Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: With Millions To Spare, Here’s How to Save Thousands of Lives

This rich couple is doing good with their money.

Regina caught sight of a jacket in the water during the cruise, and when she asked about it, she was told it might belong to a dead migrant who was trying to find safety in Europe.

While some Europeans criticize the rescue operation, saying it draws more migrants to the sea, Xuereb says that’s just not true. People are desperate, undertaking the journey to find a better life. They deserve to live, he says.

Last year, about 218,000 people made this journey — a record. Some 3,500 people drowned. And the (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

Read more…

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Heather Stewart writes about the OECD’s study showing the connection between increasingly precarious work and worsening inequality. 

- Tara Deschamps reports on a few of the challenges facing poor Torontonians, while Sara Mojtehedzadeh and Laurie Monsebraaten cover the United Way’s report card showing that most workers are now stuck in precarious work. And Star offers a few policy suggestions to improve that situation, while Ella Bedard points out how Andrew Cash is pushing for solutions at the federal level.

- Edward Keenan writes that it’s long past time to stop relying (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Boycott Bottled Water for a Better World

Bottle water is a sham and you all know this. The problem is that a lot of people don’t and that our society permits these individuals to continue their unwarranted consumption.

Water is the oil of the 21st century in terms of politics and conflict. It’s best not to make the situation worse by engaging in a system which denies people access to their local water while massive corporations make huge profits from water.

What’s more is that the water from your taps (in the developed world at least) is cleaner and safer than bottled water.

The reason you should (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Justice for the Peace: Site C Dam goes to court

While the BC Liberal government and BC Hydro are vowing to break ground on the controversial $9 Billion Site C Dam this summer, the projects faces numerous legal challenges – one of which got a boost from the federal court recently. The Common Sense Canadian’s Damien Gillis discussed the issues with Ian Jessop on Victoria’s CFAX 1070 this past Monday.

The post Justice for the Peace: Site C Dam goes to court appeared first on The Common Sense Canadian.

The Common Sense Canadian: Site C Dam: Crown strikes out with attempt to gut First Nation’s Judicial Review

Location of proposed Site C Dam (photo: Damien Gillis)

The federal government struck out in court Friday in its attempt to gut key passages of the Doig River First Nation’s Judicial Review into the environmental certificate for Site C Dam.

After 3 hours of arguments on the crown’s motion to strike, brought with the support of the province, the presiding Prothonotary Lafreniere not only threw out the government’s argument – which he derided as “a very rare request” – but ordered costs be paid to the First Nation plaintiff. The decision presents another legal roadblock to the $9 Billion dam, (Read more…)

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…

The Common Sense Canadian: New interactive map reveals largest farmland exclusion in ALR history for Site C Dam

Screen capture from www.arcgis.com

“On April 8, 2015, with the stroke of a pen, the BC Government made the largest exclusion of land from the Agricultural Land Reserve in BC history,” said Hudson’s Hope Mayor Gwen Johansson, upon the release of a new interactive map which visualizes the enormous loss.

“Without Agricultural Land Commission review or public hearings, 3715 hectares (9180 acres) of ALR land was removed from production for Site C dam.”

Yet the overall impact of the dam on BC’s increasingly scarce agricultural land base is even worse than that, according to two expert agrologists who presented their findings (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: First Nation group and allies resist re-opening of Mount Polley mine

Secwepemc Woman’s Warrior Society leads a strong movement against the re-opening of Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley mines following catastrophic 2014 spill.

The post First Nation group and allies resist re-opening of Mount Polley mine appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Cowichan Conversations: From toilet to table: Peecycling research at U of M investigates urine as fertilizer

I tripped across this article in the Treehugger this morning. Interesting project taking place in Michigan that utilizes urine as a beneficial resource providing nitrogen and phosphorous sans industrial production.

As the population continues to

Read more…

The Common Sense Canadian: New book asks: Can civilization survive unprecedented climate crisis?

Water scarcity and resulting wars will be a key consequence of the climate crisis

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that human-caused climate change is already responsible for 150,000 deaths annually. If we continue our current trajectories of “business as usual” as our response to climate change, the WHO expects that between 2030 and 2050 climate change will cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year.

According to the WHO, the yearly death rate will include, “38 000 due to heat exposure in elderly people, 48 000 due to diarrhoea, 60 000 due to malaria, and 95 000 due to childhood under nutrition. (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Landowners launch Site C Dam court challenge, First Nations next

On Monday, a group of landowners and farmers from BC’s Peace River Valley launched the first of seven legal challenges that threaten to derail the government’s $9 Billion planned Site C Dam.

This challenge is rooted in the government’s decision to ignore key concerns raised by the Joint Review Panel for the project – including cost and the fact that the need for the project had not been demonstrated, while alternatives were left unexplored.

“This is about applying the rule of law,” counsel Maegen Giltrow told media outside the court Monday morning, explaining that the government had violated its own terms (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Paul Krugman highlights the policy areas where we need to look to the public sector for leadership – including those such as health care and income security where we all have a strong interest in making sure that nobody’s left behind. And Andre Picard reminds us of one of the major gaps in Canada’s health care system, as expensive prescription drugs can make for a devastating barrier to needed care.

- Meanwhile, Paul Buchheit duly criticizes the combination of increasing wealth for the lucky few in the U.S., and increasing (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Canada takes water for granted amid melting snowpacks, glaciers

BC’s Glacier National Park has seen decreasing snowpacks in recent years (Sesivany/Jiri Eischmann/Wikipedia)

How long can you go without water? You could probably survive a few weeks without water for cooking. If you stopped washing, the threat to your life might only come from people who can’t stand the smell. But most people won’t live for more than three days without water to drink. It makes sense: our bodies are about 65 per cent water.

According to the United Nations, about 750 million people lack access to safe water — that’s one in nine! One child dies every minute from (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: David Suzuki: Water is life; we can’t afford to waste it

Water is life, and its management and conservation is about global social justice, argues renowned environmentalist David Suzuki.

The post David Suzuki: Water is life; we can’t afford to waste it appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Common Sense Canadian: Lawyer warns LNG industry: Don’t count on power from Site C dam

Lawyer Rob Botterell represents First Nations and landowners in the Peace Valley region

The following is an open letter sent by lawyer Rob Botterell to the BC LNG Alliance, key BC Liberal ministers, and Treaty 8 First Nations. Site C Dam is being looked to as a possible source for the additional power required for proposed LNG plants on the BC coast.

Dear Respected First Nations, LNG Industry and BC Government Leaders:

In my capacity as a lawyer who has represented First Nations for many years, I am writing to you about the relationship between the planned Site C dam and the proposed new (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- In advance of this weekend’s Progress Summit, Robin Sears comments on the significance of the Broadbent Institute and other think tanks in shaping policy options: The Center for American Progress was the wakeup call for progressives around the world. Independent-minded, massively funded, deeply professional, it was created to develop winning agendas for a new Democratic president. Key Obamites trained there. Core strategies and goals were polished there. Their success helped to spawn a third generation of think tanks who understood that to have real impact, good ideas had to be married (Read more…)

Left Over: A California Cautionary Tale…Served Dry

Drought-ravaged L.A. looking to ‘sponge up’ every bit of rainwater New storm drains built to let rainwater ‘piddle out’ into soil, $1B emergency plan to add more

By Kim Brunhuber, CBC News Posted: Mar 20, 2015 4:39 PM ET Last Updated: Mar 20, 2015 10:20 PM ET

 

Having grown up in SoCal, I can attest to the fact that it was either drought or semi drought when I lived there…and that was decades ago… LA was ‘created’ on what was essentially a desert, so no surprise here that this is going on..sometimes it didn’t rain for three years, (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Shocking critique from Site C Panel Chair should have govt pulling plug

Site C Joint Review Panel, with Chair Harry Swain seated in middle (250 News)

In a highly unorthodox move for a person in his position, the chair of the Joint Review Panel for Site C Dam has come out with harsh words for the $9 Billion project and the BC government’s hurry to get it built.

Harry Swain, a former federal deputy minister with deep experience in the environmental assessment business, made the comments in an eye-opening interview with Desmog Canada’s Emma Gilchrist, almost a year after the panel he led issued its report. Speaking for himself, Swain said:

There’s a whole bunch (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Emily Badger discusses Robert Putnam’s work on the many facets of increasing inequality in the U.S.: For the past three years, Putnam has been nursing an outlandish ambition. He wants inequality of opportunity for kids to be the central issue in the 2016 presidential election. Not how big government should be or what the “fair share” is for the wealthy, but what’s happening to children boxed out of the American dream.

His manifesto, “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis,” will be published Tuesday. It places brain science, sociology (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Tavia Grant, Bill Curry and David Kennedy discuss CIBC’s analysis showing that Canadian job quality has falled to its lowest level recorded in the past 25 years: Several reports have concluded that the country’s job market is not as strong as it looks and now a study from Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce paints an even worse picture. According to the bank’s analysis, job quality has fallen to its lowest level in more than two decades. A CIBC index that measures 25 years worth of data on part-time versus full-time work, paid versus (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Landmark Treaty 8 lawsuit challenges Site C Dam, LNG

A sweeping lawsuit filed this week by the Blueberry River First Nations from northeast BC threatens the province’s resource agenda – including the proposed Site C Dam and shale gas and LNG development.

As a party to Treaty 8, the First Nation was guaranteed the right to continue practicing its traditional way of life on the land, but that promise has been repeatedly broken over the last century, the suit alleges. An time lapse map presented by the nation at a press conference in Vancouver yesterday graphically demonstrates how over 90% of critical watersheds have been heavily industrialized since 1950.

Chief Marvin Yahey calls (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Federal Court denies BC Hydro’s request to hurry up Site C challenge

Peace Valley ranchers Ken and Arlene Boon are plaintiffs in several Site C Dam challenges (Damien Gillis)

A federal court judge has denied BC Hydro’s motion to rush a legal challenge against the crown corporation’s planned Site C Dam project. Hydro sought to expedite the hearing in May in order to keep to its planned construction start this summer – after receiving its provincial and federal environmental certificates late in 2014 – but that’s now up in the air.

According to a media advisory from the plaintiff, the Peace Valley Landowners’ Association (PVLA), the hearing will likely be scheduled for sometime this summer, depending (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Energy From Drinking Water

Drinkable water right from a tap in your home is a relatively new and amazing thing. Just when you thought water delivery systems couldn’t get any better a company has converted pipes into energy generators. Their new pipes can capture energy from water as it flows to its destination to provide a small amount of energy for communities.

“We have a project in Riverside, California, where they’re using it to power streetlights at night,” Semler says. “During the day, when electricity prices are high, they can use it to offset some of their operating costs.”

In Portland, one of (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Why BC Hydro always overestimates future power demand: Economist

What BC Hydro says about its own work clearly establishes the forecast as a foundation document for future planning for new generation and distribution investments:

Load forecasting is central to BC Hydro’s long-term planning, medium-term investment, and short-term operational and forecasting activities. (1)

Because of this importance, the forecast needs to be as accurate as possible and that is where matters get interesting.

Getting the numbers wrong

An illustration of getting the numbers wrong can be seen on page 21 of the 2012 Load Forecast: “Comparison of 2011 and 2012 Forecasts”. There is a forecasting error of about 4% in (Read more…)