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Politics, Re-Spun: BC’s New Landscape and Ecology Eradication Projects!

Once upon a time, before we knew much about ecology and systems theory, corporations just went around raping and pillaging the countryside, polluting whatever they wanted.

Shhh, there’s a secret new law: it’s open season for corporations to rape and pillage our environment.

This came back to me grotesquely in a Mad Men episode a few years ago when Don Draper takes his family out for a picnic in the countryside. When they finished, they packed up to go back to the car to drive home and left all their garbage on the grass. And the sight of that (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What Yoko Ono Knows About Fracking

Today we are fresh off the tar soaked heels of Enbridge’s lie and spin machine in Kitimat, leading to a vote AGAINST their toxic future.

In Kitimat, in a non-binding plebiscite, the people of Kitimat, but not the first peoples who live outside the town boundary, voted about 60-40 to kick out Enbridge.

They’re liars, don’t you know, making up a fake map of BC’s coast to pretend that oil tanker risks are lower than they are.

But it also turns out that Yoko Ono knows a thing or two about fracking and carbon energy.

And we also know (Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Hemp Revolution

Hemp has enormous potential to help us build an ecologically sound society. It can replace most uses of tree-derived paper products and lumber, thus saving vast amounts of forests. It can eliminate and replace most uses of synthetic fibres, which are used in clothing, furniture, carpets and textiles, and virtually all uses of plastics, […]

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Reflections on Chartres Cathedral, the death of civilization and the deification of the banal

Thinking of Chartres Cathedral, I ask myself, what, if anything, have we built in the past eight centuries, that compares to this? The iPad, computers, cell phones, the internet? Are you kidding me? You must be joking. We have more ways to amuse ourselves, yes, but when has our capacity for entertainment, amusement and […]

Politics, Re-Spun: Stop Listening to the Big Oil Spin!

Do the math. Please.

For a great long time, I’ve been talking about how we must dump the oil, gas, fracking, tankers, pipelines, coal…all the carbon-based energy systems because of climate breakdown [aka climate change, aka global warming, aka the greenhouse effect]. We need to transform our society to a post-carbon energy infrastructure.

The lie that there are billions in government revenue and 90 gazillion jobs just waiting for us all (sigh) is so incredibly compelling. But if you look at some data, like…facts, you might find some startling surprises that indicate that you’ve been swallowed whole by the carbon-based (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: The Cult of Living Large

2015, we’re told, is the year the developed world (that’s us) and the emerging economies (China, India, etc., etc., etc.) will close ranks to formulate an effective plan of action to fight climate change.  It’s going to be Kyoto on steroids, a true hallelujah moment, a meeting of minds, a global joining of hands, a flexing of collective muscle and sinew.

Yeah, right.

2015 is probably our final chance to reach some sort of meaningful, global consensus.  In case you haven’t noticed we’re already being overtaken by climate change impacts, and this is the ‘early (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How We Keep the Tarsands in the Ground

NOT actually science-fiction.

In your science-fiction news today:

Imagine a power system that could harness the energy of 2,000 suns and provide fresh water and air conditioning in remote locations.

Not only that but it would be completely renewable, be able to provide the entire world’s energy supplies and only take up two per cent of the Sahara Desert’s land area.

via IBM’s New Solar Collector Power System (HCPVT) Could Power The Earth.

But it’s not actually science-fiction.

I recall debates with friends in the 1980s who went on and on about how technology will save us from the greenhouse (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: It’s Spelled Climate BREAKDOWN

Calgary’s massive flood.

Let’s stop saying “global warming” because whenever climate breakdown events occur that are COLD, deniers try to say global warming isn’t happening. Sigh.

Let’s also stop saying “climate change” because that sometimes makes people feel that yes, we’d like a climate more like Palm Springs. Especially in Vancouver on a pouringrainwindcold day like today.

Let’s recognize that systems theory and positive and negative feedback loops are highly complex, which means that our carbon use is leading to a breakdown of our climate such that it will not be sustainable for us human people.

And if you’d like (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Because You’re Not As Dumb As They Think You Are!

Today is Friday. Let’s make it “think for ourselves Friday.”

It’ll work: the government/corporations/1% won’t see it coming!

Twitter / occupythemob: http://t.co/doHx1xWO4l.

December 17, 2013 Fried Squirrels (0) December 20, 2013 Enbridge: What Now? We Escalate Our Fight (4) January 7, 2012 Day Two of Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons (0) January 7, 2012 Opening Panel from the Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons (0)

Politics, Re-Spun: What’s With Pipeline-Loving Old Men?

High 5′s to people are aren’t old men! [on average, 19 times out of 20, +/- 3.6% of the time.]

My apologies if you’re a man, or over 55, but those two demographics love the Big Oil, and they’re giving you all a bad name!

Here’s why.

I know lots of men and people over 55 who know that moving to a post-carbon energy infrastructure is the only sustainable future. The problem is convincing their peers that getting rid of their Lexus [it used to be Hummer] is in everyone’s best interest.

Maybe it’s because some of those (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Using Drones For Studying Ecologies

Drones are popularly associated with American air strikes on civilians and thus have a negative reputation. The technology underlying the drones can be used for good though. One example of a good use of drones is for aerial surveillance of plants and animals in hard to access/expensive areas.

What are our forests really made of? From the air, ecologist Greg Asner uses a spectrometer and high-powered lasers to map nature in meticulous kaleidoscopic 3D detail — what he calls “a very high-tech accounting system” of carbon. In this fascinating talk, Asner gives a clear message: To save our ecosystems, we (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Rachel Parent and other lame anti-GMO arguments

Photo from CBC

Last year, 14 year old Rachel Parent was in the unenviable situation of being in the same room as Kevin O’Leary (click here for video). Parent did a commendable job speaking on national TV. I cannot pretend that I would have had half her poise and composure in the same situation.

However, I take issue with her anti-GMO arguments. To be fair, I don’t think that these arguments are unique to Parent alone – they are arguments common to the anti-GMO movement in general. But I am picking on Parent because she was going (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Yesterday’s Climate Justice Protest #SpinAlert

Sean Devlin, of ShitHarperDid.ca, had the temerity to interact with our employee, Mr. Stephen Harper.

Yesterday, we saw a new level of action against climate destruction policy. In the style of co-conspirator Brigette DePape, two protesters crashed Harper’s contemptuous public appearance. Harper holds the media and the general public of the nation of Canada in open contempt: he won’t talk with the press except under extraordinarily tightly controlled circumstances, and he actively avoids any opportunity to mingle with his 35 million employers. He must think we’re stupid or dirty.

Even at the event at Vancouver’s Board of Trade yesterday, (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Yesterday’s Climate Justice Protest #SpinAlert

Politics, Re-Spun: Economic Growth? I Prefer Steady State

Economic growth suggests that infinite growth is possible. Even with a growing earth population and increasing climate breakdown, people still think we can continue growing.

I like using the seasons analogy to describe that human economic activity ought follow the cycle of seasons, with a steadying imperative. This is why I like the Steady State folks.: “ Perpetual economic growth is neither possible nor desirable. Growth, especially in wealthy nations, is already causing more problems than it solves. Recession isn’t sustainable or healthy either. The positive, sustainable alternative is a steady state economy.”

Here’s Kai Nagata’s excellent analogy (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: A Key Union Priority for 2014

Naomi Klein urges unions to join climate change fight

Many groups are calling for significant and sufficient action to address climate change, which is fantastic. But unions have not been loud enough. This is significant because they often have more money than many other progressive groups to fight for the social good, particularly when rapacious corporations and rampant consumerism are the core impediments to change.

This whole article is worth your time to read, but here are some key bits that should help you fix your focus for your union for 2014:

There is nothing more important than a healthy (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Ultimate New Year’s Resolution

It’s mostly us.

Many of us have heard of the idea of planning policy to consider effects seven generations downline. We’re pretty smart. It shouldn’t be that hard. But we have many incentives to think short term. Sometimes so short that we are ignorantly and apathetically victimizing our descendants.

But I’m going to challenge you to embrace this ultimate new year’s resolution…

How high does a barrel of oil have to get before we embrace the reality of our future and do something before our apathy victimizes us all?

- via Canada22: Who Will We Be Over the Next 7 (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Enbridge: What Now? We Escalate Our Fight

Some breaking news occurred yesterday, the Joint Review Panel of the National Energy Board approved the Enbridge pipeline, but with 209 conditions. To quote a teenager from 1994: “Big whoop.” Also, big whoop goes out to the awesome pictures of soon to be decimated pristine wilderness on the report cover.

What do you think of the Enbridge approval and where things will go?

What do I think of the approval? Disappointed and hardly surprised. When Joe Oliver starts talking about something being “science-based,” I remember how his party has people who believe dinosaurs and humans walked the earth (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Fixing Cyncial Corporate Media

How to inoculate yourself against cynical corporate media.

Corporate news media is not on our side. It is on the side of stoking fear, cynically eroding possibilities of a better, more robust democracy, and scaring us into obedience to corporations and government through sensational stories that undermine our happiness.

But we can fix this. And it’s not hard.

While crime rates have been dropping, media coverage of crime has increased. This creates buzz and sensationalism and higher ratings which translates into higher advertising revenue for corporate media. I don’t think we can fix this.

Corporate news media is also guilty (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Fried Squirrels

It’s a crisp, foggy November Saturday morning in the south side of the city. Seventeen people sit in the large open area at the back end of an organic fair trade coffee shop run by a workers’ co-op inspired by the Mondragon movement in Spain. Meet-ups like this are quite common in this shop.

The male and female co-facilitators move briskly through the agenda with the help of the nodding volunteer maintaining the speakers list. There are sporadic jazz-hand gestures, common from the Occupy Movement, as well as a strict yet comfortable group norm of only one person speaking at (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Absence of Resilience

The city of pain

Absorbs your fracturing soul

Social fabric frays

 

March 15, 2009 No One Is Illegal – Ignite resistance ~ Canadian multiculturalism is not enough! (0) December 11, 2013 How Harper is Gutting Canada: THE LIST (0) April 23, 2013 Did Earth Day Not Quite Do It For You This Year? (0) March 23, 2011 Flexing the Democracy Muscle (3)

Politics, Re-Spun: I Believe the Children Are Our Future: Barf

Faisal and Azeem, getting it done!

Platitudes and paternalism aside, the 21st century actually does belong to the young. And not that they’re OUR future, like an extension of us, but that we are stewarding the future for them.

And we’re doing a pretty horrible job of it. But since we’re not idiots, we should be able to try on a new hat and leave a legacy we won’t be so ashamed of. Here’s how.

I’m not a big fan of Microsoft, but they’re figuring it out at least a little bit [see below] by spotting that there is a (Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: No more excuses

There is no question: this generation will be held responsible for our actions, and even more, for our inaction. Apathy, complacency and denial are morally unacceptable. In fact, at this time in human history, they are nothing less than complicity in the worst of collective atrocities. We must act now. There are no more excuses. […]

Writings of J. Todd Ring: NAFTA, “Free Trade” and the TPP: Fast-Track To Full Corporate Rule

“Twenty years ago, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed into law. At the time, advocates painted a rosy picture of booming U.S. exports creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and economic development in Mexico, which would bring the struggling country in line with its wealthier northern neighbors. Two decades later, those […]

Writings of J. Todd Ring: The new epidemic: Death cults and the culture of despair

An article in The Atlantic speaks to the growing death-fetish that is gripping more and more youth. It is a bad omen for the state of modern industrial civilization as a whole, I would contend, and it indicates a broader trend toward anxiety, hopeless and despair, which must be confronted and overcome – if, that […]

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Mexico City: A study in impermanence, and a lesson to us all

pablo lopez luz photographs the concrete waves (or carpet, as he puts it) of Mexico City The unbelievably sprawling concrete carpet of Mexico City seen in these photos make me think… Gorgeous country, beautiful culture and people, horrible government, amazing capital city – but utterly unsustainable, as most cities are. Watch for the ruins […]