Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Asorted content for your weekend reading.

- Ezra Klein talks to Bernie Sanders about how to build a more fair economy in the U.S. and around the globe. And Lynn Parramore interviews Tony Atkinson about the options available to rein in economic inequality – and why we should be working on putting them in place: LP: Some of the possible prescriptions you discuss, such as a basic income for all citizens, may sound radical, but you point out that they are actually already implemented as policy in many countries in various ways. Are ideas like basic income getting more (Read more…)

350 or bust: “The Changes Will Be Dramatic” Says Farmer & Climate Scientist

As both a farmer and a climate scientist, Jennifer is deeply concerned about the challenges coming for farmers. She admires their resourcefulness, but expects the changes will be dramatic. *

350 or bust: The Time Is Now

In the United States, the transition to a clean energy economy is already underway. Climate-concerned citizens are calling on candidates in next year’s federal election to show their plan to power the country with 50% clean energy by 2030. The time for a job-creating, climate-stabilizing clean energy revolution is NOW. * Go to to […]

Politics and its Discontents: The Signs Are Everywhere – Part 2

You can access part one here.

Logical fallacies The reason why there’s a 97% consensus is because of the many lines of evidence that humans are causing global warming. Human fingerprints are being observed in heat escaping out to space, in the structure of the atmosphere and even in the changing seasons. Another denialist technique used to counter the weight of evidence is the logical fallacy.

The most common fallacious argument is that current climate change must be natural because climate has changed naturally in the past. This myth commits the logical fallacy of jumping to conclusions. It’s like finding (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: The Signs Are Everywhere

It is only the ideologically blind who refuse to see the signs. Whether we live on the West Coast, Central Canada, or the East Coast, we are being affected by climate change, More protracted droughts. More wildfires. More oppressive heatwaves. Or unseasonably cool conditions.

Of protracted winters I will not even speak.

So what is to be done about the obdurate climate-change denier? Other than ignoring them, we can confront them with the facts they so willfully dismiss. We do that by first recognizing their sleazy and unscientific tactics. Here is how we do it:

One of the deniers’ favorite (Read more…)

Politics Canada: Harper makes Canada into the ‘tobacco company’ of the global community

Stephen Harper has done many things to change Canada’s reputation on the world stage. Probably the most noticeable to people in other countries around the world is it’s record on environmental protection. Canada has blocked agreements, accords and pacts that would help humans to make a smaller impact on the planet. Emissions targets are not met, not agreed to. The phrase ‘climate change’ is virtually outlawed from the lips of anyone involved in the Harper government.

In addition Harper is the global peddler of tar sand, dirty oil. A product that destroys the local environment when extracted and pollute more (Read more…)

350 or bust: Take Time To Renew Your Spirit

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Oil Is Not A Four Letter Word

Coal is a four letter word, however.

Perhaps Wall is a bit touchy about fossil fuels because Saskatchewan produces more greenhouse gases per person than any other Canadian province [link added], and is one of only three provinces whose emissions have risen since 1990. The province contains only 1 per cent of the country’s population, but produces a disproportionate 10 per cent of national emissions.

Saskatchewan recorded the highest deposit-paid bottle return rate in Canada (82 per cent) and largest wildfire detection camera system in North America, said the ministry.

Yet we had the worst wildfire season, perhaps (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Opinion: Will future of food be an election plank?

This piece comes from the Edmonton Journal and applies to all of Western Canada, very much including our Cowichan Valley. We can look back and see significant increases in our food production and array of

Read more…

Bill Longstaff: Are we reaching a critical mass on climate change?

Convincing people that anthropogenic climate change is real is a tough slog. Quite aside from the difficulty of selling inconvenient truths, powerful interests have been arrayed against the science. Nonetheless, people around the world are coming to recognize the reality.

A recent Pew Research Center survey found that publics in 19 of 40 nations cited climate change as their biggest worry, the

The Disaffected Lib: The Worst Case Scenario

FIFTY? Fifty self-reinforcing feedback mechanisms are now active? University of Arizona professor emeritus, natural resources, ecology and evolutionary biology, Guy McPherson no longer pursues pure science, environmental research. He can’t. He’s too busy digesting the mountains of research pouring in from other scientists and connecting the dots.

There’s really no nice way to put this.  McPherson has now logged 50 self-reinforcing feedback mechanisms underway.  That’s another way of saying “runaway global warming.”  At the time of the interview below, back in March, he’d only identified 39.  Apparently eleven more have turned up since then.

In Dr. McPherson’s assessment, we’re (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Brad Wall On “Sustainably Developing Our Energy Resources”

Originally posted on John Klein – Regina:

Brad Wall says “…we need to do better in terms of more sustainably developing our energy resources…”

Unfortunately what he means is he wants to find ways of ensuring fossil fuels and uranium come out of the ground at an increasingly profitable pace, no matter the world’s demand/need for such things. Greg Fingas views it as such, too.

New blog post: For @PremierBradWall pride is all about corps burning resources, not ppl accomplishing goals

— Greg Fingas (@juristblog) July 17, 2015

He notes that oil pride goes “Before the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Before the fall

Shorter Brad Wall: The whole concept of “From many peoples, strength” doesn’t do much for me. But “From many dinosaur remains, climate devastation”, now that gets me – and any right-thinking Westerner – all tingly with pride.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Paying Back Our Carbon Debt

This is concerning information.

The scariest climate paragraph I've read today:

— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) July 13, 2015

So, how do our politicians (in B.C. and elsewhere) deal with the fact that we need to triple the size of our forests by 2050 to have a fair shot at avoiding 2 degree climate change (which will ruin everything)?

BREAKING: @AJWVictoriaBC calls for immediate emergency debate on #climatechange #bcpoli @BCGreens

— Adam Olsen (@AdamPOlsen) July 13, 2015

@chrisalecanada @BCGreens @AJWVictoriaBC Yes – I just started watching now as well – apparently gov & opposition shut (Read more…)

mark a rayner: The unexpected benefits of climate change

Sure, half of Western Canada was on fire, polar bears were evolving into full amphibians, and the bee population was fucked, but there were some side benefits to global warming. As the earth heated, cloud watchers were in for some exciting times. Generally speaking, there were fewer clouds to watch, but when there were clouds, boy-howdy were […]

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Adrian Morrow reports on Al Gore’s explanation as to how the fight against climate change can be economically as well as environmentally beneficial, while CTV points out a new Nanos poll showing that Canadians largely agree with the view that cleaner technology can and should replace dirty fossil fuels. And Gary Mason argues that a summer of drought and wildfires should lead us to pay particularly close attention to climate change in this fall’s election.

- But as per usual, the people making obscene amounts of money from environmental degradation aren’t going (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: We Have to Take Down the Fossil Fuel Industry. That Includes Our Own.

He’s probably the most prominent climate scientist most North Americans have never heard of but you can get caught up by reading his Wiki entry here.  He’s Hans Joachim Schellnhuber and when he speaks, serious people listen – closely. This is a man not given to hyperbole.

That introductory remark is intended to help you take the measure of his latest warning, this one concerning the global fossil fuel industry.

An “induced implosion” of the fossil fuel industry must take place for there to be any chance of avoiding dangerous global warming, according to one of the world’s most influential (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: The Case For Letting Canada’s Forest Fires Burn

Let It Burn

Here is a compelling story featured from Desmog that is a reality hit that might be hard to swallow. It runs counter to our instincts it may well be the

Read more…

Dead Wild Roses: Climate Summit of the America’s – Nice idea.

Well you know it is important when Al Gore is in the house:

“Al Gore says there’s a “powerful voice” speaking out about climate change: Mother Nature.

Gore, citing “striking” examples of extreme climate-related conditions, said while scientists have long agreed climate change is real, the real environmental challenges facing people will drive change.”

What you don’t see is the changes being made to our global system of economics and trade that will actually do something to move the planet away from the lovely CO2 oven outcome that we’re building for ourselves. One of the key aspects (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Thomas Lemieux and W. Craig Riddell examine Canada’s income distribution and find that one’s place in the 1% is based primarily on rent-seeking rather than merit: (I)n Canada, as in the United States, executives and others working in the financial and business services sectors have been driving the growth in top incomes. Unlike in the United States, however, the oil and gas sector has also played an important role in income growth at the top, especially in more recent years, and holders of medical degrees have lost ground. Their results for engineers (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: As I Stare at My Smoke-Clouded Sky, a Thought or Two About Tipping Points

A tipping point isn’t that instant when water begins pouring over the canoe’s gunwale.  The tipping point is actually before that, when the canoe is heeling over and can’t be stopped.  It’s summer time. Get in a canoe and try it.  There’s a brief moment, perhaps not more than a second or two, when the outcome is both obvious and inescapable – the center of gravity has shifted and your momentum is going to carry you over.  At that point you’re just along for a rather wet ride.

Climate change, anthropogenic global warming tipping points are very similar to what (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Armine Yalnizyan writes that reliance on temporary and disposable labour is utterly incompatible with long-term economic development. And Joey Hartman and Adrienne Montani comment on Vancouver’s efforts to support a living wage rather than grinding down employment standards.

- Andy Skuce points out that our already-worrisome best estimates as to the effects of climate change may underestimate the damage done as land-based carbon sinks turn into carbon producers. And Charles Mandel reports that this summer’s spate of wildfires across Western Canada may become the new normal as droughts become more common.

- Meanwhile, (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: It’s Called the "Pucker Factor"

There’s a powerful yet weird mix of angst and optimism building in advance of the December climate change summit in Paris.

Government types from the US to China to the EU express confidence that this year will succeed and do what every other summit has failed to do – reach an effective agreement to cut global greenhouse gas emissions to stay below the 2 degree Celsius target for man made global warming.

Non-government types mostly don’t share that optimism.  Their skepticism, bordering on outright pessimism, is captured by this op-ed from Le Monde:…Since the 1992 Earth Summit in (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Where Are Our Leaders?

Vancouver is all but obscured in this satellite image

It’s fire time in BC.

Real leadership means speaking the words, recognizing facts and realities for people, and saying leader-y kinds of things like empathic comments that reflect understanding, like an acknowledgement that things are changing thus making BC more vulnerable to this huge fire risk, like we have many smart people exploring risks and coming up with plans to make sure this will happen less in the future.

Instead, we have no leaders. They’re silent, on vacation or while in the city [Harper], living the contemptuous life of having so (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: BC Wildfires: Climate Change in action?

The sun at 10:30 am. July 5, on Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island (Roy L. Hales)

The following is republished from the ECOreport.

Across the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Victoria, a brownish haze clings to the Olympic Peninsula’s shore. There are reports of ash raining from the sky in Vancouver, Salt Spring Island and Nanaimo. The sun was a reddish-brown color in Qualicum Beach. There are severe wildfires along the West Coast, from Alaska to California. There may be more than drought behind the fires: Is this Climate Change?

Heating up

“Climate change is producing hotter, (Read more…)