Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Arthur Neslen reports on the Health and Environmental Alliance’s study of greenhouse gas emission reductions showing that we’d enjoy both improved health and economic benefits by pursuing ambitious targets to fight climate change. And David Roberts examines the massive cost and minimal benefit of carbon capture and storage schemes which serve mostly to increase how much oil we burn at public expense.

- Chris Simpson writes about the need for physicians to consider social determinants of health as part of patient care. And Carolyn Shimmin offers a primer for journalists (and others) to (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: SaskParty Avoids Clean Energy Boom

Saskatchewan leadership leaves a lot to be desired. Many people here are excited about how “strong” Saskatchewan is, thanks to SaskParty propaganda. We’ve also the strongest carbon air pollution per capita in the world, but few tend to talk about that here. Times are good, they’re good for me, and most of my friends (the ones who’ve not recently lost their jobs, that is). So why don’t I just shut up and enjoy myself? Maybe I do enjoy myself, maybe so much that I have an iota of time and money left over to care about how others are doing (Read more…)

350 or bust: Take Time To Renew Your Spirit

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Dennis Howlett reminds us that we can raise enough money to strengthen our social safety net merely by ensuring that a relatively small group of privileged people pays its fair share. And Seth Stephens-Davidowitz examines the glaring nepotism which festers in the absence of some policy counterweights.

- But Robert Kuttner offers seven reasons why the 99% keeps losing on policy grounds despite having the obvious theoretical ability to ensure reasonable political outcomes. In a similar vein, Sean McElwee discusses the connection between racism and poverty politics in the U.S.

- Meanwhile, (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Alternatives Journal Spells Out Canada’s Map to Sustainability

Canada has a horrible international reputation when it comes to the environment. The federal government even has climate change deniers and actively supports the shameful tar sands. At Alternatives Journal they have worked with some of the smartest people in Canada to show Canadians there’s no reason to continue down the self-destructive path we are on.

Within the issue they look at many aspects of Canadian life from cities to mining.

THIS IS THE most important issue that A\J has ever published. It will land in the hands and mailboxes of more Canadians than any issue in A\J’s 44-year existence. (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: I Just Can’t Say "Climate Change." I Can’t. I Won’t.

Florida governor Rick Scott continues to deny that his office has forbidden state staff to use the term “climate change.”  Really, Rick?  Watch Florida emergency management director, Bryan Koon squirm under questioning.

350 or bust: Take Time To Renew Your Spirit

* Et en francais:

Politics and its Discontents: Understanding Climate Change And Its Impacts In Two Minutes

This two-minute primer shows us how the science of climate change is not, well, rocket science.

Recommend this Post

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Dana Nuccitelli discusses new research into the real costs of fossil fuels which aren’t reflected in the sticker price for a dirty energy economy: A new paper published in Climatic Change estimates that when we account for the pollution costs associated with our energy sources, gasoline costs an extra $3.80 per gallon, diesel an additional $4.80 per gallon, coal a further 24 cents per kilowatt-hour, and natural gas another 11 cents per kilowatt-hour that we don’t see in our fuel or energy bills.

…Shindell estimates carbon pollution costs us $32 per (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Cluster bombs and climate change—the good news

The media infamously saturate us with bad news. If it bleeds, it leads … and all that. Nonetheless, good news does surface from time to time. This week saw two good news stories that particularly caught my attention.

The first was that Canada ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions, the 90th state party to do so. Cluster munitions are bombs that open up in mid-air and release dozens

The Disaffected Lib: Can You Get to the Top of a Rightwing Party Unless You’re an Unrepentant Liar?

Florida governor Rick Scott vehemently denies there’s any such thing as a ban prohibiting state employees from using terms such as “climate change” or “global warming.”

Tell that to longtime Florida public servant, Barton Bibler.

…Bibler reportedly included an explicit mention of climate change in his official notes from a Florida Coastal Managers Forum meeting in late February, during which climate change, rising sea levels and the possible environmental impact of the Keystone XL Pipeline were discussed.

On 9 March, Bibler received a formal reprimand for “misrepresenting that ‘the official meeting agenda included climate change’”, according to a statement (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: This One Spells Trouble.

The vast Amazon rainforest is sometimes called “the lungs of the planet” for its historic role in absorbing atmospheric CO2 and replenishing our supply of oxygen.  That appears to be changing and not for the better.

A study finds that, over the past ten years, the trees of the Amazon are no longer absorbing nearly as much CO2 as in the past.  The Amazon has accounted for up to a quarter of all CO2 sequestered on land.  However, from 1990 to 2000, the forests’ absorption dropped by 30% even as carbon emissions increased 21%.

Dr Roel Brienen of (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Saskatchewan Needs a Real Change of Destination

Greg is making a good point in his latest column, but I had to throw in a Green campaign slogan into the title in good fun. The bottom line really is that the Sask Party is propping up the dying fossil fuels industry, while calls to divest from it are coming from around the world. There’s no stopping this change (for the better).

While the Saskatchewan Party remains bent on thinking small, any reasonable look at the world around us suggests it’s long past time for a big change in direction. And if if this year’s budget again fails (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Leave It In The Ground

The world has much more coal, oil and gas in the ground than it can safely burn. That much is physics.

Watch this compelling, factual argument about how to solve the climate crisis. I first became aware of this straightforward idea after watching Do The Math by 350.org run by Bill McKibben. It is MAD lunacy to spend billions of taxpayer dollars exploring for more fossil fuels when the existing known reserves would destroy our climate should it all be burned!

if we and our children are to have a reasonable chance of living stable and secure lives (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Making Sense of February

My friends and relatives back east have been finding the reality of global warming  more difficult to accept recently as they endured a pretty amazing and protracted bout of cold weather.  Why not just consider yourselves unique, perhaps even exceptional?  Because, as this graphic of average February temperatures reveals, that’s exactly how the rest of the world sees you.

You’re that delightful yet quite little patch of indigo in a world that’s predominantly brown, red and amber.  That’s why it’s called global warming and not eastern North America warming.

Maybe if the capitals of Canada and the US were in (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Harvey Kaye discusses how the rich’s class warfare against everybody else has warped the U.S. politically and economically. And PressProgress observes that the Cons’ reactionary politics have produced miserable results for Canadian workers.

- Which isn’t to say the Cons plan to learn any lessons anytime soon, as James Fitz-Morris reports on the PBO’s report showing how little anybody stands to gain from the massive cost of income-splitting. And Frances Woolley points out the utter frivolity of other vote-buying tax baubles, while also lamenting how much time is being spent studying (Read more…)

350 or bust: Take Time To Renew Your Spirit

The Disaffected Lib: A Closer Look at Oil and Climate Change.

Stephen Harper will not be pleased.  The Carnegie Endowment is fingering his cherished Tar Sands.

Not all oil is created equal.  Sweet crude, of the Saudi sort, comes out of the ground almost ready to use.  It’s pumped out of the ground easily, free of most contaminants (sulphur, water, sand, natural gas).  The amount of energy required to extract and refine a barrel of oil is modest.  That, then, provides the benchmarks by which other oils from other places can be judged.

A new report from the Carnegie Endowment, “Know Your Oil: Creating a Global Oil-Climate Index,” (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Emily Badger discusses Robert Putnam’s work on the many facets of increasing inequality in the U.S.: For the past three years, Putnam has been nursing an outlandish ambition. He wants inequality of opportunity for kids to be the central issue in the 2016 presidential election. Not how big government should be or what the “fair share” is for the wealthy, but what’s happening to children boxed out of the American dream.

His manifesto, “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis,” will be published Tuesday. It places brain science, sociology (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Well, That Certainly Fixes Everything

The rightwing state government in Florida knows how to respond to climate change – bar employees of the state environmental protection department from using the words “climate change, global warming” and “sustainability.”  There, problem solved.

Florida governor Rick “I am not a scientist” Scott is said to be behind the “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” policy.Officials with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the agency in charge of setting conservation policy and enforcing environmental laws in the state, issued directives in 2011 barring thousands of employees from using the phrases “climate change” and (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: If You Had Any Doubts About The RCMP…

Look no further for confirmation of the federal force’s politicization than a piece written by that ‘environmental extremist’ David Suzuki in the Chronicle Herald.

In the article, Suzuki makes reference to the secret RCMP report, obtained by Greenpeace, that both minimizes the threat of global warming and conjures a spectre of threats posed by people who rightly call for sanity in dealing with problems caused by burning fossil fuels.

The report echoes the kind of fraught language of Bill C-51, which many allege will intrude upon legitimate dissent, given its own worrisome authorization of CSIS to prevent any person (Read more…)

350 or bust: Take Time To Renew Your Spirit

Politics and its Discontents: We Have The Technology

Outside of politics, my other passion is the environment, something we continue to degrade at unprecedented rates. The biggest threat to humanity’s future, of course, is climate change. While the vested interests would have us all believe that there are no practical or large-scale alternatives to our fossil fuel addiction, incrementally we are reaching the stage where it is possible to drastically reduce our carbon emissions if we have the will. Here is one such story: Normally, landfill sites and paper mills are targets for environmental groups but things are different, in Thorold.“We really got into it because of (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Alan Rusbridger explains the Guardian’s much-appreciated effort to provide both space and analysis of the need to fight climate change. And Naomi Klein makes the case for a Marshall plan-style response to transition the world to a sustainable society, while highlighting the need for a public push to make that happen.

- Meanwhile, Jim Stanford discusses the fallout from the Cons’ single-minded obsession with oil development. And Thomas Walkom calls out their blatant attempt to avoid discusses the economy now that they’ve left it sputtering.

- On that front, Edward Keenan writes that (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Climate Change AKA Global Warming Denial History

Here the case is made that “global warming” was supplanted by “climate change” because it sounded less urgent, (much as tarsands became oilsands), and other history is presented about the Denial movement infesting political discourse.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2015/mar/05/doubt-over-climate-science-is-a-product-with-an-industry-behind-it

Bad Science: A Resource Book – described in Merchants of Doubt as a “how-to handbook for fact fighters”.

Produced by the tobacco industry to help any industry fight any legislation that responded to scientific findings, this was a representation of big tobacco’s playbook in written form.

The book provided soundbites and ready-made talking points to arm any industry fighting regulation. Among the (Read more…)