Cheers & Jeers

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Jeers: To Andy Wells’ parallel scientific universe. The former St. John’s mayor had the opportunity last week to reassert his well-known disdain for sound scientific research. As Public Utilities Board chairman, Wells jumped in to “correct” Newfoundland Power CEO Earl Ludlow on the increasing frequency of hurricanes hitting the province. Ludlow was pointing out how changing climate is affecting the utility’s bottom line. Wells disagreed, saying weather patterns are not changing. Wells, you see, is a global warning denier — one of those people who refuses to accept clear scientific evidence and instead filters everything through the lens of oil industry-funded propagandists and contrarian loons. Thus, all those insane storms we’ve had over the past decade mean nothing. Nor, apparently, do the larger statistics. By the way, Wells also insists pesticides are harmless. We’re not sure where he stands on cigarettes and cancer.

 

Cheers: to storm troopers. And they come in all shapes and sizes. Such as the NL Hydro and Newfoundland Power workers who worked through horrendous conditions Friday to restore power to several parts of the province, including most of the northeast Avalon. There’s also all the snowclearing staff, police, hospital employees and emergency workers who were equally kept on their toes. There’s even a nod to be given to a few young Telegram carriers who made sure Friday’s paper got through to customers.

 

Jeers: to languishing labour conflicts. The St. John’s airport strike has gone on long enough. There seems to be little prospect of ending the strike of 85 staff, all members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. Last month, an attempt to restart talks broke down before they even started, with the airport authority filing a formal complaint with the Canada Industrial Relations Board claiming the union is not bargaining in good faith. The union says the employer has been inflexible in its demand for concessions. Same old story, really. Both need to compromise. And soon.

 

Cheers: to Canada’s aboriginal people. Because they could use a few friendly gestures right now. There’s been a lot of tension and confusion over the past month as the Idle No More movement has quickly gained steam. There’ve been a few controversies, too, notably the revelation of poor accounting practices in First Nations communities. There’ve been bad decisions on both sides, as well as surliness, snubs, arrogance and attitude. Through it all, though, one immutable fact remains: indigenous people were here first, and their descendants have an intrinsic right to govern their own affairs and to be treated with respect and dignity. Here’s hoping cool heads prevail over the coming days and weeks.

Organizations: Newfoundland Power, Public Utilities Board, NL Hydro Public Service Alliance of Canada Canada Industrial Relations Board First Nations

Geographic location: Avalon, Canada

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  • Winston Adams
    January 16, 2013 - 08:07

    John Smith, the warming temperatures, especialy up north, is more rapid than the srientist predicted. CO2 is the main driver, look at the charts. But if you deny the man made causes , what specifically is the present cause? It happened before so we are not contributors now? These present changes are over a very short time frame. Weather Andy beleives in global warming or not, Igor damage is unlikely sufficient to show a increased pattern here of storm damage. But that will likey change. Maybe next rate hike. I guess John, you approve of this rate hike after the one 6 months ago? Needed right?

  • Cold Future
    January 14, 2013 - 11:00

    Give Andy Wells some credit for standing up alone instead of following like the rest of the sheep. PUB, although its days are numbered, serves a purpose and after all the consumer advocate has fumbled and dropped the ball pretty well.There are enough perks in place for Newfoundland Power without a markup for the climate change. Aboriginal rights are good but on their own dime-not with welfare and perks paid by those who work hard for the money.

  • John Smith
    January 14, 2013 - 10:44

    Climate change...absolutely....man made climate change....I don't think so.

    • joe
      January 14, 2013 - 20:45

      exactly. This planet will flick us off when she sees fit. Dinausaurs 300 million years, humans, less

  • saelcove
    January 14, 2013 - 10:29

    Global warning and climate change are as different as night and day, not one and the same

    • Peter Jackson
      January 14, 2013 - 16:04

      For the record, climate change and global warming are interchangeable terms. The former was coined by pollster Gary Lunz during the Bush administration to make ithe phenomenon sound less dire.

  • Billy
    January 14, 2013 - 10:28

    Yeah Andy is an idiot for sure I mean snow used to be over the poles 50 years ago, that was every year. The glaciers are way smaller than they used to be, what a fool.

  • Keith Hannaford
    January 14, 2013 - 08:17

    I'm no climate change denier, but I do think arguments for climate change are exaggerated and inconsistent. Whenever a denier says, "why'd we have our coldest winter in 20 years if the globe is warming?" or some such nonsense, a climate change believer will say, "that's weather, not climate." But then Hurricane Sandy strikes (and hurricanes have been hitting New England since colonial times) and all of a sudden THAT weather phenomenon is solid evidence of climate change. Climate change is happening, but it's happening slowly, and we're already taking measures to counteract it (fuel-efficient cars, energy-saving appliances, etc.). The best thing you can do is regularly e-mail your elected representative with concerns, specific or general, about regulating the carbon output of industry, by far the grossest contributor.

  • Jay
    January 14, 2013 - 08:17

    What was Danny Williams thinking when he appointed this clown to the PUB? He's the main reason why I didn't support sending Muskrat Falls to the PUB. Does anybody know when his appointment is finished?