Line 9 thru Durham

The route of Line 9 runs roughly between Taunton Rd and Hwy 7/Winchester until it gets into Clarington where it falls below Taunton.

I drove up Hwy 12 in Whitby yesterday to see if I could find it, and it is marked at the side of the road with markers like:



Note the soggy conditions. This is just N of Groveside cemetary.

The markers appear to be only on one side of the road.

On Coronation Rd the markers looked like this:

Along the way I found many signs for natural gas pipelines but after I'd seen about 10 of them I realized that most were in front of houses and they were likely just residential feedlines. They look quite similar.

Along the hydro right of way that the Enbridge pipeline was following I found another oil pipeline labelled the Trans-northern pipeline. Apparantly this is for refined oil running from Nanticoke to Montreal. It's markers were slightly different.

Some of the terrain is quite irregular and I wonder whether the pipe goes up and down with the terrain. For it to run straight in an area like this, it would have to be about 30 feet deep.

When the snow is gone and things are a bit drier, we need to track the line across the numerous creek beds to see if any of it is sticking out like Adam found on the Rouge River.

The Circular Economy comes to the Davos Economic forum

The following is reprinted from the website of the Institute of Science in Society (

by Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

Down and out in Davos and in need of salvation

Davos is a ski resort in the Swiss Alps that hosts the annual World Economic Forum for the political and business elites, and its name has become synonymous with the forum itself. With the world economy still to recover from the crisis of 2007-2008 and threat of worse to come, the idea of circular economy attracted considerable attention as a potential life line for business to lift itself out of the doldrums and bring much needed growth, prosperity and jobs.  The Ellen MacArthur Foundation [2] set up in 2010 by world champion yachtswoman now world champion of circular economy prepared a report [3] with the help of global management consultant firm McKinsey to put circular economy on the agenda of Davos 2013. In simple terms, circular economy is about eliminating waste and shifting business models from products to services and collaborative consumption; and in the process hundreds of billions can be saved and more added to profits.

The timing is perfect. Quite apart from the global economic crisis though obviously related to it, the linear model based on profligate consumption and waste that has dominated the world over the past 150 years is fast becoming obsolete. Not only are raw materials running scarce and expensive in increasingly volatile markets; resources essential for life-support such as fresh, unpolluted water for drinking and fertile soils for growing food are also depleting much faster than can be renewed. Climate change is generally predicted to make things worse everywhere as severe storms and extreme weather become more frequent.


The following was originally written as a delegation for the EFW-WMAC meeting on Feb 13, 2013. However the bureaucracy intercepted my request and advised the committee not to hear this delegation. As the meeting proceeded their were numerous mentions of 'experts' for which my delegation might have provided some illumination.

At the November 21, 2012 meeting of the EFW-WMAC Wendy Bracken made a very detailed presentation on some of the weaknesses in the incinerator air emissions monitoring plans. It was clear that some people at the meeting didn't want to hear what she was saying and questioned her expertise. The chair closed off the discussion with a comment to the effect that perhaps the committee should get an expert to answer/challenge her presentation. I saw red.

What constitutes expertise? The obvious answer is knowledge - but in this day and age, knowledge is very easy to come by - the internet has more than a lifetime's worth, and it is eminently searchable so that anybody can become quite expert if they are prepared to take the time and effort.

What people generally mean by 'expert' is someone with a impressive bunch of letters after their names and probably a confident swagger to go with them. However, that, in itself, does not guarantee that their opinion is worth anymore than anybody else's.

When someone like the Region of Durham hires 'experts' (usually meaning a consulting company), they're looking at that bunch of letters plus the track record - who they've worked for and the reports they've written.

Lawyers Need Respect??

In the Globe and Mail today, it was announced that a Lawyer Association will be starting an advertising campaign to fight the poor image they have been given the general populus. 

Well, I say, they may well deserve those criticisms. 

One prime example of the waste of time and energy that is generated by the legal profession, are all the disclaimers and agreements that are never read by those who: download apps, download programs, buy stuff on the internet, and on and on.

If you are buying something, and you want it, you inherently understand that there are agreements to using the application or program and you will abide by those rules. If you do not want to abide by the rules, and have some devious  plans with the application also ignore the warnings. 

So, what value does all that work of developing those disclaimers and agreements etc. give us. Well a paycheck if we are a lawyer, and some peace of mind for someone who just paid that lawyer, that maybe they are protected by all the legal mumbo jumbo.

The examples are wide spread of people sueing other people for the most ridiculous things, and that is where the professionalism in the legal system is lost. Reality doesn't seem to come into it. 

Yes, I hear, there are some great things lawyers do, but their association allows the ridiculous to happen and the association really needs to rein in those abusers of the system.

SO, forget advertising, just clean up the system, and use agreements where and when they are needed.


How to tell if a politician will be accountable

During the 2010 municipal election, DurhamCLEAR conducted an extensive - 36 question - environmental questionnaire of all the candidates - - it took most candidates 1/2 hour or longer to complete it. Some agonized over it for hours, even days trying to find the perfect answer.

While more than 130 candidates completed it, it became clear as we read the answers that only some candidates provided sincere answers -  far more provided the answers that they thought we wanted to hear - the ones that would get them the most "brownie points".

One question that we didn't answer was "Would you be accountable to your constituents?" because of course they would all answer "Yes". Most would actually have meant it even if they had, quite possibly, a very different idea of accountability than their constituents. Politicians generally have pretty strong egos and most can't imagine that their constituents would not be in general agreement with them on the main issues.

Well, after the last election, we were blidsided when a few of the candidates that we specifically set out to elect turned their backs on us. Since then I have spent considerable time trying to figure out how to make candidates more accountable.


The long-term answer is RECALL which is a process, generally enshrined in electoral law which permits voters to petition for the removal of an elected official.

Recall is little known in Canada although British Columbia has a recall law. Also, in the last municipal election, Toronto Mayoral candidate, Rocco Rossi, put it into his election platform. Unfortunately he withdrew from the race before election day. However, it got quite a bit of press coverage at the time - most of it positive.

Recall is quite common in the United States and is enshrined in several State constitutions. Click here for more detail.

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