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Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Umut Oszu contrasts the impoverished conception of rights being pushed thanks to the Cons’ highly politicized museum against the type of rights we should be demanding: In their modern incarnation, human rights were fashioned after the Second World War and entered into widespread circulation in the 1970s and 80s, when they came to be deployed by Western governments and non-governmental organizations as part of a Cold War “battle of ideas.” Designed in predominantly civil and political rather than social and economic terms, the rhetoric of human rights has since been mobilized to (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: RCMP Warning Of Oil and Gas Attacks

.@DavidMcLA @mikedesouza Remember, the RCMP are experts at critical energy infrastructure terrorism. http://t.co/6MhPHIS97R #Oil

— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) September 15, 2014

The RCMP would know.

@DavidMcLA does it tie into this? http://t.co/dfZpU7AxgT

— Mike De Souza (@mikedesouza) September 15, 2014

A Puff of Absurdity: People’s Climate March Update

“If you don’t fight for what you want, then you deserve what you get.” – Disruption

The People’s Climate March is in one week.  The 50-minute film, Disruption, is a motivating force to inspire people to hit the streets.  If you can’t make NYC on Sunday (busses leaving from Toronto might be full), then there are small events in most cities (info for Waterloo here and Toronto here).  Klein’s book comes out on Tuesday – just in time for people to read it on that 12 hour bus ride!

Here’s the movie, with my notes from (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Rick Smith discusses the growing public appetite to fight back against burgeoning inequality – along with the need to make inequality a basic test for the fairness of any policy: (I)t is significant that a finance minister of our decidedly right-wing government showed the political courage to criticize a policy that will clearly make inequality worse. This test — whether a policy choice will exacerbate inequality — should be the test for any government in making political choices. … [The Broadbent Institute's wealth inequality] data, though disheartening, can help focus the minds of Canadians (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Freegan Food Activist Exposes Grocery Industry Waste

You’ve got to hear about Rob. He’s an interesting guy, doing what I did last Summer except on a much larger and more successful scale.

Things Are Good: Ozone Layer is Recovering

Many years ago a bunch of countries decided to take action to stop damaging the ozone layer in the hopes that it will eventually recover. It’s great to see that the efforts of working together to protect the environment of come to fruition and let’s hope we see efforts like this directed towards climate change.

Scientists said the development demonstrates that when the world comes together, it can counteract a brewing ecological crisis.

For the first time in 35 years, scientists were able to confirm a statistically significant and sustained increase in stratospheric ozone, which shields the planet from solar (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Andrew Jackson examines the effect of a federal minimum wage – and how it would benefit both workers and employers.

- Dylan Matthews offers a primer on a basic income, featuring this on how a secure income has little impact on individuals’ willingness to work: As noted above, a real basic income has never been implemented across a whole country, which makes macroeconomic effects hard to predict. But we do have some experimental evidence on the question of work effort, drawn from the negative income tax experiments in the US and Canada (Read more…)

Things Are Good: A Rebel Architect in Vietnam Creates Green Space

Al Jazeera has a series on rebel architects who are improving the world around them. In the documentary they released today they look at award-winning architect Vo Trong Nghia’s work in reshaping Vietnamese buildings to contain more green space.

This film follows Nghia as he tries to find support for his vision to create a vertical farming city; and at the same time to implement low-cost housing solutions for those left behind by Vietnam’s economic boom.

“Green architecture helps people live harmoniously with nature and elevates human life by embracing the powers of the sun, wind and water into living (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

- Andrew Jackson writes that public investment is needed as part of a healthy economy, particularly when it’s clear that the private sector isn’t going to put massive accumulated savings to use. Bob McDonald notes that we’d be far better off using public money to fund basic research instead of funnelling it toward the business sector. And Ed Keenan looks to Ontario for examples of how far more money is flowing into questionable corporate handouts than toward basic human needs.

- Meanwhile, Lana Payne exposes the Cons’ efforts to both downplay and reduce (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jordan Brennan examines the close links between strong organized labour and improved wages for all types of workers: U.S. scholars have found that higher rates of state-level unionization help reduce working poverty in unionized and non-unionized households and that the effects of unionization are larger than macro performance and social policies in those states. Research shows that the decline of U.S. unions between 1973 and 2007 explains one-fifth to one-third of the growth in U.S. wage inequality—a magnitude comparable to the growing stratification of wages by education. A 2010 study (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Ethan Corey and Jessica Corbett offer five lessons for progressives from Naomi Klein’s forthcoming This Changes Everything.

- Following up on this post, Andrew Jackson fact-checks the Fraser Institute on its hostility toward the CPP. And the Winnipeg Free Press goes further in challenging the motives behind the “study”: Since the authors started out believing that the Canada Pension Plan and its investment arm are a “self-serving bureaucracy,” it was predictable that they would find something objectionable about CPP administration. The surprise in the study is that the authors produced no (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Eve-Lyne Couturier discusses the rot in the state of Canadian labour negotiations, as workers outside of the 1% are being systematically denied any of the benefit of economic growth.

- Meanwhile, Dean Baker points out that it’s only by choice that the vast majority of jobs have been outsourced around the world for the sake of slashing wages, while executive and high-skilled positions have largely stayed put (with far more generous pay). And Margaret Simms highlights the effects of precarious work on workers and their families.

- Nick Carnes writes that the extremely (Read more…)

Things Are Good: TreeCanada Maps Its Impact

TreeCanada has planted around 80 million trees! They do this because trees make the world a better, healthier place for everybody. They also plant trees to rejuvenate school yards (ones that got paved over at some point) and to bring back areas damaged by industrial uses to their . This past month they launched an interactive map of their plantings.

The map displays a satellite image of Canada with interactive buttons that allow you to explore its tree planting initiatives. By clicking on an icon, visitors can learn about the location and number of trees planted, as well as the program (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Nova Scotia is not ready for fracking

An independent panel commissioned by the government of Nova Scotia to examine the impact of hydraulic fracturing has concluded that Nova Scotia is not read for fracking.

The post Nova Scotia is not ready for fracking appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

A Puff of Absurdity: The Elf on the #ReThink Tour

I met “Sustainable Joe” (Stephen) at Hillside this year, and barraged him with questions about his ride.  I want one!  And, at $5,000, I could probably make it happen.  But he cautioned me to wait for the next model – upgrades to include shocks.

Apparently he gets hassled by the cops, but maybe in a few years they’ll be popular enough to not get as much unwanted attention.  He’s biking around Canada and the U.S. collecting reasons why we think we need sustainable change.

Here’s my sustainable reason:

A Puff of Absurdity: On the Titanic and Tolstoy

I’ve heard this before somewhere, but I can’t find it to give due credit:  Coping with climate change is like coping with being a passenger on the Titanic.

Some won’t notice anything’s amiss until they’re well into the water.

Some will notice it’s going down and decide we should continue playing until the bitter end.

Some will continue to insist it’s unsinkable.  Technology, leadership, something will swoop in to save the day.  We mustn’t worry ourselves too much.

Some will spend their energy insisting it’s not their fault, so it’s not their problem.  They’ll sit stubbornly still in their belief (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week.

- Robert Jay Lifton discusses the “stranded ethics” of a fossil fuel industry which is willing to severely damage our planet in order to protect market share: Can we continue to value, and thereby make use of, the very materials most deeply implicated in what could be the demise of the human habitat? It is a bit like the old Jack Benny joke, in which an armed robber offers a choice, “Your money or your life!” And Benny responds, “I’m thinking it over.” We are beginning to “think over” such choices on (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: Neil deGrasse Tyson on Climate Change

In a Huffington Post interview, Neil deGrasse Tyson says things will change when people lose their wealth.  If we lose the ice-caps, the water around NYC will come up to the Statue of Liberty’s elbow.  One commenter suggested that the rich will pay attention when their money gets soggy.

Tyson’s hopeful that our our species will still be here (Kolbert is not so sure), but we’re responsible for exiting a very stable existence.

Climate change is an emergent scientific truth.  There have been multiple research investigations from a variety of people who normally compete, coming to a consensus.  Tyson’s disappointed (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: Diamond’s Collapse

A while back, Mound suggested I read Collapse by Jared Diamond, and I finally got to it. It’s a fascinating read particularly for anyone interested in ancient civilizations. Diamond explores what caused the destruction of various civilizations over the past couple millennia. What interested me, of course, is his final few chapters that clarify what this understand of the world can do for our own understanding of our current position.  These are my notes and thoughts as I read:

The Old Problem:  Overexploitation of Resources

“The processes through which past societies have undermind themselves by damaging their environments fall into (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: A YouTube video shows a blue film floating on Quesnel Lake. Area residents are concerned.

Richard HughesWho do you believe?

The BC Liberal Goverment is without doubt fully responsible for the disastrous spill from the Mount Polley mine tailing pond.

This is in part due to the lack of regulatory enforcement and drastic staff reductions since 2001.

It seems that most of their energy has been directed at trying to gloss over this disaster, as a minor occurrence.

Alexandra Morton-Marine Biologist has questioned their findings based on their very small samples. Telling residents that they can drink the water and eat the fish is highly irresponsible under the circumstances.

Imperial Metals, owners of the mine, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

- Matthew Yglesias writes that while increased automation may not eliminate jobs altogether, it may go a long way toward making them more menial. And Jerry Dias recognizes that we won’t see better career opportunities emerge unless we make it a shared public priority to develop them: (I)ncreasingly, the people I meet – both in the labour movement and outside (including in some business circles) – talk about the need for greater dialogue on the issues of the day, particularly as they relate to jobs and the economy. People have expressed to me (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Who would you believe—Stephen Harper or Willie Nelson?

Apparently the $24-million of our tax money the federal government spent on an ad campaign to promote Canadian oil and the Keystone XL pipeline in Washington has gone down the drain. According to experts on Canada-U.S. relations, the campaign was a bust. “Buy our oil because we’re nice people—that doesn’t fly,” said David Biette, director of the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson

Cowichan Conversations: Alexandra Morton’s Full Report on the Mount Polley Mining Disaster-Videos

Alexandra Morton-Marine Biologist

Hello

I have been posting blogs on my onsite investigation into the situation around the largest mining disaster in history that tragically entered Quesnel Lake, where 1/4 of the Fraser sockeye rear.

Full updated post available here Alexandramorton.typepad.com

The BC government’s first response was that all the grey slurry pouring out of the mine was just sand, no different than an avalanche and that we got “lucky” – the water is safe to drink. That is not at all what the situation looks like and the people in the area and downstream have virtually no (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Cowichan River Water Quality Advisory Lifted

Nice to read good news from time to time. The concern over drought conditions that threatened our cowichan River was troubling and Don Bodger’s report is a comfort.

By Don Bodger-Cowichan News Leader

The water quality advisory for recreational use on the lower Cowichan River has been rescinded.

The advisory was put in place Saturday for the area of the Cowichan River downstream from the Allenby Road bridge to the mouth of the river. That’s an approximate six-kilometre stretch.

According to Val Wilson of Island Health Communications, samples of the river taken on Monday demonstrated it had returned to its (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Where Oil Meets Water: Energy East an unacceptable risk to waterways

The Council of Canadians says TransCanada’s proposed Energy East tar sands pipeline is “a ticking bomb that threatens Canada’s precious waterways.”

The post Where Oil Meets Water: Energy East an unacceptable risk to waterways appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.