“How do we explain our findings that redistributive spending that mainly benefits the poor is significantly larger in representative democracy than in direct democracy? We argue that the most likely explanation is that direct democracy is more prone to capture by (rich) local elites than representative democracy.4 In direct democracy, local elites are able to deter the entry of political parties, in particular pro-poor left-wing parties. Moreover, poor people are often relatively isolated and less organized collectively. These reasons thus make it very hard for the voices of the poor to be heard (Robinson 2010). In addition, the typical absence of a secret ballot in town meetings means that the local elite can control the voters (Baland and Robinson 2008) (Hinnerich and Pettersson-Lidbom 2010-10-20).”

Representative democracy “increases political participation, redistributive spending, and the size of government. The estimated effects on public spending to the poor (poverty relief, child welfare and basic public education) are on the order of 35-70 percent while the effect on political participation is between 150-200 percent (Hinnerich and Pettersson-Lidbom 2010-10-20).”

Direct democracy “is more prone to capture by (rich) local elites than representative democracy (Hinnerich and Pettersson-Lidbom 2010-10-20).”

Hinnerich, Björn Tyrefors; Pettersson-Lidbom, Per. 2010-10-20. “Democracy, Redistribution, and Political Participation: Evidence from Sweden 1919-1950.”

(Hinnerich and Pettersson-Lidbom 2010-10-20)

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We noticed the dull yellow-grey plume miles away from Edmonton heading north on Highway 2. Heading east towards Edmonton from Hinton on the Yellowhead it seems to hover beside the highway for hundreds of kilometers. A local resident described the “smog from the Genesee power plant’s big stacks [as forming] a yellow anvil on the horizon (Wiebe 2008-05)

The four coal-fired power plants in the Wabumun Lake area produce about 74% of Alberta’s CO2 emissions (CASA 2003). How far does the plume of mercury, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, particulate matter and other air contaminants extend? Does it reach Jasper? the glaciers?

Timeline

1998 Canada ratified the Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long- Range Transboundary Air Pollution on Heavy Metals, thereby committing to control emissions of heavy metals from specified activities, including combustion of fossil fuels (CASA p.41) .

2001-12-12 Alberta’s Energy and Utilities Board approved EPCOR’s application for major expansion of its Genesee coal-fired plant by 490 megawatts (CASA p.32) http://www.hazmatmag.com/posted_documents/pdf/JuneJuly04.pdf.

2002-01 Hon. Lorne Taylor, Alberta’s Minister of Environment, asked CASA to develop an approach for managing air emissions from the electricity sector. This report and package of recommendations is CASA’s response to that request. It is recommended that the new framework be fully implemented by January 1, 2006.

2001-06 “Alberta’s minister of environment announced new emission standards for new coal-fired electricity generation plants. Against the backdrop of deregulation of the electricity industry in Alberta and expected expansion of generation capacity, public concerns had been expressed about the process used to develop these new standards and about the standards themselves. As part of the June announcement, the Alberta government indicated it wanted to develop a new approach for setting standards and performance expectations for the electricity sector (CASA p.35).”

2001 “The lack of public consultation prior to the Alberta government issuing the 2001 air emission standards for the electricity sector was cited as an example. Concerns were also noted about the lack of transparency and public engagement in the process for a Canada-wide Standard for mercury from coal-fired plants, as compared with other CWS (Canada-Wide Standard) processes (CASA p.36).”

2002-02-12 Alberta’s Energy and Utilities Board approved TransAlta’s 900-MW Keephills for major expansion (two units) of its coal-fired plant (CASA p.32).

2003 “Canada’s greenhouse gas reduction commitment under the Kyoto Protocol is a 6% reduction from 1990 levels by the first Kyoto period of 2008-2012. Although the Protocol has not yet entered into force and views about it varied among EPT members, the team undertook its work on the assumption that the Protocol would come into force in the next year or so. The Kyoto Protocol will set legally binding targets and a timeframe within which these targets must be met, but each country must work out how it will meet its target. To give countries more options for meeting their targets, the Protocol contains three flexibility mechanisms that will allow countries to find emissions reductions opportunities that make the most economic sense (CASA p.41).”

2006-01 Effective January 1, 2006, all standards for new thermal generation unit (ay unit that does not meet the criteria for any “existing” unit and will therefore be required to comply with the BATEA or other emissions limits in effect at the time) will be based on Best Available Technology Economically Achievable (BATEA). CASA

Webliography and Bibliography

Celia, Michael A. “Risk of Leakage versus Depth.” Princeton University. with Jan Nordbotten (U. Bergen and Princeton U.); Stefan Bachu (Alberta Research Council); Mark Dobossy (Princeton U.); Benjamin Court (Princeton U.).

Schindler, David W. 2004-12. “Lake Wabamun: A Review of Scientific Studies and Environmental Impacts.” Submitted to the Minister of Alberta Environment.

Clean Air Strategic Alliance (CASA) 2003. An Emissions Management Framework for the Alberta Electricity Sector – Report to Stakeholders. Prepared by (CASA) Clean Air Strategic Alliance Electricity Project Team

Wiebe, Christopher. 2008-05. “Plowed Under.” AMA Feature.

In Albertans & Climate Change: Taking Action, the Alberta government requires all new coal-fired generation facilities to offset their greenhouse gas emissions down to the level of a combined cycle natural gas turbine.

Arctic Adventurer: a Flicktion

September 11, 2009




Arctic Adventurer: a Flicktion

Originally uploaded by ocean.flynn.

In the few short months that I have spent in Nunavut, two mothers who had become my colleagues and friends, lost youthful sons to suicide. Within a brief period of two months, four youth in a community of less than 1,500 people committed suicide. Almost the entire community attended the funeral. The hall was filled with infants, toddlers, children, youth, adults and elders. The youngest children wove between chairs and family members comfortably a part of community life. Youth dressed in southern street-smart clothing respectfully gave their seats to elders. The shared pain in the room at the loss of their youth through suicide, was suffocating. At the graveside, it was cold and windy. It began to snow. As one mother witnessed the shovel-fulls of sand thudding onto her son’s coffin, another walked quietly alone to another fresh grave nearby. I stood there helpless feeling so overwhelmed I couldn’t move. I know many others felt the same paralysis. How many of us were mothers? How many of us had sons in their twenties?

The family of the young man, colleagues and friends provided support to the parents and to each other. On the return flight home, one man was unusually upbeat and talkative. Perhaps that is his way of dealing with the pain. I didn’t know who he was. He sat behind me. As I left the plane I asked the woman next to me who this man was. To my astonishment it was the *** for Nunavut.

Following the suicides, friends and acquaintances attempted to find ways of absorbing yet another tragedy. Some felt anger at the youth who committed suicide. Many expressed feelings of numbness. Some regretted their own inability to know what to do. They felt guilty for not knowing how to prevent it. Like many others I feel a sense of powerlessness.

December 11, 2002: While waiting for my plane at the Iqaluit airport I met a physician-researcher who had just completed a report on the Nunavut Ministry of Health. She told me about a two-hour conversation she had with a man called TNC in a hotel bar in Rankin Inlet. TNC had lost a friend to suicide. He was deeply bothered by his loss. He went to see a nurse. The nurse became very uncomfortable when Tommy mentioned he was depressed and upset by this suicide. She sent him to a Social Worker. The Social Worker was also ill at ease. She called the police. TNC spent the night in jail. They were concerned he might hurt himself. Because the small hamlet had no counselling services, TNC was flown to Yellowknife. He was separated from the only real support system he had — his mother and grandmother in Rankin Inlet. Later on the plane I sat beside a young man GRB. GRB worked for Baffin Correctional Centre. He started there in c.1996. He told me about a millionaire who made his fortune by buying high-end buildings in Iqaluit, then renting them at high rents to the Nunavut Government. GRB loved speed — the speed of the snow machine. His best moments were out on the land with a half a dozen friends on powerful machines. His work bothered him. He felt surrounded by uneducated, untrained fellow-workers — many of whom came from Halifax — who cared little for the young offenders. Many were there because they could earn huge salaries — especially with overtime. Some of them didn’t even have high school education and in Iqaluit they were earning much more than they ever could in the Maritimes. It frustrated him to see how these untrained workers wanted to work by the book to earn points from the supervisors. Sometimes a situation could be diffused before it became violent and ugly. By rigidly following the book, a small incident could escalate into an ugly incident very quickly. GRB came to know the offenders so he knew how to calm things. Increasingly the workers who lacked experience but were older than him, made the situations worse. GRB noticed the most improvement in the youth came through the on-the-land program. Youth would spend a couple of months with the elders. They came back healthier and more confident. He commented on the work of the psychiatrist Dr. Q He said that Dr. Q tried to prevent the worst from happening but he was not really in control of the situation. He was not able to make all the decisions that would be beneficial to the youth. GRB said that Iqaluit youth threatening suicide would be sent to the Youth detention centre. He would be stripped down, showered and then given ‘baby dolls’ to wear before being locked in a safe cell where he could do himself no harm. (What a contrast to the treatment my friend’s son received in Ottawa. )

June 2002: This text will change organically as the flicktion develops.

July 2009: This image was selected to be part of a phenomenal project entitled “We Feel Fine.”

Uploaded by ocean.flynn on 30 Nov 06, 9.15PM MDT.

Arctic Adventurer: a Flicktion

September 11, 2009




Arctic Adventurer: a Flicktion

Originally uploaded by ocean.flynn.

In the few short months that I have spent in Nunavut, two mothers who had become my colleagues and friends, lost youthful sons to suicide. Within a brief period of two months, four youth in a community of less than 1,500 people committed suicide. Almost the entire community attended the funeral. The hall was filled with infants, toddlers, children, youth, adults and elders. The youngest children wove between chairs and family members comfortably a part of community life. Youth dressed in southern street-smart clothing respectfully gave their seats to elders. The shared pain in the room at the loss of their youth through suicide, was suffocating. At the graveside, it was cold and windy. It began to snow. As one mother witnessed the shovel-fulls of sand thudding onto her son’s coffin, another walked quietly alone to another fresh grave nearby. I stood there helpless feeling so overwhelmed I couldn’t move. I know many others felt the same paralysis. How many of us were mothers? How many of us had sons in their twenties?

The family of the young man, colleagues and friends provided support to the parents and to each other. On the return flight home, one man was unusually upbeat and talkative. Perhaps that is his way of dealing with the pain. I didn’t know who he was. He sat behind me. As I left the plane I asked the woman next to me who this man was. To my astonishment it was the *** for Nunavut.

Following the suicides, friends and acquaintances attempted to find ways of absorbing yet another tragedy. Some felt anger at the youth who committed suicide. Many expressed feelings of numbness. Some regretted their own inability to know what to do. They felt guilty for not knowing how to prevent it. Like many others I feel a sense of powerlessness.

December 11, 2002: While waiting for my plane at the Iqaluit airport I met a physician-researcher who had just completed a report on the Nunavut Ministry of Health. She told me about a two-hour conversation she had with a man called TNC in a hotel bar in Rankin Inlet. TNC had lost a friend to suicide. He was deeply bothered by his loss. He went to see a nurse. The nurse became very uncomfortable when Tommy mentioned he was depressed and upset by this suicide. She sent him to a Social Worker. The Social Worker was also ill at ease. She called the police. TNC spent the night in jail. They were concerned he might hurt himself. Because the small hamlet had no counselling services, TNC was flown to Yellowknife. He was separated from the only real support system he had — his mother and grandmother in Rankin Inlet. Later on the plane I sat beside a young man GRB. GRB worked for Baffin Correctional Centre. He started there in c.1996. He told me about a millionaire who made his fortune by buying high-end buildings in Iqaluit, then renting them at high rents to the Nunavut Government. GRB loved speed — the speed of the snow machine. His best moments were out on the land with a half a dozen friends on powerful machines. His work bothered him. He felt surrounded by uneducated, untrained fellow-workers — many of whom came from Halifax — who cared little for the young offenders. Many were there because they could earn huge salaries — especially with overtime. Some of them didn’t even have high school education and in Iqaluit they were earning much more than they ever could in the Maritimes. It frustrated him to see how these untrained workers wanted to work by the book to earn points from the supervisors. Sometimes a situation could be diffused before it became violent and ugly. By rigidly following the book, a small incident could escalate into an ugly incident very quickly. GRB came to know the offenders so he knew how to calm things. Increasingly the workers who lacked experience but were older than him, made the situations worse. GRB noticed the most improvement in the youth came through the on-the-land program. Youth would spend a couple of months with the elders. They came back healthier and more confident. He commented on the work of the psychiatrist Dr. Q He said that Dr. Q tried to prevent the worst from happening but he was not really in control of the situation. He was not able to make all the decisions that would be beneficial to the youth. GRB said that Iqaluit youth threatening suicide would be sent to the Youth detention centre. He would be stripped down, showered and then given ‘baby dolls’ to wear before being locked in a safe cell where he could do himself no harm. (What a contrast to the treatment my friend’s son received in Ottawa. )

June 2002: This text will change organically as the flicktion develops.

July 2009: This image was selected to be part of a phenomenal project entitled “We Feel Fine.”

Uploaded by ocean.flynn on 30 Nov 06, 9.15PM MDT.




Echoes of Geurnica: Vukovar (1991)

Originally uploaded by ocean.flynn.

Echoes of Geurnica: Vukovar (1991)
I created this Adobe Photoshop image in 1994 in response to the words and images of the women refugees of Vukovar. Women make up the largest percentage of refugees worldwide. Urban ethnographer and documentary videographer Cynthia Porter Gehrie, Ph.D. (Northwestern University) worked with the NONA Center for Multi Media, Zagreb, Croatia cgehrie@videodocument.org to produce a site where the story of these women could reach the world. (Currently under construction)

“I spent three months in the basement, and I had no idea of the extent of the destruction in the city. When they were taking us from the Hospital, where we all gathered, to the general warehouse, from the truck I saw what the city looked like. We drove through the main street all the way to Mitnica. The houses in ruins seemed to weep and moan as if in pain, and only the chimneys stood defiantly. I can still see a house devoured by flames and next to it a cow, which came from who knows where, dazed by the horror and destruction around it. When I close my eyes, I can see the ruins, the ghastly dead streets and, tormented by insomnia as I am, I can feel the eerie silence falling over the city of ghosts (Kumpf 1994).”

While looking for images in 1994 to complete this digitage, I came upon photojournalist, Ron Haviv’s site: “Blood and Honey: A Balkan War Journal.”; (Which is now available through Amazon.com) This is the url of his powerful photo of a Geurnica-like cow which so perfectly resonated with the eloquent, haunting words of a owman who knew what it was to be a refugee. She wrote about “a house devoured by flames and next to it a cow, which came from who knows where, dazed by the horror and destruction around it (Kumpf 1994).”

http://www.videodocument.org
Read more about Ron Haviv | digg story

Kumpf, Slavica. 1994. “For 1096 Days I have Felt Like a Traveler.” Vukovar Women’s Club. http://www.videodocument.org/nona/VulArc.htm

Uploaded by ocean.flynn on 19 Nov 06, 10.09PM MDT.

“Everything in the universe, and everything of man, would be registered at a distance as it was produced. In this way a moving image of the world will be established, a true mirror of his memory. From a distance, everyone will be able to read text, enlarged and limited to the desired subject, projected on an individual screen.” – Monde, 1935

read more | digg story

iht.com Higher-income, male-dominated sectors like construction and manufacturing hit hardest. Female-dominated, lower income sectors like education and health still holding up in deepening recession. More… (Business & Finance)

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