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The Progressive Economics Forum: Fur trade and tar sands

Here is Joseph Boyden talking with the Globe and Mail last fall about his novel Orenda:

“You look at this novel and you think immigration, who you allow in and who you don’t. The Hurons allow in the ones who ulimately destroy them, because the Huron aren’t perfect either. They need the trade, and how much greed was involved in that? Look environmentally – you wipe out all the furs and your economy is gone. It’s like the oil sands.”

The fur trade destroyed the Huron economy and the Huron. Bitumen destroys the Canadian economy, and through carbon emissions (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Paul Krugman explains how one’s political values figure to affect one’s view of evidence as to the success or failure of a policy: (T)he liberal and conservative movements are not at all symmetric in their goals. Conservatives want smaller government as an end in itself; liberals don’t seek bigger government per se — they want government to achieve certain things, which is quite different. You’ll never see liberals boasting about raising the share of government spending in GDP the way conservatives talk proudly about bringing that share down. Because liberals want government to (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Canada Coaching Countries to Waste Water

Canada, a decade ago, used to do more good than bad in the wider world. Now we’re an international wrecking crew, teaching countries how to waste their water supplies on international disasters like shale oil.

This sort of unproductive activity is also changing our climate. It’s also slowing investment in renewable energy technologies that don’t pollute and consume water or air.

In any case, I have the utmost confidence that solar will continue to collapse at its current rate of -600%.— Chris Turner (@theturner) April 15, 2014

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Sorry Oil Shills, Try Another Talking Point

The Oil and Gas sectors are the biggest of the air polluting sectors in Canada. They’ve recently surpassed transportation. Amazingly, despite Saskatchewan’s refusal to do away with coal burning, electricity sources of air pollution have dropped thanks to Ontario’s phase-out of coal power.

Politics and its Discontents: A Guest Post From The Mound Of Sound

I have missed reading the Mound of Sound since he put his blog, The Disaffected Lib, on hiatus about five weeks ago. A man of wide-ranging interests and passions, his posts on climate change and politics never failed to catch my attention and stimulate my own reading and research.

Yesterday I received an email from Mound; while he is not interested at this point in restarting his own blog, he asked if I would be open to hosting the occasional guest post from him. I responded with both alacrity and pleasure. What follows is the first of what I (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Great Kitimat Rebellion

When historians assess the legacy of Stephen Harper fifty years from now, the many scandals of his corrupt regime will probably merit only a few paragraphs.But what they will say of him without a doubt, is that at a critical point in human history he failed his country and his planet.For at a time when scientists were warning that time was running out for climate change action. The disconnect couldn't be greater. Read more »

Politics, Re-Spun: What Yoko Ono Knows About Fracking

Today we are fresh off the tar soaked heels of Enbridge’s lie and spin machine in Kitimat, leading to a vote AGAINST their toxic future.

In Kitimat, in a non-binding plebiscite, the people of Kitimat, but not the first peoples who live outside the town boundary, voted about 60-40 to kick out Enbridge.

They’re liars, don’t you know, making up a fake map of BC’s coast to pretend that oil tanker risks are lower than they are.

But it also turns out that Yoko Ono knows a thing or two about fracking and carbon energy.

And we also know (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Will Hutton writes about Thomas Piketty’s rebuttal to the false claim that inequality has to be encouraged in the name of development – and the reality that we have a public policy choice whether to privilege returns on capital or broad-based growth: It is a startling thesis and one extraordinarily unwelcome to those who think capitalism and inequality need each other. Capitalism requires inequality of wealth, runs this right-of-centre argument, to stimulate risk-taking and effort; governments trying to stem it with taxes on wealth, capital, inheritance and property kill the goose that lays (Read more…)

350 or bust: Take Time To Renew Your Spirit

350 or bust: Saturday At The Movies

This is incredibly beautiful – newborn twins sharing a bath respond to each other like they are still in the womb. *

Trashy's World: So, yeah, climate change is just not happening, is it?

A few interesting graphics forwarded to me by a colleague. (2) Trashy, Ottawa, Ontario

The Common Sense Canadian: A very human dilemma: Population woes vs. biological imperative

Every baby is a biological miracle. In its development from conception to birth it undergoes a remarkable process summarized by “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” — a fetus growing into a human being moves through the entire succession of animal phyla, from the most simple unicellular organism to the most complicated of the multicellular. This process not only confirms the evolutionary history of life but highlights the incredible memory and genetic intelligence contained within a single fertilized cell.

Concurrent with this development of the fetus is the utter wonder of becoming sentient, of ascending through levels of consciousness until awareness is even (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: David Suzuki: Earth Month should be a time for action

April is Earth Month, and April 22 Earth Day. We should really celebrate our small blue planet and all it provides every day, but recent events give us particular cause to reflect on our home and how we’re treating it.

Through an amazingly ordered combination of factors, this spinning ball of earth, air, fire and water – with its hydrological, carbon, nitrogen and rock cycles, biological diversity and ideal distance from the sun – provides perfect conditions for human life to flourish. But with our vast and rapidly increasing numbers, breakneck technological advances, profligate use of resources and lack of (Read more…)

350 or bust: It’s Up To Us To Decide The Future

Global weirding has begun. We still have time to act, but not an indefinite amount of time: * Produced by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme and Globaia and funded by the UN Foundation. The data visualization summarises and visualizes several of the most significant statements in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) recent Fifth Assessment […]

LeDaro: Fires in California in winter and melting of glaciers on the Northern Pole

It is very troubling and unsettling. What next?

Montreal Simon: The Ghastly Cons and the Climate Change Monster

I went down to my favourite beach today to celebrate the Rites of Spring, only to find the last remnants of the Winter from Hell still clinging to the pier.And for some reason the sight of that ghastly chunk of ice reminded me of the monster in the movie The Blob.And of the climate change monster that is threatening our world. Read more »

Politics and its Discontents: Of Course We Could Ignore This

But are we willing to pay the ultimate price?

Recommend this Post

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- David Dayen discusses the massive corporate tax giveaways handed out through the U.S.’ annual budget process. And in a system where lobbying by the wealthy is rewarded with a 24-to-1 return, it shouldn’t be much surprise if inequality is getting even worse than previously assumed, as Jordan Weissmann reports: Forget the 1 percent. The winners of this race, according to Zucman and Saez, have been the 0.1 percent. Since the 1960s, the richest one-thousandth of U.S. households, with a minimum net worth today above $20 million, have more (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: The Choices Bloggers Make

Yesterday I put up a post entitled Apocalyptic Scenes, which featured a video clip of severe storms in the U.S. The Mound of Sound, currently on hiatus from his blog, The Disaffected Lib, left a comment about the relative dearth of bloggers covering issues such as climate change. The Mound, if you have read him, has consistently provided exemplary and comprehensive coverage of what undoubtedly is the greatest threat to our species’ long-term survival.

Here is what I wrote in response:

One of the many things I miss about your blog posts, Mound, is your comprehensive coverage (Read more…)

350 or bust: Take Time To Renew Your Spirit

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Andrew Coyne sees the powerful impact of local forces on nomination contests as evidence that grassroots democracy is still alive and well in Canada – no matter how much the Cons and Libs may wish otherwise: What’s common to both of these stories is not only the willingness of local candidates and riding associations to defy the powers that be but their obstinate insistence that these races should be what party leaders claim they are: open nominations. With any luck, this obstreperousness will spread. Thanks to redistricting, there will be other ridings where (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Apocalyptic Scenes

While the fossil fuel companies and the governments that protect them continue to draw in record profits and conspicuously blockade any amelioration of carbon output, the real world pays the price:

Recommend this Post

350 or bust: Saturday At The Movies

We have a lot of ravens in our neck of the woods. I wonder if they’re even smarter than crows? Check out this smart crow filmed problem solving for BBC’s Inside the Animal Mind.

PostArctica: How Climate Change Will Kill Us in the Dumbest Possible Way

Couldn’t agree more, stupid is our our story to the end…

AKIRA WATTS FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

When we’re not actively engaged in killing each other, watching TV, or occupied in other such entertaining diversions, one of humanity’s favorite hobbies is imagining that we live in the end times, with extinction lurking around every corner. I’ve never been a huge fan of this sort of thing. I tend to hold that, as Copernicus explained, we don’t occupy a privileged position at the center of the universe, nor do we occupy a privileged position in time, either at the beginning or (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- David Macdonald studies Canada’s massive (and growing) wealth gap, and proposes some thoughtful solutions to ensure that growth in wealth results in at least some shared benefits: Attempting to limit inequality through traditional measures like restricting RRSP contributions or introducing new tax brackets for high income individuals generally won’t apply to substantial wealth holdings. The wealth generated by The Wealthy 86 was done through creating or trading assets, mostly companies, not through saving and investing money in the middle-class sense.

One the largest legal loopholes for the wealthy in Canada is that (Read more…)