Archive for ◊ August, 2011 ◊

• Thursday, August 25th, 2011

It seems counter-intuitive, but you can never estimate how many people will use a new bridge by counting the number of people currently swimming across the river.

This group advocates more spending for public transportation, but where will the money come from in the provincial budget? Ultimately, it seems riders will have to share more of the burden.

Source: Montreal Gazette

Unless Quebec changes its spending priorities and abandons or puts on ice some of its plans to expand the road and highway network, a crisis will follow, Alliance members warned.

“We are like a housing cooperative that is using our reserves to put in a swimming pool, rather than fix the leaky roof,” said Christian Savard of Vivre en Ville.

According to a report released Wednesday by the Alliance, studies have shown that building more road capacity only results in more congestion. For each increase of 10 per cent in road capacity, there is a 4.7 to 12.2 per cent increase in road congestion within 10 to 15 years.

• Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011


A growing number of individuals believe our economic and societal status quo is defined by unsustainable addiction to cheap oil and ever increasing debt. With that viewpoint, it’s hard not to see a hard takedown of our national standard of living in the future. Even harder to answer is: what do you do about it?

Charles Hugh Smith, proprietor of the esteemed weblog, sees the path to future prosperity in removing capital from the Wall Street machine and investing it into local enterprise within the community in which you live. 

Enterprise is completely possible in an era of declining resource consumption. In other words, just because we have to use less, doesn’t mean that there is no opportunity for investing in enterprise. I think enterprise and investing in fact, are the solution. And if we withdraw our money from Wall Street and put it to use in our own communities, to the benefit of our own income streams, then I think that things happen.”

• Thursday, August 18th, 2011
Although I don’t subscribe to the belief that Western civilization will collapse (it is more likely to wind down or power down slowly), there are two separate, active discussion groups on reddit, one for societal collapse, one for post-collapse each with useful discussions on a variety of useful subjects.

This Subreddit is for planning and preparing for what comes after a collapse of society. Head over to r/collapse for tips and info on preparing for the days leading up to and during any sort of apocalypse or general collapse of society as we know it.



On the end of the world as we know it. Crashes, disasters, wars and famines. Diminishing resources, decadent culture. The decline of civilizations, empires & societies. But not necessarily The Apocalypse.

How will we survive? Any ideas?

Discussing peak oil, energy, sustainability, climate change, food, farming, gardening, water, shelter, health, medicine, security, infrastructure, recycling, transportation, scavenging, black markets, bartering.

• Friday, August 12th, 2011

INDIGENE COMMUNITYThere is a lot of great information and inspiring quotes in the Indigene Community web site. Their premise is that there is no need to re-invent the wheel in terms of re-learning how to live sustainably.

They argue that Indigenous Knowledge (IK) provides many blueprints for a post-post sustainable world. This organization was inspired by Stewart Brand’s Long Now project.

Source: Challenge Your World

Built in 1955 by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, LASALLE-GARDENS was inspired by Frederick Law Olmstead’s ‘garden-city’ concept. It currently has 2000 people living in 700 apartments & 50 town-houses on a 33 acre property. Peripheral roads require 1/3rd the number of streets in similar population density as in the rest of Montreal. Park-lands surround most buildings where residents are commonly seen playing, walking and interacting. Some members planted over one hundred maples and pines over 45 years ago which currently reach 50 foot heights providing natural beauty, shade and clean air.

Source: Indigene Community

Blueprints for sustainable development and humaine society are still held by indigenous societies and indeed our own indigenous heritages worldwide.   ‘Indigenous’ is not a function of race but of openess, involvement and inclusion for everyone.  Around the world ethno-historical (indigenous worldview) efforts are being made to compile Indigenous Knowledge IK from thousands of First Nation societies and fragments held by all of us in order to reintegrate this into inclusive living-ecology-economy, abundance and connected cultures today for everyone….

Human culture has perverted its original kind and sustainable operating system due to a pervasive colonial (empire) ‘virus’ by which, we are destroying the planet’s ecological capacities and productivity.  Analogy:  When a computer has a ‘virus’, we reboot it back at a time when the Operating System was integrated, whole and vibrant.  Indigene Community website compiles and attempts to describe the indigenous period, principles and practices, which cover hundreds of thousands and millions of years of human life on earth.  Humanity can find abundance and guidance from indigenous roots.  We won’t reinvent our way out of problems using the same understandings which create them.

• Monday, August 08th, 2011

Stocks and Italian bonds aren’t the only asset selling for cheap these days ;)

Usually these barrels cost about $80-100.

Source: Montreal Gazette

In an effort to reduce water seepage into Montreal’s overloaded sewage system, the city will sell 1,500 rain barrels to citizens across the island in the coming months.

The barrels, which are expected to gather about 70,000 litres of water annually, will have the dual effect of easing the strain of Montreal’s aging underground infrastructure while making additional water available for vegetation.

“This project will also make Montrealers aware of the importance of responsibly using our natural resources,” said city councillor Alan DeSousa, the head of Montreal’s sustainable development department.

The barrels will be installed at the foot of buildings with a gutter system that ordinarily sends water into a sewage run-off. Since much of the water would usually sit in a metal gutter and evaporate, the city is saying the project will reduce humidity and heat on the island as well.

The city will charge $20 for the rain barrels, which can hold up to 200 litres of water.

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• Monday, August 01st, 2011

Robots WorkingThe trajectory of our modern economy is clear: people are redundant.

Corporations would rather buy robots to make things. They are cheaper, more efficient, more accurate in most cases and won’t unionize or commit suicide in defiance of poor working conditions.

Corporations are making enormous amounts of money not hiring people and why should they when machines will do the job faster, cheaper and better? Apple (AAPL) sits on about $76 billion of cash, Intel (INTC) about $20 billion and Microsoft (MSFT) about $40 billion. They won’t hire a single person unless they can make money from that hire. That’s just the nature of business.

This isn’t news if you’ve been paying attention. The real question then becomes: how do we feed, clothe and house people who do not serve any corporate interest outside of consuming corporate goods?

How do we sustain people who no longer are a cog in the capitalist wheel? And do not assume that you are immune from such a fate. Practically any job title besides “Owner” can be outsourced or replaced by a machine.

Source:  Xinhua

Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn will replace some of its workers with 1 million robots in three years to cut rising labor expenses and improve efficiency, said Terry Gou, founder and chairman of the company, late Friday.

The robots will be used to do simple and routine work such as spraying, welding and assembling which are now mainly conducted by workers, said Gou at a workers’ dance party Friday night.

The company currently has 10,000 robots and the number will be increased to 300,000 next year and 1 million in three years, according to Gou.