Archive | June, 2013

Dear Alberta: This Flood is Climate Change

23 Jun

Steady City

Early yesterday morning, my dad texted me to say he fled his home in Canmore, Alberta shortly before the town declared a state of emergency. By noon, my brother was told to evacuate his home in Calgary’s Mission District, near the Elbow River. Later, friends near the Calgary Stampede grounds were told to leave their apartment, bringing enough supplies for a week away. As the day went on text messages, and Facebook and Twitter updates chronicled a province in chaos.

As I’m writing this, 18 Calgary neighbourhoods have been evacuated. More than 100,000 people have been forced from their homes. Eight other Alberta communities are under mandatory evacuation orders and 12 have declared states of emergency.

Growing up in Calgary, I remember many floods, heavy rains, hail and tornadoes. But now, these events are more frequent and intense–as climate change models have long said they would be. More directly…

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Obama’s Next Budget: Why More Cuts Are Coming

8 Jun

Jack gets to the heart of the budget …

Jack Rasmus

With Obama’s publication of his 2014 budget proposals this past April 2013, the current round of deficit cutting set in motion by Obama’s Simpson-Bowles Commission four years ago may be coming to a conclusion of sorts by this September 2013. The important question is: why now a conclusion after four years of deficit cutting negotiations by Obama and Congress? And what might this last act—the final phase in what has been a negotiations farce aimed at creating the appearance of major differences between the two sides—actually produce in terms of federal government spending and tax changes?

To understand the proposals in Obama’s budget it is useful to compare those proposals, and their economic impact on the deficit, with the Congressional Budget Office’s ‘baseline’ budget estimates. The CBO’s baseline represents estimates of the spending and tax revenue levels for the coming decade prior to Obama’s 2014 budget. The differences thus reveal…

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