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Northern Insight: Socialized losses, privatized gains

Every megaproject conceived and executed by BC Liberals in recent years has ended with massive cost overruns, despite the predictable “on-time and on-budget” claims. Most involved contractors with foreign domiciles. Check out the Port Mann bridge project, South Fraser Perimeter Road, BC Place renovation, Vancouver Convention Centre, Sea to Sky Highway, Northwest Transmission Line, etc.

Remember claims reported by Canadian Press in February 2013, “Premier Christy Clark’s Liberal government says the development of liquefied natural gas in northern British Columbia represents a generational opportunity that has the potential to wipe out the provincial debt and eliminate the need to pay (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Marine Life Drawn to Offshore Wind Farms

Renewable and sustainable energy is pretty great on its own. Now there’s one more reason to support using wind as a energy source because when the wind turbines are placed offshore marine wildlife moves in. The world’s oceans are suffering from overfishing and other human caused carnage so providing marine animals with shelter is something we should be doing.

The fact that wind turbines can provide sustainable energy while helping marine animals survive is good news indeed.

Offshore wind farms can be fertile feeding grounds for seals who choose to seek them out – concludes the study, by an international (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Morocco Leads in Cutting Subsidies to Oil and Gas Industries

Oil and gas companies get a ton of subsidies from governments which holds back the adoption of renewable energy. In most countries, the gas industry is supported by policies encourage car use and other related infrastructure decisions. Sometimes, like in Morocco, fuel is directly subsidized and recently the country found that it was just too expensive to augment the market so bluntly.

Morocco should be held up as a ‘poster child’ for effective green policymaking, according to the World Bank’s top climate official.

Speaking at an environmental meeting in Pori, Finland, Rachel Kyte said the Rabat government’s recent decision to (Read more…)

Environmental Law Alert Blog: See you in court, Enbridge! First Nations launch legal challenges to Enbridge pipelines and tankers project

Friday, July 18, 2014

In a wave of legal filings on July 11 and July 14, 2014, eight First Nations from Haida Gwaii to Yinka Dene territory west of Prince George set in motion legal proceedings that, combined with 9 court cases filed earlier this year, have the potential to stop or significantly delay the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines and tankers project (the “Enbridge Project”).

Chief Martin Louie of the Nadleh Whut'en First Nation addresses reporters

In . . . → Read More: Environmental Law Alert Blog: See you in court, Enbridge! First Nations launch legal challenges to Enbridge pipelines and tankers project

Things Are Good: Solar Has Won

In Australia the amount of energy being produced by sustainable systems caused the price to fall so low it went in to the negative. This will not be the last time we see this. As more places adopt renewable energy into their power grids the old models of industry will be forced to change – meaning a better world for consumers, producers, and the environment!

Last week, for the first time in memory, the wholesale price of electricity in Queensland fell into negative territory – in the middle of the day.

For several days the price, normally around $40-$50 a (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Lego Pimps Your Kids’ Brains For Shell Oil

This is just too much.

Lego has teamed up with Shell Oil to pimp your kids’ brains for Shell.

We need to be helping our children understand that our future lies in the post-carbon energy infrastructure and things like solar roadways.

Here’s one way to do that, at Lego Block Shell.

Another is to share this priceless video, so that everything CAN BE awesome!

 

Related articles across the web Hey, BC: Want More Jobs? Dump the LNG and Pipelines! Stop Listening to the Big Oil Spin! Enbridge: What Now? We Escalate Our Fight Most BCers Want to Get Off (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Lego Pimps Your Kids’ Brains For Shell Oil

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Field Notes From the Fifth (and Final) Tar Sands Healing Walk

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

June 28, 2014 marked the 5th and final Tar Sands Healing Walk, a grassroots event organized by local Indigenous communities in the heart of the tar sands development. This was not a protest or a march, nor was it about disrupting the work of the energy companies; it was about the people and their land and maintaining the ecological and spiritual connection to it. As Cleo Reece of Fort McMurray First Nation explained, “this walk is not just for the people, it is also for the eagles, and the bears, and the water.” Seeing the (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How Translink Impedes Transit Use

Translink is “being evasive on exactly how much money is being spent on this.”

via Compass Card program delayed again by TransLink – British Columbia – CBC News.

How’s that for not surprising.

Translink is notorious for its taxation without representation: taking municipalities’ money without providing democratic representation to municipalities. This was a gift from the provincial government years ago to keep local communities from directing their transportation infrastructure.

And now, Translink continues to be evasive about how much money they’re spending on the Compass card system and turnstiles, in place ostensibly to stop fare evasion. They’ve always been (Read more…)

Northern Insight: Hey Tom, whose energy policy has been nonsense?

In the article “Unparalleled, indeed,” I quoted from an item written in 2011 by Black Press proselytizer Tom Fletcher. In it, he “lauded Gordon Campbell’s “long-term strategy to export hydroelectric power” and he called John Horgan the champion of doomsayers. Fletcher wrote of “evidence that current NDP energy policy is nonsense.”

Reader Merv Adey drew Fletcher’s attention to this quote with:

Demonstrating, at the very least, poor arithmetic skills, Fletcher responded:

However, his was not a convincing answer since the International Energy Agency and the financial media had been reporting on a natural gas glut since 2008, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Occupy Movement Has Changed the Narrative, But We’re Not Done

Recently, with the WEF spending the last few years acknowledging global income inequality is a problem, I’ve declared a kind of victory for the Occupy Movement: getting the lexicon on the 1% and inequality on the tongues of the sly gazillionaires who rule the world, and into mass consumption.

Now we see that the CEO of Goldman Sachs, one of the biggest cancers of neoliberal capitalism and a prime mover of the 2008 crash, has admitted that income inequality is a problem and a destabilizer. Sadly, though not surprisingly, in this interview he also trotted out typical neoliberal “realities” (Read more…)

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Opponents Vow To Stop Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline

First Nations groups say that the pipeline would disrupt their traditional seafood harvest and endanger their culture.

The post Opponents Vow To Stop Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia: Implications for the Enbridge Tankers and Pipelines Project

Friday, June 27, 2014

On June 26, 2014 the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision in Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia marked a watershed moment in the long journey of First Nations peoples to achieve recognition of their inherent title and authority over their ancestral territories. With the first court declaration of Aboriginal title in Canadian history, the SCC clarified the Canadian legal tests about Aboriginal title, and acknowledged the title and authority of the Tsilhqot’in people to use, manage and economically benefit from a 1,750 square kilometre portion of their territories southwest of Williams Lake, BC.

Almost as soon (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How the Tsilhqot’in Land Title Ruling Can Help Kill Enbridge

Watch Pam Palmater’s response to the SCC ruling. Click above.

Stephen Harper had about a week to enjoy the glory of his remarkably understated whispery notification that the Enbridge climate killing pipeline will proceed.

Yesterday the Supreme Court shut down the prime minister, which they have a tendency to do because he so flagrantly intends to violate it. So they keep slapping his hand.

With the Tsilhqot’in ruling, our hope that first nations are our last line of defense against more climate killing tarsands development, has been greatly augmented.

In the coming weeks we will see how this may be (Read more…)

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Field Notes: a Visit to Lummi Nation’s Sacred Summit and the Protection of the Salish Sea

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The 10 day Water Festival hosted by The Lummi Nation of Washington State wrapped up on June 22nd. I had the opportunity to attend part of the festival, along with another law student volunteer and WCEL Staff Lawyer, Eugene Kung. The part we were present for was the Stommish Sacred Summit, which consisted of a day of presentations on the topic of Sacred Obligations, a talk by Winona LaDuke, and a rally against a proposed coal port in the Salish Sea. These events hold great relevance for the environmental movement and the fight against fossil fuel (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How the Federal NDP Plans to Alienate Eco-Voters

Mulcair wants to out-Liberal the Liberals led by the charismatic son of a charismatic Liberal prime minister.

He will fail:

“I think what Canadians want are people who are realists, who understand for example the importance of our extractive industries and the creation of jobs but they also want to have a government that’s actually going to enforce rules of sustainable development like polluter pay. We can do both.”

via NDP signals move to mushy middle | Globalnews.ca.

They should do neither!

This is stunning for Mulcair to trot out.

Not only is he ignoring that green energy (Read more…)

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Canada’s Enbridge decision: An annotated guide

Thursday, June 19, 2014

If you've read the federal government's June 17 press release about Enbridge's Northern Gateway proposal, you might be wondering what it all means.  Here's our quick take on it. 

If you've read the federal government's June 17 press release about Enbridge's pipelines and tankers proposal (AKA Northern Gateway), you might be wondering what it all means.  Here's our quick take on it.  The presentation below takes about 7 minutes and you can start by pressing the play button in the bottom left corner of the frame.

read more

The Progressive Economics Forum: Will Enbridge’s pipeline ever get built?

You have to wonder why the Harper government bothered with process at all. It’s like there was never any doubt that Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline would get approved. But historians may look back on this moment as the beginning of the end of pipeline politics.

Opposition to Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline is BC’s largest social movement. A large majority of British Columbians are opposed to the pipeline. BC First Nations, who hold the ultimate trump card – the constitutionality of their rights and title, have said no means no. Thousands testified to the Joint Review Panel (and its arguably limited (Read more…)

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Weakening BC’s environmental laws risks eroding social licence for Government’s Cleanest LNG goals

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Several of the most contentious changes to environmental laws passed during the 2014 spring session of the BC Legislature seem to have been developed, and pushed through, in a mad rush and without adequate public consultation. The goal of these laws seems, at least in part, to be to remove perceived environmental constraints on certain types of development – notably natural gas exploration, development and export. Such laws erode environmental legal safeguards, and in turn reduce public confidence in BC’s environmental safety net. This will ultimately hurt the government’s desire to push through quick LNG development. (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Chilean Dam Project Broken Up Thanks to Activists and Locals

Activism works, just ask the Chilean communities that stopped a hydroelectric dam from being built. The dam was going to cause a lot of local ecological havoc with little actual gain to the local populace. The Chilean government has backed down from building the dam and the communities that were to be affected are celebrating the decision. Chile is committed to supporting other forms of renewable energy that won’t cause such environmental damage.

The committee “decided to side with complaints presented by the community,” Environment Minister Pablo Badenier told reporters. “As of now, the hydroelectric project has been rejected.” (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Hey, BC: Want More Jobs? Dump the LNG and Pipelines!

Well, I found yet another [like this] study showing how many MORE jobs we’d get by moving to a post-carbon energy infrastructure and dumping LNG, tarsands, pipelines and all the other Mordor Industrial Complex BC and Alberta are embracing.

Not only is dumping the carbon energy infrastructure essential to do what we can to minimize the effects of climate change/breakdown, it’s also good for the economy, good for jobs, and in particular, good for highly trained union workers.

So unions should be lining up to skip the short-sighted, short-term gains of a few thousand carbon energy jobs in (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Most BCers Want to Get Off Fossil Fuels. Not Joking.

#PostCarbonEnergyInfrastructure.

I know, I know, it’s a really clunky Twitter hashtag, so let’s just think of it as a concept for a second!

Infrastructure: the systems in place for things like water systems, roads, the interwebz, electrical cabling, train tracks; and social infrastructure are things like the health, education, welfare, food security systems.

Energy: makes things go. Vroom vroom.

Carbon: fossil fuel energy sources that cause climate change/breakdown!

Post: after.

Let’s move to a post-carbon energy infrastructure:

solar roadways: currently at over 200% of its indiegogo campaign with a week to go. wind solar geothermal tidal hydro

But before (Read more…)

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Challenging U.S. Coal to China from Texada Island, BC

Friday, June 13, 2014

Should BC be used to trans-ship American coal to China? Who gets to decide? And what does that mean for our environment? These issues and others will be considered in a legal challenge brought by Voters Taking Action on Climate Change (VTACC), with support from our Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund, to a government decision approving the ten- to twenty-fold dramatic expansion of coal shipping from Texada Island.  Most of this coal will come from Wyoming and Montana, shipped through the controversial proposed Fraser Surrey Docks Coal Port, and could, in the long term, increase to (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What Does Soft Fascism Look Like These Days?

We don’t see brown shirts and jackboots, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t seeing the de-democratization of our society.

In Vancouver this month, armed police with guns drawn, raided a house because they suspected people inside not of being terrorists, but of spray painting “No Pipelines” all over the place.

Read Police raid house in East Vancouver, with guns drawn, on pretext of anti-pipeline graffiti | Warrior Publications.

But in Harper’s Canada, opposing pipelines is deemed by the climate change deniers as an act of economic terrorism, which we will likely see in a far more pronounced fashion if in (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Short Circuited: Assessing Hudak’s Energy Policy

The following is a guest post by Brendan Haley:

Jim Stanford and I have written an assessment of the Ontario PC’s energy policy for Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives entitled Short Circuited. In particular, we look into the idea that cancelling renewable energy policies will lead to job creation. Here are some highlights:

More Data Problems

There has already been extensive discussion of how the jobs estimates that come from the analysis behind the PC Plan have been over-estimated by a factor of 8. We find this problem for the electricity promise as well, but there is a more (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Solar Roads Could Provide Electricity

There are six days left for the Indiegog campaign for Solar Roadways and they have already met their goal! The $1,000,000 goal has been reached and passed – which is quite impressive! The idea behind the successful campaign is to turn roads from heat-producing to energy-producing. A network of roads equipped with solar panels can revolutionize energy networks.

Solar Roadways is a modular paving system of solar panels that can withstand the heaviest of trucks (250,000 pounds). These Solar Road Panels can be installed on roads, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, bike paths, playgrounds… literally any surface under the sun. They (Read more…)