Slow, downsize Ring of Fire project

December 14, 2013

In response to Don Watson’s question “Why the Ring rush?” (letter, Dec. 4) and Kaleigh Bahlieda’s answer, “If you can’t grow it, it has to be mined!” (letter, Dec. 5) I’d like to agree with both of them and add my own question: When would be a good time to practise sustainability for minerals supply via recycling, totally?

I ask this because eventually we will exhaust our Earth’s deposits of minerals.

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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 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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Choose Anti-Racism

Neutrality and racism: What can journalists do?

“All writers are propagandists,” wrote environmentalist Derrick Jensen — all have a position and a message. That might seem obvious for book authors, but don’t we expect more from journalists? Shouldn’t the media be unbiased? Neutral? Objective? Balanced?

I am a community member concerned about social justice, environmental degradation, and the fair treatment of aboriginal people. I’m interested in the media’s roles and responsibilities in these areas, since much of our knowledge comes through the media and our opinions are often informed by what we see, hear and read.

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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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We’re all Treaty People

Two eagles circled in a cold, sunny, winter-solstice sky, high above the Idle No More rally at Spirit Garden, Thunder Bay. This is true. At the same time a young Aboriginal speaker was telling us that, “We’re all treaty people”. I had never considered it. Yet, if you reason that the treaties were signed between aboriginal and non-aboriginal peoples – indeed, we are all treaty people. Accordingly, should we not accept that together we’re all responsible to maintain the spirit and intent of the treaties?

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Grassy Narrows and the Tragedy of Joe Oliver

Forty years ago I had the privilege of working with and securing financial resources for First Nation representatives and civil society organizations seeking redress from Dryden (REED) Pulp and Paper for the suffering inflicted on the residents of Grassy Narrows and White Dog First Nations and the destruction of an important life-sustaining ecosystem. Over an eight year period beginning in 1962 and without the benefit of environmental regulation, the company dumped nearly ten tons of methyl mercury, a lethal neurotoxin, into the Wabigoon River system.

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