Author Archives

Norm Farrell

Gwen and I raised three adult children in North Vancouver. Each lives in our community with seven grandchildren, 12 years and younger. I have worked in accounting and financial management and publish IN-SIGHTS.CA with news and commentary about public issuesv.

The downside of wind power

Unlike Site C in British Columbia, wind projects have relatively low budgets and short construction timelines. Those factors impede privatization of public wealth. While good for consumers of electricity, low-cost generating facilities offer only short-term benefits to those who build them.

A bias for inaction

In the hugely successful business book In Search of Excellence, co-authors Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman listed eight attributes of excellent, innovative management. Number one proposed a “bias for action.” Leaders of the world’s wealthiest nations prefer the opposite…

Punishing personal distress

The unarmed victim was seeking help, apparently suffering a personal crisis. CBC News reported the Ojibway man “was in distress from a bear mace attack and was attempting to relieve the burning sensation by removing his clothes and dousing himself in milk.” Chris Amyotte needed medical assistance. He was punished with lethal violence instead…

Ominous warnings: emissions increasing, not decreasing

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), an intergovernmental organization with 193 member states and territories, issued an ominous climate change warning on October 26, 2022. The cold reality is that G20 nations —  responsible for around 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions — have promised to reduce dangerous emissions but allowed releases of greenhouse gases to increase…

So we don’t all lose

GUEST POST — If you read the climate science, climate breakdown is clearly a civilization if not humanity threatening emergency requiring urgent mitigation action. Reducing GHG emissions by at least half globally by 2030 is an imperative and halting new fossil infrastructure and initiating a managed decline of existing production is absolutely essential. This means coal and gas in BC and also ending forest industry destruction of BC forests, a major global carbon sink. 

Disqualified candidate’s response to BC NDP leadership

Beyond matters of NDP policies that could easily be those of the BC Liberal party, Appadurai unloaded on Elizabeth Cull and NDP insiders for bias, hostility, unfairness, and back-dating of rules. A few days ago, I wrote The fix was in and Appadurai confirms it. Elizabeth Cull may have been conducting the fix, but the goal was established by the NDP’s Provincial Executive that appointed her.

The fix was in

Cull said the David Eby Campaign filed a complaint regarding violations of applicable law. Cull also wrote that Appadurai had obligations under British Columbia’s Election Act. The objective was to convince people that Ms. Appadurai was a scofflaw unworthy of holding a senior political position. Except the Election Act did not apply.

Energy storage developments

The world’s long-duration energy storage installations in 2030 are projected to be 15 times the level of storage capacity at the end of 2021. These will facilitate a shift to renewable energy sources. Canada has zero interest in being a leader in this transition.

Winds of change

Although humans have harnessed wind energy for 1,400 years or more, global capacity only began to grow substantially in the 21st century. Growth is a fraction of that needed if Earth is to achieve net-zero carbon before climate disaster overtakes humanity. Wind energy is affordable. Wind prices for power contracts signed in the last few years are 1.5–4 cents per kilowatt-hour. Compare to Site C where electricity will cost between 15 and 18 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The natural resource curse

On average, economies of resource-rich countries do not outperform countries lacking those natural materials. According to Jeffrey Frankel, Professor of Capital Formation and Growth at Harvard’s Kennedy School, this results from undesirable side effects of resource extraction…

A cunning plan

Gaining billions of dollars, with a promise of $50 billion more, by selling an unneeded product to a single customer for a multiple of market value ought to earn IPPs a featured place in the Canadian Business Hall of Fame.