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Northern Insight / Perceptivity: "…A lot more electricity being needed."

British Columbians are fortunate to be guided by wise and experienced leaders, people able to analyze events and foresee the future in ways that more practised experts cannot. One of my favourites is Bill Bennett, a man particularly qualified to make decisions on how the public ought to spend tens of billions of dollars.

Bennett gained expertise and honed business acumen as an entrepreneur involved in fishing camps and a goose-hunting lodge on Hudson Bay. Despite potential conflicts, he maintained a financial connection to wilderness tourism even after beginning a career in politics. Reporter Larry Pynn provided detail in Bill (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Climate Change Science Deniers, Ignorance and Media’s False Balance

Climate change deniers are science deniers.

That makes them either stupid, or so incredibly biased/conflicted that they are willing to ignore science and dodge accusations of their own stupidity to accomplish some other goal.

In BC we are producing oil, gas and coal and stunningly stupid rates, only to go up in the future.

Our corporate media is spewing this “false balance” at us. Journalists who deny the scientific truth of climate change should be fired. But corporate media want to keep them on.

We need to continually inoculate our against this wilful ignorance.

February 5, 2014 The Media Corruption (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Big LNG Tax Regime Vomit Bucket

Cue sweet new day[tm] political campaign music, invoking images of a unicorn flying over our quaint village, then Robert Redford in voiceover:

“LNG will be a $ trillion sector, reaping billions in revenue for the province [due to some kind of gruelling tax regime] so we can become debt-free, and pay for the best public services in the solar system, and bring trade junkets to the Golden Temple of Amritsar thrice yearly!”

Cue Law and Order “Bum Bum” loop:

After months of delays, release the actual tax rates. [Place face in palm, in advance.]

It will never be (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Liberal estimates and guesstimates

BC’s Minister of Energy and Mines says the $7.9 billion budget for Site C is “reliable” and the estimate of “direct construction costs” of $3.8 billion has “an 18% contingency.” Bill Bennett’s words are imprecise but if $3.8 billion includes the contingency, the allowance for known unknowns and unknown unknowns would be $580 million, 8% of the entire project cost. Compare that to two much smaller Liberal projects that are $2¼ billion, or 98% over budget.

In 2006, Vancouver Sun’s Miro Cernetig wrote $3-billion plan to end gridlock: “VICTORIA — A $3-billion plan aimed at (Read more…)

Environmental Law Alert Blog: First Nations, Non-Governmental Organizations and Union Get Green Light to Proceed With a Barrage of Court Cases against Enbridge Northern Gateway Proposal

Monday, October 20, 2014

Earlier this month, a large number of First Nations and organizations celebrated an important step forward when all of their cases challenging the federal approval of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines and tankers proposal were given the green light to proceed by the Federal Court of Appeal.

Earlier this month, a large number of First Nations and organizations celebrated an important step forward when all of their cases challenging the federal approval of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines and tankers proposal were given the green light to proceed by the Federal Court of Appeal.

read more

Things Are Good: Floating Wind Turbine in Alaska

In Alaska they are trying something rather cool – a wind turbine that floats in the air. The turbine will be tethered to the ground and will be a test run of this new technology. if successful, the turbine can be used to power remote communities and be used in disaster response.

The helium-filled turbine will be installed over the city of Fairbanks, Alaska, and will feed energy into the grid through cables that will connect it to the ground. The team is planning to further develop the project and initially target remote areas, disaster-stricken regions and military bases.

Read (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Transportation After Fossil Fuels: A Decade Away?

Once upon a time, I rode the maglev at the Japan pavilion at Expo 86.

Since then, I’ve come to see that that was the Commodore Vic 20 of high speed travel. What’s the new standard? ET3.

So if you’ve been having a hard time imagining a post-carbon transportation system that would run on the electricity we’d glean from the wind and the sun, and cost about as much as one year of Air Canada’s gross revenue [$12.4 billion in 2013], start grinning when you read the quote at the bottom.

We could even fund it federally with a (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How to Spot an Ecology Troll

Start with an oil spill apologist/minimizer. Work with the twisted logic that since all ships and oil tankers don’t crash all the time, any concern over one that might [and our government's pathetic incompetence in prevention and disaster-aversion] is eco-hysteria. Pay any attention to and RT anything Ayn Rand. Then spot allied apologists.

Then follow the timelines:

[Timeliness note: as of 115pm, the third tow line on the Simushir snapped, so nothing's safe yet.]

Here's a real crude tanker, off Victoria Golf Course, carrying Alaska crude so no story #haidagwaii pic.twitter.com/04bOWy5xCo

— Tom Fletcher (@tomfletcherbc) October 18, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Transit Should Be Free; Until Then…

$1/day is a good start to get there.

It’s good for the environment. It reduces commuter stress. It forces governments to increase progressive taxation to cover infrastructure costs. It uses BC’s cheap hydro electricity. It combats rampant zombie consumerism. The post-secondary UPass system has improved commuting incredibly.

So $1/day is a good start to get there:

Mayoral candidate Meena Wong of COPE launched another populist proposal Wednesday, calling for a universal transit program that would cost each of Vancouver’s citizens $1 per day.

– from Universal transit in Vancouver for $1 a day, pitches mayoral candidate July 9, 2014 How (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Simushir and BC’s Energy Future

[I was finishing my presentation to the BC government Finance Committee for their 2015 budget the other day. Now Simushir has begun to threaten ecological disaster. That puts a new context in here as I submit my ideas today. I'm very concerned about the next few hours, weeks and decades.]

BC Must Take the Lead in Building the Post-Carbon Energy Infrastructure

On this final day of the 2015 budget submission, the Simushir is adrift off Haida Gwaii and may create Canada’s first massive oil ecological disaster. This should frame our discussion about energy, climate change and the environment, and (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Clean Energy is Actually the $Trillion Sector, Not LNG

According to Analytica Advisors, the global demand for clean energy technology was estimated at $1.1 trillion in 2012 and projected to grow to $2.5 trillion by 2022. It also estimates that the cleantech industry in Canada grew nine per cent in 2012. In the same period, the mining, oil and gas sectors grew by only 0.3 per cent.

In B.C., Globe Advisors found the cleantech industry was responsible for 123,000 jobs and $15 billion in GDP in 2012. In Vancouver, green jobs increased by almost 20 per cent between 2010 and 2013, with (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Wadena Derailment Crisis: Early Lesson

http://t.co/rSh4hfhlbN

Let’s move to the post-carbon energy infrastructure NOW!

Publicly-owned wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, hydro is our future.

No tarsands. No pipelines. No tankers. No coal. No LNG. No fracking. No climate change by rail either.

http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/canada/saskatchewan/major-train-derailment-and-fire-near-wadena-sask-1.2791337

June 16, 2014 Hey, BC: Want More Jobs? Dump the LNG and Pipelines! (1) August 11, 2014 Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial! (1) July 4, 2013 New, Better Jobs Building a Green Energy Infrastructure (3) March 10, 2014 Stop Listening to the Big Oil Spin! (2)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Trouble with Old Men: Coal

Most know that coal contributes to climate change and coal dust is an environmental problem.

But old men skew far higher in supporting a coal terminal anyway.

Are old men just stupid, or are economic benefits just more important to them?

via Your Insights on Coal Exports in Metro Vancouver | Insights West.

June 16, 2014 Hey, BC: Want More Jobs? Dump the LNG and Pipelines! (1) August 11, 2014 Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial! (1) May 20, 2014 Denmark and Germany Show Us How Easy It Is (0) July 8, 2014 The Occupy Movement Has Changed the (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: The Trouble with Old Men: Coal

Things Are Good: Renewable Energy Capacity Comparable to Nuclear

The future is looking better and better for renewable energy production and recently the capacity for renewable energy is comparable to nuclear. Nuclear energy saw great progress and governmental support to get it where it is today; without such extensive help renewable energy production is now catching up.

Seeing the success of renewables will hopefully inspire more governments to create policies to support ongoing growth. The logistical issues of storage are still being figured out by utilities and as we’ve recently seen, investors are more interested in this sector than ever before.

Following a rapid rise from its beginnings in (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Investors: Good Economics is Taking Action on Climate Change

It’s no secret that carbon trade, carbon caps, and various other policy tools improve economies and diminish negative environmental impacts caused by economic activity. Yet, the myth that having a sustainable economy isn’t possible with a growing economy.

Environmentalists have been arguing for better policy and enforcement for decades, and now global investors are also arguing for the same thing. Hopefully with this announcement and others from the recent UN Summit on Climate Change we will see good movement on improving our economy and planet.

“The international investor community has today made it clear that the status quo on climate (Read more…)

Things Are Good: The Growth of Solar Power is Shaking Power Companies

Solar panels have come down in price rather dramatically in the last decade and if this trend continues it can be the death of old-school electric utilities. That is, unless the energy companies embrace solar and embed it into their system. Smart companies see the writing on the wall and others will start to falter.

So even though solar provides just 0.4 percent of America’s electricity, it’s growing at a shocking rate. Rooftop solar generation has roughly tripled since 2010. By some estimates, a new solar system is installed every four minutes in the United States.

To electric utilities, (Read more…)

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Field Notes from the Totem Pole Journey

Friday, September 19, 2014

WCEL is honoured to have partnered with Lummi Nation and Tsleil-Waututh Nation to help deliver a 21 foot western red cedar totem pole carved by master carver Jewell James and the Lummi House of Tears Carvers to the Beaver Lake Cree Nation in recognition of, and solidarity with their fight. I was privileged to be a part of this incredible journey which traveled 10,000 kms through South Dakota, Montana, Washington, BC and Alberta.

Today, Lummi House of Tears Carver’s healing totem poles stand proudly in the territory of two Nations, each with a lawsuit against the (Read more…)

Environmental Law Alert Blog: The Enbridge Pipeline & Tankers Project: Dead or resting?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Northern Gateway’s President, John Carruthers, now accepts that the start date for the Enbridge Pipeline and Tankers Project – which Enbridge had expected in 2018 – is “fast evaporating”, due to the need to meet with First Nations. That’s a remarkable admission, coming from someone whose project depends upon maintaining the charade that this project is alive and well, and not dead at all. Many of us were reminded of Monty Python’s famous dead parrot sketch.

Northern Gateway’s President, John Carruthers, now accepts that the start date for the Enbridge Pipeline and Tankers Project – (Read more…)

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Who writes Canada’s Environmental Laws?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

We’ve written before about the apparent and unacceptable influence of the oil and gas industry on Canada’s environmental laws, which may have extended to a suggestion that the Canadian government roll multiple amendments into omnibus budget bills (as it did in 2012). Two documents obtained recently under freedom of information legislation demonstrate that industry, and in particular the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), is still at work trying to weaken our environment laws.

 

We’ve written before about the apparent and unacceptable influence of the oil and gas industry on Canada’s environmental laws (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Environmental Law Alert Blog: Who writes Canada’s Environmental Laws?

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Green initiatives for next term

Collingwood should be in the forefront for green initiatives in Ontario, not lagging behind. There’s no reason we should not be leaders in exploring new ways to reduce greenhouse gases, reduce our carbon footprint, promote sustainable and environmentally-friendly strategies, and reduce our energy costs. These will be some of my top goals for the 2014-18 […]

Things Are Good: Using Fashion to Charge Electronics

Battery life on mobiles is never very good and this causes a drain on the electrical system. What if we were able to power our mobiles by just wearing clothes? Well, that’s a new field that is gaining more and more attention. The Guardian looked at a few ways we can use fashion to power our wares.

Kinetic energy Professor Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman is a designer and author of Designing With Smart Textiles, due to be published in 2015. She says, “If you think about what traditional fashion is, it’s such a small part of the real world, but then when (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Looking forward to 2015-18

Looking forward to 2015 and beyond, here are some of the things I would like to see Collingwood Council and the town staff accomplish in the upcoming term. I have laid these out in my campaign website and literature already, but thought I should include something in my blog to complement those sources. Maintain our […]

Politics, Re-Spun: Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial!

Steve Harper, the greatest threat to Canadian security in the modern era.

Happy August! Happy Day!

I have a few comments about this, the 1,000th editorial at Politics, Re-Spun. But you can read them below, about my sabbatical plan, new visions for this almost 12-year-old website, and other things.

But at the top of this post, I have something slightly more urgent to delve into before I check out for a break.

That great sick freak, Donald Rumsfeld is generally credited with popularizing the concept of unknown unknowns to our modern/post-modern era. Being a sick freak, he spun that bafflement (Read more…)

Northern Insight: Before taxpayers spend billions on LNG…

Since Paul Taylor’s keys to the public sector were taken away, again, I’ve been waiting for news of his latest landing ground. The Report of the Joint Review Panel (JRP) for BC Hydro’s Site C Project offers an idea suited for Taylor. It arises from these JRP words, “There are alternative sources of power available at similar or somewhat higher costs, notably geothermal power. These sources, being individually smaller than Site C, would allow supply to better follow demand, obviating most of the early-year losses of Site C. Beyond that, the policy constraints that the B.C. government has imposed (Read more…)

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…)