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Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Pierre Beaulne discusses the inequality-related problems and solutions brought into the spotlight by Thomas Piketty, and notes that they can’t simply be swept under the rug: When all is said and done, the capitalist globalization has boosted economic growth for a certain time, but has by the same token greatly increased income inequalities and exacerbated wealth concentration. Tax breaks for the highest incomes and social spending cuts have intensified the trend. In Canada, for instance, the top marginal income tax rate at the federal level has gone down from 43% in 1981 to (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Human Rights: Council of Canadians Delivers Water to Detroit

The Council of Canadians this week continued its support of the international human right to water by delivering convoy of water to Detroit city residents.

The post Human Rights: Council of Canadians Delivers Water to Detroit appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Northern Insight: Where the vision and the visionaries?

Thirty-five years ago, the U.S. government’s EPA Journal stated, “Quite simply, Love Canal is one of the most appalling environmental tragedies in American history.

“But that’s not the most disturbing fact.

“What is worse is that it cannot be regarded as an isolated event. It could happen again–anywhere in this country–unless we move expeditiously to prevent it…”

Around the turn of the 20th century, developer William Love started building a canal between New York’s upper and lower Niagara Rivers. He ran out of money after excavating a 50′-100′ wide ditch that extended 3,000 feet. “Love Canal” instead (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…)

Cowichan Conversations: So Many Problems in the Peace River Country Over Gas Extraction and Nobody Seems to Care.

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

 

This personal report had been making the rounds of listserves and recently was released for public viewing.

Leona Green is fighting back and speaking truth to the ‘Natural Gas’ establishment, government officials and opposition politicians.

The following information took over two months to compile by contacting many residents all over the Peace area.

The extraction of natural gas is steaming ahead at an alarming rate in all areas of the Peace. I have interviewed many landowners and the answers and problems related to gas extraction are all the same. Multiply the cases listed below by many (Read more…)

reeves report: Transportation sector key to reducing GHG emissions in Ontario: ECO

GETTING SERIOUS about tackling greenhouse gases has to start with dramatically cutting emissions from Ontario’s transportation sector, the province’s environmental watchdog warned recently.

In releasing his latest update on efforts to curb climate change-inducing emissions in Ontario, Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller told reporters at Queen’s Park the biggest sector emitter of greenhouse gases has witnessed the smallest efforts at reducing GHGs.

“The biggest section is transportation emissions and that’s a section where we have achieved only miniscule changes,” Miller said. “The growth in transportation means our emissions are increasing from the 1990 base.”

Since 1990 — the baseline year (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

- Paul Krugman calls out the U.S.’ deficit scolds for continuing to invent a crisis to distract from the real problems with middling growth and high unemployment. And Bruce Johnstone singles out a few of the Cons’ talking points which have somehow become conventional wisdom without having an iota of truth to them. But in case there was any doubt why the Cons aren’t being exposed to their own patent wrongness, William Watson’s (hardly people-friendly) column explains why – as Jack Mintz manages to qualify as the least corporate-biased member of a (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Rafe: With fracking, tankers “world-class safety” is a weasel word

It is great to read more from Rafe Mair once again. He is still on the mend but has come a long way and is reading and writing once again.

I had believed every word from our Premier but Rafe has set me straight! I feel so much better now. Enjoy.

BC Premier Christy Clark touts “world-class” safety for fossil fuel projects (Canadian Press)

Many times I have referred to Premier Clark’s demand that Enbridge and others have “world-class” cleanup processes in place. To repeat myself, these are “weasel words” and mean absolutely nothing. “World-class” firefighting procedures doesn’t mean the (Read more…)

reeves report: New evidence of Triclosan toxicity

Hand soaps containing triclosan and triclocarban. (Andrew Reeves/Reeves Report)

OTTAWA KNOWS that a common ingredient in antibacterial soaps is posing acute and chronic problems for human health and freshwater ecosystems but has done nothing to ban triclosan, according to environmental and consumer advocates.

But now there’s even more evidence against the toxin. The Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) teamed up with Clean Production Action to test the environmental and human health impacts of triclosan and triclocarban. Both chemicals are found in everything from clothing and yoga mats to cutting boards, but are found most commonly in antibacterial hand soaps where (Read more…)

wmtc: upcycling with teens at the library

My summer youth programs have been going really well. Attendance has increased with each program – first 7, then 13, then 15 – and yesterday we hit the jackpot with 23 teens. We actually had to turn away three kids without tickets, as our program room was so packed with people and materials.

I wasn’t planning on blogging about individual programs, but there seems to be some interest. Plus, since I regularly Google for ideas for programs and displays, I’m happy to give back by adding to the ideas out there.

Upcycling was a huge hit! For those not familiar (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Addiction Therapy Applied to Car Use

It’s no secret that as a global society we are addicted to automobile use. It’s also no secret that cars are literally killing us (just starting the engine causes harm) and the way we have built cities to cater to drivers has damaged society from our health to our social well-being. But just knowing these facts won’t change people’s behaviour, much like how gamblers know they won’t always win but keep on playing.

How do we change this self-destructive behaviour? In the UK “motivational interviewing” is being used to help people kick their car habit.

“We’re not guilt-tripping (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Climate change divestment movement gains ground in church – but not in Canadian media or political circles

Ho-hum… Some typical Canadian reporters, hard at work … Actual Canadian newsrooms may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Is he more influential than we imagined in Alberta?

CALGARY

When retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu visited Alberta’s Tarpatch capital of Fort McMurray last month and called the output from bitumen mining “filth,” the commentary here in Alberta was pretty predictable.

The right-wing rage machine creaked briefly to life, complained bitterly about celebrities who don’t know what they’re talking about just passing through, and then moved on to other complaints.

About the kindest thing said about (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: The Cowichan River is in trouble once again.

Cowichan Coversations Contributor

With the low snowpack and unusually dry weather, Cowichan Lake is 40 cm lower than it should be at this time of year, while the river flow is down to 5 cubic metres per second and well below typical July levels.

If the situation does not improve, salmon populations will be devastated and the Crofton pulp mill could be forced to suspend operations.

This is not the first time drought conditions have caused major problems with the Cowichan River.

In 2012, chinook salmon were trucked upstream to spawning grounds after the river flow dropped to dangerously low (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Ralph Surette highlights the dangers of a pollution-based economy which fails to account for the damage we’re doing to our planet and its ability to provide food for people: This is something to behold. A more-or-less hurricane in early July. Has anyone ever seen such a thing?

This is climate change, and it’s getting worse. And whereas the news of the day is about people with the power out, the long-term story is about the hit to agriculture, now and in future, here and worldwide — keeping in mind that farming is more (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: EWG’s Dirty Dozen Report Lists The Most Pesticide-Heavy Fruits And Veggies Of 2014

Richard Hughes-Grow your own

If you ever wondered about the value of growing your own vegetables and fruits, or when that is not possible buying organic, here is Sarah Kleins Huffington Post report.

Actually it is amazing how much we can grow in our own gardens. It is tastier, healthier and of course cheaper than buying pesticide laden vegetables.

These poisoned foods are inadequately labelled by retailers and they could and should step up and fully disclose the truth about the foods they sell.

An apple a day usually keeps the doctor away — unless it’s ridden with pesticides.For (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Incinerators, Biomass-Just Say No!

Susan on the Soapbox: Alberta’s Climate Change Strategy Goes Up in Smoke

Alberta’s Auditor General blew a gasket. He called the government’s performance on climate change strategy “troubling” and “disturbing”. Hey, he’s a mild mannered accountant; this is as in-your-face as he gets.

Our feisty Auditor General

Mr Saher kicked off the July 2014 audit report with a lesson on the role of government. A good government puts the right people in place to get the job done. It exercises ministerial oversight (gee, there’s a thought) and most importantly, is accountable and ensures Albertans receive value for the money spent on government programs and services.

Mr Saher tested Alberta’s climate change strategy (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

The Canadian Progressive: World Council of Churches Endorses Fossil Fuel Divestment

The fellowship of over 300 churches representing some 590 million people in 150 countries, this week endorsed fossil fuel divestment.

The post World Council of Churches Endorses Fossil Fuel Divestment appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

reeves report: ECO urges province to create new climate action plan

SO MUCH OF THE THINKING around climate change has evolved since 2007 that Ontario’s seven-year-old climate action plan is now “irrelevant” according to Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller.

In releasing Looking for Leadership: The Costs of Climate Inaction this morning, Miller said the province has been a leader in the climate file but has not kept up with the changing social, scientific and economic dynamics of climate change since Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan was released in 2007.

In particular, Miller identified four areas where society and science have moved beyond the baseline assumptions about climate change it held seven years (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…)

Cowichan Conversations: Planned breach of Cowichan Bay causeway planned for late July

A group of dedicated volunteers, organized under the Cowichan Estuary Restoration and Conservation Association aka (CIRCA) have taken on the task of improving life for marine and wildlife that have struggled against industrial disruption for many decades.

Peter Rusland interviewed Goetz Schuerholz in this article carried in the Cowichan News Leader.

The causeway leading from the Cowichan Estuary to the Westcan Terminals in Cowichan Bay may be opened in order to improve the ecological health of Cowichan Bay.— Image Credit: John McKinley/File

by Peter Rusland – Cowichan News Leader Pictorial

Breaching a causeway in Cowichan Bay to give spawning (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: The products that have been banned are better!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

The green revolution away from fossil fuels is gaining momentum. We need time to make the crossover but it surely is coming as night follows day.

Alternate building materials and alternate approaches are on the rise.

Let us try to reduce our use of gas and oil products as much as we can and push for viable alternatives as soon as possible.

The change is coming!

The Mind Unleashed

Legalize research and cultivation of industrial hemp

(Hemp does not produce the “high”) So, why is it illegal? Because fuel companies would lose TRILLIONS in profit, while the (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: The products that have been banned are better!

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…)