Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Frances Russell comments on how the Harper Cons are ready to impose exactly the kind of centralized and unresponsive decision-making they've long loathed - but only when it comes to favouring Alberta's interests over B.C.'s real environmental concerns. But Michael Harris notes that Harper is entirely likely to see his job as nothing more than serving the interests of the oil patch.

- Meanwhile, Susan Riley confirms that the problem with the Gateway pipeline is indeed one of environmental risk, not Christy Clark's money grab:
(T)he Northern Gateway is not worth the risk, environmentally, or politically.

And, while pipeline boosters enthuse about the schools, hospitals and jobs enhanced oil exports to China will provide, they ignore the social and economic costs of responding to crop failures, water shortages, forest fires and the other baleful consequences of rising global temperatures.

Outside of an increasingly frayed consensus, there are dissenters — notably, federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, the Green party, and B.C.’s NDP opposition, all of whom oppose the Northern Gateway.

As Quebec Premier Jean Charest said at the premiers’ annual gabfest this week, “you cannot disassociate the issues of energy with issues that touch climate change.”

In fact, the environment has to be at the centre of future energy policy — not from virtue, but from necessity. It isn’t about changing their messaging; oil-addicted political leaders have to change course.

If they don’t figure that out soon, with luck, they’ll be gone.
- John Geddes thoroughly reviews the Cons' regressive drug policy, which features massive cuts to already-limited rehabilitation programs in order to pour millions more into criminalization. And David Hutton reports on the sheer lunacy of a Saskatoon methadone program which provides support only after a user is already pregnant or infected with HIV - with Ryan Meili contributing some commentary.

- Finally, Erik Loomis provides two vivid examples of workers fired merely for recognizing problems with their employers in an apparent effort to intimidate others into silence. But there shouldn't be much doubt what happens when workers lack a voice altogether.

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