The traditional approach to deicing roads is to cover the roads (and thus the ground around the road) in salt – which is absolutely awful for the environment. Because so many people drive cars the demand for road salt is high and has come to negatively impact local economies and environments.
There is a solution to make salting less damaging and it’s already being used in some communities.
Beets are usually just used to create sugar or, like at Schrute Farms, beet soup. In Ontario roadworks departments have been using a byproduct from beet sugar processing to clear ice off (Read more…)
This and that for your Sunday reading.
- Grant Gordon rightly criticizes the “taxpayer” frame in discussing how public policy affects citizens: (T)here’s a difference between being smart with our money and just being cheap.
Conservatives are fond of saying they wish government ran more like a business. Well, sometimes it’s better business to invest in R&D, in new technology, in a new employee. You can’t cut your way to success in business, and the same is true in government.
Our government needs to invest in transit and education. It’s the best way to stay competitive. It’s dangerous to reduce (Read more…)
GO workers wait ahead of announcement from Ontario government about green bonds (Oct. 30, 2013)
Ontario made a small splash in the financial world at the end of October when Premier Kathleen Wynne and two top cabinet ministers announced the province was set to become the first Canadian jurisdiction to issue “green bonds,” a debt tool for governments to raise money solely to fund environmentally friendly initiatives.
“These bonds will help attract institutional investors, and they will be competitively priced based on what the market bears,” said Finance Minister Charles Sousa at the announcement.
Craig Alexander, senior vice president (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Andrew Jackson writes that Canada needs far more investment in infrastructure – rather than the austerity that’s constantly being prescribed by the Cons: The fiscal policy choice we face is often miscast as one between austerity to deal with public debt and short-term Keynesian-style stimulus. But the real choice, Mr. Summers argues, is whether or not to finance public investments that would have positive long-term impacts on both the economy and on public finances.
Take the case for repairing or replacing Canada’s crumbling basic municipal infrastructure, some 30 per cent of which is (Read more…)
Ex-Harper appointee Mark Jaccard trashed the Conservatives’ support of the tar sands industry during a key Keystone XL summit in Washington D.C. on Monday.
The post Ex-Harper adviser blasts Keystone XL, calls Canada a “rogue state” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
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…)
Miscellaneous material to start your week.
- Nick Cohen writes that the corporate sector is home to some of the most dangerous cult philosophy in the world: (T)he language of business has become ever more cultish. In the theory of “transformational leadership”, which dominates the business schools, the CEO is a miracle worker. In Transformational Leadership, by Bernard Bass and Ronald Riggio, he is described, not by some gullible Forbes hack, but by two supposedly intelligent American academics. The transformational leader “inspires” his follower to “achieve extraordinary outcomes”, they say. He “empowers them” to “exceed expected performance” and show (Read more…)
I got caught up in a few arguments about climate change recently that just reinforced to me, that there’s still such a strong bashlash against the entire idea that we’re unlikely to move forward quickly enough to be effective.
Paper is trees!
My school board is fundraising for the Philippines, and I’m totally on board with it. But I commented publicly on the irony of sending each kid home with a piece of paper on the issue. That’s over 60,000 full pieces of paper or about 8 trees for something that will be crumpled at the bottom of a knapsack (Read more…)
I’ve got a funny story.
A while ago – like months – a colleague asked if I’d do some website or advertising work of some sort for a sesquicentennial event in 2017 crossing Canada and involving high-school history teachers. I’d have to find a way to get high-schools everywhere involved. I said, “Sure!”
Then yesterday, as I was drinking my morning tea and scanning facebook as I’m wont to do while I wake up, I heard about this innane project proposing to make sculptures of all 22 of the Prime Ministers of Canada and litter them about our park. (Read more…)
Conservatives are stalling, as they have been for nearly 8 years on both Senate reform and climate change action.
.@mikedesouza Only 7 years ago the Made In Canada plan for CO2 was promised to Canadians. Conservatives only kick the can. #climatechange— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) November 28, 2013
Aglukkaq: Canada not ready to introduce oil and gas regulations to reduce GHGs #cdnpoli— Mike De Souza (@mikedesouza) November 28, 2013
Aglukkaq unable 2 answer question about whether other sectors will have 2 do greater reductions 2 compensate for rising oil & gas pollution— Mike De Souza (@mikedesouza) November (Read more…)
The Hanging Gardens of Ancient Babylon was known for it’s amazing vertical garden and to this day it’s not clear how the gardens functioned (or how it was built). That hasn’t stopped enterprising architects in Singapore from creating a modern version of the hanging gardens in skyscraper form!
Designed by WOHA, the block-long “hotel and office in a garden” sits on a narrow plot that opens onto Singapore’s central business core and is situated across from a verdant parkland and near the riverbank. Slab-like towers, which echo those rising in downtown just in the distance, are suspended above a (Read more…)
I’m doing the Stoic Week thing this week. It’s just a matter of contemplating specific quotations each day. Even though I studied them years ago, and teach about them even, and maybe should have figured this all out long ago, I’m still stuck on the first reading. I’m a slow thinker.
Here’s the reading from yesterday – a little bit from the Encheiridion of Epictetus:
Some things are under our control, while others are not under our control. Under our control are conception [the way we define things], intention [the voluntary impulse to act], desire [to get something], aversion (Read more…)
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Richard Seymour comments on more and more draconian anti-protest laws which are being applied to attack public activism: To understand why this is happening, it is necessary to grasp the relationship between neoliberal austerity and popular democracy.
In a previous era, when neoliberal austerity was first being prepared in tandem with a racist, authoritarian crackdown, Greek political sociologist Nicos Poulantzas spoke of the “redeployment of legal-police networks” as a constitutive element in a new “authoritarian statism”. In this regime, formal parliamentary apparatuses would be retained even while substantive democracy was eroded. Stuart (Read more…)
A lot of hope is dangerous. – President Snow
This may be a little hokey, but I think Catching Fire is an important film to see right now.
And it’s awesome!
I read the books ages ago, but even though I know how they each end, it didn’t stop me from being on the edge of my seat. And I was surprised by how inspirational I found the film to be.
Grist relates how the books chronicle what happens after climate change destroys the world and makes for scarce resources for the survivors to fight over. We have a really (Read more…)
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- Ish Theilheimer writes about the opportunity progressives should recognize in the scandals engulfing Rob Ford, Stephen Harper and other conservative leaders: (W)hile you’d think the (Ford) situation would be a golden opportunity for Toronto left-wingers to win back the public, this isn’t necessarily happening. Left-wing opponents of Ford’s have not used the situation to drive home a unified message — that Ford is a liar with criminal friends who can’t be trusted to deliver good and effective government.
Instead, their focus has been to harry Ford and drive him from office, a tactic (Read more…)
Woodland Caribou (Flickr image from Jim Winstead)
The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has shown a “shocking disregard” for its legal obligation to consult with the public on numerous changes to how species at risk and their habitat are managed in the province, Ontario’s environmental commissioner Gord Miller warned recently.
In Laying Siege to the Last Line of Defence: A Review of Ontario’s Weakened Protections for Species at Risk, the commissioner’s special report on endangered species protections in Ontario, Miller argued that since the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) came into effect the government has “failed miserably” to provide (Read more…)
At the UN climate summit in Warsaw (COP 19), Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman talked with Naderev “Yeb” Saño, the lead negotiator for the Philippines.
At the time he spoke with Democracy Now, Saño was on the 9th day of a fast to make the case for an urgent climate deal and to demonstrate solidarity with those in the Philippines who are struggling in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan. Just prior to the interview Saño delivered a petition signed by some 590,000 people around the world demanding greater efforts to deal with climate change and its fall-out.
Democracy Now notes that: (Read more…)
Worthwhile article from Chantal Hebert here.
She’s not the first to link Harper’s gutting of environmental regulations, skeptical attitude towards climate change and attacks on the environmental movement to other countries (particularly our major trading partner south of the border) reluctance to embrace Canada’s natural resources, but in just two sentences, Hebert does a good job of exposing the box that the Conservative government has painted Canada’s economy into:
“Harper has made it impossible to have a national conversation on the economy without talking about pipelines, but just as impossible to debate those without addressing his climate change record. (Read more…)
COP 19 ends this week and there is at least one clear message coming from the meeting: Canada is risking the wellbeing of future generations. While most countries agree that climate change needs to be dealt with and carbon output needs to be curtailed, Canada is refusing to budge on its pro-tar sands stance while keeping an ineffiecent resource-based economy running.
Hopefully Canadians will be able to notice the rest of the world is concerned about more than just Rob “Crack Mayor” Ford. Other countries are clearly thinking into the future and let’s hope Canada can do the same.
Good (Read more…)
Dear Liberal Friends,
This weekend is the LPC(O) Policy Prioritization Meeting & Executive Board. You will be asked to prioritize 10 policy resolutions for debate at the Liberal Party of Canada Biennial in Montreal. It’s an impressive list of great ideas, showcasing clearly what Liberals care about.
On that list, is the policy resolution to Protect the Pickering Lands prioritized by Central Region.
In 1972, the federal government expropriated 18,000 acres of farmland for a proposed new Toronto international airport. In the face of mounting local pressure and opposition from residents, the project was shelved in 1975.
On June 11, (Read more…)
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Angella MacEwen rightly slams the Cons’ attempt to use Employment Insurance funds as a subsidy for employers at the expense of workers. And Don Lenihan sees the Cons’ structure as a cynical means of trying to claim success by ignoring the actual purpose of funding for training: This reassignment of resources from one social group to another is neither open nor transparent. On the contrary, as we’ve seen, the CJG requires an investment by the sponsoring employer. The unspoken point here is that employers are highly unlikely to sponsor anyone other than (Read more…)
More than 150 protesters gathered on Parliament Hill today as part of the Canada-wide “Defend Our Climate, Defend Our Communities” national day of action against climate change and tar sands expansion.
The post In Ottawa, Hundreds Demand Action To “Defend Our Climate”, Communities appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
A few days ago, former BC NDP premier Dan Miller had an op-ed in The Vancouver Sun in which he criticized his party’s insufficient enthusiasm on resource development. As regular readers of this blog may be aware, I take a slightly different point of view. Please see here for my response letter in today’s Sun, in which I briefly discuss the environment and the economy.
Filed under: BC Politics, Environment Tagged: Dan Miller, NDP, Vancouver Sun
. . . → Read More: Song of the Watermelon: Vancouver Sun Letter
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…)
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. […]