Showing posts from September 28, 2014

Harper Gives EU Leaders $300,000 Plane Ride For Free: CBC Report

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[Austerity-not. The man is desperate; he sees this rapidly failing agreement as a keystone of his posterity, and something to get him re-elected. *RON*]
By The Canadian Press, Huffington Post, 28 September 2014

OTTAWA - The Prime Minister's Office is defending a decision to give a European Union delegation a free plane flight home last week at a cost that one media report estimated at more than $300,000.

Jason MacDonald says a Canadian Forces Airbus was offered as a courtesy to ensure "that no elements" of Friday's Canada-EU summit were cut short.

Two top European Union leaders, Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso, were in Ottawa where they signed a Canada-EU free-trade agreement.

The CBC is reporting that adding a Toronto reception to the visit would have made it impossible for the EU delegation to catch a commercial flight from Ottawa and make it to a Saturday meeting in Brussels.

The CBC says Prime Minister Stephen Har…

Tiny Spanish Island Nears Its Goal: 100 Percent Renewable Energy

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[It can be done. *RON*]

by Lauren Frayer, National Public Radio, 28 September 2014
It actually takes quite a lot of fossil fuel power to reach the tiny Spanish island of El Hierro. You have to catch a commercial jet flight, a propeller plane and then a ferry to reach what was once the end of the known world, before Columbus set sail.

But once you're there, there's no need for fossil fuels at all. The ancient island off the west coast of Africa is now a model for the future, within months of running on 100 percent renewable energy, which consists of a mix of wind and hydro-power.

El Hierro, the most remote of Spain's Canary Islands, is now billing itself as the world's first energy self-sufficient island that has never been hooked up to a power grid.

A Danish island, Samso, is also energy-independent, but was previously hooked up to the Danish grid and didn't make the change in isolation, like El Hierro.

Because of the topography o…

Arctic Madness: Shell and ConocoPhillips Plead With US Govt to Avoid Standards For Arctic Spill Preparedness

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[I.e., "world class standards" á la Enbridge and Kinder-Morgan means setting the bar as low as (in-) humanly possible to begin with. *RON*]
 Mike G, DeSmog Blog, 28 September 2014

Two oil companies planning to drill in remote Arctic waters, Shell and ConocoPhillips, are pleading with U.S.regulators not to make them follow new guidelines proposed by the Interior Department that would require the companies to keep emergency spill response equipment close at hand and prohibit the use of chemical dispersants.

The precise details of the new rules for Arctic drilling operations have not been made public as an inter-agency review of the Interior Department's proposal is still being carried out.

But records of meetings with officials at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which is currently reviewing the new standards, show that Shell is vigorously contesting rules that would require the company to keep on hand the necessary equipmen…

Stephen Harper Mocked Over Photos Of Empty Seats At UN Address

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[Unfortunately I couldn't find any photos of Lester B. Pearson addressing the UN for comparison. *RON*]
The Huffington Post Canada, 26 September 2014

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is facing some mockery online after cameras caught quite a few empty seats during his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday.

Gerald Butts, chief adviser to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, poked some fun on Twitter Friday.

Gerald Butts @gmbuttsFollow
The Great Statesman PM commanded quite the audience at the UN yesterday. #cdnpoli
4:15 AM - 26 Sep 2014

Later, Butts compared the attendance for Harper's speech to that of U.S. President Barack Obama earlier in the week.
Gerald Butts @gmbuttsFollow
@Jean_Lapierre meanwhile, here's the room for Obama.
5:01 AM - 26 Sep 2014