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PostArctica: Keep Your Coins, I Want Change

by meek in Melbourne, Australia

Writings of J. Todd Ring: What can be done?

What can be done? How can we help others? How can one person make a difference? Well, there are many ways, of course. Most people in modern Western society, and in many parts of the world, feel powerless today. They feel that they can’t do anything to help – they can’t do anything to change […]

Things Are Good: Obviously, The Climate Change Debate is Over

Anybody with the ability to reason realizes that anthropogenic climate change is happening – and it’s happening in an unpredictable but faster way than previously imagined. The fact that fools argue against this infuriates me as they are essentially arguing against reality.

Recently, two acclaimed scientific bodies (The Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences) concluded that human caused climate change is occurring. This adds to a chorus of institutions that have reached the same conclusion years ago.

So what is possibly good about anthropogenic climate change? I have no idea if there is anything positive about it (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Cities Are The Key For Adjusting To Changing Climate

Readers of this site have seen lots of evidence that in the 21st century the best place one can live for a small carbon footprint is in urban areas. Things like increased infrastructure costs and higher costs of living associated with automobile use in rural & suburban places are obvious reasons why denser areas are better.

Now we can add even more reasons to live an urban life thanks to research from the IPCC and WWF.

The latest assessment by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicates a global carbon budget, or the estimated amount of carbon available to (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Another Thing Trudeau & Layton Have In Common

Justin Trudeau and the late Jack Layton have quite a few similarities, underestimation by Conservatives is yet another.

It wasn’t too long ago a certain inexperienced federal politician became leader of a third place political party. Though the son of a prominent politician1, in his early life he had not been immediately drawn to federal politics and instead chose a career of teaching. But with time this idealist realized that Canada deserved better than the “conservatives” in power and ran for his party’s leadership.2 He easily won it by a large margin on the first ballot… in (Read more…)

Walking Turcot Yards: Only art can save us now

The world needs creative interpretations of global issues, not better descriptions of things people are accustomed to. by Santiago Zabala Perhaps rather than God, as Martin Heidegger once said, it is art that can save us. After all, artistic creations have always had political, religious and social meanings that also aimed in some way to save us. Certainly, they also express beauty, but this depends very much on the public’s aesthetic taste, which varies according to the cultural environment of each society.But when the political meaning is manifest, aesthetics (our sensations and taste) lose ground in favour of . . . → Read More: Walking Turcot Yards: Only art can save us now

The Scott Ross: How The US Used Pussy Riot And You Liked It

Why were you outraged over Russia locking up Pussy Riot but ambivalent over America bringing its full weight down on open access activist Aaron Swartz? Simple, because hating a Russian government is easier than improving your own.

When Russian punk band Pussy Riot received 2 years for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” there were weeks of press coverage, mass protests, world outrage, and calls, most notably by US President Barack Obama, denouncing Russia’s actions as “disproportionate”.

Yet when Reddit co-creator Aaron Swartz was facing 35 years in an American prison for merely making publicly-funded research public, there were few

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: How The US Used Pussy Riot And You Liked It

The Scott Ross: Conservatives Bad At Selling Out

What’s worse than oil companies spending millions to buy off politicians? Oil companies getting them for free.

The oil sector is vital to Canada’s economy, but so are a lot of industries and you don’t see them drafting government policy. From the CBC:

A letter obtained by Greenpeace through access to information laws and passed on to the CBC reveals the oil and gas industry was granted its request that the federal government change a series of environmental laws to advance “both economic growth and environmental performance.”

Within 10 months of the request, the industry had almost everything

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Conservatives Bad At Selling Out

The Scott Ross: Trust In Trudeau

Because Stephen Harper was a self-described “radical right-wing ideologue”, he was the only one who could make the conservatives more Liberal.

Because Barack Obama was so anti-war, he was the only one who could make the Democrats more pro-war than Republicans.

In both cases it was each man’s close association to a particular cause that gave him the credibility and therefore the power to fundamentally change it.

And it is because Justin Trudeau is perhaps the most identifiable Liberal that he, and he alone can make the party more conservative, and, as they aren’t mutually exclusive, more progressive. Trudeau has

The Scott Ross: Idle No More Will Fail Unless Votes Follow

Idle No More will fail, not because aboriginals don’t matter, but because they don’t vote.

Elections Canada has tracked federal voter turnout on First Nations Reserves since the 2004 general election, and over that time period aboriginal turnout was on average 28% less than that of all Canadians.

Accounting for the growth in the aboriginal population, that lower turnout could have meant the loss of 200,000 to 300,000 votes in each election, which would have dramatically affected not just the outcomes, but how subsequent politicians and parties competed for aboriginal support.

Imagine instead of going hungry for the chance that

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Idle No More Will Fail Unless Votes Follow

The Quantum Buddha's Blog: The New Age

I am thinking about this task I set before me. But what is this task? Every time I define it, I eventually realize that my solution is disconnected from life.

This is happening more and more. When I examine a problem, and break it down into its essential parts, understand why, the answer is always the same. The difference is on the surface and it begins to disappear as you go deeper into it.

To know what is correct, one must know the goal that is sought. The same is true for public policy, which is further burdened by the

. . . → Read More: The Quantum Buddha’s Blog: The New Age

The Scott Ross: Why Your Vote Means Something

If your vote is meaningless because it’s only one out of 140 million cast, what does that say about you, the importance of your one life on a planet with 7 billion others? Not to mention the short span of your years compared to the billions that came before it and the billions of years that will follow it.

The fact is your vote matters just as much as you do. That even though you, yourself are smaller than a grain of sand in the infinite landscape of time and space, the things you do, the things you say, the

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Why Your Vote Means Something

The Scott Ross: There Is No End For Hope & Change

It is hard to imagine how much Obama has let the American people down from his lofty rhetoric in 2008 and how little hope and change he has actually delivered. This of course is not because Obama failed to uphold these particular promises, though it’s readily admitted he’s failed to uphold others; there is resentment because there is something significantly wrong with America.

When any society believes hope and change are some tangible commodity, some identifiable end or some goal that once attained can be placed upon an award shelf to collect dust, that society seriously misunderstands what hope and

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: There Is No End For Hope & Change

350 or bust: Saturday At The Movies

The Disaffected Lib: To the Big Picture, Does the White House Matter?

A substantial majority of Canadians want to see Barack Obama re-elected.  Why?

To be sure, the Republican offerings of late have been unpopular here and pretty much around the world, Israel perhaps excepted.  It could be that Ike was last truly popular conservative president of the United States on the world stage.

Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush I, Bush II – slim pickings at best.  Anyone believe that gang left the world a better place than they found it?  (Hint – if you do, seek help)

The other team put forward Kennedy, Johnson (don’t undervalue his civil

. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: To the Big Picture, Does the White House Matter?

350 or bust: Take Time To Renew Your Spirit

350 or bust: What Does It Take To Get People To Change?

Apparently standing on the brink of global disaster, economically and environmentally, isn’t enough to get the majority of people to demand real change from their political leaders, and move away from their fossil fuel lovin’ ways. So what will it take? This video from 14 year old Hyrum Grenny (with a little help from his [...]

The Scott Ross: Belief of Action

An idea is not important because you think it; an idea is only important because you make the world think it.

There is an egotism in the world today that is responsible for the decline of political activism, and that egotism is from the misconception that all our ideas and beliefs are of equal value because we are equal. And while we may be, our beliefs are not.

The beliefs of the protester outside an international summit are more important than the beliefs of an observer who does nothing. The beliefs of the volunteer who gets people to support his

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Belief of Action

The Scott Ross: Nature’s Environment Is Man

Facing an unprecedented environmental crisis a world summit like no other was called.

“We have to do something, we can’t let our environment just die.” A member of the Dirt delegation said with the driest of throats.

Other representatives of the world’s nature lined the large circular table. Tree’s foreign minister sat there with his branches crossed, the President of the Democratic Republic of Rock sat beside him stone-faced and unmoved.

“I don’t think we need to do anything, this isn’t elemental-made, it’s not like we are the ones ruining the environment anyway. This is just the natural course

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Nature’s Environment Is Man

The Scott Ross: Liberal Red And NDP Orange

The Liberal Party of Canada is often criticized for being stagnant, for not changing, but one just has to look at its logo, its branding, and more specifically, its colour to see that is not true.

Colours are important, people naturally associate feelings and ideas to them. Advertisers know this and use colours to associate those feelings with their brand. Terry O’Reilly, a former marketer and current host of the CBC program Under The Influence recently described how companies use colours to influence consumers.

O’Reilly on his show offered this analysis:

“Blue, as a rule stands for security, trust, productivity

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Liberal Red And NDP Orange

The Scott Ross: Canada’s #1 Social Problem: There Aren’t Any More Social Problems

What’s worse than being a fat, polluting, racist, ignorant jerk? That’s easy, not knowing you are one.

And what’s worse than even that? Being in a society full of people just like you, where no one is aware of immoral conduct, of greed, of sexism, and of the ignorance that protects it all.

Though great things and great people reside in Canada, in our northern nation a similar situation exists; there are no more social problems. Of course the absence of social inequalities is nothing to mourn, but the perception that there are none while many still exist certainly is.

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Canada’s #1 Social Problem: There Aren’t Any More Social Problems

Things Are Good: Daily Social Well-Being Challenges

MeYou Health is an online community that is trying to get people to make small changes everyday that add up to big change. They have a suite of apps for Facebook and iPhones that remind you to drink water or partake in a daily challenge.

When you think about it, your life is the sum of little day-to-day choices – what you have for lunch, how to spend a few minutes of free time. For most of us, those little choices are made without much thought, driven by habit or a moment’s pleasure. That’s just how we’re made.

Now imagine

. . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Daily Social Well-Being Challenges

The Scott Ross: We All Lose In BC Teacher Labour Dispute

Who will win in the latest labour dispute between BC teachers and the provincial government? It doesn’t matter, we are already losing.

Now a politician isn’t going to tell a province this, a union representative isn’t going to hold a press conference to point it out, and people aren’t going to buy a newspaper to read about it because it’s not something we want to hear. But the fact is we’re selfish, and as a growing majority of British Columbians continue to put their self-interest above the teachers in this province it’s clear we’re only becoming more so.

Years ago

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: We All Lose In BC Teacher Labour Dispute

The Scott Ross: All Breasts Are Fake To What A Woman Is

Some say the world is too fake, where in reality it isn’t fake enough.

Because silicone breasts, money and lies aren’t real, we know more about what actually is real. The fact is the more we embrace materialism, the more we recognize how artificial and temporary it is, we recognize how real and permanent the ideas underneath are.

The more plastic our bodies become and the more they change, the more powerful the recognition of our personalities become, because they will be finally recognized as what they really are, the things that we really are.

There are very few things

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: All Breasts Are Fake To What A Woman Is

The Scott Ross: Change Doesn’t Exist Only Once

It began on rhetoric but ended on substance; this video is like Obama’s campaign, because Americans can choose to continue it, to not just look back at what they have done but to look forward at what they will do.

This year Americans can continue to make history, not end it; Americans can continue to be admired, not feared; Americans can continue to change the world, not stop it.

Making the world better is not an end to itself; you can improve it, you can change it, but no matter what you do, what great things you accomplish, you can

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Change Doesn’t Exist Only Once