Category: Environment

Unnecessary risk to people and property in BC

The NDP government is blundering on with construction of the Site C hydro dam on unstable ground, despite availability of much lower-cost energy sources. It is the same government that BC’s Auditor General found has not effectively overseen the safety of dams in BC and did not adequately verify or enforce compliance of safety standards…

It was what it was; it is what it is

When John Horgan’s government refuses to deal appropriately with climate change in 2021, it is because they made cold-blooded decisions based on the business of politics. If people of BC are harmed, if the Earth is harmed, they don’t care. They have joyfully experienced the smell of money, and the smell of power.

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.

Just have a think!

Dave Borlace opened a YouTube channel in 2018 to review the science behind climate debates and discover what is being done to avoid catastrophe. In the first minute of his first video, Borlace declared he was not a scientist and not a client expert, just a person wanting to learn and share information. Perhaps Borlace’s strength in sharing knowledge about climate and energy is that he is not a scientist. Nor is he a spin doctor paid to advance financial interests of paying clients…

More destruction of prime farmland

Today, a message from Cedar Isle Farm near Agassis BC landed by email, telling about another effort by real estate developers and their allies in municipal government. The aim is destroy yet more prime farmland. This one is a monster that seems immortal. Locals have thought it dead numerous times in the past 20 years, but it has risen repeatedly…

Denying the existential threat

Much of climate change denial is driven by money. The world’s ten largest fossil fuel companies are collectively worth trillions and their managers are not going away quietly. For years, they have invested heavily in assets that influence public opinion. These involve squads of online trolls and influencers paid to spread gospels of climate change denial. Acquiring control of corporate media output was another strategy. So-called think tanks conducted widespread skirmishes, including use of Fraser-Institute-style “learning resources” foisted on naive members of media and places of education, including students and faculty. Academics and scientists who don’t care about science have opportunities to pocket more than spare change…

Canada – TrumpLand north?

July 30, Stephen Colbert interviewed Jacob Soboroff and Katy Tur, presenters of American Swamp, a four-part docuseries on MSNBC about government corruption. They talk about politics in the USA but Canadians ought not to feel superior or complacent because our governments are constructed of the same timber.

“Because, if they do do something, they run the risk of angering a special interest or a big donor and those special interests or donors will spend money on getting them out of office. So, they sit there and twiddle their thumbs.”

Paying $185,000 for each job

BC’s fossil fuel industry benefited from credits worth $902 million in fiscal year 2018 and $4.2 billion in the past five years. Each of the jobs in oil and gas extraction cost BC taxpayers $185,000. A similar amount spent on reducing dependence on fossil fuels would have been more effective in creating jobs and protecting the environment.

No free lunch

The proliferation of plug-in stations breeds a mindset that electric vehicles are completely “green” …and they aren’t using “horsepower”. Though the overall impact of all electric vehicles is calculated to be less… it is only slightly less.