Corruption – who cares?

An earlier piece by Lew Edwardson recalled one example of public sector corruption. Such occurrences are so common that most pay scant attention. In British Columbia, we have government quietly granting subsidies worth billions of dollars to fossil fuel producers, more billions gifted by BC Hydro’s secret contracts for private power priced at multiples of market value, public land assets privatized at a fraction of fair market value, farmlands destroyed and innocent lives disrupted to reward political supporters…

Olympics, a money loser for the general public

July 18, the Globe and Mail headlined, “The Olympics are a great party. But they’re not worth billions in public money.” The editorial added, “Hosting a huge party takes a lot of work and money, but i’s definitely fun. Those hours with friends and family are great. But the joy is fleeting, and hangovers are inevitable…”

Fossil fuel dangers are even worse than we knew

Consumption of fossil fuels may be even more dangerous to humans than COVID-19. According to researchers from Harvard and three British universities, over eight million people died in 2018 from fossil fuel pollution. They estimate exposures to particulate matter from fossil fuel emissions accounted for 18 percent of total global deaths, which is almost one out of five…

Local, green and sustainable economies

A problem faced by more than one British Columbia community is how to resurrect a local economy after global corporations decide easier profits can be made by exporting unprocessed resources. The subject had me remember a worthwhile PBS documentary by investigative journalist David Brancaccio…

Good choices – bad choices

Faced with energy market disruption, the European Union is proceeding with REPowerEU, a plan for conservation and production of clean energy. The EU knows that conservation is the cheapest, safest and cleanest option. It can reduce individual energy costs and add resilience to the economy. The same is true in North America. The European Union is putting into action what John Horgan’s NDP promised until elected in 2017,

Climate change, what can we do?

Governments have not done the things needed to address climate change. In Canada, particularly in the western provinces, politicians raised middle fingers to climate scientists. Tens of billions of taxpayers dollars have been committed to oil, gas and coal consumption, even though fossil fuels must stay underground.

Obligations to future generations

The Supreme Court ruled that cumulative effects from decades of industrial development on lands of northeast BC infringed treaty rights of Blueberry River First Nations. I suggest that cumulative effects from decades of industrialization and commercialization on lands of southwest BC infringe on the implicit rights of future generations.

Foundation of lies and misinformation supports the Horgan-Clark boondoggle

BC Hydro sought environmental approval for construction of Site C in 2011. In that year, global wind power capacity was 238 gigawatts. While construction of BC’s controversial hydropower project dragged on, worldwide capacity for wind power reached 837 GW in 2021. If Site C suffers no further delays in its scheduled 2025 startup, global wind capacity according to GWEC will then exceed 1.3 terawatts, more than five times the level in 2011…

Vancouver Town

Rolf Harris was a popular entertainer in Vancouver during the 1960s and early 1970s. I enjoyed him numerous times performing at The Vancouver Cave Supper Club on Hornby Street. Later in the UK, he was disgraced.

The common good is becoming less common

A book by Professor Robert Reich, one of the most prominent voices among progressives, examines the ongoing decline of the common good, which he defines as being about “what we owe one another as citizens who are bound together in the same society.” Reich believes those values include respect for the rule of law and democratic institutions, toleration of our differences and belief in equal political rights and equal opportunity. These have been undermined by unrestrained pursuit of money, power, and hyperpartisanship…

Democracy is fragile

Government by the people for the people is more myth than reality in Canada and in the politically troubled country south of here. We cannot talk about our governments being representative democracies when a majority of the proxies we elect rank interests of their parties and their sponsors above interests of their electors.