Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- David Olive comments on the world food crisis, making the point that what we're lacking is some link between more-than-sufficient productive capacity and the nutritional needs of less wealthy people around the globe:
(A) permanently higher price for oil spurred successful innovation to reduce our reliance on petroleum products in realms outside of transportation and energy, along with a determined effort to find new sources of oil in increasingly remote places.

The global food crisis, by contrast, has not made us think differently about how we produce and use the fruit of the land. We have no national or global strategies for food-security or for nutrition. Speculators have not been reined in with limits on betting. And the powerful ethanol lobby hasn’t been shown the door, even though the production of ethanol consumes more energy than it returns as fuel.

And, conspicuously in the West, too much crop production goes into highly processed food drained of nutrients and fibre, accounting for a North American epidemic in obesity and diabetes.
- So naturally, your friendly neighbourhood wingnuts are focused on demolishing the few mechanisms left to ensure that mere workers have some say in the allocation of resources and the functioning of our economy.

- Michael Harris' latest column discusses how Canada's premiers are looking for the federal government to actually show some national leadership, rather than retreating as far as possible from the services most important to Canadians.

- Finally, Bruce Johnstone sees the proposed Nexen takeover as a litmus test in the application of the "net benefit" standard for foreign takeovers. And Erin Weir notes that whatever benefit Alberta may receive from a head-office promise, Saskatchewan looks to do nothing but lose out if the sale is approved.

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