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There’s already a thread on dams and climate change, but B.C.’s Site C project raises many different subjects of interest: how different climate-safe energy options compare, what purposes new generation will be serving, and who gets to make the decisions, with particular regard to Indigenous rights.

Related:

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Writing for Maclean’s, Scott Gilmore suggests that Canada should “ban the buying of made-in-Canada warships” because politicians have a bad record of fiddling with the process for their own purposes, and shipyards have a poor record of delivering. He presents it as a job protection scheme rather than national security, and a shockingly expensive one:

“But what about the jobs?!” I can hear the lobbyists cry. Yes, let’s talk about the jobs. According to the government of Canada’s own figures, only 11,100 people are employed in Canada’s shipbuilding industry (we have more massage therapists). If we were to add on those indirectly employed, that number creeps up to 15,200. Now, let’s pretend the Canadian frigate contract is the only shipbuilding job out there, and buying from France would mean every one of those 15,200 people would be out of work. If we were to give each of them $1 million in compensation, Canada would still save over $50 billion (in addition to getting the ships faster).

Similar political patterns seem evident in Canada’s long-running imbroglio about replacing fighter jets, though that may have more to do with the nuances of maintaining the Canada-US security relationship than with subsidizing Canadian firms and workers.

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Successful campaigns to eradicate malaria have been studied in a number of different countries. Each of these studies compares high-malaria-prevalence regions in the country with low-prevalence regions and checks what happens to children born in this areas before and after the campaign. They all find that life outcomes (such as education or earnings) of children born after the campaign in areas where malaria was once prevalent catch up with those of children born in low-incidence areas. This strongly suggests that eradicating malaria indeed results in a reduction in long-term poverty, although the effects are not nearly as large as those suggested by Jeffrey Sachs: One study on malaria eradication in the U.S. South (which had malaria until 1951) and several countries in Latin America suggests that a child who grew up malaria-free earns 50 percent more per year, for his entire adult life, compared to a child who got the disease. Qualitatively similar results were found in India, Paraguay, and Sri Lanka, although the magnitude of the gain varies from country to country.

Banerjee, Abhijit V. and Esther Duflo. Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty. Hachette; New York. 2011. p. 45

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Divest Canada — a self-initiated, volunteer-run effort to support fossil fuel divestment campaigns at Canadian universities — recently hosted a webinar on lessons learned from recent successful campaigns:

It is encouraging on several fronts. It’s great to see all these groups patiently implementing strategy on their own initiative and yet in parallel. It brings hope to see the commitment and dedication of the activists. Above all, it suggests that the most important success factor for a divestment campaign is being able to survive long enough for an opportunity to arise with sympathetic administrators, all the while building the intellectual and moral case along with campus-wide support.

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B-Liner

2021-02-21

in Photo of the day

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