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.

Bring out the dead…

Ignoring climate change in the short term has benefits both to individuals and to organizations. Individuals do not have to make changes in the cars they drive, the products they buy, or the homes they live in if they ignore the influence their carbon footprint has on the world…

Hypocrisy

It says a great deal when a person at the centre of national policy making chooses to leave government to work on the climate crisis. She is silent about the dedication of Canada and its three western provinces to expanded fossil fuel production, including Alberta tar sands bitumen, the the dirtiest fossil fuel on the planet…

321 years into a 246 year cycle

Canada’s federal government gave $4.5 billion to Kinder Morgan for Trans Mountain after the owners had difficulty financing expansion of the pipeline. By 2020, the new construction budget had soared to $12.6 billion. But according to a 2021 management report, “As of March 31, 2021, construction is approximately 25% complete, with $7.1 billion in capital spending incurred since the inception of the project.” So 56% of the budget had been spent but the project was only 25% complete. That signals a total cost to taxpayers in excess of $20 billion. Compounding that massive loss will be the ongoing ecological disaster of increased tar sands production and the elevated risk to Vancouver and North Shore communities, the inner harbour and coastal waters.

Why care?

Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell reported experiencing an “Overview Effect”… He became profoundly aware that each and every atom in the Universe was connected in some way, and on seeing Earth from space he had an understanding that all the humans, animals and systems were a part of the same thing, a synergistic whole.

Privatizing public wealth

Years ago, corporations decided they should pay less for BC’s natural resources. The companies funded pressure groups, slick online websites, and social media shills. All amplified public messaging in support of private resource extraction. Lobbyists wined and dined politicians and senior bureaucrats. Dollars moved into the bank accounts of political parties. The efforts were successful. For the expenditure of a few million, industrialists gained billions.

Climate action pretence

Governments impose carbon taxes ostensibly to deal with climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But effectiveness is limited since the taxes are not applied broadly or at levels sufficient to reduce or compel reduction in fossil fuel production and consumption…

Science deniers at the helm

British Columbia produces “the world’s cleanest natural gas.” In the same 2019 press release, Justin Trudeau echoed that statement. The fiction of BC producing clean fossil fuel originated with Premier Christy Clark’s Liberals. The claim was as honest as the one about LNG rewarding the province with one trillion dollars in economic activity and depositing one hundred billion dollars into a “BC Prosperity fund.”

Unchecked commercial fraud

Corporate media can’t be bothered to report what is happening at BC Hydro. Facts are readily available; they’re just not examined. The reason why was explained by the organization Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR): “Independent, aggressive and critical media are essential to an informed democracy. But mainstream media are increasingly cozy with the economic and political powers they should be watchdogging.”

A valley will be destroyed

Valley of the Southern North is a love letter to The Peace Valley and the people and creatures that make it their home. The Site C dam, now under construction, will destroy ancestral territory of the Dane Zaa and Cree, violate treaties and displace residents, farmers and wildlife living along its shores.

Leadership failures

Energy democracy is a social movement aiming to create a new paradigm for electric power supply. The objective is to link social justice with technical innovations by involving local communities in creation and ownership of renewable energy sources. Since the 1960s, BC Hydro has destroyed land and dispossessed or marginalized residents to complete megaprojects. While publicly owned, it is a monopolistic business empire stuck in a 20th century mindset. The company has routinely misinformed citizens, using lies to justify continuous expansion despite zero demand growth for the better part of two decades…

BC Government “deni-osaurs”

Canada’s federal government and its three western provinces are de facto climate change deniers. National Observer labelled this type denio-osaurs. All are committed to promoting increased production and export of fossil fuels. But, in some respects, British Columbia is worst of all.

For the public: no gain, much pain

In October 2014, BC energy minister Bill Bennett assured us the $7.9 billion Site C dam budget was final, fully reviewed by specialists and reliable because it included a contingency well above prudent amounts. Nothing left to chance, uncertainty or politics because the budget numbers were developed by the world’s top experts…

Deception and duplicity

While John Horgan’s government was almost doubling the Site C budget to C$16 billion, the Biden administration was getting ready to approve a C$3.4 billion wind project off the coast of Massachusetts. The per megawatt cost of the wind project is less than 30% of Site C’s capital cost per megawatt and it destroys no farmland, violates no Indigenous rights agreements, and presents no threats to nearby communities…