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.

Climate action is someone else’s job

Kantar Public, part of an international consulting company, advises on public policy, services and communications. Analysts examined attitudes toward taking climate actions, What they found might be paraphrased as, “We know things need to change but mostly, it’s someone else’s job.”

Contortions of logic and promises

The BC NDP government taxes fossil fuels severely to discourage consumption by citizens. That is an appropriate policy choice but the same government turns around and offers huge public subsidies to producers with the aim of increasing production and leading politicians pretend that is free of environmental harm since the fuels will be burned in places other than British Columbia.

Humanity’s slow-motion suicide

When I think about infinite growth on a finite planet, overpopulation, inequality, climate breakdown, and the ever-present risk of nuclear annihilation, I recall my science teacher son’s reminder, “Earth will survive; humankind may not.” Certainty is growing that global catastrophes will quicken damage to human well-being, endangering — potentially destroying — modern civilization. But this third rock from the Sun will continue spinning even after humans make it unliveable…

Methane, a clear and present danger

The rich oil and gas industry is willing to damage the Earth and put natural life at risk, if its activity puts money in corporate accounts. Captured governments cooperate with oversight that is non-existent or ineffective, and by extending subsidies worth hundreds of billions of dollars to encourage greater fossil fuel production…

BC NDP donor reluctance

People professing to be former BC NDP supporters say they stopped financial contributions and/or resigned after disagreeing with policies imposed by party leaders. I trust many of these statements are true but wondered if financial reports filed with Elections BC offer evidence of growing NDP donor reluctance…

Unprepared, ill-equipped

Despite massive disruption to the entire province, John Horgan’s government has made no change to its policies of promoting fossil fuels with lax regulation and multi-billion dollar industry supports. It continues to employ climate change deniers in senior positions. British Columbia remains North America’s leading coal exporter. The BC NDP has admitted no failures in its current strategies. Instead of substantive policy changes to protect the ecosystem. It seems to believe the only actions needed are saturation advertising campaigns that play fast and loose with the truth.

Organized irresponsibility

For decades, flood risk studies have accumulated on shelves in Victoria. One government after another failed to prioritize actions recommended by experts. Politicians and senior bureaucrats rated other expenditures as more important. Like the $16+ billion dam project on the Peace River, like the $13 billion rewards (present day value) given to benefit fossil fuel producers since 2007, or the $10+ billion above market value paid to private power producers by BC Hydro…

Dysfunctional duopoly

Far from being “broken,” our political system is doing precisely what it’s designed to do. It wasn’t built to deliver results in the public interest or to foster policy innovation, nor does it demand accountability for failure to do so. Instead, most of the rules that shape day-to-day behavior and outcomes have been perversely optimized—or even expressly created—by and for the benefit of the entrenched duopoly at the center of our political system…

Facts seem to support a progressive agenda

David Card’s Nobel Prize carries with it a cash prize of more than C$700,000 but the economist may experience greater satisfaction from credibility the award lends to his findings. Those conclusions challenged conventional wisdom and have been steadily disputed by “useful idiots” of the evil geniuses who control economies of the world.

Planning fallacy

John Horgan’s crew had a truckload of hard hats ready to go when they formed government in 2017 and the last thing they intended to do was alter the controversial Site C project, secret deals BC Hydro had with private power producers, LNG promotion, and science-free facilitation of fracked gas production. Going forward with the status quo would cost tens of billions of dollars in unneeded construction and fossil fuel subsidies. It would also exacerbate extreme events from climate change. But following BC Liberal policies would dull the Official Opposition and silence many right-wing critics. The Premier decided that was smart politics for his party…