Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Kellie Leitch Fundraises Off Me

This appeared on CPC leadership candidate Kellie Leitch's Facebook page today.
She's got the twitter address wrong, but yeah she's talking about me, as Nick Kouvalis helpfully clarified:

Firstly, I'd like to thank Ms. Leitch and Mr. Kouvalis.  I don't think anyone's ever called me "elite" before, not even my mom, or my wife, though I may ask her to start.  As for being a "prominent" Liberal, I'll include that in my Senate application form.  Speaking of which, where on the Senate website is there a floor-plan, so you can choose your seat?  Or do they leave that for a later date?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

On Those Pipeline Decisions

Here is one of what will be many stories.

So, start with some facts and probabilities.

Northern Gateway is dead.  That's a piece of good news.  Line 3 nobody heard of until today, so who knows?   Also, who knows about Keystone.  That decision is not really in Canadian hands.

Energy East looks less likely to me.  The Trudeau gov. will take a big political hit for this in B.C. They won't risk the equivalent in Que. where they have more seats in the HOC.   Also, "the market" never cared much for Energy East; there's more money to be made if oil flows West to China than East to who knows where?

Now there's a pretty solid case to be made for the govs' position.  Put simply; Alberta deserves a pipe-line. I'm lazy right now so  I'll just quote stuff I wrote earlier on this, ironically enough about Energy East:

You have to think of this as the first step in a process.  Carbon is priced in Phase 1, and then in phases 2, 3, 4, and so on, that price is gradually ratcheted up.  Alberta has been told that, if it cleans up its act and gets with Phase 1, it will be given a chance to send its oil to the larger world market, where it might fetch a better price.  And so, at some political cost to the ruling government and economic cost to the province itself, it has attempted to do right.

So how do you then get a buy-in on phase 2, 3 and etc. if this good behaviour is not rewarded somehow?  If  no action the province takes will be rewarded why bother doing anything in future? So do we achieve our ultimate goal (hitting our announced carbon reduction targets) more quickly through cooperating or trying to steam-roll a whole industry out of business?

There's a matter of intellectual consistency at issue here.  If you are arguing that taking appropriate measures to obtain "social license" will get the province a pipeline or two, but really mean no way no how, than you are being  dishonest.   Why would a future Kenney government keep a Notley carbon tax if they could plausibly argue that it had brought them no credit?

That said,  BCers are going to go ape-shit.  When most people think of "Western Alienation" they think of whining Albertans.  But we BC natives range from artists to tech capitalists to first nation's warriors who can move unseen like a shadow in the night to hippies who've learned how to levitate by taking magic mushrooms to fishermen to whatever Van Der Zalm was.  And ranged against them is a bunch of ill-favoured, uncouth tar miners from Lethbridge.  If this becomes a political war, anti-pipeline forces will win in BC (opinion always tilts anti-pipeline when things heat up) and BC will win in the nation as a whole, and if Feds and Alberta try to NEP B.C., B.C. will tear this country a new one, sleep with its women, and leave for someplace better.  Yes, this could escalate into a National Unity issue.

And there's also the issue of the planet itself.  With respect to CO2 emissions, killing or even stalling pipelines is a bit like staunching the bleeding a little.  So I personally believe none of these pipelines go through.  But I'm willing to have the battles won at a more local level, and cut the feds some slack.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Small Mercies? Is Trump Softening Stance On Climate Change/Paris Agreement?

There are signs.  Climate change denier Myron Ebell may not get top spot at the EPA:

Myron Ebell, a prominent climate change skeptic who runs the Competitive Enterprise Institute libertarian think tank, has been leading Trump's EPA transition team, but sources said he is not likely to become the administrator.

Furthermore, the bottom couple of paragraphs from a recent article in  Utility Dive, quoting a "Trump Insider", suggest that Trump may have advanced a bit beyond crude climate change denial.  He won't lead an attack on renewables, and further:

There will be “enormous casualties among climate change activities,” the Trump insider said. But, he added, “Trump doesn’t want to turn his back on climate change.”

...which sounds bad, but better than claiming its all a Chinese hoax.  Interestingly enough, the first version of  piece is quite a bit more hard-line:

Trump's back-tracked on  a few issues over the past couple of days.  Maybe this is what we are seeing  here.   On this one it makes sense for him to retreat towards something like the G.W. Bush position.  That is, accept the underlying science and remain onside with the Paris Climate Agreement in theory  (I am hearing stories that his opposition to that may not be set in stone), but in practice do nothing.    Why choose active belligerence when inaction is enough?  Which is bad news, but not as bad as if he were to actively attempt to kneecap the renewables sector.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Life In Scarborough: Wisdom From Out In Scarborough

Was sitting in my favorite working man's pub out in Scarborough today, and heard something which I thought was quite deep.  One of the fellows at the bar said: "If you can't laid in Cuba, you can't get laid anywhere."  Which is a fact that many other people have told me is so.

Perhaps today more than ever we should acknowledge the inherent wisdom of the white working class.