Showing posts from September 21, 2014

Trans Mountain’s Oil Spill Economics

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[You truly can't tell whether to laugh or to cry. “Economic cost-benefit analysis is an analytical tool sometimes used to inform whether a planned activity, policy or investment is beneficial to the economy and society. A spill is not a planned activity: it is an accident”. Therefore, “spills are not part of the economic benefits analysis undertaken for the project.” No, I take that back, 'tis to weep. *RON*]
By Taylor Hartrick, Andrew Weaver's MLA Blog, 17 September 2014

This post is part of an ongoing series in which MLA Andrew Weaver will be sharing key information from inside the National Energy Board hearings on Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline proposal. To see previous posts, please click here.

Trans Mountain’s Bold Claim

While reading through Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline application, my team was astonished to come across what has become one of the most talked about quotes from the entire 15,000 page applicatio…

Return of the Bums on Welfare

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[No wefare, no bums. *RON*]

Paul Krugman, The Conscience of a Liberal, New York Times, 20 September 2014

Thinking some more about John Boehner’s resurrection of the notion that we’re suffering weak job growth because people are living the good life on government benefits, and don’t want to work. It has long seemed to me that the issue of unemployment benefits is where the debate over economic policy in a depression reaches its purest essence. If you’r on the right, you believe — you more or less have to believe — that unemployment benefits hurt job creation, because you’re “paying people not to work.” To admit that depression conditions are different, that the economy is suffering from an overall lack of demand and that putting money into the pockets of people likely to spend it would increase employment, would mean admitting that the free market sometimes fails badly. And of course disdain for the unemployed helps a lot if you want to oppose an…

Climate change may raise disease burden in South Asian cities: report

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["The threats range from increased risks from extreme weather events to saline land and water from rising sea levels, and the changing dynamics of infectious diseases due to higher temperatures." *RON*]

Hassan Abbas, Business Recorder, 21 September 2014

 South Asian cities are facing problems of decaying environment which include hazardous levels of air and water pollution and insufficient solid waste management. According to a report on Human Development in South Asia 2014, "Urbanisation: Challenges and Opportunities," these environmental threats have deteriorated the sustainability and liveability of cities in South Asia, besides the situation is being compounded by global warming.

The report said: "South Asia is one of the least urbanised regions of the world, where about one-third of people live in cities and the ratio is likely to increase to one-half by 2050. "Between 2010 and 2050, 691 million new urban reside…

California town faces life without water

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[For those of you who like to say, "But gee, global warming creates many benefits, such as opening up new areas for farmers where they couldn't grow before!" Also see the other stories in this series, A World Without Water, through the link provided below. No water = no people. *RON*]

By Pilita Clark, Financial Post, 19 September 2014

For Angelica Gallegos, the worst part has been going without a shower for five months.

There are also the endless treks to the laundromat for the family wash and the supermarket for drinking water, not to mention the horror of the nightly dishes.

“It’s been terrible, really tough,” says the 38-year-old fruit packer, whose home is one of more than 320 in this dusty Californian town to have run out of water during one of the worst droughts in the state’s recorded history.

Officials say at least 1,300 people have lost their water in and around East Porterville, nearly three hours’ drive north of Los Ange…

The Pacific Starfish Die-Off Continues, but There Is New Hope

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[Still a mystery... Apparently we'll know in 6 months if they are simply goners. *RON*]
By Megan Scudellari, Newsweek, 20 September 2014

A grisly horror show is playing out along the West Coast of North America. Remains of millions of dead and dying sea stars, commonly known as starfish, litter the shoreline from Vancouver to San Diego.

Those stars are the victims of a swift and brutal illness. First, the animal’s body deflates, as if drained of all its water. Then the trademark arms begin to curl, detaching from rocks. White lesions appear, like festering canker sores. Then the star explodes as organs rupture though the body wall. The arms fall off. Ultimately, the sea star dissolves, as if melted by acid, disintegrating into goo.

Researchers in Washington state first noticed signs of the so-called “wasting syndrome” in June 2013 during routine monitoring of populations of bright purple and orange Pisaster ochraceus sea stars. The outbreak cont…

Harper government tracking hundreds of peaceful protests

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[These are not people who are trying to hide; they are attempting to engage in a public, democratic dialogue. Yet they get defined as a security threat. Our government is doing the hiding; the sneaking around, the secret recording. "Don’t be fearful of us—we just want to become a part of larger Canada,” said Chief Joe Alphonse of Tsilhqot’in Nation. “Rather than scaring Canadians away from the conversation—why not listen to them?” said NDP MP Nathan Cullen. *RON*]

Janice Dickson, Vancouver Observer, 20 September 2014

A new Public Safety document obtained by a Member of Parliament reveals that the government has been keeping tabs on more than 600 protests, rallies and events across Canada between 2006 and 2014.

A large portion of the peaceful gatherings were held by First Nations -- others by environmental and social activists protesting fracking, Keystone XL, and human rights abuses.

One such event was a celebration held by Tsilhqot’in Nation …

Canadian Soldiers May Be Hiding Health Problems To Protect Pensions

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[Our government loves military posturing, it just hates soldiers. *RON*]
CBC on Huffington Post, 20 September 2014

About one-sixth of Canadian Forces soldiers discharged from the military due to medical reasons are released before qualifying for their pension, CB News has learned, leading some to fear that soldiers may be hiding health problems to protect their income.

Documents obtained through a CBC/Radio-Canada access to information request show that approximately 1,100 of the 6,200 soldiers discharged because of health conditions since 2009 left the military before serving the ten-year minimum required to collect a full pension.

Glen Kirkland, a former corporal and designated marksman who served in Afghanistan, said that many soldiers continue to suffer from physical and mental injury in silence for fear of losing their source of income, and that the consequences of the Canadian Forces’ pension policy could be dire.

"People are battling with…

The link between child abuse and income inequality: Research brief

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[Why should we care about income inequality? Here's one reason. The higher the level of income inequality in a nation, the higher the rate of child maltreatment. This holds true regardless of the income level of the nation, but the relationship is stronger in poorer countries. *RON*]
By John Eckenrode, Journalist's Resource, From the Scholars Strategy Network, 19 September 2014
Rising income inequality is a hot topic in U.S. media and political debates — following the Great Recession of 2008-09, the eruption of protests on behalf of “the 99%,” and controversies over skyrocketing executive pay and calls to raise the minimum wage. Why is economic inequality an important issue? Why should we care if income gaps are growing in America? One reason is that researchers have found that people who live in more unequal societies suffer from more health and social problems than those who live in more equal communities.

Inequality can be thought of a…

Arctic ice cap in a ‘death spiral’

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[I sometimes don't post stories like this because, to me, they are repetitive and obvious. In reading the article about Harper not attending the UN climate change conference, because of denialist comments, I posted the NASA link to the research showing that 97% of scientists believe in climate change and that it is man-made. Among others, I received this comment, so I post the following story: "Ron Peters That Nasa link may say most scientists agree but does not say we are doomed..Funny I never hear the positives of climate chainge like longer growing seasons?more areas opened up for food crops,or how the polar bears are thriving despite what the doomsayers predict.By the way? what ever happened to your great prophet Gore and his great prophesy about all the arctic ice disappearing?No wonder he is 100 times richer than as vice president?He is one hell of a snake oil salesman" *RON*]

Jonathan Leake, The Australian, Sunday Times, 22 …