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Politics, Re-Spun: Even Capitalists Are Starting to See the Zombies in the Tarsands!

What kind of oil investments become zombies with cheap oil?

[Shhh, it’s the Solstice today, but don’t tell the carbon energy sector!]

Extracting and burning oil, gas and coal [the carbon criminals destroying our climate] is a bad move.

Capitalists, zombies themselves seeking to maximize shareholder wealth at the expense of everything [or, brainz!], are now starting to do the math and realize that too.

Stranded assets are investments in sectors that evaporate. Factories that make 8-track tapes. The asbestos industry [just kidding, it’s still running, but it should be a zombie]. But what happens to all (Read more…)

reeves report: Historic dam latest line of defence against invasive Asian carp

Carp over Barge. (Photo: Dan O’Keefe, Michigan Sea Grant)

THE NEXT LINE OF DEFENCE against keeping invasive Asian carp out of the Great Lakes will come at an 81-year-old lock and dam in Joliet, Illinois, 65 kilometres south of Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan.

The Brandon Road dam, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in March 2004, is being investigated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a suitable location to test run new deterrents for halting Asian carp and other aquatic nuisance species. In addition to the electric barriers already in place eight (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Thomas Walkom discusses why politicians have thus far failed to take any meaningful action on climate change. But it’s also worth noting that the question of whether voters are pushing for change may not be the only determining factor in government decision-making.

Most obviously, debt and deficits (which are no less distant from the immediate interests of voters than climate change) are seen as demanding constant and immediate action even at the expense of anybody’s apparent short-term political interests – with unpopular and destructive policy choices regularly defended based on the accepted belief (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Groups call on BC and Science World to end LNG promotion

Advocacy groups and concerned citizens have signed an open letter demanding that the British Columbia government and Science World cancel their province-wide community seminars promoting the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.

The post Groups call on BC and Science World to end LNG promotion appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Leehi Yona: Canadians’ best interests “certainly not represented” at COP20

Canada’s best interests weren’t represented at the recent COP20 climate conference in Peru, argues Leehi Yona, a Canadian youth delegate recently named one of Canada’s top environmentalist under 25.

The post Leehi Yona: Canadians’ best interests “certainly not represented” at COP20 appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: SaskPower Says Bigger Is Better, Even Losses? #PowerToGrow

As a followup to the Star Phoenix’s article on the hugely expensive, and (public) money losing CCS plant at Estevan, comes word of further cost overruns. The overruns, in the hundreds of millions of dollars, would have been sufficient to buy Regina its Stadium II, outright, fix its pension shortfall, or replace its Waste Water Treatment Plant.

SaskPower has apparently been misleading people by saying we need coal for “baseload” power, when Saskatchewan’s abundant wind source, coupled with Manitoba’s hydro, could safely provide a reliable power supply to homes, schools, etc.

And it appears that viable, cleaner, lower-cost solutions (Read more…)

Canadian Dimension: Bolivia to host 2015 meeting of social movements to fight climate change

Photo by Pete Souza

Meeting in Havana December 14, the 13th summit of ALBA leaders endorsed a Bolivian proposal to host an international assembly of social movements in 2015 to discuss and adopt a united strategy for fighting climate change.

The decision by the Bolivarian Alliance for the peoples of Our America – Trade Treaty of the Peoples (ALBA-TCP) coincided with release of the final agreement adopted by the United Nations COP20 climate talks at Lima, Peru. The UN agreement, reached by representatives of 195 countries after two extra days of haggling, has been universally condemned by environmental activists for (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Carter Price offers another look at how inequality damages economic development. And the Broadbent Institute examines the wealth gap in Canada – which is already recognized as a serious problem, but also far larger than most people realize:

- Paul Buchheit discusses how the U.S. is turning poor people into commodities or criminals. Chuk Plante reviews some facts about child poverty in Saskatchewan – with a particular focus on the need to measure and reduce the alarmingly high rates of child poverty among First Nations children. Suzanne Moore points out how (Read more…)

ffibs: Condensed version of the Wynne, Prentice Meeting

Filed under: Cartoons (Single Panel), Environment, Making fun of Conservatives, Making fun of Liberals

reeves report: Loopholes threaten Ontario Greenbelt

The Greenbelt Alliance wants better protection for the ecologically sensitive area, which remains at risk from sprawl, mega-highways and contaminated soil.

Map of Greenbelt and other protected lands in Southern Ontario.

SOUTHERN ONTARIO’S 7,200 square kilometre Greenbelt and the prime farmland and headwaters it contains remain at significant risk from expanding urban development despite protective legislation in place for a decade.

Ontario’s Greenbelt at Risk, a study from the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance and Environmental Defence, believes the Ontario government must do more to strengthen protections for the sensitive Greenbelt space stretching from Welland east to Coburg and north to (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On unjust cause

Shorter Peter Kent, Stephen Harper Talking Point Dispenser Level Infinity: The Dear Leader fired me for making some effort to do a job with the work “environment” in the title, rather than merely going through the motions. And through much re-education, I’ve come to see that he was right to do it.

Canadian Dimension: Taking on capital in an age of climate change

Photo by Senior Airman Larry E. Reid Jr., U.S. Air Force

I was privileged recently to be able to participate in the ‘Fossil Free Convergence’ in Montreal, Nov. 8-9. The Fossil Free Convergence springs from the ‘go fossil free’ movement, initiated by 350.org, the climate activist organization based in the US but with chapters worldwide. In Canada, the Canadian Climate Youth Coalition has helped steer the ship, and is planning another fossil fuel divestment-related conference for December.

Many scientists and activists have taken to calling our times the ‘anthropocene’, to draw attention to the fact that (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Alberta Government Begins to Sunset Oil Production

Edmonton’s Eastgate: What are those cylinders in the background?

This week, as an early Christmas present to the province, the world and future generations, the Alberta government has begun the process of completely ending oil, coal and gas production in the province within a generation.

Citing its historic mismanagement of oil royalties compared to Norway’s nearly trillion dollar endowment, the Finance Minister spent much of his speech to the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce defining the government’s new energy posture.

He apologized on behalf of former governments, saying we will now “get off the oil train” [see below], (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Aditya Chakrabortty contrasts the myth of the free market against the reality that massive amounts of public money and other privileges are shoveled toward the corporate sector: Few conceits are more cherished by our political classes than the notion that this is a free-market economy. To the right it is what makes Britain great. For the left it is what they are up against. And for the rich it is what justifies their huge pay packets: after all, they have earned it.

When asked for his view of western civilisation, Gandhi said he (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Set Walmart and Target Afloat, Please

Monty Python was onto something with their sailing financial pirates, I think. “Over 260,000 tons of plastic waste in oceans, study shows“ Why buying dollar store crap will come back to haunt you and your grandchildren:

The scientists have stressed their estimates are “highly conservative, and may be considered minimum.” They only took into account the floating plastic garbage, disregarding the waste found on shores and on the seabed.

Another unaccounted for type of plastic is one that can only be found “within organisms.” Researchers believe that large portions of “microplastics,” less than 5mm in size, could (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Harper’s “crazy” Comments

So, @PMHarper, if oil/gas regulations don’t work at $65 a barrel, at what price are they “uncrazy”? $80? $100?

— David Akin (@davidakin) December 9, 2014

Here’s an impressive takedown of the Prime Minister’s “crazy” comments in the House the other day. Since 2006 he’s promised to regulate oil and gas. Now he admits that would be “crazy”. Harper is nuts, and a liar, and he’s our Prime Minister for another year.

The Canadian Progressive: Harper Breaks Promise To Regulate Oil And Gas Emissions

In Parliament today, PM Stephen Harper said “it would be crazy economic policy” to regulate the Canadian oil and gas industry’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The post Harper Breaks Promise To Regulate Oil And Gas Emissions appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Paul S. Graham: Video: Coalition challenges NEB to consider the climate impacts of the proposed Energy East Pipeline

Map of Proposed Energy East Pipeline route. Source: National Energy Board

Energy East Pipelines, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of TransCanada Oil Pipelines (Canada), has applied to build the Energy East Pipeline, a project that will use aging natural gas pipelines along most of its route to move explosive, toxic diluted bitumen from the Alberta oil sands to refining facilities on Canada’s east coast.

The plan is fraught with risks to human health and the natural environment, but the National Energy Board, the federal regulatory body charged with assessing the suitability of this project, seems determined to turn a (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Ecofiscal Commission and Polluter Pay

From iPolitics, here is my constructively critical take on the first discussion paper of the new Commission chaired by Chris Ragan. In a nutshell, polluter pay is a good idea, and it is good to see such a mainstream crowd endorse the principle, but the principle of recycling the increased revenues to personal and corporate income tax cuts is not such a good idea. In fact it is bad environmental policy because we need a strong fiscal base to fund subsidies and public investment to undertake major transitions.

http://www.ipolitics.ca/2014/12/07/why-a-carbon-tax-wouldnt-be-a-cash-cow/

 

Politics, Re-Spun: Why Are Capitalists So Lazy?

Entrepreneurialism, innovation, competition, insight, optimization, excellence?

These are the self-satisfying hallmarks of our jackboot triumphal capitalism.

But what’s with the laziest of the lazy capitalists?

You know, the ones who run the fossil fuel sector. The science is in. They’re causing much of the climate change we’re seeing, except of course for the spoutings of the scientists they pay to say it’s just that the sun is, you know, hot.

But if capitalism is supposed to be this wealth of innovation and better mouse traps, why are these lazy folks sitting around STILL extracting oil, gas and coal from the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Excuses, excuses

Shorter Leona Aglukkaq: It’s absolutely essential that we align our greenhouse gas emissions policies with the U.S. if that means delaying regulations which could limit pollution from the tar sands. Also, it’s absolutely essential that we refuse to align our greenhouse gas emission policies with the U.S. if they’re committing to targets which could limit pollution from the tar sands.

Canadian Dimension: YASunidos trek to the highlands of the Ecuadorian Andes to defend rights of nature

Photo by Julien Gomba

An ecological defence organization in Ecuador called YASunidos held a news conference in the highlands of Rio Bamba on November 14, 2014 to announce a demand for the rights of nature in response to a planned massive pine tree plantation in the highlands of Páramo de Pallo-Tangabana.

The monoculture pine tree plantation will destroy the water cycle in this high mountain area. The pine trees absorb tremendous amounts of water and their disruption would cause death to existing mountain vegetation while destroying the habitat for High Andes wildlife. The collective YASunidos Chimborazo presented the demand to (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Rafe-It’s incomprehensible that the John Horgan Opposition Would Support the Liberals on their LNG Endeavours

Rafe has always been hesitant to be a ‘Horgan Booster’and God knows I tried over the years.

OK, I give up, our challenges today are way beyond narrow partisan ask no questions politics. This latest sell out spells the end of relevance for the BC NDP.

I suppose it’s not unusual for an electorate to feel swindled. It sure as hell happens often enough.

The BC electorate has every right to feel swindled in the election of 2013 by the Christy Clark government’s solemn promise to make us all wealthy through LNG plants.

This was a very specific promise and (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Understaffed and incapable, by design

In The Tyee, Scot McCannel, executive director of the Professional Employees Association, asserts, The B.C. government has slashed professionals in the public service to the point where it doesn’t have a full picture of what’s happening. In a March 2014 report, the Professional Employees Association (PEA) demonstrated that the province has reduced its complement of scientific and technical professionals by 15 per cent since 2009.

Looking back to 2001, there are 25 per cent fewer professionals in the public service…

Government policy over the last 13 years has been to dramatically reduce in-house government professionals, deregulate natural resource (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Manuel Perez-Rocha writes about the corrosive effect of allowing businesses to dictate public policy through trade agreements: (C)orporations are increasingly using investment and trade agreements — specifically, the investor-state dispute settlement provisions in them — to bring opportunistic cases in arbitral courts, circumventing decisions states deem in their best interest. And now investor-state dispute settlement provisions may be enshrined in two new treaties: the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and Trans-Pacific Partnership, currently under negotiation between, respectively, the United States and the European Union, and the United States and 11 Asia-Pacific nations. If (Read more…)