A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
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Sunday, August 9, 2020

Food for thought....


The following food for thought was brought on by a BBC conversation with British scientist James Lovelock on his 101 year with us and who says says population growth means something like the virus is "almost inevitable”


The Gaia hypothesis is a theory put forward, c.1972 by a British chemist, James Lovelock, and an American biologist, Lynn Margulis, that the living and the non-living matter defines and regulates conditions necessary for the continuance of life on this planet.

Earth or the biosphere is likened to a vast self-regulating single living organism.......

Consider the COVID-19 virus as Gaia's defensive system, an army of foot soldiers, conveying a strong message that our planet is sick and some remedial measures are necessary to restore its health.


At the moment, the biggest threats to the delicate balance that makes this planet habitable are human-caused climate change and the destruction of biodiversity. Scientists agree that if individuals, businesses, and governments don't take significant action within the next decade to curb emissions, the damage will be catastrophic.............

The novel coronavirus is estimated to have curbed carbon dioxide emissions in China by a quarter. More than 80,000 people in one of the world's biggest industrial polluters have been infected, causing refineries and factories to shut down, and slowing construction activities. …


Beyond debatable scientific credibility, Gaia becomes a very handy philosophical metaphor. What Gaia's hypothesis could be telling us is that the current pandemic is nothing more than a defense mechanism for life on earth, a kind of antibody against an especially aggressive and toxic factor that predates the ecosystem: the human species in permanent demographic explosion.

The virus would be, in this daring hypothesis (since there have been other epidemics when our presence on the planet was much less predominant), a way of abruptly stopping the enormous pressure that our species exerts on the climate and natural disasters, which are increasingly frequent.


Biodiversity is traditionally defined as the variety of life on Earth in all its forms and it comprises the number of species, their genetic variation and the interaction of these lifeforms. However, from past few years the human-driven biodiversity loss are causing more severe and longer-lasting impacts........

Agriculture destroys biodiversity by converting natural habitats to intensely managed systems and by releasing pollutants, including greenhouse gases. Food value chains further amplify impacts including through energy use, transport and waste. The direct effects of urban growth on habitat loss are well understood:Building construction often results in habitat destruction and fragmentation. The rise of urbanization greatly reduced biodiversity when large areas of natural habitat are fragmented. …....


“The overwhelming evidence of the IPBES Global Assessment, from a wide range of different fields of knowledge, presents an ominous picture,” said IPBES Chair, Sir Robert Watson. “The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.”

“Ecosystems, species, wild populations, local varieties and breeds of domesticated plants and animals are shrinking, deteriorating or vanishing. The essential, interconnected web of life on Earth is getting smaller and increasingly frayed,” said Prof. Settele. “This loss is a direct result of human activity and constitutes a direct threat to human well-being in all regions of the world.”


I am no academic or authority on the damage we humans are doing to this closed system on which we all live but reading the above it strikes me that perhaps this world wide virus which has forced us to reduce the ever increasing use of our limited resources is trying to tell is something. It seems to me that the biggest threat to our continuing existence is our own ever increasing population growth even as hundreds if not thousands of the species that share this planet with us die off. However our own species continue to expand exponentially with an increase of population each year of around 80 million. The deaths from covid so far being mere 700 thousand or so, that's no comfort to those who have lost loved ones to it but does perhaps put things in perspective.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

W T F.....

A labour union representing Ontario’s construction industry says its members won’t use the federal government’s new COVID-19 tracking app because it requires the use of smartphones, which are prohibited on job sites for safety reasons.” G&M article...

There are so many things wrong with this that I am forced to break my recent abstinence from internet commentary to question this particular bit of BS.

Firstly why ANY construction company or government would ban the CARRYING of a smart phone at any time is so off the wall as to be bizarre. I note that some government run nursing homes require their staff to leave their cell phones in their lockers also, but at least there a phone system and other staff are very close which is not always the case on a construction site. The USE of said phone for personal communication whilst on the job is an entirely different issue. A worker on the job may well need to quickly call emergency services and personal cell (even though as an 'old fart' I do not normally carry one)phone greatly improve such availability. However on the other hand this application is to report and track the spread of Covid and I cannot see the need or detraction from its use if 'workers' can access it from other than work locations.

In short both Unions and Governments NEED TO SMARTEN UP.... you both are making a mountain out of a mole hill on this one but if it one or the other then workers should insist that they have access to emergency services via cell at all times IMHO.

Rant Off....

PS The friggin 'application' wont work on many older phones or certain systems anyway so its once again a good idea with a failed initiation!

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