Arctic Vol.10 (Arctic Climate Issues 2011: Changes in Arctic Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost)

Here are a part of charts, graphs, et al. in Arctic Climate Issues 2011: Changes in Arctic Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost | SWIPA, AMAP, IASC, WCRP/CliC, IASSA. Great read. Citations are on our own.
* SWIPA: The Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic
AMAP: The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme
IASC: The International Arctic Science Committee
WCRP/CliC: The World Climate Research Programme / Climate and Cryosphere Project
IASSA: The International Arctic Social Sciences Association
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UK Vol.87 (Post-EUref #Brexit Vol.16: 2017 General Election – Conservative Party Manifesto)

Here is FORWARD TOGETHER: THE CONSERVATIVE MANIFESTO (issuu or PDF) in May 2017. Excerpts are on our own.

…build a Great Meritocracy…

Strong and stable leadership
… Despite predictions of immediate financial and economic danger, we have seen confidence remain high, record numbers of jobs and economic growth that has exceeded all expectations. …
Five giant challenges
1. The need for a strong economy.
2. Brexit and a changing world.
3. Enduring social divisions.
4. An ageing society.
5. Fast-changing technology.
Governing from the mainstream
… Rather than pursue an agenda based on a supposed centre ground defined and established by elites in Westminster, we will govern in the interests of the mainstream of the British public. We will get on with the job and take Britain out of the European Union. …
…there will be no ideological crusades. …
We will govern in the interests of ordinary, working families
We believe in the good that government can do
… If we want to overcome Britain’s enduring social divisions, we will need to give people real opportunity and make Britain the world’s Great Meritocracy. That will require government to take on long-ignored problems like Britain’s lack of training and technical education, as well as long-lasting injustices…
Our principles
… Because Conservatism is not and never has been the philosophy described by caricaturists. We do not believe in untrammelled free markets. We reject the cult of selfish individualism. We abhor social division, injustice, unfairness and inequality. We see rigid dogma and ideology not just as needless but dangerous.
True Conservatism means a commitment to country and community; a belief not just in society but in the good that government can do; a respect for the local and national institutions that bind us together…
A vision of a stronger Britain and a prosperous future

p.12 Summary
p.13 A strong economy is the basis for everything we want to achieve as a nation.
Sound money and responsible public finances are the essential foundations of national economic success.
Keeping taxes as low as possible
Paying your fair share of tax is the price of living in a civilised democracy but politicians should never forget that taxes are levied on businesses that employ people, and individuals who work hard and face tough decisions about how they spend their money. …
By 2020, we will, as promised, increase the personal allowance to £12,500 and the higher rate to £50,000. We will continue to ensure that local residents can veto high increases in Council Tax via a referendum. And we will not increase the level of Value Added Tax.
Corporation Tax is due to fall to seventeen per cent by 2020 – the lowest rate of any developed economy – and we will stick to that plan, because it will help to bring huge investment and many thousands of jobs to the UK. …
Increasing trade
…we want to negotiate a new deep and special partnership with the EU, which will allow free trade between the UK and the EU’s member states. As part of the agreement we strike, we want to make sure that there are as few barriers to trade and investment as possible. Leaving the European Union also means we will be free to strike our own trade agreements with countries outside the EU.
We will ensure immediate stability by lodging new UK schedules with the World Trade Organization, in alignment with EU schedules to which we are bound whilst still a member of the European Union. …
We will create a network of Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioners to head nine new regional overseas posts. These commissioners will lead export promotion, investment and trade policy overseas. We will reconvene the Board of Trade with a membership specifically charged with ensuring that we increase exports from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as England, and that trade policy is directly influenced by every part of our United Kingdom. …
Effective regulation
…we will continue to regulate more efficiently, saving £9 billion through the Red Tape Challenge and the One-In-Two-Out Rule.
… We will therefore examine ways in which the regulation of utilities and transport infrastructure can be improved to deliver a better deal for customers and sharper incentives for investment efficiency.

Conservatives believe that if you value something, you must be prepared to reform it in order to conserve it.
Guaranteeing a decent wage
…now receive a minimum of £7.50 an hour. A new Conservative government will continue to increase the National Living Wage to 60 per cent of median earnings by 2020 and then by the rate of median earnings…
Rights and protections in the ‘gig’ economy
…the government commissioned Matthew Taylor, the chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts, to review the changing labour market. We await his final report but a new Conservative government will act to ensure that the interests of employees on traditional contracts, the self-employed and those people working in the ‘gig’ economy are all properly protected.
Stopping tax evasion
… We will improve HMRC’s capabilities to stamp down on smuggling, including by improving our policing of the border as we leave the European Union. We will also take further measures to reduce online fraud in Value Added Tax.
Protecting private pensions
… A Conservative government will act to tighten the rules against such abuse, and increase the punishment for those caught mismanaging pension schemes. We will build on existing powers to give pension schemes and the Pensions Regulator the right to scrutinise, clear with conditions or in extreme cases stop mergers, takeovers or large financial commitments that threaten the solvency of the scheme. …
Reforming rules on takeovers and mergers
… We shall also take action to protect our critical national infrastructure. We will ensure that foreign ownership of companies controlling important infrastructure does not undermine British security or essential services. We have already strengthened ministerial scrutiny and control in respect of civil nuclear power and will take a similarly robust approach across a limited range of other sectors, such as telecoms, defence and energy.
Fair corporate pay
… Senior corporate pay has risen far faster than corporate performance, and the gap between those paid most and those paid least has grown from 47:1 in 1998 to 128:1 in 2015.
The next Conservative government will legislate to make executive pay packages subject to strict annual votes by shareholders and listed companies will have to publish the ratio of executive pay to broader UK workforce pay. …
Better corporate governance
… To ensure employees’ interests are represented at board level, we will change the law to ensure that listed companies will be required either to nominate a director from the workforce, create a formal employee advisory council or assign specific responsibility for employee representation to a designated non-executive director. …

Our modern industrial strategy is designed to deliver a stronger economy that works for everyone – where wealth and opportunity are spread across every community in the United Kingdom, not just the most prosperous places in London and the south east.
… We will spend more on research and development, to turn brilliant discoveries into practical products and transform the world’s industries – such as the batteries that will power a new generation of clean, efficient, electric vehicles. … We will build on the success of world-beating sectors such as car and aero manufacturing, financial services, life sciences, digital technology and our creative industries… We will deliver the infrastructure – the road, rail, airports and broadband – that businesses need.
Increasing innovation
University investment funds
National Productivity Investment Fund
…a new £23 billion… This will include £740 million of digital infrastructure investment, the largest investment in railways since Victorian times, £1.1 billion to improve local transport and £250 million in skills by the end of 2020. …will take total spending on housing, economic infrastructure and R&D to £170 billion during the next parliament.
Future Britain funds
…backing British infrastructure and the British economy. We anticipate early funds being created out of revenues from shale gas extraction, dormant assets, and the receipts of sale of some public assets. …
The skills we need
… We will therefore ask the independent Migration Advisory Committee to make recommendations to the government about how the visa system can become better aligned with our modern industrial strategy. …
…we will double the Immigration Skills Charge levied on companies employing migrant workers, to £2,000 a year by the end of the parliament, using the revenue generated to invest in higher level skills training for workers in the UK.
Backing small businesses
The Conservative Party is the party of enterprise and of the entrepreneur. …
…we will ensure that 33 per cent of central government purchasing will come from SMEs by the end of the parliament. …
…we will use our buying power to ensure that big contractors comply with the Prompt Payment Code both on government contracts and in their work with others. …
Supporting industries to succeed
Our modern industrial strategy is not about ‘planning’ the economy. …
…advanced manufacturing, such as aero and automotive engineering…
Other industries, like the oil and gas sector, are transforming. The North Sea has provided more than £300 billion in tax revenue to the UK economy and supports thousands of highly-skilled jobs across Britain. …
… Life sciences, for example, employs 175,000 people and many of the world’s top medicines have been developed in the UK. We will continue to support research into the diagnosis and treatment of rare cancers and other diseases, including Genomics England’s work in decoding 100,000 genomes. …
Competitive and affordable energy costs
… Our ambition is that the UK should have the lowest energy costs in Europe, both for households and businesses. So as we upgrade our energy infrastructure…
A diverse energy mix
…while we do not believe that more large-scale onshore wind power is right for England, we will maintain our position as a global leader in offshore wind and support the development of wind projects in the remote islands of Scotland, where they will directly benefit local communities.
Natural gas from shale
We will set up a new Shale Environmental Regulator, which will assume the relevant functions of the Health and Safety Executive, the Environment Agency and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. This will provide clear governance and accountability, become a source of expertise, and allow decisions to be made fairly but swiftly.
Finally, we will change the proposed Shale Wealth Fund so a greater percentage of the tax revenues from shale gas directly benefit the communities that host the extraction sites. …
Investing in transport
We are working through one of the largest-ever investment programmes in our roads and railways, putting some £40 billion into transport improvements…
…our programme of strategic national investments, including High Speed 2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and the expansion of Heathrow Airport…
… We want almost every car and van to be zero-emission by 2050 – and will invest £600 million by 2020 to help achieve it. …

Prosperous towns and cities across Britain
… We will hold a Great Exhibition of the North in 2018, to celebrate amazing achievements in innovation, the arts and engineering. We will support a UK city in making a bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. And in this 70th Anniversary Year of the Edinburgh Festival we will support the development of the new Edinburgh Concert Hall, reaffirming Edinburgh as the UK’s leading festival city and a cultural beacon around the globe.
Our countryside communities
… We will help Natural England to expand their provision of technical expertise to farmers to deliver environmental improvements on a landscape scale, from enriching soil fertility to planting hedgerows and building dry stone walls. …
We will continue to take action to improve animal welfare. We will implement our proposed reforms on pet sales and licensing and will make CCTV recording in slaughterhouses mandatory. …
…decide the future of the Hunting Act.
…a comprehensive 25 Year Environment Plan…
Our coastal communities
… To provide complete legal certainty to our neighbours and clarity during our negotiations with the European Union, we will withdraw from the London Fisheries Convention…

p.30 Summary
p.31 The United Kingdom is embarking upon another era in our centuries-old story.
We are a United Kingdom, one nation made of four – the most successful political union in modern history.
…the 2012 and 2016 Scotland Acts…
… The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union but some would disrupt our attempts to get the best deal for Scotland and the United Kingdom with calls for a divisive referendum that the people of Scotland do not want. We have been very clear that now is not the time for another referendum on independence. In order for a referendum to be fair, legal and decisive, it cannot take place until the Brexit process has played out and it should not take place unless there is public consent for it to happen. This is a time to pull together, not apart. …
… Building on the City and Growth deals we have signed across Scotland, we will bring forward a Borderlands Growth Deal, including all councils on both sides of the border, to help secure prosperity in southern Scotland. We will protect the interests of Scottish farmers and fishermen…
…The 2017 Wales Act…
… We will build on the Cardiff Capital region and Swansea Bay City region deals, and bring forward a North Wales Growth Deal… …such as linking economic development between Cardiff, Newport and Bristol. …
…S4C…the Welsh language…
Northern Ireland
…the 1998 Belfast Agreement…
A Conservative government will continue to work for the full implementation of the 2014 Stormont House and 2015 Fresh Start Agreements. This includes new bodies for addressing the legacy of the past in fair, balanced and proportionate ways which do not unfairly focus on former members of the Armed Forces and the Royal Ulster Constabulary. …
Shared institutions of Union
United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund

… In her Lancaster House Speech, the prime minister laid out the twelve principles she intends to follow in seeking a new deep and special partnership with the European Union. We have explained our approach in the White Paper on the United Kingdom’s Exit from, and a new relationship with, the European Union, during the passage of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act, in the prime minister’s letter to the president of the European Council invoking Article 50, and in the Great Repeal Bill White Paper.
Repatriating EU law to the United Kingdom
…the rights of workers and protections given to consumers and the environment by EU law will continue to be available in UK law at the point at which we leave the EU. … Once EU law has been converted into domestic law, parliament will be able to pass legislation to amend, repeal or improve any piece of EU law it chooses, as will the devolved legislatures, where they have the power to do so.
… We will not bring the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights into UK law. We will not repeal or replace the Human Rights Act while the process of Brexit is underway but we will consider our human rights legal framework when the process of leaving the EU concludes. We will remain signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights for the duration of the next parliament.

… We will continue to champion British values around the globe: freedom, democracy, tolerance and the rule of law. …
British leadership in international institutions
Global partnerships and alliances
…our proposed deep and special partnership with the European Union… …our existing special relationship with the United States… …our close links with our Commonwealth allies…
A global champion of free trade
Promoting British culture around the world
Leading the world in development
…we will maintain the commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of our gross national income on assistance to developing nations and international emergencies.
Reforming asylum
… Wherever possible, the government will offer asylum and refuge to people in parts of the world affected by conflict and oppression, rather than to those who have made it to Britain. We will work to reduce asylum claims made in Britain and, as we do so, increase the number of people we help in the most troubled regions. We will continue to work with other countries in Europe, and the United Nations, to review the international legal definitions of asylum and refugee status. …
Protecting the global environment
…the Paris Agreement. We were the first country to introduce a Climate Change Act, which Conservatives helped to frame, and we are halfway towards meeting our 2050 goal of reducing emissions by eighty per cent from 1990 levels.
… We will work with our Overseas Territory governments to create a Blue Belt of marine protection in their precious waters, establishing the largest marine sanctuaries anywhere in the world.
Modern slavery
… As home secretary, Theresa May brought forward the Modern Slavery Act, the first of its kind in Europe, appointed the world’s first anti-slavery commissioner and set up the Modern Slavery Taskforce to bring together the heads of MI5, MI6 and the National Crime Agency to coordinate our response to criminal gangs operating across the world. …

… We will retain the Trident continuous-at-sea nuclear deterrent to provide the ultimate guarantee of our security.
We have the biggest defence budget in Europe and the second largest in NATO. We will continue to meet the NATO commitment to spend at least 2 per cent of GDP on defence and we will increase the defence budget by at least 0.5 per cent above inflation in every year of the new parliament.
The finest servicemen and women
… Under a Conservative government, British troops will in future be subject to the Law of Armed Conflict, which includes the Geneva Convention and UK Service Law, not the European Court of Human Rights. We will strengthen legal services regulation and restrict legal aid for unscrupulous law firms that issue vexatious legal claims against the armed forces. …
The best equipment for our armed forces
We plan to invest £178 billion in new military equipment over the next decade, creating high-skilled jobs across the whole country. For the first time in a generation the Royal Navy is growing. …
…HMS Queen Elizabeth…HMS Prince of Wales… Alongside our new Type 45 destroyers, we will build eight Type 26 anti-submarine frigates… We shall also deliver five Offshore Patrol Vessels.
For the Army we will deliver AJAX armoured vehicles, Apache attack helicopters, new drones, new missile and bomb systems, and better equipment for the Special Forces. The Royal Air Force will receive, with the Fleet Air Arm, the Lightning II strike fighter, as well as new Maritime Patrol Aircraft. …
Supporting our veterans
…the Armed Forces Covenant. …a one year holiday on Employer National Insurance Contributions… …a Veterans Board in the Cabinet Office.

…collective faith in our democratic institutions and our justice system has declined in the past two decades. …
A flourishing and secure democracy
… We will continue with the current boundary review, enshrining the principle of equal seats, while reducing the number of MPs to 600, similar to other Western democratic chambers. We will retain the first past the post system of voting for parliamentary elections and extend this system to police and crime commissioner and mayoral elections. We will retain the current franchise to vote in parliamentary elections at eighteen. We will repeal the Fixed-term Parliaments Act. …
Celebrating public service
… We will continue to fund schemes to get graduates from Britain’s leading universities to serve in schools, police forces, prisons, and social care and mental health organisations. These programmes are now some of the UK’s largest graduate employers, taking the brightest and best from our universities and using their talents to tackle entrenched social problems. …
Reforming the justice system
Standing up for victims
…the Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme…
Strengthening the police and security services
… We will create a national infrastructure police force, bringing together the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, the Ministry of Defence Police and the British Transport Police to improve the protection of critical infrastructure such as nuclear sites, railways and the strategic road network. We will strengthen Britain’s response to white collar crime by incorporating the Serious Fraud Office into the National Crime Agency… …the National Cyber Security Centre…
Punishment and reform
… The £15 billion annual cost to society of reoffending shows we have so much more to do to make the penal system work better. …
We will invest over £1 billion to modernise the prison estate, replacing the most dilapidated prisons and creating 10,000 modern prison places. …

p.48 Summary
The greatest injustice in Britain today is that your life is still largely determined not by your efforts and talents but by where you come from, who your parents are and what schools you attend. This is wrong. …
More good school places
… There are still 1 million children in primary and secondary schools rated by Ofsted as ’requires improvement’ or ’inadequate’. If schools across the Midlands and north of England had the same average standards as those in the south, nearly 200,000 more children would be attending good schools. …
… We will replace the unfair and ineffective inclusivity rules that prevent the establishment of new Roman Catholic schools, instead requiring new faith schools to prove that parents of other faiths and none would be prepared to send their children to that school. We will work with the Independent Schools Council to ensure that at least 100 leading independent schools become involved in academy sponsorship or the founding of free schools in the state system…
A knowledge-rich curriculum
… To maintain progress as children go through secondary school, we will improve schools’ accountability at key stage 3. We will expect 75 per cent of pupils to have been entered for the EBacc combination of GCSEs by the end of the next parliament, with 90 per cent of pupils studying this combination of academic GCSEs by 2025. …
Supporting teachers
… We will increase the overall schools budget by £4 billion by 2022, representing more than a real terms increase for every year of the parliament. We will continue to protect the Pupil Premium to support those who need it. …
World-class technical education
… We have already introduced high quality apprenticeships that can reach to degree level and beyond for the 200,000 young people who choose to enter full-time vocational study after their GCSEs each year. …
We will start by replacing 13,000 existing technical qualifications with new qualifications, known as T-levels, across fifteen routes in subjects including construction, creative and design, digital, engineering and manufacturing, and health and science. We will increase the number of teaching hours by fifty per cent to an average of 900 hours per year and make sure that each student does a three-month work placement as part of their course. …
… We will deliver our commitment to create 3 million apprenticeships for young people by 2020 and in doing so we will drive up the quality of apprenticeships to ensure they deliver the skills employers need. …
Career learning
More people in work
…we will offer a holiday on their employers’ National Insurance Contributions for a full year. …

Controlling immigration
…with annual net migration standing at 273,000, immigration to Britain is still too high. …
Integrating divided communities
…help women in particular into the workplace, and teach more people to speak English. …
Defeating extremism
a Commission for Countering Extremism

To make Britain the world’s Great Meritocracy…we must look beyond divisions in educational opportunity.
The gender pay gap
… We will require companies with more than 250 employees to publish more data on the pay gap between men and women. …
The race gap
The mental health gap
…since 2010 we have increased spending on mental health each year to a record £11.4 billion in 2016/17, with a further investment of £1 billion by 20/21…
The disability gap
…the landmark Disability Discrimination Act of 1995. …
Preventing domestic violence
Reducing homelessness
…full implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act. Our aim will be to halve rough sleeping over the course of the parliament and eliminate it altogether by 2027. …

Fair markets for consumers
… As Conservatives, we believe in markets as the best means to bring about prosperity and innovation, but we should act firmly and fast when a market works against the interests of consumers. Since 2010, we have capped the cost of credit for expensive payday lenders and will shortly ban letting agent fees. …
… We will strengthen the powers of consumer enforcement bodies to order fines against companies breaking consumer law and deliver redress for wronged parties. … We will strengthen the hand of online consumers. …
… A Conservative government will reform and modernise the home-buying process so it is more efficient and less costly. We will crack down on unfair practices in leasehold, such as escalating ground rents. We will also improve protections for those who rent… We will make billing for telecoms customers fairer and easier to understand… We will reduce insurance costs for ordinary motorists by cracking down on exaggerated and fraudulent whiplash claims. …
Fair energy markets
… First, we will ensure that smart meters will be offered to every household and business by the end of 2020…
… We will introduce a safeguard tariff cap that will extend the price protection…
… We will improve the energy efficiency of existing homes, especially for the least well off, by committing to upgrading all fuel poor homes to EPC Band C by 2030. …
Fair debt
…a “Breathing Space” scheme…

p.62 Summary
… Conservatives believe in balancing the books and paying down debts – because it is wrong to pass to future generations a bill you cannot or will not pay yourself. …

Guaranteed annual increases in the state pension
A decade ago, pensions were in crisis and poverty blighted the retirement of many older people. It was wrong and it has been a Conservative government that has helped to put it right. By introducing the Pensions Triple Lock and the new State Pension, we have lifted the incomes of millions of older people, reducing pensioner poverty to historically low levels. …2020, and when it expires we will introduce a new Double Lock, meaning that pensions will rise in line with the earnings that pay for them, or in line with inflation – whichever is highest. …
… We will promote long-term savings and pensions products, including the Lifetime ISA, to encourage and incentivise more people to make provision for long-term needs, including a house purchase and retirement.
A long-term plan for elderly care
… We have already taken immediate action, putting £2 billion into the social care system and allowing councils to raise more money for care themselves from Council Tax. …
Under the current system, care costs deplete an individual’s assets, including in some cases the family home, down to £23,250 or even less.
First, we will align the future basis for means-testing for domiciliary care with that for residential care, so that people are looked after in the place that is best for them. This will mean that the value of the family home will be taken into account along with other assets and income, whether care is provided at home, or in a residential or nursing care home.
Second, to ensure this is fair, we will introduce a single capital floor, set at £100,000, more than four times the current means test threshold. This will ensure that, no matter how large the cost of care turns out to be, people will always retain at least £100,000 of their savings and assets, including value in the family home.
Third, we will extend the current freedom to defer payments for residential care to those receiving care at home, so no-one will have to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for care.
the Dilnot Report
…our forthcoming green paper will also address system-wide issues to improve the quality of care and reduce variation in practice. This will ensure the care system works better with the NHS to reduce unnecessary and unhealthy hospital stays and delayed transfers of care, and provide better quality assurance within the care sector. …
…we will meanstest Winter Fuel Payments, focusing assistance on the least well-off pensioners, who are most at risk of fuel poverty. …

The money and people the NHS needs
First, we will increase NHS spending by a minimum of £8 billion in real terms over the next five years…
Second… Last year we announced an increase in the number of students in medical training of 1,500 a year…
Third, we will ensure that the NHS has the buildings and technology it needs to deliver care properly and efficiently. …
Fourth…we will recover the cost of medical treatment from people not resident in the UK. … And we will increase the Immigration Health Surcharge, to £600 for migrant workers and £450 for international students…
Fifth, we will implement the recommendations of the Accelerated Access Review to make sure that patients get new drugs and treatments faster…
Holding NHS leaders to account
…NHS England… …the Five Year Forward View. … We will also back the implementation of the plan at a local level, through the Sustainability and Transformation Plans…
…in time for the start of the 2018 financial year, we will make non-legislative changes to remove barriers to the integration of care.
We will introduce a new GP contract to help develop wider primary care services. …
We will also help the million and more NHS clinicians and support staff develop the skills they need…
Exceptional standards of care, wherever, whenever
…we will make clinical outcomes more transparent so that clinicians and frontline staff can learn more easily from the best units and practices, and where there is clear evidence of poor patient outcomes, we will take rapid corrective action. …
…we will give patients, via digital means or over the phone, the ability to book appointments, contact the 111 service, order repeat prescriptions, and access and update aspects of their care records, as well as control how their personal data is used. …
…waiting times data for A&Es… …our National Diabetes Prevention Programme…
… Already 17 million people can get routine weekend or evening appointments at either their own GP surgery or one nearby, and this will expand to the whole population by 2019. …
We will retain the 95 per cent A&E target and the 18-week elective care standard…
… We will extend the scope of the CQC to cover the health-related services commissioned by local authorities. …
In cancer services, we will deliver the new promise to give patients a definitive diagnosis within 28 days by 2020…

pp.70-72 HOMES FOR ALL
… We will meet our 2015 commitment to deliver a million homes by the end of 2020 and we will deliver half a million more by the end of 2022. We will deliver the reforms proposed in our Housing White Paper to free up more land for new homes in the right places…
…maintaining the existing strong protections on designated land like the Green Belt, National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. …government building 160,000 houses on its own land. …
We will enter into new Council Housing Deals with ambitious, pro-development, local authorities to help them build more social housing. …
…sold privately after ten to fifteen years with an automatic Right to Buy for tenants… We will enter into new Council Housing Deals with ambitious, pro-development, local authorities to help them build more social housing. …
…we will continue our £2.5 billion flood defence programme that will put in place protection for 300,000 existing homes by 2021.

High-quality childcare
…a Conservative government will introduce, this year, thirty hours of free childcare for three and four-year-olds for working parents who find it difficult to manage the costs of childcare… …we will immediately institute a capital fund to help primary schools develop nurseries where they currently do not have the facilities to provide one…
Children’s and young people’s health
… We are seeing progress: smoking rates are now lower than France or Germany, drinking rates have fallen below the European average and teenage pregnancies are at record lows. …
… Half of all mental health conditions become established in people before the age of fourteen. … A Conservative
government will publish a green paper on young people’s mental health before the end of this year. …
Protecting vulnerable children and families
… Placing a child under the oversight of social services and taking a child into care are amongst the most serious duties the state may discharge. We will demand all local authorities be commissioners of the highest-quality family support and child protection services, removing these responsibilities from the weakest councils and placing them in trust. We will ensure that councils provide consistency of care and cannot relocate vulnerable children far from their home when it is not in their best interests to do so. We will review support for Children in Need to understand why their outcomes are so poor and what more support they might require, in and out of school.
Finally, we shall explore ways to improve the family justice system. The family courts need to do more to support families, valuing the roles of mothers and fathers, while ensuring parents face up to their responsibilities.

p.76 Summary
p.77 … These new technologies provide us with new and faster ways to communicate, learn, travel, have fun and do business. They accelerate the pace of change – ushering in new norms in the space of years rather than decades; challenging our laws and regulations to keep pace.
The best place for digital business
…our world-leading Enterprise Investment Scheme and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme… …open new offices of the British Business Bank in Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Manchester and Newport… When we leave the European Union, we will fund the British Business Bank with the repatriated funds from the European Investment Fund.
… By the end of this year, 19 out of 20 premises will have access to superfast broadband and our Universal Service Obligation will ensure that by 2020 every home and every business in Britain has access to high speed broadband. … We will introduce a full fibre connection voucher for companies across the country by 2018 and by 2022 we will have major fibre spines in over a hundred towns and cities, with ten million premises connected to full fibre…
… By 2022 we will extend mobile coverage further to 95 per cent geographic coverage of the UK. By the same date, all major roads and main line trains will enjoy full and uninterrupted mobile phone signal, alongside guaranteed WiFi internet service on all such trains. …
The safest place to be online
… We will put a responsibility on industry not to direct users – even unintentionally – to hate speech, pornography, or other sources of harm. …
… To create a sound ethical framework for how data is used, we will institute an expert Data Use and Ethics Commission…
…we will bring forward a new data protection law…to ensure the very best standards for the safe, flexible and dynamic use of data and enshrining our global leadership…the National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care on a statutory footing…
We will continue with our £1.9 billion investment in cyber security and build on the successful establishment of the National Cyber Security Centre…
A free media
…the Leveson Inquiry… We will repeal Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2014…

… We will therefore create a new presumption of digital government services by default and an expectation that all government services are fully accessible online, with assisted digital support available for all public sector websites. …local issues and public transport…roadworks, planning applications and bus routes… …’schools maps’…
…central and local government will be required to release information regularly and in an open format, and data will be aggregated and anonymised where it is important to do so. We will incubate more digital services within government and introduce digital transformation fellowships…
…we shall roll out Verify, so that people can identify themselves on all government online services by 2020, using their own secure data that is not held by government. … …the ’Once-Only’ principle in central government services by 2022 and wider public services by 2025. …
Digital infrastructure
… We are leading the world in preparing for autonomous vehicles and will press ahead with our plans to use digital technology to improve our railways… Smart grids will make the most efficient use of our electricity infrastructure and electric vehicles, and we will use technology to manage our airspace better to reduce noise pollution and improve capacity. …
Digital land
…the property development industry… …we will combine the relevant parts of HM Land Registry, Ordnance Survey, the Valuation Office Agency, the Hydrographic Office and Geological Survey to create a comprehensive geospatial data body within government…

Some people say that it is not for government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet. We disagree. …
An international settlement
…a framework for data ethics…


Canada Vol.33 (Québec Vol.2)

cf. Canada Vol.3 (Québec)     THE QUÉBEC ECONOMIC PLAN (PDF; 3/2017) | @FinancesQuebec       Too Much Tax Kills (9/26/2013) | Michel Kelly-Gagnon @ Montreal Economic Institute @HuffPostCanada      Quebec’s Economic Future: A Hard Road Ahead (9/6/2012) | @HodgsonGlen @confboardofcda      Quebec’s economy through the lens of GDP: Gains outweigh losses (PDF; 4-5/2015) | @DesjardinsGroup      When it comes to the economy, Quebec has earned top bragging rights in Canada (w Videos & Voice; 4/10/2017) | @ealini @globalnews        Lack of transfer plan could doom small Quebec business (3/15/2017) | @business @mtlgazette        A More Equitable Economy Exists Right Next Door – In Quebec, co-ops and non-profit businesses account for 8-10 percent of GDP (3/22/2017) | @JayWalljasper @AlterNet        Montreal flood-zone map for hard-hit Pierrefonds is decades out of date (5/12/2017) | @jbernstien & @robroc @CBC        @TourismQuebec        History of Quebec | ProvinceQuebec     Québec-France Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of professional Qualifications (3/17/2017) | @MRIF_Quebec


Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.4

Here are @_WorldSolutions’ RTs from late December to mid November 2016 which include free papers, reports, podcasts, video, et al.

Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.3

Here are @_WorldSolutions’ RTs from late January 2017 to late December 2016 which include free papers, reports, podcast, et al.

Canada Vol.32 (Prince Edward Island)

(There are some broken links…)

cf. Canada Vol.18 (PEI econ)    PEI Economy | @InfoPEI    Strategic Sectors | @Innovation_PEI    The Prince Edward Island Bioscience Cluster Economic Impact Analysis (PDF; 3/2014) | @PEIBIOALLIANCE @jupia   PROVINCIAL OUTLOOK: PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND (PDF; 3/2017) | @RBC   Open for Business: Sectors | @ChtownPE   Charlottetown, PEI home neighbourhoods, realtors, and movers | @movingincanada

Cf. #Easter  The Bunnies Are Ready For Easter Breakfast Tablesetting (4/15/2017) | @PEIBistro   Classic French Easter Menu Fresh Spring Flavor for Paques (4/10/2017) | Rebecca Franklin

New Zealand Vol.10 (Wellington, Manawatu-Wanganui)


cf. Economic fall and rise: 1976 to 21st century | @Te_Ara   Key investment sectors | @Wellington_NZ   Profile of Wellington | @WgtnCC


cf. About our Region and Council | @HorizonsRC   Manawatu | @PureNewZealand   ‘Whanganui’ and ‘Wanganui’ | @VisitWhanganui

Cf. Easter and Beef Wellington. (4/6/2015)  

New Zealand Vol.9 (Marlborough, Nelson&Tasman)


Nelson & Tasman

cf. Marlborough | @PureNewZealand   Nelson – Tasman | @NewZealandNow   Nelson Airport

Canada Vol.31 (Nunavut Vol.1)

Nunavut Entered Confederation: 1999 (April 1) | @LibraryArchives        The Road to Nunavut: A Chronological History


Maine Vol.5

Today in History – March 15 : The Pine Tree State | @librarycongress    THIS DAY IN HISTORY : 1820 – Maine enters the Union | @HISTORY

UK Vol.75 (England Vol.4 – West Midlands Vol.1)





Maryland Vol.1

Idaho Vol.2

Australia Vol.8

California Vol.3

US Policy Changes Vol.54 (R&D Vol.2)

Here are articles on R&D. Excerpts are on our own.

How Does the US President Decide on Science Policy? (1/4/2017) | @kellysimsgallagher (@TuftsUniversity) @LiveScience @ConversationEDU
One of the president’s most important responsibilities is fostering science, technology and innovation in the U.S. economy. The relationship between science and policy runs in two directions: Scientific knowledge can inform policy decisions, and conversely, policies affect the course of science, technology and innovation.
Historically, government spending on science has been good for the economy. Innovation is estimated to drive approximately 85 percent of economic growth. Not only does it provide a means for “creative destruction” within the economy, it also results in reduced costs for products and services that consumers demand. …
Where does the president get scientific advice?
…Vannevar Bush…the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD). OSRD’s mission was to marshal and coordinate civilian and military scientists to develop and deploy new technology in wartime. OSRD helped to establish the Manhattan Project and was the origin of the military-industrial complex. …the Raytheon Corporation… …the National Science Foundation.
…the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)…
…OSTP works alongside the other offices in the White House, including the Domestic Policy Council, the Council on Environmental Quality and the National Security Council. …
Budget is a big part of it
…the president’s budget request must be approved by Congress in order for the spending priorities to be fulfilled.
Innovation research is an uncertain and risky investment, which is why the government has traditionally shouldered the burden for pre- or noncommercial science and technology research and why universities do most of this type of research. …
The Department of Defense manages the largest portion of the federal R&D budget (US$78 billion in the FY17 budget) compared with all other nondefense R&D combined, at $68 billion. The National Institutes of Health comes in second at 0.77 percent with $30.9 billion. The Department of Energy and NASA have far fewer resources, with R&D funds of about $14 billion and only $12 billion, respectively. …
The internet…the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, shale gas fracking from both Defense and DOE investments at Los Alamos National Lab and research on the human genome from NIH. Private firms like Microsoft and Google, Mitchell Energy and Pfizer capitalized upon taxpayer investments…
Case study: Obama’s OSTP
… The OSTP worked to make more than 180,000 federal datasets and collections available to students, entrepreneurs and the public. It produced the first-ever U.S. innovation strategy, launched the Precision Medicine Initiative (providing more than $200 million to accelerate a new era of personalized medicine), embarked on a Cancer Moonshot initiative and launched the BRAIN initiative that resulted in a doubling of research funding for Alzheimer’s research at NIH between 2012 and 2017.
Initiatives like these are a hopeful down payment on results that usually bear fruit years later. Through the efforts of the SunShot and wind R&D programs at DOE and private firms, for example, the United States now generates more than three times as much electricity from wind and four times as much from solar as it did in 2008. That’s because the cost for renewables has come down rapidly – solar costs 1/150th what it did in the 1970s. …
Science opportunities for President Trump
… Indeed, the current President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) produced an excellent report on accelerating U.S. advanced manufacturing in 2014. …

Role of Science in the Trump Administration (12/22/2016) | @AmOrnith
AOS is among 59 organizations to sign a letter from the American Institute of Biological Sciences to… The text of the letter is below.
… Biology is the science of life. Every day, discoveries arising from biological research contribute to improved human health and economic security. Biology is a foundational science from which we build new antibiotic and antiviral medications, translate findings from genetics laboratories into the development of more drought tolerant food crops, and develop new materials inspired by biological compounds and structures. Biological diversity surveys, for example, provide us with the information we need to identify and model diseases, such as Ebola and Zika, which can jump from wild animal populations to humans. Insights derived from our investigations into the human microbial biome are improving our understanding of various health conditions and diseases, such as food allergies, Crohn’s and Inflammatory Bowel Disease…
Research is an important engine that powers our economy. Over the past 50 years, roughly half of our nation’s private sector economic growth has resulted from research and development. One analysis of the return on the federal government’s $12 billion investment in the Human Genome Project found that it generated an estimated $800 billion in economic return. Other economic analyses of investments in agricultural research have estimated a $10 return on every $1 the federal government invests. …
The federal government provides more than half of the funding for basic research in the United States. …80,000 patents awarded over a 10-year period were based on research initially funded by the federal government’s National Science Foundation. …
Science has not been, nor do we think it should be, a partisan issue. Rather, it is a public benefit. …

Energy research in the Trump administration (1/21/2017) | Stephanie Joyce @GlenwoodPI
… “Maybe shifting some of those resources away from the renewable industry, which has been a tremendous beneficiary of federal assistance under the Obama administration, and directing some of that towards developing technology to help us use our coal resource better,”…
Energy is 2 percent of the total pie of R&D funding on average between 2000 and 2017, or an average of $2.2 billion a year. Compare that to defense R&D, which averaged $78 billion a year over the same time period, or 56 percent of all R&D spending. …
… As a 2010 paper from the Pacific Northwest National Lab shows, private investment has tended to gravitate toward established industries, like oil and gas, rather than less proven technologies, like renewables. …

How the Trump Administration Could Impact Research – Federal Relations’ Jennifer Grodsky on the uncertainties ahead for BU | @sararimer @BU_Tweets
…BU’s vice president for federal relations…
Grodsky:… Presidents matter. But our new Congress matters, too. … So the leading proponents of the big new CURES medical research law were always a bipartisan group. …
The biggest threat to research agencies and student aid budgets continues to be the current budget caps and the threat of sequester if the caps aren’t lifted. The two-year agreement that temporarily lifted the caps ends in March 2017, and it remains to be seen how a Trump administration and a Republican Congress will address the caps. One serious and credible threat to research universities is that politicians will choose to lift the caps for defense spending, but not for nondefense spending. Nearly all our priorities fall under the category of nondefense spending…
…real success for agency budgets will depend on lifting the budget caps.
Research priorities like the National Institutes of Health’s BRAIN Initiative may well continue into the new administration…
… Research related to the Affordable Care Act, such as work funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute or the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, may be significantly reduced.
…the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)…
The question is who will Trump appoint as the head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. That person can also have a second title—as science advisor to the president—but that’s optional. …
… Vermont’s senators will play important roles as they will become the senior Democrats on both the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committees.
…the Association of American Universities. …
As with all my peers at other universities, my job is to get in there early with President Trump’s advisors and make the case for funding research and why research is important. I can take the view that he hasn’t said much, so let’s get in there and arm him with facts that we think make the case for why research and science should be a top priority.

USDA scrambles to ease concerns after researchers were ordered to stop publishing news releases (1/25/2017) | @jdelreal @washingtonpost

President Trump and science: 10 things to look for (and fear?) (1/23/2017) | @jeffmervis @scienmag

Gelernter, potential science advisor to Trump, denies man-made climate change (1/25/2017) | BRITTON O’DALY & DAVID YAFFE-BELLANY @yaledailynews

EPA science under scrutiny by Trump political staff (1/25/2017) | @mbieseck & @borenbears @AP @FoxLexington
… The communications director for President Donald Trump’s transition team at EPA, Doug Ericksen, said Wednesday the review extends to all existing content on the federal agency’s website, including details of scientific evidence showing that the Earth’s climate is warming and man-made carbon emissions are to blame. …

US Policy Changes Vol.27 (Energy Vol.3 – Key posts, the Environment)

Here are articles on energy and the environment. Excerpts are on my own.

Trump’s cabinet could change the face of U.S. energy policy (12/15/2016) | @DanielBush @NewsHour
… Under his tenure, the departments of the Interior, Energy, State and the Environmental Protection Agency pushed plans to grow wind and solar power…
…Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Trump’s pick to head EPA…
In a National Review column co-authored with Luther Strange, Alabama’s attorney general, Pruitt wrote that the evidence linking human activity to climate change was “far from settled.” …
Freshman Rep. Ryan Zinke, Trump’s pick to lead the Interior Department…
In Congress, Zinke has backed the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a federal program that protects public lands and water. But he received a score of three percent — out of 100 — from the League of Conservation Voters for his voting record on environmentally-friendly legislation. …
… Last month, ExxonMobil came out in support of the Paris climate agreement, an ambitious deal to curb global greenhouse gas emissions reached by 195 countries. …
…a lawsuit from the attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts claiming the company hid and deceived investors over decades about the dangers of climate change. …
During his tenure as governor of Texas from 2000 to 2015, Perry oversaw an expansion of oil and gas development. But under Perry the Lone Star State also became the country’s leading wind power developer…
…his position on climate change is unambiguous. Perry — who ran for president in 2012 and again in 2016 — has consistently questioned the existence of climate change. …
Perry’s main task at the Energy Department would be overseeing the county’s nuclear weapons, storage and scientific research programs. But Perry would have a hand in energy policy as well…
…he would take over an agency he vowed to eliminate during a disastrous 2012 debate performance that sunk his presidential ambitions. Perry said he would cut three federal agencies. He listed Commerce and Education, but couldn’t remember Energy.

U.S. oil industry cheers Trump energy pick, seeks gas export boost (12/15/2016) | @reuters
…and wasted no time making its first specific request of him: to support increased exports of America’s natural gas overseas.
Jack Gerard @API_News…
The United States exported its first cargo of liquefied natural gas earlier this year from an export facility on the Gulf Coast, but the industry has complained that boosting exports to match global demand has been constrained by a slow and opaque bureaucratic process.
U.S. energy exports have long been a contentious political issue, dividing lawmakers seeking to balance the benefits of low consumer prices at home and American energy independence against opportunities for companies to expand access to potentially lucrative foreign markets.
… An overwhelming number of scientists say carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels contributes to changes to the climate that are leading to sea level rise, droughts and more frequent violent storms.
Trump’s transition team said Perry’s tenure leading Texas, the nation’s second most populous state and a major producer of oil, gas and wind power, from 2000 until 2015 made him a strong pick for energy secretary.
… After his tenure as Texas governor, Perry joined the board of directors of Energy Transfer Partners, a Texas-based company building the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota that has been stalled by protests by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and supporters.

It’s complicated: As head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt will run an agency he sued at least 13 times (12/9/2016) | @taydolven @vicenews
… “I’ve been racking my brain to come up with something,” said @sethdavis50 @ABAEnvLaw. “I’m not saying there aren’t any cases, but I have not thought of one.” …
@jacklienke @PolicyIntegrity @nyulaw… “It’s not that uncommon in our nation’s history for someone from the industry that an agency regulates to be appointed to head that agency. …
…the Defense of Marriage Act… Bill Clinton signed into law despite his criticism that it was unnecessary and divisive.
…@LungAssociation @nationalgridus…

… In this year’s election, Hillary Clinton won just under five hundred of America’s roughly three thousand counties. But those five-hundred-odd counties were populous enough that she received the most votes cast for President; even more striking, as @washingtonpost’s @jimtankersley found, those few Clinton counties are responsible for more than two-thirds of national G.D.P. …
…oversee the management and use of roughly a fifth of the land in the United States.
… The two movements shared a spiritual investment in the land, and a conviction that the federal government both misunderstood its proper uses and was diverting its worth to distant people. …
…the Army Corps of Engineers agreed to consider alternate sites for the Dakota Access Pipeline… But Trump’s spokesman has said that the President-elect favors the pipeline, and executives at the company building it, Energy Transfer Partners, have been optimistic about the fate of their project under the new Administration. …

Trump Picks Exxon’s Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State (12/13/2016) | @blkahn @climatecentral
… Historically, oil and gas produced by ExxonMobil are responsible for causing 3.2 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions to date. …
Tillerson has acknowledged climate change is occurring and driven by carbon pollution. Earlier this year, he told the U.S. Energy Association that, “At ExxonMobil, we share the view that the risks of climate change are serious and warrant thoughtful action.”
In the past, however, he has questioned… “I’m not disputing that increasing CO2 emissions in the atmosphere is going to have an impact,” …
…the unstoppable melt of the West Antarctic ice sheet which would raise seas 10 feet — that are harder to model. But scientists have said that that uncertainty is no reason to ignore tipping points, but rather a reason to take them all the more seriously and act on climate change.
“Addressing (climate change) effectively in concert with countries around the globe will be a central responsibility of the next secretary of state,” said @FredKrupp @EnvDefenseFund…

Trump’s energy and environment team leans heavily on industry lobbyists (9/29/2016) | @StevenMufson @washingtonpost
…@IOMcGehee @CampaignLegal…
The head of Trump’s energy transition team is Mike Catanzaro… a partner at the lobbying firm CGCN…
…Halliburton… …Devon Energy, Encana Oil & Gas, Hess and Noble Energy; Talen Energy…; …American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers; and Koch Industries.
…Jeffrey Wood, a partner at Balch & Bingham…
Andrew R. Wheeler, a lawyer… currently works for FaegreBD Consulting where his leading lobbying client is Murray Energy…
…Stephen Moore… “We can be the next Saudi Arabia for the next century.”
…Myron Ebell, head of energy and environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. …
…Mike McKenna, who is president of the firm MWR Strategies and who worked for both the Energy and Transportation departments. McKenna has lobbied on behalf of Dow Chemical, Koch Industries, Southern, GDF Suez and TECO Energy.
…David Longly Bernhardt, the former solicitor general of the Interior Department under Bush and a partner at the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. …

Trump victory reverses U.S. energy and environmental priorities (w Videos; 11/9/2016) | @StevenMufson,@brady_dennis @washingtonpost
… “It sure looks a whole lot friendlier than it would have under… President Clinton,” Stephen Brown, vice president of government relations for the oil refiner Tesoro…
…Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. “Trump is now, as president-elect, soon to be the only head of state on the planet that doesn’t believe…
…Bill McKibben, founder of the climate action group… …it’s clear that he wants no part of environmental progress…
…when faced with the election of President Bush, the environmental community utilized the courts, the Senate filibuster, watch-dogged political appointees and galvanized the public to take action,” Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth…
Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters… …vowing that the community would continue to organize, litigate and pressure both companies and the government. “Despite what Mr. Trump might think, the climate crisis is real and not a hoax…
The Trump transition teams… David Bernhardt, former Interior Department solicitor general under President Bush, on the Interior Department. …Scott Segal, co-head of government relations at the legal and lobbying firm Bracewell…
Bernhardt, a partner at the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck… …regulatory issues such as the Endangered Species Act…
… His key advisers have included Oklahoma-based shale oil producer Harold Hamm and North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer (R). …

A letter to Mr. Trump: the economic case for energy, equity and climate leadership (11/15/2016) | @dan_kammen @ucberkeley
– Summary: The economic case for clean energy is as compelling as is the climate science. Pursuing both brings together economic advancement and political leadership.
… A president who claims to be a populist would be a hypocrite do anything but actively promote and campaign for a sustainable climate and the clean energy business that goes with it, and to do so in ways that promotes energy access, equality, and environmental justice. These are all pro-business, pro-worker positions. …

Obama’s Environmental Legacy: How Much Can Trump Undo? (11/14/2016) | @YaleE360
@bruneski @sierraclub…
@Revkin Environmental Understanding @PaceUniversity…
Christine Harbin @AFPhq…
@MichaelGerrard @ColumbiaClimate…
@mayboeve @350…
@BobPerch @C2ES_org… …We urge president-elect Trump’s transition team to take the time to hear from a broad range of perspectives on environmental and energy issues. …
@RobertStavins @HKS_BizGov…

How Donald Trump’s Energy Policies Are All About Removing Regulations (w Video; 9/26/2016) | @katiefehren @fortune
… The energy regulations that Trump says he’ll undo include opening up federal lands and offshore areas for oil and gas exploration and production, rescinding a moratorium on new coal mining leases on federal land, and removing rules to protect streams from coal mining and waterways and wetlands from industry in general. Furthermore, Trump says he would eliminate the Clean Power Plan…
… Ebell has called the Clean Power Plan “illegal” and has said joining the Paris agreement is “unconstitutional.” …

US Presidential Election 2016 Vol.7 (polls up to early morning 11/7)

One day left. Here are articles mainly on polls up to early morning 11/7 EST.

How Much Did Comey Hurt Clinton’s Chances?: And is it too late for his second letter to help her? (11/6) | @NateSilver538 @FiveThirtyEight

Election Update: Don’t Ignore The Polls — Clinton Leads, But It’s A Close Race (11/6) | @NateSilver538 @FiveThirtyEight

Elections Podcast Countdown: House And Senate Preview (11/6) | @jodyavirgan,@redistrict,@forecasterenten @FiveThirtyEight

@foxnewspoll: Clinton ahead of Trump by two points (11/5) | @danablanton_nyc

Election Update: The Campaign Is Almost Over, And Here’s Where We Stand (11/5) | @NateSilver538 @FiveThirtyEight

Battle for White House | @RealClearNews

No Toss Up States | @RealClearNews

Who will win the presidency? | @FiveThirtyEight

2016 Eletion Forecast Update – President | @FiveThirtyEight

POLL UPDATE: 2016 General Election – Clinton 49%, Trump 46% (UPI/CVOTER 10/30-11/5) | @pollsterpolls

@PollHeadlines (11/6)

2016 October New Hampshire Poll of Likely Voters (10/26; w PDFs) | @UMassPoll

Perceptions of Clinton’s Honesty Unchanged After FBI Letter (11/4) | @Frank_Newport, Michael Smith @GallupNews

Most Still Say Clinton Broke The Law (11/4) | @Rasmussen_Poll

Is 99% a reasonable probability? (11/6) | @SamWangPhD @Princeton

Senate No Toss Ups 2016 – RACE CHANGES | @RealClearNews

Rubio Up In Florida Senate Race, GOP Holding Ohio, Dem Edge In North Carolina And PA Too Close To Call, @QuinnipiacPoll Finds (11/3)

The final stretch: Spending in key Senate races tops $800 million (11/4) | Josh Stewart @SunFoundation

U.S. Voters Prefer GOP Congress if Clinton Is Elected (11/4) | Jeffrey M. Jones ‏@GallupNews

Battle for the House 2016 | @RealClearNews

2016 Governor Races | @RealClearNews

Presidential, governor’s races too close to call in N.C., voters worried about decisions next president will make: The survey conducted Oct. 23-27 is the final survey by @elonpoll before Election Day on Nov. 8. (11/1)

[National] 2016 Brought Out Worst in People: Seven percent report ending friendship over presidential race (w PDF; 9/28) | @MonmouthPoll

Which Issues Are the Most Critical for Trump, Clinton? (11/4) | Dan Witters, @Frank_Newport, ‏@LydiaSaad1 ‏@GallupNews

Demographic and Economic Profiles of Hispanics by State and County, 2014 – Latinos as percent of population, by state, 2014 | @PewHispanic

3. Where Hispanic population growth is driving general population growth (9/8) | @ReneeAStepler,@mhugolopez @PewHispanic

Obamacare Has Increased Insurance Coverage Everywhere (9/22) | @BurritoBracket,‏@bencasselman @FiveThirtyEight

2016 Election [Archives: reports, publications, et al.] | ‏@pewresearch

2. Factors underlying voter preferences, positive and negative voting (10/27) | ‏@pewresearch

3. Views of candidate ‘insults,’ criticism and political divisions (10/27) | ‏@pewresearch

4. How voters view Clinton and Trump’s respect for men and women, racial and religious groups (10/27) | ‏@pewresearch

6. Views of domestic issues: race, immigration, health care, abortion, Supreme Court (10/27) | ‏@pewresearch

7. Opinions on U.S. international involvement, free trade, ISIS and Syria, Russia and China (10/27) | ‏@pewresearch

The Politics of Climate (10/4) | @surveyfunk & Brian Kennedy ‏@pewinternet
Polarized views about climate issues stretch from the causes and cures for climate change to trust in climate scientists and their research. But most Americans support a role for scientists in climate policy, and there is bipartisan support for expanding solar, wind energy

A gender gap in views of Hillary Clinton, even among her supporters (11/5) | SAMANTHA SMITH ‏@pewresearch

Religion And Education Explain The White Vote (9/23) | @milobela @FiveThirtEight

How religious is your state? (2/29) | @MikeLipka,@benjiwo @PewReligion

U.S. religious groups and their political leanings (2/23) | @MikeLipka @PewReligion

The most and least educated U.S. religious groups (11/4) | @CaryleM ‏@FactTank

1. Regular local voting, community attachment strongly linked to news habits (11/3) | MICHAEL BARTHEL, JESSE HOLCOMB, JESSICA MAHONE & AMY MITCHELL @pewjournalism

Clinton And Trump Are Both Promising An Extreme Supreme Court (8/1) | @ollie @FiveThirtyEight

With just days to go, Triumph has some shocking new revelations on Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton.

How Teens In The Balkans Are Duping Trump Supporters With Fake News | @CraigSilverman,@LawrenceA_UK @BuzzFeed @NiemanLab
BuzzFeed News identified more than 100 pro-Trump websites being run from a single town in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Passing the Baton (11/2) | @LeeMiringoff @maristpoll

The Political Process Isn’t Rigged — It Has Much Bigger Problems (8/4) | @Redistrict @FiveThirtyEight

Why Democrats Must Not Underestimate Donald Trump (3/23) | @PollHeadlines

What The Yankees-Red Sox Rivalry Can Teach Us About Political Polarization | @eitanhersh (@Yale) @FiveThirtyEight

Why Republican Voters Decided On Trump (5/4) | @NateSilver538 @FiveThirtyEight

The End Of A Republican Party: Racial and cultural resentment have replaced the party’s small government ethos.(7/18) | @ClareMalone @ForecasterEnten,@davidnield @FiveThirtyEight

US Presidential Election 2016 Vol.4 (Ms. Hillary Clinton’s issues)

Here are #TheDemocrats @HillaryClinton’s issues. Excerpts are on our own.

Economy and jobs
A fair tax system
Making sure the wealthy, Wall Street, and corporations pay their fair share in taxes.
As president, Hillary will:
Restore basic fairness to our tax code.
Close corporate and Wall Street tax loopholes and invest in America.
Simplify and cut taxes for small businesses so they can hire and grow.
Provide tax relief to working families from the rising costs they face.
Pay for ambitious investments in a fiscally responsible way.

An economy that works for everyone
We need to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.
As president, Hillary has a five-point plan to meet these challenges:
A 100-days jobs plan: Break through Washington gridlock to make the boldest investment in good-paying jobs since World War II.
Make debt free college available to all Americans.
Rewrite the rules so that more companies share profits with employees — and fewer ship profits and jobs overseas.
Make certain that corporations, the wealthy, and Wall Street pay their fair share.
Enact policies that meet the challenges families face in the 21st-century economy.
Fact sheet: Stronger Together

Climate change
Taking on the threat of climate change and making America the world’s clean energy superpower.
As president, Hillary will:
Defend, implement, and extend smart pollution and efficiency standards…
Launch a $60 billion Clean Energy Challenge…
Invest in clean energy infrastructure, innovation, manufacturing and workforce development…
Ensure safe and responsible energy production.
Reform leasing…
Cut the billions of wasteful tax subsidies oil and gas companies…
Cut methane emissions across the economy…
Revitalize coal communities…
Make environmental justice and climate justice central priorities
Promote conservation and collaborative stewardship.

Fixing America’s infrastructure
Strong infrastructure is critical to a strong economy.
As president, Hillary will:
Repair and expand our roads and bridges.
Lower transportation costs and unlock economic opportunity by expanding public transit options.
Connect all Americans to the internet.
Invest in building world-class American airports and modernize our national airspace system.
Build energy infrastructure for the 21st century.

We need housing policies that connect working families to opportunity.
As president, Hillary will:
Curb skyrocketing rental costs in areas of opportunity.
Remove barriers to sustainable homeownership.
-Help responsible homeowners save for a down payment.
-Support counseling programs for the significant financial commitment of homeownership.
-Update underwriting tools to reflect today’s job market.
-Clarify the rules of the road to expand access to home loans.
-Defend the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
-Enforce fair housing and fair lending laws.
Connect housing support in high-poverty neighborhoods to economic opportunity.
Revitalize communities being dragged down by physical decay.

Labor and workers’ rights
When unions are strong, America is strong.
As president, Hillary will:
Invest in good-paying jobs.
Restore collective bargaining rights for unions and defend against partisan attacks on workers’ rights.
Prevent countries like China from abusing global trade rules, and reject trade agreements, like the TPP, that don’t meet high standards.
Raise the minimum wage and strengthen overtime rules.
Invest in high-quality training, apprenticeships, and skill-building for workers. Fact sheet: Workforce and Skills Agenda (cf. @byron_auguste, Harry Holzer @McCourtSchool …)
Encourage companies to invest in workers.
Protect workers from exploitation…
Ensure policies meet the challenges families face in the 21st century economy.
Protect retirement security.

Hillary Clinton’s plan to strengthen manufacturing so we always “Make it in America.”
As president, Hillary will:
Strengthen American manufacturing…
Prevent countries like China from abusing global trade rules and reject trade agreements that don’t meet high standards.
Revitalize the hardest-hit manufacturing communities…
Crack down on companies that ship jobs and earnings overseas…
Invest in America’s manufacturing workforce to ensure that it will always be the best in the world.
Fact sheet: Strategy to “Make it in America”

Rural communities
America’s rural communities are the backbone of this country.
As president, Hillary will:
Spur investment.
Support family farms.
Promote clean energy.
Expand opportunity.
Fact sheet: Plan for a Vibrant Rural America

Small business
We have to level the playing field for America’s small businesses.
As president, Hillary will make it easier to start and grow a small business in America by:
Unlocking access to capital.
Cutting red tape to streamline the process of starting a small business.
Providing tax relief and simplification for small businesses.
Incentivize health care benefits for small businesses and their employees.
Opening new markets.
Making sure small businesses get paid — not stiffed.
Supporting small-business owners and entrepreneurs.
Make the federal government more responsive to small business.
Fact sheet: Hillary Clinton Will Make Life Easier for Small Business at Every Step of the Way

Social Security and Medicare
We must preserve, protect, and strengthen these lifelines.
Social Security
As president, Hillary will:
Defend Social Security against Republican attacks.
Expand Social Security for those who need it most and who are treated unfairly by the current system…
Preserve Social Security for decades to come by asking the wealthiest to contribute more.
As president, Hillary will:
Fight Republican attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Fight back against Republican plans to privatize or “phase out” Medicare as we know it.
Drive down drug costs for seniors and other Americans.
Reform Medicare delivery systems to deliver value and quality to our seniors and people with disabilities.
Fact sheet: A Champion for America’s Seniors

Technology and innovation
We can harness the power of technology and innovation to work for all Americans.
As president, Hillary will:
Build the tech economy on Main Street
Invest in world-class digital infrastructure
Advance America’s global leadership in technology and innovation
Set rules of the road to promote innovation while protecting privacy
Fact sheet: Initiative on Technology & Innovation

Wall Street reform
Wall Street must work for Main Street.
Hillary’s plan will tackle dangerous risks in the financial system:
Impose a risk fee on the largest financial institutions. Big banks and financial companies would be required to pay a fee based on their size and their risk of contributing to another crisis.
Close loopholes that let banks make risky investments with taxpayer money. The Volcker Rule prohibits banks from making risky trading bets with taxpayer-backed money—one of the core protections of the post-financial crisis Wall Street reforms. However, under current law these banks can still invest billions through hedge funds, which are exempt from this rule. Hillary would close that loophole and strengthen the law.
Hold senior bankers accountable when a large bank suffers major losses. When a large bank suffers major losses with sweeping consequences, senior managers should lose some or all of their bonus compensation.
Make sure no financial firm is ever too big or too risky to be managed effectively. Hillary’s plan would give regulators more authority to force overly complex or risky firms—including banks, hedge funds and other non-bank financial institutions—to reorganize, downsize, or break apart.
Tackle financial dangers of the “shadow banking” system. Hillary’s plan will enhance transparency and reduce volatility in the “shadow banking system,” which includes certain activities of hedge funds, investment banks, and other non-bank financial companies.
Impose a tax on high-frequency trading. The growth of high-frequency trading has unnecessarily placed stress on our markets, created instability, and enabled unfair and abusive trading strategies. Hillary would impose a tax on harmful high-frequency trading and reform rules to make our stock markets fairer, more open, and transparent.
Hillary would also hold both corporations and individuals on Wall Street accountable by:
Prosecuting individuals when they break the law. Hillary would extend the statute of limitations for prosecuting major financial frauds, enhance whistleblower rewards, and provide the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission with more resources to prosecute wrongdoing.
Holding executives accountable when they are responsible for their subordinates’ misconduct. Hillary believes that when corporations pay large fines to the government for violating the law, those fines should cut into the bonuses of the executives who were responsible for or should have caught the problem. And when egregious misconduct happens on an executive’s watch, that executive should lose his or her job.
Holding corporations accountable when they break the law. Hillary will make sure that corporations can’t treat penalties for breaking the law as merely a cost of doing business, so we can put an end to the patterns of corporate wrongdoing that we see too often today.
Fact sheet: Wall Street Should Work for Main Street
Related: My Plan to Prevent the Next Crash @HillaryClinton @business

Health care
Universal, quality, affordable health care for everyone in America
As president, Hillary will:
Defend and expand the Affordable Care Act, which covers 20 million people.
Bring down out-of-pocket costs like copays and deductibles.
Reduce the cost of prescription drugs.
Protect consumers from unjustified prescription drug price increases from companies that market long-standing, life-saving treatments and face little or no competition.
Fight for health insurance for the lowest-income Americans in every state by incentivizing states to expand Medicaid — and make enrollment through Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act easier.
Expand access to affordable health care to families regardless of immigration status.
Expand access to rural Americans, who often have difficulty finding quality, affordable health care.
Defend access to reproductive health care.
Double funding for community health centers, and support the healthcare workforce…

We have reached a critical moment in our fight against HIV and AIDS.
Hillary will continue to fight towards the goal of an AIDS-free generation. As president, she will:
Work to fully implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.
Invest in research to end HIV and AIDS.
Cap out-of-pocket expenses for people living with HIV and AIDS.
Expand utilization of HIV prevention medications, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
Fight to extend Medicaid coverage to provide life-saving health care to people living with HIV.
Reform outdated, stigmatizing HIV criminalization laws.
Increase the number of people on HIV treatment worldwide.
Hillary has fought for decades to combat HIV and AIDS — and the stigma and pain that accompany it…

National security
National security
With policies that keep us strong and safe, America will lead the world in the 21st century.
As president, Hillary will:
Ensure we are stronger at home.
Stick with our allies.
Embrace all the tools of American power…
-Preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
-Building stronger ties between Cubans and Americans.
Be firm but wise with our rivals.
-Stand up to Vladimir Putin.
-Hold China accountable.
Have a real plan for confronting terrorists.
Hillary has a record of defending America and our core values…
Related: Trump’s dangerous, loose nuclear talk @HillaryClinton @NYDailyNews

Debating the Little Ice Age

Here is a paper, Debating the Little Ice Age | Profs Morgan Kelly & Cormac Ó Gráda (@EconomicsUCD, @UCD_Research). Excerpts, underlines, italicization, et al. are on our own.

ABSTRACT:  This paper replies to commentaries by Sam White and by Ulf Büntgen and Lena Hellmann on ourThe Waning of the Little Ice Age: Climate Change in Early Modern Europe’.  White and Büntgen/Hellmann seek to prove that Europe experienced the kind of sustained falls in temperature between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries that can justify the notion of a Little Ice Age. Neither of them adequately addresses the cogency of the anecdotal or statistical evidence presented in our article, especially with regard to the spurious peaks and troughs created by the smoothing of temperature series — the so-called Slutsky Effect.

In two related articles, “The Waning of the Little Ice Age” and “Change Points and Temporal Dependence in Annual Weather Reconstructions: Did Europe Experience a Little Ice Age?” we examined, respectively, the documentary and statistical evidence for a Little Ice Age (LIA) in Europe, finding little hard evidence to support the widely held belief that Europe experienced sustained falls in temperature between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries. …

THE LITTLE ICE AGE ACCORDING TO WHITE      … the period between roughly 1400 and 1900, apart from a mild phase in the mid-1700s, was distinctly cooler on average than the centuries before or after”. ….  Figure 1…shows the probabilities of a good year, conditional on the previous year being good, and of a bad year, conditional on the previous year being bad. The eleventh and twentieth centuries at either end stand out from the rest. That the twentieth century has a higher probability of good winters and successive good winters than do earlier centuries is consistent with global warming.  In the centuries between the two, the probability of good or bad winters appears fairly constant, as does the probability of a bad winter being followed by a bad one. The probability of good winters following good winters is also fairly constant, except for that of the seventeenth century, which is nearly 20 percent higher than those of the surrounding centuries, despite being in the depth of the supposed LIA.  Note, however, that the credible intervals (or Bayesian confidence intervals) overlap with other periods. For summers, the probability of a good summer, or of successive good or bad summers, is fairly constant. The probability of bad summers is slightly lower in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and higher in the nineteenth century, but, again, the credible intervals overlap with other centuries. The point is by no means to deny the possibility of occasional clusters of bad years; in fact, the statistical article drew attention to the 1810s, the 1590s, and the 1690s, in particular.  …

Unfortunately, neither the tone nor intellectual level of White’s criticisms improvesthereafter.  After dubbing narratives linked to the LIA, such as the demise of the Norse Greenland colonies and English vineyards, “red herrings,” White devotes nearly half of his commentary to defending interpretations of them that are consistent with an LIA.  We view these narratives, mostly due to Lamb, as circumstantial evidence, not as “proofs” of the LIA. …

Norsemen and Others      In the documentary article, we argued that the paucity of hard data leaves room for several plausible but still nonfalsifiable explanations for the demise of Greenland’s Norse colonies. In addition to the LIA, we discussed six others that could account for the flimsy evidence available. The literature on the topic continues to accumulate.  Since our article went to press, a new study by Arneborg, Lynnerup, and Heinemeier also denies that climate cooling forced the hand of the colonists.  Their skeletal analysis indicates that the last colonists were neither stunted nor diseased.  “Perhaps,” summarizes Linnerup, “they were just sick and tired of living at the ends of the earth and having almost nothing but seals to eat.” Both seals and a change in climate feature in another article of 2012, this one by Dugmore et al., in which several factors that we also mentioned play a role: (1) increasing conflict with indigenous inhabitants, whom the colonists called “Skraelings” (“now the Skraelings have desolated the whole western settlement,” as one mid-fourteenth-century source reported); (2) the marginalization of Greenland when Norway began to shift its focus to the south and east; (3) the declining importance of the trade in walrus tusks; and (4) the tiny size of the settlements (a single Inuit raid in 1379 A.D. may have deprived the colony of 5 percent of its hunters).  Regular commercial contacts with Norway virtually ceased decades before the collapse of the eastern colony; the smaller western colony seems to have disappeared before any evident cooling in the supporting meteorological data.  Our basic point—which White obfuscates—remains that, apart from any climatic considerations, the settlement’s existence was precarious.  As Dugmore, Keller, and McGovern (whom we are accused of misquoting) concluded in their 2007 study, “One widely held view is that the impact of climate change, the failure of their pastoral subsistence base, and an inability to adapt were key factors in the end of Norse settlement in Greenland.  Alternatively, as we argue here, unfavorable economic changes and falling populations might actually have been the key factors in increasing the settlements’ vulnerability.”  We could not agree more.

London’s Frost Fairs      White’s view of the frost fairs is contradictory. On the one hand, he concedes that “no serious scholar” considers the two dozen frost fairs on the river Thames between c. 1400 and 1814 as “proof” of an LIA. On the other, however, he cites them as evidence of cooling, since the data “appear to predict” the seventeenth-century peak implied by Northern Hemisphere proxy trends … White also skirts around our statistical point that frost fairs were much more likely during cold winters in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries than during cold winters in the preceding or following centuries.

Evidence of years when the river Rhône and Lake Constanz froze adds to the confusion since it suggests different chronologies …  In the case of the Rhône, the fifteenth century was one of the mildest centuries of the second millennium, whereas the fourteenth century was the coldest. The number of Seegfrörne (lake freezings) on Lake Constance (Bodensee), however, peaked in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Neither series registers the seventeenth-century peak in the number of freezings championed by White.

The ambiguities inherent in these comparisons echo broader ambiguities about the dating of the LIA, which White exacerbates by proposing three distinct definitions of the “Real LIA” (1400-1850, 1310s-1810s, and c. 1580-c. 1710).  The second and the third definitions are intended to capture the “human dimension” and the “human experience” of the LIA, respectively, but they serve only to allow the historian’s tail to wag the climatologist’s dog.  The false precision of these dates, grounded in historical events, confuses secular trends and extreme years.  White conflates the two—“LIA climate fluctuations brought clusters of extreme events” (White, 349)—but the events could easily have occurred without an LIA, as shown above.  …

Hunting in the Snow      … In terms of content and iconography, Bruegel was following a well-defined “book of hours” tradition, traceable back to the Middle Ages; “Hunters” was one of a series of six calendar illustrations commissioned by Antwerp merchant Nicolaes Jonghelinck in 1565.  Two of the other illustrations, far from suggesting an LIA, have been described as a “radiant expression of high spring” and an example of “the flat glowing scenery [that] is pure midsummer.”

… the fading interest in this genre after c. 1675 owed less to climate change than to fashion, as the public wearied of gloomy representations of winter.  The weather, as depicted in landscape painting during the Golden Age, owed more to “the stylistic requirements of the market” than to meteorological reality.  Paintings were accordingly biased toward dramatic or fine weather and away from the humdrum grey clouds most commonly found in Dutch skies, then and now.  The stock-in-trade of Hendrick Averkamp (1585-1634), who has become synonymous with the LIA, was joyful winter scenes, played out almost always “in calm and stable weather conditions with stratiform clouds.”….

Population and Agriculture      Turning from symptoms to consequences of the LIA, Lamb and his followers repeatedly claimed that the impact of the LIA was particularly severe in the colder, marginal areas of Europe. As temperatures dropped, “grain cultivation [in Iceland] had to be given up”; “farms in many [of Norway’s]upland districts stood empty for hundreds of years”; and even in Denmark, “visitors to a royal wedding in 1406 reported much uncultivated, sodden land,” lamenting that “wheat was grown nowhere.”  We addressed such claims indirectly through an analysis of population trends and agricultural yields.  The ramifications of cooling should have been evident in demographic trends, particularly in the marginal parts of Europe.  On the contrary, the “perfect storm of population pressures and rapid cooling” asserted by White did not prevent the populations of Scandinavia and Switzerland from increasing their share of the European total…  Similarly, the cooling associated with an LIA should have resulted in diminished cereal yields, especially in the case of the more cold-sensitive grains. We could find no such evidence in the most comprehensive inventory of cereal yields available.

Nor is White’s gambit of highlighting extreme years — 1621 when the Bosphorus froze, 1658 when a Swedish army marched across the sound, or 1709 when French wine burst in its bottles — convincing.  We could equally invoke the winter of 1941/42, when the extreme cold had important ramifications for the outcome of Word War II; that of 1947, when ice floes were seen off the East Anglian coast, and the Dover-Ostend ferry service was suspended due to pack ice off the Belgian coast; or the “big freeze” of 1963, when the sea froze six km out to sea from Dunkirk, and a car could be driven across the frozen Thames at Oxford. But what would such conditions prove?

England’s Vineyards      In this case, too, White contradicts himself. On the one hand, he declares that our discussion of the demise of wine production in late medieval England is “irrelevant,” with “no bearing” on climate cooling. On the other, however, he states that studies based on grape culture that point to “cooler summers in early modern Europe” are a “recurring element in descriptions of freezing LIA winters and offer a good indicator of their severity”

England’s retreat from winemaking, which was a key part of Lamb’s classic case half a century ago, is now part of the conventional wisdom on the LIA.  Our case—that wine production was always a marginal activity in England, that the quality of English wine was inferior, that the trade between England and western France entailed both regions to select their comparative advantage, and that, therefore, arguments invoking the LIA are redundant—stands.

Glaciers      White’s rebuttal of our short discussion of growth and shrinkage of glaciers is the most confusing and contradictory of all.  Rather than confront our evidence of stasis before the nineteenth century… he invokes Groves’ unhelpful chronology, which times the main advances as “dating to around 1320, 1380, 1580 to 1610, 1690 to 1700, in the 1770s, around 1820 and 1850, in the 1880s, 1920s and 1960.” The implication that cooling lasted well beyond 1850 should have alerted White to the possibility (as we noted) that higher winter precipitation brought by mild and humid winters may also have played a role, making the connection between temperature and glacier length hardly straightforward.

THE LITTLE ICE AGE ACCORDING TO BÜNTGEN AND HELLMANN      Our response to Büntgen and Hellmann is less involved because they do not address anything that we wrote. In fact, they barely refer to us, even less to our arguments, except occasionally to re-assert that we are wrong. Were their article an exam, we would be tempted to respond, “Answer the question asked.”

In the statistical paper, we show that the four main documentary reconstructions of European weather over the past centuries do not reveal the trends or breaks that we would expect from a European Little Ice Age. Instead, the temperature series resemble white noise–independent draws from a distribution with a fixed mean and variance. In order to dispute our findings, Büntgen and Hellmann need to do one of two things—(1) to prove that the series that we analyze, which have been constructed by leading European climatologists, many of whom have co-authored papers with Büntgen and Hellmann, are wrong or (2) that our statistical analysis, in particular the powerful martingale difference tests that form the analytical core of the statistical paper, is deficient. Büntgen and Hellmann attempt neither of these strategies. Instead, they present a number of studies that purport to show systematic drops in European temperature during the past few centuries. But there are two problems with most of these studies, both of which Büntgen and Hellman ignore: They are largely based on tree rings, and the data are smoothed.

Climatologists have gone to considerable effort to reconstruct documentary weather series for Europe rather than using tree rings because tree rings are not a reliable proxy for weather in most parts of Europe. Tree rings reflect weather only at the limits of a tree’s geographical range where it is under constant stress due to aridity or cold. In Europe, this fact limits their usefulness to high mountains or northern Scandinavia — hence, the importance of documentary evidence. … …

The second difficulty with Büntgen and Hellmann’s series arises from the standard climatological practice of smoothing data. In the statistical article, we demonstrate that smoothing a white-noise series… leads to the appearance of spurious cycles–a so-called Slutsky effect… Although random, at least before the twentieth century, each series appears to show episodes of unusual cold. The Central European series is particularly relevant to Büntgen and Hellmann; it has a particularly cold episode in the late sixteenth century and other cold spells during the late seventeenth and early nineteenth centuries. What makes this graph relevant is that… the most damning evidence against us is the PAGES 2k Consortium reconstruction of European temperature.

However, this reconstruction is based on the standard Central European reconstruction that we analyze in the statistical paper and graph-smoothed… with additional tree-ring series from the Pyrenees, Alps, Balkans, and Scandinavia. The LIA episodes of deep cold in the PAGES 2k construction correspond to the spurious dips in our Central European series…

Once again, we emphasize that although the hazards of unthinkingly smoothing weather series is a central theme of our work on the LIA, Büntgen and Hellmann do not mention it once. Instead, they attempt to refute our findings with what is, in effect, a smoothed version of one of the main series that we analyze and show to be unchanged across the supposed European LIA.

Australia Vol.4 (Coalition – Liberal Party of Australia, Liberal National Party of Queensland, National Party of Australia, Country Liberal Party (NT) – 2016 Election Policies)

Here is the manifesto of the ruling coalition (@LiberalAus, @LNPQLD, @The_Nationals & Country Liberals) in July 2016. Excerpts are on our own.

[More Jobs and Growth through Increased Trade and Investment]
… Up to 10,000 new jobs are expected to be created in the financial services sector alone by 2030. In the first year of operation, our agreements with Korea and Japan delivered real benefits for the agricultural sector: the value of Australian exports of fresh beef to Japan increased by 22 per cent to just over $1 billion; exports of bottled wine to Korea increased 53 per cent; and China’s imports of fresh Australian lobster between January and March were triple those of 12 months ago.
Australia’s economy will be $24 billion larger by 2035 because of the Coalition’s free trade agreements with China, Japan and South Korea. The free trade agreements with China, Japan and South Korea are forecast to create some 7,900 jobs this year and over 14,500 jobs in 2020. …
We will continue to drive job growth through trade and investment by:
– delivering a company tax cut for Australia’s small businesses
– establishing a single window for all export documentation
– implementing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
– negotiating free trade agreements with India, Indonesia, the European Union, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and Pacific Island countries under PACER Plus, as well as pursuing new trade opportunities, including in the Indo-Pacific region.
– connecting businesses with export markets
– establishing a Professional Services Mutual Recognition Unit
– actioning the recently released ‘National Strategy for International Education 2025’ and the marketing plan ‘Australian International Education 2025’
– securing access for local exporters to the multi-billion dollar government procurement markets of 45 economies by joining the WTO Government Procurement Agreement

… Labor had six years to conclude these agreements and achieved little. The Coalition’s three free trade agreements will add billions in additional income year-on-year and thousands of additional jobs. Real wages will be higher. …
Labor closed Australia’s live animal trade overnight, damaging our reputation as a reliable supplier of quality agricultural produce.
Labor let free trade agreement negotiations languish while our exporters lost market share to our competitors. …
Labor damaged our reputation as an investment destination when it introduced the mining and carbon taxes. The Coalition abolished the mining and carbon taxes. Under Labor, the number of unemployed increased by 200,000, productivity declined by 0.7 per cent per year, working days lost to strikes doubled, and business red tape increased.
Labor’s policies threaten the successful transition to the new economy, through damaging tax changes that will cut existing property values, a 50 per cent increase in Capital Gains Tax that will hurt investment, and refusal to support re-establishing the ABCC.
Bill Shorten has promised around $60 billion worth of additional spending on top of what is currently in the Budget, leaving a massive black hole in Labor’s books. …

[Support Innovative New Businesses and Jobs]
… The Coalition has a strong record supporting innovation and startup businesses, investing around $10 billion a year on innovation, science and research.
We are also delivering a $1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda to boost innovation in Australia.
As part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda, the Coalition has delivered tax incentives for investors in innovative startup businesses. These tax incentives make it easier for startup businesses to raise the funding they need to hire new employees and grow their business into new markets. …
The Coalition will continue to support Australia’s startup businesses by investing $23 million to:
– increase the number of startup incubators and accelerators in Australia
– support the expansion of existing high-performing incubators and accelerators
– attract ‘experts in residence’ to provide specialist advice to startup businesses …

[Smart Cities]
Australia’s cities are home to the majority of our population and responsible for more than 80 per cent of national economic output. Liveable, accessible cities with clean environments are now essential economic assets.
In the knowledge economy, people are our greatest resource, and smart cities put people first. The Coalition will innovate with smart policy, smart investment and smart technology to ensure our cities are more liveable, more productive, and more prosperous.
Our cities are at the frontline of action on climate change. That is why the Coalition will establish an investment fund to accelerate the deployment of clean energy, renewable energy and energy efficiency technology in cities through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
These investments will drive new jobs and enterprise, reducing greenhouse emissions while making our cities more resilient, liveable and putting downward pressure on energy bills.
Projects must demonstrate value for money and earn a financial return for taxpayers.
Financial returns will be reinvested in new projects, creating a sustainable pool of funding with an annual investment target of up to $100 million each year.
The Coalition will also establish a $50 million competitive Smart Cities Program for local governments to collaborate and apply innovative technology-based approaches to improve the liveability of cities and their suburbs. …

[a Safe and Prosperous Australia]
The Government is strengthening Australia’s national security and enhancing our prosperity after years of mismanagement by Labor.
Our economic diplomacy strategy is delivering real benefits to Australian businesses and our economy and is generating jobs.
The Coalition’s emphasis on consultation and mutual respect is building trust in Australia as a reliable partner of choice in the Indo-Pacific region.
We are broadening and deepening our bilateral relationships with key strategic and economic partners including the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, India, Singapore and Indonesia.
We are keeping Australians safe from terrorism by cancelling the passports of foreign fighters, making it an offence for Australians to enter declared terrorist-controlled areas in Syria and Iraq and working closely with regional friends and partners.
We are refocusing Australia’s diplomatic, trade and development efforts on our region.
We are delivering a sustainable, effective and affordable aid program that helps developing countries reduce poverty and promote sustainable economic growth, giving priority to women and girls, education, health and aid-for-trade.
The Government’s student overseas study program, the New Colombo Plan, is supporting Australian university students to study and undertake internships in more than 35 countries in our region. This is building a generation of future Australian leaders with deeper understanding of our region and relationships to last a lifetime.
The Coalition’s foreign policy prepares Australia for the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century by:
– expanding Australia’s overseas diplomatic presence
– boosting Australia’s crisis response capability
– establishing regional health security partnerships
– supporting a Pacific Women Mentoring Programme
– developing a contemporary foreign policy strategy that builds on our achievements and focuses on 21st century challenges and opportunities

[a Stronger Agriculture Sector]
A strong agriculture sector will boost Australia’s productivity, jobs and exports.
The Coalition has delivered a $4 billion Agriculture White Paper that will support jobs growth in our regions, drive export opportunities for agricultural businesses, and encourage investment to ensure Australia remains a globally competitive agriculture producer.
We are delivering significant commitments to the agriculture sector, including a $200 million increase in biosecurity funding, $190 million for rural research and development for profit, $100 million for pest and weed management, a $2.5 billion concessional loan programme for farmers, and a $500 million National Water Infrastructure Fund to provide future water security for our farmers.
Australian agriculture is stronger under the Coalition.
The Coalition will continue to support jobs and growth in the agriculture sector by:
– delivering a $2 billion National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility to support major water infrastructure projects over 10 years
– building the Rookwood Weir, upgrading the Macalister Irrigation District and laying the south-west Loddon pipeline
– investing $20 million to help eradicate invasive pests through Invasive Animals Solutions
– encouraging investment by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation in agriculture
– committing $8.3 million to complete implementation of the Livestock Export Global Assurance programme
– providing $1.2 million to boost research and development for thoroughbred breeders
– delivering $4 million to establish a Northern Australian rice industry
– establishing a Regional Investment Corporation
– providing $4 million to support Casino Beef Week and ensure the Beef Australia 2018 event occurs in Rockhampton
– investing $2 million to establish a commodity milk price index
– developing leadership capacity in agricultural industries
– providing $1.8 million in additional funding for the Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities programme
– creating centres of excellence in agriculture

… When in government, Labor short-changed Australia’s agricultural sector, costing jobs and investment opportunities.
Labor cut funding to Australian agriculture by $2.1 billion.
Labor’s panicked reaction to an ABC TV programme devastated the Northern Australian cattle industry.
Labor’s super trawler fiasco damaged Australia’s reputation as a trade partner.

[Jobs and Growth in Regional Australia]
Regional Australia is critical to Australia’s economic prosperity and is home to around one third of Australia’s population.
Regional Australia accounts for around 65 per cent of Australia’s export earnings by value and is a major source of domestic and international tourism. 45 cents in every tourism dollar is spent in regional Australia.
Regional communities are benefitting from the Coalition’s economic plan.
Our export trade deals have made it easier for regional businesses to export to Asia and our tax cuts for small business are creating new job opportunities.
Regional communities are an attractive place to live and invest.
They have a strong culture of innovation, offer diverse employment options, and attract the skills and talent needed to build successful businesses.
While the opportunities for regional Australia have never been greater, the Coalition recognises that some regions have been impacted by the slowdown in mining, falling commodity prices and changes to the manufacturing sector.
The Coalition will boost jobs, investment and growth in regional Australia.
We will establish a $200 million Regional Jobs and Investment package to deliver regional jobs and growth.
The Regional Jobs and Investment package will incentivise local businesses to invest and employ, enable regional communities to upgrade local infrastructure and deliver new skills and training programmes.
The package will be delivered in partnership with local communities.
Community leaders and local experts will be engaged to assess the needs of regional communities and develop local investment plans covering the following three areas:
– Business innovation grants
– Local infrastructure
– Skills and training programmes
The package will support regional communities to diversify their economies, create new export opportunities and help boost regional jobs.
The Coalition will contribute $200 million to the Regional Jobs and Investment package and will leverage a further $200 million in matched funding. Individual regions will be able to access up to $30 million in funding.
Our commitment will boost confidence, jobs, investment, and growth in regional Australia.

… Labor’s policies will fail to deliver jobs and opportunities for regional Australia.

[A Stronger Economy and Balanced Budget]
The Coalition’s policies are fully costed and we will deliver an improvement to the Budget bottom line.
Our responsible and transparent approach to fiscally sound policy means that, compared to the Budget bottom-line in the Pre-Election Fiscal and Economic Outlook (PEFO), we will deliver a net improvement of $1.1 billion over the next four years.
By contrast, Labor worsens the PEFO results by $16.5 billion over the four years, despite increasing taxes.
Only the Coalition has a credible, fully-costed economic plan that will deliver jobs, promote economic growth, and deliver a secure future for Australian families.
Our economic plan is seeing results. Since the start of the election campaign several updates to economic indicators have been released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics:
– latest growth figures show Australia’s economy grew at more than 3 per cent over the last year
– our economy is growing faster than the US, UK, Canada and well above the OECD average
– export volumes and trade balance improved in April
– the current account balance strengthened in March
– household consumption remained solid, growing at 0.7 per cent through the March quarter and 3 per cent over the year
– the number of employed Australians has increased by 225,000 over the year to May 2016 and more than 460,000 jobs have been created since the Coalition came to government
– the unemployment rate is 5.7 per cent, down from its peak of 6.3 per cent in July 2015
– consumer confidence as measured by the Westpac Index remains elevated at a level of 102.2 in June – above the 10 year average and nearly 7 points above the confidence level a year ago
– business conditions and business confidence as indicated in the respected NAB survey remain positive and the AIG Performance of Services Index is stabilising
– our credit rating remains stable at the top level of Triple-A
The Coalition’s fiscally responsible and transparent approach to policy will mean lower taxes for families and businesses, greater certainty and stability, and more opportunities for job and real wage growth.
Our approach guarantees the protection of Medicare and funding for health, education and infrastructure.

The Coalition has a strong economic record and a plan to continue to grow our economy in order to provide jobs into the future.
The Coalition inherited a Budget in chaos from the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years.
Living within our means is a key part of our National Economic Plan.
Unlike Labor, all our policies are fully funded.
This means we guarantee the protection of Medicare and funding for health, education and infrastructure.
Labor have rejected this commitment. They are instead raising taxes and at the same time make the Budget deficit worse over the next four years.
Under Labor, the deficit will be $16.5 billion higher than under the Coalition.
This means Labor will be borrowing an average of $11 million more than the Coalition each and every day over the next four years.
Three eminent economists have confirmed Labor will put Australia’s AAA credit rating at greater risk.
This is simply not fair to Australia’s youth.
High levels of debt shift the burden of paying for services Australian’s enjoy today on to our children and our grandchildren.
It’s the same old Labor – higher spending, higher deficits, despite increased taxes and higher debt.

cf Federal Platform


Canada Vol.16 (Manifesto 2015 of New Democratic Party of Canada)

Here is NDP’s manifesto in October 2015. Excerpts are on our own.

Building the country of our dreams: Tom Mulcair’s plan to bring change to Ottawa (PDF)| @NDP_HQ

p.iv-v: Kick-start the economy and build needed infrastructure, starting with:
~ Cutting taxes for Canada’s job creators by reducing the small business tax from 11 to 9%.
~ Supporting innovation and investment in companies creating jobs in Canada, with an early focus on the aerospace, automotive, forestry and mining sectors.
~ Creating jobs and building our economy with $1.5 billion per year in new infrastructure funding to municipalities to fix roads, bridges and water treatment systems.
~ Investing $1.3 billion per year in a national strategy to improve transit and reduce gridlock.
~ Boosting investment in tourism.
~ Supporting regional economic development.
~ Helping retrofit over 50,000 homes and apartment buildings.
~ Investing in flood mitigation and disaster preparedness.

p.21: Building Needed Infrastructure
After decades of Liberal and Conservative downloading and neglect, Canada needs a Prime Minister who understands the benefits of long-term and sustainable investment in our municipalities.
Stephen Harper’s lost decade has left communities with inadequate funding and complicated red tape that delays construction. The NDP’s plan will provide municipal partners with significant, stable, predictable federal funding to support their infrastructure and public transit needs over the next 20 years and close Canada’s infrastructure deficit.
Tom Mulcair knows that quality infrastructure supports businesses, improves productivity and keeps our cities moving, and that by boosting transit there will be thousands of fewer vehicles on the road.

The NDP’s long-term infrastructure plan will:
~ Invest in transit to reduce gridlock and give commuters the reliable options they need.
Our Better Transit Plan will reduce gridlock and commute times across Canada by investing in a 20 year plan to support municipal needs. Funding will reach $1.3 billion annually by the end of the NDP’s first mandate.
~ Increase direct transfers to municipalities to build and repair roads, bridges, water infrastructure and transit.
With an additional $1.5 billion annually by the end of the NDP’s first mandate, municipalities and communities will be able to make needed investments in their infrastructure priorities to keep our communities moving.
~ Invest in national infrastructure priorities to grow the economy.
Our plan will invest in strategic infrastructure priorities like northern roads, bridges and ports to build strong regional economies. We will improve rail safety and infrastructure, and keep the toll off the Champlain Bridge to help commuters while facilitating trade. The NDP will continue support for federal infrastructure commitments under the New Building Canada Fund. We will expand eligibility to ensure that important recreation, cultural, tourist and ferry infrastructure projects are supported.

The NDP will work with, not against, provinces, territories, Indigenous governments and municipalities to make smart investments while rigorously respecting their jurisdiction. Our plan will simplify application processes by removing mandatory P3 requirements in order to speed up construction and reduce federal interference in local priorities.
By year four, the NDP’s plan will create 54,000 construction, manufacturing and transit operations jobs across the country and add $4.5 billion to Canada’s GDP.
Unlike Justin Trudeau’s reckless promise of years of deficits and future cuts, the NDP’s commitment increases investment sustainably each year to grow the economy while balancing the budget.

p.22-23: Transitioning to a Cleaner Future, a Greener Economy
Canada can no longer afford to stand on the sidelines when it comes to tackling catastrophic climate change and transitioning to a cleaner, greener economy.
After almost a decade of Conservative government, Canada’s international reputation has suffered as a result of the failure to diversify Canada’s economy and to transition to clean energy and technologies.
The vast majority of Canadians have clearly called for the federal government to take a leading role in the fight against climate change and in transitioning Canada to a cleaner economy, but Stephen Harper has refused.
The NDP understands that developing Canada’s clean energy sector will stimulate the economy, create jobs and reduce greenhouse gases.

In addition to the NDP’s Better Transit Plan and investing in local infrastructure such as community energy systems, the NDP will make strategic investments totaling $1.5 billion over four years to tackle climate change and adapt our communities, including:
~ Improving energy security, affordability and reducing pollution by investing $100 million in renewable energy development in northern and remote communities.
~ Supporting local sustainable development leaders by investing $150 million in our communities through the Green Municipal Fund.
~ Providing support for improved passenger rail infrastructure and restoring funds cut from regional rail services across Canada.
~ Reducing water pollution by investing $200 million in wastewater infrastructure in small communities.
~ Preventing damage from natural disasters by investing $400 million in flood mitigation measures and seismic upgrades for schools.
The NDP will also strengthen disaster relief financial assistance arrangements with provinces, and invest $9 million annually to develop emergency plans and provide equipment and training for first responders.
~ Making the federal government a leader in electric transportation and energy efficiency.
The NDP will create federal targets for the electrification of federal fleets and strengthen Canada’s green procurement policy to reduce long-term fuel and maintenance costs, including the installation of 150 electric vehicle charging stations on federal properties across Canada.

In addition, recognizing the leadership taken by provinces and efforts already underway, the NDP will work with provinces, territories, municipalities and Indigenous governments to:
~ Introduce Green Bonds so that Canadians can invest in a cleaner economy.
Green Bonds will provide low-risk financing of up to $4.5 billion for clean energy development, climate resilient infrastructure, commercial and industrial energy retrofits, and other sustainable development projects. Green Bonds will be independently invested and managed, while providing Canadians with a government-backed, reasonable rate of return.

Tom Mulcair knows that the right choice – the only responsible choice – is for Canada to commit to an approach based on sustainable development.
Not only is it the right thing to do, but it will also help ensure our long-term prosperity as a nation in a competitive global economy.
We must start working with the world and stop working against the planet.

p.49-50: Undoing Stephen Harper’s Environmental Damage
Under Stephen Harper, Canada’s climate record has lacked leadership and been criticized by the United Nations for falling behind many other countries.
For decades, Conservatives and Liberals have promised and failed to reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions and even joined together to defeat Jack Layton’s Climate Change Accountability Act.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and making polluters pay for the pollution they produce are part of the NDP’s plan to grow the economy while protecting the environment.
NDP climate change initiatives will be undertaken in collaboration with provinces, territories, municipalities and Indigenous governments. Federal carbon pricing revenues will be returned to the provinces so that they can be reinvested in greenhouse gas reduction efforts.

The NDP will:
~ Work with provinces and territories to develop a pan-Canadian cap-and-trade system that sets concrete emissions limits for Canada’s major polluters.
The NDP initiative will recognize efforts already underway in provinces like British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, and will allow jurisdictions to opt out if their own carbon pricing plans meet or exceed federal standards.
~ Reintroduce Jack Layton’s Climate Change Accountability Act to make certain that Canada meets its long-term target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Tom Mulcair’s record as Quebec’s Environment Minister means Canadians and the international community will be able to count on Canada’s NDP government to make polluters pay and do our part on climate change.

The NDP will also protect our natural environment for future generations and reverse Stephen Harper’s damaging changes to environmental protection laws by:
~ Affirming government’s strong role in environmental protection and assessment.
~ Ensuring and supporting public participation in decision-making.
~ Incorporating consideration of cumulative effects, regional assessments and greenhouse gas impacts for all major projects.

p.51: Parks and Water
We will protect our natural environment for future generations and reverse Stephen Harper’s damaging changes to environmental protection laws. The NDP will:
~ Move quickly to complete all proposed national parks and national wildlife areas, starting with Qausuittuq (NU). Others we will move on are Thaidene Nene (NWT), Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve (NL) and Edéhzhíe National Wildlife Area (NWT), and expanding the Rouge National Urban Park (ON).
~ Recommit Parks Canada to prioritizing their legal obligation to maintain or restore ecological integrity as the first priority for park management.
~ Update Parks Canada’s national park system plan to focus on expanding parks where needed to protect their ecological integrity, creating new parks to improve representation of natural regions, and improving ecological connectivity between national parks and other protected areas.
~ Review Environment Canada’s protected areas system, and develop a clear vision and plan for protecting more nationally significant wildlife habitat.
~ Review and update the National Conservation Plan to articulate a clear path towards achieving our Aichi 2020 targets, working with the provinces and territories, Indigenous communities and other stakeholders.

As a country, we need to do more to protect and preserve our oceans. The NDP will meet Canada’s 2020 target of 10% of our oceans protected. Canada has only protected 1.1% so far. We will set a 2017 target to formally dedicate those under existing consideration.
Formally protect the following areas under consideration:
~ Quebec: Îles-de-la-Madeleine, St. Lawrence Estuary, American Bank of the Gaspé Peninsula
~ Nova Scotia: St. Ann’s Bank
~ New Brunswick: Shediac Valley
~ British Columbia: Race Rocks, Hecate Strait/Queen Charlotte Sound Glass Sponge Reefs, Scott Islands Marine National Wildlife Area, Southern Strait of Georgia National Marine Conservation Area
~ Newfoundland and Labrador: Laurentian Channel
~ Northwest Territories: Anguniaqvia Niqiqyuam (Darnley Bay)
~ Nunavut: Tallurutiup Tariunga (Lancaster Sound) National Marine Conservation Area

p.59- : Fiscal Appendix: A Balanced Plan for Investment and Growth

cf Policy Book (PDF)

Canada Vol.15 (Manifesto 2015 of Green Party of Canada)

Here is Canada’s Green Party’s manifesto in October 2015. Excerpts are on our own.

VISION GREEN 2015 (PDF) | @CanadianGreens

p.9-10: The Green Economy
… A smart economy is one that is resilient. A smart economy is diversified, less vulnerable to global shifts. A smart economy enriches localized value chains, producing more goods and employing more Canadians. According to numerous studies, notably Michael E. Porter’s work at Harvard Business School, the more ambitious environmental standards and regulations are adopted, the more competitive and productive is your economy. …
… Unfortunately, employed Canadians are also among the most overworked citizens in the industrialized world. A report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) states that the richest 10% of Canadians are the only ones not working longer hours. The report concludes that, despite being better educated and working harder, Canadian families are now “running faster just to stay put and the bottom half is actually falling behind.” …

p.13: 1.3 Reporting the well-being of the nation more accurately
By some accounts, the Canadian economy is performing quite well. But national prosperity is more than just the exchange of dollars. The gross domestic product (GDP) – our national bottom line – is a measure of money changing hands without regard to whether we are reducing social inequalities, advancing sustainability, or safeguarding our natural capital of primary resources such as wild fish populations, natural forests, and fertile soils. Oil spills and clean-up costs actually increase local GDP, as Kinder-Morgan’s submission to the National Energy Board boasted in an ill-conceived appeal to silver linings in the event of disaster. Most economists agree that GDP is a poor measure of economic well-being or quality of life, yet our government continues to use it as the basis for its most important taxation and policy decisions.
The Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) is a new and innovative accounting method that embraces a more systematic and comprehensive definition of well-being. Literacy, health and fitness, housework, family time, public infrastructure, cultural institutions, community volunteerism, water and air quality, forests, farmland, wetlands, and employment are all measured by the GPI. Other countries, led by France following a ground-breaking study by Nobel award winners in economics Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen, are working to broaden measurements of prosperity beyond the GDP. Canada needs to catch up.

p.15: 1.4 Fair taxes – fiscal reform
… However, the evidence is now in. Corporations have not used the extra cash to create jobs. They have not re-invested it in the Canadian economy. In the words of Mark Carney, former Governor of the Bank of Canada, the money that would have gone to pay for critical infrastructure, veterans’ benefits, and environmental research is “dead money.” It has not created jobs. It is sloshing around in the bank accounts of Canada’s biggest corporations. It is an astonishing $629 billion – 35% of Canada’s GDP. …

p.23-25: 1.12 Railways – re-establishing the national dream
Canada’s national rail systems are in decline. We are the only country in the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) with no national transportation strategy. While Europeans have highly efficient inter-modal connectivity, with high speed rail linking downtown cores to airports, with bicycle lanes allowing people to move around cities safely, efficiently and pollution-free, with streetcars in the downtowns and even rural areas serviced by bus and rail, Canadian communities are increasingly stranded. Except for Vancouver, which has a downtown to airport rapid transit line built for the 2010 Olympics, and Toronto with a system currently under construction, nothing links our downtowns to airports other than a stretch of gridlocked traffic. Even along the Windsor-Quebec corridor, passenger rail is increasingly infrequent and outmoded. In much of Canada, rail routes that once moved thousands of people are abandoned. Edmonton to Calgary, Saskatoon to Regina, Halifax to Sydney have all been axed, despite their profitability. Even the tracks for freight between Truro and Cape Breton are being abandoned, and with them any hope of re-establishing passenger rail service.
Sir John A. Macdonald understood that to be a nation, to have a sense of shared identity and common purpose, Canada needed effective east-west links in communications, in energy delivery, and in transportation.
To renew this ‘national dream’ today requires a complete overhaul of our rail system for both passenger and freight. It will mean wherever possible shifting cargo containers off highways and onto freight trains, driving the development of freight distribution nodes (off-loading containers onto local trucks) along new ‘green corridors’. It will require a comprehensive plan for Alberta’s bitumen to increasingly process it in Alberta and stop over-burdening our rail system with rail cars loaded with bitumen for export.
The rail system changes will, over time, move to separate lines for passenger trains, particularly in well populated corridors. At the moment, freight owns the tracks and controls the traffic signals.
Passengers are at the mercy of freight. New high-speed commuter trains will almost halve the travel time between Toronto and Ottawa and Toronto and Montreal to about two and a half hours. With downtown-to-downtown service, the train will be faster than the plane, when security and other airport delays are factored in. Reducing air travel will reduce greenhouse gases and remove the needto expand airports or build new ones, including the Pickering airport near Toronto. Better rail service will take cars off the roads between major cities, reducing air pollution, congestion, and loss of life in traffic accidents. An improved rail system will make Canada more economically competitive and provide thousands of new jobs.

Green Party MPs will re-establish Canada’s National Dream and:
• Re-invest in our national rail systems, building more train cars in Canada, increasing train speeds and phasing in high speed rail where feasible, and creating green transportation and energy infrastructure corridors in key regions;
• Give VIA Rail a statute-based mandate, modeled on the U.S.-laws that govern Amtrak;
• Improve rail infrastructure and intermodal connections, increasing joint federal-municipal light rail investments, as well as improving VIA Rail service nationwide;
• Work with railway companies to improve rail infrastructure and to restore VIA rail service to all major regional cities;
• Create a national clean freight initiative, using both regulation and financial incentives to improve fleet efficiency and safety;
• Bring forward regulations for Positive Train Control systems for passenger and freight, ensuring safer transport;
• Support the trucking industry, reducing pollution through add-on generators to avoid the need to idle to maintain air conditioning and refrigeration, while ensuring the right fit of trucking in a more efficient, rail-based intermodal system.

p.25: 1.13 Green urban transportation
Urban sprawl means commuters crawl. More roads don’t solve the problem; they make it worse. Gridlock means more air pollution and more GHG emissions. A transition to efficient light rail transit and coordinated buses will take cars off our roads, breaking the cycle of an increasing number of cars on increasingly-crowded roads to make our cities more livable.
We must build our way out of the problem of clogged roads and smog-choked cities, not by building more roads and bridges and more distant suburbs, but by building ‘smart growth’ infrastructure. Excellent public transit and efficient housing in high-density nodes along existing transit corridors will make cities more livable and people-friendly. The federal government must take the lead in funding the ‘greening’ of Canada’s cities. (see Section 1.14  Infrastructure and Communities for more on federal-municipal relations.)

Green Party MPs will:
• Increase federal funding for pedestrian, cycle, and car-sharing infrastructure in towns and cities;
• Increase existing funding to stimulate a massive re-investment in public transportation infrastructure in all Canadian towns and cities to make it convenient, safe, comfortable, and affordable; …

p.26-27: 1.14 Infrastructure and communities
At Confederation, Canada was a predominantly rural country where fewer than one in ten people lived in cities. Our constitution set up a taxation system that greatly favoured the federal and provincial governments over municipal governments. The municipal order of government is not even mentioned in our Constitution, yet today eight in ten Canadians live in urban areas. …
Urban Canadians need their garbage collected, good transit services, safe roads, and dependable water supplies. They also want new investment in green urban infrastructure including recycling, mass transit, energy efficiency upgrades to buildings, water conservation, and community amenities like parks, sports fields, and arts, culture and community centres. Underlying this is an urgent need to replace aging sewer systems, roadways, and water pipes.
All of these are municipal responsibilities, but Canadian municipalities simply don’t have enough money to do it all. According to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, 50% of Canadian tax revenue is spent on federal programs, 42% goes to the provinces and only 8% goes to municipal governments. Canada’s biggest fiscal imbalance is the imbalance between municipal governments and everyone else.
As Jane Jacobs pointed out in Dark Age Ahead, taxes are collected disproportionately at the wrong level. Most Canadians’ experience their government at the level where it collects their recycling, runs their buses, and provides their water. …
Green Party MPs will:
• Increase the Gas Tax Transfer to municipalities to five cents/litre to be used in funding the above sustainable transportation initiatives such as public transit, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, and rural roads;
• Recognize that access to high-speed internet connections is now a critical aspect of infrastructure and work to expand access to address the ‘digital divide’;
• Make employer-provided transit passes tax-free by exempting them from taxable benefit status, thereby encouraging workers and businesses to use public transport, and make employee parking a taxable benefit;
• Change tax policy to create a new pool of long-term municipal infrastructure funding by allowing municipalities to issue new Municipal Registered Retirement Savings Plans Bonds which can be held in RRSPs and self-directed RRSPs;
• Fund ‘Green Cities’ initiatives, ensuring (through contractual agreements) that the funding is not used in ways that encourage urban sprawl, but instead to reduce sprawl and GHG emissions, conserve electricity and water, increase densification, expand convenient, safe, reliable and affordable public transit, and build cycling and walking paths.

p.30-32: 1.15 Agriculture and food
… Green Party MPs will develop a National Agricultural and Food Policy which will:
• Improve food safety and boosts nutritional health by:
o Amending the Canadian Food Inspection Agency mandate to remove any obligation to promote Canadian agri-business, ensuring the focus is on food safety and food safety only, with enhanced resources for inspection and monitoring;
o Eliminating conflict of interest by removing food and agri-business representatives from federal food policy advisory bodies;
o Acting to label sodium, sugar, and trans fats on food products;
o Regulating the amount of trans fats in our food supply;
o Removing tax deductibility from junk food advertising aimed at children;
o Placing a manufacturer’s levy on sugary drinks, earmarking the revenue to fund healthy living initiatives;
o Ensuring the quality and wholesomeness of food by strengthening the monitoring of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, growth hormones, non-therapeutic antibiotics, and insecticides in food production, processing and storage, with the goal of an orderly reduction in detectable residues of these substances until they reach undetectable limits;
o Establishing federally funded, community-guided school lunch programs across Canada to ensure that our children have daily access to healthy local food and can learn about sustainable food production and healthy eating;
o Strengthening Plant Protection and Health of Animals Programs with measures to ensure the integrity of farm food products;
o Improving and strengthening the Canadian Organic Standard;
o Providing transitional assistance for those switching to certified organic farming practices;
o Ensuring that no animal by-products are used in ruminant animal feed;
o Strengthening testing for BSE by implementing 100% testing (testing of every slaughtered animal) as soon as the process of detecting BSE in blood samples is perfected.
(Note: please refer to Health promotion in section 4.7 for greater detail on health promotion aspects of some measures listed here.)

• Provide food security by:
o Moving towards regional food self-sufficiency across Canada, as we begin the shift to organic agriculture as the dominant model of production;
o Supporting the ‘200 kilometre diet’ and locally grown food through expansion of farmers’ markets and local culinary tourism activities;
o Promoting rooftop gardens, cultivation of green urban space for agriculture, food production in cities and suburbs, and community gardens;
o Protecting the right of farmers to save their own seed;
o Promoting heritage seed banks and seed exchange programs.

• Reduce corporate control of the food supply by:
o Reforming agriculture regulations to challenge corporate concentration;
o Ensuring that farm support payments are farm-based (not production-based) to encourage more farms and more farmers;
o Encouraging organic farming methods to improve farm profitability and sustainability.

• Support local food markets by:
o Enabling local areas without industrial-scale agriculture to develop area-specific food safety regulations meeting national standards without placing undue financial burdens on local farmers and food processors;
o Assisting in re-establishing the architecture of local food production in canneries, slaughterhouses, and other value-added food processing;
o Encouraging and supporting the consumption of locally-grown food by promoting adequate shelf space in grocery chains for products from local farms and local food processors.

• Improve agricultural research by:
o Ensuring that new plant cultivars and animal breeds remain in the public domain;
o Shifting government-supported research away from biotechnology and energy-intensive farming and towards organic food production;
o Increasing publicly-funded research into organic farming techniques;
o Establishing new policies for private research efforts to ensure that they are in the best interests of family farmers and consumers;
o Preventing the patenting of life forms;
o Ensuring that developers of genetically engineered crops are liable for any damage those crops cause.

• Ensure fair trade by:
o Prioritizing fair trade in agricultural exports and imports;
o Ensuring that supply management systems provide stable domestic markets, provide viable farm income and permit unregulated production by smaller and family farms that sell to local market;
o Reviewing the impacts of abolishing the Canadian Wheat Board and considering re-establishing it to ensure the fair trading of high quality Canadian grains;
o Eliminating the dumping of food into the economies of developing countries.

• Stop the loss of agricultural land to development by:
o Calling for negotiated agreements with the provinces to secure the preservation of the prime agricultural land in Canada;
o Reinstating the Canada Land Inventory program with adequate funding to update and keep current a comprehensive record of land capability and land use as a vital ongoing aid to local planning;
o Providing sufficient fiscal incentives to other levels of government, including municipalities, to preserve farmlands under their jurisdictions.

• Support environmental stewardship by:
o Protecting and improving the quality of water in our streams, lakes, and aquifers;
o Restoring the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Board and its conservation measures;
o Working with provinces to ensure that all livestock waste is recycled safely and contamination by agricultural run-off is avoided;
o Introducing cost-shared programs to help farmers protect wildlife habitat areas and marginal lands, maintain water quality in streams, lakes and aquifers, and retain and improve soil quality;
o Creating a national Environmental Farm Plan Program to provide new funding sources for implementation at the farm level.

• Assist farmers in climate change adaptation by:
o Encouraging farming methods that increase carbon sequestration and decrease water requirements;
o Establishing GHG emission targets for all components of the agri-food system, and collaborating with industry to meet targets;
o Restructuring Canada’s Business Risk Management Programs to help farmers cope with climate risk, especially in disaster assistance. …

p.35-36: 1.17 Fisheries
… Green Party MPs will work to:
• Sign and ratify the global treaty to ban bottom-trawling;
• Repeal changes to the federal Fisheries Act found in spring 2012’s omnibus budget bill C-38.

• Strengthen the Fisheries Act to:
1. Require evaluation of threats to fish stocks and include provisions to protect fish stocks and the marine environment;
2. Make protection of critical stocks and habitat mandatory;
3. Require that the management and conservation of wild fisheries take precedence over aquaculture, wherever there are conflicts;
4. Increase penalties for contravening the Fisheries Act;
5. Improve public participation in decision making, under the principles of the Oceans Act, in particular engaging coastal communities in local fisheries management.

• Restructure Fisheries and Oceans Canada into three separate branches: Management, Monitoring and Enforcement, and Research;
• Strengthen legislation that protects fish habitats and fish stocks from over-fishing and pollution;
• Implement measures to quickly phase out open-ocean net-cage fish farms and ensure that this aquaculture industry does not continue to harm wild fisheries;
• Give funding priority to small-scale projects to restore and enhance wild fish stocks, especially with Aboriginal peoples and traditional fishing communities using traditional technologies;
• Enforce sustainable harvesting technologies such as long lines, cod traps, or significantly modified mobile gear to reduce by-catch of untargeted and threatened species and monitor results to ensure the return of healthy stocks and stop the loss of biodiversity;
• Shift from interception fisheries management practices to selective terminal fisheries;
• Ban bottom-trawling in domestic waters and work internationally to institute a global ban;
• Appraise and support development of different kinds of fishing gear that make a profit, while minimizing by-catch and habitat impact;
• Support development of more sustainable ways of harvesting marine resources, including value-added processing, and developing environmentally-friendly biochemical and pharmaceutical products;
• Support Research and Development of ecotourism as a non-consumptive use of marine biodiversity;
• Provide funding and support to ecological research to discover what factors have enabled natural marine ecosystems to work so well in the past with the objective of restoring abundant stocks and rehabilitating degraded systems;
• Establish an Independent Review Commission made up of marine biologists, ecologists, and resource economists to investigate (with input from fishermen, fishing communities and indigenous peoples) the causes of the enormous decline in Canada’s fisheries resources, and recommend policies and programs to restore offshore and inshore fisheries;
• Repeal the Canada Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Act and the Canada Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Act and adjust regional agreements to give fisheries greater protection from petroleum exploration and development;
• Extend permanent bans on oil and gas exploration and development in ecologically-sensitive areas, particularly the coast of British Columbia and the Gulf of St. Lawrence;
• Encourage a greater role for fishermen and Aboriginal peoples in managing fisheries through co-management provisions in the Oceans Act;
• Ensure that lighthouses remain staffed to perform the essential safety and security work they perform;

• Work with provincial governments to eliminate aquaculture practices that damage the marine environment and threaten human health and seek:
1. A moratorium on new open-ocean net-pen salmon farms and a phase-out of existing farms within ten years;
2. In the meantime, the fallowing of sea pens during wild-hatch salmon runs. …

p.42-43: 1.20 Mining
… Green Party MPs will:
• Call for government action to require life-cycle product stewardship of metals to ensure that once mined they remain in economic service for generations;
• Actively encourage value-added upgrading and manufacturing, to create more jobs and other local economic benefits;
• Work with provinces and territories to ensure that First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities participate in a socially, environmentally and economically meaningful way in mineral development and mining in their traditional areas;
• Vigorously oppose the permitting of any new uranium mines and notify current uranium-permit holders of plans to phase out this industry in Canada, including exports;
• Prohibit the export of fissionable nuclear material;
• Develop plans to fast-track the end to asbestos mining in Canada and assist the Quebec government and industry in phasing out the chrysotile mining industry, providing transition support for affected workers, families and communities;
• Shift Canada’s position to support Prior Informed Consent rules under the Rotterdam Convention for asbestos;
• Push for full-cost accounting for mining and prospecting. Review the benefits of flow-through shares promoting prospecting and exploration in unlikely areas;
• Work with provinces, territories, and industry to ensure that all mining operations are insured for environmental liabilities, and have an adequate pre-funded plan for remediation, both for the short and long-term, when a mine closes, and ensure that waters are not contaminated during mining operations and after a mine closes; …

p.51-53: 2.1.3 Buildings
… Green Party MPs will:
• Develop a national energy retrofit standard designed for a post-carbon economy that will reduce energy use in existing buildings by an average of at least 80% below that of 2009 average structures;
• Develop timelines and targets for raising existing building stock to the new standard with the goal of retrofitting 100% of Canada’s buildings to a high level of energy efficiency by 2030;

• Promote the adoption of this high efficiency standard by:
1. Restore the EcoENERGY program and provide revolving federal loans for retrofits to homeowners, as well as create cooperative programs with other orders of government, aimed at retrofitting the majority of homes across Canada in the coming decade;
2. Dedicate $250 million/year for five years for a low-income retrofit grant program (propose 50% cost sharing with provinces aiming to retrofit 50,000 homes/year, assuming an average cost of $10,000/home);
3. Funding a nation-wide program to upgrade all low-income rental housing on a phased year-by-year basis to be completed by 2030, as Germany is doing;
4. Identifying the barriers to sustainable energy retrofits and eliminating them;
5. Providing refundable tax credits for all energy retrofit costs, based on before-and-after EnerGuide or infrared heat tests for residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings;
6. Promoting tax-deductible Green Mortgages for homeowner energy retrofit costs;
7. Introducing a national program of energy retrofits to public sector buildings such as universities, schools, museums, and hospitals;
8. Establishing a 100% Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance for all businesses for energy retrofit costs;
9. Providing revolving federal loans for residential or business energy retrofits;
10.Instituting mandatory energy audits of buildings that become available for sale and requiring that the audit results be made available.

• Work with provinces and territories to develop and implement within two years, and update annually after that, a new national building code that:
1. Reduces overall energy demand to 15% of current conventional structures;
2. Minimizes the use of fossil fuel based heating and cooling systems;
3. Considers the embodied energy of construction materials;
4. Results in structures, where possible, that produce more energy than they consume;
5. Promotes structures that harvest, reuse, and purify their own water;
6. Is performance-based, opening the way to innovation and unlocking barriers to green design;
7. Require mandatory installation of solar hot water systems and pre-wiring for solar PV on all new buildings;
8. Provide grants of 50% of the cost of solar thermal roofs or walls including solar hot water, as in Sweden;
9. Promote Green Mortgage loans for the remainder of the cost. Establish free energy audits;
10. Provide GST credits for all materials used in buildings that are LEED® Silver or better.

p.54-55: 2.1.5 Renewable energy
… Green Party MPs will:
• Ensure Canada joins the International Renewable Energy Agency;
• Establish the design and management principles of a trans-Canada nationally integrated electrical power grid capable of efficiently transporting high electrical loads and accommodating many diverse sources of renewable electrical energy;
• Develop a transition plan that will transform the existing electrical distribution system into a high efficiency national grid;
• Work with Canada’s wind industry and the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CANWEA) to accelerate the rapid deployment of wind turbines to achieve 20% of Canada’s energy needs by 2025;
• Restore the Wind Power Production Incentive and incentives for projects with approved Advanced Renewable Tariffs that provide power purchase contracts for a diversity of small renewable energy projects;
• Provide a two cent/kWh subsidy for renewable energy produced in any province or territory adopting ART+ (Advanced Renewable Tariffs, net metering, peak power pricing, and plans for renewable grid extensions);
• Support local energy co-operatives forming in provinces or territories adopting ART+;
• Provide substantial Research and Development (R&D) funding for ocean energy technologies in provinces and territories adopting ART+;
• Provide substantial R&D funding for electricity storage technologies in provinces adopting ART+;
• Provide support for power grid extensions to bring wind and ocean power from remote areas in provinces and territories adopting ART+;
• Work with the solar industry to rapidly install 25 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV;
• Work with the solar industry to help them achieve their goal of installing over 5GWp by 2017;
• Work with renewable energy industries to introduce 12 GW MW of ocean energy and to set specific goals for production of biomass and micro hydro energy;
• Work with the geothermal energy industry and the oil industry (for their drilling expertise) in a well-funded R&D program to develop Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS), drilling down to ten km to extract 25 GW of power;
• Develop co-generation and peak power production from methane obtained from the anaerobic digestion of organic waste;
• Develop peak power production from burning demonstrably sustainable agricultural and forest waste as necessary to meet peak power demands but within the constraints of maintaining soil nutrients.

p.57: 2.1.6 Transport
… Green Party MPs will:
• Work with the motor industry, provinces, territories, and other partners to develop a sustainable vehicles strategy, leading to an 85% reduction in emissions below today’s level by 2040;
• Adopt California standards requiring a 30% reduction in GHG emissions from new vehicles sold in Canada by 2020, 50% by 2025, and 90% by 2030. This will drive the manufacture of zero-emission vehicles and the infrastructure to support them. It will also create fuel efficiency standards in line with leading U.S. states for the 2011 model year;
• Kick-start a national fast-charging electric vehicle infrastructure by investing $12 million into travel corridor pilot projects around major urban centres;
• Provide tax incentives to electricity storage, to benefit renewable energy development in every province and territory and maximize the efficient use of existing infrastructure, specifically by amending Classes 43.1 and 43.2 of the Income Tax Act to specify that capital cost allowances apply to expenditures on tangible stand-alone electricity storage assets, regardless of the electricity source;
• Accelerate the market arrival of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and fully electric vehicles by signing the Plug-In Partners advanced purchasing agreement (creating a federal buying pool) with a commitment to buy large numbers of PHEVs for federal government use as soon as they are available. Carbon conditionality clauses in federal contracts will include a requirement for the purchase of plug-in vehicles as soon as they are more readily available;
• Work with all governments and businesses in Canada to join a Canadian green car buying pool and to join the Plug-In Partners buying pool;
• Offer scale-based rebates of up to $5,000 for the purchase of the most efficient vehicles, including electric vehicles, and scale-based fees on the purchase of inefficient vehicles;
• Require mandatory vehicle fuel efficiency labelling, adopting the European system;
• Allow tax write-off benefits only for energy efficient company cars;
• Provide incentives for Canadian manufacturers of electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles;
• Establish a new authority to create a just transition fund for the automobile sector, funded by an additional fee on all sales of inefficient cars in Canada. …

p.61: 2.1.10 Fossil fuels
Green Party MPs will:
• Remove all subsidies and supports to the oil, coal, gas, and coalbed methane industries in Canada;
• Apply escalating Carbon Fee and Dividend to all CO2, methane, N2O, fugitive, and other GHG emissions;
• Apply a carbon fee to all producers of fossil fuels, redistributed as a dividend to every Canadian, as above;
• Work with provinces to ensure no new coal-fired electrical generation plants;
• Work with provinces to place a moratorium on horizontal fracking;
• Pass legislation to keep Canada’s west coast crude oil supertanker-free, ensuring both that a new West Coast oil bitumen-diluent port will not be built and that current bitumen-diluent tanker traffic in the Port of Vancouver be rapidly phased out;
• Work to establish a Federal Ministry of Energy Transition Plan to co-ordinate the transition from a fossil fuel based economy to one based on renewable energy;
• Work to establish a Strategic Petroleum and Natural Gas Reserve to address secure domestic petroleum supply in the event of shortages both short term and long-term, a Natural Gas Emergency Preparedness Plan that addresses potential natural gas supply shortages, and an Emergency Preparedness Plan to address other energy supply crises.

p.66-69: 3.2 Water protection and conservation
… We advocate a renewed federal government role in water management, focused on strong regulations and programs created in collaboration with provincial and municipal governments.
When it comes to our vision for freshwater, the Green message is clear: Keep it. Conserve it. Protect it.
• Keep it. Pressure is mounting to export freshwater south of the border, with trade agreements such as the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) leaving us susceptible to relinquishing control over our water. The Green Party supports current Federal Water Policy that emphatically opposes large-scale exports (bulk exports) of our freshwater.
• Conserve it. The federal government must work to ensure sustainable use of our water resources and at the same time maintain and improve access to safe water for all Canadians. This includes water metering and pricing that both reflect a fair value for water and foster efficient use, and regulations that protect and enhance water quality and ensure that Canada does not become a haven for water-wasting industrial technologies.
• Protect it. To protect and restore freshwater ecosystems and their ecological services (e.g. as habitats for fish and freshwater species, as domestic water supplies for energy-generation and recreation, as sources of water for irrigation and other economic uses) the federal government has to use its powers, including the Fisheries Act, and its role in inter-jurisdictional water sharing. This is especially important when considering the changes in quality and quantity of Canada’s freshwater that will occur due to climate change. The Great Lakes’ levels will fall, resulting in higher concentrations of toxic chemicals and other pollutants. B.C. rivers will become over-heated, preventing salmon spawning; and farmers will face increasing drought. The Athabasca River is already experiencing significant declines in flow and water quality due to climatic impacts and oil sands developments.
The federal government needs to ensure that watershed protection is the first priority of water protection and establish in-stream flow needs in every 1st and 2nd order stream in Canada. Ecological function of river basins must be protected through strict land use management in those river basins.

Green Party MPs will:
• Protect the fundamental right to clean freshwater for all Canadians today and in future generations by amending the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to enshrine the right of future Canadians to an ecological heritage that includes breathable air and drinkable water;
• Establish a Canada Water Fund of $215 million per year for five years to focus on long-term watershed health, alleviating the problem of run-off of pollutants and nutrients, and to fund the continuation of the Great Lakes Water Quality Protocol;

• Push government to strategically implement the 1987 Federal Water Policy to meet the requirements of sustainable water management – equity, efficiency, and ecological integrity – by:
1. Passing federal legislation to prohibit bulk water exports, building on the current law banning exports from transboundary basins, and immediately remove water from the scope of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) currently being negotiated;
2. Take action to prevent radioactive waste shipments such as the highly radioactive worn out steam generators from nuclear reactors approved to be shipped out of the Owen Sound harbour, through the St. Lawrence Seaway and to Sweden;
3. Establishing regulations and product standards to promote water-efficient technologies in Canada;
4. Ensuring secure, safe water supplies for all citizens, with a focus on First Nations communities, through establishing regulations requiring protection of drinking water at its source, public inspection of domestic water supplies, and mandatory and regular drinking water testing;
5. Provide funding to municipalities through a new ‘Water and Waste Treatment Facilities Municipal Superfund’ (see Section 1.14 Infrastructure and Communities for more on federal-municipal relations) to enable replacement of chlorination systems with ozonation, ultraviolet sterilization, sand filtration, and other safe water purification systems;
6. Conduct an inventory of all polluted groundwater and water bodies. Develop and implement strategies for cleaning them;
7. Enhance the capacity of federal departments and agencies to protect and restore the health of aquatic ecosystems.

• Ensure that water is managed in a way that helps create healthy, sustainable communities and fosters sustainable livelihoods by demanding that government:
1. Replace federal guidelines for drinking water quality with binding national standards that secure clean drinking water and human health;
2. Make federal funding for urban water infrastructure contingent on water efficiency plans that include measurable and enforceable goals and objectives;
3. Provide adequate funding for local and regional flood protection and drought management planning;
4. Provide strategic climate change program funding for water conservation on the basis that water conservation results in energy savings and reduced GHG emissions;
5. Revive the InfraGuide program providing internships in leading-edge municipal infrastructure projects;
6. Shift subsidies and funding away from dams and diversions (including feasibility studies) toward comprehensive ‘ground to the glass’ drinking water protection strategies, especially source water protection, watershed restoration, and community-based water conservation and efficiency planning and programs;
7. Review federal agricultural subsidies and develop transitional strategies to shift production away from water-intensive crops toward less water-intensive local sustainable agriculture.

• Address inter-provincial/territorial and international water-related concerns by demanding that government:
1. Restore ecosystem health to Canada’s coastline and inland watersheds by funding improvements to municipal wastewater treatment systems, with particular emphasis on ensuring shoreline communities and industries stop dumping untreated waste into rivers, lakes, and oceans;
2. Ensure that binding water-sharing agreements among provincial, territorial and federal governments are created within the Mackenzie Basin (within one year). The agreements must reflect contemporary scientific knowledge and principles of social equity, efficiency and ecological integrity. Elements to include:
a. Capping withdrawals from the Athabasca River based on assessment of instream flow needs;
b. Ensuring oil sands developers deal responsibly with polluted waters in oil sands tailings storage ponds (the largest man-made structures on Earth);
c. Placing a moratorium on further oil sands development (i.e. increases in annual production).
3. Review the Prairie Provinces Water Board Master Agreement on Apportionment to ensure it is consistent with contemporary scientific knowledge and principles of social equity, efficiency, and ecological integrity;
4. Address invasive species in the Great Lakes by developing stringent, science-based protocols for ballast water flushing prior to entering the St. Lawrence waterway, and funding for monitoring and enforcement of these protocols;
5. Strengthen the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement to ensure it deals with emerging issues such as endocrine disrupters and pharmaceuticals.

• Support international momentum for the human right to water by establishing a national legally binding human right to basic water requirements for all Canadians (both quality and quantity);
• Increase Canadian aid for access to basic water requirements and sanitation consistent with the Millennium Development Goals;

• Fulfill the need to increase science capacity related to water issues by demanding the government:
1. Enhance funding for data collection and integrated information systems on water use, availability and quality;
2. Link research spending in the natural and social sciences to water policy goals to ensure our higher education institutions create the knowledge base needed for 21st century water management (e.g. emerging issues such as endocrine disrupters, pharmaceuticals and toxics, instream flows and sustainable groundwater yield, climate change adaptation).

p.183: 6.13 Quebec’s place in Canada
… Green Party MPs will:
• Ensure Quebec’s unique place within Canada is recognized and affirmed in all agreements between various levels of government;
• Respect Quebec’s right to opt out of social programs and be fully compensated by the federal government if it provides a reasonably similar program;
• Promote a form of federal-provincial tax-shifting that would gradually reduce the fiscal imbalance;
• Support Quebec’s official representation at UNESCO and ensure that if Quebec and the federal representative do not agree upon a matter then Canada would abstain;
• Rebalance the funding formula to ensure fairness across regions and provinces;
• Recognize the legitimate right of the people of Quebec to freely and democratically determine its full and undiminished sovereignty through a clear majority vote in Quebec on a clear question in favour of secession, provided it is politically and legally recognized by the international community.

Australia Vol.3 (Australian Labor Party’s 10 Year Plan for Australia’s Economy; AUSTRALIAN GREENS ELECTION PLATFORM 2016)

Here are the manifestos of a part of the current opposition parties (@AustralianLabor; @Greens) in July 2016. Excerpts are on our own.

[Nation-building infrastructure: jobs, road and rail]
Labor’s Positive Plan For Infrastructure
Labor’s Positive Plan For Aviation
Labor’s Positive Plan For Aviation

[Acting on climate change, protecting the environment]
Increased Energy Efficiency
PDF p.2  … Our Climate Change Action Plan provides a pathway for an orderly transition to a low pollution economy through six key elements:
1. Make Australia a Leading Renewable Energy Economy by ensuring that 50% of the nation’s electricity is sourced from renewable energy by 2030, providing the Clean Energy Finance Corporation with more certainty and more flexibility with less red tape and more technology options, and developing new community power projects.
2. Cleaner Power Generation by ensuring that the modernisation and diversification in Australia’s electricity generation from old heavy polluting coal fired power stations to modern clean energy is an orderly transition, with meaningful support for workers and communities.
3. Build Jobs and Industry by maximising the job opportunities from clean energy and clean technology, while also securing the future of critical Australian industries through a Strategic Industries Task Force. This will be supported by a Strategic Industries Reserve Fund of $300m to support the transition of key industries to 2020.
4. Cut Pollution through an Emissions Trading Scheme with access to international offsets, placing a legal cap on the emissions of large polluters through a cap and offsets scheme, while supporting industry by ensuring access to international carbon offsets.
5. Capture Carbon on the Land by reinvigorating the Carbon Farming Initiative to encourage carbon storage in agriculture, and taking decisive action to deal with broad scale land clearing.
6. Increased Energy Efficiency by doubling Australia’s national energy productivity by 2030 and implementing new emissions standards for motor vehicles to cut pollution on our roads.

[Budget repair that’s fair: a 10 year plan to strengthen the Australian economy]
Research and Development Investment Target
Positive Plan on Housing Affordability – Negative Gearing Reform
Labor’s Fiscal Plan

[Australia’s place in a changing world]
Defence Under Labor: A Safe, Secure and Independent Australia
… A Shorten Labor Government will ensure Australia retains a world-class defence force and innovative defence industry by:
– Implementing the funding goals of the 2016 Defence White Paper, including raising Defence funding to 2 per cent of GDP by 2020‑21.
– Building 12 Future Submarines in South Australia, and mandating that at least 70 per cent of the work is done in Australia.
– Maintaining Australia’s strategically vital naval shipbuilding industry by implementing a continuous build of surface warships and ending the Abbott-Turnbull Government’s practice of denying local shipyards the opportunity to compete for work.
– Continuing to strengthen defence cooperation with the United States, including by redressing the Abbott-Turnbull Government’s neglect of the US Force Posture Initiatives in Australia’s north.
– Reforming the means by which ADF pay and conditions are determined and putting an end to the Abbott-Turnbull Government’s cynical attempts to cut the pay and conditions of ADF personnel.
– Establishing an intergovernmental taskforce to develop a nationally consistent approach to perfluorinated chemical contamination at Defence and Commonwealth sites.

[Putting people first in every State and Territory]
Labor’s Positive Plan For WA
Labor’s Positive Plan For Tasmania
Labor’s Positive Plan For The Central Coast
Labor’s Positive Plan For Victoria
Labor’s Positive Plan For South Australia
Labor’s Positive Plan For the NT
Labor’s Positive Plan For Queensland
Labor’s Positive Plan For New South Wales

Labor’s Positive Policies For Agriculture And Regional Australia
– Tackle barriers to Australian exports
– Reduce red tape for exporters
– Facilitate trade in our region

– Removing tax free fuel and other perks for miners $24 billion
– Removing the capital gains tax discount and negative gearing $14 billion
– Progressive superannuation $10 billion
– Requiring efficiencies in defence spending $14 billion
– Putting a price on carbon pollution $16 billion
– Limiting debt loading by companies $2 billion
– Stopping the concealment and splitting of income by trusts $4 billion
– Opposing income tax cuts and asking more from high earners $9 billion