But the best part about Germany's energy transition, the part that affects you and me here in North America, is how much the costs have been driven down for renewable energy. It was German demand that spurred a massive worldwide build out of solar PV manufacturing capacity. Now wind and solar are competing, and winning, on price against conventional fuels.
It's become a cliché to say that out of crisis comes opportunity. But there's no denying that when faced with crises, we have choices. The opportunity depends on what we decide to do. What choices will we make when confronted with the fact that 2014 will likely be the hottest year on record? Will politicians close their eyes while fossil fuel industry executives shovel money at them and enlist propagandists to spread misinformation and lies?
Outside the neighbourhood, there is one country leading the response. It is not Canada, despite statements from our ministers that the Canadian refugee response constitutes "more than any of our allies have done." This is deliberately misleading and a slight to what our allies are actually doing. Greater leadership can be found in a country with a quarter of Canada's population.
Many International actors, including the U.S. government, support the Egyptian military, in the belief that Egypt's army can restore stability, and, in doing so, stem the flow of refugees out of Egypt. But it's the Egyptian military, through its stubbornness dealing with the conscientious objection issue, which generates refugees every day.
I was sitting on a bench inside the military court that day, accompanied by a military intelligence agent, waiting for my military judge to arrive in the courtroom. It was a spring day, in April 2011, just few months after the revolution started. It was the fifth time I was detained in Egypt because of my activism. It isn't that I can understand the situations of people facing injustice from afar, I can feel their pain, because it's my pain as well.
The facts are that Putin is not erratic or crazy, but is rational and predictable. He knows the West is divided and he is executing his plan like the KGB officer that he is. He wants total control over Europe's gas markets, and accompanying influence, and has done, and will do, whatever it takes to achieve this.
Germany must be doing something right: four time winners of the World Cup and an economic and technological powerhouse. As a travel destination, however, Germany is often overlooked and underrated. With a range of possibilities from picturesque castles to culture-rich cities, Germany is an ideal year-round holiday destination.
In the annals of human evil, Rwanda's genocide takes a special place. With a kill rate of about six people a minute for more than three months, it's likely one of the fastest mass slaughters of humans in history. Most were hacked to death by machete, partly because the perpetrators found it cheaper than using bullets.
Crimea is a pity, and likely victimized by Moscow pressure, but the reality is that Ukraine is a failed state without a government, a constitution that can be enforced, an army that can be called upon to defend its people or an economy. If I lived in Crimea I'd vote for the devil I know (Moscow) rather than the devils to come (Kiev).
Whether we like it or not, we live in the shadow of Neville Chamberlain's Munich deal with Hitler. It must affect our perspective on any agreement of this nature. What we learned from Munich, though, was that deals do not finalize the results. What Hitler absolutely taught us was that what one says and even promises is not necessarily what one means.
Polls in Germany today show Dr. Angela Merkel will win the next election, a stunning result despite her steady hand in support of bailing out the deadbeat neighbours in Europe. She is a political phenomenon and the most powerful female in the world. She is a brilliant, but modest PhD in Quantum Chemistry, who, appropriately, leads the world's most modest superpower.
Ai Weiwei's most controversial piece, jail-like tombs, was housed in a cathedral that had been put in mothballs but was restored for his off-site exhibit. The six tombs are dioramas depicting his 81 days in jail in China -- sleeping, eating, going to the bathroom, being interrogated, showering and sitting -- in a tiny cell with two guards present at all times.
By building a pipeline that further accelerates climate change, tramples Treaty and First Nation rights, and compounds already severe problems, we are not only building our nation on those injustices, we are also saying that we've lost our imagination, I'm not ready to do that. I think we have more in us as a nation.