Hursh Lights A Match

And the fields are dry.

“As a farmer in southwest Saskatchewan, this isn’t a great year. It’s been dry and hot. Crop yields as well as prices are down. Many of my neighbours have had their crops destroyed by vicious hailstorms.”

Hursh has made it clear. Yes, it’s clear that he’s “a climate change denier, a stooge of big oil and big agriculture”.
“…the weather has not become unsuitable for agriculture.” Until it isn’t, and we’ve hit tipping points that have blasted methane out of the permafrost, and our ice caps can’t reflect enough heat, and our oceans have acidified past livable conditions, and our coastal cities are destroyed by flooding. It’s frustrating that the Leader-Post lets such a poorly considered editorial meet its pages. It doesn’t meet the most basic levels of logical thought.

I used to have respect for Hursh’s long agricultural journalism career, but now he’s spouting nonsense that will finish the industry if too many listen to his trap of apathy and ignorance.

“I could blame it on global warming or climate change, but it’s really no different than many of the years faced by my father or his father before that.”
Except it is different, and he’s no listening to scientists telling him it is.

“If some of the climate change models are correct, and that’s a big if (sic), there will be winners and losers when it comes to agriculture. Many of these models show Canada as a big benefactor.”

What the hell is that? He thinks there are models that don’t show Canada being hurt from Halifax, Victoria, and Vancouver being destroyed by flooding, and crops not made less viable with extreme droughts and rain spells? Remember 20 years ago, when the Deniers were ranting about growing crops further north (where there’s no topsoil to speak of) if Canada warmed up? Some of the more out-of-touch ones still bring up that lark. The Regina daily paper does its readers no favours by printing such equivalent wishful thinking (if you can call parroting Denislist memes “thinking”).

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“That’s their business, not Canada’s”

Is Jim Carr, Minister of Screwing Up Industry talking about Bombardier or Kinder Morgan?

It’s a trick question, he said that about both. Last year McParland wrote the following hilarity that he got so very wrong:

The most ludicrous assertion offered in the wake of TransCanada’s announcement was Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr’s claim that it was solely a “business decision” that had nothing to do with the government. Yes, the decision was made on a business basis, but in the face of a regulatory and approval process put in place by a government more devoted to favoured voting groups than to the development and expansion of one of Canada’s most crucial economic interests. 

The government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is more concerned about Quebec, environmentalists and Indigenous communities than it is about the potential fallout of lost investment and a moribund energy industry.

Don’t slap your knee too hard, you might bruise it, especially after you consider that Trudeau has committed no less than $4,500,000,000 of our taxes to Kinder Morgan so they get bonuses, which are a “business decision” according to Minister of Screwing Up Industry Carr. After the TMX is twinned, we’re on the hook for $15Bil. Oh goody.

The bonuses would give Kinder Morgan Canada president Ian Anderson and Trans Mountain vice president David Safari $1.5 million each in extra pay if they remain in their jobs until July 2020.

Would someone like to share how big the bonuses are for Bombardier executives after the federal bail-outs for their industry? Or, how big were they for General Motors after the 2008 financial crisis and their bail-out?

An official familiar with the GM deal told National Observer that the paymaster would have prevented the type of bonuses offered by Kinder Morgan. The source, who asked not to be identified, said that the paymaster also made it more challenging to recruit and retain top executive talent.

The Canadian government sold its shares in GM in 2015, before a general election, allowing then-finance minister Joe Oliver to balance the federal budget with proceeds from the sale. But taxpayers lost $3.5 billion on the bailout, the Globe and Mailreported in 2015.

Oh, so the Minister of Screwing Up Industry could have stopped the Kinder Morgan bonuses if he wanted to or cared about managing our gift to KM responsibly.

Up Is Down In Moe Town

SaskPower’s 2016-17 annual report, released last summer, states, “We will see our emissions profile rise slightly until 2020.”

Husky Might Be Fined

Husky has only been charged now by the Crown, for a spill nearly 2 years ago. Federal charges may be pending too. The provincial charges carry a possible fine of only $1M. Great deal for an oil company, to operate and ruin the water supply of Saskatchewan’s 3 largest city and many other people too.

A report from the province is being delayed until after a possible appeal, making it many years since the spill until others can learn important details and possibly solutions.

Here’s a blog post from way back about the spill.

Don’t Make It Sound Like There’s More Than One Thing

“recognize its own climate change efforts, such as carbon capture and storage. ”
Effort, not “efforts”. There’s only been one effort made, and arguably the CCS project increases emissions since it’s an Enhanced Oil Recovery project that enables Cenovus to extract more oil which will be burned. Whether the net CO2 from CCS is a reduction or an increase has not been officially confirmed, probably because it is an increase in pollution overall.

The federal Ministry of the Environment sent Manitoba a letter in December giving it until the end of February to sign on, or else lose its share of a $1.4-billion clean energy fund.

The fund is only available to provinces that ratified the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, which Manitoba and Saskatchewan refused to sign in December 2016.

The Premier and Environment Ministers are arrogant, stubborn, anti-science mutton heads. How else can anyone sum it up better than that?

Layin’ Pipe

A Tale About Buying an Electric Car

There’s no place to buy a used Electric Vehicle in Regina, in 2017. This is a problem. It’s one I don’t have the ability to solve, but it affects me because I’m interested in helping people know how to get an electric car if they live in southern Saskatchewan.

There was a site my friend had directed me to, and it had less selection and higher prices than I was looking for. I started looking earlier this year, and the prices on Auto Trader, although better, were still a few too many thousands of dollars out of my price range. I put the project on hold until the new Nissan Leaf was set to be announced in early September. After patiently dealing with a sluggish salesperson for a couple days in Port Moody over phone-tag, I found a 2014 Leaf SV in Vancouver for $16000, with the features I was looking for, and put a $500 down payment on it easily by credit card. Then, the real difficulties began…

I bank with several different banks. The one with the money for the car is not a Big 5, but it’s owned by the Big 5. They don’t have a SWIFT code, which is apparently required to send money by wire transfer. It would have been at least 2 days to move the money to another bank, and $50 to wire it, or $10 to buy a bank draft and courier it to me. I chose the latter, and Purolator didn’t successfully leave me a notice of the delivery. I phoned the bank 3 days later asking what was going on, and they said it was already in Regina. The following morning I went to pick it up, and courier it to the auto dealer in Vancouver. That evening, I got word that my Dad had passed away.

The following week, I got a paper to sign and send back, which I did electronically, and was soon told the car would ship and be in Regina at Regina Honda by “mid-week”. When Wednesday rolled around, and I didn’t get a phone call, I got in touch with the sales person (who was the 2nd I dealt with, as the first one left employment at the Vancouver dealer in the meantime). They noted the car hadn’t been picked up by the shipping company yet! They got a new promise of 7-10 days from the following day when it would be picked up, he assured me. I suggested a partial refund of $200 may be in order. He and his manager were not eager to make such a deal.

Day 10 was about to roll around, so I called to get some facts, and they said it was set to be delivered on Monday. I was hoping for the Friday, but close enough. On Monday, no phone call arrived. I called the Regina Dealer, to check it hadn’t been dropped off, and it hadn’t. The Vancouver sales person emailed the shipping company and asked them to contact me with what happened. They suggested that they hoped it would be in Regina a week later!

I was not pleased. I suggested that was unacceptable. My salesperson agreed, and also demanded better of the shipping company Car-Fre’.

3 and a half weeks waiting for it to arrive was too long. The dealer/shipper missed 2 self-imposed delivery dates. The Port Moody dealer finally admitted they were taking too long, and promised a $500 refund of the $1000 to ship it, which I happily accepted.

It arrived October 19, 2017, at Regina Honda on Broad St. The truck operator unloaded it, it was conveniently placed at the back of the semi trailer. I went to Galon Insurance down the street, they collected the PST, the conditional 28 day registration, gave me a plate, and I bought an AutoPak from SMI, it was about $40 less than SGI’s. I didn’t have a wrench with me to get the new plate on, so a salesperson at Regina Honda helped me out. As we walked to the vehicle, they asked why we didn’t buy directly from them, “You don’t sell it, unfortunately.”

I got back to work, and parking was temporarily free in the lot I picked, BONUS! It should be free-ish for EVs anyway, at this point in Regina’s history, at least until they become much more common.

I’d hoped to be able to offer a template to others so they could copy my experience, but it’s better if they don’t. While the Port Moody Honda dealer eventually made things better with the partial shipping refund, they weren’t really keen on shipping out of province, and only do it a few times a year.

The shipping company dropped the ball completely. They only came through at the end because an auto-dealer lit a fire under their butts. Their latest review on Yellowpages was from another unhappy customer. If your expectation is that it’ll arrive sometime long after promised, they’re good enough. If you want it the same month, try another method.

If you’ve enough money for a new car, a more immediate method of getting an EV to Regina would be to buy one at Evergreen Nissan in Prince Albert. It’s 400km away though, so you’ll still need to ship it, or take a full day or two to drive it down to Regina. Maybe Regina Nissan will catch on, or be dragged into the future not too long from me writing this.

UPDATE: The PST and shipping refunds arrived at the end of October by mail.