Archive for March 2012

More on Harper and Religion

26 March 2012

Creation of Stephen HarperOn 3 October 2011 I asked on this blog “Does religious fundamentalism steer Canadian policy?” I wrote just on gut feeling and hoped I was way off base.

Today on The Tyee, Andrew Nikiforuk gives a more informed view on the topic in “Understanding Harper’s Evangelical Mission“.

It seems we who care about the environment are not just enemies of Canada, we may be enemies of God!


18 March 2012

polar environmental atmospheric research laboratory“Budget 2010 is basically the nightmare scenario for scientists across the country – our community is gutted,” said Gordon McBean, Chair of CFCAS.1

Last year the Polar Environmental Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) discovered an unprecedented northern ozone hole. This year the station will close due to funding cuts by the Harper government.

PEARL is unique in that it operates through the arctic winter and that it monitors ozone related chemicals in addition to the ozone layer itself. Pearl doesn’t just monitor what is happening in the atmosphere, it tries to answer ‘why’.

Canadians are donating to save PEARL. It needs $1.5 million per year. If every Canadian gave $1, the station could operate for 22 years! This is an opportunity to support valuable Canadian science and to tell Harper he is wrong to defund science in Canada.

More info at

Donate at


Let’s get off oil

3 March 2012

The Province ran an article, “Residents deserve answers to oil plans”, which stated that “expanding ways to export oil is in Canada’s economic interest”.

The following is my response as printed in The Province 2 March 2012. Always nice when one of those letters gets printed.

Expanding oil exports is in the interest of only one vision of Canada’s economy, a vision that is short-sighted and outdated.

We need to grow our economy into the 21st century. We must transition away from the fossil-fuel-driven economy that is carrying us to climate catastrophe.

While making that transition we should use our resources to secure our own energy needs first. Exporting out to the west while importing in from the east makes us vulnerable at both ends to all the global uncertainties and price pressures that can affect energy markets.

We need more Green and independent representatives in all levels of government now to make the inevitable changes happen in a relatively controlled manner. Continuing with “business as usual,” as our major political parties seem bent on doing, means that future generations will have change forced on them in a whirlwind of crises.


3 March 2012

robophoneElections Canada, who normally do not comment on current investigations, has said that they are currently investigating 31,000 complaints of fraudulent phone calls in the last election. The number continues to rise.

Could it be that the government that fell for contempt of parliament (and had the gall to say “Canadian’s don’t care about that.”) has risen from that disgrace only to fall for contempt of democracy itself?

Ebooks Revisited

1 March 2012

digital bookBack in August 2010 I wrote a rant about ebooks and DRM, “Canadian DMCA (Bill C-32) and ‘my life of crime; part 2′“.

Today I was dragged back into the ebook swamp by Rafe Mair, damn him. I saw his post about his new book “The Home Stretch” being published on-line. The book sounded interesting and Rafe fights the good fights, the Charlottetown Accord and Northern Gateway being the two that stand out for me. So I thought I should buy Rafe’s book.

I couldn’t find a PDF version anywhere, but did discover that there is a Kobo app for Android. I have an Android tablet. A fairly useless toy of a computer, but a handy size to read on. So I installed the Kobo app, rediscovered my old password and purchased the book through the Kobo app.

It was an easy process and didn’t force me to buy a new device to read a book, so I guess the ebook scene has improved a wee bit since 2010.

I didn’t read the licence agreement though.