Morning Reading on Liquid Natural Gas in British Colombia

Liquid Natural Gas in British Colombia

Lee, Marc, "Australia’s LNG catastrophe: Why Petronas’ LNG cancellation is a blessing for BC : Policy Note" (Policy Note, July 31, 2017).

Let’s recap: even if BC had an LNG industry today, it would be losing money on every tankerload sent to Asia. The people of BC would be paying higher prices for the gas they consume, while getting negligible public return for all that publicly owned gas. GHG emissions would go up instead of down, and there would be very few jobs.

Notes: Marc Lee argues cancelation of LNG project in BC by Petronas is a good thing because the investments only made sense at higher LNG gas prices, and because of all the negative ramifications for the province.

Crane, David, "Oil and gas development won’t be the big drivers of future Canadian prosperity " (The Hill Times, July 31, 2017).

“The projects mean 39,000 jobs to British Columbia during construction with another 75,000 full-time jobs created once in operation,” the Liberals said. Moreover, the platform said, the LNG jobs would be high-paying, in the $100,000-plus range. At the same time, “we can create $1-trillion in economic activity and create the B.C. Prosperity Fund with $100-billion over 30 years.” The platform went on the state that “the government has set a goal of at least three LNG facilities online by 2020.”

None of this has happened. Similar fantasies could be found in Alberta when oil prices were running above US$100. Alberta would have the lowest taxes in Canada, no provincial debt, and the richest public services. It would be a haven of super-prosperity, and the centre of the new Canada, displacing the old Canada of Ontario and Quebec. Today, Alberta is desperate to diversify its economy.

There will, of course, continue to be investments in the oil and gas industry. But this is now a humbled industry and our future strengths will have to be found elsewhere. That is the challenge.

Notes: Crane asks what if Canada won’t actually be an energy super power, what does that mean for the communities that were supposed to find employment and jobs? What might an anthropology of these projects that never were look like?

MacNamara, Kate, "'Dithering' by B.C., Ottawa helped kill Pacific NorthWest LNG, energy CEO says " (CBC News, July 28, 2017).

“The CEO of one of Canada’s biggest natural gas producers says “government dithering” played a role in the cancellation of a massive liquefied natural gas project in British Columbia. “They [Petronas] kept getting held up ...all levels of government were trying to squeeze more money out of them,” said Mike Rose, head of Tourmaline, among the largest gas producers in Western Canada.

Notes: Industry analysts blame BC government for failure the LNG, and argue that prices will rise in the future, with the US route as an export possibility.

The ECHO Research Group

UNBC, "UNBC to lead national research project on impacts of resource development " (UNBC, June 15, 2017).

NBC’s Dr. Margot Parkes and a team of researchers and partners from across Canada have secured a five-year research grant focused on working together across sectors to prevent adverse impacts from resource development, with specific emphasis on rural, remote and Indigenous communities. The study will receive $2 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Notes: Press release from UNBC about the ECHO research project at UNBC, working on preventing adverse impacts on rural, remote and Indigenous communities from resource development.

The ECHO Network, "The ECHO Network (Environment, Community, Health Observatory): Strengthening intersectoral capacity to understand and respond to health impacts of resource development" (UNBC, May 11, 2017).

Notes: Description of the ECHO research network in BC, Alberta, and NB, funded by SSHRC.

My day today

My day today is catching up on reading in the morning, alongside two meetings in the afternoon.

I have just finished my morning writing, and I'm very excited. For the first time since finishing a draft of the book in March, I've been able to focus on one writing project in my morning sessions for ten days straight. I'm making steady progress, according to the brilliant Timing app: an hour and 44 minutes today, and 10 hours and 45 minutes over the last ten days. Best of all, I'm stopping while the going is good, and I feel energized for the next task. It helps that I sit outside, at a table, in my small garden.

The contrast with what I did in most of June and July is striking. I was having trouble with Jessica Abel's one goal to rule them all, and instead was picking away at an article under revise and resubmit, the new book idea about Colombia, one of two grant applications, and a new book idea about New Brunswick. I've picked the first, and in a few weeks should have the article revised and resubmitted.

In the meantime, I'm going to the office to read.

Morning Reading on New Brunswick and Colombia

The land question cuts acorss international boundaries.

New Brunswick and Sisson Mine

McQuarrie, Dallas, "Kent County “water warriors” gather on Elsipogtog, view documentary celebrating their historic victory" (NB Media Co-op, July 18, 2017).

“You have to normalize resistance. You have to normalize it in every aspect of what you’re doing,” Suzanne Patles, in Water Warriors.

Elsipogtog First Nation – The story of Indigenous people, Acadians, and Anglophones in one of New Brunswick’s poorest areas successfully defending their homes and communities from the ravages of shale gas development is now the subject of a new documentary film.

Notes: Water Warriors is a 22-minute short film that documents the resistance to fracking in Kent County by Elsipogtog First Nation and allies in 2013.

D'Arcy, Mark, "“Hands Across the Bay of Fundy” for the future we want" (NB Media Co-op, June 20, 2017).

Heavy rains and winds did not dampen the commitment of the approximately 80 people gathered to protect their communities and the Bay of Fundy from the proposed Energy East pipeline on June 17 in Red Head, New Brunswick. The rally and picnic, organized by the Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association, was the final “Hands Across The Water” event held in the province in June.

Notes: Article describing a protest on the Bay of Funds against the Energy East Pipeline project, which expresses fears from spies and the impact of super tankers on the Bay of Funds written my Mark D’Arcy the Energy East Campaigner for the Council of Canadians.

Council of Canadians Fredericton Chapter,, "March over the Nashwaak River to highlight the secrecy and risks of the Energy East tar sands pipeline project" (NB Media Co-op, June 9, 2017).

A march will be held on Saturday, June 10th in Fredericton across the Nashwaak River, 1:00pm–1:45pm. Starting at 1:00pm, people will meet at the gravel parking area beside 955 Union Street (borders the Nashwaak River and is just below the overpass of the Walking Train Bridge), and then march across the trail bridge over the Nashwaak River.

This march is part of the ‘Hands Across The Water’ events held in June along the proposed tar sands Energy East pipeline route in New Brunswick. This event is organized by the Fredericton chapter of the Council of Canadians.

Notes: Describes a march that would take place on June 17, 2017 from the walking train bridge across the Nashwaak, on the issue of energy east and the Sisson mine

The Land Question in Latin America

Burgos, Stephanie, "Land and inequality in Latin America: a harsh reality unearthed" (Oxfam International, November 30, 2016).

The ownership and control of land by rich elites at the expense of ordinary people is fundamental to understanding the inequality crisis that has engulfed the world. Latin America is a prime example, where extreme concentration of land has been central to its very high levels of inequality. Oxfam’s new report reveals that in recent years this has actually gotten worse. Amazingly, across the Latin American continent, one percent of farms now cover more productive land than all other farms put together.

Notes: Blog post by Oxfam International which summarizes some of the contemporary issues around land and inequality in Latin America, with reference to a new report on land, power, and inequality in Latin America.

Morning Reading on Sisson

This morning I continued reading up on Sisson and oil palm.

New Brunswick and the Sisson Mine

Poitras, Jacques, "How province pressured 6 First Nations to accept Sisson deal" (CBC News, February 13, 2017).

A Maliseet First Nations chief says the New Brunswick government threatened to cancel lucrative tax deals with her band and other Indigenous communities if they didn’t sign an agreement on the Sisson mine. Chief Patricia Bernard of the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation says she doesn’t support the proposed mine, but her band couldn’t risk losing the money it gets from provincial gas, tobacco and sales taxes collected at its Grey Rock commercial development.

Notes: Malisset First Nations Chief claims that the provincial government threatened to cancel tax deals if they did no sign accommodations agreement. The article outlines the importance of tax revenues, but the agreement does not mean support.

Jones, Robert, "Sisson mine approval triggers $3M bonus for 6 Maliseet First Nations " (CBC News, June 26, 2017).

The proposed Sisson tungsten and molybdenum mine near Stanley received federal environmental approval last week, but has triggered a $3-million bonus the province agreed to pay to six Maliseet First Nations—even if the mine was never built.

Notes: CBC article that describes the accommodation agreement with Maliseet First Nations as a bonus, but the company itself notes the project might not go ahead because of low tungsten and molybdenum prices.

Polchies, Andrea L., "Wolustuk Mothers and grandmothers " (GoFundMe, June 27, 2017).

The Wulustukyik (Maliseet) Nation Grandmothers and Mothers are currently out at the sisson mine site in order to prevent the distruction of their ancestral homelands in the heart of their territory.

Notes: The Wulustukyik grandmothers and mothers occupying the Sission Mine site are fundraising on Go Fund Me $10,000. As of June 24, they have fundraiser $1,545.

Paul, Candice, "Maliseet Chiefs respond to CBC story on Sisson" (Conservation Council of New Brunswick, June 29, 2017).

Letter sent by St. Mary’s First Nation Chief Candice Paul on behalf Chief Shelley Sabattis, Chief Gabby Atwin, Chief Ross Perley and Chief Patricia Bernard on June 29, 2017 explaining important details about the Sisson Mine Accommodation agreement.

Notes: The letter raises concerns about inaccuracies in the June 26, 2017 article “Sisson mine approval triggers $3M bonus for 6 Maliseet First Nations” by Robert Jones published by CBC, and contextualizes the Sisson Mine Agreement noting it does not provide Maliseet support for the Mine, as to this day, most of the Maliseet communities and our members oppose the Sisson Mine.

Colombia and Oil Palm

Sánchez-Garzoli, Gimena, "Questions for Luis Gilberto Murillo, Colombia’s Minister of the Environment" (WOLA, May 2, 2017).

While there are diverse environmental issues that affect communities throughout Colombia, the effect of the damage on the majority of afro-descendant and indigenous regions of the Pacific and La Guajira Departments is alarming. Here are some key cases of concern:

Notes: Questions from WOLA to the Luis Gilberto Murillo, Colombia’s Minister of the Environment and former governor of the Chocó, about La Guajira and impacts of coal, oil palm, and agricultural crops on environment, and the Colombian Pacific and impacts of gold mining and coca cultivation, with recommendations of guaranteeing access tower, to address mercury contamination, to open dialogue with afro-Colombian and Indigenous communities, and to implement sustainable coca cultivation.

Timing App

Over the years, I've tried various ways to keep track of my writing. Last year, I logged my daily words counts for my dissertation to monograph writing for about ten months, until being a new professor meant I stopped keeping the log. I kept writing, mind, but ran out of steam in tracking my word counts. However, since I submitted my manuscript a few months ago, I've not been writing productively nor been diligent about tracking where my writing time goes. I've started three or four projects and made little progress on what I need to be doing.

Advice from sources as diverse as Jessica Abel and Paul Silvia suggest keeping track of where your time goes as one step towards being more productive. When I relaized I spend an hour a day reading the newspaper, the excuse I have no time begins to make no sense.

A few days ago, I started to use Timing an app for MacOS X. I've not purchased the app yet, but I plan to because it solves two issues with using a Google Sheet or a custom Tinderbox file to track word counts.

First, the friction of making an entry is almost nill: Click a menu icon, name the item, assign the project, and you're done.

Second, unlike my Google Sheet or Tinderbox, the focus here is not word count, but time. I find writing words easy enough. 99% of my writing is revision. As such, many of my words count entries last year were estimates, a rough guess at how many words I had revised.

I've come to think it more important to account for time spent writing, not words revised. There are other similar apps out there, but I like Timing because it does not sync to a cloud server and therefore there are no privacy issues, because it is not subscription based, and because there is no iPhone app.

The lack of an iPhone app might seem a weakness, but I find it useful to account for what I do on the computer, not everything I do.

A few days into using Timing, and I'm happy. If I am still using the app by the time the free trial runs out, I will purhcase it.

On handwriting

I spent yesterday drafting, longhand, an idea. Sheila Lamb likes to write by hand, too.

The first draft always begins on paper with ink. Sometimes, the first handwritten words are a line, a sentence, a phrase. Sometimes, a scene. Usually, these words will not be in the final story. But they mark the magical moment where the story began.

I spent almost all of yesterday writing. I woke up at 6:30 am, and other than taking my son to school and a little bit of procrastination in the early afternoon, I wrote by hand with a fountain pen in a spiral bound notebook. 34 pages, mostly single spaced.

I agree with Lamb:

I find ideas flow better from paper to pen. When I handwrite, I write fast. Inspiration can be elusive and I want to get the words on paper without disruption. There is a smooth connection from pen to hand, something that, for me, pencils don’t give. Computers certainly don’t. The pen is, literally, a fluid implement. I favor gel pens (a Pilot G-2).

My drug of choice is not a gel pen, although in grad school I used to go through dozens. Instead, it is a Lamy fountain pen. I have three: black, white, and red. I've had the red one since 2013. I probably picked up the habit before that doing ethnographic research in northern Colombia while writing field notes in small notebooks.

Sheila Lamb is a fiction writer; I'm not. But, like her, I like my pens. Her description of transcription as the first edit, and then restructuring and revising on a laptop match what I do. I've used Scrivener, but I prefer Tinderbox. I go back and forth from screen to the printed page often.

What I wrote out longhand might become an article on New Brunswick one day.

Today, I had meetings all day. In the moments I could find, I edited an article that has been under a revise and resubmit for far too long.

Morning reading on July 19, 2018

I’m trying to keep up with the evolving situation of extractive industry in New Brunswick and Colombia. Here’s what I’ve found interesting this morning.

New Brunswick

White, Alan, "Sisson mine impact on Maliseet First Nations 'significant' " (CBC News, April 19, 2016).

There isn’t enough being done to mitigate the impact of the proposed Sisson Brook mine on MaliseetFirst Nations people, states a new report from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

White, Alan, "5 Maliseet chiefs want Sisson mine rejected " (CBC News, April 21, 2016).

The chiefs of five Maliseet First Nations in New Brunswick are calling for the proposed Sisson mine project to be rejected because of its impact on Maliseet people.

White, Alan, "6 Maliseet First Nations agree to Sisson mine deal - New Brunswick" (CBC News, February 10, 2017).

The six Maliseet First Nations in New Brunswick have reached a multimillion-dollar financial deal with the provincial government that clears the way for the Sisson mine project north of Fredericton to proceed.

Bonspiel, Steve, "The Oka Crisis was supposed to be a wake-up call. Little has changed in 27 years " (CBC News, July 11, 2017).

“When the Oka Crisis happened, it was supposed to be a wake-up call, and although certain things changed (Kanesatake got some of its land back, the golf course expansion was halted and the situation put Indigenous rights to the forefront), there is still much to work on, together.”

Fowler, Shane, "Protest camp built on proposed site of Sisson mine project " (CBC News, July 18, 2017).

Members of Maliseet First Nations have started to build a protest camp at the proposed site of the Sisson mine near Napadogan.

White, Alan, "Dominic Cardy calls for 'clarity' on Aboriginal veto " (CBC News, April 22, 2018).

New Democratic Party Leader Dominic Cardy is urging the federal Liberal government to make a decision quickly about the proposed Sisson mine project in New Brunswick.

Colombia

McDermott, Jeremy, "Record Cocaine Production in Colombia Fuels New Criminal Generation" (Insight Crime, July 17, 2017).

Colombia is now producing more cocaine than ever before, just as a new chapter in the country's criminal history begins and the government tries to implement a peace agreement with Marxist rebels.

Sonneland, Holly K., "Explainer: Colombia's 2018 Elections" (Americas Soceity / Council of the Americas, June 28, 2017).

On June 23, former Presidents of Colombia Álvaro Uribe and Andrés Pastrana announced that their parties, the Democratic Center and the Conservative Party, were joining forces to form a “great coalition,” just as campaigning for 2018 elections revs up. The announcement came almost a full year before the elections, but the union now allows the two politicians—both critics of President Juan Manuel Santos’ peace process with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)—to begin to corral mostly right-wing voter support behind a single presidential candidate and start to give some definition to a crowded field with several dozen declared and likely candidates from across the political spectrum.

UNODC, "Colombia: Monitoreo de territorios afectados por cultivos ilícitos 2016" (UNODC, July 1, 2017).

El informe de monitoreo de cultivos de coca para 2016, aparece en un momento histórico trascendental para Colombia. La rma de acuerdos de Paz con la guerrilla de las Farc - Ep y la expectativa por la concreción de un proceso exitoso con el ELN, constituyen elementos clave para entender las estadísticas y tendencias que ofrece el reporte.

Casey, Nicholas, "After Decades of War, Colombian Farmers Face a New Test: Peace" (New York Times, July 19, 2017).

The Colombian government also sees peace as its biggest chance in decades to uproot the rebel-controlled drug trade and replace it with crops that are legal, though admittedly less lucrative.

2017, “Self Help for Writers.” Culture: The Newsletter for the Canadian Anthropology Society, 11.1.

Anthropologist, ethnographer, writer? What am I? I spent seven years as a grad student (two in coursework, two and a half in both fieldwork and writing) and two as a postdoc. Only lately have I begun to identify as a writer. When did this happen? In the morning, I think.

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2017, “The para-state: an ethnography of Colombia’s death squads by Aldo Civico.” Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 42:1, 121-123.

Nobody tells an ethnographer beginning fieldwork that when their work is published it will already be a part of history. Aldo Civico conducted interviews with the foot soldiers and leaders of paramilitary groups in Colombia between 2003 and 2008; the University of California Press published The Para-State: An Ethnography of Death Squads in Colombia in 2016. His book is a history of the recent past, when Colombian paramilitaries were at the apex of their power, their demobilization process with the central government was ongoing, and the 2016 peace agreement between the government and the guerrilla in Havana seemed fantastical. The Para-State treads a careful path through this labyrinthine history of death squads intertwined with the Colombian state and its elites. The result makes for excellent, if disturbing, reading. Excellent and disturbing precisely because Civico takes a path less traveled by observers of Colombia’s conflict. Civico builds on life histories as told by paramilitaries themselves; the focus is not the victim, but the victimizer: the paramilitary supporter, commander, and now dead-eyed young men dressed in new clothes and shiny sneakers who perpetrated killings, conducted massacres, and sowed terror in the name of order.

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