements? What About Understanding UNentitlements?

Punishing irony.

OK, I’m fine admitting it. I focus on entitlements a lot. I’m often trying to encourage people to examine our unexamined entitlements: race, age, economic class, gender, sexuality, etc.

But one way to understand entitlements is to understand how unentitlements work.

I’m guilty of overlooking this. Until today.

Read this, below, then read the rest of it. See if you don’t weep.

And ask yourself if BC Liberal MLAs can read this and understand what they don’t know about unentitlements.

This same boy, earlier in the year when the weather was just getting cold, was wearing flip flops (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: Climate deals and pipeline steals

https://politicalehconomy.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/podcast-141128-oil-and-climate.mp3

Today’s episode is focused on the economics and politics of climate change, both more globally and locally.

To get a global perspective on the state of climate negotiations and the recent US-China climate deal, I speak with Leigh Phillips, a science writer and journalist who has written for Nature, the EU Observer and many other publications. His article on the China-US climate deal is here and he also has a book coming out early in 2015 so be on the lookout for that.

My second guest is economist and former head of (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Tens of Billions Wasted

How much will we keep spending to develop more fossil fuels when we know we have to stop to avert climate breakdown?

$88b/year?

More?

How about zero. It’s time to redirect that money to wind, solar, geothermal, and hydro so we can stop exacerbating our climate crisis.

Redirect NOW!

Let us end this silent accord to let the carbon energy interests destroy us.

And let’s leave coal and nuclear behind too.

Deal? Good.

Now go let our corrupt politicians know we won’t stand for this nonsense anymore.

June 16, 2014 Hey, BC: Want More Jobs? Dump the LNG and Pipelines! (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Will British Columbia be the Last Pacific Jurisdiction to Legalize Pot?

Washington took recreational marijuana off the state criminal books two years ago.  Last night voters in Alaska and Oregon followed suit.  California is expected to do the same in 2016.

Imagine.  British Columbia, the province once known for “B.C. Bud”, could be the last jurisdiction on the Pacific Coast to have a criminal prohibition against marijuana growing, possession and/or sale.  And that, like so many other things that grate on British Columbians, is because the power to change is held by Ottawa – and held over our heads, as usual.

Ottawa has final say, sort of.  Law enforcement agencies (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Are Your White Male Entitlements Maiming Your Vote this Month?

I’m not going to argue that using an Intersectionality lens in the municipal election in 2 weeks will make your voting choices perfectly easy.

But I will say that your white male entitlements have likely contributed to worse choices in the past. Including not voting.

When you read this entire article you will see the lie of neutrality and non-partisanship.

Don’t perpetuate your perhaps inadvertent oppression.

As we approach the municipal election on November 15th, potential voters may feel unsure about which party or candidate represents the best interests of their community. One way to begin sifting through the different (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Work, Dignity and Living Wages?

A strong union. Corporations that understand the social contract. Corporations that know a tad smaller profit here contributes to more dignity throughout society. Corporations that recognize the value of unions. The living wage in Vancouver this year is $20.10, almost double the minimum wage. The “precariat” are precarious proletariats. We have too many of them; but fewer in Denmark! Let’s follow their lead!

What Danish fast food workers have that their American counterparts do not is a powerful union, and fast food franchise owners who are willing to make a little less of a profit, though they still (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Welcome, Dropping Oil Prices!

So, expensive oil made the tarsands and LNG more financially attractive if not climate-destroying.

We know this because…science! Unless you are a science-denier.

But even with and prices AND demand dropping, we are seeing the makings of a real flattening of long-term stability in demand that can fundamentally undermine the BC Liberal Party’s ignorance-embracing lust for LNG, fracking, oil, gas and coal.

If you want to see what resilience looks like, and how the global carbon energy market is going to poke holes in the BC Liberal Party’s science-rejecting, short-sighted energy policy, read this piece below, and sign up for (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Big LNG Tax Regime Vomit Bucket

Cue sweet new day[tm] political campaign music, invoking images of a unicorn flying over our quaint village, then Robert Redford in voiceover:

“LNG will be a $ trillion sector, reaping billions in revenue for the province [due to some kind of gruelling tax regime] so we can become debt-free, and pay for the best public services in the solar system, and bring trade junkets to the Golden Temple of Amritsar thrice yearly!”

Cue Law and Order “Bum Bum” loop:

After months of delays, release the actual tax rates. [Place face in palm, in advance.]

It will never be (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Join Ricochet: A new take on independent media.

Have you joined yet?

No? So, you’re good with corporate media spinning things for you, against your personal, community, national and ecological interests?

Oh. Ok.

Ricochet is an audacious response to a difficult context. Independent and in the public interest, Ricochet will provide a space dedicated to investigative journalism and high-profile opinion. Published in two distinct editions, English and French, Ricochet will illuminate the cultural and political diversity of this country.

via Ricochet: le journal nouveau genre. A new take on independent media. | Indiegogo.

July 6, 2010 More Bad News for Dreams of Solid Journalism (1) November 15, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Transportation After Fossil Fuels: A Decade Away?

Once upon a time, I rode the maglev at the Japan pavilion at Expo 86.

Since then, I’ve come to see that that was the Commodore Vic 20 of high speed travel. What’s the new standard? ET3.

So if you’ve been having a hard time imagining a post-carbon transportation system that would run on the electricity we’d glean from the wind and the sun, and cost about as much as one year of Air Canada’s gross revenue [$12.4 billion in 2013], start grinning when you read the quote at the bottom.

We could even fund it federally with a (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How to Spot an Ecology Troll

Start with an oil spill apologist/minimizer. Work with the twisted logic that since all ships and oil tankers don’t crash all the time, any concern over one that might [and our government's pathetic incompetence in prevention and disaster-aversion] is eco-hysteria. Pay any attention to and RT anything Ayn Rand. Then spot allied apologists.

Then follow the timelines:

[Timeliness note: as of 115pm, the third tow line on the Simushir snapped, so nothing's safe yet.]

Here's a real crude tanker, off Victoria Golf Course, carrying Alaska crude so no story #haidagwaii pic.twitter.com/04bOWy5xCo

— Tom Fletcher (@tomfletcherbc) October 18, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Simushir and BC’s Energy Future

[I was finishing my presentation to the BC government Finance Committee for their 2015 budget the other day. Now Simushir has begun to threaten ecological disaster. That puts a new context in here as I submit my ideas today. I'm very concerned about the next few hours, weeks and decades.]

BC Must Take the Lead in Building the Post-Carbon Energy Infrastructure

On this final day of the 2015 budget submission, the Simushir is adrift off Haida Gwaii and may create Canada’s first massive oil ecological disaster. This should frame our discussion about energy, climate change and the environment, and (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: People Want BC Corporations to Pay More Tax

…or do they?

Every year the BC government consults with citizens on what should go into their budget.

Last year over 25% of the online survey respondents said new revenue should come from increased corporate taxes, triple the rate of people who thought personal income taxes should go up.

But there are problems with that; see below:

Programs and services are largely funded by tax revenues, and government works to balance where the money comes from. How would you generate one new dollar of tax revenue from among the sources below?

- from Report on the 2014 Budget Consultations

Problems:

(Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What I Am Thankful For

This weekend, I am thankful for folks in Seattle who know how to transform the imperialist Columbus Day into Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

May we all learn this for next year!

“We are all citizens in a democracy, we are all here to work with each other, and by making this Indigenous People’s Day, we are adding something, we are not taking something away. We can both recognize our strengths.”

“We are not reveling in the pain of our past, but rejoicing in the celebration of a triumph—the voice of the indigenous people who are saying ‘we are still (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Clean Energy is Actually the $Trillion Sector, Not LNG

According to Analytica Advisors, the global demand for clean energy technology was estimated at $1.1 trillion in 2012 and projected to grow to $2.5 trillion by 2022. It also estimates that the cleantech industry in Canada grew nine per cent in 2012. In the same period, the mining, oil and gas sectors grew by only 0.3 per cent.

In B.C., Globe Advisors found the cleantech industry was responsible for 123,000 jobs and $15 billion in GDP in 2012. In Vancouver, green jobs increased by almost 20 per cent between 2010 and 2013, with (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Trouble with Old Men: Coal

Most know that coal contributes to climate change and coal dust is an environmental problem.

But old men skew far higher in supporting a coal terminal anyway.

Are old men just stupid, or are economic benefits just more important to them?

via Your Insights on Coal Exports in Metro Vancouver | Insights West.

June 16, 2014 Hey, BC: Want More Jobs? Dump the LNG and Pipelines! (1) August 11, 2014 Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial! (1) May 20, 2014 Denmark and Germany Show Us How Easy It Is (0) July 8, 2014 The Occupy Movement Has Changed the (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: The Trouble with Old Men: Coal

Political Eh-conomy: On the hunt for good jobs

There’s lots of talk about “good jobs” these days. At the same time, the expectations for what makes work not only “good” but even a “job” keep falling. It’s hard to fight for better (and less) work in light of decades of defeat for workers as an organized force, years of lingering post-crisis fallout and constant reminders that neighbours, robots, migrants…everyone is coming for whatever job you may have left (I have an article about this last bit in the upcoming issue of Briarpatch).

In a world of part-timers, permatemps, temporary migrants, contractors, sub-contractors, Uber “partners”, Taskrabbits (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Actually making the carbon tax revenue neutral could fund a fair education settlement

As the teachers’ strike continues, the BC Liberals have turned to an old stand-by: fear-mongering that they will have to raise taxes if they are to fund a settlement that includes key demands like class size and composition limits. Ignore the fact that the government has shown itself consistently unwilling to even consider any such settlement; ignore also that there is nothing inherently evil about taxes. Even taking the government seriously here, there’s one source of education funding that the BC Liberals aren’t talking about, the carbon tax.

While debate rages about whether BC’s carbon tax is regressive or progressive (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: BC teachers and First Nations on the frontlines

My guests today help take a fresh look at two issues where British Columbia is on the front lines of bigger social conflicts: that over the future of public education and that over resource development on First Nations lands.

https://politicalehconomy.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/podcast-140905-bc-frontlines1.mp3

My first guest is Helesia Luke, life-long public education advocate and member of the board of the BC Society for Public Education. In the midst of BC’s continuing teachers’ strike, she recently wrote a very incisive article on how the government’s $40 per day cash payment to parents are reminiscent of vouchers and fit with broader efforts (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Alberta Politics Catch Up: Pipelines, Planes, Cities and Rob Anders

TweetSpending a few days in another province can sometimes give you a different perspective on important national issues. Spending the last week in British Columbia served as a good reminder to this political watcher about how emotional the debate around pipelines and the Oilsands are in Alberta’s neighbouring province. While I am sure opinion is divided in B.C., I lost […]