Wednesday Night #1711

Written by  //  December 17, 2014  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

Two items that were not on the horizon when the Prologue was written were the focus of much of the discussion.

Sony cancels North Korea movie in apparent win for Pyongyang hackers

P R O L O G U E
The year 1711 is notable (in our version of history) because French settlers at Fort Louis de la Mobile celebrated Mardi Gras in Mobile (Alabama) by parading a large papier-mâché ox head on a cart (the first Mardi Gras parade in America). No mention of New Orleans’ Jazz – possibly because the site of New Orleans wasn’t found[ed] until Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville arrived in 1718, Presumably the Chitimacha , who already lived the area, knew where it was.
For Quebec history buffs, the year is likely better known for The Quebec Expedition, which failed when 8 of the British ships were wrecked in the Saint Lawrence and 850 soldiers drowned.
Music lovers will appreciate that Handel’s “Rinaldo” premiered at Haymarket theatre in London, while lovers of the media will know that Addison & Steele launched The Spectator – would we be out of line in suggesting the forerunner of The New Yorker?

We spent a very moving Sunday afternoon at the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the RCM which was also a touching tribute to our friend Jean Doré and what was accomplished during his time in office. It’s an amazing list (see Jean Doré finally receives his due). Many good friends were there. The tributes were heartfelt and often funny. Despite his illness, Jean was in good form – he gave an excellent speech marked with his usual passion. We were so glad we could be there.

On the subject of mayors, Mayor Nenshi has again demonstrated what an exceptional politician (and human being) he is. Calgarians should be very, very proud. We only wish that he were leading one of the national parties into the next election. There would be none of the agonizing that Andrew Coyne described on At Issue when the panel was asked what they thought the ballot question should be in 2015.

Tumbling oil prices and markets to match have stimulated sometimes acrimonious debate about Canada’s management of the industry, with unflattering comparisons to The $870 billion Norwegian model .
One of the more drastic solutions comes from Martin Lukacs, an independent journalist living in Montreal, who writes for The Guardian. He maintains . Want a green energy future? Nationalize Canada’s oil industry

In a happy coincidence, we have recently had news of a friend who has changed occupations and is now working with Pierre Olivier Pineau, titulaire de la Chaire de gestion du secteur de l’énergie de HEC. She draws our attention to the just released RAPPORT : État de l’énergie au Québec 2015 [pdf, 5,2 MB]
For a detailed summary, see the Press Release

There has been a flurry of analysis pieces on the OPEC move and its geopolitical implications and consequences for the global economy. Two of the more interesting ones are:
Oil as a Political Weapon
The Economic Consequences of Global Oil Deflation
There are at least three major potential impacts on global economic instability that will likely follow in the wake of global oil price deflation, some of which have already begun to appear: and
Why the world is like a real-life game of global domination
Five mighty empires across the globe are gearing up for an economic war game where there could be no winners

One of those empires is the European Union about which George Soros’ comments in a recent interview Wake Up, Europe have created much discussion including among a small group of Wednesday Nighters. The interview starts off “Europe is facing a challenge from Russia to its very existence. Neither the European leaders nor their citizens are fully aware of this challenge or know how best to deal with it. I attribute this mainly to the fact that the European Union in general and the eurozone in particular lost their way after the financial crisis of 2008.” From there it gets worse. There is a good companion piece Soros: The European Union is a “Failed” Experiment In “International Governance” for your reading pleasure

All of this is sufficient to supply the Wednesday Night Chamber of sober second thought, and there is, as always, more including the failure of the Peru Climate Talks to do more than dither.

But be of good cheer: Don’t Feel Bad About Getting a Christmas Tree
Want a Christmas tree but feel bad carving out a piece of the forest to decorate your living room?
Good news: An ecologist examined how North Carolina Christmas tree farms might mitigate climate change. The results, taken from 27 sites across nine farms, show that certain techniques can allow the tree plots to act like natural sponges for atmospheric carbon. The potential, they say, lies in the dirt.

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