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MORE INCONVENIENT TRUTHS

November 2017 As I was reading the weekend paper last week, I noticed a short piece summarizing the most impactful life choices that individuals could make to reduce their carbon footprint.  Intrigued by the conclusions, I tracked down the study from the Centre for Sustainability Studies in Sweden from which it was quoting.  The study, co-authored by UBC researcher Seth Wynes and Kimberley Nicholas, undertook a comprehensive review of the carbon impact of lifestyle choices made by individuals in developed countries and compared the results against the environmentally-positive choices that are most commonly advocated by high school science textbooks.  High […]

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FAIR ENOUGH(?)

October 2017 We hear a lot these days about making the Canadian tax system fairer.  Fair enough.  Who can be against fairness?  Of course, the measure of fairness can be a tricky one.  Proponents of flat rates of taxation can offer convincing arguments in support of the notion that progressive rates of taxation, long the hallmark of most Western income tax regimes, are themselves unfair.  Under a flat rate of tax, individuals pay more absolute levels of tax as their income rises even if the percentage rate applied is the same for all taxpayers.  Provided that the threshold at which […]

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2017: THE SUMMER OF SAM (Serious Adaptation Motivation)

September 2017 1977 is remembered as the “Summer of Sam”.  North America was fixated on eight shootings in the Bronx that were eventually linked to serial killer David Berkowitz.  In a number of taunting notes to the police and media, Berkowitz called himself “Son of Sam”, Sam being a reference to the owner of a neighbour’s dog whose incessant barking, Berkowitz alleged, ordered him to kill.  Forty years later, we find ourselves at the still-raging tail of another Summer of SAM, with the barking dog of climate crisis taunting us to action. Notwithstanding the occasional editorial blather to the contrary […]

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