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Cowichan Conversations: Naomi Klein- ‘The Economic System We Have Created Global Warming’

Naomi Klein

I am beginning to detect a growing trend towards changing the capitalist economic model from one in which profit is the only priority to one in which wellness is the priority, and profit must be made within that paradigm.

The fact that this interview should appear in one of the most prestigious and influential German publications just as the European powers are meeting to address climate change, should not go unremarked.

Can we still stop global warming? Only if we radically change our capitalist system, argues author Naomi Klein. In an interview with SPIEGEL, she explains why the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Frank Graves writes that we’re seeing the end of progress for all but the wealthiest few – and that we all stand to lose out if we come to believe that progress for the rest of us is impossible: There is a virtual consensus that a growing and optimistic middle class is a precondition for societal health and economic prosperity. This consensus position reflects the historical record of when nations succeed. Yet if this consensus is correct, we note with alarm that almost nobody thinks that these conditions are in place in Canada. (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Obama Vetoes Bill Pushing Pipeline Approval

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

In one of Washington’s worst kept secrets President Barack Obama confirmed earlier indications of his opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline proposal. This is huge and could help bring about rejection of the Enbridge and Kinder Morgan proposals as well.

The New York Times reports on this far reaching development. In Canada all eyes will be on ‘Steve’. Could this trigger the end of Enbridge and Kinder Morgan as well?

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Tuesday rejected an attempt by lawmakers to force his hand on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, using his veto pen to sweep (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Group Letter Urged Obama To Veto Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

Hundreds of First Nation leaders, environmentalists, land owners, musicians, authors, actors and artists signed letter urging Obama to veto Keystone XL pipeline.

The post Group Letter Urged Obama To Veto Keystone XL Pipeline Bill appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Nora Loreto rightly challenges the instinct to respond to tragedy with blame in the name of “responsibility”, rather than compassion in the interest of making matters better: Blame is the projection of grief, sadness or fear. It is the projection of our own inadequacies; of our own feelings of, “oh god, that could be my kid” wrapped up in “thank god I’m a better parent than that.” It pretends that all things are equal, that all family situations are equal and all children are essentially the same.

But it’s malicious. Blame, (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Open letter to RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson on climate change and national security

In this open letter to RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson, Ben West challenges the RCMP’s labeling of environmentalists as a threat to Canada’s national security.

The post Open letter to RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson on climate change and national security appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Song of the Watermelon: The Case for ‘Yes’ in Metro Vancouver’s Transit Referendum

Well, anybody could have called this one.

According to a new survey by Insights West, 53 per cent of residents plan to vote No in the upcoming 2015 Metro Vancouver Transportation and Transit Plebiscite. Only 38 per cent say they will vote Yes to the proposed half-percentage-point sales tax increase to help fund more buses, new rapid transit lines, improved walking and cycling networks, road and bridge upgrades, and more.

The once mighty Yes campaign’s decline is a regrettable development, but no one can honestly claim to be surprised. Though referendums can be useful exercises, they are out of (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Looking for Heroes?

I’ve been watching The Book of Negroes this week. I have no words. I only recognize justice, integrity, brutality, acknowledgement, witnessing, story telling and a myriad of other foggy responses.

It’s easy to also ponder qualities of heroes.

Then I read this from earlier this week, and nodded. Do you get it?

Anishinabe Women Protest Energy East Pipeline on Family Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 16, 2015

‘Protect the Water, For Future Generations’: Message being shared today with local families, starting at Market Square at noon.

Kenora—Dozens of Anishinabe Women, their families, and supporters converge today on Market Square at (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: #GxE Autism Paradigm Still #MSSNG From Autism Disorders Research, Understanding

Several years ago it appeared that a new paradigm for understanding autism disorders was emerging, one which would allow greater understanding of the cause, or causes, of autism.  Historically, as was noted by Teresa Binstock, researchers, and those who fund autism research, took the view that autism has  “gotta be genetic”.  By 2010 there was hope that finally the autism researchers’ obsessive belief that autism is entirely genetic was giving way to the GxE (Gene Environment Interaction) model.  With the CATS study it appeared that  GxE was actually being reflected in autism studies. Since the CATS study (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Low-carbon urban infrastructure: a view from Vancouver

I have a new case study (full pdf; summary article from the publishers) out as part of the Economists for Equity and Environment‘s Future Economy Initiative. I look at the City of Vancouver’s Neighbourhood Energy Utility (NEU), a low-carbon district energy system that hits a sweet spot of clean energy, local control, and stable prices at competitive rates.

The NEU arose as part of a vision for redevelopment of former industrial land into a mixed-use community in the Southeast False Creek area of Vancouver. The first phase included construction of the False Creek Energy Centre and service to (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Will Nova Scotia Implement a Carbon Tax?

There is some discussion in Nova Scotia about the possibility of the government introducing a carbon tax in the next budget. In this blog post I will introduce the context within which these discussions are taking place, and make reference to other blog posts in this forum that provide insights into how the province might best approach a carbon tax policy.

First, I believe Nova Scotia’s low-carbon transition does not receive the attention it deserves. The province is expected to generate 25% of its electricity from renewables in 2015, and has a target of 40% by 2020 (largely due to (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Canadian Climate Activists Storm Toronto Stock Exchange, Demand Fossil Fuel Divestment

#GlobalDivestmentDay: Canadian climate justice activists disrupted the opening of the Toronto Stock Exchange, demanded immediate divestment from fossil fuels.

The post Canadian Climate Activists Storm Toronto Stock Exchange, Demand Fossil Fuel Divestment appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

reeves report: Waste Mismanagement Leads to Plastic-Filled Oceans

Up to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic waste enter the world’s oceans every year, partly due to litter and inadequate waste management.

Plastic particles sit in sieves ready for sorting. Photo by Malin Jacob.

ROUGHLY 9.1 MILLION tonnes of plastic waste will head from land to sea this year alone in 192 coastal countries worldwide.

The latest study published this week in Science from researchers at the University of Georgia and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis put a startling figure to a mounting environmental problem many have become familiar with in the past decade – (Read more…)

Canadian Dimension: Plan for a low-carbon Alberta

Photo by Don Coltman • Turner Valley “Buy Alberta Oil” billboard

As Alberta’s economic engine falters, now is a good time to rethink the province putting all its eggs in bitumen’s basket.

When its crops failed, Alberta’s farmers had the pluck to persevere. There’s always next year. That resilience in the face of adversity served them well. But a next-year-country optimism is misplaced when applied to Alberta’s unconventional oil.

Sure the world oil price will eventually bounce back and might lead to another oil boom. But should or can Alberta go down that undulating road again?

Whether the price of (Read more…)

reeves report: Environmental Groups Pin Slim Hopes for Rouge Park Changes to Senate

Rouge Park in autumn.

Canada’s Rouge National Urban Park Act began second reading in the Senate earlier this week after sailing through the House of Commons is just six months.

Tobias C. Enverga Jr., a Stephen Harper appointed Senator for Ontario, is acting as the bill’s sponsor in the Senate.

On Monday this week, Enverga Jr. spoke on the bill, urging all Senators to offer their support. “One hundred years from now I am confident that the decision to preserve this remarkable place as our country’s first national urban park will be viewed as one of the most (Read more…)

Things Are Good: We Are in the Anthropocene Epoch

Human civilization has undoubtedly changed the surface of the planet on a massive scale. There will be evidence of our civilization’s impact for millions of years to come. This may not strike you as good news considering it implies we’ve altered the planet in a way only nature itself could have done.

The good news comes from the fact that the Anthropocene Working Group has reached the conclusion that we are indeed in this epoch. This means that geological research and theory has a new intellectual framework to better our understanding of the world and how we as a species (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Will This Turn Out To Be An Environmental Horror Show In Upper Cowichan Bay-CVRD Officials Fail To Act!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Cowichan Bay Estates, tucked away off Vee Road in upper Cowichan Bay gives the appearance of being at the verge of an environmental horror show that could threaten homes and properties downside of the development, and yet nobody seems to be acting to put an immediate halt to any further work.

Watercourses have been rerouted, heron habitat compromised, a soggy unstable moonscape that has had the topsoil and trees removed remains.

CVRD Director Lori Iannidinardo has reported to CVRD staff who are responsible for the drainage plan, but has been told nothing can be done! She has also (Read more…)

reeves report: Ontario’s endangered species get their day in court

Endangered American Eel.

LAWYERS ACTING ON BEHALF of the Ontario government told the courts last month that Ontario’s endangered species legislation is now only concerned with the most dire of species listed under the law.

The Woodland Caribou; the American Eel; the Blanding’s Turtle — these and more than 150 other species currently listed as endangered in Ontario will only receive the full weight of government support when they teeter on the brink of local extinction.

So much for our “gold standard” Endangered Species Act.

In September 2013, lawyers from Ecojustice announced Ontario Nature and CPAWS Wildlands League were suing (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Paul Mason discusses the effect a guaranteed annual income could have on individuals’ choices about labour and employment: A true, subsistence level basic income would close to double [existing social spending in the UK]. But it is imaginable, in the short to medium term, if you factor in the benefits.

The first would be to eradicate low-paid menial work. Why slave 10 hours a day with mop and bucket for £12k when you get £6k for free? Corporations would rebalance their business models towards a high pay, stable consumption, low-ish profit world, and (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Cowichan-Malahat Langford Green Party Nominate Fran Hunt-Jinnouche-Elizabethg Presses For Parliamentary Reform

Don Maroc

The Green Party of Canada gives at least two meanings to the colour in it name. It stands, of course, for environmental respect and for ecology before corporate economy.

In addition it is a collection of political neophytes, exemplified by the party leader Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands. Acutely intelligent, massively knowledgeable, broadly respectful, economically savvy, hometown charismatic, and she is politically charming and naive.

Last week at the Cowichan-Malahat-Langford Green Party gathering to select their candidate to run in this November’s federal election Elizabeth — it’s difficult to not use her first name, she (Read more…)

Canadian Dimension: Ecological Economics and Changing Everything

Image by John McConnell

I would like to thank and acknowledge the First Nations of the territories where we live and are meeting, the Anishinaabe Mississauga, Seneca, Huron-Wendat, ‘Neutrals,’ and other peoples whose ancestors lived here. The land claim of the Mississaugas of the New Credit, relating to the Crown’s 1805 acquisition of land running from Ashbridge’s Bay westward to the mouth of the Credit River, and extending 28 miles northward, is still under negotiation. Toronto owes its location and earliest traditions as a meeting place to the aboriginal peoples who developed sustainable ways of living and welcomed settlers here. (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On destructive preconditions

Shorter Elizabeth Nickson: I’ll consider accepting the need for policies to preserve the environment just as soon as we’ve seen exactly how much gets destroyed in their absence.

(h/t to PressProgress.)

reeves report: Contentious Rouge Park Bill Passes Third Reading

Despite united opposition against the proposed National Urban Park, Conservative Bill C-40 passed third reading Monday. The legislation is now on its way to the Tory-dominated Senate for further review.

Orchard Trail in Rouge Park.

The passage of Bill C-40 in Ottawa earlier this week, creating the country’s first National Urban Park in Toronto’s Rouge Valley, is not the cause for celebration a large number of its proponents hoped it would be.

Many of the countries leading environmental groups — including Ontario Nature, Environmental Defence, the David Suzuki Foundation and Friends of the Rouge Watershed — lamented the fact that in (Read more…)

reeves report: Melting Glaciers to Release Billions of Kilograms of CO₂ by 2050

A new study finds sea-level rise isn’t the only thing to fear about melting glaciers.

Antarctic Ice Shelf Loss Comes From Underneath by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center \ CC BY 2.0 via Flickr

WE KNOW SEA levels are rising as climate change causes glaciers to melt. But it turns out rising seas may not be the only catastrophic by-product of glacier melt we need to worry about.

A new study from researchers at Florida State University published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience has discovered there will be a substantial carbon impact resulting from the loss of (Read more…)

The Progressive Right: Town Hall Event – "Ontario’s Greenbelt Under Threat" ( #onpoli )

In partnership with Ontario Greenbelt Alliance, Land Over Landings presents a Town Hall Meeting to expose the threats to Ontario’s Greenbelt.

January 28th – 7 – 9 pm, Brougham Town Hall, Brougham, Ontario.

Full details are available via the Facebook event.