Friday, January 15, 2010

Global Warming

I have NEVER in my life seen such a divisive issue as climate change! Perfectly sane and normal people go off on wild tangents, and "make their minds up" with fervor normally reserved for religious experiences. I could make an entire post based on this "yes it is, no it isn't" phenomon.

Here is a lecture by James Balog. He is an artist, not some white lab coat with a political agenda. So, because he is an artist, he has a unique approach to the topic. He doesn't sit in his office, and look at computer models. He goes out to glaciers, and looks at them. And watches them collapse. And photographs them with time lapse photography.

Why not take twenty minutes of your life and examine this one. At the very least, you will see some pretty pictures....

Of course, not all scientists are dweebs, Rachel Pike is really cute. Her talk is only four minutes....and worth a watch if only to watch her boobs bounce. However, it is worth the talk just so we can see just what goes into the scientific conclusions that so many people so blithly throw out.

With that kind of background and work which goes into it, how can you dismiss it as a political football? The problem is that it is so narrowly focused that you can't really argue for or against it, however I think I will listen more closely to the conclusions of the Rachel Pikes of the world than, oh, I don't know...say, Jesse Ventura?

Jesse Ventura. THERE's a guy that inspires confidence. Get real! Him and Tom Cruise! Millstones around the neck of the truth, both of them! Lord give me strength!

Anyway, I have no intention of changing YOUR mind. No doubt your mind is made up. As were the commenters on James Balog's talk above...I kept asking myself..."did they even listen to the talk or are they just sounding off with their own ideas like trained seals"? Me, I might well be the only person left on the planet who doesn't give a shit about global warming...I would just like to see less smoke in the air, so I think I come down on the side of the scientists. My real concern is Resource Wars resulting from climate change, such as you are finding in Darfur. And I do have to admit to a desire to be a friend to the Earth.

My hero is Stewart Brand. You might remember him, he invented and published the "Whole Earth Catalogue" back in the '60s. He was the original hippie! He has always stepped to a different drummer. Nobody every said he was stupid, but he sometimes seems to be in the business of pissing off as many people as possible.
I even found a talk by him in the TED site.....again, its only 20 minutes. I think you might find him to be breath of fresh air. Whenever I get depressed, I find something that Stewart wrote somewhere, sometime, and realize that I am not powerless to change anything. Treat yourself to a most refreshing lecture, ignore the Al Gores of the world, and watch a talk by a genuine human being....Stewart Brand. This lecture is the one that got him into so much trouble with the environmental there is more here than meets the eye.

Let me know your thoughts on this.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Urban Legends

Lately, I have been getting some fascinating forwards in my email box. A quick jump over to "" often helps to get the skinny on these stories. Some are "well, what difference does it make", and others are ridiculous "Oh my god, that means that the leader of the Illluminati is hiding in my underwear drawer", and some are outright lies..."Oliver North's testimony was that he installed an expensive security system on his house because he was scared of Osama Bin Laden".

In this world of instant communication, Churchill's phrase "A lie goes around the world before the truth can get its trousers on" is demonstrated daily. I personally don't like lies....even little white lies, because I figure if whoever sent me a lie about "that" (whatever "that" might be) always must then face the question, "If you lie to me about "that", then what else are you lying to me about?"

One is reminded watching the Montreal Rally and the pictures of St. Catherine Street clearly filled with thousands of demonstrators, and the reporters saying "as many as two hundred people are in the street waving plaquards". I was yelling at the screen "TWO HUNDRED PEOPLE....ARE YOU NUTS." and in fact, some of my "on the fence" Quebecois friends were watching that, and they too were struck with the obvious fact that the news guy was lying, and they too were wondering "if they are lying about numbers of demonstrators, what ELSE are they lying about?" So when you get caught out in a lie, you lose all credibility. Many of my friends made up their mind then and there to vote against the separation because they suddenly didn't trust the people who would suddenly be in charge!

As for "its more fun to just send them out"....well, I would not mind if they were simple "Thank you for being my friend" cards (though I am always struck by the fact that if I was such a great friend, then why don't you take a moment to tell me personally instead of sending a forward out on a distribution list, but still, they are nice to get.) but many of the items I see forwarded to my email box seem to be politically motivated, and some seem to come perilously close to resembling hate mail.
Even then, the distribution of political texts is a fine and noble exercise in free speech. The article about Oliver North is not particularly political, but rather a little inflammatory, and was a fine example of what I regard as "False History". If anyone feels that there is no harm in "False History", I merely point them to a pre war publication called "The Chonicles of Zion".

Anyway, on that note, I shall leave you with my very best wishes and that I hope that you and your family will prosper in the coming year.

Bill Fedun

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Save the World....

THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD is a screwball true story about two gonzo political activists who, posing as top executives of giant corporations, lie their way into big business conferences and pull off the world's most outrageous pranks.

From New Orleans to India to New York City, armed with little more than cheap thrift-store suits, the Yes Men squeeze raucous comedy out of all the ways that corporate greed is destroying the planet.

BrĂ¼no meets Michael Moore in this gut-busting wake-up call that proves a little imagination can go a long way towards vanquishing the Cult of Greed.

Who knew fixing the world could be so much fun?