Google to know then sign to slow

Can we afford new pipelines?

Go to the CBC’s Pipeline Map to find National Energy Board (NEB) figures. They state that between 2000 and late 2012 more than 1,000 pipeline ruptures, leaks and explosions have happened across the country. In fact, in spite of supposedly more sophisticated pipeline diagnostic equipment, the rate of overall incidents has doubled in the past decade. The brand new Canadian section of the Keystone XL1, predicted to spill no more than once every seven years, has leaked 12 times in less than a year.

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Climate Justice

Good that our Federal Government is giving $20 million on our behalf to the storm-ravaged Phillipines. That’s about 60 cents for every Canadian, the price of half a cup of coffee at the donut shop. Good also that Canadian businesses and individuals have contributed another $20 million. Bravo!

Not to belittle those individuals compassionate enough to donate personally, but this is as it should be. This “largesse” should not be interpreted simply as a reflection of our generosity, but rather a debt needing repayment, since we are one of a number of Western industrialized countries responsible for the excess carbon dioxide driving global warming.

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Alternatives to Capitalism, Part 2: Climbing Down From Growth

One alternative to free-market capitalism is degrowth, which Louis Marion in A Fitting Idea for Fateful Times describes as “a rallying cry for the preservation of our world.” Richard Heinberg in The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Reality thinks the limitless growth paradigm of industrial civilization is colliding with non-negotiable natural limits. He believes that resource depletion, environmental impacts and crushing levels of debt force us to question the validity of capitalism.

Degrowth advocates, as the term suggests, even see “sustainable development” as a contradiction in terms, “a way to maintain profits and avoid making substantive changes to our habits.”

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Alternatives to Capitalism, Part 1: Perpetual growth on finite planet delusional

A recent writer questioned the widely-held belief that free-market capitalism, based on infinite growth and supported by relatively cheap fossil-fuel energy, was sustainable (Our Ubiquitous Deadly Addiction — commentary, July 22). Freda Davies suggested we look at other economic models.

So what’s wrong with free-market capitalism?

The Cochabamba Summit: Documents of the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth (Bolivia, April 2010) is helpful: “Under capitalism, Mother Earth is converted into a source of raw materials, and human beings into consumers and a means of production, into people that are seen as valuable only for what they own, and not for what they are. It is an imperialist system of colonization of the planet.”

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Ecocidal behaviour

Thank you to the aboriginal community, especially the young leaders of the local Idle No More movement who spoke so eloquently at the City Hall rally Monday. At the moment, you seem to be our best hope for slowing the Harper agenda.

As spokesperson Joyce Hunter and many others have documented, Prime Minister Harper is hell-bent on being the leader of a fossil-fuel superpower, and doesn’t care what it takes to realize such a misguided dream.

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Making a buck and turning a blind eye

So it’s OK for John Baird to “quietly” allow Canadian gun dealers to sell fully automatic assault weapons, banned in Canada, to Colombians (Canada Opens Colombia to Gun Sellers — story in Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal, Jan 3, 2013). It’s OK for Canada to contribute to mayhem in far-off places, as long as there’s a buck to be made at home. I’m guessing we’re already selling these Newtown specials to certain gun-happy Americans.

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To the Prime Minister on Closure of Experimental Lakes

Citizens United for a Sustainable Planet – CUSP

Wednesday, October 4, 2012

Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Dear Mr. Harper,

Citizens United for a Sustainable Planet (CUSP) joins the 37 municipalities of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA), and the science community of Canada and the world at large, in asking you to rescind your May 2012 decision to close the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) research station near Vermillion Bay in Northwestern Ontario.

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