Showing posts from October 16, 2014

This New Study Explains Why Fracking Won't Solve Climate Change

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[Paging Premier Clark: Even if we solve the methane problem, shale gas alone won't save us. *RON*]

—By Tim McDonnell, Mother Jones, 15 October  2014

For President Obama, fracking is a key weapon against global warming. Abundant natural gas, he said in his State of the Union address this year, is a "bridge fuel" to ubiquitous renewable energy—the key to securing economic growth "with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change."

Not everyone agrees. In fact, the debate over whether natural gas is the antidote to our deadly addiction to coal, or a faux climate change solution that will stall the clean energy revolution, is one of the most hotly contested environmental questions of the day. It has produced a host of recent studies examining complex questions about global energy markets and the specific chemistry of various greenhouse gases. The latest volley in that debate is out today in a new paper inNature.


The Great TV Unbundling Has Begun. But Be Careful What You Wish For

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[In Canada, the cable companies behave as though suggestions for unbundling channels is a sign of the apocalypse. In the US, though, networks have already begun doing it themselves, via the Internet, in direct response to the threat of NetFlix. Will this unleash chaos in the market, and/or will this drive the cost of television programming beyond the reach of most? *RON*]
By Issie Lapowsky, Wired, 16 October 2014

The distant dream of a la carte television has never seemed closer to reality.

On Thursday, just a day after HBO said it would launch a new online streaming service that doesn’t require a cable TV subscription, CBS announced the launch of CBS All Access, a service will let users watch unlimited CBS content, including some live television, on multiple devices for just $5.99 a month.

It’s still too early to proclaim the death of the traditional cable TV bundle. And yet, the two announcements signal a drastic shift in the way both cable co…

‘Broken Windows’ and the New York Police

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[Under the Broken Windows theory, poor people are threatened and treated violently by the police in order to reduce the risk that poor people will be threatened and treated violently by criminals. Except there's no evidence that it does so. *RON*]
Michael Greenberg, The New York Review of Books, NOVEMBER 6, 2014 ISSUE
The death of Eric Garner at the hands of his arresting officers in New York on July 17 has provoked a public debate about the so-called broken windows style of policing that has been, in various incarnations, the New York Police Department’s guiding tactic since 1994. The phrase “broken windows” is a metaphor that neatly illustrates the policy, as first put forth by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling in a 1982 essay of that name in The Atlantic. If a window in a building is broken and left unrepaired, the rest of the windows will soon be broken as well, because the unrepaired window signals that no one cares. This explains wh…

4 new Toxic spills you will not read about in the mainstream media

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[The man has a point: "Over 250,000 Litres of Toxic crap spilled in Alberta over last few days and not one mainstream media outlet will report it." *RON*]
Derrick, West Coast Native News, 16 October 2014

Straight facts no bullshit:
TAQA North Ltd spills 24,000 Litres of Crude Oil
Company: TAQA North Ltd
Volume: 24,000 Litres of Crude Oil
City/Town: 44Km South West, Spirit River – Alberta
RELATED: Taqa North cuts workers in reorganization
AER Report: Release of crude oil from a tank when recycle pump overfilled the tank. Release remained on lease. Company is in the process of clean up. No reported impacts to any waterbody or wildlife. 
Whitecap Resources spills 10,000 litres of Toxic Produced water from new pipeline
Company: Whitecap Resources Ltd
Volume: 10,000 Litres of Toxic Produced water
City/Town: 37Km North West, Sexsmith – Alberta
AER Report: Release of produced water from a new pipeline when a flange failed. Majority of release remained o…

Revenue Canada Targets Birdwatchers For Political Activity

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[Oh, those dirty birds! "How many other inconvenient charities are there out there?" More on totalitarian politics in Canada. *RON*]
CBC / Huffington Post, 16 October 2014

A small group of nature lovers in southern Ontario enjoy spending weekends watching birds and other wildlife, but lately they're the ones under watch — by the Canada Revenue Agency.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Field Naturalists, a registered charity, is apparently at risk of breaking tax agency rules that limit so-called political or partisan activities.

Earlier this year, tax auditors sent a letter to the 300-member group, warning about political material on the group's website.

The stern missive says the group must take appropriate action as necessary "including refraining from undertaking any partisan activities," with the ominous warning that "this letter does not preclude any future audits."

A copy of the five-page March 11 letter, signed …

The plan you made

From an email by

[This is quite cool. used a crowd-sourcing approach to have their supporters develop a policy response to the Trans-Pacific Partnership's Internet Censorship plan. You can click on the link and the website will send the report to the appropriate key decision makers in your area. *RON*]

It’s finally here: OpenMedia’s positive vision for sharing and collaborating online. Over 300,000 people from around the world helped shape our plan for modernizing copyright laws for the 21st century.

The more people who rally behind our positive alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s Internet Censorship plan, the harder we’ll be to ignore. Read our report online now - and send our powerful recommendations to key decision-makers.

Take Action!

Ron, if we told you that over 300,000 people from 155 countries around the world came together to create this solution to copyright censorship - would you believe it?

Seeing is believing - read our crowdsourced pl…

B.C. didn’t inspect Mount Polley mine in 2010, 2011

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[Quelle surprise. A highly loyal move on Bill Bennett's part to blame this on his previous Liberal boss. *RON*]
Justine Hunter, The Globe and Mail, 14 October 2014

A reorganization within the B.C. government four years ago led to a precipitous drop in the number of engineering inspections of tailings dams at the province’s mines, new figures released Monday by the province show.

In 2010 – the same year that a huge crack was reported in the dam at the Mount Polley gold and copper mine – the government’s geotechnical engineers conducted just three inspections across the province, down from 22 the year before. The following year, in 2011, only two inspections were completed.

Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines, said Monday it appears the Mount Polley dam did not have a geotechnical inspection by ministry staff during those two years. “It doesn’t look like it would have had,” he said in an interview. “I was surprised when I saw the numbers, a…