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Category Archives: Economics

LeTourneau Land Train

54 Wheel Drive Electric Vehicle

TournaTrain.m4V

1950’s technology.  Developed by R.G. LeTourneau

Responses to an Angry Person

On CBC Radio yesterday morning someone was commenting on how difficult it is to deal with angry people because angry people lose everything – their families, their homes, their friends, their possessions – because they are angry.

I find it difficult to listen to nonsense like this on CBC.  And, it is nonsense.  I have no idea who it was that was making these claims or why.  I walked in while this person was talking, listed for a couple of minutes and then turned the radio off.  She made me angry and I have a choice, I do not have to listen to her!

That person on the radio laid out the ground work to blame the person who was angry, for being angry.  Leaving out any possible justification for anger.  Like any other emotion, there is root cause.  People are not born angry.  They become angry.  Sometimes for very valid reasons and those are often reasons of their own making but sometimes, it could be that they are more aware than others of what is happening in the world around them.

Like the bumper stick says, “If you aren’t angry, you aren’t paying attention”.

~~~

“They told me I could work today…

They promised.”

Arms flailing and storm clouds billowing around him – he launched himself out of the Sky Train lobby and across Hastings Street.  The pigeons, crows and seagulls scattered.  One taxi swerved.  Another honked but not loud enough to drone out the angry words.

“Fuck You!”

“Get Fucked”

“You Fucking…”

His words were heard by all and directed at no one.

We have all heard him.  This was an angry man.  The man was dressed as a labourer and his clothes hung off of his lean frame like rags on a scarecrow.  He lurched through the traffic, boot tops flapping as angrily as he was.

On the other side of the street, a police car pulled over.  Two uniformed officers emerged and watched.

The people at my bus stop gave him room and he came to a violent, seated stop about two feet from where I was standing.  I gave him room.  He had already seen the flashing lights and his hands went to his face as his large frame slumped into the tiny space.

Under a welders cap, fair lank hair framed his face.  The bill of the cap had buried itself under his jacket.  The work boots were not tied.  The clothes looked like they used to fit someone much larger but, they were the right length and he was very tall.

The two cops were now one on each side of him, placing themselves between his anger and the mixed emotions those of us still waiting near this bus stop were feeling.  “What is your issue?” barked the younger of the two.  The older cop dropped his stance very slightly and looked up in a way that suggested he was not only prepared for the worst but was disappointed at his partner’s tone.

“What is the issue?”

“What is the issue?”

My heart began to soften and went out to the angry man.  My eyes went to the cop and I thought, “What is your issue?”  Why did this young officer need to keep repeating a question that was not getting a response.

The older cop looked down at his younger partner and motioned him back.  With careful thought and much compassion he softly asked, “What’s wrong?  What happened?”

“They told me I could work today.”

The hands came down from his face.  He looked smaller.  Beaten.  “They told me to be there with my boots on.  They told me I could work today.”

There were tears on his cheek.

“You okay now?”

“You don’t need a ride, do you?”

The man swallowed, “No sir.  Thank you sir.”

He wiped his cheek with the back of his hand, “I’m okay.”

My heart wrenched.  The cops backed off.  Walked to the car and waited a bit.  They drove away.  The tall man wasn’t so much angry as heart broken.  We are not all capable of working.  Most of us want to.  Being useful and self-sufficient are just very human things to be or, to want to be.  Most of us want to work.

Copyright, April 28, 2020

Fish – Catching, Canning, Eating… The Chain of Supply is Broken

The canneries and fish processing plants have help from the Canadian government.  They need people to catch the fish that they process.

Canneries & fish processing plants need (incomplete list of real needs!):

  • Fish
  • People
  • Machinery
  • Trucking
  • Markets

Let’s take this a bit further

– To commercially catch a fish one needs (incomplete list of real needs!):

  • a Boat
  • a Fishing License
  • Fishing Gear
  • Communication Equipment
  • PPE
  • Nets or Tackle
  • a Crew

– To build a Boat one needs (incomplete list of real needs!):

  • Space, preferably Light Industrial
  • Plans
  • Material – Aluminum, Steel, Wood, Fiberglass, Engine, Doors, Door Knobs, Windows,  Windshield Wipers, Steering Wheels, Hydraulics, Electronics…
  • a Crew – Welders, Carpenters, Fiberglass Specialists, Machinists, Mechanics, Electricians, Plumbers (only sometimes)…
  • Inspections
  • Certifications
  • Sales People and Office Staff
  • a Customer
  • old boats need the same thing at their beginnings

– that ‘Space’ thing (incomplete list of real needs!):

  • Light Industrial or Commercial Space
  • a place large enough to build that boat in
    • 30′ depth for a small boat
    • under cover or inside a building for those smaller boats – a shipyard works for both smaller and larger boats
    • doors or gates wide enough to allow the finished or partially finished boat to be pulled out
    • property large enough for a semi with a trailer to maneuver in

The Lists of needs to get a can of fish into a grocery store.  Areas needing support that have been missed in these lists?

  • Power Generation
  • Water Systems
  • Hospitals and Clinics
  • Mines
  • Smelters and Foundries
  • Forestry
  • Lumberyards
  • Pulp & Paper Mills
  • Plastics Producers
  • Chemical Producers
  • Schools, Trades Schools, Colleges, Universities
  • Government Apprenticeship Programs
  • Wholesalers & Distributors
  • Retailers
  • Clothing Manufacturers
  • Restaurants
  • Printers
  • Farmers
  • Truckers
  • Medical Professionals
  • Lawyers and Accounts

Not an exhaustive list by any standard.

An exhaustive list would include every industry and every large, medium and small business, run by a Canadian.  An exhaustive list would include every person in Canada, every person around the world.  We can connect every one if the list is exhaustive enough.  Consilience cannot be either ignored or done away with.  The chain of supply is consilience.  The chain of supply, is broken.

Mr. Trudeau,  with all due respect…  What do you suppose your patch for the Fish Processing Plants is going to do without the necessary support for all of the other small and independent businesses (Fishers, Farmers, Truck Drivers) that you have cut out of this chain?  All those businesses that the fish processing plants and canneries depend on.  All those, mostly small, businesses and individuals that do not qualify for any of your handouts?

We can talk about the Meat Processing Plants another day.  I am certain that you really will be getting to the individuals that you have been seeming to ignore.  It is just that those individuals who are without support are just not nearly as needy as the multi-million dollar grossing corporations that own the fish and meat processing plants. Or, maybe we should just follow your money offshore?

~~~

Further Reading:

I, Pencil by Leonard E. Read.  Introduction by Milton Friedman

 

It is Time to Put an End to the Daily Spectical of Political Theatre in Canada

“We have chosen to help the most vulnerable….”

This scripted line has been repeated by The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, almost every morning for how many weeks now?  I have lost count.

The most vulnerable, the most frail of the elderly, are now dying in their beds.  Not of age, not of COVID-19, of starvation.

~~~

“No Canadian should need to go without food…”

By refusing to hear the pleas of business and press agents, Trudeau is ignoring another vulnerable sector of society.  Businesses.

By handing out money, freely, to workers.  By ignoring the needs of the employers (not the businesses, those are pieces of paper – the employers, the people who run the businesses) you are failing those vulnerable people whose payrolls keep this country running.  It is people who keep the payrolls happening; bi-weekly payroll after bi-weekly payroll.

By supporting only the workers you are almost guaranteeing that there will be little work to go back to.

By not supporting farming in a way that gets qualified people out working on farms, you, Trudeau, are leading us into what could be – famine.

~~~

“The most important people in this country, right now, are the frontline workers!”

Doctors, nurses, paramedics, ambulance attendants, care aids and janitorial staff are important.  Are they more important than the chemists who put the drugs into their hands to administer to the sick?  Are they more important than the carpenters, brick layers, boilermakers, iron workers, fabricators, boat builders, payroll clerks, realtors, etc.?  Are front line workers more important than the kid at the drive thru window handing out a cup of coffee to a front line worker who just finished a shift?

The frontline workers are very important and need our support.  So is the chain of supply.  That has been broken.  The support that was there to keep hospitals, pharmacies and doctors offices running efficiently has been broken – by those who have taken command.

~~~

“There is a $40,000 loan available to small businesses…”

But, only if there is a payroll.  There is always a way out for the government.  This is an empty promise.  Think about this one.  Where does money come from?  My second year economics professor has been telling every student that passes through his classes the answer to this one.  Simplified – money comes from debt.  More debt, more money…

The money isn’t going out to small businesses until they have built enough debt to sustain a handout.  This is a slippery slope that leads, most often, to mass inflation.

Why the need for a payroll?  I know so many people who have a business that has no employees and no payroll.  They earn enough to support themselves and then, at the end of the year, they pay their taxes.  There is no payroll.  There is no need for a payroll.

~~~

Businesses are failing.  Not just small ones.  The Canada Pension Fund is about to be in serious trouble.  Canada is in trouble.

Canadians need leadership.

Canadians do not need any more of the political theatre that is currently being pumped out in the garden of a 22 room cottage.

 

 

Painters’ Colours, Oils, and Varnishes: A Practical Manual by George H. Hurst, F.C.S. – published in 1892

Painters’ Colours, Oils, and Varnishes: A Practical Manual by George H. Hurst, F.C.S. Published in 1892 by Charles Griffin & Company, Limited, Exeter Street, Strand, London

I love this book and, I want to share some of what is in it, with links, so that the information can be used by artists and people doing various crafts.  The old information is fascinating and, coupled with what is available today – it is usable!  Be safe!  Be careful!  Most of this is not safe for children.  Please, always  keep safety in mind.

IMG_0088As I get going on this little project, I will add excerpts and links below.  Please feel free to comment, add and send links – the more information and the easier it becomes to find it, the better for everyone!

I am going to try to update this post regulary, with more excerpts and more links, as I work my way through this book!

~~~

Chapter I:  Introductory. Colour, Colours, Paints and Varnishes.

from page 4, “Cause of Colour in Coloured Bodies. — The actual reasons why bodies such as vermilion, magenta, or emerald green are coloured, it is almost impossible to investigate in the present state of knowledge, since the cause, whatever it may be, must be due to the molecular construction of the different compounds about which very little is known…”

  • Geology is the key word here.  Geologists have been working to increase our knowledge base of Earth in general and specifically, in this case, our knowledge of pigments. Here is a great place to read about colour, Dust to Dust:  A Geology of Color by Heidi Gustafson  –  if you like playing in the dirt, foraging for rocks and then doing something with them, Heidi Gustafson’s website has some great information in it!

from page 5, “Colour Theories. — Two theories of colour are in use to explain the coloured effects of light.  The old theory… Brewster… The more modern theory, first broached by Young and more fully developed by Helmholtz…”

  • Sir David Brewster’s (1871-1868) work on colour theory is from the 1830’s.  His work “On a new analysis of solar light” was written in 1831 and published by Charles Tait, and Bell & Bradfute; and T. Cadell, London.  One place I have found credit for Sir David Brewster’s theories on the perception of colour is in an article by Peter John Brownlee, “Color Theory and the Perception of Art“, published in 2009 by The University of Chicago Press Journals.
  • Thomas Young, M.D. (1773-1829), was a scientist studying human perception of colour and in 1802 wrote a treatise speculating on how the human eye works to perceive colour.  There is also a lecture series by Thomas Young, “A Course of Lectures on Natural Philosophy and the Mechanical Arts” which was published in London by Joseph Johson, St. Paul’s Church Yard, in 1807.
  • Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894), continued work on the development of Thomas Young’s theories of human colour perception.  This work is known as the “Young-Hemholtz Theory” and furthers Thomas Young’s theories as to how our eyes actually work to perceive color.
  • This body of knowledge has been expanded upon for more than the 250 years shown in these writings and continues to grow today.  Here are just a few examples of the psychology of colour perception that are a little more recent.

from page 6, “Colours. — … the term “colours” is used in two senses — first, to express the sensation which light of various kinds… excites on the retina of the eye, and which sensation is purely functional; second, … [the] imparting [of] colour to other bodies;  such bodies are known as colouring matters and may be divided into two groups, dyestuffs and pigments….”

  • sensations of light, through rather than on the retina, continue to be studied by the scientific and psychological communities today.  This is fascinating research and the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas has some open access resources on this subject.
  • dyestuffs, as referred to by George Hurst, are materials which provide ‘soluable’ material that can be used to add colour to another item.  In other words, dyeing or staining, imparts temporary colour to other items.  If you have access to a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition and history of the word ‘dyestuff’ is fascinating.  Most libraries have a copy of the OED and may also allow access to the online version.
  • pigments, then, as defined by George Hurst in 1892, are ‘nonsoluable’ materials which provide a more permanent, opaque colour to things like paint.  Most of the chapters in this book are about pigments, where to find them, what to find them in, how to extract them and, how to use them.

~~~

Chapter II:  White Pigments

Chapter III:  Red Pigments

Chapter IV:  Yellow and Orange Pigments

Chapter V:  Green Pigments

Chapter VI:  Blue Pigments

Chapter VI:  Brown Pigments

Chapter VII:  Black Pigments

Chapter IX:  Lakes

Chapter X:  Assay and Analysis of Pigments

Chapter XI:  Colour and Paint Machinery

Chapter XII:  Paint Vehicles

Chapter XIII:  Driers

Chapter XIV:  Varnishes

~~~~

A related post, and… a very interesting one!

Colour Theory from 1882

book cover   title page

The link takes you to a high resolution copy of this amazing 800+ page book.

 

… of things relative

There are dozens of tiny green tomatoes on this plant.  Even more exciting, there are dozens more bright yellow flowers….

 

Currently Reading:  The A B C of Atoms, by Bertrand Russell.  E.P. Dutton & Company, New York, 1923.  Date of first issue, 1908.

“But even if the size of an electron should ultimately prove… to be related to the size of the universe, that would leave a number of unexplained brute facts, notably the quantum itself, which has so far defied all attempts to make it seem anything but accidental.  It is possible that the desire for rational explanation may be carried too far.  This is suggested by some remarks… by Eddington, in his book, Space, Time and Gravitation…  The theory of relativity has shown that most of the traditional dynamics, which was supposed to contain scientific laws, really consisted of conventions as to measurement, and was strictly analogous to the “great law” that there are always three feet to a yard.  In particular, this applies to the conservation of energy.  This makes it plausible to suppose that every apparent law of nature which strikes us as reasonable is not really a law of nature, but a concealed convention, plastered on to nature by our love of what we, in our arrogance, choose to consider rational.  Eddington hints that a real law of nature is likely to stand out by the fact that it appears to us irrational, since in that case it is less likely that we have invented it to satisfy our intellectual taste.  And from this point of view he inclines to the belief that the quantum-principle is the first real law of nature that has been discovered in physics.

This raises a somewhat important question:  Is the world “rational,” i.e., such as to conform to our intellectual habits?  Or is it “irrational,” i.e., not such as we should have made it if we had been in the position of the Creator?  I do not propose to suggest an answer to this question.”

I LOVE skipping to the end of a book!

 

 

In The Beginning (of this blog)…

There was a tomato plant….

Several years later, there is another tomato plant!  It is gaining momentum!

2017-06-07_08.19.341

No need for a chain of command to appear here or, is there?

Sir!  Do we have enough tomatoes yet?  Do we need a discussion on this matter?  What about the aphids?  Sir!  Sir?  There are aphids!

Aphids?  This is not the Middle Ages!  We have to ask for permission.  This isn’t something we can just ‘handle.’  We need a committee!

Sir?

Stick around kid, I’m calling parliament — I’m on hold….  Be with you in a minute!  Do we have a call-back number?

SIR?

Offensive and Defensive Weapons – Churchill’s Thoughts…

I was reading.  It happens….

Actually, I was reading Winston Churchill’s “The Coming Storm.”  My thought on reading the following was that it stands repeating.

 

“The Foreign Secretary told us that it was difficult to divide weapons into offensive and defensive categories.  It certainly is, because almost every conceivable weapon may be used in defence or offence; either by an aggressor or by the innocent victim of his assault.  To make it more difficult for the invader, heavy guns, tanks, and poison gas are to be relegated to the evil category of offensive weapons.  The invasion of France by Germany in 1914 reached its climax without the employment of any of these weapons.  The heavy gun is to be described as “an offensive weapon.”  It is all right in a fortress; there it is virtuous and pacific in its character; but bring it out into the field – and, of course, if it were needed, it would be brought out into the field – and it immediately becomes naughty, peccant, militaristic, and has to be placed under the ban of civilisation.  Take the tank.  The Germans, having invade France, entrenched themselves; and in a couple of years they shot down 1,500,000 French and British soldiers who were trying to free the soil of France.  The tank was invented to overcome the fire of the machine-guns with which the Germans were maintaining themselves in France, and it saved a lot of lives in clearing the soil of the invader.  Now, apparently, the machine-gun, which was the German weapon for holding on to thirteen provinces of France, is to be the virtuous, defensive machine-gun, and the tank, which was the means by which these Allied lives were saved, is to be placed under the censure and obloquy of all just and righteous men…

A truer classification might be drawn in banning weapons which tend to be indiscriminate in their action and whose use entails death and wounds, not merely on the combatants in the fighting zones, but on the civil population, men, women, and children, far removed from those areas.  There, indeed, it seems to me would be a direction in which the united nations assembled at Geneva might advance with hope…”

Winston Churchill.  The Gathering Storm.  1948.  Houghton Mifflin Company.

 

Weapons do not harm people. People harm people.  People with weapons can usually cause more harm than people without weapons.  I believe that a good portion of Britain’s Bobbys are still armed only with a hickory nightstick…

Thoughts on the Kinder Morgan Pipeline Project…

This last semester, I took a course called, “Sustainable Human Economy.”  It was not quite the class that I expected it to be but, it was time well spent.  I wrote five very short papers.  Answered questions in an online format.  Gave a presentation with a partner.  Found myself slightly distressed at the level of misinformation that is out there, that many of the other students are holding as truth.  Found a little more distress at the lack of consilience that I was encountering.  Knowledge that should be easily drawn upon, I thought, was for the most part, absent in the classroom.

It takes a lot of reading to gain an insight — not an understanding, an insight — into so much of what is happening in this world.  I have been reading since I was very young.  Sometimes it is a popular novel (the literature of the future), sometimes textbooks (learning from the literature of the past) and sometimes, peer-reviewed articles (I find that these often contain phrases of inspiration and meanings past what the authors are trying for).  I look up song lyrics, sermons, poetry and plays.  I find my Condensed Oxford English Dictionary fascinating.  I find it to be a bit depressing that the university I attend does not have a physical copy of the OED.  I tutor ESL and writing at my university and I would love to walk people over to the OED and look up first instances and changes in meanings….

One of the papers that I wrote for the “Sustainable Human Economy” course was on a proposed oil pipeline.  I asked friends to give me their honest opinions on this essay and, they have!

What I talk about in this essay is responsibility.  The following essay is not about me being against pipelines (because I am not against pipelines).  It is not about jobs or a loss of jobs or deforestation or sustainability or the GDP.  This essay is simply about responsibility.

 


Kinder Morgan Pipeline Project Questions:

“On Dec, 16, 2013, Kinder Morgan submitted an application to the National Energy Board (NEB) to expand the Trans Mountain Pipeline, which would almost triple oil capacity from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels per day in pipelines running from Alberta oilsands to the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby.  The company is seeking approval from the NEB.  All British Columbians who live, work and own businesses on the west coast will be directly impacted by the outcome of the decision whether to expand the pipeline.

Try to answer the following questions.  Try to get evidence to support your case.

  • Briefly outline the pipeline history and provide some details of the proposal[.]
  • Discuss some of the potential economic benefits of the project to our local economy.
  • Who will this project benefit and who will it put at risk?
  • Describe the potential impact of the project on ecosystem sustainability[.]”  (copyright Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Prof. A.B. Demeke)

 

A Brief History:

In 1952, an oil and gas pipeline was built by the BC Gas Company to bring crude oil, gas and jet fuel from Northern Alberta into British Columbia, to refineries in Greater Vancouver and Washington State.  This pipeline was built  to deliver products that were needed locally.  Kinder Morgan purchased the BC Gas Company in 2005 and began small expansions of the pipeline that included the construction of new pumping stations (Dhalwala, et al), almost immediately.

In 2013, Kinder Morgan filed a request to be allowed to expand the existing pipeline system to increase the flow of crude oil from a 300,000 barrel per day capacity to approximately 890,000 barrels per day.  If the goal of 890,000 barrels per day cannot be reached consistently, the backup plan is to load oil tankers, further north, along the North Coast of British Columbia.  In 2012, more than a year before the official request for the required permits for the expansion was presented to the province of British Columbia, Kinder Morgan was asked by the province to provide them with documentation of the following:

  • Successful completion of the environmental review process… a positive recommendation by the Board;
  • World-leading marine oil spill response, prevention and recovery systems for B.C.’s coastline and ocean to manage and mitigate the risks and costs of heavy oil pipelines and shipments;
  • World-Leading practices for land oil spill prevention, response and recovery systems to manage and mitigate the risks and costs of heavy oil pipelines;
  • Legal requirement regarding Aboriginal and treaty rights are addressed, and First Nations are provided with the opportunities, information and resources necessary to participate in and benefit from a heavy-oil project; and
  • British Columbia receives a fair share of the fiscal and economic benefits of a proposed heavy oil project that reflects the level, degree and nature of the risk borne by the province, the environment and taxpayers. (Hearing Order)

The province of British Columbia was supplied, not with documentation giving  details of the preceding requirements but, with “heavily redacted Emergency Management Program documents… [that] do not enable the Province to determine whether Trans Mountain is prepared and able to respond to a Project-related spill” (Hearing Order).  “The proposal is designed to export oil sands products to foreign markets.  As a result, the pipeline is not required to meet domestic fuel needs.”  (Dhalwala)

The record of the court proceedings between The National Energy Board of Canada, The Province of British Columbia, and Kinder Morgan go into great detail in regards to the lack of detail that Kinder Morgan has provided to the Province over the four year period that this issue has been in front of the provincial and federal courts.  The province states that they can only act on the information that has been provided to them and what was provided was not what was asked for.

 

Economic Benefits and Risks to British Columbia:

Short term benefits of the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline will include construction jobs.  Over the term of the project various trades will be brought in to facilitate construction.  Kinder Morgan’s reputation is such that it is unknown whether local trades will be hired or if foreign workers will be brought in for the expansion project.  At the end of the project it is estimated that only 50 permanent jobs will be created (Dhalwala, et al).

Since 1952 there have 78 oil spills in British Columbia.  The four most recent oil spills have been in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley Regions of the province.  Three spills have been leaks in the current pipeline and one was a leak from a seal in a tank.  The amount of oil spilled was well over 1 million litres (Dhalwala).  This is not much more oil than what just one of the new oil super freighters that Kinder Morgan will have traveling along the coast of British Columbia and into the ports of the Greater Vancouver Regional District will be carrying.

 

Ecosystem  Sustainability Impacts:

On November 13, 2015, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, instructed Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, to: “Formalize a moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic on British Columbia’s North Coast…”  This moratorium only affects the north coast of British Columbia, not the West Coast where most of the tanker traffic for this project will be situated.  Further, I do not know whether the moratorium has been formalized or not.  I was unable to find more information or to clarify my questions as to what has been done in this regard.

The coasts of British Columbia are home to some of the most diverse and productive marine habitats in the world.  Kinder Morgan’s reputation is one of non-responsibility.  They have received “strong criticism” for their lack of attention to leaks and to clean up efforts (Dhalwala, et al).  In a major oil spill, they would be responsible for clean up to a maximum of 1.34 billion dollars (Dhalwala, et al).  Major oil spills have cost 10 times that amount to clean up and Canada does not have the capacity to deal with major spills in a timely or effective manner (Dhalwala, et al).  This is one of the many reasons for the proposed moratorium on tanker traffic on the north coast.  We just don’t have the means to be responsible for what can happen.

On the Kinder Morgan, Trans Mountain Pipeline information website, Kinder Morgan states that they are responsible for, “reporting spills greater than 1.5m3 or any spill to a water body regardless of volume.”  The page goes on to define “[a] spill or release… [as] a discharge, spray, spill, leak, seep, pour, emit, dump and exhaust” of products being transported.  “That means if water is released from a pipeline or facility, that incident is also reported.”  However, in 2007, a spill at the Sumas Tank Farm in the Fraser Valley went unreported because “the Sumas pump station was not part of a leak detection system” (Dhalwala, et al).

Kinder Morgan’s responsibility for the products they are transporting ends as soon as the product has been loaded onto a receiving vessel.  The University of Victoria studied “ship source liability” and found that cost recovery for a major spill, from the international companies owning these ships, whether in Canadian waters or at sea, would be difficult even if the ship’s owners were found to be at fault (Dhalwala, et al).   The University of British Columbia (UBC)  looked at direct costs and the economic impacts of a major oil spill on British Columbia’s north coast.  Regional economic impacts could be in the range of $189 million to $380 million with estimated direct clean-up costs of $2.4 billion to $9.4 billion (Dhalwala, et al).  The Department of Ecology in Washington State estimates that a major oil spill could up to $10.8 billion (USD) and “adversely affect 165,0000 jobs… in addition to direct clean-up costs” (Dhalwala, et al).  Kinder Morgan’s financial responsibility ends at $1.34 billion.

The Port of Vancouver trades in excess of $74 billion worth of goods each year (Dhalwala, et al).  A major oil spill would partially or even fully close the port for an undetermined length of time while clean-up took place.  UBC only looked at the possible costs of an oil spill along the north coast of British Columbia.  Away from the Port of Vancouver, there is a local fishing industry that adds more than $1 billion a year to this province’s economy.  I could not find authoritative information on how an oil spill might affect the fish and the fishing industry of British Columbia or Washington State.

Long term effects of oil spills are only now beginning to be realized.  Clean-ups involve what we can see.  Oil dispersants used to clean up oil spills creates gel-like blobs of oil that are easier to collect.  These blobs have a tendency to sink and therefore, to be out of sight, quickly.  Thirty to fifty years later, these blobs of oil are still being found in the silt and sand of river bottoms and along coastlines where there is a history of oil spills.  Out of sight is not good enough.  We are now beginning to see and study the environmental impacts of the lack of proper containment and clean-up.  There are many unknowns and many more unforeseen consequences of our actions.

 

Conclusion:

Canada cannot afford to export bitumen to foreign buyers.  At this time the possible risks and associated costs to British Columbia, and to Canada, far outweigh any benefits.  Mining the tar sands of northern Alberta has been a boon to the Alberta economy.  Fish, wildlife and forestry have been the historic boon to the British Columbia economy.  British Columbia seems to be looking to emulate the Alberta economy by piggy-backing on the sale of bitumen.  But the entire benefit to British Columbia is 50 permanent jobs.  The sale of bitumen is being made in Alberta and the tax credits that will come to British Columbia do not seem to even have been worth calculating.

 

References

Dhalwala, M., Frank, E., Frank-White, R., la Porta, D., McDowell, L., Shende, B., Stafford, T., and Sumaila, R., 2013.  Assessing the risks of Kinder Morgan’s proposed new Trans Mountain pipeline.  Conversations for Responsible Economic Development (CRED).  Retreived from http://credbc.ca/wp-content/uploads/201/11/Trans-Mountain-Risks.pdf

Province of British Columbia, 2016.  (2016).  Hearing Order OH-001-2014, National Energy Board:  Final Argument of the Province of British Columbia.  Province of British Columbia. Retrieved from http://www.eao.gov.bc.ca/pdf/BC_NEB_Trans_Mountain_Final_Argument_11Jan2015.pdf

Trudeau, J., 2015.  Minister of Transport Mandate Letter.  Retrieved from http://pm.gc.ca/eng/minister/honourable-marc-garneau

 

Time, Through the Eyes of a Child and, William Faulkner…

I have been reading lately.  I have been reading a lot, lately….

 

The Sound and the Fury.  Written by William Faulkner.  First published in 1929.  Free to read online.  Free and available at most public libraries.  Inexpensive at book sales.  Available in used book stores…

I have not actually finished this novel.  It is a very difficult work to read.  I think I could just skim through it and I would know a few names, a few characters.  I can’t do that to this book.

There are no chapters.  There is simply an awareness of others and the unspoken thoughts of one.  It took me a long time to realize this even though the difference between the two modes of communication are visibly apparent (unspoken thought is in italics).  Neither the past nor the future seems to hold any relevance as the present unravels with painful awareness.

The book begins with the unspoken thoughts of a pre-verbal child.  A slow child.  A child not like the others.  Faulkner gave me the opportunity to listen in to this child’s impressions of the world.  To the unspoken needs and desires of one.

About halfway through the book, possibly this is about halfway through a young man’s life, a watch crystal is purposefully broken and the hands are removed.  Time is still running but the ability to count the seconds into minutes, the minutes into hours….  using that watch, has been stilled.  Does time have meaning if you can no longer measure it?

This book has grown difficult again.  I am putting it down, again.  I have not read any of the hundreds of discussions on this book.  I would like to wait until I finish it and come to my own conclusions.  For this reason, Faulker and his boys will have to wait on me.  Time, for the written word may be almost endless.  These words will wait for me….

 

I found this book, and many more, in a library book sale.  I had purchased other books the day before and was given a paper bag with $5 written on it.  If I came back the next day I could fill my paper bag with paperbacks.  As many as the bag would hold.  They would all be mine for that $5.  I did.  I have found some wonderful books this way.

Library book sales are often run by groups called “Friends of the Library” or a similar name.  Your local library may hold these sales several times a year.  There are many charitable organizations that also hold book drives and book sales.  These are fun events and great places to begin building a library of real books or, adding to your existing collection, with real friends….