Displaying items by tag: Climate Change

Friday, 28 May 2021 14:50

Electric delivery trucks 100 years ago?

We've seen a lot of interest in electric trucks this past three years, especially package vans -- the Ford Transit Connect Electric, Internationals' e-Star, the Smith Newton, Freightliner Custom Chassis' MT45-EV. But did you know there were electric delivery trucks 100 years ago? We’ve had a recent Facebook group post on picture from 1917 displaying some of the M.R.C. fleet in London of Walker Electric trucks charging our discussion page HERE . This sparked some attention and discussion so let’s dive a little deeper.

 

 

Daimler, Tesla, Cummins and many other companies are all creating new electric trucks. Some of them will hit the market very soon and, as experts predict, the truck industry will be changed forever. However, none of these companies invented a battery-powered truck – they were already delivering milk and baked goods more than a hundred years ago.

 

Nothing new under the Sun…….

 

We now consider electric trucks to be transportation of the future, but in reality, the world has already seen electric trucks in the past. For example, Walker Electric Truck company in US in 1907-1942 was manufacturing rather popular little electric trucks. They were regarded as extremely reliable and tough, although quite slow. Modern electric trucks will be at least as quick as diesel-powered ones. But Walker trucks were not that fast at all. A Walker truck was powered by a 3.5 HP motor, drawing energy from 66-80-volt batteries, delivering a maximum of 40 amps. You don’t have to know anything about engineering to know that this is not a lot of power even for a small truck.

 

 

Walker trucks obviously could not reach a very high-top speeds – they maxed out at around 16-19 km/h. However, no one really complained about that sort of disadvantage back in 1910’s, especially since the truck had steel wheels with solid rubber tyres. The controls were simple: a large steering wheel, with the driver positioned high over the front wheels; two brake pedals either side of the steering wheel; and a lever speed control. Reverse is engaged by another foot lever. The bank of batteries sat in the middle of the truck halfway between the front and rear axles. The motor was located in the differential and the drive gears were in the wheels. By the way, batteries provided 80 km of range, this would have varied depending on load and road conditions. This range of operation was pretty much enough for daily operations at that period, they were charged every night anyway.

 

Walker Electric Truck company did not make semis – all of their models were conventional wagon-type transporters. The cargo compartment was customized to match client’s needs. It was not an aerodynamic masterpiece either – it was pretty much a wooden box on wheels and batteries between the axles. Not that it matters when you are driving that slow. 

 

You may laugh at these specifications, but at the time they were pretty good. Don’t forget that these trucks were replacing horses and carriages. They were quicker, easier to maintain and could carry significantly heavier loads. Walker exported some of these electric trucks to Great Britain, Norway and New Zealand. In fact, it is said that electrical company Orion New Zealand Limited is using one Walker truck till this day, although it is more of a symbol than a tool.

 

With no gears, no clutch and simple stop-go operation but also supremely economical as the motor stops when the truck stops. Half the life of a gas truck is spent 'idling, ‘one reason they wear out more quickly, and at the time and in comparison, cost 50% to 100% more than Walkers per delivery, per mile or per day. These factors made electric vehicles popular with companies like Rail companies, US Postal Service, delivery, diary companies as well as bakeries and other small businesses. It is said that the famous chain Marshall Field & Company had 276 Walker trucks in 1925. However, eventually it all came to an end.

 

Without lithium Ion and modern semi-conductors’ electric cars were never viable and at this time it was nickel-iron batteries that Edison used had a specific energy of around 22 Wh/kg. Gasoline has a specific energy of 12778 Wh/kg. If we assume the combustion engine was only 5% efficient, which is wildly generous if we're trying to argue against gasoline, Even accounting for the added weight of the engine over an electric motor, gasoline, by weight, was 20-30 times more efficient than the battery technology of the time

 

 

One might say we’ve come full circle now that the technology has caught up with this invention. Tesla Motors paved the way by capturing the attention of consumers in North America and Europe.  In June of 2016 it was the fourth anniversary of the first S Sedans rolling off the Fremont, CA production line and the S is now the best-selling EV in the world today. In the same month Nikola (pronounced Neek-oh-la) Motor Company Founder and CEO Trevor Milton announced that $2.3 billion in reservations have been generated in the first month, totaling more than 7,000 truck reservations with deposits. The company in the prior month that it will launch an electric class 8 semi-truck, dubbed “Nikola One.”. Since then Nikola Motor Company has been absorbed by Tesla Motors however the truck which has translated into the Tesla “Semi” is due for production at the end of this year. The initial production has been pushed back multiple times due to battery sourcing issues, however as the company ramped up high-volume production of its tabless 4680 batteries we’re promised that 2021 is the year. The “Semi” would have a 500 miles (805 km) range on a full charge and with its new batteries it would be able to run for 400 miles (640 km) after an 80% charge in 30 minutes using a solar-powered "Tesla Mega charger"

 

 

Many large companies aren’t waiting for Tesla and going with other electric truck test beds, one example is that Coca Cola has been testing their Refrigerated Electric Powered delivery vans: Green goes better with Coke, as seen through the Company’s ongoing advertising efforts to deliver their products via six all-electric, zero-emissions trucks built by eStar. These electric vehicles will join Coca-Cola’s growing fleet of 750 heavy-duty, alternative fuel vehicles, taking the “Lead” and “Not Looking Back”

The six electric Coca-Cola trucks are on the roads since 2017 in San Francisco; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Hartford, Conn.; with two trucks in Los Angeles. These eStar vehicles have zero tailpipe emissions and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 10 tons annually. The windshield design offers nearly 180-degree visibility, improving safety. The vehicle is almost completely quiet.

 

Another notable mention is UPS with Workhorse Group are currently in testing phases of their own electric package truck, A project on going since 2018-2019 and it should be important to note that UPS’s first electric vehicle was in 1935 and you may have guessed that it was a Walker Electric Truck.

 

 

 

We look to the future with optimism and for business the promise substantially lower operational and maintenance costs over time, all-electric trucks so far haven't been able to beat their diesel or gasoline counterparts in their initial price tag. Seems like our world driven on the whim of  big business and hopefully with the current romantics of Tesla Motors and other large and tenured business organizations getting more involved with energy sustainability we’ll see much more traction on the issue.

 

 

 

 

                                                                                 - S.M. Jenkins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, 26 May 2021 01:59

"Made to Break"

Repairing things, a subject right up my alley. What boy or girl wasn’t guilty of taking apart an old alarm clock or two in their youth, some of which may have become the very people you take your vehicle to when its due for maintenance or for that unforeseen break down, perhaps they are now the very engineers designing the everyday products we use. Sadly, these engineers have failed us and you may have heard the phrase “it was made to break”. It seems like our everyday objects are made with a deliberately shortened useful life so that their makers could profit from forcing consumers to replace or upgrade them. 

 

 

This feeling was popularized in the 1960s when there was concern that automobiles were not built to last, but that was small potatoes before the digital age. Today, electronics from microwave ovens to laptop computers, appliances (and yes, those cars again, but now with embedded electronics) are not easily repaired. 

 

But wait, what’s happened to your old fashioned T.V. Repairman? A exert from a 2008 “The Implied Observer’s” article from a Fremont T.V. Repair shop owner certainly tells us : 

 

There’s nothing left to say, he continued, pushing past drifts of gutted cases, dusty repair manuals, cardboard boxes, circuit boards and coiled, tangled nests of electrical wire that once were the central nervous systems for televisions.

“We live in a throwaway society,” said the 60-year-old repairman and soon-to-be former owner of Adams TV in Fremont. “It got to where I just couldn’t fight that anymore.”

 

it’s surely no accident. In many cases, manufacturers don’t make or distribute spare parts or share diagnostic tools. The result? A lot of digital technology is headed toward a premature burial in local landfills. That’s an increasingly costly environmental problem and it’s also outrageously wasteful and unnecessary.

 

The problem of electronic equipment entering the waste stream is significant. Even in places where electronics are accepted as recyclables, studies show people often don’t bother. It’s just too easy to toss a dead phone in the garbage can without thought to the toxic mix of chemicals and heavy metals contained inside, not to mention a potentially explosive battery. Advocates estimate that more than 20 million tons of end-of-life electronic products are produced every year.North Americans should view that as an embarrassment but also an opportunity — even recycling costs money (chiefly to sort and break apart devices) whereas reuse is not only more cost-effective, it’s potentially profitable.

 

There are challenges, of course. Manufacturers will no doubt resent greater government oversight of their successful business model. There will be cries of proprietary secrets, of diminished brand value, of resale rights, perhaps even of liability. But none of these hurdles seem impossible to overcome. And surely, it is far better for companies to voluntarily step forward and embrace an ethos of repair than to face potential penalties down the road like getting billed for every cellphone, robotic vacuum or Bluetooth speaker that ends up at the landfill or local incinerator.

 

Protecting the environment is just one of the potential benefits. Extending the life of products creates jobs and these are jobs that would effectively be distributed widely like electronic products — not just in one or two locations but across the country in cities, suburbs and rural areas, where these items are used. It would also likely save taxpayers money, not only in extending the life of these common household items but in creating less burden on waste disposal. Remember that 20 million tons of electronics? If every blue whale alive today were measured on a scale, all those consumer items would be heavier. About six times heavier, according to the Digital Right to Repair Coalition.

 

The pandemic has led to an increased interest in repair as people need to save money in the COVID-19 economy and don’t want to risk infection by going out to purchase replacements(I've covered a little on the low income family post covid in my last article "Uncertain thinking for Uncertain Times"). But we also see another benefit in repairing these items beyond tangible advantages like saving money and reducing waste, there are psychological benefits in repairing belongings like inspiring creativity and making people feel self-reliant all the while learning a new skill. 

 

Covid-19 has also changed our relationship with technology and it's obvious that laws need to catch up as many more now need devices to work and learn.

 

It would seem that the future of this fight will lay with the high courts of your country, in the U.S. this has extended to Congress and the Supreme Court, too, where justices made it clear in Impression Products v Lexmark decision in 2017 that refilling ink cartridges (a form of recycling) was not a violation of patent rights. Ultimately, this ought to be common sense. There is hope however with 14 States Are Now Considering 'Right to Repair' Legislation as of February this year and many more have passed various versions of repair Acts into law however further development on this probably won’t happen unless those in political power continue to give manufacturers at least a serious nudge in the right direction and you can bank on manufacturers circumventing these acts with loopholes to keep what they believe is a loss of profit to a minimum.

 

companies have tried to cling tightly to nonsense in a bid to derail momentum. Usually this involves perpetuation and spread of nonexistent harms that threaten public safety and security. Apple last year insisted that passing a right to repair law in Nebraska would turn the state into a "mecca for hackers, or this year when the auto industry tried to claim that expanding Massachusetts' existing consumer tech law, to make sure that independent garages could access tools and diagnostic gear, would result in a "boom in sexual predators." The multi-sector quest to demonize the right to repair movement is relentless, and almost always involves making up bogus claims related to security and safety. 

 

 

                                                                                 - S.M. Jenkins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 25 May 2021 13:31

Why is this the case?

 

I found this image shared with me not that long ago and I ask.... Why is this the case?

 

 

There are many complex reasons why the planet is in the state it is but there is a thread that connects them. Political leadership is the thread. In this case, there are tidal forces at work that explain why a situation like this persists. A part of that force that influences leadership is from those who are committed financially to the status quo. A status quo that exploits the planet beyond reason and it could be argued exploits people to an equal extent.

 

The other force that political leadership is subject to is the electorate and the electorate consistently votes for the leadership that takes us in the same direction decade after decade, sort of like the dog that chases his tail. Here is a question I hope you will answer. Is it not common sense to do everything humanly possible to preserve the place we live, this planet? People have not much hesitation answering this question in the affirmative. Yet when the solutions are rolled out in detail they magically transform from common sense to the articles of socialism. And of course, socialism can't be tolerated so the baby gets chucked out with the bathwater.

 

It may come too late but I believe it is going to fall to artificial intelligence to put this on the right track. Why? Because human intelligence does not seem to be up to the task.

 

We try and discuss subjects like this and others on our Facebook group , click here and join the conversation : https://www.facebook.com/groups/1094314960723248

 

 

 
 
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Tuesday, 02 February 2021 13:20

This is dedicated to your family

You May have noticed we've kicked off our newsletter section and hope to provide a monthly syndication for our regular readers and members.

You can read our first entry titled " This is dedicated to your family" and the kick off for hopefully many more newsletter publicaitons.

here : http://www.thepreparednessproject2018.com/index.php/newsletter/7-this-is-dedicated-to-you-and-your-family-artver 

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Tuesday, 25 May 2021 02:17

Uncertain Thinking for Uncertain Times..

Today me and my wife were discussing worse case scenarios on where we might have to live after Christmas 2022 for our family of five or rather six if you count the seven-pound tabby cat and our two-year-old black lab. In our part of the world we are just another story of what I’ve candidly called “Sell-evictions” in our household. Our lord of the land and home owner we rent from wishes to take advantage of the housing price boom that has formed since the pandemic. From the start of the pandemic we’ve seen the real estate bubble form here in Nova Scotia with semi-detached homes once sold to the tune of 130,000 Canadian dollars to just recently the semi-detached home across the street from our rental that had sold for 315,000.00 Canadian dollars roughly two weeks ago. Since the start of this bubble before the summer of 2020 our family has seen a little under half of the homes in the neighborhood crescent we rent in up and down for sale. Social distant queues of ten to fifteen people for showings was a shocking tell of this tale in our usually very quiet crescent.

 

Housing supply and price isn’t the only issue of the day here, Rental prices have doubled in this province from city center to rural areas increasing the unaffordability and housing security crisis not only for those not able to afford to buy but those of us that rent as well. One would assume that these two issues go hand in hand but with no data to support extreme measures in increased property tax rates from last year it all settles to the top of a consumer gouge in the guise of pandemic business woes. This was in part covered by CBC news in the beginning of May with talking points on some of the major players for low-income housing in Nova Scotia. You can read the full article here: https://newsinteractives.cbc.ca/longform/apartments-halifax . There’s also an interesting local article on what I’ve spoken on above and will below here : https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/real-estate-boom-evictions-tenants-landlords-nova-scotia-1.5993233

 

Our situation here has been driven by our local and provincial governments ability, or luck others might say in handling the pandemic thus far. We’ve seen the least amount of cases per capita of Covid-19 and thus have not had as many “lock-downs” or “circuit breakers” as various states and provinces are calling it. Coupled with the relatively median low housing costs that our province has always enjoyed has brought new people from provinces not so lucky. They are purchasing not only homes but income properties alike in droves. Nova Scotia in previous years was labeled the “have-not” province and lacked any real industry driver .While respectively this province had strong employment in the way of Tourism, Lobster fishing , Christmas tree arboriculture , Gypsum mining or just being deployed within Department of Defence to CFB Stadacona , Halifax, CFB Greenwood or CFB Shearwater with at least 40% of Canada’s military assets, alas this can’t be done by every one of us here and thus employment rates were not always optimistic in this province, This pushed the majority of the Maritime youth to Alberta and western Canada to pursuit their ideas of a Maritime fortune in the Athabasca oil sands of Norther Alberta, Diamond and Nickle mines of Manitoba and more for well over a decade starting in 2004. I should know I was one of them and worked for Chrysler Canada until the wildfire in 2015-2016 which devastated the Northern Communities of Alberta. These people are coming back home to a different province if they already have not. Returning to the pandemic, a majority of employed adults say the responsibilities of their job can be mostly done from home (55% in average in the U.S. and Canada by latest statistical data) thus making my part of the world rather attractive as of late.

 

I had at one-point last year asked myself the usual things when faced with tough times ahead, the general “why us” questions passed my mind, But I truly wanted to know if this was isolated to here or a global issue? Was there a real tipping point passed for the lower classes in the western world. I found no revelation ; it’s what we already know now and some of you may be experiencing it first-hand that globally there is a severe gap between the classes as we knew and I don’t believe Covid-19 was to blame but rather the spark.

 

It has been said that those in infectious disease epidemiology recognize that in the last 25 years, we've had seven or so of these events. This is not the first one and it's a repetitive issue: they see the emergence of a virus that causes an epidemic in man, they try to understand it, mitigate it, and do the best that they can to put out the fire and that only now monitoring for novel viruses that might emerge will be a priority among the political spectrums. Regardless of your school of thought whether it be the pandemic was a surprise or a conspiracy theory of sorts it can be said that for the majority of western society it caught us completely unprepared and off guard and we are only seeing the being of suffrage by the least fortunate.

 

In October of 2020 the World Bank advised that global extreme poverty is expected to rise in 2020 though 2021 for the first time in over 20 years as the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic compounds the forces of conflict and climate change, which were already slowing poverty reduction progress, further that eight out of 10 ‘new poor’ will be in middle-income countries and that prospect of less inclusive growth is a clear reversal from previous trends. Shared prosperity increased in 74 of 91 economies for which data was available in the period 2012-2017, meaning that growth was inclusive and the incomes of the poorest 40 percent of the population grew. In 53 of those countries, growth benefited the poorest more than the entire population. Average global shared prosperity (growth in the incomes of the bottom 40 percent) was 2.3 percent for 2012-2017. The future as it stands suggests that without quick and immediate policy actions, the COVID-19 crisis may trigger cycles of higher income inequality, lower social mobility among the vulnerable, and lower resilience to future shocks.  The report calls for collective action to ensure years of progress in poverty reduction are not erased, and that efforts to confront poverty caused by COVID-19 also face threats that disproportionally impact the world’s poor at the same time, particularly conflict and climate change.

 

For our friends south of the border, On March 2nd 2021 Human Rights Watch organization said the United States government has made little progress in stemming the rise in poverty and inequality during the Covid-19 pandemic. The government should take urgent action to address the rights of millions of people suffering the compounded economic and social impacts of the pandemic.

 

Since the start of the pandemic, 74.7 million Americans have lost work, with the majority of jobs lost in industries that pay below average wages. Many of those who lost work and income are running out of money and savings. In January, some 24 million adults reported experiencing hunger and more than six million said they fear being evicted or foreclosed on in the next two months due to their inability to make housing payments. By contrast, higher-income people have been relatively unscathed economically. Despite the worst economic contraction since the Great Depression, the collective wealth of the US’ 651 billionaires have jumped by over $1 trillion since the beginning of the pandemic, a 36 percent leap. Recent Census Bureau data this year shows how households with different incomes are coping with the pandemic and that low-income households are disproportionally struggling for their social and economic rights to be met. Among households with incomes below $35,000, 47 percent of adult’s report being behind on housing payments, and 25 percent say they struggle to put food on the table. Thirty-two percent of low-income adults said they had felt depressed in the previous seven days.

 

Continuing from the January report based on the census data, more than one out of 10 adults lived in a home where there was sometimes or often not enough food to eat in the previous week. Food insecurity was particularly high among households that had lost employment during the pandemic. Three out of four food-insecure households have experienced job loss since the pandemic began and 58 percent did not have work at the time of the survey. More than half of adults in food-insecure homes have children living with them. Nearly two-thirds of food-insecure families reported that in the previous seven days it was “sometimes” or “often” true that their “children were not eating enough because we just couldn’t afford enough food.”

 

For us here in Canada heading into the Covid-19 pandemic, the poverty rate in Canada was declining and income inequality was falling too.  Rumblings via the internet are reporting that early released findings by statistics Canada are going to advise in Tuesday May 25th’s report that government support measures largely mitigated declines in employment and earnings. It remains to be seen just how the pandemic has impacted poverty in Canada. Previous data has shown that “middle” and “low” class families along with Seniors and single parent families struggled the most last year.

 

Food insecurity has a similar situation in Canada, before the pandemic, an estimated 4.5 million Canadians experienced food insecurity, which the non-profit defines as inadequate or insecure access to food due to financial constraints.

In the first two months of the global outbreak, Community Food Centres Canada said that number had grown by 39 per cent, meaning food insecurity affected one in seven people, particularly those in low-income situations. Further many of the Charities and non-profits that would help bridge the gap in food security issues for low income families are struggling to stay afloat during and after the first wave of the pandemic. Lower income people weren't among those stocking up on groceries and medications when these lockdowns hit, as doing that takes resources most simply don't and didn’t have.

 

The mid-lower to lower classes are still functioning hand to mouth as they did before the pandemic, except now the western world is a hot mess of rising food prices, rental housing insecurity and declining mental health, issues which impacted impoverished people disproportionately when society was ostensibly running like it's supposed to. 

 

 

 

Covid-19 was the spark….

 

The disproportionate impact of the pandemic on low-income people underscores the urgency of addressing the precarious financial situation that low-wage workers faced even before the pandemic however I personally believe our fragile system was broken well before the pandemic. This was hailed from respected thinkers from Noam Chomsky to conspiracy literatures like the late Michael Rupert. Policy makers in the U.S. believe that raising the minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour may raise it to a level of a “livable wage”, Unfortunately, because the government in both U.S. and Canada does not mandate a living wage, employers are slow to be made aware of and adopt a living wage. Further the ideal has been touted as being effective for combatting poverty and addressing wage inequality… perhaps.

 

In Canada the idea of Universal Basic Income has been floated, like our friends in Scandinavian countries. The motion put forward by the National Democratic Party (NDP) in the Canadian House of Commons, M-46, called on Ottawa to work with provinces, territories and Indigenous communities to deliver a minimum income for all adult Canadian. Time will tell if such a system is adopted however given government track records in Canada to get the ball rolling, if it does become material it will be too late. Critics say a UBI may not be the best way to reduce poverty, because it could mean less targeted supports for historically marginalized groups. They say the country should look at bolstering existing programs instead. Others say that it would incur extensive tax rate hikes much as I mentioned like our friends in Scandinavian countries currently pay.

 

Both governments herald the various stimulus packages as saving the day, I would say rather from immediate complete collapse to a slow burn. Various critics in both the U.S. and Canada have said that simply offering low income people the same funding as before or even the little extra that might be gained through these stimulus programs but may not be enough, and will soon end in Canada in the fall of this year. The plethora of information published, uploaded, written on the future economic outlook via hundreds of pages of internal reports from top Wall Street banks and dozens of columns from the world’s leading economists on stimulus-driven inflation is staggering to say the least. While some say that worries about an inflation shock are way overdone, particularly given the scale and severity of the damage wrought by the pandemic, it is transparent in the same materials that in North America and some parts of the “western world”, Will be Paying for Coronavirus Stimulus by Printing Money. We only need to take stock of history and look to the Song Dynasty and China.

 

Businesses will never go back to succeeding based on business models pre-COVID. Now, there is a permanent shift in business strategy. While big retail brands changed a decade of innovation in just 90 days during 2020, many smaller businesses were wiped out completely along with it those impacts to the owners and employees of such businesses and aiding in the creation of an economic domino effect and Nearly all of the small leisure, hospitality and retail businesses in the U.S. and Canada that remain closed because of the pandemic will never reopen.

 

 

 

The current outlooks grim to say the least, there are several systemic issues, including a “frayed social-safety net,” the rising cost of living, and an abundance of precarious, poorly paid jobs in both countries that were forbearing the pandemic that allowed us to reach this point. There will be expected and usual “too little, too late” policies and actions given by those in political power here in the western world, however if we listen closely one might hear the third world laughing at us. It brings to mind the popular internet meme “first time” with actor James Franco shown above (a clip from the “Ballad of Buster Scruggs” a great collection of stories in a wild west setting). The western world as we’ve known it is soon for a reality check with cases of food and housing insecurity on the constant rise and the real situation now of millions of people going hungry or are on the brink of losing their home or seeing their utilities shut off in some of the world’s wealthiest countries. It’s a clear indictment of a failed safety net and the urgent need to address people’s rights to food and housing.

 

Poverty data is typically drawn from household surveys, and for obvious reasons it is nigh impossible to conduct proper surveys under current conditions in many countries. But we do know that the strongest driver of poverty is economic growth and for this indicator there is no technological or financial reason to accept the reversals in global poverty with COVID-19 as the catalyst. The damage is due to a lack of political will and international leadership on the issue and currently there is no infrastructure to support this level of instability and level of need.

 

If the powers at be want to address the economic insecurity and inequality that the pandemic has exposed and exacerbated, they need to make ensuring economic and social rights for all a priority, this means building a universal and strong social protection system and investing in public services, notably education, health care, housing, and an adequate standard of living.

 

The pandemic taught those who were watching that impoverished people are more likely to work low-wage jobs without benefits; they're also more likely to work in retail or service, which meant over the past year and a half either risking exposure to a potentially deadly virus or being one of millions who were laid off from their employment and have seen very little in the sense of rehiring due to the second and third waves. This group of people are less likely to get tested early, to have health coverage for those in the U.S., to be allowed to work from home, to get paid leave and to work or study from a video-streaming connection. By contrast, wealthier people are apt to have jobs where they can work from home, receive more employment insurance, and are more likely to have savings, assets or credit to fall back on. 

 

No matter how you slice it, the pandemic did set off the faults in our systems and adversely and disproportionately impacted the working poor and economically disadvantaged people. 

 

The once hidden scourge of homelessness or insecure housing will be more at the forefront in the coming months with runs the gamut of youth “couch-surfing,” to people who can’t afford household fixes or upgrades that would allow them to live comfortably. We’ll be sure to see more living in tents, sleeping rough in the woods and sleeping in cars. The western world is used to seeing single individuals in these situations and has ignored them, what will happen when we see more and more families do this? Will UNICEF make donation drives and commercials about us when we are starving? 

 

With respects to the Preparedness Project one of part of the mission is not only to be prepared for Ecological/Environmental crisis but the failing security of our financial system. I believe this goes hand in hand, we cannot ask people assist in combating climate change when there is no food on the table.

 

 

With uncertain times comes uncertain thinking and some might be waiting for that “Great Reset”, Market crash or an apocalyptical “Mad Max” scenario. While the global markets may have some turmoil ahead we’ll leave that subject for another blog, Anyways I have too much dad fluff to look good in that “Road warrior” leather jacket. In the mean time we’ll take the eleven degrees Celsius, warm sun and the gentle breeze and the over active bird season here today, a barbeque and some play with bubbles for the kids while we can enjoy our backyard green-space. 

 

Above all else, we need to take care of each other right now — everyone, all of us. Regardless of our class — of our income, our credit ratings, our social status — every single person in our community deserves to be safe, healthy, warm and fed, not only during these rough times but for the next few years.

 

 

                                                                                 - S.M. Jenkins

 

 

 

If you are or know someone in need of Mental Health services or Food support please follow the links below that apply to you: 

 

 

U.S.

https://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank

https://www.mhanational.org/get-involved/contact-us

 

 

Canada

https://www.foodbankscanada.ca/utility-pages/find-a-food-bank.aspx

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/mental-health-services/mental-health-get-help.html

 

 

U.K. & SCOTLAND

https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank/

https://mentalhealth-uk.org/help-and-information/contact/

 

 

EIRE / Ireland

www.feedireland.com

https://www.mentalhealthireland.ie

 

 

 

 

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Friday, 21 May 2021 13:34

Noam Chomsky Quote PL Council

 
 
 
Every now and then I get discouraged trying to warn people that there is a storm coming and getting little or no reaction. Then I receive confirmation and inspiration as follows. Then I see I am on the right side and on the right course. We are at war and for the sake of our children and grandchildren, we better win.
 

"Dear friend,

We are at a remarkable moment: a moment that is unique in human history, a moment both ominous in portent and bright with hopes for a better future. The Progressive International has a crucial role to play in determining which course history will follow. The crises we face in this unique moment of human history are of course international. Environmental catastrophe, nuclear war, and the pandemic have no borders. Two internationals are forming to confront the crises of this historical moment. One is the Progressive International. The other is a Reactionary International comprising the world’s most reactionary states. The two internationals comprise a good part of the world, one at the level of states, the other popular movements. Each is a prominent representative of much broader social forces, which have sharply contending images of the world that should emerge from the current pandemic. One force is working relentlessly to construct a harsher version of the neoliberal global system from which they have greatly benefited, with more intensive surveillance and control. The other looks forward to a world of justice and peace, with energies and resources directed to serving human needs rather than the demands of a tiny minority. It is a kind of class struggle on a global scale, with many complex facets and interactions. It is no exaggeration to say that the fate of the human experiment depends on the outcome of this struggle. Noam Chomsky PI Council"

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Its Emergency Preparedness this Week 2021 - May 2 to 8, 2021 In Canada.Some natural disasters may be beyond our control, but there are ways to reduce the risk and the impact of whatever emergency we might face - whether natural or human-induced.
Emergency Preparedness Week encourages Canadians to take concrete actions to be better prepared to protect themselves and their families during emergencies. This special week is a national effort or provincial and territorial emergency management organizations, and Public Safety Canada.
 
I encourage you to take the time to review your Fire and Emergency Plans and review on how to better prepare yourself and your family for any emergencies you may encounter at home.
By taking a few simple steps, you can become better prepared to face a range of emergencies - anytime, anywhere. It is important to:
 
- Know the risks - although the consequences of disasters can be similar, knowing the risks specific to our community and our region can help you better prepare.
- Make a plan - it will help you and your family know what to do
- Get an emergency kit - during an emergency, we will all need some basic supplies. We may need to get by without power or tap water. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours in an emergency.
 
Visit www.getprepared.ca for more resources to help you and your family prepare for all types of emergencies.
Also the Preparedness group has outdoor and survival guides alike available here : http://www.thepreparednessproject2018.com/.../survival...
 
This year, the COVID-19 global pandemic continues to have unprecedented impact on Canadians and the world we understand that we all have a role to play in emergency preparedness.
This week, i encourage you to take concrete actions to be better prepared. Please do your part. Experience has shown that individual preparedness goes a long way yo help people cope better - both during and after a major disaster. Get an emergency kit now - it can make a world of difference.
Of course there are many variations of Preparedness so please help our community grow to prepare and challenge the Eco, Geo-political,Geo-financial and political emergencies as well.
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You’d think the billions of dollars multinational pharmaceutical giant Pfizer was getting in subsidies to develop the COVID-19 vaccine, and raw dollars from governments who were buying it, would be enough.Instead, Pfizer has submitted documents ahead of the next federal budget asking for a tax cut, in the form of more credits for research. They want the corporate tax rate to stay as it is, but claim Canada should ease off its closing of loopholes that allow companies to move profits around in their books from high-tax to low-tax jurisdictions.
 

From The Globe and Mail:

“To retain and grow biopharmaceutical manufacturing and R&D activities in Canada, the tax regime must provide certainty and predictability in order to be effective as incentive for investments. […] Unfortunately, over the last decade, Canada has been viewed as a jurisdiction in which transfer pricing is systematically and aggressively challenged by the Canada Revenue Agency.”
This isn’t quite extortion, as it’s not a direct threat about the COVID-19 vaccine. However, the letter does go on to say that if OECD proposals to close off this tax loophole were implemented in Canada, they’d “introduce additional uncertainty for [multinational enterprises] and discourage them from maintaining or growing their activities in a country like Canada.”
 
 
 
 
So there you have it. Let us move our profits offshore, or we’re going to do less business in your country, and don’t forget all that vaccine stuff you’re getting.
 
Neat!
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Sunday, 17 January 2021 20:03

We need to "Dig Deeper"

This week Jocelyn Jollymore posted on our Facebook Group page a very interesting piece of digital art, So interesting in fact we thought it was important to blog.With a digging unrelated to the message of the piece we found its creator is Alyse Ruiani whom to quote " I create illustrations and designs about topics like mental health, body positivity, self care, and social justice, informed by my lived experience, art background, and clinical training. And then I make items that reflect these things to serve as little reminders and affirmations for you to enjoy every day" . We found her message on the piece and wanted to share it with you : 

 

 


"It’s mental health awareness month. And I know a lot of advocates feel weary, because this month can be filled with surface level “awareness” rather than actual conversation and taking action. And I agree. If we want to address mental health, we need to dig deeper. 

We cannot just rely on what we have been doing, because so many people are being failed. We need to go beyond the medical model and pathologization to see what is really there. So many people have completely reasonable responses to the things that have or are happening to them, to the harm that is being or has been done, to the ways the system has and continues to fail them. 

People are not just a set of symptoms or a list of diagnoses. They are full human beings with an array of experiences in which they react to. Are we pathologizing grief? Are we considering the intersecting identities each person holds? Are we recognizing the mental affects of experiencing racism, homophobia, colonialism, ageism, ableism—all of the ways that people are othered?

We can’t just slap a diagnosis on someone, give them some meds, and throw them into treatment. We need to look at the big picture. We need to advocate for the resources and the laws and the change that would make life worth living for more folks. We need to dig deeper if we want to truly help, truly see and hear the people we work with, and truly make a difference. "

 

https://alyseruriani.com 

Want a print? https://alyseruriani.com/products/dig-deeper-print
Want a digital download? https://alyseruriani.com/prod.../dig-deeper-digital-download

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Friday, 20 January 2017 02:15

ESS Lecture Series

Fall 2018 Term:
ESS Lecture Series
Unless otherwise noted, all lectures begin at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday nights in Ondaatje Hall, 6135 University Avenue, Marion McCain Arts & Social Sciences building. 
All welcome. Free of charge. Limited seating -- please arrive early.
Fall 2018 Term:
27 September. Our Energy Future: Lithium-Ion Batteries and Electrochemical Energy Storage
Jeff Dahn, Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax NS.
Jeff Dahn has been working on lithium and lithium-ion batteries for 40 years in industry, government and academia. He won the inaugural Governor General's Innovation Award in 2016 and NSERC's Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal in Science and Engineering (Canada's top Science Award) in 2017. His laboratory is now partnered with Tesla in an NSERC Industrial Research Chair program.

The world is shifting more and more to renewable sources of energy like solar, wind and tidal. However, the sun does not always shine, the wind does not always blow and tidal flows are sometimes zero. Electrochemical energy storage (in batteries) is needed to deal with this variability when the fraction of renewables on the energy grid becomes large. In this talk, Jeff will highlight Dalhousie and Canadian contributions to the science and technology of lithium-ion batteries that are helping with the transformation to renewable energy and electric vehicles.
Dalhousie's Faculty of Science Bicentennial Lecture

For any one local that wants to attend.

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