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Showing posts from July 10, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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How Robert Mugabe ruined Zimbabwe

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["Mere despotism was not enough for Robert Mugabe; daft policy making was crucial." Goes along with The Resilient Robert Mugabe, "The gun, the bullet, and the fist are Mugabe’s trusted methods of statecraft. He won't be afraid to continue to use them to stay in power." There is small, and cold, comfort in the fact that he is bound to die soon. *RON*]
by M.H., The Economist, 26 February 2017


IN 2016 it became a common sight in the capital of Zimbabwe to see fearful citizens queuing outside banks, waiting hopefully for cash. It was the most obvious manifestation of anxiety about Robert Mugabe’s latest economic scheme. In November the central bank started printing a new kind of money, in the form of the “bond note”. Ostensibly the note is worth the same as the American dollar, which Zimbabwe adopted in 2009 after a spectacular bout of inflation—but no one is fooled. The stage is set for yet another Mugabe-made economic disaste…

Canada's Desjardins may stop pipeline loans, cites environment

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[When the banksters are abandoning ship people need to wake up and smell the solar! See our previous postings on: Banks Have Cut Funding for Fossil Fuels Projects 22 Percent; Volvo to ditch combustion engines, switch to electric by 2019;  France to ban sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040The World’s Largest Coal Mining Company Is Closing 37 Sites. *RON*] 
Ethan Lou, Reuters, 8 July 2017

Canadian lender Desjardins is considering no longer funding energy pipelines, a spokesman said on Saturday, citing concerns about the impact such projects may have on the environment.

Desjardins, the largest association of credit unions in North America, on Friday temporarily suspended lending for such projects and may make the decision permanent, spokesman Jacques Bouchard told Reuters by telephone.

He said the lender would make a final decision in September.

Dejardins, a backer of Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd's high-profile expansion of its Trans Mountain pipe…

25 Fossil Fuel Producers Responsible for Half Global Emissions in Past 3 Decades

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[CDP traced the greenhouse gas emissions of 100 oil, coal and gas companies, together linked to 71% of emissions since 1988. Exxon is high on the Carbon Majors list. *RON*]
Georgina Gustin, Inside Climate News, 9 July 2017

A handful of big fossil fuel producers have been responsible for the majority of global greenhouse gas emissions in the years since climate change seized the world's attention as a looming crisis, according to a new report issued today.

When emissions from agriculture and land-use changes are taken out of the equation, a mere 25 producers account for just over half of emissions in the past three decades, the report says. The top 100 account for 71 percent of these industrial emissions.

Because of rapid economic growth and growing demand for power generation, especially among populous developing nations, more than half of the emissions in the centuries since the Industrial Revolution have occurred since 1988. That was the year…

Understanding Softwood Lumber: Another View

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[Nothing very surprising here. The fundamental issue that clouds Canada-US relations on this issue is the different way in which lumber is priced (by regulation in Canada vs free markets in the US). But Americans tend to get most worked up about Canadian lumber when the value of the Canadian dollar drops and lumber demand is simultaneously rising. *RON*]

As we move into the latest iteration of the ongoing softwood lumber dispute with the United States, I thought it might be useful to look at some data to see if any additional insight can be gained. The conventional wisdom on the story is that the disagreements have been over the way the two countries treat their respective lumber industries. In Canada the provincial governments mainly own the resource and the harvesting price or stumpage fees are set by administrative regulation. In the US the resource is owned privately with harvest prices set by markets. The United States claims that the stumpa…

Pondering populism in Canada

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[I'm not sure I buy even most of the ideas here, but it's an interesting discussion about possible causes and cures for a populist upsurge. A look at some essential summer reading for parliamentarians and policy-makers on the hot topic of populism. *RON*]
Sean Speer, Jamil Jivani, Policy Options, 10 July 2017


What is populism? How does it manifest itself? What are its causes? And is Canada susceptible to the allure of populist politics? These questions are increasingly top of mind for policy-makers and elected officials across the intellectual and political spectrum.

A growing body of scholarship casts new light on the potential nexus between wealth distribution, intergenerational mobility and the makings of political populism. These articles, commentaries and polls ought to be essential reading for parliamentarians this summer.

Cas Mudde is a University of Georgia political scientist whose research and writing on populism has thrust him in…