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Political Eh-conomy: What’s the risk? Climate activism aiming at supply and demand

One way to think about climate activism is to see if it focuses on the supply of or demand for fossil fuels – pipelines or cars, hydrocarbons or carbon emissions. This distinction is not a new one, is doubtless very simplistic and has often been used to chastise activists. Here, I hope it will draw out some potentially useful thoughts that centre on the aims of activism and the idea of risk.

In an article published yesterday in The Nation, Chris Hayes makes an interesting analogy between the struggle for climate justice and abolitionism: despite numerous differences, both assume (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Common sense in Kitimat

Good news over the weekend. The citizens of Kitimat B.C. had their say on the Northern Gateway pipeline, and they said NO.

In a referendum on Saturday, they voted 1,793 to 1,278 to oppose running the pipeline to their town, the proposed terminus. Mayor Joanne Monaghan promised to discuss the result at tonight’s Council meeting and deciding where to go from there. “The people have spoken,” she

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…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Kitimat Says No To Northern Gateway

Polls are for dogs, but an honest to gawd plebiscite, where Big Oil outspent the local opposition a gazillion to one and still lost badly…now that’s scientific.  I suspect support levels are the same province-wide (60/40 against).  And I suspect somewhere in Ottawa, Harper and Co. are wondering whether they want Northern Gateway to be the key  issue in B.C. come the 2015 federal election.  

Left Over: Mikey Doesn’t Like It…


Former B.C. premier Mike Harcourt quits NDP Harcourt let membership lapse over many issues including the party’s opposition to carbon tax

CBC News Posted: Apr 01, 2014 8:10 AM PT Last Updated: Apr 01, 2014 8:10 AM PT


Have to agree with Mike, in principle, although my membership lapsed years ago, and though I vote for the NDP in spite of the things they do that I don’t like (the alternatives are unthinkable) I am, like so many BCers, leaning towards the Greens..I can’t speak for other Provinces , but here on the West Coast, (Read more…)

the reeves report: Reports question NEB’s approval process for Northern Gateway and Line 9 pipelines

Enbridge under fire as opponents of controversial pipeline projects worry the Canadian energy giant will be ill-prepared to handle potential ruptures throughout Southern Ontario and on B.C.’s rugged coast.

Opponents of Enbridge’s Line 9B pipeline in Southern Ontario are scrambling in the wake of its tentative approval earlier this month by the National Energy Board to highlight just how dangerous overhauling the 38-year-old, 639-kilometre pipeline could be for flora and fauna alike.

Approximately 100 protesters, First Nations members, students and concerned citizens gathered on the front lawn of Queen’s Park in Toronto the day after the NEB’s ruling (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: If You Are Still Looking For A Reason To Be Outraged …

Look no further. This is almost too painful to watch, but watch it we must:

Recommend this Post

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…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Justin Trudeau On Pipelines

From his interview with Calgary Metro News:“Because of that I have been a strong promoter of the Keystone XL pipeline and also a harsh critic on the way the prime minister has approached pushing the Keystone XL pipeline. To my mind, the only thing that has prevented Keystone XL from getting approved already in the United States – and what has allowed it become such a polarizing issue, with celebrities weighing in and all sorts of people having very strong opinions even though there is not necessarily all that many facts going around in many of the conversations – (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Graeme Wearden reports on Oxfam’s latest study on inequality and the outsized political influence of the wealthy few: The Oxfam report found that over the past few decades, the rich have successfully wielded political influence to skew policies in their favour on issues ranging from financial deregulation, tax havens, anti-competitive business practices to lower tax rates on high incomes and cuts in public services for the majority. Since the late 1970s, tax rates for the richest have fallen in 29 out of 30 countries for which data are available, said the report.

This (Read more…)

The Ranting Canadian:             The unholy trinity of the Alberta tarsands industry,…

The unholy trinity of the Alberta tarsands industry, the Conservative Party and the right-wing media has gone all-out in its attacks on Neil Young for his stance against their destructive policies and actions. One thing that these corporate wolves and subservient sheep overlook is that, of course, Neil Young is right.

The main arguments by the Conservative tarsands mob are that:

1) Young hasn’t lived in Canada for a long time, so he has no right to talk about anything that happens in Canada.

2) He’s a rich rock star, so he has no right to talk (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Northern Gateway Pipeline: Something I Didn’t Know

There is also an interesting wrinkle in the JRP’s [Joint Review Panel's] decision, specifically its inclusion of a “sunset clause.”And that states “the certificate [to proceed] will expire on 31 December 2016, unless construction of the pipeline or the Kitimat Terminal has commenced by that date.” For reasons mentioned above, that is very unlikely.

So would this mean back to square one for Enbridge if shovels aren’t in the ground by 2017?  Another…two…three…five years?

Politics and its Discontents: For What It’s Worth

There’s something happening here What it is ain’t exactly clear There’s a man with a gun over there Telling me I got to beware

Paranoia strikes deep Into your life it will creep It starts when you’re always afraid You step out of line, the man come and take you away

For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield, January 1967

After reading this post by Alison at Creekside, and this one by Doctor Dawg, both dealing with Chuck Strahl and CSIS, and the latter’s collaboration with Enbridge in spying on Canadians exercising their democratic rights, please enjoy the entire song:

(Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Why Has Stephen Harper Not Fired Chuck Strahl?

It's been more than two days since we found out that Chuck Strahl, Canada's spy watchdog, is moonlighting as a lobbyist for Enbridge.And by so doing has erased the boundaries between the petro state and the surveillance state.Now to make matters even worse, we find out that Strahl is also a lobbyist for a First Nations' energy company with links to China. Strahl, who was Aboriginal Affairs minister from 2007 to 2010, registered with Alberta’s lobbyist registry on Dec. 3, 2013, to lobby for Frog Lake Energy Resources Corp. The energy firm has partnered with Chinese-financed Windtalker Energy (Read more…)

Left Over: Right, Right, you’re bloody well Right…

Former Tory minister on the hot seat over Enbridge lobbying gig by Kady O’Malley Posted: January 7, 2014 9:00 AM Last Updated: January 7, 2014 8:58 AM CBC online I was a bit disappointed in the lack of a big anti-pipeline presence outside the location of the Harpster’s meeting with the BC Bored of Trade..happy, of course, with the direct action taken inside the meeting, but wish that there had been something outside the venue, showing our displeasure at the thought of a pipeline here. I no longer live in Vancouver, or even on the Mainland, so I can’t exactly (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Frank Graves recognizes that the dismal mood of young Canadians is based on the economic reality that the expected trend toward intergenerational progress has been reversed.

- Meanwhile, Jesse Myerson discusses five policy proposals which would give younger citizens a far more fair chance at success than they currently hold. Ben Irwin lists twenty elements of life in poverty which figure to be unfamiliar to anybody at higher income levels. And Dennis Raphael nicely boils down the policy choices we face in addressing family poverty: Research carried out by UNICEF points out that (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Spy Watchdog and the Northern Gateway Pipeline

Well it seems that Stephen Harper is pulling out all the stops to try to crush all opposition to his Northern Gateway pipeline.By not only getting the National Energy Board to rubber-stamp his insane project.But also by getting Canada's top spy watchdog to lobby for the pipeline maniacs from Enbridge. Read more »

Cowichan Conversations: Robyn Allan-“Pipelines and oil tankers: Economic cost and environmental risk.”

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Well respected Economist Robyn Allan has once again delivered the real story and has broken down the Enbridge Pipeline proposal for us.

Peter Ewart, blogger and journalist sent this link by email to be shared far and wide.

The cream is rising to the top over the battles present and future.

The calibre and dedication of opponents like Robyn Allan will be a large part of the battles and victories ahead.

This is very much a must see video. Watch broken down in bite size chapters or watch it straight through, but please watch it.


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…)

Cowichan Conversations: Steve’s Obedient Review Panel Approves Northern Gateway Pipeline with 209 Conditions

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Finally the approval, carefully timed for release in a soft news cycle has been released.

The Cowichan Conversations Research Department (CCRD) has confirmed that 19 people in British Columbia were surprised.

The balance get it that this has been a hoax, a rigged process from the get-go.

Now the fight begins on many fronts. The First Nations real positions will be brought to the fore.

Their legal rights are entrenched in the Constitution. If they stand strong then celebrations in Enbridge and Conservative headquarters will become muted at best.

Enbridge, Harper et al hope to buy off (Read more…)

Northern Insight: Guess which photos come from Enbridge

Song of the Watermelon: Referendums on Pipelines?

The longstanding “will they or won’t they” dynamic existing between BC premier Christy Clark and Alberta premier Alison Redford took a turn for the depressing recently when they announced they had come to a framework agreement on pipelines. While short on specifics and not making any firm pledges, the deal appears intended to bring Enbridge’s controversial Northern Gateway project, which seeks to transport diluted bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to BC’s North Coast for export, one step closer to fruition.

With Enbridge and its prospective pipeline gaining momentum, opposition to the plan is not far behind, and proposals abound (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Andrew Coyne highlights the ultimate issue in the Cons’ Senate patronage, scandals and cover-ups: (I)f the prime minister sets the standard, then we are entitled to ask: Why has this standard been so inconsistent? On essentially the same set of facts, the senators in question have been held to three entirely distinct standards: total indulgence, in the first stages of their tenure, when they were viewed as assets to the party; total ostracism, since the scandal broke, when they had become political liabilities; and in between that strange interlude, at least with regard (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: We are being fracked and occupied by the Oil and Gas Industry!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Deep down a great many of us knew that this Enbridge pipeline would be jammed through come hell or high water.

The hell and high water part is still an unknown. There is no greater fear in the political world than the fear of the unknown.

Harper is fearful of the responses and that is why he has driven this unprecedented departure from democratic process and spent an untold fortune putting this travesty of process into place.

Trade deals have been signed, the public has been sidelined and effective elected political opposition scarce where it exists at (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Where will all the scientists go?

In a new book about the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal, The Oil Man and the Sea, author Arno Kopecky relates his attempt to interview Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) scientist Kenneth Lee. Dr. Lee was the executive director of the DFO-sponsored Centre for Offshore Oil, Gas and Energy Research, and possibly the country’s top expert on how bitumen behaves in salt water.