The Progressive Economics Forum: Ten proposals from the 2018 Alternative Federal Budget

I’ve written a blog post about this year’s Alternative Federal Budget (AFB). Points raised in the blog post include the following: -This year’s AFB would create 470,000 (full-time equivalent) jobs in its first year alone. By year 2 of the plan, 600,000 new (full-time equivalent) jobs will exist. -This year’s AFB will also bring in ...

Song of the Watermelon: Of Premiers and Pipelines

In an interview with the National Observer last week, Justin Trudeau raised more than a few eyebrows by comparing B.C. premier John Horgan to former Saskatchewan premier and climate policy obstructionist Brad Wall. “Similarly and frustratingly,” said the prime minister, “John Horgan is actually trying to scuttle our national plan on fighting climate change. By ...

Alberta Politics: Elke Blodgett was a passionate environmentalist, artist and committed friend of St. Albert

PHOTO: Elke Blodgett in 2016. (Photo: Screenshot from City of St. Albert video.) ST. ALBERT, Alberta I once described Elke Blodgett as not just a passionate advocate for our natural environment, but a force of nature herself. So it was particularly shocking to learn yesterday that Elke, environmentalist, artist, and engaged citizen, had died at ...

In-Sights: BC’s failing grade in climate change

In a report issued today, Auditor General Carol Bellringer says the BC government is not adequately managing risks posed by climate change. She finds: Government has work underway to adapt to climate change, but more needs to be done. Government has not comprehensively assessed the risks posed by climate change, and doesn’t have a plan to ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Layin’ Pipe

Wanda's having relationship troubles…because she's just not that into #pipelines:https://t.co/V8ppUMFnTd RT if you can identify with Wanda. #StopKM #NotPipelines#cdnpoli #bcpoli #WaterIsLife #NoMeansNo pic.twitter.com/1zCvBAA1Sf — Mike Hudema (@MikeHudema) February 15, 2018 From reality:Are you sure this wasn't speaking to the #WaterProtectors, and a CC to your email?A pipeline is expedient, and not correct if we hope ...

Things Are Good: To Decrease Emissions Germany to Offer Free Public Transit

Germans have reputation of loving to drive so it might seem a little shocking to see the nation explore free public transit. The push for free travel comes from the need to reduce the country’s emissions – and soon. EU countries that don’t meet emissions targets in the next few years can be taken to ...

Things Are Good: Solar is Booming in Australia

Solar in places with a lot of sun might seem like a no-brainer; yet in Australia it’s taken a long time for the idea to take off. This year is clearly going to be a turning a point for solar in the sunny nation based of the already exploding demand for solar installations. It’s great ...

Song of the Watermelon: Globe and Mail Letter

In today’s Globe and Mail, you will find a letter from me (fourth from the top, under the heading “In the national interest”) relating the present interprovincial pipeline kerfuffle to global efforts efforts to solve the climate crisis. Never hurts to remind ourselves how much is really at stake.

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Jim O’Neill proposes an end to corporate free-riding (and an assurance of contribution to the society which allows for profit) through explicit “pay-or-play” rules: Since proposing a pay-or-play scheme for the pharmaceutical industry, I have come to think that the same principle could be applied more broadly in ...

Things Are Good: Flowers Reduce use of Pesticide Spraying in Farms

Farms in the UK and Switzerland are trying a classic approach to reducing their use of pesticides: flowers. Yes, the flowers provide nutrients for insects that eat crops, but they also provide for predators. The difference in the approach for these experimental farms is how they arrange the flowers so the insects get what they ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Joseph Stiglitz discusses the apparent destructive belief among Davos’ elites that irrational exuberance and top-heavy economic gains are remotely sustainable: The world is plagued by almost intractable problems. Inequality is surging, especially in the advanced economies. The digital revolution, despite its potential, also carries serious risks for privacy, ...

Alberta Politics: Forgotten amid pipeline war brouhaha, new study details failure of Oilsands Big Five to control emissions

PHOTOS: There’s no Plan B! And Alberta’s five largest oilsands producers have set no targets let alone taken action to get their emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. (Illustration: Parkland Institute.) Below: Parkland researcher and study author Ian Hussey (Photo: Parkland Institute), Parkland researcher David Janzen (Photo: Facebook), Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and ...

Alberta Politics: The bitumen hits the fan in Alberta and Ottawa as British Columbia moves to restrict pipeline and rail flow

PHOTOS: B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman, foreground, with members of his environment and climate change strategy council last fall (Photo: Province of British Columbia). Below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and B.C. Premier John Horgan (Photo: Wikimedia Commons). I’m not going to try to go all legal scholarly on you, dear ...

Things Are Good: EU Launches Urban Mining Project

The European Union’s newest mining project focuses on urban areas throughout the continent. Their ProSUM project built a database of metals, chemicals, and materials brought into the EU market over the last ten plus years; the idea is that the produced goods can be “mined” again. It’s a really novel way to approach recycle by ...

Canadian Dimension: Memo to Jacobin: Ecomodernism is not ecosocialism

“To say that ‘science and technology can solve all our problems in the long run,’ is much worse than believing in witchcraft.” —István Mészáros This summer, the left-wing magazine Jacobin published a special issue on climate change. The lead article declares that “climate change … has to be at the center of how we mobilize ...

Canadian Dimension: Global Warming Stirs the Methane Monster

Photo by Ralph Barrera It’s January, yet methane hydrates in the Arctic are growling like an incensed monster on a scorching hot mid-summer day. But, it is January; it’s winter, not July! On January 1st Arctic methane at 2,764 ppb spiked upwards into the atmosphere, which, according to Arctic News: “Was likely caused by methane ...

Scripturient: Blue bin blues

Every Monday it’s the same thing. I walk my dog along local streets, past the blue bins put out on the curb by residents, bins stuffed with content meant for recycling. Two bins are provided to every household: one for recyclable plastics and glass, the other for paper and cardboard. And to remind people which ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Julian Cribb reports on new research as to mass exposure to chemicals and pollutants: Almost every human being is now contaminated in a worldwide flood of industrial chemicals and pollutants – most of which have never been tested for safety – a leading scientific journal has warned. ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Monbiot’s Out of the Wreckage

The book cover says the book “provides the hope and clarity required to change the world.” Well, he certainly tries. He’s got a plan of action that’s possible, but I didn’t get the requisite hope necessary to be spurred to action. It’s a bit of an overview of many ideas from different places, many of ...

Things Are Good: Courts vs. Climate Change

New York City launched a lawsuit against some of the larger polluters on the planet to cover the costs the city faces due to climate change (projected to be over $20 billion USD). A decade ago this case would likely have been thrown out, today with the effects of climate change so overt this case ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Oxygen Depletion in the Oceans

This can’t be good: “The oxygen content of the open ocean and coastal waters has been declining for at least the past half-century, largely because of human activities that have increased global temperatures and nutrients discharged to coastal waters. These changes have accelerated consumption of oxygen by microbial respiration, reduced solubility of oxygen in water, ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Wanda Wyporska highlights the UK’s corporate executive fat cats, and argues that it’s long past time for the public to stop rewarding them: So let’s put fat cat pay in context. Yes it has come down slightly, as Sir Martin Sorrell has seen his pay cut from ...

Dead Wild Roses: Funny Gas Signs in Alberta

So this happened. Then they changed it to this. Like the climate change that comes along with carbon emissions DOESN’T hurt us. Short term thinking is our bane.  For the record – the carbon tax is a necessary feature of our society if we wish to continue to progress as a society and a nation. ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Shame, Honour, and Vulnerability

I was forwarded this 47 minute podcast with Brené Brown on 1A, and some of the ideas she has are remarkably similar to Timothy Snyder’s views in On Tyranny (e.g. connect with others in real life, speak truth to bullshit), so I bought her newest book, Braving the Wilderness. I was sorrily disappointed. She has done a ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Joan Hennessy writes that instead of limiting ourselves to holiday-season charity, we should insist on fair wages and dignity for our fellow citizens throughout the year: ll the while, the economy has been on the mend and corporate earnings have risen, but the federal minimum wage remains $7.25 ...