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reeves report: Unreleased government report shows no benefits to neonic use

A honey bee collecting pollin.

Environmental group Friends of the Earth Canada are calling on the Ontario government to implement an outright ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides after a leaked government report shows no positive economic gains from the pesticide’s use.

Draft findings from Canada’s Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) were leaked today before the final report was made public, showing farmers who use the pesticide receive only a 0.4 per cent yield benefit from coated soy seeds and a 3.4 per cent yield benefit for corn.

“Arguably, based on the findings of PMRA’s draft value assessment, Ontario (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: CVRD Off To The Supreme Court To Assert Land Use Jurisdiction and Authority Over SIA Contaminated Soil Processing and Treatment

Richard Hughes- Political Blogger

The CVRD has finally resurrected their stalled BC Supreme Court action attempting to have the CVRD Shawnigan bylaws regulating land use recognized, respected and adhered to.

While this is a

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Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: This Isn’t Going To Work #skpoli

.@laurengolosky Why isn't the Environment Minister up to speed on #climatechange? It's basic knowledge for Environment portfolio. #skpoli

— John Klein (@JohnKleinRegina) May 21, 2015

It’s 2015, and the entire effing cabinet should understand perfectly that climate change is a serious economic and environmental problem that’s overdue to be tackled.

New SK environment minister Herb Cox takes his oath of office. #skpoli

— Karen Briere (@kjbriere) May 21, 2015

I honestly didn’t know who the Environment Minister was before this shuffle, and from Cox’s early comment it sounds like I needn’t bother still.

Yay, MLA Herb (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: On Progress

If you’re walking towards a meeting point far away, every step is progress.  But if you happened to take a wrong turn, and now you’re getting further from your meeting point, then, until you see the error, you will continue to believe you’re making progress when in fact you’re getting further and further away from your goal.  You’re regressing.

We’ve taken a wrong turn, but all the inventions and new things for us to play with make it feel like we’re still progressing.  And turning our back on them to retrace our steps?  That involves moving backwards, and some might (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Let’s Give Green Energy $5.3 Trillion This Year

What fraction of a decade would it take to completely get off fossil fuels [oil, gas, coal] and create a post-carbon energy/transportation infrastructure if the clean, green energy sector were publicly subsidized at $10,000,000 per MINUTE, or $5,300,000,000,000 [yes, that’s $5.3 trillion] for 2015?

Please, I dare you to attack me for the numbers. They don’t come from some tree-hugging enviro-hippie think tank. They come from the spinal fluid of neoliberalism: the IMF.

So, when people say it’s not feasible to get off carbon energy, let them know that worldwide, taxpayers are subsidizing them more than everyone in the (Read more…)

Blevkog: “If I could increase it, I would”

These are the words of Tim Brown, CEO of Nestle Waters, responding when asked if Nestle would decrease the extraction of ground water to supply its California bottling operations. He would increase it if he could. He doesn’t see the historic California drought as anything more than an opportunity – all of those who thirst […]

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

- Frances Woolley reminds us of some of the hidden advantages of the rich, and suggests that they point toward the fairness of taxing wealth in addition to consumption: The greatest freedom money offers is the freedom to walk away. Your bank doesn’t offer you unlimited everything with no monthly fees? Walk away. There’s always someone else who wants your money. Your phone plan is too expensive? Walk away (o.k., that may not be the best example).

People with money have alternatives, which makes their demand for goods and services elastic. Food (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Brad Delong discusses the two strains of neoliberalism which dominate far too much political discussion – and the reason why the left-oriented version doesn’t offer any plausible analysis of where we stand: (Bill) Clintonian left-neoliberalism makes two twin arguments.

The first is addressed to the left: it is that market mechanisms–properly-regulated market mechanisms–are more likely than not a better road to social democratic ends than command-and-control mechanisms.

The second is addressed to the right: it is that social democracy is the only political system that can in the long run underpin a (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Time for some adult supervision

The latest Con dodge on greenhouse gas emission regulations for the oil and gas industry is to say that they’ll promise to deal with a few collateral activities, just as long as actual production continues to receive a free pass: Aglukkaq also announced new rules to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, such as industrial leaks and gas flares, which makes up a significant portion of the industry’s total emissions.

Notably omitted, of course, is the rest of the industry’s total emissions.

So how does that painful level of parsing to avoid what has to be done (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: David Suzuki: Signs of change are sweeping the nation

The NDP’s historic triumph in Alberta shows that ordinary people can overcome corporate power and effect democratic change, argues environmentalist David Suzuki.

The post David Suzuki: Signs of change are sweeping the nation appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Matthew Yglesias points out that a particular income level may have radically different implications depending on an individual’s place in life, and that we can only address inequality by formulating policy accordingly: The median household income in the United States is about $52,000. So go ahead and picture a median-income household. What did you picture?

Did you picture a 25-year-old with a decent job who’s maybe worried about student loans but is basically doing okay? Or did you picture a married pair of 45-year-olds who are both full-time workers stuck in kinda crappy (Read more…)

Blevkog: A troubling picture

A just-published report (enhanced pdf) containing new measurements of global sea-level rise has some troubling news – the rate of sea level increase has accelerated over the past twenty years. What I would argue is the most troubling is the increased precision with which these measurements are made owing to new satellite techniques. It’s like knowing to […]

Cowichan Conversations: SRA to Lead Peaceful Rally at Victoria Legislature Today-May 13th-11:00AM –1:00PM

SRA to Lead Peaceful Rally to Present Petition & Oppose Environmental Appeal Board Decision to Uphold Permit for Contaminated Soil Dump

Where: Grounds of the Victoria Legislature

When: Wednesday, May 13, 2015, 11:00am-1:00pm


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Cowichan Conversations: Canada falling behind America and unprepared to meet shared climate commitment

It is incomprehensible to realize that Canada, once the envy of many throughout the world, has after a decade of right wing neo con governments, turned its back on the environment, on our lakes and

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reeves report: Ontario Anti-Fracking Bill Passes Second Reading

NDP MPP Peter Tabuns speaking with reporters at Queen’s Park. (CBC News Image.)

A PRIVATE MEMBER’S BILL from Toronto-area NDP MPP Peter Tabuns to ban fracking in the province passed second reading Thursday by a 29-18 vote with support from the governing Liberals.

“Water or gas — that’s our choice,” Tabuns explained to the House. “We can’t have both.”

Threats to groundwater contamination as found in Pennsylvania this month; links to triggering earthquakes in Ohio and Alberta; questions over the perilous, ponzi-like investment structuresupporting the fracking industry. It all led Tabuns to believe the (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Small Algae Canopy Produces as Much Oxygen as a Forest

Algae is amazing and as we find more ways to use the powerful, small, creatures we’ll improve our carbon footprints. Already algae is used to clean sewage, clean landfills, and so much more.

This week at the Milan Expo EcoLogics Studio revealed their algae canopy for urban centres. The canopy provides shade while cleaning the air in a very efficient way!

Created by EcoLogics Studio and demonstrated in Milan, Italy, this “world’s first bio-digital canopy integrates micro-algal cultures and real time digital cultivation protocols on a unique architectural system,” with flows of water and energy regulated by weather patterns and (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Tribes, Fishermen Warn About Canadian Mines


The Mount Polley Mine Disaster threatens salmon stocks and lives of fisherman in British Columbia. Now we learn of the interests of our Alaskan and Washington State neigbours.

Their concerns have escalated the BC

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The Canadian Progressive: Digging science: Citizens amplify knowledge about the natural world

David Suzuki on how affordable technologies are facilitating the growth of citizen science, environmental activism and “meaningful scientific pursuits”.

The post Digging science: Citizens amplify knowledge about the natural world appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

reeves report: What’s Worth More: Your Time or the Planet?

WAITING FOR THE BUS one morning on your way to work, you realize your reusable travel mug is at home. You’d rather not use another single-use plastic cup, but if you run back to grab it you’ll miss the next bus and be five minutes late for work.

Do you go back for your reusable container? Chances are, if you’re paid by the hour or view your time-as-money, you won’t sacrifice even five minutes to retrieve your travel mug.

That’s according to the latest research from the University of British Columbia. Psychology PhD student Ashley Whillans, lead author of (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Fair and Balanced Questions

As you probably know, “Fair and Balanced” is the Fox News tagline that exists to trick the more easily fooled into thinking that’s what their actual objective is.

Check out today’s story from the Vancouver Observer about “@FairQuestions”, a Conservative friendly researcher who took thousands of dollars in speaking fees from oil companies and testified for Conservative ends in Parliament. This, after being connected to lucrative oil money roles through Senator Duffy.

The $10,000 fees were paid by the Association for Mineral Exploration of BC (AMEBC), Canadian Energy Pipelines Association (CEPA) and Taseko Mines between March 22nd and June 6, (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Rafe Calls On BC NDP Leader John Horgan To Rethink His Position On Woodfibre LNG Proposal

Rafe Mair

In light of the stunning Alberta election, I’m going to revisit one or two things that I’ve dealt with recently which I believe are apropos. First of all, the political aphorism “it’s

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Cowichan Conversations: NDP MLA Bill Routley Presses Minister To Test Leachate To Determine Impacts To Shawnigan Residents Drinking Water

BC Government issued a ‘Stop Work’ order instructing SIA to supply full reports on their activities. This is to be reviewed this Friday by MOE.

Cowichan NDP MLA Bill Routley has been

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Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Worm Turns

This morning when I was doing my regular news search online, I came across two stories that stopped me cold: we’re being invaded. By worms. Yep. Worms. Not the slimy invertebrates who write scurrilous, defamatory self-aggrandizing blogs and whine about free speech when they are taken to court over their lies, but actual earthworms. Nightcrawlers. The […]

Cowichan Conversations: CHEK TV Breaks News That A Stop Work Order Has Been Issued for Shawnigan Contaminated Soil Dumping

Richard ‘Hub’ Hughes- Political Blogger

Could this be the BC Liberal’s exit strategy? The opposition is broad, deep and committed.

The CVRD has dusted off their BC Supreme Court action to have their land

Read more…

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Michael Kraus, Shai Davidai and A. David Nussbaum discuss the myth of social mobility in the U.S. And Nicholas Kristof writes that inequality is a choice rather than an inevitability: Yet while we broadly lament inequality, we treat it as some natural disaster imposed upon us. That’s absurd. The roots of inequality are complex and, to some extent, reflect global forces, but they also reflect our policy choices. In his new book, “The Great Divide,” Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, includes two chapters whose titles sum it up: “Inequality (Read more…)