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The Common Sense Canadian home page: BC Hydro’s 5,000-page plan: Public given just 1 week to respond

BC Hydro gave the public all of one week, stretching through Labour Day Weekend, to respond to its 5,000-page draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) – and that doesn’t sit well with a Vancouver-based water advocacy group. The BC Tapwater Alliance is calling for extended public consultations on the crown corporation’s plan for meeting future power . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: BC Hydro’s 5,000-page plan: Public given just 1 week to respond

The Common Sense Canadian home page: Al Jazeera comes to America

Somewhere in the United States on August 20, 2013, a technician flicked a switch and Al Jazeera America joined the other networks that bring television news to Americans. At that moment, Al Jazeera became the first new source of American TV news in two decades and the first not owned by Americans. Ali Velshi, who . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: Al Jazeera comes to America

The Common Sense Canadian home page: The Ecology of Wealth

What is a man to do with a “main palace” of 420 rooms, a customized Boeing 747 jumbo jet for his exclusive use, a private zoo and amusement park, and a stash of $700 million in jewels? This is the dilemma facing Prince Alwaleed, whose $20 billion in assets gets him ranked by Forbes magazine . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: The Ecology of Wealth

The Common Sense Canadian home page: BC Hydro customers victimized again with $750M Powerex settlement

In the year 2000, the price for electricity in California rose almost overnight by nearly 1300%. For its role in this fraud, BC Hydro’s energy trading subsidiary, Powerex, recently agreed to pay back $750 million to the state. Yet Energy Minister Bill Bennett maintains the government and Powerex’s innocence. Independent economist Erik Andersen doesn’t buy . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: BC Hydro customers victimized again with $750M Powerex settlement

The Common Sense Canadian home page: BC Hydro inflates demand to justify Site C Dam

Throughout the past several decades, Hydro has consistently been off by 10-20% in its forecasting and that proud tradition continues today, with the release of its draft Integrated Resource Plan. This chronic overestimation of our power demand helped justify a massive investment in sweetheart private power contracts (IPPs) over the past decade, for which we . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: BC Hydro inflates demand to justify Site C Dam

The Common Sense Canadian home page: Beaver Lake Cree case reveals flaws in environmental review process

A fundamental flaw in the environmental assessment process is that it focuses on each proposed development as something that stands alone. But an individual well or dam is not separate or isolated from its surroundings – air, water, plants and animals pay no attention to our imposed, artificial boundaries…A lawsuit launched by the Beaver Lake . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: Beaver Lake Cree case reveals flaws in environmental review process

The Common Sense Canadian home page: The Thorium reactor energy option

For half a century, the electrical power industry has been trying to make success of failure, safety of danger, and efficiency of wastefulness because it chose the wrong nuclear fuel to produce electricity from reactors. Instead of using thorium, it used uranium, and the economic, political and environmental costs of this mistake have been incalculable. . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: The Thorium reactor energy option

The Common Sense Canadian home page: The Carbon Dilemma

The carbon dilemma first received public attention in 2012 when Bill McKibben, an American environmentalist and founder of 350.org, publicized the growing conflict between the known carbon that is stored in fossil fuel reserves — the equivalent of 2,795 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide — and the amount we can afford to burn, the equivalent of . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: The Carbon Dilemma

The Common Sense Canadian home page: Is geoengineering a silver bullet for climate change?

Geoengineering to combat climate change is largely untested. Because we’ve stalled so long on reducing carbon emissions and still aren’t doing enough, we may have to consider it. What will that mean? As it relates to climate change, geoengineering falls into two categories: solar radiation management and carbon dioxide removal…But rather than rationalizing our continued . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: Is geoengineering a silver bullet for climate change?

The Common Sense Canadian home page: How Alberta oil companies bought BC election – and the media missed it

One man, Allan Paul Marking, an Alberta Oil dude, gave $150,000 to the Liberals. Alberta oil and gas companies Encana and Cenovus gave them $68,000 and Texas based Spectra Energy gave $33,000. Many made donations to the NDP too, just in case. No one can be surprised at these gifts – after all it’s all . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: How Alberta oil companies bought BC election – and the media missed it

The Common Sense Canadian home page: LNG plant’s comment period extended over missing river controversy

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) announced today that it’s extending the public comment period for a controversial, proposed Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) plant near Prince Rupert. Concerns were raised last week by West Coast Environmental Law over an incorrect map in the project description documents, which made Canada’s second largest salmon river, the Skeena, . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: LNG plant’s comment period extended over missing river controversy

The Common Sense Canadian home page: Corky Evans on what’s wrong with the BC NDP

I remember when one of the Leaders I worked for asked some guys many of us know to purge our Party of the troublemakers (that was not the word he used.) They did a good job. The “troublemakers” were sidelined and we became an effective, and boring, machine. Leaders and Leaders staff tell MLA’s what . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: Corky Evans on what’s wrong with the BC NDP

The Common Sense Canadian home page: Sacred Headwaters mine stand-off: Meeting CEO fails to ease tensions

An emergency Aug. 17 meeting between Fortune Minerals CEO Robin Goad and the Tahltan Nation elders who recently issued his company an eviction notice from the Sacred Headwaters failed to ease tensions over a proposed mine, according to a local environmental group. “Goad continually asserted his company’s legal right to be in the area. He . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: Sacred Headwaters mine stand-off: Meeting CEO fails to ease tensions

The Common Sense Canadian home page: The Rite of Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring

This year marks the hundredth anniversary of the first performance of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. The event in Paris on May 29, 1913, was a watershed moment for classical music, an evening of seemingly cacophonous noise that redefined our human character, presaged the barbarous decades to come, and reshaped our understanding of nature. . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: The Rite of Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring

The Common Sense Canadian home page: Mine’s CEO to meet with Tahltan elders in Sacred Headwaters over eviction notice

Fortune Minerals CEO Robin Goad is reportedly flying into the Sacred Headwaters, in northwest BC, for an emergency discussion this evening with elders of the Tahltan Nation. The 5 pm meeting will address the eviction notice issued by a group of 30 or more Tahltan elders, referring to themselves as the Klabona Keepers, to Goad’s . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: Mine’s CEO to meet with Tahltan elders in Sacred Headwaters over eviction notice

The Common Sense Canadian home page: We can’t ignore the little things that keep us alive

In our concern with protecting grizzlies and polar bears, whooping cranes and redwood trees, wolves and caribou, we give short shrift to the small creatures that keep the planet livable. Tiny organisms and plant roots filter water as it percolates through soil; insects, bacteria and fungi help plants, animals and dung decompose to create soil; . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: We can’t ignore the little things that keep us alive

The Common Sense Canadian home page: Malaysian energy giant makes Skeena River disappear in LNG proposal

You would think Malaysian energy giant Petronas would have learned a lesson from fellow fossil fuel pipeline and coastal export terminal proponent Enbridge’s “disappearing islands” debacle last year. Enbridge was caught downplaying the risks of its proposal by making 1,000 square km of islands vanish from the Douglas Channel in a digital animation of its . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: Malaysian energy giant makes Skeena River disappear in LNG proposal

The Common Sense Canadian home page: Canada’s Green Economy needs public investment

While public banks in countries like China, the US, the UK, Germany, Denmark and Brazil are investing billions in renewable energy development, as clean tech expert Will Dubitsky explains, Canada lacks such critical tools for addressing climate change and building a green economy. “Why can’t Canada do similar things via the Business Development Bank of . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: Canada’s Green Economy needs public investment

The Common Sense Canadian home page: Let’s get serious about cigarette litter – no ifs, ands, or butts

In 1965, half of Canadians smoked. By 2011, that had dropped to about 17.3 per cent, or 4.9-million people, with only about 13.8 per cent daily smokers. Unfortunately the downward trend has levelled off in recent years, and tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death in Canada, according to researchers at the University of . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: Let’s get serious about cigarette litter – no ifs, ands, or butts

The Common Sense Canadian home page: Runaway train fuels runaway narrative

Read Kevin Logan’s analysis of the Lac-Mégantic train disaster. Logan provides a comprehensive breakdown of the facts, and where the mainstream media lost sight of the truth. Using a series of Google Earth maps, Logan points out the mistakes made by the National Post’s own illustration detailing how the tragedy occurred. Logan writes, “It’s near . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: Runaway train fuels runaway narrative

The Common Sense Canadian home page: Slocan Valley resident recounts disaster in paradise

It was a normal summer day. It was the height of the tourist season. Bed and breakfasts, restaurants, and retail stores were were swollen with visitors. Kayaks, canoes, rafts and tubes filled the Slocan River as swimmers cooled themselves at public and private beaches along the river. Others were in their gardens, assessing if the . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: Slocan Valley resident recounts disaster in paradise

The Common Sense Canadian home page: Problem-solving psychology

Writer Ray Grigg urges Canadian government to action in problem-solving current and future environmental challenges. Grigg writes, “The psychological dynamics of problem solving are well known. When a problem is identified and assessed, and when a corrective strategy is formulated and activated, then people begin to feel better. Hope replaces the feeling of inevitable defeat . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: Problem-solving psychology

The Common Sense Canadian home page: Scientists work to solve mystery of dying bees

Bees are endlessly intriguing, and incredibly useful to us – and not just for honey and wax. If bees disappeared, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to grow much of what we eat. Bees pollinate crops ranging from apples to zucchini. Blueberries and almonds are almost entirely dependent on them. Some experts say they’re . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: Scientists work to solve mystery of dying bees

The Common Sense Canadian home page: With Justin Trudeau, Canada now has two Conservative parties

With so many Canadians eagerly awaiting the end of the anti-democratic, unaccountable Harper regime, some seem to be inclined to support any alternative that may stand a chance for replacing the Cons in 2015, after the next federal election. But maybe we should take a pause to think this through just a little more. Canadian . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: With Justin Trudeau, Canada now has two Conservative parties

The Common Sense Canadian home page: Clark & Redford: What their cozy relationship means for BC pipelines

Premier, I’m a simple man who by nature asks simple questions. You and Alberta premier Redford have evidently agreed that there will be a pipeline from her province through ours to the sea and that BC will make some money out of this deal. 1. Is this the end for Enbridge Northern gateway?; 2. What . . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian home page: Clark & Redford: What their cozy relationship means for BC pipelines