Revitalization

Portables for Education Centre

By Ryan McGreal
Published December 18, 2008

Last week, I came across a great comment on the Skyscraper Page about the failed deal to combine a new Education Centre with other civic amenities at the corner of King St. W. and Bay St.

This part really tickled me (reproduced with the permission of its pseudonymous author):

The Board of Education is too small.

Geez, do like they do with their kids, just add a bunch of portables and put them in the parking lot and give the staff who are affected by the loss of parking availability a HSR pass.

Subdivide some of the larger offices and board rooms and use a sliding wall like the gyms that are converted to autoriums. If you have a big meeting, just rent or borrow a meeting room at Hamilton place or the Art Gallery. ...

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By Barber (anonymous) | Posted December 18, 2008 at 16:24:10

LOL that's great. How come portables is good enough for students but not good enough for board administrators?

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By Grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted December 18, 2008 at 22:30:26

Yes, I am in agreeance with that, why not? Great rant!!!

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted December 19, 2008 at 09:39:01

Ryan,

Oil is trading around $34 right now. Where are all the "peak oil" predictions on this website? Why have I not been seeing any articles on this site about "peak oil"? Where are all your "sky is falling" oil price forecasts? Where is the $200, $400 oil prices we were supposed to be seeing by now? I though that such a reputable website as this with such great economic thinkers as Jason and yourself would be posting articles explaining what has been going on?

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted December 19, 2008 at 12:32:10

Capitalist, it's because they live in a world where numbers only matter if they fit their established narrative. I have shown them numbers that indicate the Great Depression was brought on by bigger government, but rather than debate the numbers, they simply fall back on appeals to authority. Ryan, Jason and the rest of the lemmings are not capable of admitting the truth. Their egos are so sensitive, that any attack on their world view causes it to cry so loud that all they can do is pull back in to their shell. Truth to them is like sunlight to a vampire, it literally causes them pain.

All we can hope is that one day these small people will learn to love the truth, since not doing so will only cause them to look more stupid then they already do.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted December 19, 2008 at 13:02:50

"peak oil", as a buzzword, is a reference to the production of oil peaking, and while price increases (or more accurately, volatility) are a symptom of us reaching the peak of production, "peak oil" does not mean endless rising oil prices.

We will be seeing huge fluctuations while the systems we've built try to deal with the problem of steadily declining availability of crude.

Don't be fooled by recent price drops. Do you think $34 is the "norm" and we've returned to that for good? As radiohead put it, "nice dream".

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted December 19, 2008 at 14:19:23

Capitalist,

You keep hijacking unrelated threads to push your agenda about peak oil, but whenever I respond (or when anyone else responds) to your comment, you fall silent, only to pop up somewhere else a few weeks later with the same refrain. See, for example, this thread:

http://raisethehammer.org/article/792#co...

I've already addressed your argument to death and you never replied to my previous comment, so I can only assume you're here to troll rather than to engage in civil discussion.

However, you do make a valid point that it's worth another update on peak oil, oil prices and the global economy. I've been working on something that should be ready in time for our next issue in early January.

A Smith,

Your concern troll is charming but unpersuasive. If I recall correctly, your aside about the Great Depression rested on some really shaky correlations that made sloppy use of data (failing to take into account a changing base when comparing percentages of total spending) and failed to establish a plausible path of causality.

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted December 19, 2008 at 15:08:03

Ryan,

It is not that I am hijacking unrelated threads to post "my agenda", I just find it a bit curious that when oil prices were high this website was full of articles about "peak oil" but now that prices have plummetted there is no mention of it. Someone has to call you guys on your errors and biases and since you only post artices when prices are high and claim that the sky is falling I have to raise my concerns on another thread. This website is very one-sided.

Sounds like you guys are the ones with the agenda!

Too often in society, especially among the left wing Al Gore and David Suzuki types, they are not called for their false predictions. Remember Paul Ehrlich's "Population Bomb"?

Also, if I am silent on this website from time to time it is because I have a job.

Seancb,

"Peak oil does not mean endless rising oil prices". Seancb, please inform me of a better method of determining scarcity than the price of the commodity. If you have a better measure than you are probably wasting your time withwhatever you do for a living.

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted December 19, 2008 at 15:25:06

A quick check on Bloomberg at 3:18 pm had the price of oil at $33.17. That is a 77 per cent DROP from the $147 high posted a few months ago.

Ryan, why don't you announce this dramatic turn of events on this website the way you did when the price of oil broke through the $100 barrier?



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By jason (registered) | Posted December 19, 2008 at 17:59:22

Amazing. There are people smart enough to know how to post on a website, yet not understand the correlation between oil prices and worldwide recession. wow.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted December 19, 2008 at 21:36:33

Capitalist,

You're shadow-boxing.

I've already replied several times to you to explain, in straightforward economic terms of supply and demand, why oil prices have been falling for the past six months, including linking back to articles from as early as 2005 predicting that oil prices would super-spike and then collapse after those high prices forced a global recession.

Yet you flat-out refuse to acknowledge these arguments, choosing instead either to attack a straw man by ignoring both the substance and the citations of what I wrote, or to fall silent, only to trot out the same discredited claims a couple of weeks later as if I hadn't responded to you.

In fact, I wrote, "If you are aware of another economic theory that does a better job of predicting and explaining the run-up and collapse in oil prices, I'd like to hear it." I never heard from you until today, when you posted a new comment with your old refrain as if our previous exchange had never taken place.

I recognize that everyon's busy and I don't expect you to reply to every comment, but when you post a new comment on an issue that we have already discussed, it's disingenuous for you to pretend that our previous discussion never happened.

At the same time, I've also acknowledged that RTH is overdue for a new article on peak oil, oil prices and the global economy.

However, like you I have a job and only limited time to devote to this site, and several hot local issues have dominated my time and energy for the past few months.

By all means state your opinions and make your case - that's why the site is structured the way it is - but do it with honesty and civility.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted December 20, 2008 at 05:54:33

Ryan, how do you explain the fact in 1998, when the U.S. and Canada were growing at around 4% a year, SUV sales were through the roof, oil prices got as low as $11 a barrel? China at that time was growing very rapidly as well, putting increased pressure on supplies and yet oil prices were historically low. How could that be?

The fact of the matter is, the universe runs of principles of balance. Therefore, when government screws people over, the universe makes up the difference. It's that simple. If you suffer, you get rewarded in direct proportion to your pain. In 1998, when Clinton and Chretien were letting taxes rise on average people, while limiting the growth of social spending, oil fell to $11. The pain governments were inflicting on the citizens of North America, was balanced by the benefits of having low oil prices.

The same thing can be seen today, as governments have shifted massive resources to the business community. As soon as the bailouts to the banks began, oil started to drop. Conversely, when the U.S. government sent out stimulus checks in April 2008, oil went from $100 to $140 a barrel. When the checks stopped a few months later, oil fell back down.

Therefore, if you can start to see that the world is all about balance, it will stop you from believing crazy ideas like peak oil, or Global Warming. Both of these theories are nothing more than reflections of universal balance during a slice of time, not absolute truths coming to wipe humans off the face of the earth.

I have made this prediction before, but I will say it again, if Obama sends out free money to average people for doing nothing, you will once again see oil prices jump up considerably. It has nothing to do with your supply and demand, it's all about balance.

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By Grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted December 20, 2008 at 10:36:06

A Smith: I think there is a slight flaw in your thinking, as the stimulus cheques were given to the elite of the business world, the ones that caused much of the mess we see today and not to the people, those that are struggling.

Your right though it is not about supply and demand, it is about raking over the people, to drive down wages, to eliminate benefits and pensions, to give the ruling elite more and more, while making the people have less. It is a drive to the bottom, yet the elite are still getting their bonuses and their free money from the taxpayers.

It is a manipulation, it is corruption, it is disgusting that those who have the most, want more, yet they are never held accountable.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted December 20, 2008 at 11:24:49

A Smith, Capitalist,

I have written an in-depth article about peak oil, falling oil prices, and the global economic crisis.

http://raisethehammer.org/blog/1183

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