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Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- David Reevely writes about the stench of corporate corruption hanging over a privately-sponsored premiers’ conference. And Paul Willcocks nicely contrasts the professed belief by politicians that campaign contributions don’t unduly policy against the expectations of everybody else affected by the political system – including big donors themselves: Most people figure that money matters. That when someone who gives hundreds of thousands of dollars to a party calls a politician, they get access and a chance to ask for favours. That they are buying special treatment.

The people taking in all that cash, unsurprisingly, (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…)

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.

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Amanda Connelly reports on the Alberta Federation of Labour’s latest revelations as to how the temporary foreign worker program has been used to suppress wages. And Jim Stanford reminds us that the employment picture for Canadians remains bleak even after Statistics Canada’s job numbers were revised: (F)ull-time employment is now estimated to have declined by about 20,000, instead of the original 60,000.  Not exactly something to boast about.  60,000 part-time jobs were created (same as the original report).  The unemployment rate is the same as the original report — and (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Glen McGregor reports on Michael Sona’s conviction as part of the Cons’ voter suppression in 2011. But both Michael den Tandt and Sujata Dey emphasize that Sona’s conviction was based on his being only one participant in the wider Robocon scheme – and that Stephen Harper and company remain fully responsible for covering up the rest of it.

- Meanwhile, Carol Goar duly mocks Tony Clement’s attempt to talk up open government while serving as one of the least accountable ministers in the most secretive Canadian government ever.

- And Justin Ling discusses (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Corporate welfare: Petronas seeks billions in Canadian federal tax handouts

by: Obert Madondo Follow @Obiemad | Published Wed, Aug 13, 2014

2012 PowerShift protest in Ottawa. (Photo: OBERT MADONDO/The Canadian Progressive)

In 2012, I complained that Prime Minister Stephen Harper was turning Canada into a fully-fledged petro-state whose vast tar sands operations were owned by energy companies controlled by foreign governments. That was after the Conservatives approved the $15.1 billion takeover of Calgary-based Nexen Inc. by CNOOC, a company owned by the Chinese government.

Now imagine the same foreign-owned energy behemoth receiving billions of Canadian taxpayers’ cash in the form of federal tax relief. That’s about to be (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Jack Peat argues for trickle-up economics to ensure that everybody shares in our common resources (while also encouraging economic development): Good capitalism is the ability to promote incentives and opportunity in equal measure. Sway too far one way and the potential of human capital is stifled, sway too far in the other direction and the willingness to realise this potential also goes amiss. Of late, bad capitalism has manifested itself in incentives over opportunities, and has become a parasitic drag on our economic growth as a result.

A recent IMF study has (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Keystone XL greenhouse gas emissions higher than estimates: Study

by: Obert Madondo Follow @Obiemad | Published Mon, Aug 11, 2014

Keystone Pipeline Handout

A new study strongly suggests that U.S. State Department grossly underestimated the negative environmental impact of TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

In its Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Assessment earlier this year, the State Department concluded that the pipeline wouldn’t be a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, estimating the carbon impact would be 27 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. The new study estimates that Keystone would produce four times that amount: 110 million tonnes.

The research was conducted at the Stockholm Environment (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Keystone XL greenhouse gas emissions higher than estimates: Study

The Canadian Progressive: Five Peaceful Anti-Enbridge Line 9 Activists Arrested

by: Obert Madondo Follow @Obiemad | Published Sun. Aug 10, 2014

Protesters occupying Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline construction site in Ontario on Aug 4, 2014. (Photo: Dam Line 9/Tumblr)

Five of the peaceful Dam Line 9 Blockade activists who had been occupying an Enbridge Line 9 pipeline construction site in southwestern Ontario for almost a week were arrested by the Ontario Provincial Police earlier today.

The activists had occupied the site since Monday last week, arguing that the construction posed “a danger to people, animals, land, and water.”

In an earlier press release, the activists said, “the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jenna Smialiek reports on Gabriel Zucman’s conclusion that the .1% has managed to prevent the rest of us from even approaching reasonable estimates as to how much wealth is being hoarded at the top. And Bryce Covert discusses how that carefully-cultivated lack of knowledge figures to distort policy debates.

- Meanwhile, Emily Schwartz Greco and William Collins note that even slight positive news for most of the population – such as modest employment growth in the U.S. – is being treated as a catastrophe by Wall Street since it could result in (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the need to take downside risks into account in discussing industrial development – especially when our water, land and lives are at stake.

For further reading…- The CP and Jenni Sheppard report on the many warning signs which should have identified the causes of the Mount Polley spill before it turned a town’s water toxic. Stephen Hume rightly concludes that the spill can be traced to a lax regulatory culture. Alison Bailey’s report points out that similar ponds set up for larger mining projects could cause even more damage. And Nature Canada discusses the deliberate choice (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Activists Refuse to Leave Enbridge’s Line 9 Construction Site

On Tuesday, peaceful “Dam Line 9″ activists occupying an Enbridge Line 9 pipeline construction site in southwestern Ontario defied a police deadline to leave.

The post Activists Refuse to Leave Enbridge’s Line 9 Construction Site appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Robert Reich muses about how our economy would look if we actually paid people based on their contribution to society rather than their ability to exploit others. In related news, the Broadbent Institute’s next Progress Gala is looking all the more fascinating with the announcement that Reich will be the keynote speaker.

- David MacDonald studies the distribution of income from the tar sands, and predictably finds that the 1% has managed to suck up obscene amounts of income while leaving crumbs for everybody else. But let’s also note that the smallish gains (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Tar Sands Refinery Cries "Uncle" on Climate Change – Seeks Taxpayer Bailout

The Delaware City Refining Company doesn’t just refine oil, it refines bitumen from the Tar Sands. The company, however, is intensely aware of the dangers of climate change, so much so in fact that it’s seeking tax dollars to protect its refinery from “tidal encroachment” – another way of saying sea level rise.

The Delaware City Refinery is one of the first refineries to shift its crude oil supply to rail and is refining tar sands — one of the most carbon-intensive fuels known to man.

To add insult to injury, the sea level rise preparations the Delaware City Refining (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Dam Line 9: Protest Occupation of Line 9 Construction Site Begins

In Ontario, peaceful activists have stopped construction work on an Enbridge Line 9 pipeline site, arguing that Line 9 posed “a danger to people, animals, land, and water.”

The post Dam Line 9: Protest Occupation of Line 9 Construction Site Begins appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Harper blasted for pushing Kinder Morgan’s $5.4B oil pipeline

In a strongly worded letter, Lower Nicola Indian Band Chief Aaron L. Sam blasts Stephen Harper for pushing Kinder Morgan’s $5.4-billion oil pipeline, ignoring climate change.

The post Harper blasted for pushing Kinder Morgan’s $5.4B oil pipeline appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: Study links extractive industries to rise in domestic abuse

A fracking drill near Dawson Creek in northeast BC (courtesy of Two Island Films)

Read this July 24 Globe and Mail story by Andrea Woo on a new study which exposes one of the trade-offs associated with expanded resource development, namely an increase in violence against women.

An increase in domestic and sexual violence against women is among the troubling social impacts of resource extraction industries, according to a B.C. victims’ services association behind a new $40,000 initiative aimed at drawing awareness to the issue.

Tracy Porteous, executive director of the Ending Violence Association of B.C. (EVA BC), (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Consider the global impacts of oil pipelines

Read this June 25th story by Wendy J. Palen, Thomas D. Sisk, Maureen E. Ryan, Joseph L. Árvai, Mark Jaccard, Anne K. Salomon, Thomas Homer-Dixon& Ken P. Lertzman in Nature on how debates over oil-sands infrastructure obscure a broken policy process that overlooks broad climate, energy and environment issues.

The debate over the development of oil sands in Alberta, Canada, is inflaming tensions in and between Canada and the United States.

In April, US President Barack Obama deferred a decision on the fate of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, despite escalating pressure to approve it from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Paths old and new: beyond the tar sands

This is an expansion of my last piece on the tar sands. The expanded form was republished as a Bullet at Socialist Project. I’ve decided to post the new bits here as they can stand alone.

On a path to nowhere

One way to see how this happens is to turn to the concept of path dependence from the language of mainstream economics. Path dependence is the idea that history matters and reverberates strongly in the present; more metaphorically, economic decision-making (whether about production or consumption) can follow increasingly well-worn grooves. Indeed in many ways, path dependence is actually a (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Energy East pipeline: TransCanada told to “cease and desist”

The Council of Canadians this week told TransCanada to “cease and desist” from the deplorable practice of purchasing the silence of Canadian towns likely to be affected by the Energy East tar sands pipeline.

The post Energy East pipeline: TransCanada told to “cease and desist” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Marc Lee looks in detail at the risks involved in relying on tar sands development as an economic model: The UK outfit Carbon Tracker was the first to point out this means we are seeing a “carbon bubble” in our financial markets – that  fossil fuel companies, whose business model is the extraction of carbon, are over-valued on the stock markets of the world. This analysis was subsequently picked up by Bill McKibben in his now-famous article, “Global Warming’s Terrifying Math,” which launched the fossil fuel divestment movement, plus some local (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Paul Boothe responds to the C.D. Howe Institute’s unwarranted bias against public-sector investment: Is the public sector holding back provincial growth rates by crowding out private sector investment?  That’s the contention of a recent C.D. Howe paper by Philip Cross.  The paper provides a great case study of the danger of confusing correlation with causality.

Let’s begin with the simple arithmetic.  Gross domestic product (GDP) is the sum of spending on consumption, investment, government services and net exports.  Whether the investment spending is initiated by the (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…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that to end your weekend.

- PressProgress takes a look at the OECD’s long-term economic projections – which feature a combination of increasing inequality and slow growth across the developed world, with Canada do worse than almost anybody else on the inequality front unless we see a shift toward more progressive policies when it comes to unions, employment protections and fair taxes.

- Meanwhile, Derek Leahy discusses how much we have to lose by relying on the tar sands as our sole economic engine.

- David Cay Johnston points out that several of the largest forms of consumer (Read more…)

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Tar sands pollutants contaminate traditional First Nations’ foods: Report

A new study confirms that pollutants from the Alberta tar sands contaminate traditional First Nations’ foods.

The post Tar sands pollutants contaminate traditional First Nations’ foods: Report appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.