Ernie has worked for months on keeping people alive while his city is without a proper shelter. His trailer burned down.
Tag Archives: economics
SaskPower Plots To End Drinking Water Availability
Corb Lund is among the Albertans who’ve had to fight mountaintop mining to maintain drinking water safety for Alberta and Saskatchewan. SaskPower is eager to find a path to creating social acceptance of nuclear power. Nuclear power is costly, and is planned to be delivered too late to address the climate crisis, even before we get to addressing its other serious problems or potential benefits. If they can convince people that it’s not important to maintain drinking water availability, that would aid their goal in promoting water-thirsty nuclear power.
Monopoly utilities conscript beholden ratepayers into partisan fights against the climate and our ecosystem. David Roberts of Dr. Volts podcast discusses the problem from an American perspective. The problem clearly extends well beyond Saskatchewan’s Crown corporation (monopoly) SaskPower. Here, Chris highlights how SaskPower’s utility bill serves as anti-Trudeau and anti-carbon price propaganda for its SaskParty masters:
This is not a new problem. Here’s a tweet from 4 years ago about the Sask Government’s Crown utilities interfering in a transition to renewable energy as they fought in court against the price on carbon required by the federal government.
SaskTel’s email bait and switch
After offering free email since the 1990s, to start charging per email account is an absurd insult to customers and should probably be illegal. The problem is the provincial government who could potentially do something about it, is hoping to sell off the crown corp, so they won’t do something to keep it affordable and popular.
Switch to Wind, Water, Solar, and Save Billions
“$2B saved since Ukraine war
Wind and solar power plants generated 46.3 terawatt-hours of electricity between May 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022, the data [in Turkey] showed.
“Without these power plants, underutilized gas-fired plants or coal power plants relying on imports would have had to run in order to compensate for them,” the report added.
“Assuming that all 46.3 TWh power was generated by gas-fired plants, this would mean wind and solar power replaced $7 billion extra gas imports during that 12-month period.””
Plague Update: What Does COVID Do Anyway?
COVID-19 a thrombotic disease that can be caught again, and again, and again if the first bouts are survived, and isn’t confined to a “season” because it’s so much more contagious than influenza. It has multiple waves that sweep through a community each year. Governments are using ‘magical words’ to convince people there’s a “mild”, “new normal” that is acceptable and survivable so the people will willingly return to economic activity compatible with consumptive capitalism. That locust-style capitalism also happens to be ending our habitat’s economic viability and then our survivability sometime this decade or the next.
“The coronavirus has become more adept at reinfecting people as Omicron and its many descendants seem to have evolved to partially dodge immunity. Waves of infections two, maybe three times a year may be the future of Covid-19, some scientists now fear.”
Plague Update: Clearly Political
There’s a wind blowing in Canada, and it’s blowing away from public health measures that have kept most Canadians healthy and safe from the pandemic crisis primary driver, the SARS-CoV2 virus. Somewhere between 1010 Saskatchewanians and about 4000 have perished in the last 2 years from the virus, while more than a tenth of the population has directly experienced infection.
With the world not rising to the occasion, and failing to equitably produce and distribute vaccines to all people, variants have arisen and shaken the resolve of public officials and the public at large. I had several anti-waxxers on Saturday questioning me specifically about why I’d want a vaccine that wasn’t “100% effective”. They didn’t seem educated enough to have ever heard that perfect is the enemy of good.
“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” — Confucius, 
So, we have Dr. Tam and others saying that we’ll have to pretend the crisis is over and accept routine crippling sickness spreading through our air(ports) and beyond.
“For better or for worse, this is what’s going to happen across the whole country,” said Dr. Alexander Wong, an infectious diseases physician at Regina General Hospital and associate professor at the University of Saskatchewan.
“The question is, why are we in such a rush to do all of this? It’s clearly political.”
It sure as heck isn’t a very rational, or scientific approach to getting our lives back to an old normal where the biggest reason people would be uncomfortable about going to a restaurant was the tab at the end of the night, instead of the dread of life crippling/ending infection discovered days later. Then, watching that infection spread through your family and friends…
I see this as analogous to how we handle the climate crisis also, with politics, but not science informing those political decisions. Experts explain how masses of ice poised to swamp every global coastal city are on the knife’s edge, and municipal, provincial, and federal politicians still want to build more fossil fuel pipelines and highways. Just keep piling those straws onto our camel’s back, it’s worked so far.
Plague Update: Sports Canary
CBC reported this morning there are 5 fewer NHL teams, yet the league is trying to soldier on instead of responding to the writing on the wall.
Last year when pro sports shut down arenas and later didn’t allow fans in, there were games without outbreaks, despite no vaccines. Now we have a vaccine designed for a different generation of COVID-19, but no effective public health measures to handle the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
If pro sports are allowed to send the very public message that people are to keep calm and carry on in the face of their health system collapsing, we can deserve what we get from doing the obviously wrong thing.
UPDATE: The NHL has “paused” the season over the holidays.
Silly Saskatchewan Party
EVs are not getting a free ride on the roads.
A look through Saskatchewan budget documents shows clearly that the amounts spent annually to maintain highways far exceed what’s collected through the fuel tax on gasoline, diesel and propane that are earmarked for highway building and upkeep. For instance, Harpauer’s 2021-22 budget projects spending $830 million on highways, while the fuel tax is expected to raise $477.9 million.
In fact, from 2008 to 2022, fuel tax revenues total $6.8 billion, while $10.6 billion is spent on highways.
Link broken on purpose.
Suez Canal Unblocked
Stonks Game Stops At This Stop
Hedge funds that bet against Game Stop are crying foul as they lose a fortune, because the crowd noticed their weakness and exploited it. Sounds very Wall Street. Is it against the rules? How could it be in a market that has too few rules. The difference now is that the crowd has the power instead of the billionaires, so it can’t be fair, right?
Hedge funds basically borrowed money to buy stocks for Game Stop that shouldn’t even have been available for sale (136%??), and a crowd of investors very publicly noted this situation, explained publicly what they were going to do, and the hedge funds didn’t immediately back down and take a small loss, and so lost the entire amount. As a result of not being able to cover their loss, they were forced to buy the stock they bet against, pushing the price up even further. A short squeeze happened with Tesla in the past year too, part of the reason for its stock price meteoric rise.
Billionaire CEO defends Redditors; CNBC host sounds like a whiner sad that his team made a bad bluff and got called.
Can’t tell if joking… @theserfstv · “lol Gamestop just became an S&P top 500” If true and it qualifies, that would require it be included in the S&P list of the top 500 stocks, like Tesla, pushing its price up further.
@IGN · “Amidst ongoing GameStop stock fluctuations, WallStreetBets has been banned from Discord for allowing “hateful and discriminatory content after repeated warnings,” and has gone private on Reddit.” https://bit.ly/3t25EEC
@JuddLegum · “Funny no one mentions that the primary “victim” of the GameStop trading, Gabe Plotkin, worked for SAC until the firm pled guilty to insider trading in 2013 and paid $1.8B in fines to the SEC and this week, Plotkin got a 2.75B bailout from his old boss, Steve Cohen, SAC’s founder.”
Memes are flowing:
“You said crypto was too volatile? Mmhmm… (Woman tipping hand)
Wall Street: Crypto is volatile.
GameStop: Hold my Beer (mug)”
“GameStop, AMC, Tootsie Roll, BlackBerry: there’s a theme here and it’s elder millennial nostalgia.”
“Hold the line, “They can take our subreddit, but they can never take our $GME”
– Actually they can take it, and will probably try. These folks need to learn about Bitcoin, badly.