Harper Stumbles

Profile of Steve Carlson

When the NDP government was elected in Alberta, I sold two of my six oil stocks. Yesterday morning before Stephen Harper’s agreement with the G7 was announced to phase out fossil fuels by 2100, I sold two more. This morning I won’t sell my last two. Reason? One of the companies is not active in Canada, the other is on an acquisition march and might become a take-over target itself.

That’s about all the uncertainty I can tolerate in the oil and gas industry. I don’t want to lose any more sleep over the Prime Minister’s commitment. I’ll leave the sleepless nights to Harper and he will be having them. Why? Because in the coming months his Conservative government will likely lose any hope of forming a majority government in the next election and his party may not even form a minority one. In fact, by the end of the year, they may not have much political clout at all. ‘Eastern treachery’ will cost him dearly in the West, although many Conservative voters in provinces to the east of Ottawa aren’t going to be very happy either. Continue reading Harper Stumbles

Doomsday Clock Fizzles Along

Profile of Steve Carlson

Last week the Doomsday Clock moved one minute closer to midnight. Time now, 11:55 PM. Five minutes to doomsday. This symbolic timepiece was conceived to reflect nuclear danger in 1947. Originally set at 11:53 PM, since then it has limped along through 20 changes. In the last few years, the original concept has fizzled into uselessness.

The most blatant limping began on the evening of October 22, 1962 when President Kennedy came on TV and announced that the Soviet Union had installed missile sites capable of delivering nuclear warheads on the United States. Construction of sites was also underway for delivery as far north as Hudson Bay and as far south as Peru. The U.S. proposed that 1) ‘All ships of any kind bound for Cuba from whatever nation or port will, if found to contain cargoes of offensive weapons, be turned back’ and 2) ‘It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the western hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.’ Continue reading Doomsday Clock Fizzles Along

Healthcare, Not Global Warming

Profile of Steve Carlson

This article originally appeared on inciteHEALTH in February, 2009, coincidentally just weeks before the H1N1 flu began to appear in the news. Bill Carrol on Newstalk 1010 only hours ago described government handling of this pandemic as a “complete and utter travesty”. In light of the upcoming Copenhagen Conference on global warming next month, a fresh posting of this article seems appropriate.

Countries have different opinions about exactly which pending apocalypse they should be forestalling with vast sums of money or other resources. The hands-down favourite world-wide catastrophe for many nations, particularly those in North America and Europe, is Global Warming. Other countries, such as China and certain developing African countries, apparently think their top priority lies elsewhere. The government of the former is afraid of mass uprising, the population of the latter faces mass starvation — both attributes of the apocalypse, Totalitarianism, a much more “now” cataclysm. Continue reading Healthcare, Not Global Warming