It’s been a long time Now I’m Coming back home I’ve been away now…
Well, it’s been a while, again. I realized that I have been blogging, in my long form Facebook posts. They aren’t as in depth as the things I used to post here, but in the interest of keeping up the blog, I’ll be posting some of them here. To that end…
Ontario, Quebec sign deals on electricity, climate change
I’m a provincial autonomy and Section 92 kind of guy. I believe in the benefits of a decentralized federation. I think that there is much to be (Read more…)
A ultra-high-resolution NASA computer model has given scientists a stunning new look at how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere travels around the globe. Plumes of carbon dioxide in the simulation swirl and shift as winds disperse the greenhouse gas away from its sources. The simulation also illustrates differences in carbon dioxide levels in the northern […]
Last evening, I was watching the 6:00 o’clock news, distracted and perturbed by the howling winds (up to 100 kms. per hour) buffeting our windows. Here in Southern Ontario, about 100 kilometres from the snowstorm that has devasted Buffalo, I can perhaps be forgiven for feeling especially sensitive to increasingly frequent bouts of extreme weather linked to climate change.
Then I was overcome with a real anger whose origin I couldn’t immediately identify. But as I thought about it, I realized that it was in part related to the prospect of a power outage, something we seem to experience (Read more…)
I have another piece up at Ricochet: a review of Naomi Klein’s big book on climate change, This Changes Everything. It’s friendly but critical, looking at what the book’s themes of austerity, the local and extractivism mean for how we build politics against climate change. I’ve included it in full below…
Naomi Klein’s big book on climate change, This Changes Everything, is at once an extensive catalogue of climate change failures and a passionate defence of budding shoots of resistance. Much more than just an up-to-date account of where we are and how we got here, it is also a meditation on (Read more…)
A lot of climate change deniers present themselves as skeptics. There’s a huge difference that is often overlooked.
A denialist is someone who says, “No, the Earth is flat and that’s all there is to it.” A skeptic, however, is someone who has done a bit of homework. A skeptic goes through the process of testing a hypothesis against the evidence.
Earlier this year, physicist David Robert Grimes, offered this in The Guardian: The nay-sayers insist loudly that they’re “climate sceptics”, but this is a calculated misnomer – scientific scepticism is the method of investigating whether a particular (Read more…)
Climate-concerned Canadians from across the country are gathered in Ottawa today for the first day of the second annual Citizens’ Climate Lobby national conference and lobbying days. If you are in or around Ottawa and want to learn more about a dynamic, grassroots organization that is working to create the political will for a livable […]
Assorted content to end your week.
- Dennis Raphael and Toba Bryant write about the devastating health effects of income inequality in Canada: Imagine the response, from industry, government and the public, if a plane was crashing every day. If there were something that killed as many people in a day as this kind of disaster, you’d expect it to provoke a similarly concentrated response.
A recent report by Statistics Canada highlights a preventable cause of premature death that is having exactly that kind of impact. This study demonstrates that income inequality is associated with the premature death of 40,000 (Read more…)
Pit the arrogance of humanity against the power of nature, and nature prevails every time. A pity that those who are determining earth’s fate refuse to acknowledge that simple truth.
Recommend this Post
I’m sure some hoped that when Rob Anders, the Conservative MP for Calgary Signal Hill and national embarrassment, lost his riding’s nomination to run in the 2015 election, he might be replaced by someone with at least a modicum of balance and rationality. Alas, the new torchbearer for the riding, Ron Liepert, is proving such hopes were futile.
An appearance on the CBC’s The Current the other day amply demonstrates that while he will fit in well with the ethos that dominates the Harper regime, his ‘logic’ and his contempt for opposing views will prove to be a deep (Read more…)
Following yesterday’s defeat of the push to okay the Keystone XL Pipeline across the continental United States, here’s a video that the company trying to construct the tar-sands-oil-carrying “black snake” doesn’t want you to see. * TransCanada has made a series of videos entitled “Straight Talk about KXL” that seeks to convince people about the […]
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
RISE, a recent competition organized by Simon Fraser University, asked entrants to come up with a visionary solution to make the greater Vancouver area more resilient to sea level rise. West Coast Environmental Law teamed up with DG Blair from the BC Stewardship Centre and Cathy LeBlanc, a senior planner at the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development to propose that an “old” idea—relying on natural shorelines to create a buffer zone for seaside properties—was an effective means to protect our communities from the impacts of rising seas if it was applied in a (Read more…)
More good news on the climate front, after last week’s announcement of a US-China climate agreement. A few years ago, pro-Keystone XL pipeline legislation was depicted as a “no-brainer” by Washington insiders. It looks like our climate isn’t the only thing that’s changing; so is the political climate with regards to the acceptability of pro-oil […]
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- A Gandalf Group poll finds (PDF) that Canadians have come to perceive and expect a disturbing level of self-serving action by our political leaders. And while Dale Smith is right to note that we’ve largely limited the most obvious forms of corruption, there’s still plenty of reason for concern that public policy is being driven by a few insiders and political cronies at the expense of the public.
- On that front, Gerald Caplan reminds us how the CRA is being used to silence only charities who promote social justice – while (Read more…)
TweetEvery year, political watchers gather at the Alberta Legislature for the pomp and circumstance of the Speech from the Throne, hoping to get a glimpse of a political agenda. And every year they are sorely disappointed at the Throne Speech’s lack of detail. Yesterday’s Throne Speech, delivered by elderly Lieutenant Governor Donald Ethell, was unremarkable, […]
While the right enthuses about Dear Leader’s performance on the G20 world stage, here’s something to bring everyone back down to earth:
And letter writers also have some thoughts to share on the issue.
This from The Globe: Yes, the U.S.-China climate deal is a really, really, really big deal (Yes, This Is A Really, Really Big Deal – editorial, Nov. 13). Climate change is not just one of the greatest threats facing humanity, it is the greatest threat. With a carbon fee and dividend, we can have a carbon-reducing mechanism, plus more jobs. Since B.C. (Read more…)
Assorted content for your Sunday reading.
- Eric Reguly opines that the best way to ensure that banks (and other businesses) operate under the law is to make sure that individual executives are held accountable for failing to do so: (I)f fines and the odd firing are no deterrent to bad bank behaviour, what is? The obvious answer is shareholder rage. The trouble is, shareholders are not enraged. They have not grabbed pitchforks and torches and stormed CEOs’ houses when the multibillion-dollar fines are paid to secure settlements. Instead, they meekly accept the fines as if they are a cost (Read more…)
OMG. I see Stephen Harper has stolen the spotlight at the G20 summit, by going dictator to dictator, with Vladimir Putin.Stephen Harper told Russian President Vladimir Putin flatly that he needs "to get out of Ukraine," when the two met at a Group of 20 summit of major economies in Brisbane.Or mano a mano.The Russian Leader stuck out his hand. Mr. Harper accepted the gesture but said to the Russian Leader: "I guess I'll shake your hand but I have only one thing to say to you, you need to get out of Ukraine."In a (Read more…)
Two of the defining problems of our times are wealth inequality (both globally and within the first world) and climate change. With any socioeconomic order – our mixture of capitalism and government being just one – there are going to be consequences both good and bad. There are going to be challenges that the socioeconomic order is particularly good or bad at addressing. The point of this post is to expand on how these two defining problems – global warming and inequality – are products of our particular socioeconomic order, that they are two problems that our system is particularly (Read more…)
So Pat Perkins is willing to spend thousands of your tax dollars to fly herself out to a real-estate conference in Cannes, France that by her own admission “nothing concrete” has come out of, but she isn’t willing to listen to scientists on climate change?
Whose priorities do you think she’ll listen to in Ottawa, the residents of Whitby-Oshawa, or Stephen Harper?
This and that for your weekend reading.
- The Economist discusses how a tiny elite group is taking a startling share of the U.S.’ total wealth: The ratio of household wealth to national income has risen back toward the level of the 1920s, but the share in the hands of middle-class families has tumbled (see chart). Tepid growth in middle-class incomes is partly to blame; real incomes for the top 1% of families grew 3.4% a year from 1986-2012 while those for the bottom 90% grew 0.7%. But Messrs Saez and Zucman reckon the main cause (Read more…)
In today’s Star, Thomas Walkom explains why the U.S. China climate deal is not likely to have any impact whatsoever on Harper’s ongoing and egregious contempt for all things related to climate change: For this prime minister, only one player in the climate change debate matters: the petroleum industry.
When Harper talks about dealing with climate change in a way that protects jobs and growth, he means jobs and growth in the Alberta tarsands.In part, this is sheer politics. Alberta is the Conservative heartland. If Harper were to be seen as neglecting Alberta, he would risk triggering (Read more…)
He has always been a strange bird.
When it comes to the Great War on Terror, or any war from 1812 onwards, he's a raging chicken hawk.
He can't get enough of it, or squawk loud enough
But when it comes to the Great War on Climate Change, he has always been a clucking chicken…
But at least now Stephen Harper can't hide any longer.Read more »
Friday, November 14, 2014
On the morning of October 27, I was excited not to have to go into the office, but not for the reasons one might think. As an articled student for WCEL, I look forward to going to the office because everyone there is so inspirational and the work they do seems so worthwhile, I am thankful just to be a part of it all. This day was not any different except I had a change of venue. This morning, I was attending a legal challenge brought by Voters Taking Action on Climate Change (VTACC) (Read more…)