Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Financial fly trap

The prevailing world financial system is essentially a giant fly trap, designed to entice people to enter and get trapped by cyclical booms and recession/depressions.

The money supply is controlled by central bankers who turn the monetary spigots on and off causing the value of money to fluctuate.

The private banking system also creates money by giving their customers credit in the form of loans. Availability of credit entices people into ventures to make money for themselves with attendant risks.

As the economy heats up with more money circulating central bankers increase interest rates to cool it down. People go broke and suffer economic hardships.

Over time the bigger fish survive at the expense of the smaller ones that are summarily gobbled up.

So we end up with a few mega billionaires and a whole bunch of paupers. The billionaires dream about a “Great Reset” in which the ‘unusable’ paupers perish and the billionaires prosper.

Sadly, (for the billionaires) History tells the opposite story: The peasants are the long term survivors. The fall of the Maya civilization is a good example of this.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

UCP cracks?

Alberta’s new Premier, Danielle Smith is on record stating that she will dismiss/replace Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Deena Hinshaw along with her board. That was part of her vote getting strategy in getting elected as UCP leader and become the new Premier of Alberta.

Problem is, members of her new cabinet were involved in giving Hinshaw a substantial monetary bonus for her performance during the Covid pandemic. This turned out to be very controversial at the time with calls for her removal as Chief Medical Officer of Health.

My take on the situation is that Hinshaw has been made into a punching bag by politicians on all sides of Covid/vaccination issues and hung out to dry in public.

And now Smith will have to deal with a potential rift in her carefully crafted cabinet without losing face with the public.

Good luck Danielle, as medical professionals continue to leave Alberta.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Water retention

I’m not talking about what happens when old farts like me have problems discharging their personal water. No, this is about enabling Mother Earth to retain the fresh water that comes down in the form of rain.

The key is intact vegetation with root systems that penetrate deep into the earth and provide a universe for microbial life.

Regrettably, most human practices on the land, achieve exactly the opposite result as land is cleared and used for innumerable reasons.

Overgrazing with livestock does the same thing, as humans sacrifice their future for short term gain.

Here in Canada, we have a great land engineer at our service that can help restore damaged ecosystems: Bertie Beaver, a much maligned rodent that builds dams on water courses, slowing down runoff after storms and so making water available to underground life forms of all kinds.

And that results in above ground life flourishing as well, including ourselves. All Bertie needs are some nice trees to feed on and build his dams from. Something that can readily be provided by us planting trees in desired dam areas over time.

We are finally beginning to learn the lessons from Nature on how to live in harmony with her, by now beginning to construct artificial beaver dams across smaller water courses, both here and in Australia, for example.

As usual, the Asians are way ahead of us with their terraced gardens along steep hillsides. For them, it was “do or die” way back in antiquity due to population pressures. It is all about capturing water before it has an opportunity to form streams that gouge out the hillsides and use it slowly to feed gardens and rice paddies.

We are now at that point here in the West.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Political trends

Political trends
Here in Alberta, and elsewhere, there is a marked trend towards the conservative side of the political spectrum. This Monday, Alberta’s new Premier, Danielle Smith will see her new ministers sworn into office by Alberta’s Lieutenant Governor, Salma Lakhani, after having won the UCP leadership race based on reaction to Federal Government overreach into provincial affairs.

Canada’s left leaning establishment and media failed to understand the political significance of the Freedom Convoy earlier in the year and dismissed the protesters as fringe radicals.

The same trend is also playing out in Europe and most recently in Italy where popular sentiments are swinging back towards the Mussolini era. The idea of having a ‘strong man’ in charge is resurfacing all over the place, with all its attendant problems, as can be seen in Russia under Putin.

Meanwhile, the power brokers in this world are busily readjusting their support strategies to keep up with political trends with the view to maintain their privileges.

Federal Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre is already under their umbrella and it will be interesting to see where Danielle Smith is heading.

It is all about getting into, and staying in power, after all. And you need powerful rich ‘friends’ for that to happen.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Too little, too late

Wanna live on Mars? Not me. It is the most God forsaken place I have ever seen images of. Endless expanses of mountains, rocks and dust and the sound of a lonely wind, moaning into the microphone of a Mars rover.

In 1961, as an 18 year old, I travelled with my dad across the desert between Damascus, Syria and Baghdad, Iraq in a little Opel car totally unsuited to the task. Luckily we managed to team up with a convoy of trucks making the same trip over a roadless landscape.

Travelling side by side with some 50 meters between each vehicle across the gravelly surface, we slowly made our way across another God forsaken land, sometimes traveling across hard baked old lake bed clay pans at much higher speeds.

Yes, there were lakes there a long time ago when the region supported a population of some 35 million people and an agricultural economy.

Historians consider it to be the birthplace of civilization, with empires coming and going over a period of several thousand years.

And look at it now, a Mars like landscape with a few hares jumping around in wetter spots, eking out a life there.

Is that where we are heading, wasting fresh water and energy as if there is no end to their availability at our fingertips? Here in Alberta, using some 60 million litres of fresh water to create one producing oil/gas well?

Does stupidity know no limits?

Friday, October 14, 2022

Weather woes

As I write this, on October 14, 2022, the Rocky Mountains to the west of me are bare of any snowcover whatsoever. The weather is just beautiful with 20 degree Celsius days behind us and stretching ahead.

Normally, at the beginning of September when school starts here in Alberta, the mountains have already received their first winter coat, gleaming in the morning sunshine.

A flood is a dramatic event causing havoc and chaos within few hours of happening. Then the cleanup begins and things slowly return to normal.

A drought is different. At first, everything seems to be the same as usual with deceptively benign weather, day in and day out: The last recorded rainfall in my rain gauge was 10 millimeters on August 28 and before that a total for the year of 284 mm, well below normal.

The bushland around me is tinder dry and a windy day and a spark is all it would take to create a local disaster. But more troubling are the long term implications if this weather pattern persists: Thousands of shallow water wells, including mine, along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains can potentially dry up as groundwater levels go down.

Intermittent rainfall amounts so far this year have not exceeded 45 mm (under two inches), which is insufficient to recharge groundwater aquifers and only keeps the topsoil damp for a limited amount of time.

People to the east of the Rocky Mountains, both here in Alberta and on the prairies generally, rely on a melting snowpack in the mountains to recharge multiple dams and man made lakes to provide water for the upcoming summer season crops and for domestic/industrial use as well.

When will this weather pattern change to give us some wet manna from heaven?

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Russia's war strategy

As the war in Europe escalates, Russia’s strategy is emerging. As a major energy, food and raw materials exporter to the rest of the world a prolonged war is in Russia’s interest, compared to its opponents who are, as we know, dependent on Russian exports.

During WWII Germany was chronically short of energy, food and raw materials, playing a part in the loss of that war to allied powers. Germany’s war strategy was also fundamentally flawed as it pursued war on many fronts simultaneously.

In that war the Russians wore down the Germans and beat them on the battle front with greater human and material resources to back them.

This time around, Russia has Europe, including Germany, in a position of energy dependency and is currently restricting exports to put the squeeze on the will of Europeans to support their own governments in what is an imperial war benefiting kleptocrats on all sides of the conflict.

So, it is reasonable to assume that this policy will be pursued with increased vehemence as time goes on, including the destruction of vulnerable energy infrastructure, as can already be seen in Ukraine itself.

Western propaganda depicting Russia as a crumbling state is just wishful thinking. When really threatened, as seen in WWII, Russians stood shoulder to shoulder even if they didn’t like their government of the day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

War intensification

Some 20 years ago I was involved in organizing Canada Day festivities in our local Village of Caroline and the question of fireworks at the end of the day was discussed.

I distinctly remember the reaction of Pat, a local elderly English lady. She objected vehemently to the idea and when I asked her why, the answer came straight from her heart: As a little girl she had lived through the London Blitz where German bombers pounded London and other British cities every night in an attempt to break the morale of the civilian population.

Under the guidance of a new commander of the Russian ‘special operation’ in Ukraine, Herman Goerings’ (German Air Force Commander in WWII) tactic is now being used against civilians in Ukraine with the added aim of destroying energy infrastructure.

This is part of a predicted escalation in the war, similar to what happened in WWII.

The people that are inflicting this suffering on the world are self appointed kleptocrats and their political cohorts like Putin and Zelenski.

Friday, October 7, 2022

New Premier

Alberta will have a new Premier next week, following the thanks giving weekend. After 4 months of campaigning, Danielle Smith won the race to become the new leader of the United conservative Party mostly based on rhetoric against the federal government masterfully mismanaged by Justin Trudeau.

I used to listen to Danielle Smith when she was a radio host for the Chorus radio network here in Alberta, a post she held for many years after bungling her leadership of the Wildrose Party and subsequently losing her seat in the legislature a number of years ago.

She also walked out on her job at the radio station during Covid, when she did not get her way in terms of what people to interview, etc. Nasty social media feedback also discouraged her from continuing in the job.

Premier Smith will now be faced with the task of uniting two fundamentally opposed factions within the UCP: The previous Progressive Conservatives and the former Wild Rose crew. She also has ideas about building railway lines to tidewater ports under the nose of the federal government.

From radio host to Premier, building railways and reforming a fundamentally flawed health care system?

I am waiting for another crash.

Monday, October 3, 2022

Increasing tensions

Just heard on the Norwegian news this morning that Norwegian Army reservists are being deployed to guard Norwegian oil and gas production facilities on, and offshore.

That in response to the explosions in the Baltic that ruptured the Nordstream 1 and 2 gas lines from Russia to Germany some time ago.

The fear is that Russia’s war strategy involves cutting off energy supplies to Europe as winter closes in, potentially igniting civil unrest in European countries.

Expect much more to come as the war ramps up along the same pattern that happened in the early stages of WWII.