Science fiction, Canada and the 2020s: my look at the decade ahead for the Globe and Mail

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The MMT link from the last month had a different view of war bonds: they’re essentially a voluntary form of rationing, a way of tying up private capital so that it doesn’t buy up the goods the government needs for war. I’ve definitely been rejiggering my intuition since reading that stuff, and the process is ongoing.


MMT is a rejig, for sure.

It’s odd that the critics of MMT seem to focus on the permission the theory seems to give some people to advocate for inflationary policies. I find the MMT explanations for the root of inflation to be more compelling, personally, than the conventional ones.

“Canadian Miracle”? Sign me up…

I’m on the record here as pro-nuclear. The current noise around Small/Medium Reactors in Canada is encouraging. People are contemplating applications that can use power on demand to smooth out the load (such as hydrogen generation or, I would suggest, garbage incineration, carbon fuel generation or pumped hydro storage). Nuclear, including spent fuel handling and reactor decommissioning, is certainly something with which we have deep experience in Canada.

Even (re-)building an electric rail network to reduce our high transport carbon generation would absorb a lot of our productive capacity. Having lived where rail is explicitly a national strategic priority, I’ve seen how good it can get when you have a good network.

We have enormous untapped agricultural potential in Ontario’s clay belt but, at the same time, are building experience in low-energy hydroponics for veggies (although one has to wonder where all that knowledge came from :roll_eyes:).

There are likely a few nations with which we could build an alliance with as well. Offer freedom of trade, preferential knowledge exchange and freedom of movement with countries that sign on.


I had to look that up:

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…so whatever MMT stands for and provisioners of fine flatware and sculpting clays, sign me up?
Also, if there were a high-energy hydroponics, can I be into that too? The press video I’ve seen of Missouri Hemp centers on farmers cross-eyed with the drudgery of sawing through a single stem…even if in hydroponics one simply hauls out the unbound root for whatever use that gets (ship for planting on otherwise ridiculous inclines?)
edited to add: Okay, not even all Satoshi up in there, but up with the Revised Jevons.

…and Claybelt is anything a glacier receded from, leaving well-crushed bits. So that I should think of endeavors as being on an aquifer, though the flow is principally as ice (with extended seasons.) This changes the P&E substantially, nuclear positive or not. That’s…seven…contexts of the advantages you’re enthusing from, then.

This article was published more than 6 months ago. Some information in it may no longer be current.

Wow Sci-Fi timelines can be confusing.

I am not sure, apart from whimsy, why the airship is controlled by wind direction, a solar powered steering motor should be viable surely?

Ah… courtesy of Global Heating, the area is projected to get 600 more growing degree days by 2050. There’s likely going to be a migration out of arid land such as was a partial trigger for the Syrian civil war. IMHO it behooves Ontario to get ahead of that curve, as Quebec has.

Canada is big, cold, energy hungry. Cory identified wind, tide and solar, as well as housing revision, transit and a move to more co-operative social resources (the Swiss do this well). My take, FWIW, is we’re also really good at nuclear, carbon capture and heavy rail (or were), all of which have the potential to make a big impact on the problem. Investment at the required scale is, ultimately, a political decision.

I recently learned about

… during the summer. The brand new Canadian research ship CSS Acadia was sent from Halifax to chart the harbour and approaches in the summer of 1913 and 1914. However the whole harbour project was fraught with problems from the start. Material shortages, labour disputes, storms, fires, and boating accidents led to major delays. Another setback was the necessity to completely redesign the harbour because the fast flowing Nelson River was building up silt on both sides of the wharf. Therefore, the harbour was changed to a small man-made island farther out in the river. The island was connected to the mainland with a seventeen-span truss bridge, built by Dominion Bridge Company of Montreal. A wrecked ship currently lies on the island.

I recently learned about Port Nelson, Manitoba | 20th century boom and decline

Before the railroad got to Port Nelson the project was pretty much done for. So the government hung a left and ran the RR up to Churchill, Manitoba, which is still a decent export port to European markets for the prairies, and has hosted a SAC air base and research rocket range..

A private US company, Omnitrax, bought the RR in 1997, but washed their hands of the route after a wash-out in 2017. The RR is in the hands of a First Nations consortium with Toronto financial backing and I wish them well. As the UK also discovered with Carillion when it went bust in 2018, outsourcing infrastructure comes with risks… :thinking:

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