The Common Sense Canadian: On Energy & First Nations, politicians want to have their cake and eat it too

Jonathan Ramos cartoon Canada can fight climate change and build more climate-ravaging pipelines. First Nations’ rights should be respected – just not at the expense of these pipelines, dams and other major projects they oppose. Got it? It’s hard to fathom, but these are the positions of our provincial and federal leaders. They want to have their ...

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: 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 ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Maia Szalavitz writes that the atmosphere of competition and status signalling which prevails in unequal societies is directly connected to increased homicide rates: While on the surface, the disputes that triggered these deaths seem trivial – each involved apparently small disagreements and a sense of being seen as ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Swain: Building Site C would harm BC’s credit rating; cancelling it would not

The head of the Joint Review Panel on the controversial Site C Dam, Harry Swain, is dispelling the notion that cancelling Site C would somehow harm BC’s credit rating. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, he warns: Terminating Site C means paying back the money that’s already spent in order to avoid another $10 billion ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Why approving Site C could sink NDP

Illustration by Jonathan Ramos It’s getting down to the wire for the NDP-led government to announce its decision on Site C Dam. The corporate media and Big Labour’s big guns have been making a sales push to keep the beleaguered project alive, and many fear they could succeed. That would be the biggest mistake the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Ed Broadbent discusses how Bernie Sanders offers an example to emulate – and in some cases a source of ideas well beyond what Canada has implemented so far: It was clear to everyone watching that Canadians, in fact,  have a few things to learn from Bernie Sanders. ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Brent Patterson discusses how the Libs are putting the hands of their already-dubious “infrastructure bank” in the hands of people with a track record of turning public services into private cash cows. – David Suzuki takes note of another U.S. government climate report on the dangers of ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Edward Harrison comments on the business-backed push to rebrand corporate control and crony capitalism as freedom. And Ryan Cooper points out that the concept of deregulation ultimately serves only to concentrate power in the hands of the wealthy few: Government regulations can be good or bad. But for ...

Things Are Good: After Going Green, Cities Need Turn Blue

Cities need to work with their local ecosystems and not against them. This is evidently true when it comes to waste management and overt displays of green initiatives. There is a harder aspect of ecological thinking for cities and it’s usually beneath our feet: water. Water systems are complex in every direction – getting drinking ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Anushka Asthana, Jessica Elgot and Rowena Mason report on Jeremy Corbyn’s path as Labour leader – which include genuinely moving the UK’s political centre of gravity to the left while improving his party’s electoral prospects in the process. – Andrew Boozary and Danielle Martin write that the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Ben Chu reports on a new study showing that the UK’s economy is broken in failing to translate GDP gains into any help for workers whose wages are falling. And the Canadian Press reports on the latest survey showing how many Canadians are just barely getting by in ...

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. ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Roman Concrete

I remember some about this story a few years ago.  I don’t think the formula for the Roman mix was well understood at that time. Portland Cement doesn’t cut it. Glad they made this breakthrough, it should help build more durable structures.  

Things Are Good: UNESCO Exploring Underwater Mayan Heritage

Guatemala is a gorgeous country with a rich Mayan history, particularly around Lake Atitlán (and the more famous Tikal). The country will now be home to a UNESCO project toking at best practices for underwater archaeology. The main idea is to work with the local population to ensure cultural sensitivity and to match that care ...

PostArctica: Garden In Verdun

Interesting watering system.

Things Are Good: Waterproofing Cities for Resiliency

The last month brought a lot of rain to the city of Toronto which has led to the Toronto islands being half submerged and a temporary (and lax) travel ban to be put into effect. The rest of the city has fared slightly better. The city has slowly been improving its water management over the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Patrick Butler writes about the increasing number of UK families mired in poverty and insecure housing even with one or more people working. And Ali Monceaux and Daniel Najarian discuss the importance of a fair minimum wage in providing people with a basic standard of living. – ...

Things Are Good: Billionaire Shipping Magnate Sponsors WWF Research Vessel

Kjell Inge Røkke made billions from running a shipping company and now he wants to give back to the very thing that made him wealth – the high seas. He has committed to giving away most of his fortune to better the world, and he just announced his donation to WWF Norway. His donation is ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Beach Washed Away in 1984, Returns

This is an interesting development for an Irish coastal town. Their beach was washed out to sea during storms in 1984, and this year without warning, it came back.

PostArctica: Longing

Things Are Good: Get Water from Air by Using a Windtrap

In Frank Herbert’s book Dune the inhabitants of a desert planet collect water using giant “windtraps,” now we can do the same on earth. Researchers at MIT have built a prototype, which can be easily scaled up, that can capture a lot of water from even the driest of places. Basically, air is filled with ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Will the Canadian government “restore lost protections” for navigable waters?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 The Liberal Party of Canada was elected in part on the basis of a promise to restore lost environmental protections – including reviewing the “elimination of the Navigable Waters Protection Act” in order to “restore lost protections and incorporate more modern safeguards.”  On March 23rd the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transportation ...

Things Are Good: A Water Bottle to Help Others Drink

In too many places around the world potable water is hard to get, and a recent fundraising campaign is trying to change that. Brita teamed up with Me to We to sell a water bottle that will help pay for a drinking well in rural Kenya. It’s key that the bottle they’re selling is reusable ...