Frozen Niagara Falls, in 1911. Maybe our parents feel alienated by our climate change paranoia because they had to hear all about global cooling 40 years ago. Jes?
I’m an idiot. I just started using Google Reader as my exclusive news/blog info acquisition vector. If you read a lot of news/blogs you should just do it now, mmkay? It’s made my bookmarks disappear by 50%. I feel lean and streaaamliined and sassy. Here’s some choice cuts from said reader.
Ontario themed bar in Williamsburg – The hipster capital of the universe opened up an Ontario themed bar just outside of Brooklyn. Ontario finally getting some respect, but Molson Canadian is the only thing on tap and Rush is on the jukebox. A for effort, D for execution. If you had Mill St. and played some Hayden I’d be much happier. [Toronto Star]
Downtown condos opt for green space instead of parking – Some small properties in downtown Toronto are getting developed for condos, and to make it work they decided to scrap all but 9 car-share parking spaces, “encouraging” tenants to use transit exclusively. Works for me – if you’re right downtown, having a car would be like having a $20,000 paperweight, anyway. [National Post]
Cyclist love notes – The new theme in confronting the bike-car divide – hippie love. Some cycling advocacy groups are choosing to leave thank you cards on windshields or in drivers’ hands to thank them for properly sharing the road. It’s interesting how cycling is so incredibly white/liberal/lovely. [Toronto Star ed]
The apocalyptic left – A warning/reminder for climate change enthusiasts to tone down the extreme weather / climate change connections. [New York Times]
Great Lakes Go-ahead – the EPA and Obama are soon to launch a solid Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Maybe a good idea for the largest supply of accessible drinking water. Calling Minister Prentice … ?
I went to this on Saturday, and to be a sourpuss I was disappointed. Non-violent activism is great, but it needs to last longer than an hour for people to take it seriously. I’m glad Ottawa’s protest was so well attended.
Read this article about the day c/o friend Chris DePaul and the Qatalyst blog. Chris was kind enough to post a link where one person can send a letter to the 5 heads of our political parties c/o the David Suzuki Foundation. One letter gets sent to 5 people. Efficient deliveries! But seriously, now is the time. Of any time recently, now is the time to actually do something. Make your voice heard, send letters, it’s not difficult nor time consuming. Democracy is more than feeling annoyed by voting every few years. Even a little bit helps.
The fact that our government has been so silent on climate change truly angers me. People are even walking out on Harper in international climate meetings because they know he’s not serious about anything climate related. Finally the international community is starting to put pressure on us to act. Environment Minister Jim Prentice says that “Kyoto needs to be rewritten”. I love how transparent politicians make themselves in a matter of one sentence. Jim Prentice is proving to be the worst.
He’s not actually the worst, I’m sure his wife is a smart and talented lady and has well-adjusted children and drinks tap water proudly and believes in evolution and knows the problems with politics and maybe even hopes to try and change things. (my self-indulgent run-ons). But he’s acting sans spine and a true yes man to Harper. The dictatorial tone to the Harper legacy returns?
You’ve probably heard of the protestors interrupting question period in the House of Commons yesterday. My biased guts really appreciated their sacrifice, but the reasoned part of me knows this is a very disrespectful thing to do in the House. If people were yelling how we should teach creation in schools, I would be pissed. I get it, let them do their job. However, if you think House MPs are any less disrespectful or infantile, check your head. People don’t want Copenhagen to be a failure, and the message needs to be loud.
I just heard about these guys yesterday, maybe I’m behind the curve. They are pretty aggressive activists, holy ess. Advocates of change in world trade, climate, and corporate responsibility, The Yes Men have fraudulently appeared as spokesmen for oil companies and chemical companies and using the press to gain exposure. While “representing” these companies, they speak the honest truth about what these companies have done, and often add a bit of flair for dramatic effect. One example would be handing out candles at a massive oil conference in Calgary where they proclaimed that if climate change would kill affected populations, they would turn those humans into fuel. Thus they handed out candles in the shape of a man with hair embedded in the candles for an extra special aroma.
They have a movie as well where they try and infiltrate the World Trade Organization and reduce corporate greed. Watch it below:
And here is one of the Yes Men on the BBC, as a fake PR rep claiming full responsibility for a chemical accident that affected thousands :
- Two vastly different states, two paths to clean energy – Describing how regulation rich California and free market Texas can achieve the same objective. Left or right, clean energy is irrefutable. [New York Times]
- Windy Iowa – Iowa has become the second-largest producer of wind power in the U.S., and some credit an aggressive and supportive role played by local government. [Wall Street Journal]
- Clean coal = dirty water – A community in Pennsylvania is worried about their water supply, as the pollutants which normally escaped into the air are now being dissolved in water from “clean coal” technology. They’re either breathing it or drinking it. [New York Times]
- Liberals pass on NDP climate change bill – Not sure if it’s to intelligently wait and see what other parts of the world do or if it’s lobby-influenced cockblocking. [CBC]
The Arctic Ocean could be largely ice-free and open to shipping during the summer in as little as ten years’ time, a top polar specialist has said.
Now the alarmists are quoting 2020 as a time where polar ice caps would be gone in the summer months, raising sea levels and opening up the Northwest passage to more political bullying in the name of progress. Denmark, Russia, Canada, the list goes on.
I feel we’re almost over-saturated with climate change news, predictions, and apocalypse. Hard to know how serious the issue actually is, how accurate the predictions are, and what we can do (as well as our public officials). This new 10 year mark makes people perk up and think. Not to mention, the growing number of communities that are being forced to move due to climate change. Omens beg for a beginning like this. So, coal? Tar sands? Go to the article for more a short clip and some info.
A UK Royal Society study has concluded that many engineering proposals to reduce the impact of climate change are “technically possible”. Such approaches could be effective, the authors said in their report. But they also stressed that the potential of geo-engineering should not divert governments away from their efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
Sorry, but…. duh? Sometimes sciencespeak is frustrating. I understand one needs to deal with and incorporate scientific uncertainty in estimates or projections, but isn’t it worth a stopandthink when scientists make such obvious statements like this? “Geoengineering could help, but beware”. How does that help? We know this. I think this guy wrote the press release.
Some of my more “alarmist” friends are the also the same people that reject any form of geoengineering. No both ways. If the problems of climate change are that bad, then flicking off won’t do it all. The sad reality is that we’re going to need both – proactive and reactive measures. So enter in the $ billion band-aids.
Historically, these solutions can create a new set of (often slightly smaller) problems. And that’s after hundreds of millions of dollars in R&D, lobbying, startup costs, and massive amounts of troubleshooting these new technologies. Not saying it’s not worth it, but the cost/benefit ratio is unknown at this point, and will be significantly flawed alternative. For example, the most common examples of geoengineering these days are cloud seeding and carbon capture and storage. Cloud seeding often uses silver iodide to help catalyse precipitation. But what do you think happens to the water cycle when you add metal and ions to this water? Ecological effects are inevitable. So whatcha wanna do? Gotta get get.
Last night I went to a solid movie/discussion at Laurier where we watched “Everything’s Cool“, a documentary on the politics behind the United States’ reluctance to join a global climate change effort. Appreciably not-too-preachy, and had some great info on how the climate change message was censored to both the government and the public in the US.
In this film we met two emerging thinkers on the big environmental picture (Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus) who wrote a P.R. dream-sounding essay entitled “The Death of Environmentalism”. Environmentalists are so easy to offend that they must have known this would be a proverbial “stir stick“. Instead of scaring their readers to action, their central tenant is to develop international clean energy based economies. Their positives are job creation, improves national security by getting off our dependence on foreign oil, improves human health, developing ubiquitous/open energy sources, and THEN the talk on polar bears. Eliminating carbon from energy and transportation would put a massive dent in our effort. Now just eat vegetarian one or two days a week and you’ll really finish the roundhouse kick.
They criticize the environmental justice community by saying their message has been one-dimensional, way too fear-based/doom and gloom, and have not produced a lot of results over the past 20 years. So instead of showing polar bears and bored ski groomers, they paint a positive economic, political, and cultural picture around clean energy and push its extreme importance. Nowish.
I’ve been bigpicturing seriously for the last little while, and my opinions on environmentalism have definitely shifted and continue to do so. But these guys are speaking a language that makes sense and focuses on the right reasons to act and move forward, with no sense of stagnation or dwelling on the past. Pretty much down, more fun to come.