Tag Archives: government

On the stupid gas stove wars, and some other things regarding climate

Last week a small report leaked and set off an explosion of culture war nonsense, with people on the left advocating for getting rid of gas stoves and people on the right insisting they’ll never give them up. That the report had nothing to do with banning gas stoves was besides the point.

Regardless of how you feel about the matter, a gas stove ban could help climate and health problems. But it won’t happen because…well, for many reasons. One is the natural gas industry is fighting back with influencers and many things. I don’t know if this will be enough for them. In time they could end up looking like Big Oil or Big Tobacco. Maybe. As for me, I think the switch will happen if there is enough incentives for it to happen.

In the meantime, here’s a reminder that there’s nothing inherently good about “natural” gas. Indeed, natural gas is a dangerous name for a climate pollutant.

Speaking of incentives, governments everywhere are doing what they can to change. Here in Canada the government has put out a climate action incentive payment. The U.S. has also provided incentives. All good. One problem though: the contractors needed to do it, so says VOX.

When it comes to climate change and global warming, how well are we doing overall? There are a few encouraging signs. For example, US greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2022 but GDP grew faster. But there are also the usual discouraging signs, such as this: The last eight years have been the warmest on record researchers found.

It’s easy to get discouraged, it’s better to take action. For example, Smile Plastics Turns Yogurt Pots Into Terrazzo-Like Surface Panels. Smart. Also smart: companies are turning to alternative construction materials, like wood. Not smart is the fact that we could be using garbage dumps and landfill for solar farms but we aren’t. We need to strive to be smart and do more.

As for the rest of us, let’s pledge to waste less this year. This can help: New Year Less Waste. Remember and act on the three Rs.

Last but not least, here’s a mix of stories on climate change and the environment I thought were worth getting into:

The best form of government, according to Branko Milanović

This is an interesting view of government, and I recommend you read it:
Branko Milanović – Governments of limited vice | Brave New Europe

When I first read it, I found it fascinating. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that what he is partially arguing for is moderate government. If governments get extreme one way or another, terrible things happen to their citizens.

The other benefit of this approach is that governments can adjust to what is a vice they have to crack down on, because the citizenry’s view of vice changes. Sometimes people stop considering certain acts vices. Or they downplay the harm such vices do. When this happens, governments of limited vice can back off and permit people the freedom to act a certain way.  For much of the 20th century the province of Ontario had a film censor board, and they cut out scenes they thought were offensive.  Now it’s been scraped. Once people were arrested for buying marijuana in Ontario: now the government provides guidance on how to purchase it. Governments of limited vice are moving the boundaries all the times, often due to the effort of the people who do not agree with the boundaries, and think society would be better with different boundaries.

There will always be a form of government. Governments of limited vice may be the best of them all.

(Photo by Rythik on Unsplash )

Everything you wanted to know about the Filibuster


That is an odd title, because while there is much talk in the United States about the Filibuster, they are really only talking about the use of the filibuster in the U.S. Senate. Mind you, because of the composition of that current political body, there will be much more talk about it. If you want to have some context regarding it, read this: The History of the Filibuster

If you just want to know about filibusters in general, read this.

(Photo by Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash)


How would proportional representation have shaped the last Canadian election’s results?

Changing the way Canadians get to decide who forms the government federally has been a hot topic for some time. Before the last election, the government tried and failed to implement reform. There hasn’t been much talk about it recently, but it is a subject for debate that is not going to go away.

If you have an opinion about this one way or another, I recommend you review this: How would proportional representation have shaped this election’s results? | CBC/Radio-Canada.

The CBC ran the results of the last election through alternative forms of representation and analyzed the results. It is fascinating to see how representation changes, depending on the format followed. Kudos to the CBC for a superb visual representation.

I think reform is needed. I am still in favor of having a local MP and having the ability to have him or her voted out of office by the constituents of the MP’s riding. But I am also in favour of the percentage of each party’s MP aligning with the percentage of national votes that they received. Obviously I need to think about it some more.

In the meantime, take a look at what CBC has done, and decide for yourself.

(Image via Owen Farmer)

Want to send a fax without a fax machine? Now you can!

How? By using: Free Fax • Free Internet Faxing. I haven’t used it, but you can send free faxes to anywhere in the U.S. and Canada, apparently.

If you are dealing with organizations that refuse email as a valid way to receive information and insist on a fax, this could save your day.