I sure am glad…

… that neither Justin Trudeau nor Rachel Notley is my personal investment advisor.

Apparently, Kinder Morgan’s free range investors have figured out that this may not be a good bet in either the short, and particularly, in the long run. I frequently see references by serious business types to the coming collapse of the fossil fuel market, coupled with multiple references to how inexpensive renewable energy is becoming. I have purged my piddly portfolio of the oily stuff, but I collect pensions that are drenched in the stuff, despite the fact that pensioners are increasingly aware of the damage being done in their names and the risks being incurred in the name of propping up a dying industry and the fortunes of some very greedy and corrupt corporate and political figures. It’s very frustrating to see that people who have told so many lies continue to be empowered to work toward the destruction of life on the planet with the money that they collect “legally” from all of us. I left the following comment on Norm Farrell’s blog this morning in the context of his discussion of how the current régime in victoria can remain tone deaf to the financial, social, and ecological  reasoning presented on that organ, In-Sights:

The cudgel of reason seems to lose mass in the face of blind ideology.

So let’s celebrate, while we can, the fact that no amount of common sense seems to get us to the point of doing the right thing in the context of our shared living space, in terms of our economic well-being and in terms of working toward a more reasonable and just society. Let the sparklers light up the throwing of good money after bad, and worse, and worst. We’re there.

A-Peacekeeping We Will Go

For those who don’t read French:

Unprecedented attack on the Blue Helmets and French forces in Timbuktu

This is where Justin Trudeau et al propose to send out peacekeepers, Not much peace, it would seem.

Perhaps you can read something about why this is…

I believe the “mines” in question are land mines, but a quick check might show that there are considerable French mining concerns in the area. It rather reminds me of why Hondurans never seem to be able to sort out some kind of government that will stop mining companies from murdering activists.

Kinder Morgan and Raison d’État


Listening to Justin Trudeau speak of Canada as a country of rule of law reminded me of this paragraph from John Ralston Saul’s 1992 tome, Voltaire’s Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West.His assertion that Kinder Morgan had achieved all the requisite permits rings hollow, given the make-up of the NEB and the writing of the regulations by the former Harper administration under whose regulations the Trans Mountain expansion was approved speaks of a willingness to choose allegiance to the law as it suits his own purposes, and his invocation of the national interest belies the idea that the national interest might include the best interests of all Canadian citizens rather than the will of the Chinese government who might eventually decide that they want to ship bitumen into their energy mix, or of the fossil fuel cabal that insists on its right to trash whatever it will in the pursuit of profit, most of which is sent offshore in a big hurry.

This is Justin telling us that he knows better than we do, that he alone can, with the aid of his special sidekick Cath McKenna, perform that special trick of legerdemain wherein we produce more carbon-intensive fuels and manage in passing to meet those laudable climate goals expressed to such loud ovations in Paris in 2015. There is a whiff of something malodorous about this business, something that resembles the duplicity of pretty much the whole of the Liberal election platform. Trudeau the Younger seems to have a bit of a problem being truthful, and his difficulty seems to increase as he seems to increase his belief in his own pronouncements.

If Kinder Morgan does abandon the project, it will be because Kinder Morgan will have recognized that market forces have clearly demonstrated that the project doesn’t work.  There has perhaps been a shove due to the resistance from First Nations and those inclined to leave something of a livable legacy for their children and future generations, but the long-run prospects for fossil fuels get less attractive with every cent that comes off the price of a kilowatt of renewable energy, particularly given that we know how to store and distribute intermittent energy, and that we have the technology to convert electricity to liquid hydrogen, as well as how to make plastics and other items from crops we already know how to grow. Mr. Trudeau would seem to see himself as part of a technocrat élite that ought rightly to be above having its pronouncements or actions questioned, and there are places on the planet where this would work well for him, but in Canada, he is supposed to serve his constituents rather than the reverse.



Note: A discussion of the rule of law needs to include this little gem depicting an anti-spawning mat installed by Kinder Morgan to facilitate the permitting and building of the Trans Mountain pipeline, an act that looks to my untrained legal mind as a clear infraction of fisheries law. Did Justin stamp his feet over these? They may be all gone (if they aren’t, something is clearly amiss in the realm of the righteous) but the act itself speaks to an attitude of arrogance and impatience that augurs not well for a collaborative relationship between pipeline proponent and citizens.

Note 2: Saul’s book is a worthy read even if you don’t see it as revelatory or agree with his outlook on history and governance. It resonates pretty loudly with me.