wowsolarRapid, Affordable Energy Revolution is Possible, Says New Report
Wind and solar can compete against fossil fuel energy sources, especially with key infrastructure upgrades
Lauren McCauley, staff writer
http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/01/25/rapid-affordable-energy-revolution-possible-says-new-report
This article goes to the most essential point about all those obnoxious chemicals we pump into our atmosphere—we don’t need them! We can run our cars and toasters and computers on clean, affordable energy if we just choose to do so…and this article provides convincing proof of just that.
According to researchers with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in collaboration with the University of Colorado at Boulder , the United States could, within 15 years, slash greenhouse gas emissions from power production by nearly 80 percent below 1990 levels without increasing cost and, at the same time, meeting increased demand.
“In a scenario where renewable energy costs were lower and natural gas costs higher—such as is anticipated for the future—the model cut overall carbon emissions by 78 percent from 1990 levels and delivered electricity at 10 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). Even in a case where renewable sources cost more than experts currently predict, the model cut emissions 33 percent by 2030 and delivered electricity at about 8.6 cents per kWh.
“investing in efficient, long-distance transmission was key to keeping costs low.”
Earlier this year, Greenpeace released a report outlining how the world could completely shift to a system based on 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.
This week I will be posting more information about the cheap and easy to construct solar hot water collector designed by Courtenay resident Stewart McIntosh. I welcome any information on what Comox Valley residents are doing to switch to more sustainable living.
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With Writing on Wall for Fossil Fuels, Renewables ‘Poised for Take-Off’
UN Secretary General calls on global investors ‘to build on the strong momentum from Paris and seize the opportunities for clean energy growth’
By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer
http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/01/27/writing-wall-fossil-fuels-renewables-poised-take
Yes, as the pervious article suggests, we can do it—shake this deadly stranglehold by the oil industry, but we can’t do by continuing to subsidize and invest in fossil fuels.
The United Nations “has made it clear that there is no way to meet the goals agreed to at the Paris Climate Summit if we keep investing in fossil fuels,
Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, recently told 500 investors in New York: “We cannot continue to invest in coal…we cannot afford to look for new oil and gas sources. By 2030, the window of investing in high carbon needs to close. As for capital, forget 2050, forget 2030. Where capital goes in the next five years will decide what kind of world we have.”
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New Report Issues Dire Carbon Warning: Keep It in the Ground—or Else
Report examines carbon risk of fossil fuel deposits that could push world past agreed-upon 2°C climate threshold—and efforts to keep them untapped
http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/01/25/new-report-issues-dire-carbon-warning-keep-it-ground-or-else
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Government Run Like a Business Poisons Children By Leo Gerard
http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/01/27/government-run-business-poisons-children
Every activist should carry this article around in their pocket to unfold every time some business needs to run government advocate spouts the tired and false idea that democracy can’t work because it gives too much power to government.
The people of Michigan hired themselves a GOP businessman to be governor in 2011. And what they got was children poisoned by public water in Flint.
That is, what they got was a government run based on GOP ( Conservative Party) business values.
To line the pockets of CEOs and shareholders, corporations cut corners in ways that frequently end up injuring workers and the public.
So, really, the lead poisoning of Flint children by a government based on Republican business values is no surprise.
Michigan didn’t have to poison Flint’s children. That was a values choice. And Republican Gov. Rick Snyder values big business more than little children. And here is the core issue: you can’t do public good when your whole goal is to dismantle that very good to make way for corporate profit.
Immediately after Snyder got elected, he gave his corporate buddies a big fat tax break and raised taxes on individuals, including poor people and pensioners!!!!
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As Real Estate Soars, Habitat for Humanity Rethinks Its Model
http://www.thetyee.ca/News/2016/01/25/Habit-for-Humanity-Remodel/
Habitat for Humanity (HH)is clearly the go to example of what dedicated volunteers can do to help create a better world, but now even HH is navigating ever more treacherous economic seas as it tries to adapt its service model to fit in a world of skyrocketing land values.
HH has provided 2,700 Canadian families with affordable homes using a tried-and-true model in which first-time homeowners are offered a no-interest, no-down-payment mortgage in exchange for their volunteer time.
Decades in non-profit real estate has given Canada’s Habitat affiliates early warning of an emerging problem: land costs rising faster than average incomes.
One response to rising land values is to build higher density homes– duplexes, and multiplexes. But the underlying problem remains: wages haven’t kept up with leaping land costs leaving more HH resources tied up in larger and longer individual subsidized mortgages.
The income-tied mortgage payment model “was conceived in an era when a house cost $60,000, and families with the lowest incomes could pay them off,” Hopkins says. “Today a new house in Winnipeg is $300,000. But the salaries of families have not gone up five times — not even close.
Even with running the Restores, HH is struggling to meet its financial obligations and continue with its sweat equity plan for creating new home ownership for low income families.
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Pressing On
The brainiacs in Silicon Valley can replace newspapers with smartphones, but they can’t replace journalists
http://thewalrus.ca/pressing-on/
I am looking for a couple of people to begin a discussion on this one: what do we do when the newspapers become 95% ads and 5% blathering opinion like Margaret Wente and Tom Fletcher?
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In Canada, the 8-Dollar Cauliflower Shows the Pain of Falling Oil Prices
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/21/business/dealbook/in-canada-5-cauliflowers-cost-more-than-a-barrel-of-oil.html?_r=1
My gosh, it’s true! I saw it with my own eyes!- a $8 head of Cauliflower. I didn’t buy it. I didn’t even by the broccoli crown for $5 nor the zucchini for $5 /lb!
Blame it on the drought in California or the falling loonie, it’s more than I can afford. It’s potatoes and cabbage for me for the next while. Oh, with lettuce at $4 a head I’ve started growing my own sprouts—it’s easy, nutritious, fun and costs pennies to do.
Isn’t it interesting that as the Canadian dollar sinks because of cascading oil prices, you don’t see the big press –that was just last October telling us what great economic planners the Conservatives are—admit that they were wrong about the efficacy of Conservative economics that bet the whole economy on a single bet—ever escalating oil prices.
Two years ago, one Canadian dollar was worth 93 American cents. On Wednesday, it stood at 69 American cents.
The press was alight with scorn when Mulcair suggested that a diverse economy had many benefits including a broader income and jobs base. But we are already seeing the lower loonie creating opportunity in the nonresource export sectors.
We wouldn’t be doing so badly in the food sector if Harper hadn’t allowed an estimated 140 Canadian Food processing plants to be closed in favour of imports from the US.
Surely all these price increases will benefit Comox Valley growers who have been struggling to compete with mega US farms with their monoculture, pesticides and slave labour.
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Overfishing causing global catches to fall three times faster than estimated
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/19/overfishing-causing-global-catches-to-fall-three-times-faster-than-estimated
Pete Seeger said it all, “When will we ever learn? When will we ever learn?”
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Health ministers agree to tackle drug prices, home care and mental health
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/health-ministers-vancouver-1.3414317
As readers know, I recently had a heart attack. I won’t tell you how much prescription drugs cost me—you might have a heart attack too!
If there is a national pharmacare program in the works by 2017, Canada’s 150th birthday and it unites the cost negotiating power of all the provinces, then we will be getting much more from Trudeau and the Liberals than most of us even hoped for!
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On TPP, Trudeau Must Think Like a Keynesian
Canadian people need a new deal, not transnational corporations.
By Murray Dobbin, 22 Jan 2016, TheTyee.ca
http://www.thetyee.ca/Opinion/2016/01/22/TPP-Trudeau-Keynesian/
I recently lamented Murray’s post on electoral reform, but with this post I am delighted to return to the ranks of a most appreciative fan of Murray’s writing.
I completely agree with Murray when he suggests that the real test of where the Liberals are going to take the economy is tied up in the government’s pending decision on the Trans Pacific Partnership — the TPP
Murray points out that these agreements come with powerful down sides and misrepresent the upsides: as in foreign direct investment (FDI) positive numbers presented by “free trade” supporters are extremely misleading. While most people assume that foreign investment means new production and jobs, in Canada it doesn’t. In 1998, the Investment Review Division of Industry Canada prepared a report that looked at FDI in Canada. In 1997, it reached $21.2 billion — the second-highest total on record. However, according to the study, fully 97.5 per cent of that total was devoted to acquisitions of Canadian companies. And 1997 was not an aberration. On average, between June 1985 and June 1997, 93.4 per cent of FDI went to acquisitions. In 2001 the figure was 96.5 per cent.
Investment protection agreements are not primarily about trade — they provide “investors” (that is, transnational corporations) with extraordinary rights that trump the sovereignty of those countries that sign them.