Globalization and the Economics of Happiness

On Tuesday, February 21, we screened The Economics of Happiness at Annette Branch Library. The screening was well attended, and sparked tremendous discussion.

We thank CJ Johnson, Manager at The Sweet Potato, 2995 Dundas St. for donating a generous gift certificate which was raffled off, and will be
enjoyed by Rizvana T. Sweet Potato's commitment to local, organic produce sourced from local farms, and to fair trade, is a good example of localization. Other examples of localization in our vicinity are West End Food Co-op, the work of Erica Lemieux, Green Gardeners, and the new community garden in Lithuania Park.

As a very topical follow-up to the globalization/localization discussion that followed, please read this powerful testimony, just in:

Oil executive son's testimony at Prince Rupert Northern Gateway pipeline joint review panel

The most moving moment of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel hearings in Prince Rupert which wrapped up Saturday were spoken by Lee Brian, the 26-year-old son of an oil executive. Here is an excerpt from his speech:

"...The story begins after a lifetime of debating with my father -he thought it was high time for me to finally experience first-hand the magnitude and power of the oil industry.
So in the summer of 2009, I had the opportunity to spend one full month on one of the world's largest oil refineries, producing 800,000 barrels of oil per day. At the time, it was under an expansion project to produce up to an astonishing 1.2 million barrels per day and for confidentiality reasons, the company and details of the project will remain unnamed.
The catch was that this refinery was in a very rural area in a northern province of India -- right on the coast of the Arabian Sea, and bordering Pakistan.
So here I am, 23 years old traveling to India, and needless to say, tensions were high upon arrival. Coming through the airport, between the H1N1 virus outbreak and the one year anniversary of the Mumbai Terrorist Attacks of 2008, the military presence was simply overwhelming.
"...I spent each day with 2-3 different managers from each department, and was able to learn a large portion of each faculty of discipline during my time there. I was very fortunate to have received such an in-depth, bird's eye view of the entire project -- and not even the most qualified engineering intern would have had this opportunity. The experience itself changed who I am, fundamentally, forever.
"...So we all stood there, suspended in what felt like an eternal moment -the heat waves rising above the calmed Arabian Sea, and the ship danced in the horizon as I stood dumbfounded by its sheer mass. One man comments: 'I always forget just how large those vessels are.'
A few moments pass as we all stood, just watching.
Out of the silence, Jitesh says to me 'Do you see what we are doing here Mr. Lee?'
I asked 'What's that, Jitesh?'
He replied, with an unexpected, sobering tone: 'We are destroying future generations for now, and forever.'..."