Showing posts from November 6, 2016

Trudeau Handed 6 Questions To Help Decide Fate Of Trans Mountain Pipeline

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["Trudeau's election platform promised that while governments hand out permits, only communities can grant permission... The questions raised by his own panel, about how Canada can square this pipeline with climate commitments and promises to respect Indigenous rights, remain unanswered." *RON*]

By Canadian Press, Huffington Post, 3 November 2016

CALGARY — A panel struck last May to identify gaps in reviews of the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion says the government must answer six key questions before deciding the fate of the $6.8-billion project.

In its report released Thursday, the three-member panel, which heard from thousands of people from Alberta and B.C. at meetings and via an online questionnaire, says its mandate doesn't include making conclusions or recommendations.

Instead, it said the government must ask itself questions such as how construction of the pipeline can be reconciled with Canada's climate cha…

Fentanyl Took Over My Life, This Is How I Got It Back

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[An older article, but I was just talking about this with neighbours last night. The lack of access to treatment sucks. Definitely watch the 52-minute documentary itself if you can; it's far too long to post here: Fentanyl: The Drug Deadlier than Heroin. *RON*]

By A'lisa Ramsey as Told to Allison Tierney,, 23 June 2016

From the column 'Relapse: Facing Canada's Opioid Crisis'

I started with snorting Tylenol Ones. I'm 20 now, but when I was 16, I thought it would be fun to do drugs. Those stopped working, so I went to Tylenol Threes, and then Tylenol Fours, then I started doing percocet. My boyfriend and I would purposely get admitted into the hospital—like I would say I had menstrual pain—so I could get those, and it wasn't hard at all.

Those weren't working anymore, and somebody told me I could get OxyContin [in Calgary]. When I started getting Oxys off the street, I didn't know it at first, but it wa…

Smoking a pack a day for a year causes 150 mutations in lung cells

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[Quitting smoking twenty-some-odd years ago was the best and hardest thing I've done. *RON*]
Medical XPress, 3 November 2016
Scientists have measured the catastrophic genetic damage caused by smoking in different organs of the body and identified several different mechanisms by which tobacco smoking causes mutations in DNA. Researchers at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, the Los Alamos National Laboratory and their collaborators found smokers accumulated an average of 150 extra mutations in every lung cell for each year of smoking one packet of cigarettes a day.

Reported in the Journal Science, the study provides a direct link between the number of cigarettes smoked in a lifetime and the number of mutations in the tumour DNA. The highest mutation rates were seen in the lung cancers but tumours in other parts of the body also contained these smoking-associated mutations, explaining how smoking causes many types of human cancer.

Here's How Much Tesla's New Solar Roof Could Cost

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["So, why would you buy anything else?" CEO Elon Musk claims installing the solar tiles would be as cheap as a regular roof—so Consumer Reports did some number crunching. They are very cool, but you need to be rich and willing to see your saving materialize over decades, if then. See also: These are Tesla’s stunning new solar roof tiles for homes. *RON*]
By Daniel DiClerico, Consumer Reports, 2 November 2016

Can you really install a solar roof on your home that would cost about as much—or even less—than a regular roof? That’s the claim Tesla CEO Elon Musk made Friday when he announced plans to create Solar Roof tiles that will "look better than a normal roof, generate electricity, last longer, have better insulation, and actually have an installed cost that is less than a normal roof plus the cost of electricity."

Tesla's Solar Roof tiles would be made of glass over a photovoltaic substrate. Unlike aftermarket solar panels,…

Work makes you well? After 'austerity' comes complicity

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[Arbeit macht frei. This week the government announced new health and welfare plans to ‘help’ (or bully?) disabled and sick people. Why are the disability charities so quiet? *RON*]
Peter Beresford, Open Democracy, 4 November 2016

The original political rationale for cuts is now out the window. The last Chancellor, George Osborne, told us unprecedented ‘welfare reform’ cuts were needed to balance the books in an era of ‘austerity’. But new Chancellor Philip Hammond has repeatedly told us that ‘austerity’ is now at an end, despite – or perhaps because of – the financial uncertainty created by Brexit.

So are the kind of damaging and often arbitrary cuts to social security that disabled people have been highlighting over the last six years, likely to come to an end?

Sadly, there’s little sign of that.

Why You Should Blame The Economics Discipline For Today’s Problems

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[An interesting article on the institutional reasons why the economics profession got things so wrong. "So, yes, Paul Krugman, you didn’t see it coming, but that doesn’t mean that others didn’t." If it's too long for you at least try out the conclusion section. *RON*]

By John T. Harvey, Evonomics, 3 November 2016

We are experiencing deep economic problems and it is the fault of the economics discipline. Their macro theories suck. But, there is no mechanism forcing it to alter its models when they don’t appear to work. This is so because economists basically write for each other in a language only they understand and their jobs depend on impressing a limited number of journal editors and referees, not correcting real-world problems. The academic inbreeding that has resulted has led to dysfunctional theories and, despite the fact that there were economists who accurately forecast the Financial Crisis, because their work is incompatib…