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ian-bremmer-on-the-money-eurasia-group-russia-marshall-plan

Why Russia Turned Out So Differently From Germany & Japan

After World War 2 the US (and West in general) supported its former enemies.  Rebuilding cities, legal systems, and economies on a massive scale.  Germany and Japan were the primary beneficiaries of that financial aid and guidance and today those two countries are large stable entities that improve the West’s standard of living by providing both solid trading partners and political allies.

Some argue that those countries now take “our” jobs when in fact the evidence is clear that those countries have expanded the global economy for all.   It is true that the US, Canada and the UK have a smaller slice of the global economic pie in 2018 compared to1950, but the pie is many times larger, so the net benefit to those countries is irrefutable.

The rebuilding (not reconstruction) plan was named after then US Secretary of State George Marshall.  Today the Marshall Plan is touted as the cure all for every failing state, from Afghanistan to Mozambique but, as this New Yorker article explains, for a Marshal Plan had a lot more to do with reassurance and a lot less to do with money than most people think.

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crime-rates-in-canada-1962-2016

US and Canadian Crime Rates Are Way Down Thanks To Engagement

If you live in the United States or Canada and you feel less safe than you did 20 years ago, you are likely either in one of the very few geographic bubbles (like Chicago or rural Alberta) or you are a victim of politicians and social media trying to manipulate your natural fears.  The fact is that crime, violent and otherwise is waaaay down.

Canadian Crime Statistics

Below are the Canadian statistics and they roughly concur with the US crime statistics in that crime peaked near the year 1990 and then declined between 30 to 80% in all categories and in nearly all regions.  This despite the fact that it is more likely a citizen will report a crime today than they would have 30 years ago.

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Canadians Have Degrees

Interviewer: You’ve got a lot of work experience, but what are your degrees in? Interviewee: We’ll I’m from Canada so my degrees are in Celsius

oklohoma-earthquakes-2000-2015

What Is Induced Seismicity in Oil & Gas Exploration & What Can Be Done About It?

What is Induced Seismicity?

Induced Seismicity is just another way to say ‘man made earthquakes’ and are sometimes referred to “induced earthquakes”.  Induced Seismicity can be caused by many things humans do including:

  1. damming rivers for hydro power build a vast water weight behind the dam which was not their previously
  2. having old mine shafts collapse
  3. draining of underground water reservoirs
  4. tunneling / boring for transit systems

Induced-Seismicity-caused-by-oil-gas-explorationbut the focus of this article is Induced Seismicity caused by oil and gas exploration and production.  There are some unexpected results in the latest research that governments and citizens should be aware of.

The picture to the right is the standard graphic used by industry to explain that when we search for or produce oil and gas near existing fault lines, the added (or reduced!) pressures can cause the faults to activate resulting in earthquakes.  Nowhere has this been more pronounced than in Oklahoma over the previous decade and their citizens and governments are taking it very seriously.

What are the Main Causes of Oil & Gas Related Induced Seismicity?

The two major causes of oil and gas related Induced Seismicity are:

  1. Fracking HORIZONTAL wells
  2. Waste water disposal wells

What is Fracking?

Hydraulic Fracturing or “fracking” is simply the process of injecting materials (often including water, sand, chemicals, CO2…) into a well under very high pressure.  The idea is to crack the rock and release the oil and gas contained.

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jason-kenney-Derek-Fildebrandt-alberta-ucp

Strathmore MLA Derek Fildebrandt Claims Jason Kenney Told Him He Cannot Run Against a Women

jason-kenney-Derek-Fildebrandt-alberta-ucpThe video below shows Derek Fildebrandt at the Strathmore on Monday April 23rd, claiming that UCP leader Jason Kenney told him he could not run against a female UCP member:

…What Jason (Kenney) said to me. It’s not about me challenging other incumbents. It was only about me challenging female incumbents… And he said I could run against any other men…  I don’t think it serves women well to have effectively affirmative action in politics…

https://youtu.be/rurP7iBkPPc

It should be noted that Mr. Fildebrandt is accused of many politically unsettling problems including:

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dangerous-steel-worker-jobs

The Unintended Consequences of Government Meddling In the Steel Industry

dangerous-steel-worker-jobsIt is well established that even well intentioned government intervention in industry very often ends up causing more problems than it solves.  Today one of the issues facing the United States is a loss of jobs in the steel industry and so President Trump claimed this is a National Security Issue and so used his unilateral power to impose a 25% tariff on imports of steel into the United States.

On its face, this seems like a good idea.  Simplistically, if decrease the ability of other countries to export their steel to the US will result in the creation of more US steel jobs.  However, the world is not a simple place and what actually happened was:

  1. Few new US steel jobs were (or will be) created as steel foundries take time to expand and most of that expansion will be done with… wait for it… automation, not direct jobs
  2. The cost of goods produced in the US has to go up to accommodate that tariff.  That is a particularly ugly reality for US consumers that like things made with lots of steel, like cars
  3. The US has trade agreements with many friendly countries like Canada, Japan and others that preclude such tariffs but cause diplomatic problems as exceptions are carved out
  4. Other industries then get in-line for their protection package causing a never ending tide of companies looking for their handout
  5. Some important civic projects like steel intensive bridges have their costs increase or projects delayed so long (because engineers now spec required US steel that is back-ordered) that they are cancelled outright or don’t get completed in a timely fashion.

The five points above are well documented oft discussed in the media.  The video below however, points out two fascinating unintended consequences that we had not thought of:

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Are Oil Tanker Spills Getting Worse? Spill Statistics From 1970 to 2017

You can draw your own conclusions from the charts below but it is not debatable that Oil Tankers used to get into a lot of serious accidents and spill a huge amount of oil.  That is just not the case today.

As you can see in the chart below, the oil tanker business has become dramatically safer in the last 35 years since tanker traffic became popular in the early 1970’s:tanker-oil-spills-1973-2015

The 2017 the tanker oil spill numbers look very similar to the 2010/11 numbers with:

  • two large spills (>700 tonnes) both of which occurred out at sea
  • four small spills (<700 tonnes) with only one occurring near a harbor and was the result of an avoidable collision

If you do the math, this calculates to oil tanker accidents have been reduced 92% while there has been a 55% increase in their use.  That means late 2010’s oil tanker traffic is about 20 times less likely to have a spill than they were in the early 1970’s.

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trans-mountain-pipeline-logo

Does Alberta Have Both The Legal Authority & The Gumption To Block Oil Shipments To BC?

In a word, yes.

1 – Does Alberta Have the Legal Authority To Block Oil Shipments to British Columbia?

As explained in the video below,  ALL oil and gas products in Alberta used to be COMPLETELY controlled by the Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission (APMC) which still exists today.  There has been no legal impediments to that process put in place since the APMC was formed in 1973, so yes the Province of Alberta can legally block petroleum shipments to BC.

2 – Would Albertans and Alberta Companies Support Blocking Oil Shipments to British Columbia?

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