Trees for our Children...

This blog will look at environmental and political issues that will affect the quality of life for future generations of all species. Including; sustainability, media labels of "environmental issues," and different kinds of resistance to environmental oppression. I will also post on anything I think someone interested in the aforementioned would be interested in...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Climate Change justifies eco-terrorism?

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Last Question

The ruling Saskatchewan Party just announced plans for a privately built nuclear reactor in Saskatchewan by 2020... before any health/feasability/environmental impact studies had been looked at (does it seem like their minds are already made up or something?)

Say "NO THANKS" politely HERE (petition)

Say it less politely in person to your elected representatives, notably; Brad Wall, Lorne Calvert, Ken Chevaldayoff, and Billy Boyd

The Last Question...

A texas oil tycoon just launched construction of the world's biggest wind turbine farm. It will cost 12 billion dollars and provide clean, renewable, sustainable, affordable energy for 1.3 million homes.

Monday, April 14, 2008

China to take up Electric Car production by reviving Detroit Electric!

sooo busy with essays, studying, work that I'll just link to this blog that covers the issue better than I have time for...

but look for updates on this issue in this post or another...

Thanks Dad for calling me at 8:30 this morning with the good news (I'm more stoked that it excited you so much actually)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

An open letter from David Suzuki

An open letter from David Suzuki
3:58pm Monday, Feb 25
Ouch, ouch. I thought there were rules against piling on, or was that just for sports? I've always thought it was unfair to beat up an old man, especially one wearing glasses!

I have been astonished at the response of columnists and letter writers to remarks I made in Montreal that were reported in the McGill student paper and then quoted and misquoted extensively, thereby fostering an impression of my remarks that bear little resemblance to what I remember saying.

Hey, I've been a journalist a long time and I know that controversy sells and that what I say is open fodder for those who disagree. We all see the world through the lenses of our own values, beliefs and biases, and I understand that. I happen to believe that the back-and-forth debate about ideas is what moves us along. I don't expect responses to me to be fair or unbiased, but at least let's start with what I actually said. For what it's worth, here's the context for my talk and ideas.

Human beings are animals, biological beings that are as dependent on clean air, clean water, clean soil, clean energy and biodiversity as any other living organism. In fact, all life on Earth inhabits that thin layer of air, water and soil that is called the biosphere. If the planet were reduced to the size of a basketball, the biosphere would be as thin as a layer of varnish. That's it, it's finite and fixed.

Ecology and economics are based on the same root, eco, from the Greek word oikos, meaning home. Ecology is the study of home while economics is its management. Ecologists try to define the conditions and principles that govern life's ability to flourish. It makes sense that to ensure long-term sustainability, we should not interfere with or degrade those conditions and principles.

When some of our governments inform us that action to combat climate change must not slow down or disrupt the economy, that reflects the elevation of economics above ecology, and that is dangerous. In a finite world, steady growth forever is not only impossible, it is suicidal. Such a goal blinds us from asking important questions like what is an economy for, are we happier with all of the consumptive goods generated by that economy and how much is enough? Canada is one of the wealthiest countries in the world and Alberta is its wealthiest province. If we can't ask questions about growth and the purpose of the economy, how can we expect poorer developing nations to consider them as they strive to emulate us?

Humanity has undergone a sudden shift in our presence on the planet, and because it has happened so suddenly, we haven't been able to fully recognize the responsibility that comes with it. Human beings now outnumber all other mammals on the planet and just the basics of life for each of us - air, water, food, energy, clothing, shelter - lead to a heavy ecological footprint. But of course, we are not like other mammals; we have a huge amount of technology to generate the things we use in modern society, and that amplifies our footprint enormously. Add to that our rising consumptive demands and a global economy, and human beings have become a new kind of force on Earth. No other species has been able to alter the biological, chemical and physical features of the planet as we are doing now, and that makes our need to find a sustainable path even more urgent.

For 20 years, leading scientists have warned us that the climate is changing and that human beings are a major part of it. Around the world in 1988, the public ranked the environment as its top concern, and when George H.W. Bush ran for office, he promised to "be an environmental president." Once ensconced, he showed how little campaign promises meant, and his son appears to have inherited the trait. In 1988, participants at a major conference of atmosphere scientists in Toronto were so alarmed by the evidence that global warming was happening that they signed a news release calling global warming a threat to human survival second only to nuclear war and recommended a 20 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 1988 levels in 15 years. If we had followed their recommendations, we would be far beyond the Kyoto target and well on our way to the deep reductions called for now.

Brian Mulroney was re-elected prime minister in 1988, and to show his concern for the environment, he appointed his brightest star, Lucien Bouchard, as environment minister. I interviewed Bouchard two months after he was appointed and asked him what he felt was the most pressing environmental issue. He immediately responded, "Global warming." I asked him how serious it was. He said, "It threatens the survival of our species," and called for immediate action.

So scientists had issued an urgent call and politicians seemed to hear it, but nothing was done. Why? I don't know, but I can speculate on one problem. To achieve the reductions called for would have cost Canadians tens of billions of dollars, but studies done in several countries at that time indicated there would be net savings far beyond the dollars invested. Unfortunately, any politician making the commitment would take a tremendous beating for spending so heavily (as we are seeing in the Gordon Campbell government's green budget) while someone else would take the kudos for achieving it and saving the money 15 years later. In other words, it doesn't make political sense.

The Nature of Things did the first special on global warming in 1989. Back then, I said that we had to act now but that climate change represented a "slow-motion catastrophe," because I thought at the time that we wouldn't see any effects for decades. To our surprise, every year since then, the evidence has come in that even with a 0.7 C rise, nature is showing unmistakable signs of responding, while in the Arctic, Inuit have been telling us for years their environment is changing. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), set up to examine the scientific evidence on climate change, has been very cautious in examining tens of thousands of scientific reports and in concluding that human beings are the major cause of climate change and that it is an urgent challenge to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by large amounts.

The eminent economist Sir Nicholas Stern, former senior economist with the World Bank, was asked by then-finance minister (now U.K. Prime Minister) Gordon Brown to calculate the cost of acting on climate change. He told me when he began that he didn't know much about the subject and had no opinion on it. He sought information from the scientific community and concluded that every effort should be made to reduce emissions so that temperature does not rise by more than two degrees this century. To achieve this would require heroic effort at a cost of one per cent of annual GDPs for decades. But when he considered the cost of dealing with runaway climate change by not taking steps to reduce emissions, he found up to 20 per cent of the global economy could disappear -- more than the cost of World Wars I and II combined! Faced with a one per cent cost versus an unprecedented depression, it seems to me there is no choice: We have to make the effort and pay the price.

National organizations of leading scientists, from the National Academy of Sciences (U.S.) to the Royal Society of London (U.K.), Royal Society of Canada and the academies of France, Germany, Japan, China and India, have all called for urgent action to meet the challenge of climate change. The science is in, the leading scientists have issued a call to action and each day that goes by without acting ensures that the problems for our children and grandchildren will become ever greater.

In a democracy, we elect people to look out for our interests and to lead us into the future. Many of the decisions made in forestry, fisheries, agriculture and mining have repercussions that reverberate for years to come. Of course, the electorate can register its approval or disapproval of those politicians during an election. But what mechanism do we have to ensure accountability of those people for actions whose effects we will only see decades or generations away? Of course, they do the best they can with the information at hand, but when top scientists and their societies cite overwhelming scientific evidence and issue calls to action, only to find their advice ignored or even, in some cases, deliberately tampered with by politicians, what are we to do? What other authorities do we accept as guides for action or inaction: the Bible or the Koran, the Dow-Jones average or any economist who fails to acknowledge limits and nature's importance?

That's the background behind my suggestion that by ignoring the best scientific advice, politicians and governments are leaving huge problems for our children and grandchildren, and that could be seen as an intergenerational crime. My suggestion is that we explore this issue of intergenerational accountability where ignorance is not an excuse.

David Suzuki

Thursday, February 21, 2008

One of the hazards of not seeking technological innovation sustainably...

I though that this news story was an apt metaphor/example of the hazards of unsustainable technology...

[further information]

... a US satellite was going to crash into the earth and contained 10 million dollars worth of extremely dangorous chemicals (possibly nuclear, details classified)...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Canada kills the electric car again?!

This is a depressing message from facebook group "Sorry World, Cant meet our Kyoto targets, too busy killing the Electric Car"

Check out this blogger's view of the issue... (added Feb.21)


A very important email from ZENN.


On December 22, 2007, only 50 days after granting the ZENN the National Safety Mark (clearing the way for ZENN to sell in the provinces that enact low-speed vehicle legislation) Transport Canada announced plans to REVISE THE DEFINITION OF LOW-SPEED VEHICLES.

The (paraphrased) existing Low-Speed Vehicle (LSV) definition is as follows:

“Low Speed Vehicles are designed for on road use, have a regulated top speed of 40 KPH and are restricted to roads with a posted speed limit of 50KPH.”

This type of vehicle is legal in more than 40 of the 50 States and throughout Europe, Asia and South America in mixed-use environments and has an exemplary safety record when operated in its defined operating environments!

The proposed revision to definition of Low-Speed Vehicles (LSVs) is as follows:

“low-speed vehicle” means a vehicle, other than a restricted-use motorcycle or a vehicle imported temporarily for special purposes, that is designed for use primarily on streets and roads where access and the use of other classes of vehicles are controlled by law or agreement”

There are other recommendations, including the addition of small trucks to the definition and improvements for increased visibility of LSVs that ZENN Motor Company agrees are reasonable and we support.

Reference: Canada Gazette Vol. 141, No. 51 — December 22, 2007, Regulations Amending the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Low-speed Vehicles)

What does this mean?

Essentially, the ZENN would be UNABLE to operate on 50 KPH and slower public roads such as downtown Victoria, Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. The ZENN, and vehicles like it would be forced to only operate on closed, private roads such as parks, university campuses and military bases.

What are the consequences to such a revision?

§ The ZENN, and green vehicles like it will not enter the Canadian market

§ Consumer choice for alternative, zero emission green vehicles will remain limited to bicycles

§ Those provinces who wish to promote alternative forms of transportation (such as a Low-Speed Vehicle) will have to legislate in direct opposition to Transport Canada’s revised definition of limited on road use

Concerned? Outraged? Here’s what you can do:

All comments regarding the proposed changes must be submitted by February 20, 2008 to:

Matthew Coons, Senior Regulatory Development
Engineer, Road Safety and Motor Vehicle Regulation
Directorate, Department of Transport, Place de Ville, Tower C,
8th Floor, 330 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5
tel.:613-998-1961; e-mail:

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Corporate Climate Coup

By: David Noble

this article pushed my climate change research into an entirely different perspective... it is so far the most hard-hitting publication regarding climate change action obstacles I've come across... (I am a student researcher for climate change)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


This is why the University of Saskatchewan's 300,000 TalismanOil-sponsored research into attempting to delay ACTION currently being done by Dr.William Patterson (my arch-nemisis?) is CRIMINAL!

Also, this is why we ourselves, at the university of regina, need to switch to sustainability research that isnt trying to make fossil fuels slightly less toxic... we need to research what is blocking the switch to renewable, sustainable solutions is CONTINUALLY DELAYED!

The only thing I'd like to add to the video... is that individual consumption-lowering will not work if big corporations are allowed to fill the carbon-void (like under the current carbon-trading system)

Act now!

Monday, January 7, 2008

New Years Revolutions that make a difference...

I thought I'd share my 'braindead' draft for an article I just handed into my fantastic editor... so try and see through the bad grammar to what I'm actually trying to say... I will be casually editing and adding relevant links to this story... so don't be afraid to check back :D


We head into 2008 with an unprecedented level of environmental awareness and an increasing public demand for action on major environmental issues (such as anthropocentric climate change.) Lets look at some major events in 2007 that inspired this growing trend.

As increasingly intense weather patterns continued battering coastline communities (like BC and Newfoundland), the environment arose as the number one voting issue for the majority of Canadians. This meant that the majority-elected democratic leaders began to take notice of the environment as a leading issue.

The most influential global environmental conference of our generation took place in Bali in December. After much public outcry, including an online petition attracting over 100,000 signatures in just 4 days, our Conservative government (representing Canada to the world and fearing the loss of ‘votes’) begrudgingly agreed to binding limits on Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Symbolically favouring longterm environmental protection over short-term economic gains.

The US Supreme Court and a bipartisan investigative committee found the Bush administration GUILTY of illegally blocking information and action on human-caused climate change. Not many people were surprised by this ruling given the new wave of environmental awareness spreading rapidly. But not enough attention is being focused on the implications of what these rulings meen. If you like incredibly scary real-life horror scenarios (like in the movies), just look at some of the least-worst predictions that have been made by climate scientists (and until very recently, ignored)

The UN Inter-governmental panel on climate (IPCC) and Al Gore won the Nobel Peace prize for their role in creating awareness on how our capitalist global society’s way of living is killing the planet.

Also in 2007, a broad survey of 22,000 Canadian “intelligent, education, and connected” individuals found that 74% believe corporations have too much influence over governments, and 69% agreed large corporations are more powerful than the governments themselves. More and more concerned citizen’s are seeing corporate power (and binding trade agreements) as the root causes for many globally inter-connected environmental problems.

This exponentially increasing environmental awareness is being spread by a growing independent media and technological innovlations in social networking (like facebook or the internet in general).

On our own campus, students and faculty began networking and organizing to create a new transdisciplinary environmental studies degree (tentatively set to come out in 2009). Our university is also hosting a student’s for sustainability world conference and a United Nations Education for Sustainable Development Regional Center for Expertise symposium (both in May 2008).

Not surprisingly, the environment was on the minds of the majority of Canadians when making their new years resolutions as well. According to one national poll, the top new year’s resolution of 2008 is to be more environmentally conscious when shopping and making resource-usage decisions. Specifically, people seem to believe that ‘direct personal action can make a difference in protecting the planet for future generations.’

So as you head into 2008, fellow students, citizens, and passengers on spaceship earth… Consider the ecological consequences of the way you live. It’s no longer about looking your grandchildren in the eyes as you tell them what a rainforest used to look like. It’s about how you will apply your privileged agency and preparing our families and communities to survive the upcoming apex of an unsustainable society’s revolutionary transition, or apocalyptic demise.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Electric Car is coming to the Canadian market! (finally...)

Good news... A growing solution to climate change and the switch to a sustainable society...

HAPPY HOLIDAYS... I will be taking some time off from blogging until the new year...

and great progress on EMMISSIONS-FREE CARS in CANADA!!!

*shortly after this aired on CBC, transport canada approved zenn cars for sale in canada!

Could the Electric Car Save us?

Petition for ZENN cars in Canada, HERE...

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Wow -

This morning, in a massive U-turn in the 11th hour of extended negotiations, the Harper government finally dropped its opposition to 2020 emissions targets among Kyoto countries , and a climate change agreement was reached in Bali!

Over 110,000 of us came together over the last 4 days and added our voices to a wave of popular outrage - we supported the ads that ran in Canadian papers and at the conference in Bali, called Harper and our MPs, and built the strength of the petitions, events, banners, and marches at the summit. And it all worked!

Click the link below to see a video message from Liberal leader Stephane Dion at Bali - Avaaz is a non-partisan group and the NDP and Green Party also deserve credit for opposing Harper, but Dion had an impassioned comment for us:

Lots of factors helped make this happen, especially a strong resolve and pressure from other countries. In teaming up with people around the globe to save our climate - including over 600,000 other Avaaz members who pushed their governments - we've defended Canada's proud tradition of doing the right thing in the world. The struggle is far from over, but this weekend is for celebrating!

With much joy and enormous respect for everyone who signed, forwarded, donated, called, lobbied and pitched in,

Ricken and the Avaaz team

PS - Here's a link to see other Avaaz campaigns and our work this year -

And here's a Globe and Mail article on the Harper reversal at Bali: Why does this action change the world? Because we're going to make your 60 seconds count.


also check out these old captain planet clips I came across recently

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Climate Action NOW!

So, I spoke at the stop climate chaos rally in Regina yesterday... It was very cold out, but we still had a pretty good turnout... I've decided to post my speech for those of you who were unable to make it out... and because it speaks to an issue close to my heart...


I come before you today, not just as a student, but in solidarity with you all, as active community citizens.

Thank you very much to everyone who came out. By showing up, you are not only braving the cold. You are rising above apathy and ignorance, and uniting your voices with other concerned citizens. You are exercising your rights and responsibilities as citizen's to get informed and you are showing solidarity in supporting immediate and direct ACTION!

We need a recognition of Ecological justice in our governments and policy-making institutions. Ecological rights are nature's rights, women's rights, indigenous rights, children's rights, student's rights... ecological rights are everyone's rights. As a society, we need to stop living apart from nature and recognize the delicate balance of ecosystems that allow us to coexist on our planet.

It is past time we act preventively to slow and reverse anthropocentric climate change. It is becoming a matter of all specie's survival. We have to switch to sustainable sources of energy and food. We have the technology to do this, we only need the collective consciousness to implement it.

As university students, we represent the transition of learning children into responsible citizens that benefit our local and global communities. And I would like to share with you some good news. There is a growing resurgence of student activism and involvement happening on our campus, and campuses across the country and entire planet. There is rising ecological awareness, and with that awareness, comes knowledge that can be used as agency for change.

Whether it be to protest the university administration running our school like a corporation (via their actions during the strike) or by creating a new student-run organization to bring research back from the corporate interest and to the public interest, their are many ways student's have been rising out of complacency and using their newfound knowledge as agency for change that benefits society.

Student's need the community we serve's help to implement these new ideas.

The newly created Environmental Action Network is working to organize a diverse and multidisciplinary range of voices into movements with the common goal of furthuring environment awareness and solidarity. It's our future, and we are developing the agency to change it.

There is a very powerful group of profit-motivated and unaccountable corporations who have a vested interest in preventing Sustainable Development in our province, and in our country. Under the current dominant economic model, the adverse effects of climate change are profitable, they are making countless billions of dollars at a huge cost to the ecological integrity of our entire planet, and all it's current and future inhabitants

They are (along with out current government) are working to delay action on climate change, and making lots of money doing it.

We need to see these corporate juggernauts for what they are, and advocate our elected officials to legislate solutions. We have the technology and knowledge to live sustainably. For most of human history, we have lived within natural sustainable boundaries, we need to look back at our ancestral indigenous respect for the natural ecosystems we inhabit.

Right now, the most important global enviornmental conference of our generation is happening in Bali. The outcomes of which quite literally can decide the fate of all life on our planet. I know this sounds grim, but world climate scientists are getting frantic, WE HAVE TO CURB OUR EMMISSIONS NOW! We need our governments to act in the public interest even when it's contrary to the corporate interest.

If we don't act now, we will face; 20-30% species extinction, increasingly intense and destrucive natural storms, rising ocean levels, global temperature increasing, and quite plausibly the seventh majour evolutionary "cleanse" our planet has ever had (that we know about)... the scary thing is that these are the least-frightening estimates... we really don't know what's gonna happen until it's too late.

Stephen Harper is not only refusing to move towards solutions for human-caused climate change, he is preventing desperately needed action on this issue. Stephen Harper is not speaking in the interests of the Canadian public, rather the interests of a few profit-motivated corporations. We, the public, need to tell our elected representatives to act now to prevent the further destruction of our natural world. We need to use our privilege to speak out for those who don't have a voice.

We are all citizen's of planet earth. Humans are eternally a part of the biophysical processes at work on this planet. We need to pressure our elected representatives

Again, more and more student's are rising out of complacency and looking for ways to use their newfound knowledge as agency for change. Including implementing a sustainable way of living. Community citizen's, you can help us. We all need to work together to collectively solve the myriad of problems our inaction has thusfar has caused.

The environmental revolution is underway. It is happening in our parks, schools, grocery stores, on facebook. It's time we collectively take a stand for the environment and say; "No more inaction. No more destruction of natural ecosystems. No MORE CLIMATE CHANGE! We must not only speak out for nature, but for the counltess unborn. Let us call on our elected leaders -- stop destroying the future ~ now!"

Friday, December 7, 2007


Join demostrator's around the world as they call for action on climate change!

In Regina, Dec. 8 1-2PM, Vic Park Cenotaph

Maude Barlow of the Council for Canadians (on Stop Climate Chaos rally)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Student's, Take Back the University!

There is an ongoing war happening on our campus. It is happening between the collective good of society ("public interest") and the economic powerhouse of the corporation. ("corporate interest")

This war started at the birth of our university as an autonomous institute of higher learning. As university of Regina History professor James Pitsula describes in his book "As one who Serves," the university of regina was very much a child of the sixties. Our university was birthed from the decade of protest as a focal point for direct action. Student rallies and demonstrations that today mere hundreds attend would draw thousands of passionate student protestors.

Back then, the word activist was synonymous with the word student. As students learned to think for themselves, they began to think critically of the institutions governing them. They went further than their administrators intended and attempted to use their newfound knowledge as an agency for change that would benefit society as a whole.

These "student power" activists demanded control over their own affairs, without interference from profit-interest university administration. These students looked at the roots of society's problems; mainly a profit-interest business sector that supported the "military industrial complex." Peace is not a profitable commodity.

They demanded that their voices be heard by having student representation and involvement in university decision-making bodies. They advocated that their university education by paid for by the government, as it is providing a service that benefits the common good of society. They promoted the idea that (as Einstein put it) "The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them." They failed in their attempts to directly implement their new ideas into the institution that had helped inspire and network them.

Further, the institution became to take steps to prevent another outbreak like that from occuring (like cutting funding to the liberal arts).

Our student-ancestors argued that the university was modelling itself after the short-sighted, greedy, profit-motivated corporate entity they saw unravelling the morals of society. By modelling itself after a corporation, the university served the interests of the corporate elite and specifically the "military industrial complex" rather than the common good of society.

It's sad and a little scary to see how relevant their arguments still are today. Corporate power has grown much stronger, and its influence further-reaching. In a global economy where money is power and immunity from the laws that govern common people, corporations have become more powerful than the governments that created them. Several well-meaning individuals (like corporate CEO's) are caught up in positions where they have a legal (financial) responsibility to profit at the expense of the massive loss of life, biodiversity, and ecology. Because if they didn't, then someone else would.

Under our current economic model of progress; anthropocentric climate change, poverty, and toxic waste spills are all profitable things, because they stimulate economic growth. This way of thinking is destroying the world we live in, and a new way of thinking is needed. You'd think that the university would be the logical place for a school of thought that understands and respects the value of preserving natural ecosystems. But the university's directors are too strongly influenced by their corporate backers to let this occur.

There is escalating corporate resistance to this needed awareness. Corporations make countless billions of dollars of profits from delaying, denying, and continuing the debate around the issue of (for example) climate change.

Corporate interest is the opposite of public interest. Rather than serving the needs of a wider democratic society, it serves gluttonous short-term profit gains, given to an increasing minority of the shareholder-accountable elite. These corporations should have no place in shaping the institutions that educate us, yet their role is increasingly more influential.

The corpratization of our university represents the further erosion of a dwindling democracy. Profit-accountable corporations are more overtly controlling the mandate and discussion of governments, media, and education. As Ralph Nader put it, how different would our lives actually be if we lived in a dictatorship?

A democracy only works if it has a base of informed, responsible citizens. This is why corporations have a vested interest in preventing people from thinking critically. The Business-Administration faculty is helping this process along with their removal of the pre-degree arts supplement. But corporate influence is not only seen in the faculty of Business, remember a couple months ago when Calgary-based oil company Talisman gave the University of Saskatchewan a $350,000 grant to re-asses a growing consensus about human-influenced climate change?

The United Nations Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released it's fourth and final report. It concluded that human beings are "unequivocally" disrupting the natural systems we are ignorantly dependent on. This will have "abrupt and irreversible" impacts. The IPCC scientist-spokesperson releasing this report said simply that we (as humans causing climate change) have the technology to prevent global catastrophe, but we lack the consciousness to implement our solutions. Meaning, our society has huge amounts of sustainable and renewable energy and production options, but because of the profit interests of the corporate elite that dominate our political culture, we have been very slow to implement them.

We need to move away from discussing problems and work on implementing sustainable solutions. Corporations like Talisman have a vested interest in preventing sustainable development, and are therefore directly profiting from causing climate change! This is why the most unethical corporations are funding and directing university research. In doing so, they steal time, energy, funding, and attention from areas that need to be in the public discourse. And they are making a lot of money doing it.

As highlighted in the article "the trouble with the commercialisation of university research" by (u of R prof) Marc Spooner and Tanya Shaw, in 1999 Expert Panel on the Commercialization of University Research added the role of "innovation" to it's three traditional roles of teaching, research, and community service. Innovation was defined as "bringing new goods and services to the marketplace." This move was another success of the corporate influence in the university.

Our administration's decision-making is influenced by corporate investing and advising giant KPMG. One of the 4 biggest investing corporations in the world. It has the usual corporate record of corruption and unethical profits, and it is shaping how our university runs as a financial institution. This problem isn't specific to the administration, in almost any general investment portfolio you will find funds that turn ecological and human exploitation into profits.

Many students want to use their university education agency to impact society for positive change, and they likely will. But they can also use their agency to transform our own university back to a free-thinking institute of higher learning. Student's have the technological know-how to achieve this. Do we have the conscious will to implement it?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Conservatives to sell Atomic Energy Board!?!

Story HERE...

Areva (Cogema) and General Electric are already getting excited...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Peace is not a profitable commodity

... this is just a short blog to point out that the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) is more powerful today then it ever has been... mainly because MIC corporations have long controlled the United States, and their reach is gaining strength...

It is no wonder the United States has been at war with one country or another for over 50 years... the military-defense industry is the most profitable in the entire corporate sector...

The military industrial complex is interconnected with other profit-accountable corporations such as the nuclear industry, oil, and Big Pharma... essentially any profit-motivated corporate sector...

MIC has turned war into a profitable commodity... profits shared by a shrinking coporate elite that has heavy influence and involvement in global, national, provincial, and local politics...

Now do the horrendous wars in Vietnam and Iraq make sense? In an economic-based trans-national corporate agenda society, where profits are power and progress... These wars are justifiably `right.`

This dominant MIC ideology is a majour factor in the ongoing ignorance and apathy in regards to preventing anthropomorphic climate change...

COUNTLESS lives, ecosystems, and entire species have already been lost in the name of profit; past, present, and future.

Canada is only a little less directly responsible for (or infected by) the MIC...

How much public money is wasted on subsidies/research on non-renewable or military technological subsidies?
Pretty much all of it (a source)

Ignoring climate change is more expensive than preventing it... unless you are one of few corporate elites profiting from the destruction of life as we know it on this planet (and dont care about the legacy your leaving your children, and all the countless unborn)...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A University of Regina Student's Reflection on recent election results, and the political culture in Saskatchewan

If you were like most students at this university, you watched the recent election results with shock and horror. TWO Right-wing Conservative Governments at the same time?! These election results illustrate the enormity of Saskatchewan's continued ignorance about the biophysical processes at work on this planet!

I'm not saying Saskatchewan residents and students really had many other options though. The NDP, raised our tuition to be the 3rd highest in Canada. Then, 16 years too late they offered to lower fees by $1000 a semester. The Liberals were offering a measly $500 a year to full-time students only.

What did the NDP do with all their dirty money? By dirty money, I mean the huge amounts of revenue they generate from the mining and export of uranium. One-fifth to one-half of uranium miners die from lung cancer. Yet the provincial government refused (and likely still will refuse) to commission a study on the incidence of lung cancer in uranium miners in Northern Saskatchewan. Due to what is known as the "aboriginal exclusivity deal," most of these miners are aboriginal. The cultural genocide in Saskatchewan continues.

The Bayda Commission [1976] could have ended uranium mining in this province. Instead, it created the model of preferentially hiring aboriginals to work in this carcinogenic and toxic industry. The judge in charge went on to become Chief Justice in Saskatchewan (stepping down just last year).

Five years after he was chief justice [1986], Sylvia Fedoruk, the first female member of the Atomic Energy Control Board (Canada's corporate-controlled nuclear regulatory agency) became the first female Lieutenant-Governor of Saskatchewan. It's interesting to see how friends of the nuclear and uranium industry end up in top positions of prestige and power of the political institution here in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan uranium almost always finds it's way into nuclear weapons. Most of the nuclear bombs in the world have a little piece of Saskatchewan in them, and that means our province economically profited from such bombings as; The Manhattan Project, Hiroshima, and more recently, the Shock and Awe attack by the US on Iraq. But we're making money on it. Peace is not a profitable commodity.

No wonder Lorne , Brad, and David were all too afraid to bring up the uranium/nuclear issue during their campaigns. (The Green party did bring up this issue, but not surprisingly, they were not allowed at most business ( i.e. Chamber of Commerce) and corporately-run debates (like CanWest's CTV).

Sadly, the NDP's corporate tax cuts [$190 million a year] weren't enough to buy them the business-vote in Saskatchewan [Many nuclear, uranium and oil companies contribute thousands in donations to the Sask party]. So now we're stuck with an even more corporate-interest government, and looking at further natural resource exploitation and even the possibility of a nuclear power plant built here in Saskatchewan. Don't think they won't try, especially when pro-nuke advocates are in control of Enterprise Saskatchewan.

Yes, I voted Green this past election. And Yes, I'll probably vote Green in the next one too, but they're the ONLY ones talking about these real issues (and willing to follow through on their talk with action!)