Thursday, February 16, 2012

Climate Gate and Climate Deniers - Followers in Canada

One might think we are living in medieval times when it comes to our attitude to global warming.  So many variations of opinion are muddying current understanding that each view may be as bizarre as the next if one reads the background on the climate wars through the prism of each viewer.  Nobel laureate scientists,  environmentalists, climate deniers, geoengineerers are fighting either to close debate or are working under the radar to make changes for us.

Climate deniers say environmentalists are using scientists to instill fear about global warming in order to perpetuate political control.   Environmentalists are blaming climate deniers for being lobbyists for big oil.  And big money philanthropists, the ones least spoken about in the media, are making environment change with hocus pocus wizardry.

Climategate is the neologism for a politically motivated, special interest group that is making a concerted, organized campaign against the scientifically proven and very clearly exhibited warming of our planet that is caused by human activity.  A third thinks that the solution is to manage the weather or look for another planet.  Each points a finger of "crazy" at the other.

To look for yourself, see the three opposing viewpoints.

U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 
Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change

The first website considers the dangerous repercussions caused by over development and examines the scientific evidence of changing environment including warming, weather patterns, extreme weather, melting ice at the poles.  The second emphasizes a magical thinking view that nature has its own means of self regulation and that over time there have been similar fluctuations in global temperature extremes.  The site is a parody of the first at the outset, but the scientific (alchemist) examinations of CO2 emissions are written by scientists with dubious respectability in the field. The third uses science to make nature predictable and changeable.

Funders for the deniers are amongst the big oil philanthropic duo Koch Brothers and Microsoft's Bill Gates Corporation for geoengineering.  The media spin on Gates' donations say that he offered computers to this endeavour.  The reporter didn't corroborate or investigate the truth of that, but it is easily disproven.
Geoengineering is opposed by many environmentalists, who say the technology could undermine efforts to reduce emissions, and by developing countries who fear it could be used as a weapon or by rich countries to their advantage. In 2010, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity declared a moratorium on experiments in the sea and space,except for small-scale scientific studies.
Why GeoEngineering poses the most threat to global warming
The least covered aspect of science about climate change deals with geoengineering.  Most opposition to climate manipulation comes from the countries most immediately affected, like Brazil and Africa.  Brazil has the most resources and internet capacity to campaign against it.

An IceRocket search will provide adequate background for the pros and cons, an example follows.  Note the page rank and number of references for its veracity.
3 days ago by Rusty
... the following video compilation is an accurate depiction of what is happening, this is an important historical/scientific document relying on primary sources and hard data rather than selectively chosen scientific papers funded by the billion dollar foundations and organisations who funded geoengineering ...
How is Canada an important player in Geoengineering? 
Our wide open spaces, tundra, arctic and controlled through suppression Aboriginal population (key opposition) make it possible.  Another location is the atmosphere and the oceans.  However, the secret document at the end of this post lists not the Canadian indigenous peoples but Madagascar as a group to be consulted.  What follows are snippets from the 82 page document.

As well as Gates, other wealthy individuals including Sir Richard Branson, tar sands magnate Murray Edwards and the co-founder of Skype, Niklas Zennström, have funded a series of official reports into future use of the technology. Branson, who has frequently called for geoengineering to combat climate change, helped fund the Royal Society's inquiry into solar radiation management last year through hisCarbon War Room charity. It is not known how much he contributed.
Professors David Keith, of Harvard University, and Ken Caldeira of Stanford, [see footnote] are the world's two leading advocates of major research into geoengineering the upper atmosphere to provide earth with a reflective shield. They have so far received over $4.6m from Gates to run the Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research(Ficer). Nearly half Ficer's money, which comes directly from Gates's personal funds, has so far been used for their own research, but the rest is disbursed by them to fund the work of other advocates of large-scale interventions.
According to statements of financial interests, Keith receives an undisclosed sum from Bill Gates each year, and is the president and majority owner of the geoengineering company Carbon Engineering, in which both Gates and Edwards have major stakes – believed to be together worth over $10m.
Another Edwards company, Canadian Natural Resources, has plans to spend $25bn to turn the bitumen-bearing sand found in northern Alberta into barrels of crude oil. Caldeira says he receives $375,000 a year from Gates, holds a carbon capture patent and works for Intellectual Ventures, a private geoegineering research company part-owned by Gates and run by Nathan Myhrvold, former head of technology at Microsoft.
The continued increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases has profound implications for global and regional average temperatures, and also precipitation, ice-sheet dynamics, sea-level rise, ocean acidification and the frequency and magnitude of extreme events. Future climatic perturbations could be abrupt or irreversible, and potentially extend over millennial time scales; they will inevitably have major consequences for natural and human systems, severely affecting biodiversity and incurring very high socio-economic costs (Section 3.1). (from Canadian Natural Resources.)
Enhanced weathering on land however will have clear local impacts as it requires large mining areas and associated transport infrastructure. In addition, the mineral resources required will only be available in certain locations, therefore reducing the opportunity for choosing between alternative sites. Based on historical experience, large mining activities could have serious social implications. In addition, land space is needed for weathering to happen. 
Second, the distribution of impacts of geo-engineering are not likely to be even or uniform as are the impacts of climate change itself. Regarding impacts on climate, this appears to be mainly an issue arising from SRM. Regarding other impacts, CDR could have local and possibly also regional impacts that could raise distributional issues. Such impacts are explored below in this chapter. Where distributional effects arise, this raises questions about how the uneven impacts can be addressed for instance through proper governance mechanisms.
Third, as with climate change, geo-engineering could also entail intergenerational issues. As a result of possible technological “lock in”, future generations might be faced with the need to maintain geo-engineering measures in general in order to avoid impacts of climate change. This mainly has been identified as an issue for SRM. However, it is also conceivable that CDR-techniques entail similar “lock in” effects depending on emission trajectories. Conversely, it could be argued that not pursuing further research on geo-engineering could limit future generations’ options for reducing climate risk. 

How does one sort through the smog of climate reality?

Follow the money trail to see who is being secretive about their funding and documentation.  Documents disclosing the strategies of climate deniers were sent anonymously to DeSmogBlog and can be read in full by following the links here.
These documents are available over at DeSmogBlog. Several people are going over them, and so far they appear legit. You can read some relevant discussions at DeSmogBlogDeep ClimatePlanet 3Greg LadenClimateCrocksShawn Otto, and Think Progress. John Mashey at DeSmogBlog has more info that also corroborates the leaked documents, and to call it blistering is to severely underestimate it.
 How do you know if the media is showing bias?
You might be able to spot deniers or the effect of their propaganda in several ways.  Media  qualifying their remarks by such provisos as attributing a point of view to one organization like the Suzuki Foundation or Greenpeace, thereby branding it with the "wingnut" slander or "lefty" tar brush (wink understood).

Why is there so little science news?
Science is being muzzled by governments world wide in order to maintain a status quo.  We never hear about the impact of oil and gas on the environment, toxics, climate, air, water, food supplies, from scientists in Canada unless the information is filtered.
Science, one of the world’s top research journals, published Miller’s findings in January. The journal considered the work so significant it notified “over 7,400″ journalists worldwide about Miller’s “Suffering Salmon” study. Science told Miller to “please feel free to speak with journalists.” It advised reporters to contact Diane Lake, a media officer with the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans in Vancouver, “to set up interviews with Dr. Miller.”
Obama has made attempts to restore science to its rightful place, while our government has completely reversed all our free speech on environment.  We must agitate to have more news stories on environment and science in newspapers, more scientists in federal agencies.  Why control science?  visibility, media,

Advanced Science Serving Society will be holding a meeting in B.C. this week on the issue of why governments control science, its visibility and media gatekeeping.  Let's see how it is covered and who addresses the story well.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Where is Harper's Report From the Trade Mission to China?

Not to be missed is Aaron Wherry (@aaronwherry) article on the blowup in HOC of the incompetent PC ministers' comments while he was in China.  Yes, there was hell to pay.  And a great deal of smoothing over necessary for the repeated indiscretions of the incompetents that run amok without their "talking points" scripted for them.

But each time there is a crisis that gets media attention, we know there has been some underhanded machination at play that doesn't make the headlines and isn't subject to scrutiny in the press.  Questions I'd like to hear asked would be:

Prime Minister, you did not meet with a prominent dignitary on your trip. Notable, though, was China’s decision not to have Harper meet with Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping, who will travel to the United States next week to meet U.S. President Barack Obama. Why is that?

Prime Minister, who did you take with you and why did you not take any agricultural representatives? Was it to present export opportunities for our agricultural products or to encourage Chinese immigration to B.C. which will result in an over burden of non producing elite class second home owners in the area?  Is this the future Canadians want?

A representative from immigrant services organization S.U.C.C.E.S.S. was also part of Harper's trip and is still overseas.
Speaking in Vancouver, CEO Thomas Tan said the organization went to China for two reasons: first, to make S.U.C.C.E.S.S. more visible to Chinese who are thinking of immigrating to British Columbia; and second, to look for Chinese organizations interested in implementing projects S.U.C.C.E.S.S. has developed in Vancouver.

Read more: 

Prime minister, we have a shortage of jobs in B.C. Why are you importing Chinese temporary workers instead of employing Canadians and supporting our work force?

Speaking in Vancouver, CEO Thomas Tan said the organization went to China for two reasons: first, to make S.U.C.C.E.S.S. more visible to Chinese who are thinking of immigrating to British Columbia; and second, to look for Chinese organizations interested in implementing projects S.U.C.C.E.S.S. has developed in Vancouver.
The organization has two programs Tan said could be applicable in China: its health care management system for seniors and its caregiver training programs.
Canada has a reputation in China for its good health care system, Tan said. S.U.C.C.E.S.S. blends that system with the Chinese cultural component in its approach to senior care. "That's the uniqueness of our care home here," Tan said.
The other program S.U.C.C.E.S.S. would like to export is its live-in caregiver training, which would train people in China to become caregivers in Canada.
Exporting the programs would bring in management fees that would help S.U.C.C.E.S.S., a non-profit, become more sustainable.

Read more:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Farmers and Small Businesses Will Be Buried By Loosening of Regulations

When Galen Weston got himself into hot water for criticizing small farmers for spreading contamination, Sylvain Charlebois, a Guelph professor was quick to come in and do damage control. Weston, owner of Loblaw, the largest food retailer in Canada,  made the remark before a group of 600 food industry executives at the Canadian Food Summit in Toronto.  He said: 
“Farmers’ markets are great … One day they’re going to kill some people, though,” he said, quickly adding: “I’m just saying that to be dramatic, though.” 
Who knows who the execs were, as details don't seem to matter in reporting anymore, but anyway.  No doubt, they were like minded Used to be that balanced reporting would have added that fact, and maybe included a quote from a wounded party that might shed light on the further implications of what is going on.  But since that's not happening, it must be another coverup.  Anyway, Weston was quick to notice the gaff and apologized, but apparently, even more smoothing of perceptions was needed along with some pushing of the upcoming legislation that will threaten farmers and small entrepreneurs in the same way as all the government's deregulation policies.  Part of the one for one idiotic strategy, the softening of regulations, which ones, pick and choose, silliness will make a mockery of real business enterprises.  You may be sure that it will work well for some, and badly for others.

What's going on in the Food and Drug Industry?
TorontoCanada's food and consumer products manufacturers welcome the initiatives recommended today by the Red Tape Reduction Commission as they will spur industry growth, improve Canada's outdated regulatory system and ultimately help bring more innovative products to Canadian homes.
Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC) is pleased that many of its key recommendations are included in the report concerning increased transparency; addressing the many regulatory delays manufacturers face when bringing new, innovative products to market; more proactive communication with business; improved efficiencies to move goods over the border; and greater reliance on electronic services.

FCPC specifically recommended that the government publicly report on how long it's taken to move products through the regulatory system and is pleased that the Commission included this in their final report.
 FCPC is encouraged with the government's commitment to the "One-for-One" initiative and is calling on the Federal government to move swiftly on the recommendations announced today.
So food industry executives will be engaging in trade deregulation with the US and internationally while busting the milk marketing board at home to do to the dairy farmers what they did with the wheat board.  No more monopoly.

Farmers feel threatened by Weston's slight against farmer's markets.
The fact that Weston and Loblaws play the middle man between farmers and processors and the consumer does not give them the right to use scare tactics against those who choose to go the direct route.
Farmers markets give consumers the ability to not only purchase the freshest possible foods, far, far fresher than any corporate giant can ever offer, but it also provides a real face and location behind those products rather than the paper trail which is only possible with the giants.
Also, the middle man’s profit is wiped out.
Farmers selling at these markets are putting their face and reputation behind each and every sale, either at the market or at the farm door.
They are the ones who picked or harvested the fruits and vegetables that very morning, at the peak of freshness and when field ripened, not green and allowed to ripen in transport.
They themselves make the products they sell in their own kitchens, the very same ones as their families eat and they offer to guests, plus they are usually chemical and preservative free.
They see the very plants and animals which provide the produce they sell, know their history and their health and would no more sell a potentially dangerous item than feed it to their family or friends.
Have a question? They are more than eager to help.
Loblaws does not have the righteous handle on food safety, nor does any food agency. The number of food recalls which are announced in the media are proof of that as are the sicknesses or deaths which often precede the recalls.
To infer that they do is highly irresponsible… or a case of a food giant looking to add another $700 million to its sales sheet.
 What all this amounts to is a preliminary to absolution of the milk, dairy, eggs, turkey marketing boards in Canada because of a $1.00 discrepancy with the U.S.

Montreal economist William Watson recently compared the average retail price of four litres of milk and found the average price in U.S. cities so far this year was $3.85 (in Canadian dollars). In comparison, according to Statistics Canada, four litres of milk in Canada will set a consumer back between $4.50 (in Regina) and $6.79 (in Charlottetown). All other cities surveyed are within that range. (Statistics Canada does not provide a cross-country average.)
The Fraser Institute, a Conservative think tank, further demonizes farmers as greedy cartels.
Canada’s cartel-like supply management boards should be abolished and for the same reason other cartels are already illegal: they cement an undesirable nexus between politics and money; they promote crony capitalism, lock out competition and in the case of supply management boards, collude to raise prices on an essential human need: food. 
 That is the background to the remarks made by Weston because, indeed, one of the purposes of the conference was to strategize and prepare for the new trade deals in the future.  Charlebois conceded:

For industry, particularly for smaller enterprises trying to develop new markets both domestically and globally, the role of the Canadian food safety regulatory regime has become somewhat of an impediment to innovation and successful commercialization. The overall regulatory and policy framework within which the Canadian food industry operates itself interferes with our ability to effectively support industry in innovation, marketing and commercialization. Most Canadians wouldn’t know how difficult it really is to start a business in the food industry, mostly as a result of the array of food safety policies.
 So basically, the one for one scheme will mean big business will trade a one for one.  Food safety and successful commercialization.  Big agribusiness.  Small farmers swallowed by big agribusiness.  One for one.

China and Tar Sands Ownership Costs Canadians Their Rights

Tar Sands industry opened the door for foreign interests to swallow up Canadian sovereignty just as the banksters did in the US with their infiltration of the White House. Process is laid out here
as we are now going to have our natural resources like water being directed by what industry wants with impunity (pretty much what's already happened) to the shock of all. You will see that the Keystone will be a go, despite the destruction to the environment and protests from the stakeholders. And a network of pipes will travel to the four corners of Canada, including the Port of Churchill, through Hudson's Bay, pipelines through the east. China wants to process bitumen and control market pricing. The advantage is to own the factory, not just have a share in the profit. Thanks a lot conservative voters. Your x on the ballot just changed the course of Canada.

Patronage positions are being handed out to all key posts in the private sector which can accommodate facilitate the oil transport process.  Watch out where you live, because you're going to see a big downturn in property values if you planned on living anywhere near the big honking portlands.  
"Mr. Flaherty’s riding association also includes Tim O’Connor – a director of FarmTech Energy Corporation, the ethanol company looking to build a plant at the port to export corn and ethanol."

Flaherty can hold his nose on this one until he's Conservative blue in the face but it won't stop smelling.

These guys must think voters are fools to ne played with. Sadly, maybe they are.
The tories clearly don't limit their pork to their obscene Senate appointments - now it will be every Port Authority from Victoria to St.John's.
 Hey, the people of Oshawa voted for Diamond Jim, now they have too live with him and his decisions. As ye sow, so shall ye reap. Maybe next time around at election time they'll remember this... or not, since ethics and accountability have never seemed to matter to the Oshawa electorate.
Its no longer who you know to get ahead. You just need to be a card carrying conservative.
Huh, who would have thought considering this was the "ethical" government at work.
Oshawa councillor Nester Pidwerbecki said he fears the seven-member board of the port authority – filled mainly by the federal government – will approve the construction of the plant, despite the unanimous opposition of city council.
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
Of course industry will win out Citizens of Canada no longer have any rights!

Your environment is as good as dead.
"also president of the Conservative riding association"

"We don't think as a party that patronage has any place in the Parliament of Canada." Stephen Harper, Calgary Herald, March 22, 1995 ...
Its a shame the article didn't also reference the $100,000,000 that Finance Minister Flaherty allocated in one of his previous budgets for his friends at Farmtech so that they can build a corn based ethanol plant at taxpayer expense.
The list of patronage appointments makes clear that when Canadians go to the polls, they will hit a brick wall of very entrenched lobbyists who are cleared for entry through the back door.  

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tar Sands are Not Sustainable Growth, But Quick Buck Exploitation

Conservatives Care about Incremental Transitioning
 The TransCanada Oil Oligopoly of global foreign investors have banded together to rip up as much damage to the province of Alberta as they can before the Conservative plutocracy is stopped by a reality check this coming election.

Andrew Nikiforuk's Tar Sands Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent  is a scathing report on the damaging project that has completely transformed the Canadian economy and social contract.

Why should Canada embark on this irresponsible greed?  To keep oil business wealthy and to make our economy a slave to big business while in the meantime allowing for a communist agenda to subvert all environmental criticism.  Misrepresentation and untruths abound.

Alberta's bitumen apologists swear that "work is progressing to return the disturbed land to a natural state after development, and it will be done right."  The province's former ambassdor to the United States, Murray Smith, even assured our number ne oil market that the industry will achieve "100 per cent long-term restoration of the lands it makes use of."  Why, major tar sand companies have even planted 7.5 million tree seedlings.  The Mining Association of Canada says reclaiming open pit mines can be done with a "vision worthy of a Group of Seven artist." (Tar Sands, 94)
The tar sands are too big, too destructive, too caustic to soil to rehabilitate.  Nothing will grow there again.  But the plans just keep growing bigger to lay waste more.
Even at that, the mines make up only a small part of the wreckage created by the megaproject.  The Alberta government has leased an additional 23,000 square miles of land (and another 30,000 square miles await global investors) for in situ projects, including steam-assisted gravity drainage.  The Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, which encompass 9,000 square miles and include Jasper, Banff, Yoho and Kootenay, could fit int this planned industrial zone about six times.  As noted, SAGD development will slice and dice the land with thousands of industrial well sites, seismic lines, pipelines, and roads.  This fragmentation will transform the forest into a bitumen park, exterminating the population of woodland caribou and decimating songbirds home from their winter in the tropics.  Seismic lines, which make a forest look like and engineered spiderweb, typically need more than one hundred years to fill in with trees again.  Yet the government has no tight guidelines for reclaiming forest ruined by SAGD. (Tar Sands, p95.)
Coverup of a tailings pond with sand and grass.  What about the toxins below ground?
These are the facts with real concrete specifics, unlike the vague unrealistic and false statements coming from the Minister of the Environment.

And don't believe that oil is good for the people of Alberta which the Conservative oligopoly likes to pit against all the "have not" provinces against.  They are not doing so well as the lies tell us.
Albertans are losing funding for schools, hospitals, jobs etc. as the money is going to the oil industry. Services such as plumbing and construction are now very expensive and hard to find as most of the workers in this trade are working in the tar sands. The irony of this is that their gas prices are increasing too because most of the oil is shipped to America or elsewhere. The energy security propaganda we hear about from the industry is absolutely false. There have also been many complaints from workers about unsafe, unhealthy and abusive situations. As a result of all this there have been increased rates of gambling, suicide and crime in nearby communities. Long term sustainable economies such as forestry, commercial and recreational fishing, ecotourism, hunting, farming and housing are also taking a hit.   Blog source
Across Canada, we've seen the destruction of B.C. loss of forest industry and tourism slowly becoming a gas and fracking hellhole.  Large sections of coastline which are needed for fish spawning grounds are becoming overbuilt with industry.  Farming in the prairies is taking a hit for growing industry servicing and mining acquisitions.  Quebec has lost so much in manufacturing, the Atlantic provinces to fishery manufacturing loss.  The oil industry is keeping the dollar high which kills off export for any other endeavor across the provinces.

Make sure to keep up the criticism and take action for a change.

Conservatives Threaten Canadian Culture of Environmentalism

Conservatives want to imitate US gun culture
The only good environment holds for a Conservative is that it be exploited for gain.   They would take Jasper Park and make it an ugly mechanical mess of boardwalks, concession stands, empty pop cans and cigarette butts.  Woods are not for the animals but for gun toting hunters. 

Today's Globe story runs a complaint by Dalton McGuinty that our beer store model is out of date.  I would argue the truth of that and support microbreweries as a better way to distribute beer.  As I also approve of the growing number of outlets for locally produced wine, like Magnotta which are sold in plazas and Loblaws.
To this end, local businesses that are associated with agriculture must be protected from encroachment of policies that favor anti-environmental positions and promote destruction of lands that are growing our grains and grapes for alcoholic products.
See the link here to the Canadian culture of environmentalism that has been part of our ethic to preserve our lands for product growing of our own produce.  Conservative policies spell destruction of locally producing microbreweries, because they run counter to small business models of efficiency by showing preferred taxing models for big business.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Must Read For Analysis of Harper is a Fascist Bag of Tricks

Read this blog for a full summary of a lot of the points I had already been thinking about but for which I didn't know the backstory fully.