OM’s Chatter: Two Votes & A Mooch

No Natural Disasters Here, Metaphorical or Otherwise

On this episode of OM's Chatter we start off in the US where we discuss attempts to discuss what a repeal of Obamacare might actually look like (Repeal the whole thing? Half of it? The Republican's can't seem to decide) and briefly discuss the latest WH sycophant, Anthony "The Mooch" Scaramucci, and what this 'loyalty' based merit system is doing to the administrations image. Next up, we pop over to Britain to discuss what impact the banning of diesel and petrol cars and vans will have on lower-income people and those living in the developing countries that supply the ingredients to make electric and hybrid car batteries. Second last, Karan chimes in with a bit about an escalation of tensions at the

Impeachment Trials & Electoral Tribulations

The Round-Up Three Elections Gunman Referendum

The World in a Flash This first Round-Up of 2017 finds us dealing with the ghosts of 2016, but also celebrating moving forward. We look at what questions the Israeli police had for Prime Minister Netanyahu, what on earth is happening in The Gambia, China's renewable energy investment, the trials of South Korea's President and her 'confidant', the continued food insecurity issues in Venezuela, and the resignation of the top UK ambassador the EU.    1. Netanyahu Questioned by Police Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hit the headlines this week as part of a corruption probe by police investigators. According to Israeli police, the Prime Minister was questioned for more than three hours at his residence. The questions surround his receipt of illicit gifts

Public Policy in North America: Minorities & Negative Environmental Effects

Disproportionate levels of health, education, and other palpable conditions associated with inequality levels in society is not a new discovery. However, with the growing attention paid to the effects of climate change and the more urgent need to maintain a healthy environment, there has been increasing awareness of the disproportionate environmental conditions of vulnerable and minority communities. This increasing awareness has also highlighted how slow moving the field is -- articles from decades ago already highlight the environmental discrepancies between white or wealthy communities and poor or coloured communities. This is compounded by the fact that unlike the right to access healthcare and the right to an education, the right to a healthy environment is less concrete, yet has very

Canada Can’t Tackle Climate Change Independently

Refugee camp at Kibumba

This article was originally posted on April 4th, 2016.   It’s no secret. We have all seen various rankings showing Canada as one of the best countries in the world to live in. Its cities also consistently rank highly in publications that examine solely cities. While these lists are far from scientific, they do validate the opinions of many observers abroad, as well as Canadians about their homeland. Immigrants and refugees have long flocked to the true north seeking a better life and, while the government’s history in dealing with minorities has not always been fair, Canada has certainly come a long way from the 19th-century policy of Chinese head tax. Canada’s newest challenge to its stellar reputation — climate change and the

Reflections on Alberta’s New Carbon Tax: An Interview with Ian Kuwahara

A novel carbon tax was set in the Alberta 2016 budget released in April, and was introduced in May in Bill 20: The Climate Leadership Implementation Act. Not without the opposition’s nay, the Bill passed in the legislature early June. Comments poured in from opposition, industry, and analysts alike. Cap-Op Energy, a Calgary-based carbon consulting firm, lies at the heart of such regulation novelty, and was recently featured in a Yahoo Finance story for delivering over a million dollars in verified carbon credits. Ian Kuwahara, the director of quantification and delivery of carbon offset solutions at the firm, sat with iAffairs’ Associate Editor for environmental issues Basel Ismaiel and talked about carbon tax and Alberta’s economy. Basel Ismaiel: Will the new carbon tax

Cutting Consumption of Propaganda: A New Role for the IPCC

Climate Change Scientists

Like it or not, climate change driven by human action is, and will continue to be, one of the biggest challenges that we as a species face. With wide-ranging economic and ecological implications, the world’s top political brass decided to take action and thus the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was formed. The question many of you may be asking is: what is it that the IPCC actually does and why you may not have seen or heard anything recently. Fair questions. Though IPCC received the Nobel Peace Prize along with Al Gore in 2007, of late it has been in the news for less than stellar reasons and seems to be asleep at the wheel while facing a

Bangladesh & the Battle between Development & the Environment


Across Bangladesh, and in numerous countries across the globe, a battle between development and the environment is being fought. The winner could well determine the future of the planet. In a mangrove forest at the southeastern tip of Bangladesh, a group of demonstrators and environmental activists recently protested against government proposals to build a coal plant just fourteen kilometres from the UNESCO-listed Sundarbans site. The group marched 400 kilometres from the capital Dhaka to the Sundarbans, one of the world’s largest mangrove forests, and home to hundreds of species of wildlife, including a wide variety of birds, dolphins, and the endangered Bengal tiger. For those involved, and for many of its supporters, the environmental threat posed by the coal-fired power plant

Refuse, Regret, Responding

The Paris Climate Summit has been covered extensively with the world looking to see what the great powers will do to curb climate change. The stakes are high and the tasks are seemingly endless. One of the world’s biggest contributors to climate change, China, has made promises to curb their emissions in the future. The summit preceded extreme smog alerts in the country for the first time since the smog alert system was introduced. The human and environmental health hazards in the country have been egregious for some time. As much pollution as China produces at home, there are illicit groups in the country that have imported significant amounts of pollution in the form of electronic wastes, or e-waste (also

No Country’s Waste: Will Trudeau Pick Up After Harper’s Trash in the Philippines?

Following the recent election, it is clear that many Canadians were eager to rid themselves of the stench that was Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. Former prime minister Harper led the country for almost 10 years that summarily ended in an overwhelming ‘anyone but Harper’ sentiment. While Canadians have been able to sweep Harper aside, he left a legacy that will not be so easily moved. Prime Minister Trudeau has his work cut out for him with many major files piling up on his desk. His early work in office will surely be scrutinized against both his predecessor and – unfortunately – against his father. One festering issue that has been lingering in the Philippines for over two years now could be a