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Twinning the Kinder-Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Is Now Too Big To Fail

Should the Province of Alberta buy the Trans Mountain Pipeline from Kinder-Morgan if they want to walk away from the project?  That question was posed to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley today and she responded with an emphatic ‘Yes!’.

It has become abundantly clear, whether you are for or opposed to this particular pipeline or not, that having the relatively simple twinning of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline fail to be built would signify the end of even medium scale infrastructure projects in Canada.

kinder-morgan-trans-mountain-pipeline-mapThere will always be interest groups and affected people that have some legitimate claim against a large project.  The standard for projects should not be keeping everyone happy.  The standard for infrastructure projects MUST be if they are in the national interest.  That national interest contains a giant list important factors including:

  • environmental concerns
  • affected citizens needs and wants
  • global competitiveness concerns
  • financial concerns
  • public safety

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Facebook’s Problems Just Keep Getting Bigger

Below is a list of current serious Facebook legal issues:

  1. sad-mark-zuckerberg-facebookThe Canadian Federal Government and the Province of BC agreed to join the separate investigations into Facebook user data being sent to AggegateIQ (part of the Cambridge Analytica scandal)
  2. Facebook just admitted they did know about the Russian meddling in the 2016 US Presidential election, in 2016
  3. Facebook has temporarily walked away from a major project to use their data in Hospitals to improve patient outcomes
  4. Facebook has just shut down AggegateIQ ‘s account for improving receiving data from Cambridge Analytica
  5. Facebook apologized to a notable Myanmar group because Mark Zuckerberg’s claims of how Facebook is effectively responding to hate speech and used Myanmar as an example.  The groups involve claim that Facebook was actually quite slow to respond and that they cleaned up their own mess.
  6. Brazil fined Facebook $33M for not turning over WhatsApp data (that Facebook is almost certainly unable to turn over because the information is encrypted)
  7. The US Government is requiring Mark Zuckerberg to appear in front of the
    1. US House of Representatives Committee on April 11th
    2. US Senate Committee on April 10th

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The Dutch Have Reduced Prison Populations 50% AND Crime 39% in a Decade

In the last decade the Dutch have reduced prison inmate populations by 50% and those sentences average to about 90 days in jail.  Many people expected this drastic reduction of inmates to lead to a notable increase in crime because:dutch-prison-refugees-temporary-housing

  1. Dangerous, proven criminals are being quickly released back onto the street
  2. There is virtually no deterrent effect to being jailed in the Netherlands

Contrary to this expectation the fact is that Dutch system has also reduced crime by nearly 40%.

As you can see in the image to the right, the Dutch now use their old prisons as temporary housing for some refugees.

How can that be?  In simple terms, it turns out that after thousands of years of trying different forms of incarceration and punishment that Europeans have figured out:

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How Killing The Canadian Oil Industry Is a Formula For Environmental Disaster

Today Bloomberg’s Michael Bellusci wrote an article explaining that Canadian oil and gas companies are in deep trouble.  Here is an excerpt:

Canada’s Energy Industry Faces ‘Extinction’ Without M&A, BMO Says

On the same day, Global News reported:

Feds to spend $280k to study why Canada’s oil and gas sector is falling behind

The federal government plans to spend up to $280,000 for a new study on Canada’s competitiveness in the oil and gas industry as investment lags and the United States offers new incentives for companies to move south…iea-world-energy-demand-change-2016-2040
Source: globalnews.ca/news/4123026/oil-and-gas-canada-falling-behind-study/

In general terms the issue is that with low oil prices, oil companies see better places in the world to put their money than Canada.  Oil & Gas “activists” will initially claim a victory here because they have had some impact on making it difficult to get Canadian Oil and Gas to both international and domestic markets.

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Anatomy of a Modern Data Breach: The Facebook – Cambridge Analytica Scandal

cambridge-analytica-the-power-of0big-data-in-the-electoral-processNow that much of the dust has settled on Cambridge Analytica‘s misuse of Facebook users data the sad story can now be told.

It is critical to note upfront that Facebook was not hacked and that the information that was misused was provided voluntarily by Facebook Users.  The only breach was a breach of misplaced trust.

Timeline of the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica Scandal:

  1. January 2015:  Cambridge University’s Professor Alexander Krogan created ‘ThisIsYourDigitalLife’ personality survey app on Facebook, under his company “Global Science Research”
    • facebook-cambridge-anaytica-kogan-nix-bannon-mercer-connections-theguardian270,000 people responded and at the time it was possible for users of that app to provide limited information on their ‘friends’, if those ‘friends’ Facebook privacy settings allowed it
    • Including the ‘Friends’ moves the number of people that had some limited information sent to the ‘research’ company to about 50 Million
    • Professor Kogan has serious ties to the Russian government
      .
  2. April 2015: Facebook changed their software to make it impossible for users to share any of their ‘friends’ information
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A Rational, Fact Based Review of Global Warming & Its Practical Solutions

Below is an 11 minute interview with Dr. David Maenz about his new book The Price of Carbon.  Unlike all climate change books we have reviewed in the past, The Price Of Carbon is the first one to pull together the serious science of Global Warming from Earths formation until today, explain the three likely outcomes of Global Warming, and then detail the PRACTICAL solutions to the issue.

This book is definitely not a casual read but for the educated person that is still open to thinking about this critical issue, it will be an eye opener:

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Will The New Canadian National Projects Review Mechanisms, Resolve Provincial & Municipal Disputes

At the heart of the Canadian Federal Governments announcement today about fixing the process that determines if a large scale project is in the best interest of Canada or not, is a desire to limit ability Provincial, Municipal and interest groups (like ‘First Nations’) to stall approved projects.  The idea is to:

  1. increase consultation so everyone’s voice is heard
  2. set firm and visible rules for industry so that “goal posts” are not being moved after the fact
  3. determine what is in Canada’s best interest, when that interest is at odds with local interest

These are clearly admirable goals.  To achieve those goals there are now going to be three structures that industry must pass through to get Federal Government support:

  1. A new ‘Impact Assessment Agency of Canada‘ will do the preliminary investigation to determine the environmental effects of a project
  2. The existing ‘National Energy Board’ is demoted and renamed ‘Canadian Energy Regulator‘ but still be responsible for determining the technicalities of a project
  3. The ‘Federal Minister of the Environment‘ will have the final say  if a project is viable and in Canada’s interest

So now the questions are, will these changes allow:

  1. Industry to decide that spending many millions of dollars to go through an elongated approval process that will have a definitive outcome be worth while?
  2. Provincial, Municipal and interest groups (like ‘First Nations’) to be heard and listened to?

There has been much debate over the process and all agree something big had to change:

  1. When industry works on large scale projects deemed to be in the Canadian national interest after years of consultation and vetting that are still blocked by local and regional interests, there is a big problem.
  2. When interest groups (i.e. some ‘First Nations’, Municipal governments (i.e. Vancouver) local and Provincial governments (i.e. BC) feel empowered to block large scale projects that adversely affect the rest of the country, there is an even bigger problem.

Dennis McConaghy, a former senior executive at Trans Canada Pipelines thinks these changes will not achieve the desired goals:

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Trump Brings in 30% Tariff on Solar Panels, Temporarily Killing .25M US Jobs

On Monday January 22, 2018, the Trump administration brought in a 30% tax on imported solar panels.   This new solar tax will last four years and decrease over time to 15% in its last year.

“Over the last 5 years, nearly 30 American solar manufacturers collapsed; today the President is sending a message that American innovation and manufacturing will not be bullied out of existence without a fight… This is a step forward for this high-tech solar manufacturing industry we pioneered right here in America.”
pressreleasepoint.com/trump-imposes-tariffs-solar-panels 

PUNISH CHINA?

Of the few that have heard of this new tariff, the common misconception is that it is an attempt to punish China from dumping (selling below cost, to kill competitors) panels but the US only imports 10% of its solar panels from China (see the last 30 seconds of the video below).  As you can see in the video below, the US solar industry did not ask for and does not want this tariff.

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7 US States Already Allow GM’s New ‘Cruise’ FULLY Autonomous Car Service

gm-cruise-autonomous-boltAutonomous cars and trucks are steaming at us at a surprisingly rapid pace.  Fully autonomous vehicles are not the stuff of 2025, they are the stuff of late 2018.  Seven US States already allow GM, Tesla, Uber and other autonomous car makers to drive limited numbers of vehicles with no driver.  In Canada, Ontario allows autonomous vehicles in approved cities and towns.

GM executives told investors in 2016 that by 2025, autonomous vehicle cost reductions and increased consumer adoption would combine to drive the price down to less than $1 per mile, or about a third of current ride-hailing prices.

In 2017 GM had more autonomous vehicles on the road that any other company in the world.  In California 20 of the autonomous cars were involved in accidents but not a single one of them was found to have the autonomous car at fault.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4y09TnE4QE

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VIDEO: Highlights of the Canadian Federal Government Carbon Tax

On January 15 2018, the Canadian Federal Government laid out the details of it plan to implement a  $50/tonne carbon tax in proposed legislation named the “Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act”.  The highlights are:

  • The Federal Tax will only apply in Provinces and Territories that do not have a comparable carbon tax already in place
    • That means, as of today, it will apply only to 20% of the Canadian population
    • Specifically those in Saskatchewan, most Atlantic provinces, NWT, Nunavut, Yukon will be subject to the Canadian Federal carbon levy
    • Newfoundland & Labrador and others are expected to announce their own carbon tax systems in the spring of 2018
  • The tax will start at $10/tonne in 2018 and will be at $50/tonne by the end of 2022
  • There are two parts to the system, a consumer gas tax and and industrial emissions tax

Consumer Gas Tax:

  • 2018 Gasoline = $0.023 / liter       2022 Gasoline = $0.115 / liter
  • 2018 Diesel = $0.027 / liter             2022 Diesel = $0.135 / liter
  • 2018 Propane = $0.015 / liter         2022 Diesel = $.075 / liter

Industrial Carbon Emissions Tax:

  • The tax is an “output based system” which means it will be charged where the carbon is released (think burning gasoline in your car vs producing gasoline)
  • Only those companies that produce more carbon than the average today will pay the carbon tax
    • Before the end of 2018 the Canadian Government will evaluate each industrial sector (think Oil & Gas, Mining, Transportation…) and determine the current average energy used per unit of output in each of those sectors
    • Companies that produce more carbon than industry average will have to buy carbon credits
    • Companies that produce less carbon than the industry average will be able to sell the difference in carbon credits

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VEGANS UNITE! Man Made Chicken is Going Mass-Market Soon

UPDATE Jan 4 2020 – “Cultured Chicken” is now available in Singapore with Government approval and at competitive prices.

Click here for the updated video and article “No Chickens Were Harmed In The Making of This Nugget: Cultured Chicken is Here”


While governments around the world grapple with Genetically Modified Products (GMO’s) like wheat and canola, there is a new issue they will have to address shortly: man made meat.

This video explains that Israels “Super Meat” just raised millions of dollars to COMPLETE their lab produced chicken product.  Man made chicken will be available for sale in two or three years to specialty markets and will almost certainly be in your grocery store within a decade.

THIS article from 2015 explains that lab made beef has dropped in price from $300K to $11; it is happening and you will have the choice.

Governments around the world are going to be forced to bring legislation for these products, even if it is no more than that formally rule that man made meat is not classed differently than animal grown meat.

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Political Issues?

Many issues of 2018 and beyond are ones that need more exploration, discussion and debate.  This site will explore difficult or misunderstood political issues of our time. It will attempt to be politically neutral and prove for light than heat.