Straight talk about lame talk

New owners took over The Georgia Straight two years ago. That quickly led to changes that are not reader-friendly. However, their website still offers useful commentary and is particularly worth visiting when Martyn Brown’s work appears. His latest column is a critique of a person often seen and heard in BC media…

BC is good at climate action failure

Peter McCartney wrote about government and industry turning northeast British Columbia into a sacrifice zone: If this destruction were happening in the Lower Mainland or the Capital Regional District, it would be unthinkable. But successive provincial governments have allowed an entire region to be sacrificed to gas development—and even given billions of dollars in tax breaks and subsidies to the companies responsible.

Quixotic quest bound to fail

A group of naive people believe that John Horgan’s departure will result in an open contest by which party members will elect a leader. But BC’s New Democratic Party is not democratic. Relatively few insiders control the party’s provincial executive, and they determine how leadership is decided…

Happiness is…

The first World Happiness Report was presented in 2012. This week the 2022 report was published. Perhaps surprisingly, in most nations, average life evaluations have remained “remarkably resilient during COVID-19.” Although, according to report authors, life satisfaction has fallen for the young and increased for people over 60, and levels of stress have risen measurably since pre-pandemic days…

Unclean clean energy

In addition to the known mercury contamination of fisheries caused by hydroelectric developments, reservoirs increase emissions of methane and carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. In some cases this increase, per unit of energy produced, may be significant compared to greenhouse gas emitted by fossil- fuelled electricity generation.

Doing the right thing

British Columbia could be in the sixth year of the PowerBC program had John Horgan been sincere when he announced it in 2015. Instead, the NDP government and public institutions are issuing press releases promising bold action… someday.

Trillions of dollars in fossil fuel subsidies

Part of the trillions of dollars in subsidies to fossil fuel producers reflects governments undercharging supply costs (rights and royalties), but most involve implicit subsidies, including undercharging for environmental costs. Eliminating gifts to fossil fuel producers would raise public revenues while reducing greenhouse gas emissions…

Moronic public policy

The utility that for years could not estimate demand growth accurately and missed on the Site C cost estimate by 100% knew the future danger posed by rooftop solar panels. How are you going to expand a business empire if you allow ordinary people to interfere?

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Site C: stupidity or corruption?

In psychiatry, the word “delusion” means a firm belief in what others know to be false. Despite evidence of massive physical and financial risks, Liberals decided to green light Site C. Not wanting to be labeled anti-development, and having its own friends to reward, BC NDP chose to carry on…

BC Hydro and the illusory truth effect

Misinformation is common in our world. Sometimes it involves benign self-protection or ego boosting. Other times, humans use deception to gain advantages. Businesses and governments do it every day, by simple shading of the truth, egregious deceit, or something in between. With cooperation and assistance from government, BC Hydro relies on the illusory truth effect…

Groupthink

Groupthink is a phenomenon that occurs when the desire for group consensus overrides people’s common sense desire to present reasonable alternatives, critique a position, or express an unpopular opinion. Here, the desire for group cohesion effectively drives out good decision-making and problem solving. In government, groupthink is guaranteed.