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Showing posts from October 18, 2014

Evidence shows no need for Site C Dam: Economist to Energy Minister

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["...reported total domestic sales have been stubbornly stuck at 52/53,000 GWhrs. Growth in total revenues is only coming to BC Hydro by rate increases, not increases in demand.... Site C is only an expensive indulgence serving the interests of the construction industry but at a big cost to BC citizens who ultimately shoulder the financial liabilities of BC Hydro follies." *RON*]
Erik Andersen, Common Sense Canadian, 18 October 2014
Dear Minister Bennett,

I know you have heard it all so I guess it is now all about the legacy you and your cabinet colleagues are willing to create. Thinking in terms of demand for electricity in BC, the reported record of sales by BC Hydro has flat-lined at about 50,000 GWhrs between 2008 and now. BC Hydro reports sales for four categories of customers.

Even with a 1.2% annual population growth, as estimated by BC Statistics, sales on a per capital basis are have been trending lower. It is a fact, long denied…

EPA: Those Bee-Killing Pesticides? They're Actually Pretty Useless

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[Neonicotinoid pesticides are not only believed to be killing off honey bee colonies but, at least in the case of soy, appear to provide farmers with no economic benefits and are not any more beneficial than using no pesticides at all! Yet, One poll found that 45 percent of respondents reported finding non-treated seeds "difficult to obtain" or "not available." *RON*]

—By Tom Philpott, Mother Jones Blogs, 18 October 2014

So, there's this widely used class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, marketed by chemical giants Bayer and Syngenta, that have emerged as a primesuspect in honeybee collapse, and may also be harming birds and water-borne critters. But at least they provide benefits to farmers, right?
Well, not soybean farmers, according to a blunt economic assessment released Thursday by the Environmental Protection Agency (PDF). Conclusion: "There are no clear or consistent economic benefits of neonicotinoid seed…

Subsidy Spotlight: Paying the Price of Tar Sands Expansion

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[How can oil as dirty and destructive as the tar sands be profitable? Massive subsidies. $610 million - the value of a single subsidy using taxpayer dollars to help oil companies make tar sand refining more economically viable. Take action by clicking the link at the end of the article. *RON*]

Anna Simonton, Oil Change International, 16 October 2014

Carolyn Marsh was in her living room watching television on a Wednesday night in August when she heard a loud boom from somewhere outside. Having lived in the industrial town of Whiting, Indiana––just south of Chicago––for nearly three decades, she wasn’t terribly shaken. “There’s a lot of noise constantly,” she explains.

But when the news came on an hour later and reported an explosion at the nearby BP refinery, Marsh was incensed. It was the second serious incident since the recent completion of BP’s Whiting Refinery Modernization Project, which Marsh had fought to prevent.

In December 2013, after six…

Canada should heed Pentagon’s climate change warnings: defence expert

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[The Pentagon report says that climate change is a “threat multiplier” that will amplify “climate aggravated flash points” around the world. “Politics or ideology must not get in the way of sound planning,” said U.S. secretary Hagel. *RON*]

Mychaylo Prystupa, Vancouver Observer, 16 October 2014
A new U.S. Defence Department report, which sees climate change triggering a rise in extreme weather emergencies, terrorism, and global conflicts over food and water, are threats that Canada should also recognize, a Canadian defence expert said Wednesday.

“We’re going to have to get use to the type of crises that will be created when we see an increasing number of ‘New Orleans’ [style hurricane and extreme-weather events] happening,” said Professor Rob Huebert, a foreign and Arctic policy researcher with the University of Calgary.

The Pentagon report says that climate change is a “threat multiplier” that will amplify “climate aggravated flash points” around …

Simushir, fuel-laden Russian cargo ship, under tow off Haida Gwaii

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[An opportunity to see what all the 'world class' hoopla looks like in action. See also Nathan Cullen: "Imagine if this was a super tanker"*RON*]

CBC News, 17 October 2014


UPDATE: Slow tow continues Saturday. Click here for more.

The Canadian Coast Guard vessel Gordon Reid has managed to secure a line and is towing the incapacitated Russian cargo ship Simushir away from the Haida Gwaii coast, according to officials with the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria.

Navy Lt. Paul Pendergast told CBC News Friday night that the two vessels were moving away from land at a speed of approximately 1.5 nautical miles per hour. The Gordon Reid arrived at 3 p.m. PT, but the crew had a hard time getting a line on the Simushir.

"The conditions are very challenging out there and that's why it did take some time to get the vessel under tow, but they have done that now and they are moving away from land and away from danger at…