Assorted content for your Sunday reading.
- Eric Reguly examines Apple as a prime example of how supposed market successes actually reflect the private capture of public investments – and suggests the public should benefit financially from its investments which facilitate corporate growth: Apple is such a runaway success that its profits pile up like snowdrifts in the Rockies. At last count, Apple was sitting on $165-billion (U.S.) in cash and securities. That’s more than the GDP of Hungary.
What to do with the windfall?…Here’s another idea: Give the surplus cash back to the taxpayer.
It will (Read more…)
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- Gerald Caplan suggests that Rogers and Bell might be ripe for nationalization – though it’s also worth pointing out that we don’t have to guess what happens when a Crown delivers telecommunications services: The British Labour Party has begun to make the case that market fundamentalism, or neoliberalism, is not necessarily the best way for society to operate. Specifically, it’s been trying to show that private enterprise is not always superior to public enterprise.
Beginning with Margaret Thatcher, British governments have denuded the UK of almost all public enterprises, from British Airways to (Read more…)
The oft-maligned Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change is, admittedly, something of a strange bird. It doesn’t conduct climate change research. It merely collects the research undertaken by universities, government agencies and NGOs, digests the important stuff and then issues advisory reports to governments.
The IPCC reports are usually off-mark. They sometimes, albeit rarely, overstate conclusions. Far more often they understate projections of the arrival, severity and duration of climate change impacts.
Contrary to what denialists claim, the IPCC is, if anything, unduly optimistic. For example, until recently the IPCC was predicting that the Arctic Ocean would be seasonally ice-free by (Read more…)
Filed under: art Tagged: climate change, global, warming
This morning, in my print edition of The Toronto Star, I saw the following headline: Canadian scientists to be placed in isolation. While it turned out to be a story about the evacuation of a Canadian medical team helping to fight Ebola in Sierra Leone, for a brief moment I thought it concerned the latest efforts by the Harper regime to muzzle our scientists.
I can perhaps be forgiven for my initial confusion. Reading Paul Wells’ book on Stephen Harper, The Longer I’m Prime Minister, two things become apparent: the Harper regime is in constant re-election mode, and a (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- David Reevely writes about the stench of corporate corruption hanging over a privately-sponsored premiers’ conference. And Paul Willcocks nicely contrasts the professed belief by politicians that campaign contributions don’t unduly policy against the expectations of everybody else affected by the political system – including big donors themselves: Most people figure that money matters. That when someone who gives hundreds of thousands of dollars to a party calls a politician, they get access and a chance to ask for favours. That they are buying special treatment.
The people taking in all that cash, unsurprisingly, (Read more…)
Well there he was, thundering over the tundra, on the last day of his Great Photo-Op Tour of the North.The Dark Knight Nerd on the warpath. Taking part in a military exercise designed to portray him as a Great Strong Leader.Declaring that the greatest threat to his beloved Arctic are the Russians.An emboldened Russia is a threat to it neighbours in the Arctic and Canada must be ready to respond to any Russian incursions in the region, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday as he ended his yearly tour of Canada's North.And suggesting that only a strong (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper Great Insane Tour of the North
Click here to find out what has them so worried. Recommend this Post
Read this Aug. 18 Postmedia story from Margaret Munro on the chill Canada’s Arctic scientists have felt when trying to discuss record polar ice melt with the public.
Federal scientists who keep a close eye on the Arctic ice would like to routinely brief Canadians about extraordinary events unfolding in the North.
But newly released federal documents show the Harper government has been thwarting their efforts.
In 2012, as the Arctic ice hit the lowest point ever recorded, scientists at the Canadian Ice Service were keen to tell Canadians about the stunning ice loss.
“Less ice doesn’t mean less danger. In fact the opposite (Read more…)
I’m still hopeful that we will see a workable, international agreement on climate change in 2015 but why does that have to feel like a pensive Charlie Brown with Lucy holding the football? And why does Lucy remind me of Stephen Harper?
A new research study from Norway’s Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research in conjunction with Statistics Norway (a Scandinavian StatsCan), concludes that the chances of getting an effective agreement are slim. The study concludes that the measures likely to get political agreement would be ineffective while an agreement that could produce results would be “politically unviable. (Read more…)
Assorted content to start your week.
- Robert Jay Lifton discusses the “stranded ethics” of a fossil fuel industry which is willing to severely damage our planet in order to protect market share: Can we continue to value, and thereby make use of, the very materials most deeply implicated in what could be the demise of the human habitat? It is a bit like the old Jack Benny joke, in which an armed robber offers a choice, “Your money or your life!” And Benny responds, “I’m thinking it over.” We are beginning to “think over” such choices on (Read more…)
This and that for your weekend reading.
- Matthew Yglesias writes that while increased automation may not eliminate jobs altogether, it may go a long way toward making them more menial. And Jerry Dias recognizes that we won’t see better career opportunities emerge unless we make it a shared public priority to develop them: (I)ncreasingly, the people I meet – both in the labour movement and outside (including in some business circles) – talk about the need for greater dialogue on the issues of the day, particularly as they relate to jobs and the economy. People have expressed to me (Read more…)
Well, it turns out every cloud does have a silver lining. A major impact of climate change has been the rapid loss of Arctic sea ice. The absence of sea ice, in turn, has led to the development of big waves which are, in their turn, contributing to the break up of the remaining sea ice. But there is a silver lining to all of this. The Arctic Ocean is now open for surfing.
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- John Abraham and Dana Nuccitelli discuss the worrisome spread of climate change denialism, particularly around the English-speaking developed world. But lest we accept the theory that declining public knowledge is independent of political choices, Margaret Munro reports that the Cons are suppressing factual scientific information about Arctic ice levels to avoid the Canadian public being better informed, while Tom Korski exposes a particularly galling example of their vilifying top scientists for reporting their results. And John O’Connor reminds us what’s been done to anybody who’s dared to speak out about the effect (Read more…)
You would think if you were a country particularly prone to being mugged by severe storm events of increasing intensity, frequency and destructiveness you might be just as particularly receptive to overwhelming scientific evidence of the causes. However if you happen to be one of the major English-speaking countries you are and you aren’t. When it comes to Australia, the United States, Canada and Britain, all four countries are being hammered by climate change impacts yet remain among the countries least likely to accept the scientific evidence.
All four countries are governed by right of centre legislatures in which denialism (Read more…)
As the effects of climate change become more pronounced, adaptive measures will need to taken alongside of measures ameliorating the rate of change (if that is in fact still even possible).
One such step has been undertaken in California, a state that has been especially hard hit by drought. Orange County has undertaken an ambitious waste water recycling regimen that will likely become the norm in other parts of the country and world facing similar conditions.
Recommend this Post
Jon Brooks is a Canadian singer-songwriter. If you haven’t heard him yet, you are in for a treat. Here he is talking and singing about hope.
It's so hot out you can't even hear the #climatechange Deniers making jokes about "Where's Global Warming?"…— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) August 14, 2014
Yes, it’s so hot out you can’t even hear the #climatechange Deniers making jokes about “Where’s Global Warming?”… you know, because when it’s -30 you hear the ignorant phone into radio shows and ask if the globe is warming, why is it so cold in Canada in Winter?
It’s over 30 degrees in Regina today, there was a heat warning from Environment Canada.
To Asia’s three nuclear powers, the Tibetan plateau represents life or death. China, India and Pakistan are all dependent on the headwaters of rivers that are fed by the glaciers in Tibet. The geo-political enormity of these rivers drove China to invade and occupy Tibet in 1950.
What happens in the Himalayas powerfully impacts the security of these three Asian powers. That’s why a new study on the state of the plateau is particularly worrisome.
The report from the Chinese Academy of Sciences concludes that the Tibetan plateau has experienced double the average level of global warming and that the (Read more…)
We owe a lot to Carl-Gustav Rossby, the Swedish-born American scientist who pioneered research into atmospheric thermodynamics at MIT and was instrumental in the university establishing America’s first department of meteorology.
Today, Rossby’s name is most commonly associated with this:
This image depicts what are sometimes called “Rossby Waves”, the deep and meandering jet stream waves that now draw warm air from the south far up into the north and cold northern air far into the south. Remember when Atlantic City went into deep freeze in February while a small village in northern Alaska basked in 62 degree F heat? (Read more…)
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Jack Peat argues for trickle-up economics to ensure that everybody shares in our common resources (while also encouraging economic development): Good capitalism is the ability to promote incentives and opportunity in equal measure. Sway too far one way and the potential of human capital is stifled, sway too far in the other direction and the willingness to realise this potential also goes amiss. Of late, bad capitalism has manifested itself in incentives over opportunities, and has become a parasitic drag on our economic growth as a result.
A recent IMF study has (Read more…)
Steve Harper, the greatest threat to Canadian security in the modern era.
Happy August! Happy Day!
I have a few comments about this, the 1,000th editorial at Politics, Re-Spun. But you can read them below, about my sabbatical plan, new visions for this almost 12-year-old website, and other things.
But at the top of this post, I have something slightly more urgent to delve into before I check out for a break.
That great sick freak, Donald Rumsfeld is generally credited with popularizing the concept of unknown unknowns to our modern/post-modern era. Being a sick freak, he spun that bafflement (Read more…)