Tag Archives: greed

The deadly asbestos trade


Asbestos is a mineral with long, thin fibrous crystals. The word asbestos (῾ἀσβεστος) is derived from a Greek adjective meaning inextinguishable. The Greeks termed asbestos the miracle mineral because of its soft and pliant properties, as well as its ability to withstand heat.

Asbestos is known to have toxicity. The inhalation of toxic asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses, including malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis (also called pneumoconiosis). Since the mid 1980s, many uses of asbestos have been banned in many countries.

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Canada’s deadly trade in asbestos

by Mark Bourrie

Canada is starting work this summer on a billion dollar project to renovate its parliamentary buildings and cleanse them of asbestos, which has been found to cause cancer.

The project will take six years to complete but, in the meantime, Canadian government agents are still pushing exports of the fibre. Canada even has gone so far as to argue a challenge at the World Trade Organization that a proposed French ban on asbestos imports would be an illegal trade practice.

Despite recent warnings that asbestos was the cause of 500,000 cancer victims in western Europe alone, Canadian asbestos producers continue to promote and sell their fibre worldwide – especially to developing nations.

Asbestos is used as a binder in cement, as insulation, and in anti-fire walls. It is also a potent carcinogen with a long, well-documented legacy of death.

The danger comes when small asbestos fibres are released and inhaled by labourers. The fibres cause cancerous growths in the lungs, lung lining and abdomen but can take 20 years or more to manifest.

In 1997, Canada exported 430,000 tonnes of asbestos – more than 96% of production – most of it to the developing world. Canada is the world’s second-largest exporter of asbestos after Russia.

Union activists, who have visited India and other developing countries say, however, that the public relations efforts of the government and the asbestos industry are simply window-dressing to hide the fact that most people who work with the natural mineral fibre risk cancer.

Critics of Canada’s asbestos exports say the country is exporting death to protect the profits of a handful of companies and the jobs of 1,600 miners.

“What’s the difference between land mines and asbestos?” asks Dr. Barry Castleman, author of a respected book on the danger of asbestos. “A key difference, of course, is that Canada doesn’t export land mines.”

At the heart of the issue is Canada’s own precarious political situation. All of the asbestos mines in Canada are in Quebec, a predominantly French-speaking province with a separatist government.

Federal and provincial politicians are pushing asbestos exports to prove that they are successful at developing overseas markets, and are protective of Quebec workers. Critics of asbestos exports say the industry would probably be allowed to die if it was centred in any other part of the country.

“Personally, I believe this is all about Quebec politics,” says Canadian Auto Workers Health and Safety director Cathy Walker. “The Canadian and Quebec governments are competing with one another to show just how prepared they all are to protect Quebec jobs.”

The real costs will be borne by the developing world, she says.

Walker just returned from India, where she saw unprotected workers slashing open bags of asbestos fibres. In places where the asbestos was being mixed into cement, clouds of the carcinogenic fibres swirled around workers.

In Britain, the Cancer Research Campaign said in January that its study into the European asbestos-linked cancer epidemic should sound alarm bells everywhere, “particularly in the developing world where uncontrolled asbestos is still very common,” said CRC director Gordon McVie.

Seven of Canada’s top 10 markets are Third World countries. Still, the Canadian government, the asbestos industry and lobby groups are trying to put a good face on the asbestos industry.

Recently, diplomats stationed here were flown to asbestos- producing regions on an all-expense-paid first-class junket.

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Enjoying the benefits! Now pay the price!


Canadian Box Stores

Canadian Box Stores

Canadians wake up! We are loosing jobs and manufacturing jobs. However, we have more and more box stores. We want cheaper goods and prices. How do you think that happens? We are enjoying the “fat” of life. A life of gluttony. However, there is a disconnect. Those jobs are now overseas and the goods are shipped back for our consumption. How long can that go on? During this economic crisis it is time for us to look into the mirror. Do we want a sustainable economy? Do we want to leave a country for our children? Will we look to the future or destroy it with our greed. The banks did not cause this mess, we did. We are a greedy lot in North America. We consume without thinking for tomorrow. Our aboriginal peoples are right. We MUST LIVE IN BALANCE WITH NATURE. This is not a new age philosophy. It is life! it goes beyond religious ties. If we do not take care of Canada we will lose it.

Andy MJ
a.k.a The G.T.A Patriot

What is:

Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but in the indefinite future. The term was used by the Brundtland Commission which coined what has become the most often-quoted definition of sustainable development as development that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”[1]

Sustainable development ties together concern for the carrying capacity of natural systems with the social challenges facing humanity. As early as the 1970s “sustainability” was employed to describe an economy “in equilibrium with basic ecological support systems” (Stivers, 1976: 187)[2]. Ecologists have pointed to the “limits of growth” (Meadows, Meadows, Randers, & Behrens, 1971)[3] and presented the alternative of a “steady state economy” (Daly, 1973, 1991)[4] in order to address environmental concerns.

The field of sustainable development can be conceptually broken into three constituent parts: environmental sustainability, economic sustainability and sociopolitical sustainability.

Watching the Canadian election debate….


9:42PM: Interesting debate, but I have to say Harper is taking a lot of heat. The environment issue is “killing” him right now. I am not sure if he cares or he is assuming that since the economy is tanking, no one cares. Do Canadians care?

“Canadians care strongly about saving the planet but wrongly believe that many of their fellow citizens don’t”

Do Canadians really care? Or do we simply care about ourselves. What about our future and our children? Maybe we should just watch Wall-E a few more times? Dion just nodded his head really weird, I had to turn the channel to PBS, however “Palin has the weird smile, stop it!”…..Driving me nuts! Jack Layton looks so good in a debate.

“Palin has the weird smile, stop it!”…..

Tips to the leaders: Elizabeth May and Dion are not doing to bad. Jack Layton needs to get into the mix a bit more. Harper seems to be in sleep mode. I am not sure why he is taking this? BTW – Jack Layton is starting to perk up. Must be the coffee!

Winner for The Environment: Dion

9:51PM: They are talking about Healthcare now. Harper just took a cheap shot. “I still use the public Healthcare system to see a Doctor, however some leaders use private clinics”. Nice! Jack definitely did not like that one. I am not sure why? However, Elizabeth May looked some astonished and confused for a second. I think she was surprised! Elizabeth May just moved the discussion to talk about private clinics moving into Canada. Healthcare is not Dion’s strongest point. Too bad! He did really good on the environment. Harper’s monotone voice is killing me! Jack is going after Dion now.

BTW – Why is Gilles Duceppe in this debate?

Winner for Healthcare: Elizabeth May

9:59: Now they are talking about the Arts! Watch for fireworks! But Gilles Duceppe gets first dibs? “How do you recognize Quebec as a nation and make those cuts Harper”? Huh?

“Palin has the weird smile, stop it!”…..

Sorry, I switched channels. Pakin just asked “Are conservatives barbarians?“.

“Palin has the weird smile, stop it!”…. Oh my, Palin is doing an awful job. “McCain knows how to win a war!”. She did not even answer the question! Back to the Canadian debate…

Dion is not doing that bad at all. But they are still all ganging up on Harper. I wonder why Harper cut the arts funding now? Should have waited? Harper said “we are getting a bad rap”. But stop the monotone voice!

BTW – Why isn’t Gilles Duceppe running for Prime Minister? Stop trying to rip apart Canada. Run in all of Canada and force us to speak French.

Jack Layton got the last jab!

Winner for the Arts: Gilles Duceppe

10:11pm: Now they are talking about “Crime”! Should be strong for the conservatives. However, Elizabeth May sounds the best so far. However, Harper? Is that really you? You are concerned about young people and gangs. Do I see emotion? I think he is sitting too close to the Liberals. Gilles Duceppe sounds pretty good so far. Pakin is pretty rough on these guys! Elizabeth May hits it again. She is not doing bad at all. “Investing in Kids when they are young”. However, she had a weak shot at Harper. Oh Oh! Harper is talking about the Young Offenders Act. Jack just nailed him! Said that Harper is playing “Political Games!”. I am going to have a hard time picking a winner. Not too sure what the heck Dion just said or why he went down that road, but now everyone is yelling at one another.

BTW – Gilles Duceppe really looks good. He should have run for Prime Minister.

“Palin STILL STILL STILL has that weird smile, STOP IT!”…What the heck is Palin saying? McCain McCain. What is she talking about? Got to win the WAR? Oh! She said “I do not see a lot of progress with the Republicans” Who’s side is she on?…

10:24pm: Now they are talking about Afghanistan. Harper gets a chance to talk and says that we will be out in 2011. Gilles Duceppe just took a shot at Jack Layton and said “if Jack and the NDP had voted against the extension, the Canadian troops would have been moving out in 2009”. Elizabeth May seems to be the smartest one on this one. She is talking FACTS and HISTORY! We need to know what the HISTORY of Afghanistan is before making rash choices. Gilles Duceppe JUST NAILED HARPER!!! “Are you saying that you made an error!” WOW!!! He just brought SENATOR OBAMA into the mix! What the heck! Harper what does this have to do with OBAMA? Its like a school kid who says “he is did it first….”. I think he got backed up into a corner and did not like it. Dion is a non-show in this one. This has been all Elizabeth May and Gilles Duceppe! I think some will have a reason to vote GREEN this time!

“I think that Palin is making a closing speech. She is still talking War and Fear. War and Fear work well on the American public it seems? She seems to think that this is Mad Max, Terminator Salvation or the Watchmen movie.”…..

Winner for the Afghanistan: Gilles Duceppe and Elizabeth May

BTW – Gilles Duceppe could you stop trying to break up the Country?

Harper: “I WILL NOT RAISE TAXES!“. Hmmm! I think I heard that line before from Dalton McGuinty. Let’s see (1) Regan deficit, (2) Mulroney deficit, (3) Mike Harris deficit, (3) Bush BIG deficit,and finally (4) Harper, remains to be seen. I guess, under conservative policies, once you have cut everything, what is left?

http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/467383

http://www.nupge.ca/news_2004/n08de04a.htm

http://www.ctj.org/html/debt0603.htm

http://www.geocities.com/thereaganyears/economicpolicy.htm

Geroge Bush blames the financial crisis substaintial foreign investment and a subsequent increase on bad consumer credit from greedy Wall Street bankers


 

 

President George Bush

President George Bush

A state of the afairs to squash fears amongst citizens in the United States of Amerca is sure to send ripple affects around the world; as we are all intertwined in this financial mess. President George Bush tonight spoke directly to U.S citizens, and candidly explained the situation in America. 

 

  • Housing prices that were valued more than they were actually worth
  • Banks that borrowed too much money
  • The decline in the housing market
  • Securities became unreliable leaving companies stuck with unsellable products
  • Banks began holding on to their money and dening credit to the everyday American citizen

President Bush said that the “irresponsible actions of some…bad decisions” is causing “the market is not functioning properly”. He warned that if action is held up by congress “the stock market could drop even more”. We could end up with “more expensive for credit, even with good credit history”. However he was optimistic and said that there is a spirit of cooperation betweens Democrates and Republicans. This bill will commit a large amount of tax payers money. But given the situtation, if the bill is not passed, it will cost more later for the American economy and the world. His key points to the ballout was to (1) remove risk possed by mortgage back securities, (2) protect tax payers and (3) ensure that there will be no winfall for “Wall Street” executives.

     

George Bush beleives that the plan will solve the financial problem and allow the “flow of credit” to Americans. He beleives that the vast majority of Americians will pay off their mortgages. But what does this mean for the future of America? The first part is to safeguard the financial system. He promised that every savings account will continue to be insured for up to $100, 000. In addition, he said that the laws governing the American financial system are outdated; needing change and modernization. The government should be able to observe, control and ensure that “Wall Street” will never put the system or the American people at risk again. He still beleives that the democratic financial system is the best system one available. His final quote stated that “together we will show the world what kind of country America is”. The world will definately wonder! The question you may ask, if it is the best system, than what makes the U.S different than any other socialist system now that they are essentially owning these companies? Is the problem with America greed? Did they simply learn from history and the depression and wanted to make sure to avoid a global depression?

 

American Wall Street Greed

American Wall Street Greed

One has to wonder, although America is only a portion of the worlds population, they consume the largest amount per-capita basis. Is America’s excess caused by world greed and foreign investment? Is it time for America to learn to live with less? Or is it time for America to embrace a more socialist style of financial system? Has republican or conservative styled economics failed? Or are Western societies just too credit happy, beleiving that they “deserve” to have all of the luxuries of life? Will we ever learn?

 

By Andy MJ
a.k.a. The G.T.A Patriot