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Showing posts from May 30, 2016

Why Scientists Are Amazed at Oilsands Smog Levels

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[Air pollution report in Nature shocks even Canada's top researchers. See also: Cutting Emissions Needn't Kill Jobs, Says Oilsands Labour, job-loss fears just 'bunk' to delay needed climate action: Alberta Labour Fed president. And: This is what Donald Trump had to say about climate change. *RON*]

By Andrew Nikiforuk, TheTyee.ca, 30 May 2016

On any hot day Shell and Syncrude tour guides used to call the gasoline-like vapours that wafted from Fort McMurray's huge open-pit bitumen mines "the smell of money."

But a new study in Nature has another name for the stench: air pollution and megacity volumes of it.

In fact the tarsands, already the largest source of climate disrupting greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, have a new grim moniker: "one of the largest sources of anthropogenic secondary organic aerosols in North America."

Researchers define "secondary organic aerosols" or SOAs as gases and particle…

B.C. real estate companies join Christy Clark on trade mission to Asia

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[The very worst, most blatant, two-faced kind of self-interested mongering of the class wars. 'It's bad optics,' says critic, pointing to concern over how foreign investment may be pushing up prices. For more on the 'Let them eat cake' Liberal Party of BC see Housing minister's comments about 'whining' people are insulting: critic ("I guess some people just have to get up and whine every day"). *RON*]

CBC News, 28 May 2016
Representatives of two real estate companies are travelling with the B.C. Premier on a trade mission to Asia, raising questions about the optics of the perceived partnership at a time when many are calling for an end to foreign real estate investment.

The B.C. government lists more than 60 companies taking part in thetrade mission to Korea, Japan and the Philippines as part of the province's strategy to create more international trading partners.
Vancouver home sells for more than $1…

What Milton Friedman Got Wrong: Biologists Destroy Homo-Economicus

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[Homo-economicus vs biological adaptation. A good older piece I ran across while on vacation. Evonomics is a good website. While you're at it, check out True Prosperity: Trickle-Down vs Middle-Out Economics. The real history of economic growth by Eric Beinhocker. *RON*]

By David Sloan Wilson, Evonomics, 13 February 2016


One of the most influential articles published in the field of economics is Milton Friedman’s (1953) “The Methodology of Positive Economics”, in which he argues that people behave as if the assumptions of neoclassical economic theory are correct, even when they are not. One of the most influential articles in the field of evolution is Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin’s (1979) “The Spandrels of San Marcos and the Panglossian Paradigm”, which argues against excessive reliance on the concept of adaptation.

Different disciplines, different decades. No wonder these two classic articles have not been related to each other. Ye…

Fighting income inequality: the role business can play

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[Governments have surrendered their sovereignty to corporations: "In a highly competitive global economy, weak governments are inclined to compete with one another to maintain their market share rather than prioritise basic protections of their own people." *RON*]

Michael Posner, The Conversation, 23 May 2016

In recent months, debates about global economic inequality have reached boiling point. In Britain, voters will soon decide whether to exit the European Union against the backdrop of a growing Brexit movement fuelled by perceptions of an unfair European trading system.

In the US, maverick political candidates of the left and right have garnered outsized attention, each attacking the adverse effects of global trade, especially with Asia. Almost three decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union ushered in an era of globalisation, critics are demanding a reconsideration of that model. At the centre of these debates are global busines…

Anti-Austerity protests sweep across Italy, Spain

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[Meanwhile, students protest against the government's budgetary cuts to education and other austerity policies, in Naples, Italy, on May 28, 2016. And Greece's Syriza government imposes harsh austerity measures. *RON*]

PressTV, 29 May 2016

Thousands of Italians have taken to the streets of Rome and several other major cities to express their resentment with the austerity policies imposed by the government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

During the Saturday anti-austerity rallies, the demonstrators, mostly students and activists, chanted slogans against the government and accused the premier of triggering a war on the poor people.

The demonstrators also marched in front of the highly guarded German embassy in the capital and threw eggs at the building, decrying the European Union’s austerity policies.

The riot police in Rome blocked the protesters from reaching their final destination, the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Austerity policies do more harm than good, IMF study concludes

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[The results could not be clearer: the costs of austerity outweigh the benefits. Economists give a strong critique of the neoliberal doctrine ushered in by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s. Unsurprisingly, in a 'we deny reality and replace it with our Class Wars(TM) ideology' move, Forbes says The IMF Has Not Rejected Neoliberalism Nor Austerity: Rather, They've Examined Them. *RON*]

Larry Elliott, The Guardian, 27 May 2016

A strong warning that austerity policies can do more harm than good has been delivered by economists from the International Monetary Fund, in a critique of the neoliberal doctrine that has dominated economics for the past three decades. In an article seized on by the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, the IMF economists said rising inequality was bad for growth and that governments should use controls to cope with destabilising capital flows.

The IMF team praised some aspects of the liberalising age…