Fair and Balanced Questions

As you probably know, “Fair and Balanced” is the Fox News tagline that exists to trick the more easily fooled into thinking that’s what their actual objective is.

Check out today’s story from the Vancouver Observer about “@FairQuestions”, a Conservative friendly researcher who took thousands of dollars in speaking fees from oil companies and testified for Conservative ends in Parliament. This, after being connected to lucrative oil money roles through Senator Duffy.

The $10,000 fees were paid by the Association for Mineral Exploration of BC (AMEBC), Canadian Energy Pipelines Association (CEPA) and Taseko Mines between March 22nd and June 6, 2012. The Inuvik Petroleum Show paid $6000 for a June 21 appearance, along with Amanda Lang and Ezra Levant.

The B.C. mining group also appeared to go out of its way to pay her.

“We usually don’t have fees,” said John Buchanan, Director of Communications and Public Affairs of AMEBC. “It’s a professional opportunity. It’s a way for speakers to give back to their industry.”

www. ezralevant. com/protecting_canadas_future has a video of Krause on Levant’s former Sun News show.

ADDED: One of the most disturbing points in the video is when Krause says she thinks the debate has been skewed because big money from the cities is drowning out small voices in rural Canada, and that funding should be “out in the open”.

Made In Canada Conservative Hypocrisy

“Canada had long been a proponent of harmonizing our climate-change policy with the U.S. until the U.S. started to fight climate change.”

First it was the “Made in Canada” scam plan (that never appeared). Then it was, “We will act when our American partners do.” Now that Americans are acting, it’s exposed the climate denial-ism of the Conservative Party.

So what happened? Why has the government suddenly changed course? The reality seems to be that harmonization has just been an excuse the federal government used to justify doing nothing, and then quickly abandoned as soon as it meant doing something.

“Apparently, the government is now looking for today’s climate laggard to harmonize with.”
– “Tim Gray is executive director of Environmental Defence.”

Canada’s Oily Media

There are opportunities to support journalism in Canada that doesn’t take millions from the oil industry and the oil-soaked Conservative government.

Had you heard that the Conservative Party communicated with Enbridge, in secret, through Mike Duffy? If you don’t watch independent journalism online, you might miss important news like that.

The National/Vancounver Observer and CanadaLand are two independent media outlets in our country who can tell you the real story, because their funding doesn’t come from CAPP/Enbridge, and the Conservative government.

Think also about how Mike De Souza was laid off from Postmedia, after his reporting on the oil industry was about the only reason to read the National Post.

2020 Solar Power for 100% of Saskatchewan Homes Possible

This letter appeared in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix on Saturday.

In response to Kurt Soucy’s letter about the cost of powering the entire provincial grid with Photovoltaic (PV) solar power, I’d like to voice my support for his idea. It’s also possible to power every Saskatchewan household with concentrated solar thermal power plants similar to what’s already operating in California at Ivanpah. We’d need only three of those plants, and with a modification to their design, the solar power would be available into the night, using heat storage.

Mr. Soucy’s solar PV idea is sound also, and by aiming at powering only 410,000 households* instead of businesses too, we’re sure to have a diverse mix of power available for every electrical customer. Ivanpah took only 3 years to build, so at that pace, we could be most of the way to completely on renewable energy by 2020. The cost of 1 Ivanpah was $2.18 billion (USD), so 3 would be approximately $6.6 billion (USD).

The Premier just proposed we take another look at nuclear power, despite polling last year which indicated most people in Saskatchewan are opposed. Nuclear power can’t compete with the profitability of renewable energy, so I welcome a series of “[Solar] Power to Grow” forums held by the provincial government around the province. These forums were called for by citizens** during the Uranium Development Proposal (UDP) of 2009. Now that the Premier has suggested we need to revisit the UDP, this time we should give the spotlight to renewable energy. We stand to eliminate most of our carbon pollution, and lower our future utility bills if we make the best choices.

*According to http://www.stats.gov.sk.ca/stats/pop/2011FamiliesHouseholds.pdf

**

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.

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”.”