Wednesday Night #2121

Written by  //  November 9, 2022  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

U.S. mid-term elections 2022
The Red Wave turned into a ripple – a strong ripple, but nowhere near the disaster foretold by pundits and politicos alike, and most agree that much of the blame for the Republican weakness can be laid at the feet of Donald Trump.
While not everyone is as brutal in their assessment as John Schindler Trump’s Midterm Death Ride, most would agree with him that “In the absence of yesterday’s anticipated Red Wave, the GOP’s missed opportunity has a father – and we know his name.” This is certainly not the end of The Donald, but as David Frum says “Trump Lost the Midterms. DeSantis Won”. And won’t it be fun to watch those two go toe-to-toe for the next two years? DeSantis’ sweeping victory in Florida sets up a potential rivalry with Trump. Not that we like Governor DeSantis’ views, but the battle will be mesmerizing.
Meanwhile, in case you think you can relax and go back to worrying about Ukraine and the Climate Change COP27 (which you should be doing, anyway), consider When We’ll Know: The Remaining Key Factors in Georgia, Nevada, Arizona; Who will control the Senate and the House? Settle in for a long wait, including the run-off in Georgia. (We still cannot believe that anyone could seriously support Herschel Walker…).

COP27 Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Change Conference
What happened on the third day of Cop27 in Egypt?
Negotiations move behind closed doors and China confirms ‘informal’ talks with US
After the leaders’ speeches of the first couple of days, most of the negotiations have now moved behind closed doors. The big discussions today were all around finance
World in crisis a grim backdrop for UN climate talks

Wondering if this topic is somewhere in the COP27 agenda
Data centres in a time of climate crisis
(CBC Radio Spark) When it comes to adapting to climate change, we tend not to think about the energy demands of our digital technologies. But data centres – the physical structures that store and process our digital information – are very resource-intensive and vulnerable to extreme weather events.
Digital data has an environmental cost. Calling it ‘the cloud’ conceals that, researcher says
Routine online activities like sharing photos to social media, uploading files to shared drives, or streaming TV shows produce a lot of digital data. And as that data production soars, so does the energy demand for storing and processing it.
Lauren Bridges looks at the many implications — energy and water consumption, land use changes, and e-waste — of the cloud, and any infrastructure related to the internet.

Putin’s War
Not a good day for Vladimir Putin.
Russia orders troops to leave key Ukrainian city of Kherson
Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu has ordered the country’s troops to leave Ukraine’s city of Kherson, the only regional capital Moscow captured since the invasion began in February.
Ukrainian victory in Kherson, one of the main objectives of Kyiv’s southern offensive, will be widely seen as a significant blow to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, only weeks after a high-profile ceremony in Moscow in which he announced the “forever” annexation of Kherson region along with three other regions.

Quebec post 2022 elections
On Monday morning, Dominique Anglade announced that she was resigning as LPQ Leader and MNA as of 1 December, reducing the Opposition to 19 seats and setting off conjecture about a new party leader amidst hopes for a saviour.
Andrew Caddell devotes this week’s Hill Times column to  Anglade’s resignation – a sad end for a leader with wasted potential Her first mistake may have been in listening to her advisers, who, astonishingly, recommended the Quebec Liberal Party become more nationalist.
Meanwhile in Canada, provincial health ministers scuppered Tuesday’s meeting of Canadian health ministers, an irresponsible action in view of the current healthcare crisis. Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos attributed the breakdown to “marching orders [from] their premiers not to make further progress.” The Emergencies Act inquiry continues – until 25 November it features an awful lot of people who have poor memories, or a weak grasp of the concept. We’ll wait for the report. Danielle Smith won her by-election and is preparing to introduce the Alberta Sovereignty Act
and Melanie Joly announced Canada’s new Indo-Pacific strategy.

Save the date!
Monday, 14 November,
Reddit Talk
Akaash Maharaji with European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager
Discuss the EU DigitalServicesAct. Amongst other measures, it will compel large online platforms to:
• Promptly remove criminal content
• Combat disinformation
• Provide algorithmic transparency
• Redress those harmed by unjust decisions
Join the conversation, and bring your questions for her.

Thursday, 15 November 5 -7pm
The Canadian International Council, Montreal Branch
“After COVID…Open Borders: Gone Forever?”
with Elisabeth Vallet, Director of the Centre for Geopolitical Studies of the Raoul-Dandurand Chair in Strategic and Diplomatic Studies at UQAM
1250 Guy St. (8th Floor)
For details and to register

Thursday 8 December 5:30-8pm
The Canadian International Council, Montreal Branch
Catherine McKenna, former Environment and Climate Change Minister, now Chair of the UN High-Level Experts’ Group on Net-Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities, will deliver a keynote.
Details to follow

Lisa LaFlamme receives one of Canada’s highest honours
The veteran anchor was finally awarded her Order of Canada medal after being named an officer to the Order in 2019.
Hundreds of Paddington bears left for queen to go to charity
More than 1,000 Paddington bears and other teddies left in tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II in London and Windsor will be donated to a children’s charity, Buckingham Palace said Saturday.
Mysterious drop in loon population prompts cross-border collaborations in North America
Loons are having fewer and smaller chicks, which are less likely to survive. Most surprisingly, young, non-breeding adults are also dramatically in decline — but no one knows why. Volunteers from Canada and the United States are on a quest for answers.

Recommended reading
In his new book Putin’s Wars: From Chechnya to Ukraine, political scientist Mark Galeotti explores how Russian President Vladimir Putin might have underestimated Ukraine — and what that means for the president at home.
Thanks to Andrew Caddell for his recommendation: Author Andrew Weiss on his graphic novel, Accidental Czar which details Putin’s rise from KGB officer to president.
Brett House recommends Lost in translation, no more: Two writers capture Montreal’s unique linguistic identity, Eric Andrew-Gee’s review of the collaboration of Sean Michaels, a Giller Prize winner and author of The Wagers; and Catherine Leroux, novelist and translator who rendered that book into French as Les coups de dés, published last year.

Long Reads
Cleo Paskal ‘Quad needs to befriend Bougainville, not just Papua New Guinea’
Digital data has an environmental cost. Calling it ‘the cloud’ conceals that, researcher saysaudio

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