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Canadian Federal Election Survey 2015

Canadian Federal Election Survey 2015

Which candidate for Prime Minister of Canada do you believe:

  1. is the most undemocratic?
  2. is the most fear mongering?
  3. is the most culturally destructive?
  4. is the bootlicker of the wealthiest multinational corporations?
  5. is most likely to silence the science and scientists that protect Canada and Canadians?
  6. has the most money to spend on designing a media campaign?
  7. would prefer that Canadians are politically disengaged?
  8. would prefer that the masses are uneducated?
  9. would sell out Canada and its values for a Trans Pacific Partnership deal?
  10. manufactures distractions and crises that evoke worry and suspicion?
  11. is likely to sacrifice the democratic process by selfishly proroguing parliament if things don’t go their way?
  12. would be the worst offenders at pressuring their MP’s to vote along party lines?
  13. should never be a leader of a country?

Take the survey.  Share the survey.  Talk about politics.  Get informed on the details behind the fluff.  Stand up for an enlightened society by championing research, education, political protesters, whistle blowers and the arts…these things make Canada great. Think.  Finally, VOTE, and/or protest loudly, cleverly and conspicuously…but do it.  Good Luck.

Thank you for taking the Canadian Federal Election Survey 2015.

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Elizabeth May; here we go again!

Its instant replay time for Canadian federal election 2011 and the media blocking Elizabeth May from a leaders debate. Reason enough for the consortium to let her in is that May’s Green Party is an emerging and popular one that would get more votes if it were not for people voting strategically. They are not the fringe party that the consortium makes them out to be…but I believe the consorium knows this already. True, the democratic process has not favoured them, but their popularity is on the upswing and everyone knows it. (Check out this; http://greenparty.ca/node/6660 ) Here’s why I think the consortium is really “saying” that they are blocking her;  two words…”marketing and promotion”.  This is likely because it creates newsworthy controversy that pumps up the debate in the media, popularizing it so that people hear a lot about it. As long as the debate controversy continues so does promotion of the leaders dabate! And its not just the consortium getting all the publicity for their debate but Elizabeth May too! She can ride the controversy and gain a bigger piece of the public eye. In the last federal debate May fought into it as an underdog, held her own and in the opinion of many she came off as the winner, knowing the issues inside and out. I doubt many would have doubted her ability as a leader after the debate. My biggest criticism of May is that she might come off as a somewhat quirky personality; albeit a kind, authentic, intelligent one. Quite Canadian actually. I really believe that the Greens are a positive, rising force in Canada and that Canadians want to be seen as more green than their current leaders are facilitating. Many Canadians are embarrassed by the current political environmental policy and inaction of government. Fear of the unknown is all that is stopping many people from voting Green; that or the belief that their vote must be strategically made to ensure that the greater evil doesn’t take a seat in some ridings. Never-the-less, come a few days before the debate I believe a shiny green light will burn through the consortium’s inhibitions of allowing Elizabeth May into the debate. The other leaders may scoff and stomp, but most Canadians and the consortium will glad that she’s there.

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August 2, 2009; Canoe in the Mist

dark skies, sunny spirits

dark skies, sunny spirits

The dark skies were frequent companions during the cool, wet July and first few days of August. It was good to get out on the water without getting rained on.  A high flying loon warbled out its mournful flight song as it popped over a hill and crossed the sky above the lake.

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Carbon Capture

Regarding Carbon Capture from Coal (and other places)

The following was my complete response to Bob Williams Bnet article about carbon capture as it relates to coal.

Click here to view Bob’s article.

 

Its painful to watch and listen to these hot issues play themselves out.  What someone is really looking for is something that doesn’t and never will exist…which is a way to keep using more and more energy, to make more and more stuff and keep everything as usual without anyone ever really having to face up to the reality of it all.

 

Carbon capture (cc) while possible is a red herring. The promotion of the idea appeases the public by giving them what I coin as “environmental hope”. Whether anyone believes cc is viable or not it is irrelevant because it serves to divert attention from other environmental problems that have real solutions that could be easily handled with technologies and other strategies right now. Our governments are not really interested in solving the real problems by promoting practical and viable ideas  because these would continue to reduce demand on energy and materials. While this is truly what is needed in terms of the environment, it doesn’t fit into the equation of greed and the illusion of wealth, which is really the real agenda. 

 

Carbon and coal are “inseparable” therefore, if carbon capture is adopted as a viable means of greening energy production it becomes a new layer of energy consuming technology in and of itself.  Everyone pays for it and it becomes entrenched in power production to maintain the environmental quality standards.  I understand its not cheap and since lots of money is flowing into into R and D for it, we’ll see lots of players lining up at the trough. I do hope something good and viable and feasible comes out of it. It would be great if coal could be made cleaner, if coal is something we need to use on such a large scale.  But with carbon capture technology we will use even more coal to get the same electrical power generation.  This equates to even more coal extraction projects, open pit mines, etc.

 

 

 

 

Here is a quote taken from a government of Canada publication  regarding the problem I have just stated indicating innefficiencies that increase fuel use by up to 40%:

 

“All technologies as applied to energy generation effectively reduce efficiency, increasing the amount of CO2 created (and therefore necessary to capture) per unit of energy produced. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has estimated that the increase in energy required to capture the CO2 is between 10% and 40% depending on the technology; the natural gas combined cycle requires the least and pulverized coal requires the most.(4) Capturing CO2 is the most energy-intensive phase (and therefore the largest contributor to CO2 releases and costs of energy production) in a complete carbon capture and storage mechanism.”

(Tim Williams, Science and Technology Division
10 March 2006)

 

Furthermore, it could increase the cost of energy by  over 90%. Again this is taken from another research paper prepared for the Government of Canada:

 

 

“Overall, it is estimated that capturing, transporting and storing the CO2 from a new gas- or coal-fired power plant would increase the cost of electricity generated by that plant by between 37% and 91%.  This translates into a CO2 mitigation cost of US$30-91/tonne, making CCS a comparatively high-cost method for mitigating carbon emissions, at least for the time being.  The IPCC report warns that because there is “relatively little commercial experience with configuring all of these components into fully integrated CCS systems at the kinds of scales which would likely characterize their future deployment,” these cost estimates are highly uncertain.

(Frédéric Beauregard-Tellier,Economics Division,13 March 2006)

 

 

 

 

 

Canada is very interested in carbon capture for use in Alberta Tar sands.  I’m not sure how dirty the enery from the tar sands are compared to coal but I know its giving Canada a bad reputation on the global energy market. Once again though, while a nice thought, carbon capture merely adds to the already expensive process of getting fuel from this resource. I don’t have the exact figures at hand but the current cost to produce a litre of fuel from tar sand is roughly insane give or take a few idiots.  I can’t imagine proposing anything that would add to the cost…that would be crazy!

 

Even if all the carbon was captured, the millions of hectares of nature consumed by stripping the earth will never be returned in our lifetime. The air will still contain other contaminants that escape the process and contribute to health problems.  Finally and unfortunately, I think the effort is being promoted for the wrong reasons while mascarading for the right ones, therefore it is designed to deliver a facade of benefits while changing very little for the better.

 

People will likely label me pessimistic but revisit what I have said in 5 years from now and you will see what I mean without me having to write a text book about it. 

 

Link to reading from the Alternative Power Blog: Carbon capture and storage “being oversold as a panacea”

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Become a Vegetarian

I could wax on about my own journey into the Beauty and Diet a Coincidence?vegetarian lifestyle but…OK, maybe I’ll wax on a little, since you asked so nicely.  Before I do though, might I just say it is the best and easiest decision I have ever made!

In 1996, my family lived next door to a tri-athlete who was a family man in his mid 30’s.  Our families became friends.  We soon discovered that he was also a vegetarian.  My wife and I had always been interested in becoming vegetarian but we were unsure about what to do…surely it couldn’t be as easy as cutting meat out of our diet!  Well, Clive, our neighbour seized the opportunity to feed our curious nature and lent us a book called Diet for a New America, by John Robbins.  It changed our life.

Was becoming vegetarian as easy as eliminating meat from our diet?  My answer is yes.  That is precisely what we did.  A bit at a time we started to eliminate meat.  One of the first things we discovered from our friend and from reading was that our society eats way too much protein and that by eating some grains, vegetables and beans in place of meat, you still have ample protein in your diet. For the first 3 or 4 months we ate meat once or twice a week.  As we learned  more ways to cook with beans, rice, and other alternatives we eventually eliminated meat…after a couple more months.  We did not however, eliminate milk and eggs; we did cut back though. 

Another book that helped us on our way was Becoming Vegetarian  which I have posted on my vegetarian website; it gave us dietary confidence and reassurance that our choice was healthy for us and the planet.  You will also find the “Diet for a New America” , on my  Becoming Vegetarian  website.

There are a lot of things one could do for the planet.  Becoming vegetarian trumps almost any other single decision you might make to reduce your negative impact on the planet.  It is also perhaps the healthiest single decision you can make for your own life, effectively reducing your risk of dozens of cancers and other ailments.  What are you waiting for…just go ahead and make the best and easiest decision in your entire life.  And you can learn as you go, like my family and I did!

To see my other site and find my best book picks on becoming a vegetarion click here… LETS GO

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Household Hazardous Waste? Grass Roots Action…Do It!

Its a repugnent but undenialbe truth about the products that we use everyday…they come with a serious environmental price tag that we are barely paying the interest on!  Any number of toys or electronic devices that have rechargeable batteries pose a serious risk to the ecosystem and of course our health when they are improperly disposed of.  The stuff in those batteries is Hazardous Waste.  Heavy metals in these batteries can leach from landfill sites where they enter and remain in the food chain, contaminating the bodies of everything they enter, causing cancers, birth defects, and a number of other serious health and environmental problems. 

Now consider this fact: In a Statistics Canada report form 2005-06, an estimated 450 million batteries were sold in Canada in 2004, of which 348 million were thrown out with regular household waste. (The above statistic was cited in the March 29, 2008, Windsor Star, in an article by Sharon Hill.  Sharon’s article also reports on the problem of prescription drug disposal and the problem of these drugs showing up in our drinking water).

Another Fact:

The current system for helping these products find their way to Hazardous Waste facilities is so impractical that it doesn’t feel accessible for even the “Green Oriented” Folks in our society.  Take my  community for example,  the household hazardous waste collection depot is a 30 minute drive from my home in a remote location, and it only accepts waste on sporadic occasions (to be fair they have a callendar, but the days and times are few and far between).  So, I’ve got my batteries in a bag hanging in my laundry room.  They have been accumulating since I moved here 9 years ago!  While it may be true that if I really made the effort I could have taken them their already, but why would I?  True, I have had other Hazardous Wastes that I was saving for propper disposal but the stores where they were sold offered to take these back (paint, tires and motor oil in these cases), and my local landfill site took my old refrigerator ( they have a contract with a service that pumps out the refrigerant).

Some Questions:

Why don’t businesses take back the waste from products like batteries and small electronic devices for proper disposal?  I realize that some do, but more don’t.  If companies don’t have a foolproof plan take care of this aspect of the stuff they sell, then should they sell it?

Some of My Answers to This Problem:

  • Refuse. Either refuse to buy products that are associated with serious environmental contamination or refuse to buy from companies that don’t have an effective program to deal with the Hazardous Wastes that their products generate.

  • Reduce. Find ways to reduce your demand on consumer products that cause these problems. Can you borrow something or rent it only when you need it (considering the rental agency has a disposal plan). Can you find other ways to do things?  Make a personal plan to reduce the number of things you have and the amount of time you spend using them (consider that it may improve the lifespan of the product and/or batteries).

  • Grass Roots Community Action: Talk to your neighbours; ask if they have any hazardous waste.  Educate each other and make sure everyone understands what is at stake and that this waste should be stored safely at home until taken to Hazarodous Waste Depot. Make a plan to take turns taking waste to facilities.

 

  • Lobby government and local business. Tell them you won’t shop where there is no plan to deal with this waste.  And you will only support candidates, political parties and governments that have a transparent and thoughtful environmental agenda.

  • Demand It: “Disposal Service for What You Sell Plan”, where businesses would need an effective waste program to handle the discarded products that they sell.  If a company didn’t have a program…then they wouldn’t be able to sell it; if consumers don’t put on the pressure to drive the change, then legislation must be considered. 

Industry’s Answer:

I think Industry is on the right track with the Rechargeabe Battery Recycling Corporation and its Charge Up to Recycle Program. Its a licensing program that allows businesses that comply with the program to carry the “Charge Up to Recycle” logo.  In a market driven economy they have realized that it makes good sense to be green and tell people about it. To be fair their are and have always been industry people who have been concerned with the environmnetal impacts of their activities just because they are good citizens.  To read about the Charge up to Recylce Program and its success click here: Rechargeabe Battery Recycling Corporation press release  .   http://www.rbrc.org/call2recycle/releases/archived/11.3.98.html . 

Better yet,  to find a “Charge up to Recycle” centre call:  1-800-8-BATTERY or by go on-line at www.rbrc.org.

A Final Note
I’m not sure about the effectiveness of the above program in practice and I’m not clear about how they gaurantee that participants comply with the program.  Nor do I know about other quality control measures in place to ensure that recycling of returned batteries actually gets done.   Is it empty green marketing or the real deal?  And who pays for it?  I would feel better if I could tell people the answers to those questions.   There are other programs out there and we should be aware of them and there should be accountability that addresses the questions above…and I’m sure my list of questions is far from comprehensive but its a start.

Consumers have power!  We all have a lot at stake.  Our children, our health, the quality of the food, water and air that we put into our bodies and of course there’s the planet.  Lets do something to make a difference.

If you know of an innovative program, other readers might like to know!

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Moon Condos For Rent: Perfect for Wealthy Dimwit

Tonight my son reminded me of an idea that I thought would be fading fast in a world where people are starving and whatnot. The idea; Building a “Moon Station”.  I don’t even want to know how many billion dollars it would cost, but someone should let the children at NASA or the Nations that support this kind of bologna that people should get thier crap together on earth first and use the $ to take care of each other. What’s your opinion?

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