But I digress ...

21 April 2021

If You Gotta Suffer to Write ...

 Then I guess I ain't sufferin', am I?

Oh sure, I just lived through four years of Dis Grace the Orangeanus. I've held five or six jobs since 2015, and there's this Pandem-onium going on. But, come on ... Everyone's been through that, right?

Well, except the uber-rich, natch. The billionaires just keep sticking it away and snorting coke off of supermodels' body parts (sometimes even with the supermodels attached!).

But truthfully, I can't really complain. Though of course I will, or what's a blog for?

Given that my last post was in ... YIKES! 2014? Holy cats! Also--a rosary walk leash. I love the idea. Must get one for the bedroom .... ARF!

But I digress ...

An update is doubtless in order. And if you're one of the Avid Fans still clinging to this mortal coil, please feel free to drop a line in the comments.

I'm living on an island in a fair-sized city. I've held five jobs, not counting the two temporary jobs, since 2015. I'm still driving truck for a living. I continue to live with my spouse, Mme Metro, who now is co-owner of a small-but-possibly-growing bookkeeping firm, though it was a close-run thing for a while and one day I may tell you some of it.

The new job is in septic. That's right--I'm still out there taking the piss. But don't scoff, remember the poker-players' maxim: A straight flush beats a full house. Side note: My parents arrived in The Great and Terrible Land of Oz in nineteen-mumble-mumble, and curiously observed along a certain escarpment that many of the houses had tiny mini-houses in the backyard. Urban Brits that they were they had to ask a friend what the tiny houses were. They didn't know what an outhouse was.

When they asked what it meant to see one of the houses that didn't have a "backhouse" behind it, their hose informed them that those houses were swank--they had Americans. Oops--mixed up my rhyming slang there.

But I digress ...

During Covid I was asked by a friend to help deliver meals she makes (up to thirty-five of 'em twice a week) in her own kitchen, so I do that too.

But much of my off-time is spent on vehicles. I am now the proud owner of a couple of Ford Focii, a 1983 Honda Magna motorcycle, and ladeez an' gennlemen put your hands together for ... My 1959 Metropolitan, for which this blog was named.

... Which I swear is very likely to run at some point in the very near future. Seriously. I just put the pistons all back in and once I get the radiator installed ...

But I digress ...

Fifty is in the recent-ish past for me. And I am struck by how little of my life I remember overall. My father has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's--early stages yet, but it was definitely showing for awhile. I think he's on the drugs now. And I find it striking that he appears to have so much more recall and clarity than I. So maybe writing might help?

Oh yeah--I've become convinced that the internet is not in itself a good, admirable, or useful thing. And the less said about the shite-post Kingdom of Facebook, the better. Partly as a result of my interactions there, I have come to formulate the maxim that: There are no good conservatives.

Seriously. Find one. One who hasn't been sidelined by "mainstream" (formerly "radical" or "rabid") conservatism. One who isn't older than my Metropolitan, for prefs. And look at his voting record and public statements. For every good thing any conservative purports to support, there's an awful one that negates it, at a minimum.

I guess I'm saying I'm a little bitter. The future was starting to look a little better, and then we were stuck by a vicious, undying scourge that left many of us nearly paralysed with fear and disgust. I stopped reading news during his administration.

And after that came CV-19! I haven't yet really started reading news regularly again yet. Too many dafties out there.

Am I back? I dunno. My ex-girlfriend has frequently pressed me to keep writing. And I have to admit I've re-read a buncha my stuff and it can still bring me a chuckle or two.

Maybe this is the beginning of something good.

How're you making out? Getting through it alright?

12 March 2014

Not at all Like Riding a Bicycle

There's an obnoxious little phrase: "It's like riding a bicycle ..."
Usually the bit about "... you never forget how" remains an exercise for the listener.

So after some years of listening to it without thought I realized that in fact the open end of the aphorism made for some interesting rejoinders:

"... you can get your trouser leg all greasy?"
"... you can ring a little bell and people will get out of your way?"
"... it's easiest when you're going downhill?"

It is this obnoxious phrase, O Avid Fan, upon which I wish you to reflect today, as I share with you:

Metro's First Bike Ride

So technically it wasn't my first. I don't recall how old I was when I first rode a "two-wheeler." I know there was a kid in our apartment block in Hamilton who owned a small one--It was painted sparkly gold, as most things were at the time so it seemed. It may or may not have had training wheels.

I remember vaguely, in that dreamlike haze all childhood memories have (For me--Yours may be perfectly clear, in which case you may freely assume your memory is lying to you) riding this bike about. I could frickin' fly on that thing. It was too small for me, even at five-ish. It had no gears. And I had to stand on the pedals because the seat was set so low my knees would have been pistoning into my forehead. Ah, how flexible we are as kids!--But I digress.

When we moved east, a schoolmate of mine took me home one day. She wished to go for a bike ride. I'm guessing I was about six, maybe just turned seven. The trouble was that while she had a bike, it wasn't suited for "doubling" (Young people ask your parents--Doubling was an astoundingly dangerous practice in which boys and girls risked life, limb, and testicle in an attempt to prove that all bicycles were in fact built for two).

There were two bikes, her mum's and her dad's. But as I recall with my lying memory, we knew the ones with dropped crossbars were for girls. And it would be wrong for a boy to ride a girl's bike. It made perfect sense at the time.

So we decided I should try her father's bike. On the surface, to any observer over the age of about ten, this would seem absurd. Her dad (whom I cannot recall now--Hell, I don't think either of her parents were around, but then what was she doing home alone?) obviously had an inseam about the same as my height.

Still, we pushed his big blue bike to the back steps of her house. It was a typical, probably CCM, sit-up-and-beg bike, painted sparkle blue, as most things were at the time, so it seemed. It definitely did not have training wheels. And with serious trepidation, I mounted. I balanced wobbly-ly atop the seat. My toes could touch the pedals until a little way short of their lowest point. After some discussion possibly involving the questioning of the wisdom of our actions (but I doubt it), I pushed off with a toe, and set off down the back alley behind the rows of tiny fenced yards.

The bike spun readily away, picking up speed from the slight downhill, and from my full weight against the pedals. I was probably going about fifteen kilometres per hour, approaching the point where the alley I was in T-ed to a stop at an intersecting alley, a garage door across the alley providing an emphatic full stop. I would need to slow down to make the curve, so my instincts told me.

At what I figure was about eighteen kilometres per hour I stepped backwards to slow the bike--the common practice on the coaster-brake-equipped units I was used to. The pedals rotated freely. I tried again, harder. The pedals flew counterclockwise, the left one turning upward and striking my shin while my right foot lost contact and flailed at empty air. At the same time, because I had been standing up to pedal, I slipped down, with the result all young men have experienced. Young ladies, I cannot explain, but if you hold a pair of baseball bats with the end of the handle against the point of your abdomen containing your ovaries and run at a brick wall you may get a similar sensation. The discombobulation led me to look down, attempting to untangle myself and regain control whilst trying not to retch too loudly and relieve the hideous pressure of my probably-about-fifty-pounds from my crotch.

At this point the die was cast. I looked up and saw the phone pole, swerved late, ang glanced off of it, then careened, brakeless, across the end of the alley and fetched up with a "CRUMP" and a rattle of ironmongery, in a heap against the garage door, curled around my private pain and experiencing a series of novel sensations, including my first real case of road rash, as well as some old ones--the scraped knees and elbows, the sensation that I wanted to "$#!7 myself and blow lunch simultaneously" as Stephen King put it so gracefully in "Christine" ...

My friend seemed to feel responsible for my injuries. That's probably why she waited until I had gotten up and brushed myself off and more-or-less stopped crying before she checked to make sure her dad's bike was okay. Then she led me off to her mother, who did whatever magic other people's mothers do when a boy's knees, elbows, and testicles are bruised. I don't really recall much beyond that. The girl and I stayed friends awhile. She may or may not have attended my next school.

Oh ... And the reason the brakes didn't work was that I hadn't noticed the odd little levers protruding from the handlebars. I'd never ridden a bike with hand brakes.

And that's really all I recall. But it's the incident that springs to mind when someone says "Hey, it's like riding a bicycle ..."

And I finish for him or her: "... if you fall off it's really going to hurt."

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Failure to Re-Launch?

Okay, so this is my first post in a month or so. I'm running into unanticipated difficulties.

1) Work.
My current job demands that I awaken at four-thirty, or possibly five, or three-thirty, or sometimes one, a.m. Then I work eight, six, ten, or nine hours at work that is sometimes extraordinarily physical (i.e. lifting five hundred garbage cans weighing between five and twenty-five kilos) or stultifyingly not-so (sitting in the passenger seat of a dumpster truck, occasionally pulling a bin out).

This leaves me in the early afternoon with no desire or motivation higher than a beer in front of the tube and an early night. Yeah, I apparently have become one of those three-B guys. Beer, Boob Tube, and Bed.

2) Personal life.My personal life is complicated. Not in any serious way--Mme Metro and I just celebrated over a decade together. But in a way that requires planning and co-ordination between a number of people, mostly because of my:

3) Social life.
For the first time in many years, I have most of my evenings free. This is due to relocation. I used to occupy my time with jam sessions and acting both are on hiatus because see #1. It's hard to commit to a schedule of rehearsal when you might arrive home at eleven having to work at three the next morning. The days when I drank 'till four then went to work at seven are kind of behind me.

However, evening commitments are creeping under the door. You know the way of it. You meet people, you like them and are interested in them, you share an interest, and join a community, and next thing you know you're chairing the Thursday night meetings ...

4) How far do I wish to let you in, O Avid Fan?
I am not the same Metro who started this blog. I am no longer pseudonymous to a number of people out there, and that can constrain what I want to write publicly. In fact when I am having an experience I consider writing-worthy, I now seem to think of the experience in three categories:

  • Open: Anyone could read this. Fit for consumption by the general public. Mind you, if Glenn Beck is still seen as fit for public consumption ...
  • Semi-private: My friends and Avid Fans are unlikely to judge me too harshly for this. Not for sharing with strangers or co-workers.
  • Private: I might mention this to Mme Metro. Other than that, forget it. I am a great fan of the quote "Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead." (B. Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack), and am equally sure the compulsion to "talk it out" is usually little more than an ego-driven vice that makes a virtue of hurting someone one should know well enough not to hurt in such fashion, or even have a reason to do so in the first place.

Part of the problem is deciding what filter I let things pass. Obviously most of my life is fairly public. If I were outed from the house-tops I doubt most of the people who know me even in passing would be astounded at the content here at the Ol' Metroblog. But I still dither about posting some of it.

But I will persevere. I believe the cure for the after-work flops is exercise. I'm taking up swimming. It's a good fit for my body type (Whales swim, right? Not many of them do a lot of weightlifting or aerobics), and it's relatively low-impact. I also find I have a bit more energy in the evening after a swim, and that I sleep very well too.

Likewise, I believe the cure for Writer's Rust is the same as the cure for most rusty things: Apply lubricant and exercise the moving parts. Alcohol is considered an excellent lubricant for most related purposes.

People say "Write what you know." I'd rather write things I know to be fiction. But I'm back to baby steps, clinging to the couch or coffee-table of certainty for support. But I expect it's like riding a bicycle.

Not the classic aphorism about never forgetting. Rather, think back to the time you first rode a bicycle.

And with that, I have an idea for my next post.

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03 February 2014

Refurbishing the Blog

Having decided to try blogging again, the first step was to look hard at the ol' metrotemplate. Not looking too spiffy. Needs a coat o' paint, for starters.

But there are more important issues: For starters, the gaping holes in the blogroll. Frontier Editor appears to have disappeared, Canadian Cynic got tired of the endless inflatable-bozo-boxing that is critiquing conservativism in the modern North American political landscape, etc, etc, ad nauseam.

So I need to rebuild. And if you're reading this, I'd like to hear from you: What are your indispensible must-reads online? Not just blogs, though I'm happy to learn about them, but any sites at all. What's the first site you hit in the morning while the coffee's brewing? The last one you have to see before you can sleep at night?

In other news, I'm also noticing that I don't write the way I used to. I don't feel as clever, the words don't turn in my hands and mind and line themselves up as easily.

Rust is a bitch.

But if the corrosion doesn't run too deep, I think I should be able to loosen up in a while. Maybe a year will do it.

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31 January 2014


So when we moved, I transferred. Managed to keep with the same company. But sadly, I'm pretty much the most junior guy in a shop where instead of four guys, there are thirty.

So I'm on the spare board. This means I take the shifts no-one at all wants.

So last week I was slated to work the lowest-paying job in the shop on Monday and Friday, and that was it. Then they called me in on Wednesday and Thursday.

Thursday arvo I come in and notice my name's off the board for Friday.

Oh well, I oh-welled, No worries. I don't need the hours and I don't exactly love that job anyway.

At six-something-ty this morning, the boss phoned. They want me to come in. To do exactly the job they pulled me off of yesterday.

I am not thrilled. My back hurts a bit, I had bad sleep and wound up being awake three hours last night ... Wah, wah, wah.

Somewhere out there, a person possibly named Miguel, or Rosa, or Frank, is dragging himself (or herself) off of his bed (or her bed) and putting his feet (her f-- ... You know, I'm gonna stop this now) on the floor.

Miguel is undocumented, and so makes less than minimum wage. The work is physically brutal, the shifts, while officially ten hours long, run twelve to fourteen, but nobody complains. There are no health benefits. The workers have a joke about "work 'till your break or work 'til you break." There are no benefits, and no breaks. Frank blew out his back last week--He's worried one of his discs may be ruptured.

Last year, a guy named Fidel started a drive to unionize. He and six other workers got a sign-up sheet going. Fidel got picked up by Immigration last month. And five of the other six haven't shown up to work since. The sixth guy just got promoted to shift supervisor, night shift--A position understood to mean "Company Stool Pigeon, Third Class."

Miguel can barely make rent, and can't afford to go to a doctor to get his back fixed. Besides, under new Immigration laws he thinks the doctor might have to report him as undocumented.

So he rises, grimacing, and slouches down to the bus stop with a cup of coffee in hand, trying to shift as he walks to ease the pain.

As he waits for his bus, he takes out the letter in his back pocket:

"Dear Husband:

The baby is better, but we miss you so much. Thank you so much for the money you send ..."

The bus hisses and chuffs to a stop, and Miguel grimaces, rises, and goes to work.

My job is unionized, with benefits, and I make a good bit more than the minimum here in Canada, and a $#!7load more than the minimum in the US.

Gratitude. I haz it.

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28 January 2014

Everything in Context

So I'm on Facecrack the other day, and I noticed a friend of mine had posted one of those Gordon Ramsey (I think it's him--all those Food Network Ain't-Oi-Edgy-Chef wankers look alike to me) meme pics.

You know the ones: Gordon yelling at some hapless schmuck "This (noun) is so (adjective) that (here's the punchline)."

Here's the one she posted.

The first comment read: "OMG Funny!!!"
Maybe it was the red mist that rises before my eyes at the sight of multiple exclamation points, but I was compelled to comment:

"So 'funny' now equals 'racist'?"

This prompted a mostly ALL-CAPS blast from someone declaring themselves to be "a proud, big, black, person" and defending Poster as "my best friend, and not a racist, but you [Metro] you're gonna find out what a racist is when I finish wit you ..."

I settled the person's feathers and told them that I believed Poster wasn't a racist, but the pic was, and that reflects inevitably on the person posting it (Poster waited two days and then seems to have quietly taken the pic down). I did this because any other course seemed to lead to an endless wrangle, and frankly I have better things to do. That porn ain't gonna surf itself, you know.

I also didn't want to come across as though I felt my friend was a racist. But she is, quite frankly.

A bit. Less than my grandmother, who deafly declared in the presence of a Comissionaire in a turban "Ooo--'Ave ye them here?--Pakis?" (The gentleman referred to gave my mortified self a smile and a wink that I chose to interpret as "It is no matter, my friend. The lady is old and not of our time, and she will be dead soon.")

A little. She'd be hurt and offended if you said outright that she is. And it's not as though she consciously tries to limit opportunity for people of other races than her own.

But she is. She'd happily call South Asians "pakis" even though she worked closely with a couple for years. She believes Muslims are all brown and wear burnoose and burkhas. She blelieves Aboriginals are lazy bums. In other words she has that stupid background-radiation racism of an unexamined philosophy and working-class background.

She`s not malicious. She`s ... just racist. And as such of course she's part of a wider problem.

We are what we tolerate. I don`t particularly want to cut her loose. But I will continue to call her on this sort of stuff. Interestingly, she`s occasionally posted sentiments that translate into "Offended you, have I? Well tough $#!7!" You know--the sort of thing posted by small-minded idiots who feel they're being "forthright." And she's definitely not an idiot. Intellectually lazy at times, but not an idiot.

I will continue to make the same comment about anything else similar that she posts. And if she tires of me and "un-friends" me, well I will feel I've done the right thing.

Because I like my friend, and would prefer that others not think she's a racist.

Even though she kinda is.

22 January 2014

Hello World. Again

*Tap-tap* "Is this thing on? Anyone still out there?"

So: When we last left Our Hero (Metro, for those of you who tuned in later than 2010) he was living in the wilds of a place I could call Leadbangville, a scenic desertish town with about 30,000 denizens. About that time I sort of faded from view.

But now, looky here: Here I am, writing.

There were a few reasons. I was tired of being the only person on the entire internet with reasoned, well-thought-out, opinions and a blog to express them on. I had a job, one that kept me writing--sometimes as much as several words a day.

And in the end, I have to say I just wasn't sure I felt like it anymore.

And yet, now, here I am again: Writing.

So fast-forward ... Has it really been four years? Mme Metro and I have moved again! Now we're in a place I could call Triumphuz. It's considerably bigger than our last abode. Mme had to move here for her job, and I perforce must travel with her. I called my company and arranged to be transferred ... I'm still driving a garbage truck. It's just that the local office is so big (my last place of work had four people, only two of whom drove) and I am so very not-senior (there are more than twenty drivers alone at this shop, and the most junior of them has a year on me) that I have no idea when I work, what I'm doing, or how much I'm being paid on any sort of regular basis.

Moreover, though I am 100% a union man, the seniority thing means that I may, in the pre-spring slump all trash places go through, not get any work at all.

I brought you around the long way to say that I want to get into the writing game again. And as Raincoaster points out (ad nauseam and whether you want her to or not) blogging is excellent practise.

And look at me: Here I am. Writing.

I'm not sure what to blog about, just now. Pretty sure I want to be lighter on the politics--It was really starting to eat at me there. And don't be fooled. I still feel Stephen Harper is the worst thing to happen to Canada in my lifetime, and have gone from merely wishing he'd go away to being unconvinced that a competent assassin couldn't make the country just a tiny bit healthier again. But the thing is, I DO want to write.

And so here I am. Writing.

I also want to revamp my entire online presence. I currently have at least half-a-dozen idenitites of various sorts cluttering up the internet. This may mean I bring some of them under the Metro-brella. It may mean I post here once a week and elsewhere once a week, and else-againwhere once a week too.

But the important thing is: Look. It's me.


30 April 2010

Where the Hell Have I Gotten To?

Archie of the Archive popped up to ask the question.

Of my long absence let me say this: Never take on the lawyer recommended by your cellmate.

Nah ... Actually it's just a work thing. I returned to my trucking roots, or routes, just this past week. I'm still doing some work for a guy who's publishing a book, and I'm applying for a job somewhere between grunt work and middle management, with just enough elements of each to keep me interested.

But there's more to it, you know. For one thing I'm honestly not feeling very Metro lately.

You've heard the saying "I used to be disgusted, now I'm just amused," no doubt?

The personality of Metro originated as a response to the lapping of the Conservative wave on the beach of North American politics. The wave became a tsunami in the Bush years, with similar effects on the political landscape. Now there's little left, so it seems to me, beside the lower life forms--Namely dust mites and religious fundamentalists.

Metro, as a voice in the babble, isn't helpful at a time when our own Prime Minister can come out with such outrageous falsehoods as this:
We look forward to both complying with the ruling and with the legal obligations that have been established by statutes, passed by this Parliament

That, sir, is a load of goddamned bullshit.

Had Harper and his merry band of censors, crooks, and lobbyists wanted to comply with their legal obligations, they'd have handed over the ₤µ©λing documents!

When stuff like this is happening on the floor of Parliament, it's time to back away from the keyboard and go the ₤µ©λ outside. It's time to try and put one's time and energy into restoring something approaching Parliamentary democracy in this beknighted land.

The US is slowly creeping from the mire it was left in by the Bush League--Slowly. Note, for example, that Obama STILL hasn't closed Gitmo, repudiated domestic spying, or brought Cheney and co. to justice for authorizing torture. And it took last week's undersea oil gusher (or as the oil companies would doubtless have it "natural resource relocation") to get him to reverse himself on new offshore drilling.

But progress has been made. Obama has, in fact, kept more than eighty percent of his promises. And they finally have a sort of universal health care, despite the preponderance of teabagging morons who'd prefer to stay sick and poor.

Canada, in typical fashion, is still plunging headfirst into the oilsands-toxic-waste pond of Conservative governance. We tend to follow the US by about five years, and I think we're just hitting the perigee of their performance now.

And my fulminating about it on a keyboard isn't helping. I need to find a way to make a direct contribution to sending the Conservative Party of Canada into the wilderness for another fifteen to twenty years. Ideally they'll be in prison for half that time for contempt of Parliament. And it's only too unfortunate that there's no such charge as "contempt of Canadians"--They'd get life without hope of parole unless they succeed in reviviing the death penalty before they come to trial.

So that's why I haven't been showing up here. I've been amused to the darkest depths of what I like to think of as my soul by the antics of my current placeholder government, but not sufficiently energized either by their perifidy or by the ideas coming from the Opposition to want to write about my feelings on the matter.

Now I just need to pry a few hours a week from my schedule to join whatever organization I can find that's working to make sure Harper et al. get exported to, say, Afghanistan, where their style of governance might be more at home. In fact, since we still occupy part of it, I think we should deport Harper now, before 2011. It'll save time.

I'll keep posting here, I guess. But between trucking, editing, rebuilding vehicles, and cleaning up a political cesspool, I'm not sure I'll have a lot of time to blog about it.

Since three common methods of government reform are guns, lawyers, and money (and let me state here that unlike the American teabagger movement I tend to prefer the second of those options if, as now, "human decency" is unavailable), et me leave you with a little Warren Zevon for the moment.

And hey, this may just turn out to be an existential reboot while I try to figure out wither Metroblog. But for now, honestly, I've got too much to do, and I don't feel sufficiently engaged to want to try and shovel shit against the tide at the moment.

Be nice while I'm away, I'll pop back from time to time.

01 March 2010

Okay, We're Back

This seems like as good a time as any revisit Mr. Bunk Strutts' comments from back about the last ice age. Sure, we both have better things to do, but ...

Well actually at this precise moment, I don't. And as I'm leaving town for a while, I figured I should get a post up. Plus I'd been looking into this for a while.

Because recently the Daily Mail made a total ₤µ©λup of an interview with a climate scientist from the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit, renown in song and story for the "Climategate" emails, which proved only that science isn't for sissies.

The Mail piece has been thoroughly dealt with, though in by no means as loud or obnoxious a fashion as it ought to have been, by better writers than my noble self.

But I wanted to return to Bunk's comment, because a challenge to one's ideas that one cannot immediately answer should be researched. I'm sorry it's taken so long. And it'll take longer.

Before proceeding, let me say that I want to try and keep this discussion as civil as possible. I don't intend to insult Mr. Strutts for holding a view he considers reasonable.

Our mutual acquiantance Raincoaster says that were we to meet, we'd probably argue late into the night over pitchers of beer. We might even agree on what brand of beer to order.

So let's get to part one.

Bunk visited my post about the tepid Copenhagen Conference on climate change and left a long comment.

It raised a number of points, some of which were correct in their facts but incorrect on the interpretation. And what is the internet after all but an extension of the great search for meaning, eh?

For clarity, I'm enclosing Bunk's statements in blockquotes and italic font.

I'm sure I won't change Bunk's mind on this. In order to do that he and I would first have to agree on a credible set of sources, and I doubt we can agree on that point.

But I feel that I should know why I believe what I believe, and at least have a nodding acquaintance with what the science says. Which is why this is such a long post.

Bunk opens up thusly:
The premise of manmade global warming (AGW) is a false alarmist myth designed to create public hysteria for the purposes of taxation, both locally and globally.

Then who's behind this myth? That taxation theory's certainly not supported in my country, where the science minister thinks belief in evolution is a religious position and the PM called AGW a "socialist plot."

On the other hand, a number of authorities one could hardly describe as left-wing loonies are taking the position that AGW is real.

But more importantly, the position has nothing to do with taxation. If alternatives to carbon taxation were found (such as Kyoto's carbon credit system) the position would not change: "It ain't happening, and wouldn't matter if it were."

For example, carbon pricing is a free-market solution that's rejected by the same people who claim the free market has all the answers.

The premise that a [1-to-2]*-degree Celsius increase in average global temperatures over a century is a catastrophic danger is false.

[*Edited from "1/2" to clarify what I think Bunk means. Any error is the fault of my interpretation.]

In fact the main thrust of anti-warming efforts is to hold warming down to something around two degrees in order to forestall worse warming and worse cocomittant effects. But don't take my word for it: Read the Times.

We're also not talking about a century. We're already past the first degree. The question is whether we can keep it to two, probably within the next fifty years.

The premise that a relatively small percentage of sentient animals (humans) can significantly affect long-term global temperature variations is absurd.
Did we cause acid rain? L.A.'s horrible smog? Fewer than 500 million humans created those effects. In the case of L.A. they're still trying to fix them. A cross-border agreement helped stop acid rain.

Why is it so inconceivable that we could effect change on a global level? After all, we really aren't a "relatively small percentage of sentient animals." There are eight billion-plus of us, all of us burning fuels at increasing rates to make our economies do what they do.

The premise that human-generated CO2 is the culprit ignores the fact that water vapor is the major uncontrollable greenhouse gas by a factor of tens of thousands.
Right, except possibly for the "uncontrollable bit." As CO2 warms the atmosphere, more water evaporates, and more water vapour increases the warming effect. So adding more CO2 increases the rate at which the world is warming. But we could slow the rate at which CO2 is being added to the atmosphere by reducing the other crap, along with the CO2, we put into it.

The fact [is] that global temperatures are always in flux due to thousands of variables, as they have been since the creation of this planet.
So natural factors like sunlight, cloud cover, and vegetable rot can apparently change the climate, but not gigatons of carbon emissions?

There is no possible way to determine what the ideal global temperature should be, as that is merely a philosophical argument, i.e., do you favor plants or animals? Reptiles or mammals? Algae or bacteria?
My philosophical position is that judging by the lessons of history, we're better off trying to not screw things up any further.

We have some idea of the potential effects of a warmer climate, and aside from less snowblowing (which would be offset by an increase in lawn mowing), they don't sound good.

But most life on this ball of mud is interconnected anyway, and we mess with other species at our peril.

So the ideal global temperature, to me, would be something in the range of the past couple of thousand years, during which humankind has lived and thrived.

This concludes part one. It'll be at least a week before I can post a second part. Thanks for reading, if you got this far.

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18 February 2010

Blowing the Dust Off

Phew. Who the hell left this sandwich lying on the console?

Okay, so I was away for a while. I want to thank the staff and those husky damn interns at the Sunnyvale Home for the Particularly Stressed for the length of my stay, and a certain pathological psycologist (you know who you are, sweetie) for its abrupt end, and I'm sure the insurance will cover everything.

Lots going on in Canada right now. In particular there's the Olympics. Yet somehow they seem smaller and meaner than the 2000 gala. My country's neuroses seem to be on full display. Perhaps because everything feels like a little too little of most things (snow, actual tickets rather than fake ticket shops, the hopeless bloody Canada Pavillion pictured below) and far too much of others ("own the podium," Prime Ministerial photo-ops, those stupid-ass mascots and also the Canada Pavillion).

Parliament still isn't sitting. The Harpercons are relying on the Olympic spectacle to distract the masses, so it seems. Well hey, if you can't give them bread, give 'em circuses, I guess. O'course bread could be had had we not spent our bread money on tax cuts and Olympic circuses.

But still, whatever gets you through, eh?

Of the Olympics, I think the best thing is that due to the neurotic rah-rah "own the podium" propaganda push, we have at least learned the names of some of our athletes.

Me? Well I've been busy elsewhere. That is all ye know and all ye need know. I haven't forgotten my promise to address the silliness of global warming denialism, and I plan on making that my next effort.

Hope you've all been behaving while I was away.

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08 January 2010

O Avid Fan, You Are Not Forgotten!

That goes for both of you.

I promised Sr. Strutts that I would revisit the comment he left me on my post about the all-too-predictable failure of the Copenhagen Conference, and that's part of what I'm doing today.

But I just cleared a major project and have some other stuff to do. So I'll content myself with posting this:

This seems to be a pirate video, so I'll refer you to the site where the original may be found: Weebls Stuff.

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