Friday, February 27, 2009

Way, Hey, Up She Rises

The fishing season is up in the air for the crew of this crab fishing vessel as it will get a facelift at the Harbour Grace dry dock facility.

This is really a bad time to time a flat tire.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

UNESCO Can Revoke World Heritage Site Status

Though it is rare, it has happened. On June 28, 2007 Oman's Arabian Oryx Sanctuary (Oryx is a kind of antelope) had its World Heritage status revoked. Oman had greatly reduced the size of the park and UNESCO decided this diminished the park’s value (source). UNESCO's reason for this being the Omani government's decision to open 90% of the site to oil prospecting.

In today's Telegram Bill Callahan writes that Gros Morne status could be reconsidered. That's very real.

According to, "The World Heritage Committee deleted the property because of Oman's decision to reduce the size of the protected area by 90%, in contravention of the Operational Guidelines of the Convention. This was seen by the Committee as destroying the outstanding universal value of the site which was inscribed in 1994."

64 km of up to 600 feet wide of clear cutting through Gros Morne would hideously scar a key characteristic which qualified the park for World Heritage Site consideration in the first place, pristine beauty. UNESCO has already sent a message to developers not to tamper with such designated sites, but Gros Morne could be considered in the future to be removed from World Heritage Site status. Don't forget Mealy Mountains in Labrador. NALCOR's plans involves mauling part of that park as well.

In recent weeks this blog has posted a few graphical conceptions of how towers across our parks would look, and for a real eye opener, here's a St. John's version with wires and towers providing the icing on top. Transmission lines and steel towers don't mix well with UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it is transmitting the wrong message.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Quebec or Foreign Support of Transmission Line through Parks Would Increase Opposition Here

There has been some reported opposition to the idea of hydro transmission lines through two UNESCO World Heritage sites and national parks in Newfoundland and Labrador. That will hopefully grow, albeit slowly. If putting 40 metre high transmission lines through our magnificent parks happened to be something that say Quebec, or some foreign fishing offender openly supported, then there would be ten times as much opposition to the idea.

Here's an example: Today at CBC's NL site, at 11:45 a.m. there are 3 comments about NALCOR's plan to cut through Gros Morne & Mealy Mountains national parks, and so far, 143 comments about the Spanish trawler crew that was rescued. Not that there's anything wrong with asking questions about the quick fire and sinking of that trawler, in fact it's good to do just that.

When we feel we have been duped, mistreated or there has been an injustice, we react with emotion. How long might it take for a similar level of opposition to publicly surface regarding the proposed Lower Churchill transmission line through two of Newfoundland and Labrador's national treasures? There is no outside enemy driving this specific transmission line idea, it is being considered with the support of our provincial leader and energy corporation, NALCOR.

It would be a sorry sight to envision - driving through either park, and you want to stop to get a photo of a valley, or mountain range, but this eyesore of metal and wires ruins the idea of an 11 x 16 framed picture of that scene. A traveler might think, "how could they let this happen!"

Friday, February 20, 2009

NALCOR Plan for Transmission Line To St. John's

There should be no opposition to this, or the transmission line through Mealy Mountains National Park, or Gros Morne National Park. It's all good, hey b'y!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

PM and Obama to Discuss Energy, Economy, Brad and Angelina

President Obama will arrive in Ottawa 12:00 pm NF time. In a clip played on CBC earlier Obama was asked, "is oilsands oil, dirty oil?" He did not directly say yes, but diplomatically answered by saying that a "new" technology could be used to decrease the release of carbon. We may get a better idea of how green this president is after tomorrow's meeting, his desire for future clean energy, and how Canada's auto industry will be affected by U.S. recession-time policies. This could also be a day where Brad and Angelina do not make news sites' headlines.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fuel: What's Going Down is Going Up

There have been no new warring hot spots developing in the world for months, no major hurricanes, no new threats of WMDs, yet the gas pump price makes its usual slither up the gauge.(Source: NF Gas Prices)

(Source of data: MJ Ervin & Associates)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

NL National Parks - Yours to Discover, Ours to Ruin

We have Have status - off equalization for now, and have a World Heritage Site, and another proposed. We cold lose both stati&trade if transmission lines ru(i)n through a couple of spectacular national parks in Newfoundland and Labrador.

A vision of what could be.Proposed transmission lines through Gros Morne and Mealy Mountains (a proposed World Heritage Site) National Parks. It does not Have to be!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Transmission Trouble

People describe the drive through world heritage Gros Morne National Park as out of this world. However, if NALCOR's plan to run heavy power lines through the park gets the go light you might look up to see other unheavenly sights. Viewer feedback on Here & Now indicated that people want to see a reverse on this otherwise standard transmission plan, automatically.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

G8 Unemployment as of Feb. 8, 2009

Below is a snapshot of a global economic indicator, unemployment. The numbers are from the web site Trading Economic which provides "Global Economics Research". The chart will show the most recent unemployment rates, and if you click on the link, it takes you to the source, where you can compare the monthly trends. More comparitive charts to follow on this.

The U.S. unemployment rate is 7.6%, up from 7.2% in December.

The latest U.K. 3.6% is up .3% from December's 3.3.

France tallied 8.1% up from December's 8%.

Russia's rate is 7.7%, a leap from December's 6.6%.

Germany's 7.7% January, is part of a slight increase in recent months, but it it lower than the 8.2% from earlier in 2008. In fact it's low compared to Jan. of 2006 when the unemployed accounted for 11.4% of Germany's workforce.

Still relatively low compared to other G8 nations, Japan's 4.4% is their highest since Jan., 2006 when the rate was the same.

Last year Italy was very steady. The last update from the Trading Economics web site was in October, 2008, and showed the rate to be 6.7%. Actually, it seems rather unusual when you see some fluctuations from month to month in countries like Canada, to see at least 7/12 months last year to have 6.7%, and three months to have 6.7%.

Canada's 7.2% in January, 2009 is up from the previous month's of 6.6%

Unemployment Rate Up for January, 2009

The national unemployment rate is jumped from 6.6% in Dec., 2008 - 7.2% in Jan., 2009. The largest provincial increases were in BC and Ontario, with almost a full percentage point each. BC's out of work rose from 5.3 - 6.2%, while Ontario's loss was .8%, going from 7.2 - 8%. In January there was a loss of 129,000 jobs in Canada, a nearly 30 year worst. Newfoundland and Labrador's rate rose from 13.7 - 14.3 %. In St. John's, NL, jobs held steady, only a .1% increase in unemployment. (source)

Canada's Unemployment Statistics Jan., 2009 (%)
PlaceDecember ' 08January ' 09Rate of change

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Transmission Line Bad News for Labrador. Good news for the Province.

Deliberately excluding Labrador from the province is done tongue in cheek.

It's been noted frequently by Labradorians, particularly this one, that Labrador often gets ignored as being part of the whole province, by government, and by Newfoundlanders, not all certainly, but it seems, often. Unfortunately Labrador's hopes to reap the benefits of Labrador's Hydro resources, specifically the named Lower Churchill development, are being thwarted by the current NL government's plan to run a transmission line from Gull Island in central Labrador to Soldier's Pond on the Avalon Peninsula. As commenter Lloyd from Labrador responded to a Telegram article,

Yep, and bypassing (and passing by, very closely, almost THROUGH, some Labrador communities and totally ignoring all other Labrador communities in the process. No cheap 'clean' electricity for them to heat homes, grow industry or anything else.

Dwight from Labrador also has this to say,

should never be let go ahead until the people of Labrador have clean, abundant, and affordable power. A straight shot transmission line to the Avalon is sickening while we pay a fortune for dirty diesel power here, and still have to heat homes and businesses with fuel or wood. Where the hell are the Labrador members of government??? Patty Pottle, is this not a problem on the north coast?

At blog site Labradore, WJM, reminds readers that promises to Labrador are often just that - the words don't match the actions. Here's a recent example of one of his many mentioned examples of promises made to Labrador, and disappointments:

“We will not develop the Lower Churchill unless the primary beneficiaries are Labradorians. You have my assurance on that.”

That was PC Party Leader Danny Williams, on September 30, 2003, speaking in Happy Valley-Goose Bay during that fall’s provincial general election.

It's worth the read, here's another bit:

And sure, the EIS documentation for the so-called Lower Churchill itself only contemplates transmission within Labrador to a point where the juice can be pumped out the Hydro-Quebec grid.

But none of that is to say Labrador and Labradorians won’t benefit. No sir. Nothing could be further from the truth...

Imagine, along with the electricity itself, the revenues which will figuratively flow along that line, all the way from the wilds of central Labrador, from an artificial lake — the Williams Reservoir perhaps — many times the size of Sandy Pond, and many times further away; then stepped down at Soldier Pond and transmitted thence directly to the Finance Department in Confederation Building for re-transmission all across the province, for all kinds of provincial purposes.

Effectively written and point made. See more of Labradore's posts on Lower Churchill Expectations.

Another ongoing point made at that blog is that many Newfoundlanders blame Canada for ignoring NL, while many Newfoundlanders turn a blind eye to what's going on, or what's not going on, in Labrador. To this blogger, there's a triad relationship - how some in Newfoundland/"the province" see Canada, is often how people in Labrador see NL's government and some Newfoundlanders. Will stop there.

Labradorians give their actual stories, and there is a story - the perception of Labrador, references to "the province" (with an "and Labrador" add-on), and taking Labrador for granted. It is a story that has not yet gotten full appreciation in provincial media, or by perhaps many, citizens in the province.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Learn About Simplicity - Scroll Down for a Free Quote

(The following quotes are from the Quote Garden):

Eliminate physical clutter. More importantly, eliminate spiritual clutter. ~ D.H. Mondfleur

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. ~ Confucius

Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough. ~Author Unknown

*this is good Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things. ~ Elise Boulding

To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter... to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring - these are some of the rewards of the simple life. ~ John Burroughs

The trouble with simple living is that, though it can be joyful, rich, and creative, it isn't simple. ~ Doris Janzen Longacre

The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

People love chopping wood. In this activity one immediately sees results. ~ Albert Einstein

Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. ~ Lao Tzu

We don't need to increase our goods nearly as much as we need to scale down our wants. Not wanting something is as good as possessing it. ~ Donald Horban

Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves. ~ Edwin Way Teale

The sculptor produces the beautiful statue by chipping away such parts of the marble block as are not needed - it is a process of elimination. ~ Elbert Hubbard

From the Quotations Page, a few from Henry David Thoreau

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.

Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new. ~ "Walden", 1854

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.