Things Are Good: More Americans Working in Solar Than in Coal

The coal industry is failing and sustainable alternatives are on the rise. No matter what politicians do to try and “save” coal it’s clear that the dirty source of electricity is on its way out. A recent report revealed that in the USA more people are employed by the solar industry than in the coal ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Silence in the Face of Alt-Facts

I think part of the reason we’re swimming in crap is because we care more about being friendly than we do about spreading accurate claims. There are courses out there to learn how to detect bullshit, but maybe we also need to learn how to call something out without looking like a jerk. The news ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Scott Sinclair offers his take on what we can expect Donald Trump to pursue in renegotiating NAFTA, and points out that while there are some options which might boost Canadian manufacturing and other sectors, it’s also possible that matters could get far worse for the citizens of all ...

Things Are Good: Over 100 Golf Courses Closing in China

I make games for a living and I love seeing people have fun – but I really don’t like golf courses. Golf takes up a lot of land and consumes an inordinate amount of water for the amount of entertainment it provides. Essentially, I agree that golf ruins a perfectly good walk. In China the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Evening Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading. – Rahul Kalvapalle reports on the latest Ipsos poll showing how younger Canadians expect to lead a worse life than the generations who went before them. – PressProgress examines how inequality has been burgeoning under Christy Clark’s B.C. Lib government. And Maimuna Majumder notes that the toxic effects of ...

Things Are Good: Reusing Renewable Power Pieces

Despite being more efficient and better than other forms of generating electricity renewable power generation does cause waste. The waste isn’t in the form of smog or tailing ponds or even radioactive barrels. When it comes to wind power the waste generated is broken blades, and there are a lot of them! Rotterdam has taken ...

Things Are Good: Use of Coal Power to Shrink Regardless of Politics

Coal producers can’t keep up. Coal used to be the cheapest form of energy, but that was before cheap renewable technology and more efficient gas plants came along. What’s more is that there are social, health, and environmental costs to using coal that makes it hard to argue for. The future of coal is not ...

Susan on the Soapbox: “Phasing Out” the Oilsands

At a recent town hall meeting Mr Trudeau reiterated his position on climate change.  He said: “You can’t make a choice between what’s good for the environment and what’s good for the economy.  We can’t shut down the oilsands tomorrow.  We need to phase them out.  We need to manage the transition off our dependence ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Eco-Hypocrites: Flights of the Anti-Flyers

I was just contemplating this very idea when I came across this NYTimes Op Ed on hypocrisy. Likely I’m not the only one in this position of explaining away, or coming to terms with, behaviour very contrary to my ethics. I’ve written before that nobody should board an aircraft for a luxury trip, and then I took ...

Views from the Beltline: Pipelines, good-looking liberals and Hanoi Jane

Jane Fonda is unhappy with our prime minister. She has announced that “we shouldn’t be fooled by good-looking liberals.” Rachel Notley says Fonda doesn’t know what she’s talking about. I’m with Rachel. Ms. Fonda, an ardent environmentalist, believes that by supporting pipelines, Prime Minister Trudeau “has betrayed every one of the things that he committed ...

Things Are Good: Busting Urban Planning Myths

There’s a lot of misconceptions about how to make cities a better place to live that need to be cleared up. A popular belief is that adding more lanes for cars will help curb traffic jams – when the opposite it true. Some backwards-looking individuals think that adding bike lanes is bad for business when ...

Things Are Good: Trees are Great for Cities

Cleaning the air and keeping areas cool are what trees do best. A new study has looked into how best to use trees from a purely utilitarian standpoint. Essentially they drilled down to what trees do best and where they can thrive. The researchers cataloged the best places to plant trees based on factors like ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – James Wilt writes that the PR campaign pushing pipelines is based largely on the false claim that the only other choice is to allow even more dangerous means of facilitating the burning of fossil fuels. And David Suzuki argues that the cost of addressing obvious environmental problems ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Evening Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Anis Chowdhury refutes the theory that top-heavy tax cuts have anything to do with economic development: Cross-country research has found no relationship between changes in top marginal tax rates and growth between 1960 and 2010. For example, during this period, the US cut its top rate by ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading. – Jared Bernstein argues that the limited stimulus provided by tax cuts for the rich is far from worth the overall costs of exacerbating inequality and damaging public revenues: I’m encountering progressives who are compelled to be at least somewhat supportive of wasteful, regressive tax cuts, like those proposed ...

Things Are Good: Obama and Canada Bans New Coastal Oil and Gas Drilling

Obama is leaving office and he’s clearly worried that the next president will ignore climate change and its effects on humanity. In order to stymie any damage that president Trump can do, Obama has passed a law that effectively bans ocean-based drilling for oil and gas in some areas. In support, Canada has passed a ...

A Puff of Absurdity: What Happens in the Arctic, Doesn’t Stay in the Arctic

There are more and more signs of climate change about to pull a number on us, but we still won’t listen. We’ve got ammonia in our atmosphere and a spike in methane concentrations: “CO2 is still the dominant target for mitigation, for good reason. But we run the risk if we lose sight of methane offsetting ...

Song of the Watermelon: Vancouver Sun Letter

For what is likely to be my last letter to the editor of 2016, see today’s Vancouver Sun (fourth letter from the top). The gist of my argument is that Kinder Morgan is bad. Fun fact: this ain’t the first time I’ve responded to a pro-Kinder Morgan op-ed by former NDP Premier Dan Miller. Filed ...

Things Are Good: Economy Continues to Grow Despite Decrease in Emissions

Economists used to measure progress using emission rates correlated to GDP, now that comparison is ridiculous. A few years ago we looked at how carbon output is shrinking while economies grow and that is continuing to be the case. Earlier this year it was predicted that the global economy will continue to see a separation ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Eshe Nelson interviews Richard Baldwin about the future of globalization and the possibility that the worst disruptions to workers are just beginning: What happens to the chart on global income distribution during this phase of globalization? It keeps going down. It will be disruptive in the G7, but ...

Things Are Good: Standing Rock Sioux Achieve a Victory

This is proof that direct protest action works. The US Army Corps of Engineers has decided to not grant permission to allow the Dakota Access pipeline to be built as planned. The pipeline was meant to go through burial lands of the Standing Rock Sioux which is offensive in itself, but there’s more to it. ...

The Disaffected Lib: Here’s One You Might Not Have Heard Of – the "Technosphere"

Think of it as everything man has built on Earth that’s still standing. That includes the pyramids and everything older provided it’s still around. Now I’m going to throw out a number that’s pretty hard to digest – thirty – trillion – tons. That’s the estimated weight of the stuff we’ve built. Those pyramids, sure, ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Stephen Hawking discusses the urgent need to address inequality and environmental destruction as people are both more fearful for their futures, and more aware of what’s being taken away from them: (T)he lives of the richest people in the most prosperous parts of the world are agonisingly visible ...

wmtc: before the flood: good information but ultimately a weak message

Tonight we watched “Before the Flood“, Leonardo DiCaprio’s film about climate change, which I had heard such good things about. It’s well done, and is chock full of appropriately terrifying and depressing information. But in the end, the film delivers yet another “it’s up to each of us” message, focusing on individual actions, rather than ...

Canadian Dimension: Energy producers have an obligation to improve environmental reporting

Photo from Wikimedia Commons The social and environmental concerns over pipeline economics and oil transportation projects are growing across the continent. After losing the public relations battle with military tactics, the U.S. Army Corps is threatening to “close” the Standing Rock opposition camp to the Dakota Access Pipeline in early December. Opposition to Canada’s involvement ...