International

REFLECTIONS ON CLIMATE CHANGE By Reiner Hollbach (Article)

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Reiner Hollbach

 The National Post recently published a letter from Kaslo, B.C. which reads in part as follows:<Nov 30 may be one of the most significant turning points in human history. It marks the opening to the Paris summit on climate change …….. Today we are close to the deadline proposed so many years ago. 2020, the year of no return, the year when stabilization targets must be met. The data show, if no action is taken, our trajectory will lead to a 6C increase in global temperatures by 2100 ……. But there is still time ….. to avert the potentially catastrophic tipping point…>’

A cris de ceur from the grassroots. This letter writer should, however, feel reassured to know that the campaign to head off climate change at the pass counts among its supporters none other than President Obama, the Commander-in-Chief of the world’s most powerful nation.

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"HUBRIS" A HARD LOOK AT CLIMATE CHANGE By Michael Hart (an excerpt)

 

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 Michael Hart

Michael Hart's book "Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics, and Politics of Climate Change" is available in Ottawa at Books on Beechwood  and on Kindle, Kobo, and IBook.

The Canadian International Council’s Ottawa branch featured the book and he was a panellist at its meeting discussing Canada’s stance at the Paris meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change

For further information, go to http://compleatdesktops.com/hubris-the-troubling-science-economics-and-politics-of-climate-change.

AND,  RIGHT NOW - the first chapter of the book is available right here

 

CANADIAN ELECTION BENEFITS THE AMERICAS By Paul Durand (Article)

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Paul Durand’s article was published in the  'LATIN AMERICA ADVISOR', Washington, D.C. - October 21, 2015

Note: As this article was written principally for an American audience, it tends to cover terrain already well known to Canadians 

The Canadian election of October 19, 2015 produced a stunning result - a massive defeat for Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party, and a convincing victory for Justin Trudeau's Liberals. But observers shouldn't be surprised; the Conservatives'  nine-year rule under Harper  was simply out of synch with Canadian instincts and values. That it lasted so long is attributable to the split of the progressive vote between the Liberal and New Democratic parties; the Liberals' decisive victory under Justin Trudeau (son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau) has put an end to that.

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RUSSIA, CORRUPTION AND THE DARK SIDE OF THE BEAUTIFUL GAME By Jeremy Kinsman (Article)

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Watching the talented, spirited athletes at the FIFA Woman’s World Cup is balm for one’s spirit in a troubled time. They are true exemplars of The Beautiful Game. But off the field, behind the glamour and FIFA’s front-office bravado, there is the stench of corruption.

Corruption is the way of so much of the world. Grease a palm, skim a cut off the top, sell an inside tip, peddle influence… These are reflexes like breathing in most places. Nothing much gets done there without them. From a dictator’s family selling mining concessions down to the traffic cop squeezing a motorist, the privilege of office is a license to extract gain.

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RESCUE! By Terry Colfer (Article)

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Terry Colfer
 
A few years ago, following retirement from the Foreign Service, I renewed my pilot’s license after a ‘short’ interruption of a few decades. Since then, I have flown (out of Ottawa/Rockcliffe) mainly in the eastern ON region. However, I have completed a couple of single engine, long haul flights from the nation’s capital (to Victoria/Seattle and to Florida).

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OUR MAN IN TEHRAN - KEN TAYLOR AT THE BYTOWNE by Chris Westdal (Comment)

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"It felt like the good old days, when Ministers and civil servants trusted one another and worked together with mutual respect. Why, here you had former Foreign Minister Flora MacDonald not only remembering the Sheardowns, but emphasizing the crucial roles John and Zena had played in the rescue. Here you had good will and banter between former PM Joe Clark and those who'd served him - Ken Taylor, Roger Lucy, Michael Shenstone ... the whole team. The evening recalled a different world, a better one, with appreciation for foreign service and diplomatic capacity. Here's hoping such productive relations might before long be restored between our government and its still willing servants at home and abroad."

 

MEXICAN FUTBOL By Don Caldwell

 

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Don Caldwell

Most of you will be anxious to know how the Mexico-USA grudge match turned out,and too busy to look it up, so here is a report.

After a week of hype, capped off by more than two hours of frenzied pre-game coverage, Mexican fans were pumped by match time yesterday at noon. TVC Mexico – the equivalent of CBC without the subsidies, broadcast the match nationally. In their pre-game show (in classic CBC style) they recalled every humiliation Mexico had suffered at the hands of the Americans, including the 1840 military invasion and the illegal annexation of New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and California shortly afterwards.

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URUGUAY: PERSERVERANCE PAYS By Pierre Beemans (Article)

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Pierre Beemans

My wife, Teresa, and I arrived in sunny 30°C Montevideo on February 18, the weekend that the parliamentarians of the newly elected government of President Tabare Vazquez were sworn in. It was the first avowedly leftist government in South America to have won a clear electoral and parliamentary majority. Twenty-five years ago, many of its members were languishing in political prisons. It is hard to seize the scope of such a historical political change in a week and even harder to cover it in a few paragraphs, but for the benefit of those who had to stay behind in sub-zero Ottawa in February I shall try to set out the context and summarize my impressions.

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BOLIVIA: COUNTRY IN CRISIS By Pierre Beemans (Article)

 

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Pierre Beemans

My wife and I spent the first two weeks of February in Bolivia, visiting family and friends and taking in the Carnival celebrations that, while less known than those in Rio de Janeiro -- are among the most exuberant expressions of popular culture in Latin America. Our visit also gave us an opportunity to observe at first hand the political effervescence that had led the country to the brink of near-anarchy -- the meltdown of effective national government...

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