Sunday, September 28, 2008

NDP Directs Canadians to the Web

...Well indirectly. Jack Layton has endorsed a policy of mandating that all Canadians networks carry Canadian content only. If this were made in to law, I do not think that Canadians could honestly claim to have a right to free speech.

This also speaks to the creeping xenophobia in Canadian culture. Many Canadians like to criticize (rightly) the fact that the Bush administration has sacrificed civil liberties in order for some supposed greater good. I've got news for you, it's happening here too. Let's not fall for that trap.

I suggest we call this plan what is really is:

credit to Stackelberg Follower

Friday, September 19, 2008

Greenwashing and the Economics of Eco-Friendly Products

Today I'm proud to introduce this blogs first guest post from Kelly Kilpatrick:

Over the last few years, the public’s environmental consciousness has grown by leaps and bounds in response to several different factors. With the rising price of oil and an increasing amount of evidence in the case for global warming, people are seeking out alternatives to traditional products in order to minimize their personal impact on the environment, while improving their health and the health of others around them in the process.

For quite some time, organic and eco-friendly products have been on the market, but now, more than ever, companies are moving toward “greenifying” their business models. This can help or hurt the company, depending on their motive for making these changes.

Greenwashing is a term used by consumers who believe they are being misled by companies who advertise themselves as green for the wrong reasons. For example, some companies are simply making changes to their public image and using green rhetoric to win over consumers. With information available at the click of a mouse, consumers find out quickly whether or not said company is green for the revenue it generates, or for loftier, more socially-conscious reasons.

In an article entitled “The Six Sins of Greenwashing,” a study found that of over 1,500 products surveyed, 99% of them were guilty of greenwashing. This is a disturbing trend in marketing, where large companies are trying to capitalize of the green market, all the while doing nothing to really help with their part of the problem.

With the demand for organic, sustainable, and eco-friendly products constantly increasing, companies that truly do care are struggling to maintain their hold on the market. Consumers that want to support companies that are environmentally conscious are going to need to do their homework.

Unfortunately for consumers and the environment alike, big business is beginning to threaten a niche market whose intentions were good. For more information on greenwashing and the top offenders, click here.

This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick, who writes on the subject of the best online degrees. She invites your feedback at

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pre-election spending

Political incentives change around election time, as this article from highlights

WINDSOR, Ont. - The federal Conservatives rushed out billions of dollars in new spending announcements Wednesday while the Liberals made their own billion-dollar announcement, a sign that an election campaign is underway in all but name.

In Windsor, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Ottawa would send Ford Motor Co. an $80-million cheque as a repayable loan to help the Detroit-based company reopen a mothballed engine plant here. In Quebec, Infrastructure Minister Lawrence Cannon announced that Ottawa and Quebec had signed a deal that will spring $4 billion of federal funding for roads, bridges, and other public infrastructure projects.

Other ministers rolled out millions in spending announcements across the country, from a $30,000 grant for an organ festival in Montreal to a $2.8-million program to help street youth in Vancouver get a job.

As you approach the election, politicians usually try to pay off individual ridings. Not broad programs that effect the entire country. I think we all know who those Ford employees are going to be voting for (enough to swing the riding?). We also know what Ford's lobbyists have been up to.