Showing posts from August 2, 2014

The Burden of Beef

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["It takes about 30 calories of feed to produce just one calorie of beef, and so, when you think about that conversion ratio, it gets you thinking about how many resources are going in to produce beef. Worldwide, about three-fifths of all agricultural land is used for pasture or for feed, but we’re only getting about five percent of the world’s protein from beef." *RON*]

Steve Curwood and Anna Lappé, Public Radio International, 01 August 2014

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CURWOOD: Well, however it’s raised, many Americans find a juicy sizzling steak hard to resist. But a study published in the Journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that producing beef places a greater burden on the environment than, say, chicken or pork. Beef cattle require 28 times more land, and produce five times more greenhouse gases than other livestock. This is an issue that Anna Lappé, author of “Diet for a Hot Planet”…

Kinder Morgan approaches NEB for access to Burnaby Mountain

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[There is growing tension between the City and the pipeline company; Burnaby Council has denied Kinder Morgan permits for survey work on Burnaby Mountain and the company is now trying to force its way in, doing an end-run around the municipality with the assistance of the National Energy Board. *RON*]

Jennifer Moreau, Burnaby Now, 29 July 2014

Kinder Morgan has gone to the National Energy Board in hopes of surveying Burnaby Mountain for its latest route for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, something the city is opposing.

On Friday, July 25, Kinder Morgan's lawyer wrote the National Energy Board, arguing why the company should be allowed to survey Burnaby Mountain, citing the National Energy Board Act. Also on July 25, Kinder Morgan formally applied to the City of Burnaby to survey the land with full expectation of rejection, citing a NOW article where Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said the request would be denied. The mountain area in qu…

B.C. economy not fueled by oil and gas: report

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[If the entire oil and gas industry disappeared tomorrow BC would do just fine. As the report states, " and real estate services make the largest contribution to provincial wealth - more than 23% of GDP. Retail and wholesale trade make up 10% of our GDP, construction makes up 8% and manufacturing contributes a further 7%. By contrast, oil, gas and support services make up just 3% of BC’s GDP." *RON*]
Jenny Uechi, Vancouver Observer, 30 July 2014

How dependent is BC's economy on oil and gas? Not as much as people might expect, according to a new study by Conversations for Responsible Economic Development, a BC-based nonprofit.

Although Premier Christy Clark has said the resource sector is the main driver of British Columbia's economy, the numbers show otherwise. Over 75 per cent of BC's GDP now comes from the services, while sectors such as technology and film employ more than oil, mining, gas and forestry combine…

Fracking may be a threat to B.C. ecosystems: SFU study

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[Also see how "world class" fracking standards is a meaningless phrase babbled by BC politicians. *RON*]

By Randy Shore, Vancouver Sun, 01 August 2014

The environmental impacts of intensive hydraulic fracturing for natural gas extraction are not well understood and could pose a threat to B.C.’s ecosystems, according to a scientific review led by Simon Fraser University researchers.

Poor regulation and a lack of disclosure of methods and the chemicals injected into the ground in jurisdictions where hydraulic fracturing is widely practised have left huge “knowledge gaps” about the consequences of the process popularly known as “fracking”, said SFU conservation biologist Viorel Popescu.

Fracking involves the injection of a cocktail of water, chemicals and sand into shale formations under high pressure, which fractures the rock deep underground and releases otherwise inaccessible gas. The aqueous mixture may include methanol, xylene, naphthal…

Don't Select Charities To Audit Based On Their Political Leanings

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[The Director-General of the CRA inadvertently admits that political leanings are a consideration in which groups get audited. CRA may be blocking freedom of information requests about its (already secretive) process in order to cover this up. *RON*]
Blake Bromley, Huffington Post, 01 August 2014

It was "always a bit tricky", Cathy Hawara told the Globe and Mail, when Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) "gave consideration to, you know, what you might call political leanings, to make sure that we weren't only focusing on one side of the political spectrum."

Ms. Hawara's acknowledgement that her group gives consideration to an organization's place on the political spectrum is important because she is the Director-General of CRA's Charity Directorate which is conducting all the audits of charities allegedly engaged in "political activities".

This admission that consideration of political leanings formed part of th…

Austerity has hit women, ethnic minorities and the disabled most

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[Analysis of the effect of changes to tax and welfare introduces transparency into policy making. "Our report shows it is possible to produce such analyses and we believe that if this were done as a matter of course, policy could be better and fairer." Unfortunately, Harper has shown that this is the last thing he will allow in Canada - any group undertaking such research would be immediately subject to a CRA tax audit. *RON*]
Jonathan Portes and Howard, 31 July 2014
Who has been hit hardest by austerity? When it comes to income levels, the story is reasonably clear, if nuanced. Analysis by the Treasury suggests the impact of changes to taxes and benefits has been broadly regressive. The more you earn, the less you’ve lost as a proportion of your income, except for top earners, who have been hit relatively harder. This isn’t surprising – benefit cuts and VAT rises have hit the poor, income tax cuts have helped the …