Monday, December 19, 2011

Justin, could you shout a little louder please? Oh . . . . and use some stronger language too!

Justin Trudeau's break with decorum as he shouted "YOU PIECE OF SHIT" at Peter Kent across the floor of the Canadian House of Commons should serve as a wake up call to every Canadian who cares even slightly for anyone or anything other than themselves. Kent, who is laughingly referred to as "Canada's Environment Minister", is instead a despicable salesman for perhaps the worst environmental disaster to be perpetrated by humanity against our home planet, Earth. "Piece of Shit" seems entirely inadequate and Justin Trudeau's shout far too muted to give form to the current state of Canadian affairs.

British Columbia based Environmental Consultant Matt Price has written a series of articles for Huffington Post(CA) about the Harper Government's complicity in the marketing of Alberta's Tar Sands. In the latest, he identifies three things which the people of Canada must grapple with if we are to have any success in countering the Harper menace and beginning to repair our country's reputation.

     1) The government in Ottawa doesn't care what you think.
     2) The Opposition is letting Harper have his way.
     3) Most of us are sheep.

There are still opportunities to stop the full destructive potential of the Tar Sands from being brought to bear on the worldwide environment. Every effort should be made to co-ordinate ALL actions against the Tar Sands under the auspices of a single group with a clearly stated mission and a highly identifiable logo:

     a) Continue the dialogue with sympathetic elements within the US.
     b) Demonstrations at Canadian diplomatic missions in Europe.
     c) Demonstrations at the UK Tar Sands sales office in Alberta.
     d) Action against the Keystone XL Pipeline on the Canadian side of the border.
     e) Actions against the Enbridge Gateway pipeline in both Alberta and British Columbia.
     f) Demonstrations in Kitimat and along the entire BC coast against the tanker traffic.
     g) Co-operation between First Nations People and Non-First Nations activists at the Tar Sands and along the whole route of both the pipelines and the tankers.
     h) Demonstrations every time one of the Cons shows up in BC for a photo op, funding announcement or whatever.

One last kick in the ass in case you are still sleeping - a story in The Guardian by Heather Mallick about the on-going destruction of our country at the hands of a group of ideologues we were stupid enough to elect with our antiquated electoral system. I hate to remember that I had parents who fought in wars (WW 1 and 2) with the hope that Canada would remain a beacon of trust and peace in the world. If they were still alive, I'm sure watching this so-called government drag our country through the sewer would do them in.

So, lets raise our glasses and prepare to welcome 2012 with a rousing - "YOU PIECE OF SHIT"!!!

MY WEBSITE   —   ANewHumanity.CA

Friday, December 16, 2011

Jack up the radiator cap.

"Don’t let legal wrangling distract from Occupy’s message"

Legal/Schmeegal - arguing about the legalities of use of public spaces by the public has nothing to do with the real meaning of the Movement. Nothing less than a complete, frame-off rebuild of The World is what's needed.

Car-guys used to have a saying that went, "Jack up the radiator cap [and re-build everything else]" for a vehicle that was completely unusable, but still worth working on. In this case the 'radiator cap', the only part that is worth saving, is people's ability to conduct non-violent revolution.

It's way past time to get going on re-building the rest.

This Magazine a really good, alternative news source for Canada.

MY WEBSITE   —   ANewHumanity.CA

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Become your neighbours' "Close Encounter"

To my Family and Friends:

I have a grave concern that, as you feel the world closing in around you, you will assume that those we have elected will work on your behalf. This is simply not true.

For those of us who live in British Columbia, the two, senior levels of government do not have your interests, or mine, at heart. As each day goes by and I dig deeper into reality as presented by another author, journalist or alternative news service, I am convinced that these governments serve those that are light-years above my financial and social status - and for that I am truly thankful. However, that leaves us all with the dilemma of how to approach these crises as individuals or local groups.

Just to recap some of the components of the gathering storm: Global Climate Change - Peak Oil (and natural gas) - Soil Degradation - Over Population - Ocean Acidification - Lowering Water Tables - Permafrost Thaw - Continuing Mass Extinction (>50 species/day) - Topsoil Erosion - Glacial Melt - Loss of Arctic Sea Ice - Extreme Weather Events - Relocation of Climate Refugees . . . and more. Expressions of these stressors can emerge at the bottom of a food chain (phytoplankton), the top (sharks) and every point in between. Ultimately and simply, humans are at the top of such a food chain.

These problems are all inter-related which magnifies the danger but also increases the opportunites for individuals to contribute. The first, and most critical step is to make ourselves aware of both the crises and the solutions. There are massive numbers of sources online, lots at your local library, documentaries for rent, online streaming and public showings. So, read a book, watch a video (YouTube has lots) and bring it into your conversation with friends and neghbours. They may look at you as if you are an Alien from Outer Space   —   get over it.

MY WEBSITE   —   ANewHumanity.CA

Our money-drunk model of deregulated capitalism

This article by Guy Dauncey, an author well respected in the field of solutions to major crises, is a must read for those who love the world, or their kids, or both.

MY WEBSITE   —   ANewHumanity.CA

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Where the Sun Don't Shine in the Wintertime

ENVIRONMENT MINISTER EXPECTS NEW CLIMATE DEAL BY 2015: Proposed Durban Platform follows 13 days of UN negotiations

My comment on the above story:

C R A P ! ! !

This "Flying Down To Durban" movie has been no more than another chance for the major emitters to stick their collective heads in a new patch of sand - at great expense to the environment and taxpayers around the world - and led by the world champions of head-in-the-sand-sticking, Canada.

My only hope for this fiasco is that the real world leaders will decide to stop listening to the used car salesmen that Walmart World sends to these useless gatherings and start the transition to a post-oil world without us. This would include closing their borders to trade and travel (especially winter tourism) to and from countries like Canada and the US and telling us to stick our heads wherever we wish, as long as the "sun don't shine" there.

MY WEBSITE   —   ANewHumanity.CA

I don't want to play your game.

This is a comment I wrote to a series on titled "A progressive dialogue: Beating the right at their own game".

I do not believe that working within 'The System' is a viable option at this point in time as the nature and magnitude of the problems facing the world mean that implimentation of ideas having a chance of meaningful effect will never be done by democratically elected policy makers. For this reason, I am one who has wrestled with refusing to vote as a 'rational response'.

My decision is that, if there is a Green Party candidate, I will vote if not, I won't. This is not just for reasons of ideological policy support but, just as importantly in my mind, that Green parties do not have the issue of a group of incumbents seeking re-electon and can actually say what they mean during campaigns or any time they get the chance.

With a major part of the path to a more livable world being relocalization, reskilling and a general 'hunkering down' of humanity, I see local elections as far more important than federal or provincial ones as those are only going to be changed by revolution (hopefully non-violent) and complete re-vamping of the structures of governance. However, post-revolution, there will need to be a coalescing of progressive ideas and those to impliment them, around a trustworthy centre, and the baggage-free Greens are where I would put my trust.

Leadership in such a world will not come from the existing political crowd or from anyone looking for a hierarchical structure to head, it will emerge from the mass and from an environment similar to the present 'Occupy Movement'. While it is great to have alternative news sources such as, if momentum is going to gather strength, the mainline media need to pick up the ball and start reporting movements and events that don't end with little, old ladies being pepper sprayed and hauled off to the slammer. Constructive approaches to the biggest problems humanity has ever faced should quailify as newsworthy without the knee-jerk reactions of paramilitary police forces.

The ideas are there, the leaders are there, but I don't believe they will ever see the light of day on the world stage without revolutionary change. This can and will happen, but only if and when the majority of citizens understand and become sufficiently outraged to act decisively and with an already-past-the-fail-safe attitude.

MY WEBSITE   —   ANewHumanity.CA

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wake up, the sun HAS set on the British Empire (and all others).

27 countries meet in Brussels to attempt to come to an agreement to stabilize current financial chaos in the EuroZone, 26 come to consensus enough to start the process, the UK disagrees, saying "What is on offer isn't in Britain's interests so I didn't agree to it."

This is the 21st century PM Cameron, the century where we have to let go of national interests in order to rebuild the world into something that will allow the human species to survive. This is known as co-operation and requires an ability and willingness to compromise for the common good. Financial chaos is just a minor issue in the truckload that has to be solved if we are to continue the human experiment and every one of them is going to require a lowering of national, corporate and personal wants in order to fill the common need.

Europe has already leapt years ahead of North America in implementation of sustainability, not because they are not greedy (a universal, human trait), but because they are less greedy. However, the UK still harbours delusions of being elite within their group (in the US its called exceptionalism) and Canada's 'leaders' just repeat what their American handlers tell them with no attempt to think about the future. Perhaps this is as it should be, the 'Elders' (Europe) going ahead and teaching by example while the UK and the New World carries on as if there is nothing to be concerned about.

At this point in the transitional process, the best hope for the parts of the world that are devoid of mature leadership is the rise of bottom-up movements like Occupy to provide the environment which will allow such leadership to emerge. The glaring example of immature thinking provided over and over again by the meeting of non-violence with violence exposes this lack of leadership for all to see on the world stage. Get your tickets for the show, its starting to get crowded on the streets.

MY WEBSITE   —   ANewHumanity.CA

Friday, December 2, 2011

Benevolent assistance and hostile take-over — are they really the same thing?

A question posed by the CBC regarding the financial troubles of the Attawapiskat First Nation:

Do you agree with the federal government's move to put Attawapiskat under third-party management? Why or why not?

My Answer:

No, I do not agree and, of course I'm gonna tell you why!

I'm pretty sure that if you picked any group of people and gave them a huge amount of money (say $90million) to manage without assistance you would get essentially the same result. This could be any Canadian village, a church organization, a service club, a large, charitable ngo or any group you could pick . . . . unless the group had a good percentage of members who were accustomed to manage immense amounts of money or . . . . the giver of the money made a condition that the group accept training and assistance with money management for a period after receipt. This is nothing like taking the authority away from the receivers but puts a responsibility on both parties for good stewardship.

Governments of the type we are stuck with at the moment see their primary purpose as making themselves redundant by cutting the size of public service and cutting out services, programs, inspection, oversight, and anything else that adds to the common good of those they are governing. If they were to second one or two 'redundant' accountants to a First Nation such as Attawapiskat for a pre-agreed to term, the expertise could be transferred and handed down for generations to come.

Unless I'm missing something, this would seen prudent and, if done with some sensitivity, should be gladly accepted by those receiving the money. It would also be considerably more efficient than having the money poorly managed and accounted for and then spending millions more on investigations and reports to answer the question. "Where did the money go?"

Nobody can reasonably be expected to pick up the skills necessary to manage millions of dollars with no assistance. It usually doesn't work for lottery winners, professional athletes, movie stars or inheritors of large fortunes so why would it work for a group of people who have mostly lived a remote and rural lifestyle and whose inter-generational knowledge of European ways is largely based on the dysfunctional Residential School system.

At this point, the take-over of the Attawapiskat people's affairs will tend to ensure the extension of that dysfunctionality for at least another generation. Perhaps, by that time, we will be looking to the First Nations people to assist us in learning skills that will allow us to survive in a post-oil world. I expect they will treat us better than we treated them.

MY WEBSITE   —   ANewHumanity.CA

Monday, November 28, 2011


The Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, Peak Oil, Global Climate Change, financial chaos, a multitude of books about a perfect storm of world crises, "What does it mean?", "What can I do?", "What, me worry?"

This plethora of problems seems to beg for a convergence of clarifications, don't you think? Here's a selection of reading material I've come across lately that, for me anyway, really puts all these events into a coherent perspective.

The Arab Spring was a series of revolutions against oppressive regimes, each one building on the success of those that preceded it. What made it mostly work and what has not been available in the past was the instant communication provided by 'Social Media' services on the Internet.

Moving Planet was a worldwide day to move beyond fossil fuels, with over 2000 events in more than 175 countries. While many groups pitched in to provide support, logistics and help getting the word out, this was mainly an effort of Bill McKibben and Again, success could be traced to the use of the Internet to spread ideas, bring news of arrests by the Empire as they happened and the creation of instant community.

Occupy Wall Street started pretty much as a single event in Now York City but momentum, communications and the pent-up frustration and anger of several generations soon turned it into a 1,500 city, global movement. Many people who had never been part of a bottom-up, ground-swell movement did not 'Get it', and still don't. The clearest explanation that I have seen for those who have spent their whole lives subservient to The Empire appeared in !yes Magazine.

The Great Turning, a book by David C. Korten lays out the case for and the course to, a peaceful and just world that works for all people which he calls "Earth Community". Korten writes from a variety of perspectives including those of economist, historian, journalist, statistician, spritualist, humanitarian, dreamer and pragmatist. He also draws on the work of numerous colleagues from a wide array of disciplines and has the ability to present the resulting superabundance of ideas, anecdotes and concepts as a unified and lucid whole.

And finally, if anyone was wondering if this is some new idea that was cooked up in a short time, with little thought to back it up, here is a re-issue by of a story about the New Politics Initiative 10 years after   —   "What goes around, comes around".

MY WEBSITE   —   ANewHumanity.CA

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Is Harper trying to increase Canada's military might?

We [Canada] are fast becoming no more than an an insignificant backwater of the most powerful and destructive Empire the world has known. If we are even remembered in the post collapse world it will be as one of the minor players in the great degradation of humanity.

Our real wealth (land, water, all other resources both renewable and non) are in the hands of greedy, uncaring and low functioning individuals, as is our less important financial wealth and our so-called 'democratic' governments whose members and bought and paid for at election time. We have intelligent thinkers who can see through the futility and stupidity of Empire after 5,000 years of failure but, because their alternate social and financial systems do not offer the unsustainable, and for most, unattainable lifestyles of Empire they are denigrated as doomsayers and lunatics.

The world is quickly approaching a convergence of many crises which, taken together, have the potential to comprise the most general and most devastating cataclysm the human species has ever encountered - we could use some good thinkers, planners, stewards and humanitarians. And we had better listen to them if we don't want our grandchildren and their grandchildren to spit on our graves.

It is completely within the human capacity to design and initiate a new way for us to interact with the world around us and with each other but it would require adjustments and upheavals that only a few are currently willing to agree to. So here we are, rushing headlong towards the cliff edge, hoping that an unknown someone will fill the valley before we get there. They won't.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Could this be the start of a Smart Grid that actually is — or is not?

If the "Smart Meter" push by BC Hydro could have a result like this, then I would support it, at least in principle.

I am not 100% positive that RF radiation is safe but, with the air full of it already, I believe this will only be an insignificant addition. The privacy issue is another matter altogether. We are already being logged, CCTV'd, chipped, swiped, bar-coded, GPS'd, triangulated and having our privacy stripped from us every time we wake up in the morning so I'm really not that happy with some 14 year-old hacker tuning into when I do my laundry or have a shower.

If, however, telling our inanimate and mechanical metering devices to "Smarten Up" was going to allow me to adjust my power usage for optimal efficiency (from my perspective) and even to hang enough PV's on the roof and erect enough windmills on the front lawn to actually save some money and the world at the same time, that would [probably] be good - except for the PO'd neighbours.

Because it is pretty hard to imagine any business enabling this or even allowing to happen right under its nose, I would want to have a closer look however. If this is just to allow BC Hydro to collect data at my expense, I will refuse to have one installed if I can catch them at it.

Let the neighbours laugh because I am the only one on the block with an old and dumb meter, it just seems to suit me better. And, I can always remind them about the noisy windmills and glaring PV panels, maybe even the smell from a possible biogas co-generating set-up and the pigs required to run it . . . . . YEAH!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I had no Idea . . .

Two items I came across today:

1 -
CBC News - Saturday, January 8, 2011

Icelandic singer Bjork is on a three-day karaoke marathon to protest the potential takeover of one of her country's largest geothermal companies by a Canadian firm. The event, called Voice of the People, is the singer's way of encouraging her countrymen to sign a petition forcing the government to hold a referendum on the sale of HS Orka to Vancouver's Magma Energy.

"I had no idea at all that we would be so controversial in Iceland," Magma CEO Ross Beaty told recently.

2 - - Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Alterra Power Corp is a leading global renewable energy company, formed in 2011 through the merger of Magma Energy Corp and Plutonic Power Corp.

We have an extensive portfolio of exploration and development projects, a skilled international team of explorers, builders & operators and strong financial capacity to support our aggressive growth plans.

Mt summary of these two items:

"I had no idea at all that our aggressive growth plans would be so controversial in Iceland."

Then you should start listening!

Could the "Doomers" be right?

All the books I've been reading lately have predicted the riots in the streets (currently in the UK and before that Greece) which are occasioned by government austerity programs. They have also predicted chaos and collapse in financial systems around the world, increases in the price of petroleum products and food, and increases in severe weather events. It's beginning to look as if they are right . . . . . isn't it?

Thomas Homer-Dixon (The Ingenuity Gap, The Upside of Down), Carolyn Baker (Sacred Demise), Richard Heinberg (Peak Everything, The Oil Depletion Protocol), James Howard Kunstler (The Long Emergency), Bill McKibben (Eaarth), David C. Korten (The Great Turning) and Rob Hopkins (The Transition Handbook) along with many others, have alluded to this kind of mayhem as a reaction to the twin crises of the decline of cheap oil and global climate change so I am reading the forecasts and the actual news reports alongside one another.

These same authors have offered ways of softening the transition required by the collapse of the industrial world, all of which require a single starting point; that we get through the denial stage and start to take positive action, both in our personal lives and in the life and structure of the communities in which we live. Re-localization, re-skilling and down-sizing all rate high on the list of necessary actions to prepare for, and cope in a post-oil world.

Eventually, our children, our grandchildren, our friends and our neighbours will all be facing the water cannon, tear gas, pepper spray and plastic bullets as our police and military are put in the untenable position of propping up a system of law, order and governance which has become obsolete. This burgeoning obsolescence is due to our overindulgence and our view of the world as being a host of resources spread before us for our use. The truth is that we are but one very recent evolutionary quirk which is currently looking to be short lived.

If we would like to extend the tenure of our species, we need to accept the facts, prepare and act. There is the distinct possibility of a new humanity being created out of the detritus of the industrial world but it will be very different from anything we have experienced in the last 150 years. Many aspects of that new humanity will be diminished from the present but many could actually be beneficial, especially to our well-being and quality of life.

Think about it, read about it and talk about it; you may find it hard to converse with a great many people so find other people who share your vision and talk to them. Creating this New Humanity may seem hard and may put you at odds with friends and family but ultimately, there will be no alternative.

So, stay positive, look for the silver lining in the gathering clouds and start picking up those new/old skills from the past that will be required to transition into the future with some comfort and confidence.