23 December 2009


It is disturbing how this year and decade has been ending on such a sour note for so many people. My partner was admitted into the hospital yesterday and will be spending Christmas there. I left the hospital yesterday evening and was running to our apartments picking stuff up and dropping stuff off when I ran into our friends D and I.

I went out for a quick bit of sushi with them and gave them the update on what has been going on. They had several incredibly disturbing stories from the weekend they had to share as well. D is convinced that The Higher Power is kicking us all in the ass right now as penance for our excess, selfishness and lack of stewardship over the past ten years. I can only hope that we will act more mature in the next ten and 2019 ends on a high note.

If you are having a blue Christmas, stay positive and appreciate the wonderful things in you have in your life. They are fragile and precious; just realize how things can flip topsy-turvy on you in a moment and those things can be gone. Nothing is more important than family and friends. Let them know at this time how special and impactful they are on your life. Appreciate all that you've accomplished and the things you've been able to do and experience that so many other people in the world have never nor ever will have the opportunity to do, see and feel. We're so very blessed in the developed world and most of the time don't even stop to marvel at how bloody lucky we are that we were born to the right people at the right place at the right time.

Please say a prayer for my M. I love him so much and my only wish for Christmas is for him to get better soon and come home.

18 December 2009

Oh no! It's the "Top 10 Best/Worst (insert topic) of (insert year)" time again!!

Gods, how I hate the incessant need to do end-of-year compilations of the 'best of' by so-called 'experts' in so-called 'disciplines'. Especially in the arts. I mean, how big of an attention-whore are you?

"I'm a loser and I watch movies/game/listen to music 25 hours a day, therefore I have a duty to inform you, oh, of the untalented, film-school dropout/carpal tunnel/tone-deaf horde, what was the best and worst of this year. I am divine, I am god."

- umm, it's quite likely your opinion has always sucked, in my opinion.

And on and on...movies, music, performing arts, quotations, celebrity scandals, world events, political moments, sports, and on and on...

Hey, guess what? You have tastes and opinions, I have taste and opinions. You may or may not agree with me and I may or may not agree with you. Leave it at that, and shut up. I'll continue to enjoy my personal best of/worst of without an influence from you and your ilk, with this egotistical need to tell me what's right/wrong with what I like and what interests me. You're an idiot and insulting to my intelligence.

Now, here's my top 10 of 2009.....

15 December 2009


What a joke. Meh, we had a good run...hopefully the next iteration of dominant species on the planet has a more intelligent go of it....in another 50 million years or so when the oil reserves are replenished with the remnants of industrial human society -- oh, the irony! ;P

Recent polls have shown that belief in global warming is waning.

Last month, Cardiff University found an increasing number of Britons are becoming more sceptical about climate change.

It found that 29 per cent believe the threat has been exaggerated – compared to just 15 per cent five years ago. One in five are hardened sceptics who believe manmade global warming is a myth. In the U.S. polls have shown that nearly half of Americans no longer believe in global warming.

Only 57 per cent of Americans agree that world temperatures are rising, while just one in three believes humans are causing climate change, the survey carried out by the Pew Research Centre based in Washington showed.

Andrew Kohut, director of the think tank, said: ‘The priority given to environmental concerns and other issues is down because of the economy and the focus on other things.

I'm laying bets nothing definitive will come out of Copenhagen, which means it'll be another 10 or 15 years before the collective get together again for two weeks of chattering, wining and dining. Canada couldn't even come close to keeping gas levels at Kyoto Protocol-agreed levels (we're, like, 26% above 1990 levels or something when we are supposed to be at -5% levels or something???). There has been no dispute in the belief among climate science and bio-systems academic circles for a decade now that anthropomorphic climate change is real and that temperatures are rising. Yet, here we are.


what a bunch of maroons...we deserve everything we get. As with everyone else, I'm planning to burn up as much as I possibly can now before it's unaffordable and I have to start growing gardens of food by hand again. Sooner it's gone the better...let's get this shitshow on the road. Laissez les bons temps rouler.

08 December 2009

ClimateGate and perspectives on scientific method, Or, What, me worry???

Exerpt from "Climate, Oil, War and Money"

"Against a greater welter and flow of incoherence jerking the nation this way and that way en route to collapse comes "ClimateGate," the latest excuse for screaming knuckleheads to defend what has already been lost. It is also yet another distraction from the emergency agenda that the United States faces - namely the urgent re-scaling, re-localizing, and de-globalizing of our daily activities.
What seems to be at stake for the knuckleheads is their identity, their idea of what it means to be an American, which boils down to being an organism so specially blessed and entitled that it is excused from paying attention to reality. There were no doubt plenty of counterparts among the Mayans when the weather changed and their crops failed, and certainly the Romans had their share of identity psychotics who doubted reality even when Alaric the Visigoth was hoisting off their household treasure."

Response by cougar:

The fabrication involved in ClimateGate is that there is a ClimateGate.

This was about the process of deciding what papers would be included in the IPCC report, and on what grounds they might not be. Some were marked for non-inclusion because they would be taken out of context by the deny-o-sphere to damage the IPCC report as a whole. The papers were eventually included anyway but that there was ever a discussion on the topic is illustrative.

Climate scientists have been badly burned by the professional deny-o-sphere and the corporate and government demagogues they serve. Climate scientists are now gun-shy. They see their work and their reputations dragged over broken glass for the profit of a few. It happened with the tobacco "debate" and it's happening again with climate research, and we all know how this movie ends and nobody likes it.

Climate scientists would need to be insane to *happily* continue to leave themselves open to random and baseless attacks simply because their observations and recommendations run contrary to the will of the majority. They continue to do so only because they are compelled. That compulsion ought to count for something, but clearly it does not, and they will continue to be slaughtered in the press for simply saying what is true within the context of climate research and their growing understanding of how the universe operates.

On honest reflection it might be that science is even dead, killed at the altar of corporate profits and mindless BAU, and has been for a long time. If so, then so be it. I say this as a scientist myself. If my practice is destroyed, I can do other things. Actually I can survive just fine as I have many fine skills outside investigations and data analysis. The goal of science always was to inform the interactions between humankind and the universe, but if that is no longer valued and is seen even as suspect or fraudulent... then we can probably do without it. Perhaps we have learned all we will ever know about the universe and anything more is too much information. The world used to be simpler and people lived and died (and suffered) without knowing why things were the way they were. Maybe that was a good thing. When troubles mount the people can turn to religion and mob violence -- as always they did before -- and over time reduce to a period reminiscent of the Middle Ages.

This is probably fine, and in any case may be inevitable. I don't think I can allow myself to have a problem with that if that is how the majority of the people want it to be.

Oh, but destroying climate science won't automagically restore gasoline supplies at $.17 a gallon. Everyone needs to understand that going back means having less, or even having nothing. But in fairness most won't know where the oil disappeared to, why the climate is changing, why they have less security this year than least year (every single year) or why much of anything else is happening.

But they'll be happier for not knowing. I think.

Though I don't pretend to understand that.


Response from Keithishere:

we have gone from morons to knuckleheads but I'm thinking JK's clueless is the most appropriate moniker of all.

I'm one of the old time faithful who would be proud to wear a 'peaker' T-shirt but I would seriously think twice about taking the effort to put one on.

Nobody cares because there is no benefit in accepting reality. People believe what they want to and in what benefits them. They don't care about what is really true.

Caring about truth and caring about others outside ones own tribe are acquired skills. It really is too much to expect clueless knucklehead morons to accept reality unless it feels good to them or something else is in it for them. To expect more from uneducated cheese-puff munching masses and their cheerleaders is irrational and ignores human nature.

Talk about the sky falling all we wish, it won't matter to a knucklehead until he/she gets hit on the head with a big chunk of blue.

The truth is out there and has been for years now. History is proving that people won't look for or accept inconvenient truths until they have suffered personal negative consequences. This is a truth that playing out right now.

Climate change is an inconvenient truth but it pales next to the inconvenient truth of resource depletion and it's inevitable consequences.

But knuckleheads won't accept reality until a die-off is well under way. But it won't matter then if climate change is true or not. All a good knucklehead will be caring about are selfish needs and survival.

Sorry to be so inconvenient but its not a matter of clarification explanation or persuasion. You can lead a knucklehead to the waters of knowledge but you can't make him think.

I wish it were not so.

07 December 2009


As much as I'd like to rant right now about my first two weeks dealing with Translink and public transit in general, I'd like to rant instead about the lemmings that use the system every day. Despite all intentions to maintain a civil society, some units in the machine will do anything (or maybe that should be 'do nothing'?) to ensure we can demonstrate having no intelligence whatsoever as a group. There is no better place for us to collectively look like morons more than on public transit.

The Broadway-Commercial interchange on the Skytrain system is wicked enough just the way it is...a complete bottleneck, however the eastbound Millennium Line train causes even more problems when it doesn't come. Twice in the past week, the service has knocked out a couple of trains heading eastbound. Of course, the ones that did come from VCC-Clark were only double cars. By that time, the crowd has ballooned in size to double what it should be as the train comes on its 15-minute interval so everyone is sardined in the cabs once loaded.

But this morning, several test trains came through and announcements on the intercom very clearly stated that the next trains were out of service trains and shouldn't be boarded. What happens? The trains arrive, and EVERYONE clamours on! Once on, the soothing intercom voice says once again, "this is an out of service train, please get off". Everyone gets off again, completely packed against the yellow security lines waiting for the next operational train. Then one comes, and the Voice of Reason comes on the intercom again, "there is another train immediately after this one", and should have continued, "...so there is no reason for everyone to pack on the first train". No matter, everyone packs on the train anyways, apparently overjoyed about the prospect of rubbing up against all the other lemmings packed into the cars.

It was a wonderful example of our lemmingness. And it was almost as fun as my transit party at the corner of Hastings and Willingdon on Friday evening, but that's another rant for another day...