SaskParty Avoids Clean Energy Boom

Saskatchewan leadership leaves a lot to be desired. Many people here are excited about how “strong” Saskatchewan is, thanks to SaskParty propaganda. We’ve also the strongest carbon air pollution per capita in the world, but few tend to talk about that here. Times are good, they’re good for me, and most of my friends (the ones who’ve not recently lost their jobs, that is). So why don’t I just shut up and enjoy myself? Maybe I do enjoy myself, maybe so much that I have an iota of time and money left over to care about how others are doing too?

Why is over $1.4B of public money going into burning coal, while much less is going into harnessing wind power or our world leading solar resource and wide open spaces? The rest of the world is leaving us in the windy dust.

Global Wind Power Installations Increased by 42 Percent in 2014
March 26, 2015
Growth in China, Germany, and the United States led to a record year for wind installations, report concludes

The world is instead going to regard Saskatchewan as a pollution capital, not an energy capital.

3. SASKATCHEWAN TRAPPED IN THE 19th CENTURY: Absent policy leadership, clean-energy investors are largely giving the province a pass, the Star Phoenix reported. Despite abundant wind and sun, it has “put most of its money behind so-called clean coal.”

So Brad Wall’s SaskParty will brag about low taxes and “equitable” treatment of business (even though that’s not been the case for private e-waste businesses), while the rest of the world regards us as technological laggards. Cutting funding to Saskatchewan’s top universities isn’t going to help with that image either. Maybe I’m biased, because I’m about to own a renewable energy system, and I work at a university. Maybe my expectations for Saskatchewan are too high.

I’m not the only one dreaming.

Baird Gold

It’s not easy for a long-time politician to leave public life, even if they have a golden parachute.

Fisk On Harper

It’s articles like this one that make you wonder if the Canadian media is telling you everything you need to know. (Seriously though, that’s plainly obvious.)

Aurora

If Stephen Harper is serious about criminalising ‘barbaric cultural practices’, then he should arrest himself for even suggesting it

And while he’s at it, he can lock up all the other Western leaders who have savaged the Muslim world too.

Harper […] is about to push a truly eccentric piece of legislation through parliament in Ottawa. It’s called – and I urge readers to repeat the words lest they think it’s already April Fool’s Day – the “Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act”. Yup, when I first read the phrase “Barbaric Cultural Practices Act”, I felt sure it was a joke, a line from the “Big Bang Theory”…

“these “practices” are already forbidden by Canadian law

“…this unique legislation, [comes] from the Canadian minister of – you guessed it – Citizenship and Immigration. Now isn’t that odd?
[…]
Because in truth, the new Canadian legislation is about foreigners or – more to the point – Muslims.”

The man [Rashed] does not work for CSIS, Canada’s spy outfit, according to Ottawa government “sources”. But officially, CSIS, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police – the guys who always “get their man” – and Harper’s office have all refused to comment. The Ottawa Citizen has been highlighting another new bit of Harper legislation, Bill C-44 this time, which would allow Canadian judges to authorise CSIS activities abroad “to investigate a threat to the security” of Canada, “without regard to any other law, including that of any foreign state…”

Plenty to think about there.

And here’s more to think about, from Hedges, on what Bill C-51 and the new security state we live in means.

More Spy Stuff

The bottom half of this page is all about CSE.

Canada’s had a recent track record that’s bad. PONY EXPRESS ring a bell? So what is our watchdog really doing? Not much, judging by recent news reports.

YQR 360- Turning Homelessness Around

Originally posted on John Klein - Regina:

Coinciding with the 5 Days for the Homeless charity fundraiser, was another event at the University of Regina Friday afternoon. I caught the last half of it for you, and there were some really interesting comments from the audience and panel members.

University of Regina

University of Regina

When they were mentioning food banks, I felt like pointing out how grocery stores in Regina compact their trash, which actually contains hundreds of pounds of unexpired and edible food. The Food Bank didn’t usually send volunteers to pick up surplus bread products from a local grocery store (before it closed permanently 2 years ago).

https://www.facebook.com/events/397742930397930/

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Saskatchewan Needs a Real Change of Destination

Greg is making a good point in his latest column, but I had to throw in a Green campaign slogan into the title in good fun. The bottom line really is that the Sask Party is propping up the dying fossil fuels industry, while calls to divest from it are coming from around the world. There’s no stopping this change (for the better).

While the Saskatchewan Party remains bent on thinking small, any reasonable look at the world around us suggests it’s long past time for a big change in direction. And if if this year’s budget again fails on that front, then we should seriously reconsider who’s choosing our destination.

“study finds that the main barrier to achieving those goals is a matter of politics rather than technology or economic limitations.”

“We have the tools to transition to a clean energy economy; all that’s lacking is the leadership to put them to use.”
Greg is bang on, and I’m not saying so simply because I’ve been saying the same thing for years.

Given that there are about 410,000 households in Saskatchewan, we’d need about 3 Ivanpah style solar power plants to provide electricity to every home in the province. We can do it, and we should.

That’s me last year providing a real-world example of technology we could build in Saskatchewan to give every household renewable energy at a price we can afford. We can probably not afford to fail to build such a new system.


ADDED: Prebble and others show that Saskatchewan must turn to renewable energy to succeed in reforming our economy.

Leave It In The Ground

The world has much more coal, oil and gas in the ground than it can safely burn. That much is physics.

Watch this compelling, factual argument about how to solve the climate crisis. I first became aware of this straightforward idea after watching Do The Math by 350.org run by Bill McKibben. It is MAD lunacy to spend billions of taxpayer dollars exploring for more fossil fuels when the existing known reserves would destroy our climate should it all be burned!

if we and our children are to have a reasonable chance of living stable and secure lives 30 or so years from now, according to one recent study 80% of the known coal reserves will have to stay underground, along with half the gas and a third of the oil reserves.

If only science were enough.

We have to convince people of the dire urgency. They’ve many reasons for doubting it, ranging from conspiracy theories, distrust of scientific knowledge, to short term greed. Also a big factor is the concerted corporate misinformation and doubt campaign waged for decades against us. It’s hard enough to help a single person acting against their own self-interest, but imagine fixing entire societies programmed to consume past real limits?

Governments are giving nearly $100,000,000,000.00 a year to companies searching for more ways to destroy civilization. And far too few newspapers take the threat to our civilization seriously and devote appropriate time explaining what people and politicians (who happen to be people in most cases) need to do about the problem “one distinguished scientist has termed as “incompatible with any reasonable characterisation of an organised, equitable and civilised global community”.”