1. The Trudeau-Notley compromise

    My attempt to explain the Trudeau-Notley compromise: take climate change seriously, halt Alberta's growth in emissions, and use a rising price on carbon to cut Canada's fossil CO2 emissions, while continuing to export Canadian oil and trying to get the best price for it instead of leaving money on the …

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  2. Robert Gilpin on the difficulty of retreat

    Robert Gilpin, War and Change in World Politics (1981), on the difficulty of retreat:

    The fundamental problem with a policy of appeasement and accommodation is to find a way to pursue it that does not lead to continuing deterioration in a state's prestige and international position. Retrenchment by its very …

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  3. Robert Gilpin on equilibrium and decline

    Robert Gilpin, War and Change in International Politics (1981), describes the relationship between economic growth and power, like Paul Kennedy's The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict, 1500-2000. Compared to Kennedy, Gilpin's book is considerably more abstract and concise.

    Gilpin describes the dynamics of …

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  4. Taxation as collective shopping

    Taxation and public spending is basically a form of collective shopping. For some goods (food, clothing) it makes no sense to buy them collectively. For others (roads, insurance) it does make sense.

    Joseph Heath, Filthy Lucre:

    One of the goods that can often be purchased most efficiently through taxes is …

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  5. Wastefulness as a sin

    An illustration of wastefulness as a sin, from a novel set in 14th-century Norway: The Mistress of Husaby (1921), the second novel of the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy, by Sigrid Undset.

    Kristin had not had much sleep the first night, even though the priests had blessed her bed. 'Twas spread above …

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  6. ELI5 - the pipeline situation

    Back in August, someone on Reddit asked:

    Please excuse my ignorance on this topic (I only arrived in Canada recently) - but can someone explain like I'm five the whole pipeline situation?

    I think of it as an irresistible force (there's $15 billion/year at stake) meeting an immovable object (the …

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  7. Discouraging teenage marijuana use

    Chinese translation.

    Parents are concerned about the legalization of marijuana in Canada. How can we protect our teenage children from using marijuana?

    The basic problem is that people don't believe marijuana is dangerous. If they don't believe it's dangerous, even making it illegal doesn't help.

    Consider cigarettes. Smoking has been …

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  8. 防止青少年使用大麻

    Translated from English by Lenny Nan Zhou. English version.

    有些家長們對於加拿大大麻合法化感到擔憂。怎樣保護我們的孩子,使他們不使用大麻?

    問題是大家不認為使用大麻是危險的,如果大家不認為使用大麻是危險的,即使將其視為非法也無濟於事。

    例如吸煙,儘管吸煙是合法的,但是吸煙人數的比例在加拿大一直穩步下降,這是因為關於吸煙有害健康的公眾教育:吸煙能夠導致肺癌,心髒病等。

    在青少年中,大麻的使用高於吸煙,因為即使之前使用大麻是非法的,與吸煙相比,青少年並不認為使用大麻是危險的。根據2013年在BC省的一項調查,有大概15%的高中生承認他們在過去一個月使用過大麻。另一方面,在2001年至2011年間,承認在過去一個月吸煙的15至17歲青少年的比列從19%下降到10%。

    禁止使用大麻是不起作用的。我們需要的是長期的公眾教育活動,說服青少年吸食大麻會影響健康,因為發育中的大腦非常脆弱,有研究表明人的大腦會持續發育到20歲出頭。吸食大麻會使大腦中的某些神經受體充滿大量的THC,這是大麻中的主要成分。 THC能夠導致大腦中的神經受體不能有效地工作,甚至還會引起毒性變化。加拿大兒科學會研究表明:“對於經常使用大麻的年輕人,核磁共振顯示他們的大腦會出現結構性的改變,他們表現出較低的腦容量,不同的折疊模式和皮質變薄,較少的神經連接和較低的白質完整性,所有這些都是由於THC的破壞。”

    加拿大兒科學會的建議還包括以下內容 …

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  9. Hobbes on starvation

    Hobbes argues that a government is responsible to keep its destitute citizens from starving to death. From Richard Tuck, Hobbes: A Very Short Introduction (1989).

    ... if the distribution of property works in such a way that people are physically endangered by it, and members of the commonwealth do not have …

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