Giving licence to vulgarity

The rising interpersonal venom on the Internet is a distressing sign of the times

Giving licence to vulgarityIf you’re middle aged or better and have a sense of life before the Internet, information technology and all of the associated foofaraw, you may also remember the value of polite speech. It was extremely rare in my youth to witness profanity first-hand in what might still be called polite society. That included family relations,…

Venice flooding a sign of deepening climate crisis

Think of Venice as a metaphor for humanity’s tepid response to the swelling climate crisis

Venice flooding a sign of deepening climate crisisIn the last week of September, I spent an interesting hour talking with an Italian doctoral student in ecology on the banks of the Venice lagoon. She wanted to know why I had come to Venice and what I knew of its insular yet urban environment. “Did any aspect of the Venetian lagoon’s environment draw…

Approaching the end of fall on the Sunshine Coast

The days are increasingly short and grey, but nature is on full display everywhere we look

Approaching the end of fall on the Sunshine CoastI’m looking out of our living room window on a predominantly grey sea and landscape. The eye first trips over some close-in treetops before it encompasses five km of Jervis Inlet, leading to Scotch Fir Point in the mid-distance. The bulk of Texada Island beckons in the further background, hiding whatever it wishes behind its…

Keeping young, ambitious and talented people in Alberta

There’s already a strong engineering, finance and transportation capability in the province. We need to build on that in the new economy

Keeping young, ambitious and talented people in AlbertaA new study related to abandoned coal mining in the United Kingdom and the movement of displaced workers offers insight for Albertans. Not many of us read the online peer reviewed academic journal Nature Human Behaviour. That’s why occasionally perusing the back pages of The Economist makes sense. The Oct. 26, 2019, Economist reviews an…

Split firewood and enduring friendships

A weekend rigorously scheduled, egalitarian, task-focused and bathed in a bonding humour

Split firewood and enduring friendshipsThe chainsaw, sledge and wedges are back in the woodshed. The winter wood is split and stacked. Steve and Dave have headed home to their busy lives; Johnnie and James have promised to redouble their efforts to attend next year. And I’m once again pondering the strength of a growing tradition: Wood Camp at Skelhp.…

Plenty of challenges await Liberals

The diversity and complexity of Canadian federal politics echoes through the 2019 general election results

Plenty of challenges await LiberalsSo I voted Liberal. What did that accomplish? The 33.1 per cent of the 66 per cent of Canadian voters who managed to vote in the 2019 federal election gave the Liberals 157 seats, or 46.4 per cent of the 338 seats in the House of Commons. Clearly first past-the-post system has its advantages. The…

Here’s why I’m voting Liberal

The government has an impressive team, a strong record of legislation and has raised our international standing

Here’s why I’m voting LiberalAided by corrosive social media, omnipresent angry groups and the need for climate tempering, the countdown to the federal election has been divisive and grouchy. While many viewed at least one of the leadership debates, I sense Canadians understand that there’s much more at stake than individual party leader street credentials in this election. Some…

Taking a broader, ecological view of Venice

How many of us think of the Venetian lagoon and its imperilled circumstances when we imagine a trip to Piazza San Marco?

Taking a broader, ecological view of VeniceVenice has been a feast of art, archaeology and escape for tourists since it began to attract them in the 15th and 16th centuries. But it is under attack. One of the world’s first cities to be founded almost exclusively on the conduct of financial transactions, its promotion of mercantile capitalism led the way to…

The Algarve: Portugal’s magnificent beach of a south coast

Imagine golden sand, 25C with a blue sky in May, and the cleanest blue-green ocean you’ve ever seen. Add boardwalks stretching for kilometres and fabulous food

The Algarve: Portugal’s magnificent beach of a south coastImagine golden sand, 25C with a clear blue sky in May, and the cleanest blue-green ocean you’ve ever seen. Add boardwalks that stretch for kilometres across salt marshes and sand dunes. Every so often, include colonies of beach lounge chairs, arrayed under stretched blue canvas canopies. Add swirls of swallows and gulls above, and cue…
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