Canadian Dimension: More floods are coming and we’re making them worse

Photo by NOAA Satellites When the Aztecs founded Tenochtitlán in 1325, they built it on a large island on Lake Texcoco. Its eventual 200,000-plus inhabitants relied on canals, levees, dikes, floating gardens, aqueducts and bridges for defence, transportation, flood control, drinking water and food. After the Spaniards conquered the city in 1521, they drained the ...

Things Are Good: Improved Air Conditioner Beams Heat Into Space

Air conditioner suck up a lot of energy in hotter months by dumping heat from inside buildings to the outside, ironically heating up neighbouring locations. A Stanford research team developed a more efficient cooling system for AC by pre-cooling water that circulates through the machine. It cools water during the night by essentially beaming the ...

Things Are Good: Mars Terraforming Earth

Mars, the company behind popular chocolate bars like Snickers and Twix has pledged $1 billion dollars to fight climate change. This isn’t a company randomly pledging money to help communities or specific issues address climate change, instead they are focussing on themselves. Mars is the largest chocolate maker on the planet and are looking at ...

Things Are Good: Wind Power: One of the Cheapest Sources of Energy

Sustainable and renewable energy sources continue to get more cost effective when compared to fossil fuel based energy. This is fantastic since the economics of scale are really kicking into effect around solar and wind technology. Thanks to better and more production wind turbines have become more effective and energy grids have gotten more capable ...

Canadian Dimension: A Resistance Movement for the Planet

Climate change is out of control. It is already too late to avoid soaring temperatures, scarce water, and extreme weather. But the financial structure of capitalism is tied to fossil fuels. Market-based solutions are ineffectual. John Bellamy Foster, a professor of sociology at the University of Oregon and the editor of Monthly Review, speaks about ...

Things Are Good: Berlin, Sponge City

Germany’s capital is becoming a sponge to stop flooding. It might seem counterintuitive to want to gather more water in order to stay dry, but that’s exactly the plan. Currently the city of Houston is suffering some of the worst flooding that its ever seen thanks largely to poor planning around water (like using highways ...

Things Are Good: Germany’s Transition Away From Coal Helped Jobs and Culture

For years Germany’s transition from coal to sustainable energy has impacted communities. Many feared that jobs would be lost during this transition so plans were put in place to help workers and communities transition too. Throughout the Rhine valley coal plants have been closed down and their place new sustainable energy jobs have popped up ...

Things Are Good: China Launches Major Effort to Clean Its Water

China’s amazing economic growth came at the expensive of the natural environment (amongst other pains) which the country is now trying to revitalize. The country is literally paying the price of not having good environmental protecting policies, let this be a lesson to other countries that good policy can prevent a lot of bad things. ...

Things Are Good: Chile Says Yes to Penguins, No to Mining

Chile has recently decided not to approve a mining proposal in an area that harbours endanger species, including penguins. This is really nice to see since on the other side of South America Brazil has done the opposite by opening up a huge area of the amazon. Let’s hope that Chile is a positive influence ...

Things Are Good: How One Hawaiian Mayor is Making His Town Better

Hawaii is a beautiful part of the world and like most gorgeous parts pf this planet it’s feeling the pressures of climate change. Despite the American government’s blatant rejection of science and sense in environmental policy one Hawaiian mayor, Bernard Carvalho, is bringing his community into the 21st century. Indeed, when the American government pulled ...

In-Sights: When regulators don’t believe in regulation

When a new government takes office, there is often a significant change at senior levels of the civil service and among OIC political appointments. One person still employed by the Horgan government may surprise more than a few people. Accordingly, I dug this out of the archives. By Order in Council dated September 15, 2015, ...

Things Are Good: Saving the Ozone Layer Helped More Than We Thought

It turns out when nations of the world get together to try and save the environment they can be really good at it. The Montreal Protocol was signed in 1987 to save the ozone layer, and it did. Indeed, a new report says that it not only saved the ozone layer the protocol also cut ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Karri Munn-Venn argues for a federal budget focused on social well-being – not merely on economic productivity. And Tom Hale discusses the harm done by social isolation. – The BBC reports on new research showing that the UK’s public support for parents is falling behind the rate ...

Things Are Good: Using Drones to Plant Entire Forests

When drones are brought up in the news it’s usually because they are used to kill, here’s a story about drones bringing life. A company, BioCarbon Engineering, has demonstrated how to se drones to plant forests more efficiently than other methods. It’s a rather simple process with incredibly complex software: send one drone to survey ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Stephen Metcalf discusses the meaning and effect of neoliberalism: “(N)eoliberalism” is more than a gratifyingly righteous jibe. It is also, in its way, a pair of eyeglasses. Peer through the lens of neoliberalism and you see more clearly how the political thinkers most admired by Thatcher and Reagan ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Plastic Is Out of Hand

Plastic almost always ends up as waste within a year or two of its production. We’re making too much of it also, at an increasing pace. “Of the 8.3 billion metric tonnes of virgin plastics ever made, half was made just in the last 13 years,” Geyer said. “Between 2004 and 2015 we made as ...

Canadian Dimension: Smoke over the skies of North America is another climate change warning

Photo by Jonathan Hayward For nearly two weeks, beginning August 1, the skies over Vancouver were filled with the smoke of forest fires burning in central and northern British Columbia. The smoke from those fires and others farther afield has waxed and waned over much of North America since July. Three days ago, Vancouver and ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Inconceivable! His Dinner with Chomsky

Wallace Shawn sat down for a chat with Noam Chomsky, and here’s what they talked about – slightly abridged and loosely quoted (for clarification purposes) with links. It’s a great recharge for activists! Shawn – Many people are shocked to see the president is now a cruel, brutal, greedy type of a man, and this ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Roderick Benns interviews Ryan Meili about the value of a basic income in freeing people from perpetual financial stress. And Doug Cameron reminds us that we have a choice whether to show empathy toward people facing homelessness – even if far too many forces try to push us ...

Things Are Good: Save the Peatlands, Save the Planet

When it comes to carbon storage you can’t beat peatlands. They store tons of carbon and clean the air so efficiently that we ought to protect them way better than we currently do. Indeed, peatlands are on the decline – that’s not good. Fortunately there is research in how best to protect the peatlands from ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Jerry Dias writes that corporate greed is the common thread in numerous stories about Canadian workers being left without jobs or support. And Yves Engler points out that trade agreements have ultimately served little purpose but to entrench corporate power. – Chris Doucouliagos reminds us that inequality ...

Canadian Dimension: Three years on, Mount Polley disaster a painful reminder of never-ending horror

Photo by Jonathan Hayward/CP Bev Sellers is constantly reminded about the deeply personal, social and cultural loss that she and others in her community of Williams Lake have suffered since the Mount Polley mine disaster in 2014. A few weeks ago, when the former Chief of the Xat’sull First Nation at Soda Creek, British Columbia ...

Canadian Dimension: 4 Proposed Tar Sands Oil Pipelines Pose a Threat to Water Resources

Photo from Public Domain A new analysis from Greenpeace USA finds that the three companies proposing to build tar sands pipelines have a legacy of pipeline spills, and that tar sands pipelines pose a threat to water resources. Map of 373 U.S. hazardous liquids pipelines spills from 2010 to present for TransCanada (green), Kinder Morgan ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Greg Jericho writes about Australia’s increasing income stratification and wealth inequality. Matt Bruenig examines what sets the Nordic countries apart from the rest of the world – including high unionization levels and substantial public ownership of industry along with their well-funded social programs. And their success with that ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Charles Mathewes and Evan Sandsmark write that it’s long past time to start treating the excessive accumulation of wealth as something to be questioned – rather than accepted as an inevitability, or worse yet admired: The idea that wealth is morally perilous has an impressive philosophical and ...